Sunday, November 29, 2009

Exit Polls: Ex-rebel is Uruguay's next president

Polls are just recently beginning to show that Jose Mujica will win the presidency. I have provided a link covering the election results.
The article "Peru Apologises for Abuse of African-origin citizens" discusses the recent public apology that Peru has made to the African population for years of abuse and racism. They are not the first Latin American country to make such an apology. Yet, Peru's apology was criticized for not making any direct reference to slavery, and because it never spelled out any affirmative action to end the racism.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

ETA suspects arrested in Madrid

In Madrid, Spain, 34 young people were arrested after being suspected of being a part of the outlawed Basque separatist group ETA. ETA, an acronym that means "Basque Homeland and Liberty," is classified as a terrorist group in the U.S., Spain, and the European Union. The suspects will be going under trial in the Madrid court within the next few days.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Chavez Putting in his Two Cents once again

Chavez is at it again. I always find his comments interesting after our discussion about him a few weeks ago. In this article he comes out in support for the international terrorist Ilich Ramirez Sanchez. According to the article he also supports notorious figures such as Idi Amin and Mougabe.

Eco-Tourism in the Dominican

This NY Times article discusses the possibility of developing the town of Miches in the Dominican Republic into a prosperous tourist venture. I thought this idea was ambitious and it fits well with our topic for this week.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Check out this article in the New York Times. It's about a group of students who allied themselves with workers from Honduras who had lost thier jobs in a Russel factory when Russel closed the factory overnight. These US students found a way to put pressure on the consumers of Russel goods, like the NBA and their universities. When over a hundred buyers threatened to cut their contracts with Russel, Russel agreed to reopen the factory and rehire all the old workers.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Closure for Some Family Members of the "Disappeared"
This article tells about the efforts of anthropologists to find and identify the bodies of people who had been kidnapped and executed in Argentina during the dirty war. A trial will be held on December 15th for former officers suspected in these executions. Only recently, immunity laws for those officers were overturned. This reminds me a little of our Guantanamo Bay situation and makes me think we too will one day reconsider investigations into what really occurred in Cuba.

Students Clash with Police in Colombia

At the end of October, the United States and Colombia signed an agreement allowing the US troops to be stationed at 7 military bases in Colombia. This agreement expands US involvement in the war on drug trafficking in Colombia, and shows the influence of the US in the region. This agreement has been met with harsh criticism in Latin America, and the video below shows students fighting with riot police in protest.

A Peruvian Air Force officer accused of spying for Chile

This James Bond like scenario is very surprising noting that Chilean-Peruvian relations are not overly strained enough to even consider spys exisiting among the ranks of either country's military. This article explains how a man, name not released, who was an officer in Peru's airforce who has been accused of spying even after Chile, "does not spy."

Peruvian Police: gang killed individuals for their fat

There are some sick people in this world. I'm glad I visited Peru before hearing about this incident.
After reading about it, I looked up the Itaipu Dam's website to see what it looks like.
View of the Itaipu Dam from the air:

The End of the Mexican Recession

According to this article, Mexico will be pulling out of the recession by 2010. The article says that not only did the global recession and lower oil prices hurt the economy, but also, the swine flu outbreak was an added complication for the country.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Missed Gitmo Deadline

After planning that the U.S. detention camp in Guantanamo Bay would be shut down by January, President Obama has confirmed that this deadline will be met.
I have provided the news article which details the various problems surrounding the closing- the main one being that other nations will not accept the prisoners.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New York Times article from Saturday about local and global issues reducing turtle populations on Costa Rica beaches--bad for both the environment and tourism:

Monday, November 16, 2009

El Salvador Remembers Massacre

This series of pictures from BBC News shows how El Salvador's citizens are remembering and memorializing the 20th anniversary of the Jesuit Massacre in 1989. Government troops murdered six prominent priests.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Tango

With our more in-depth look into the darker side of Argentine history, I thought it might be nice to look into a lighter side of their culture. The tango is one of my favorite dances even if I don't know it very well.

Here is a short history of the dance.

And here is a very interesting video of two Argentine performers.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Here is an intersting video about Las Madres de Plaza de Mayo

Amazon Headshrinkers

National Geographic is doing a special on Amazon "Headshrinkers" for Expedition Week. The Shuar people of the Amazon used a process to shrink the heads of their dead enemies to take vengeance. They show how the process may look in this video, but it is pretty gross. After the headshrinking ritual, the head is a fourth of its original size.

Brazil Student's Short Dress

I was looking on, and this video/article definitely popped out at me. I found it amusing, yet shocking at the same time. Living in America and especially going to a laid-back school like Tulane, this story shocked me. A girl at a Brazilian university was banned after wearing a short dress to school. I wouldn't expect this from Brazil of all places, but its Catholic heritage and traditions are still surprisingly strong.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Guantanamo by the Numbers

Here's a look at numbers for detainees past and present at the detention center that opened in 2002 at the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba:

• Currently held at Guantanamo: 215.

• Released or transferred out of Guantanamo: About 565.

• Transferred to the United States so far: One, Ahmed Ghailani, who is awaiting trial in New York.

• Convicted by military commissions at Guantanamo: Three, including two who have completed their sentences, with one now free in Australia and another in Yemen.

• Cases considered viable for prosecution in federal courts or by military commissions: About 65.

• Cleared for release by a government task force as of late September: 78.


Source: AP archives.


I thought it would be a good idea to find the definition of welfare since it will be our new theme.
I think this will be a very interesting unit because Latin America has often changed its idea of welfare and whose welfare has been important. They have constantly seeked new ways to attain welfare for both individuals, the community, and the nation. This can be seen in part of the original intent of the conquerors who thought religion would help the indigens' welfare and the various social reforms that have occurred in the region.

Dia De Los Muertos (AND ALIVE!)

This is quite the humorous article. On Dia de los Muertos, a man in Southern Brazil walked into his own funeral. People had incorrectly ID'd the victim of a car crash a day earlier as Admir Goncalves, who found out about the funeral and showed up while his family members were mourning.

"The sight of Ademir Jorge Goncalves alive shocked relatives, some of whom tried to jump out of the windows of the funeral home"

Check it out here

Brazil blackout

image credit Mauricio Lima/AFP/Getty Images

You might have heard about Tuesday's blackout in Brazil. 60 million people lost power and the government blamed it on a storm. I bet we'll hear more about this because it was so massive. LA Times article

Mexican Drug Lord Makes Forbe's Most Powerful People edition

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was named Forbes 41st most powerful person in the world which puts him ahead of Chavez and Sarkozy in importance while Mexico's own president, Felipe Calderon, doesn't even make the list. I think this could possibly be one of the strongest statements made yet about the power of the drug cartels in Mexico

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Chavez Putting in his Two Cents

In class we had discussed Chavez's dominant and aggressive attitude especially towards the U.S. 
He's had a lot to say about the U.S. military base in Columbia. He accuses the U.S. of trying to attack his government with the base. Could there be truth to his accusations? 

Ida's Effects in El Salvador

Since we in New Orleans have been predicted to feel the effects of Hurricane Ida, I thought I should share this New York Times article on the hurricane's effects in El Salvador. Although Ida itself did not inflict much damage, a storm associated with the larger hurricane has killed at least 140 El Salvadorians due to mudslides from excessive rain.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Current Interaction of Religion, Military, and Government in Paraguay
The current situation in Paraguay seems very relevant to our last disucussion, considering the interaction between all three. The current President Lugo used to be a Catholic priest, showing the support for the Church being involved in their government. Then, the military involvement remains obvious as Lugo felt the need to fire many military leaders, fearing a coup against him. The situation resonnates Latin America's instability that becomes even more prevalent with the fear of instability. Lugo could just be causing more conflict by firing these officers. I think Roosevelt's quote during the Depression may have some revelance: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." In some ways, Latin America is so plagued by its history of instability that the region cannot stop being instable.

Venezuela and Colombia in Conflict

Since we talked about Venezuela, I figured it might be a nice idea to look more into the country, and I found an article that provided a few facts about the ongoing disputes between Venezuela and Colombia.

Brazilian Indians Find Survivors of Plane Crash

This article from CNN reminded me of At Play in the Fields of the Lord.

Former Panamanian Leader Dies

Manuel Solis, who served briefly as president during Manuel Noriega's military regime, died Friday. He was 91.

Solis died at his home from respiratory failure, said Mitchell Doens, the secretary general of the Democratic Revolutionary Party to which Solis belonged.

Solis served as education minister during the military regime dominated by Noriega and then was named acting president in February 1988 after President Eric Arturo Del Valle was fired. He ruled until Sept. 1, 1989.

Doens said Solis fought for Panama's sovereignty and led the movement in the 1940s against U.S. military presence in the Central American country, where the U.S. built and ran the Panama Canal for generations.

His brief term as president ended with the U.S. invasion that ousted Noriega.

Solis went on to serve as education minister from 2004-2009 in Martin Torrijos' administration.

He is survived by his wife and three children.-AP

Honduran "President" Won't Leave

In this article it talks about how the new Honduran "president" Roberto Michelleti has rewritten laws and garnered more support to make his coup permanent by letting the former democratically elescted president, Manuel Zalaya, finish his term. Also, in the article it talks about the role that The School of the Americas played in the coup, and how essentially the United States was responible for teaching these leaders their violent ways. Also in a direct connection to last week's reading, the Catholic Church SUPPORTED the coup. You can check out the article here.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Latin Grammys are tonight. Too bad I only just found out about it and it's almost over.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Latino Music at Voodoofest

Although I made sure to see many of the big musical acts during Voodoofest, I also made a conscious effort to watch some of the smaller, local, lesser-known bands that were playing that weekend. One of those bands was Mas Mamones, a New Orleans-based band that plays Afro-Cuban music that apparently was just beginning to play together again after breaking up 10 years ago. I personally think live jazz is some of the best music out there and I was pretty impressed with this band. Unfortunately, I can't post a link because the band doesn't have a website so y'all will just have to take my word for it that they play good music.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The Pressure of Baseball in Latin America

I love baseball and since the World Series is presently unfolding, I thought this article touching on the issue of steroid abuse in Latin America, specifically the Dominican Republic, would be especially pertinent. Somewhere between 25% and 30% of Major League Baseball players are Latino or Hispanic. The pressure put on these young boys to break into and then succeed in the MLB is incredible.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Long Island Latino International Film Festival

25 films in three days. I want to go.

I also liked the "universal appeal" comment at the end, which I thought was also sticking up for foreign films in general.