Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas
Cerro Abajo 510x340

Cerro Abajo

Linking “Chile” and “extreme sports” usually conjures up an image of off-road vehicles racing at breakneck speed through the Atacama Desert during the annual Dakar Rally [AQ, Summer 2011], or of high-endurance hikers climbing the Andes. But downhill racing in Valparaíso, Chile’s bohemian harbor city? In fact, since 2003, romantic “Valpo,” which counted Pablo Neruda … Read more

 

“No”

In October 1988, a national plebiscite to extend the military rule of then-Chilean President Augusto Pinochet was voted down by 56 percent of the electorate. This transformational event has been re-imagined 24 years later in a film named after the “No” coalition of 16 political parties that led the opposition campaign.No is the third and … 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

Chilean Voter 510x340

Chile’s Pragmatic Middle-Class Voter

Chile’s middle class has always played a key role in the country’s politics. In the first four presidential elections after the 1989 democratic transition, middle-class voters were a decisive factor in the victories of center-left Concertación candidates Patricio Aylwin, Eduardo Frei, Ricardo Lagos, and Michelle Bachelet. By 2009, however, Chile’s middle class turned away from … Read more

 

Monday Memo: Cuba Loosens Travels Restrictions – Chávez’ Visitors in Havana – CFK in Asia – Obama’s Inauguration

Top stories this week are likely to include: Cubans apply for foreign visas; Nicolás Maduro, Diosdado Cabello and Latin American leaders visit Chávez in Havana; Cristina Fernández de Kirchner travels to Asia; and Barack Obama begins his second presidential term. Cuba Loosens Travel Restrictions: The directive announced last October to relax regulations on Cuban travel … Read more

 

Brazil’s Relationship with Africa: Too Much to Handle?

Many people are discussing Brazil’s role in Africa’s development and the deepening of their bilateral commercial and political relationships over the past decade. For Brazil, Africa is seen as one of the best growth opportunities and a new frontier for investments. Many of Brazil’s largest infrastructure companies are currently operating in Africa and looking to expand … Read more

 

Lula’s Involvement in Mensalão Corruption Scandal to Be Investigated

Brazilian Attorney General Roberto Gugel announced Wednesday that his office will investigate a claim that former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva was aware of the massive 2005 vote-buying scheme known as the “mensalão,” in which members of Lula’s Partido dos Trabalhadores (Workers’ Party—PT) and other politicians bribed Brazilian lawmakers to back PT initiatives … Read more

 

Monday Memo: Impact of Venezuela Regional Elections – Mayans Prepare for End of the Thirteenth [i]B’ak’tun[/i] – Peru, Chile Demine Shared Border – and more

Top stories this week are likely to include: Strong chavista performance in Venezuelan regional elections; Mayan peoples celebrate the thirteenth b’ak’tun; Argentina faces international fiscal isolation; and Peru and Chile sign a pact to remove mines from their shared border. Impact of Venezuela Regional Elections: Although Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’ health remains uncertain after a … 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

 

Media Law Reform Pits Argentine Executive Branch Against Judiciary

After a massive demonstration on November 8, Argentines planned to take to the streets again Thursday night to protest the enforcement of a new media law scheduled to go into full effect today. In the end, a subway strike, torrential rains and a toxic gas cloud significantly reduced enthusiasm and left the streets of Buenos … Read more

 

Afro-LGBT Advocates Lead the Struggle for Equality in Brazil

In a historic gathering in Salvador, Bahia, nearly 100 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Afro-Brazilian activists participated last month in the country’s first-ever National Black LGBT Conference (Primeiro Seminário Nacional de Negras e Negros LGBT). Given the rare opportunity to be recognized as a unique group that suffers from discrimination based on race, sexual … Read more

 

Brazil to Double Border Security by 2014

In a public hearing Tuesday before the Financial Supervisory Commission in the Chamber of Deputies, Brazilian Justice Minister José Eduardo Cardozo announced that the country will double the number of security personnel on its borders by 2014. The strategy will focus on increasing the police presence along the Bolivian, Colombian and Peruvian borders, with the … Read more

 

Monday Memo: Mercosur Considers Ecuador and Bolivia – Peña Nieto in the Presidency – Colombia, FARC Continue Talks – Peru, Chile at The Hague – and more

Top stories this week are likely to include: Mercosur convenes; first week of Enrique Peña Nieto’s presidency; FARC peace negotiations resume; Peru, Chile dispute their border at The Hague; and Rousseff’s oil royalties veto makes waves in Brazil. Mercosur Considers Ecuador and Bolivia: When Mercosur’s member nations convene on Friday in Brasilia, they will consider … Read more

 

Members of Argentine Military on Trial for Dictatorship-Era Death Flights

On Wednesday, Argentina began the trial of 68 suspects accused of kidnapping, torture and murder at the notorious Buenos Aires Escuela de Mecánica de la Armada (Navy Mechanics School-ESMA) during the country’s 1976–1983 dictatorship. All but two of the suspects are former members of the Argentine military. Some 5,000 political prisoners are estimated to have … Read more

 

New Leader of Chile’s Student Movement Seeks to Influence 2013 Presidential Election

On Wednesday, newly-elected Chilean student leader Andrés Fielbaum outlined his approach for educational reform in Chile in the coming year, emphasizing the importance of the student movement in determining the outcome of the December 2013 presidential elections. Fielbaum, a 25-year-old engineering student, was elected president of the influential Federación de Estudiantes de la Universidad de … Read more

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