Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas
Photo Credit: Day Donaldson / Flickr

This Week in Latin America: Obama in Havana, Venezuela in Crisis

Sign up here to get This Week in Latin America delivered straight to your inbox every Monday. Cuba, Argentina Host Obama: Cuba and Argentina each play host to U.S. President Barack Obama this week, with human rights issues shading both visits. Today, Obama will hold a working meeting with Cuban President Raúl Castro, who will then host a state dinner … Read more

author photo

Brazilians Vent Rio Olympics Frustration in Graffiti – Photo Essay

The graffiti marking nearly every building in Rio de Janeiro’s Vila Autódromo favela isn’t the work of idle teens. With five months to go before the Summer Olympics, the small community is being demolished to make way for Rio’s planned Olympic Park. The favela has become a focal point for anger over Olympics development, as … Read more

A Munduruku tribal leader. Photo: Maria Tama/Getty

A Batalha Pela Amazônia

Nosso barco deslizava calmamente sobre o rio Tapajós, quando, de forma inesperada, a monotonia hipnótica da Amazônia foi quebrada por pequenos corpos saltando na água. Um punhado de crianças da tribo local Munduruku havia se pendurado em árvores ao longo da margem do rio. Ao nos ver chegando, elas pularam na água escura, subiram a … Read more

Consulta Previa

Why Consulta Previa Is Among the Most Divisive Issues in Peru

In 2011, shortly after he took office, Peru’s President Ollanta Humala signed a law guaranteeing the right to prior consultation for indigenous communities that could be affected by development projects on or near their land. The legislation, known as consulta previa in Spanish and based on the International Labor Organization’s Convention 169, was enacted in … Read more


Why Amazon Tribes Are Losing the Fight Against New Dams – Again

This article is adapted from the Fall 2015 print edition of Americas Quarterly. To subscribe, please click here Versão em português As our boat nudged down the Tapajós river, the hypnotic sameness of the Amazon was shattered by the splash of small bodies. A half-dozen children from the local Munduruku tribe had been dangling from … Read more


Brazil Plans to Fight Economic Woes with $64 Billion Infrastructure Plan

On Tuesday, the Brazilian government unveiled a 198.4 billion reais ($64 billion) infrastructure plan aimed at restoring economic growth through private investments in the country’s depleted roads, rail and ports. “The increase of investments in the Brazilian economy must be done by the private sector,” said Brazilian Planning Minister Nelson Barbosa. “There is a huge demand for better infrastructure … Read more


Report Accuses Red Cross of Failed Haiti Relief Efforts

A joint report by ProPublica and NPR released Wednesday alleges that the Red Cross “repeatedly failed” in its efforts to provide adequate support to Haiti after the country’s 2010 earthquake. Among other shortcomings, the report says the aid group only built six houses, despite announcing two high-profile housing projects and raising nearly $500 million in … Read more


The Next Chapter for China in the Americas

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang begins an eight day trip to South America today, landing in Brazil with a promise of some $50 billion in Chinese investments in Brazilian infrastructure. This trip follows on and is consistent with the promise that President Xi Jinping made in January to invest $250 billion in Latin America and the Caribbean … Read more

Cuba online

Decoding the Digital Cold War

Among the pressing issues raised by the historic thaw in U.S.–Cuba relations is the role the Internet might play as the two nations enter a new chapter in their shared history. Cuba has one of the lowest Internet penetration rates in the Western hemisphere. Government data suggests that over 25 percent of Cubans are using … Read more


Public Hearings Begin for Mexico’s Water Law

The Comisión de Recursos Hidráulicos (Hydraulic Resources Commission) of Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies initiated a period of public hearings today to inform a new draft of the Ley General de Aguas (General Water Law), which will regulate the management of country’s water resources. An earlier draft of the water bill, which appeared to have been … Read more


Negotiations Continue over Panama’s Barro Blanco Dam

A new round of negotiations will begin on March 27 over Panama’s $225 million Barro Blanco hydroelectric project—now 95 percent complete, but the source of a long-standing feud between the Generadora del Istmo  S.A. (GENISA) company, the contractor for the dam, and the Ngäbe Buglé Indigenous group, which is vehemently opposed to the project due … Read more


Nicaragua Canal Could Threaten Indigenous Group

On Monday, a lawyer for the Indigenous Rama people in Nicaragua told the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) that there could be serious repercussions for the Rama if Nicaragua’s $50 billion canal project is allowed to continue. Rama leader Becky McCray, the lawyer for the tribe, said that the Rama were likely to lose … Read more


Monday Memo: Iguala Students—Cuban Internet—Nicaragua Canal—Strike in Haiti—Unasur facilitates U.S.-Venezuela dialogue

Likely top stories this week: Independent forensic team deems Mexico’s 43 missing students case inconclusive; Cuban authorities to expand Internet centers in 2015; archaeological relics uncovered along Nicaragua Canal route; a general strike in Haiti on eve of Carnival; Unasur seeks to facilitate U.S.-Venezuela dialogue. Independent Forensic Team Deems Mexico’s 43 Missing Students Case Inconclusive: … Read more


Costa Rica to Invest $100 Million to Modernize Border Crossings

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved $100 million dollars for Costa Rica to modernize its border-crossing infrastructure, the Ministry of Finance announced on Tuesday. The plan seeks to bolster trade competitiveness at Costa Rica’s four border crossings with Nicaragua and Panama. In late 2014, Nicaragua completed the construction of a bridge at the Las Tablillas … Read more

Sign up for our free newsletter