Author Archives: Shawn

About Shawn

ABD Ph.D. candidate in History at the University of New Mexico. I study Early Latin America and am currently working on a dissertation on racial relations, the many iterations of encomienda, and frontier societies in the Rio de la Plata during the 16th and 17th centuries.

Violence and Gangs in El Salvador

An article by Óscar Martínez at the New York Times raises questions about the nature of state-society relations in Central America and the tactics politicians and bureaucrats use to find a way out of the cycles of violence that grip … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

“Tierra malhabida” or “Ill-gotten Land” in Paraguay

In my last post on Paraguay, I referred to grass-roots movements in Paraguay and their role in bringing about change in that country. I recently wrote a review of an anthropological monograph on peasant movements in Paraguay called Guerrilla Auditors: … Continue reading

Posted in "Modernity", Paraguay, Uncategorized

Paraguay: politics, land and law

I appreciate Colin’s posts on the recent happenings in Paraguay. I want to provide a few opinions that I’ve gleaned from friends in the country. My more conservative contacts tell me that the ouster of Lugo has been in the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized


A few weeks back, Colin posted on one of the Madres, Zaida Franz, celebrating the identification of the remains of her disappeared daughter. It does not surprise us that this Mother would feel a sense of closure and relief at … Continue reading

Posted in Argentina, Argentina's Military Dictatorship (1976-1983), The "Disappeared" | 3 Comments

Paraguay’s Chaco

The New York Times posted a video report and accompanying article on deforestation in Paraguay’s Chaco. The report focuses on the government’s meager attempts to stop deforestation, the role of foreign ranchers, and the displacement of indigenous people, like the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized

Kaiowa-Guarani Chief Murdered

Brazil’s National Indian Foundation or Funai has reported that a Kaiowa-Guarani leader named Nisio Gomes was executed today near the Amambay in Mato Grosso do Sul. Forty masked men entered the the Guarani’s encampment, executed Gomes in front of his … Continue reading

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Yguasu and Guaira

Yguasu Falls (y- water, guasu- big) of Brazil, the longest waterfall in the world, measuring 1.7 miles across (caveat: Victoria is officially longer because it is unbroken, while Yguasu is not). When I visited the falls recently I was struck … Continue reading

Posted in Border Issues, Brazil, Catholicism in the Americas, Indigenous Peoples, Paraguay