Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas
 

Colombian Rebel Groups Compromise Ongoing Peace Process

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced today that six members of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—FARC) and two policemen were killed in an attack near the Venezuelan border. The announcement comes only days after the president requested that the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (National Liberation Army—ELN) set free two … Read more

 

Monday Memo: Parliamentary Elections in Cuba – Argentina’s IMF Censure – Mexico Investigates Pemex Explosion – and more

Top stories this week are likely to include: Cubans re-elect President Raúl Castro in one-party elections; Argentine Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman travels to London; Paraguay investigates the death of Lino Oviedo; Argentina reacts to the IMF after being censured; Mexican authorities conclude rescue efforts after PEMEX explosion. Parliamentary Elections Begin in Cuba: Cuba’s nearly 8.5 … Read more

 

[i]AQ[/i] Q&A: Richard Aborn on Reducing Pretrial Detention Rates

Richard M. Aborn, president of the consulting firm CAAS LLC, speaks with Americas Quarterly about the consequences of high pretrial detention rates in the Americas, and explores ways of rethinking pretrial detention so that it can be made more equitable. “People linger in jail for years and years because of their poverty,” Aborn says. Poor defendants cannot … Read more

 

Mapuche Leaders Meet in Southern Chile to Discuss Ongoing Conflict

More than 600 Mapuche representatives gathered in Chile’s conflict-torn La Araucanía region on Wednesday to discuss proposals for self-government and address the violent clashes between Indigenous activists and state authorities in southern Chile over land ownership and restitution. Mapuche leaders organized a special summit at the cerro Ñielol (Ñielol  hill) in the city of Temuco in … Read more

 

FARC Requests Dialogue on Agrarian Reform

With the fate of peace talks between the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—FARC) and the Colombian government hanging in the balance, the FARC requested yesterday that Colombian Agriculture Minister Juan Camilo Restrepo participate in the negotiations in Havana, Cuba, to address the guerrilla group’s demand for agrarian reform. The FARC’s proposal, … Read more

 

Women and Conflict Prevention in Latin America

Over a decade after a landmark global effort to increase the participation of women in peace and security efforts much of the Americas is still behind the curve. UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSC 1325), passed in 2000, reaffirms the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and in all efforts aimed … Read more

 

FARC Criticize Santos Administration for Military Offenses

Yesterday afternoon, the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—FARC) guerrilla group complained that the Colombian government’s usage of military force during peace talks threatened the harmony of the negotiations. Iván Márquez, chief negotiator for the FARC, stated that “in contrast with our act of humanity, President Santos announces that he will intensify the … Read more

 

El Salvador’s Prison System Needs Reform

Latin America’s prison system is in crisis. Human Rights Watch has called the Latin American penitentiary system “underfunded, overcrowded and often controlled by criminals inside their walls.” In March 2012, a prison fire killed over 350 inmates in Honduras. The same week, a series of prison riots in three Mexican penitentiaries resulted in 48 fatalities. … Read more

 

Monterrey, Mexico: Living amid the Rule of Fear

For the past couple of years, people from all over the world have been asking me the same question: how bad are things in Monterrey, really? Obviously, they are referring to the drug-related violence and overall instability that have recently given the city unwanted international attention. There’s a saying in Mexico: “cada quién cuenta como … Read more

 

Violence Surges in São Paulo

The numbers are almost too much to take in: 4,100 murdered this year. This figure does not refer to a war-torn country, but to São Paulo state: the biggest driver of Brazil’s economy. As a report came out last week showing that Brazil had seen as many violent deaths—500,000—over the past 10 years as Somalia’s … Read more

 

Mexico Reacts to Approval of Marijuana Ballot Measures

The Mexican government signaled this week that its approach to fighting drug trafficking in the region could change after voters in the U.S. states of Colorado and Washington decided to legalize the recreational use of marijuana on Tuesday. A top aide for Mexican President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto, who will take office in December, said Thursday … Read more

 

Concerns in Belize: Why the U.S. and Mexico Should Pay Attention

In the fight against organized crime, Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras grab the headlines—but politicos and analysts neglect to mention Belize. This Central American country of 330,000 bordering Mexico and Guatemala is fast becoming fertile ground for organized crime, drug trafficking, human trafficking, and piracy. At 39 murders … Read more

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