Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Latin America Could Cut Its Murder Rate By 50 Percent. Here’s How.

Many deaths are unavoidable. Natural disasters and incurable illnesses can claim lives suddenly, without warning. But there is one untimely death that can be avoided – homicide. It is time for Latin America and the Caribbean to set a bold goal to bring down the murder rate. The region is one of the world’s deadliest. It is home … Read more


Six Reasons Colombia Said “No” to FARC Peace Deal

It was a shock result. But a reexamination of why Colombians voted “no” to a peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) by a margin of just 54,000 votes on Sunday sheds some light on why almost all pundits got it wrong – and what might happen next. Here are six reasons … Read more


As Colombia Votes on Peace, Child Soldiers Struggle to Adapt

They may call themselves the “generation of peace,” but young Colombians are actually among those least likely to support their government’s recent peace agreement with FARC rebels, which will be put to a plebiscite vote on October 2. Part of the reason, observers say, is that many young Colombians have not experienced the conflict as … Read more


This Week in Latin America: Cease-fire in Colombia

Sign up here to get This Week in Latin America delivered to your inbox every Monday. Laying Down Arms: A “definitive,” bilateral cease-fire in Colombia’s 52-year war with the FARC began this morning after the two sides agreed to a final peace deal on August 24. The deal will be put to a plebiscite vote on October 2, with campaigning both for and against already … Read more

Camilo Mosquera

Threats to Environmental Activists Put Colombia’s Indigenous at Risk

While Colombia has made remarkable strides in reducing violence over the last two decades, the country remains a dangerous – and even deadly – place for environmental activists. According to a report released June 20 by the advocacy group Global Witness, at least 26 land and environmental activists were killed in the country in 2015. … Read more


This Week in Latin America: Brazil’s Government Breakup

Sign up here to get This Week in Latin America delivered to your inbox every Monday. PMDB Decision on Rousseff: It is considered “inevitable” that Brazil’s largest political party, the PMDB, will on Tuesday formally break with the government and support the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff. One party leader tweeted “On Tuesday the 29th, the party will decide to … Read more


This Week in Latin America: Brazil’s Environmental Disaster

Sign up here to get This Week in Latin America delivered straight to your inbox every Monday. Samarco Settlement: Nearly four months after a burst mining dam in Brazil killed 19 people and caused a wave of toxic sludge to pollute major water sources, mine owner Samarco Mineração S.A. is expected Monday to announce a financial settlement with the Brazilian government. Joint … Read more

Alvaro Uribe

Uribe: Colombia Peace Deal Is “a Capitulation” to FARC

It’s been a challenging few years for Álvaro Uribe. His 2002-10 presidency of Colombia is still credited with a historic drop in violence and robust economic growth rates. But since leaving office with an approval rating upward of 75 percent, Uribe has watched the country move in a different direction. His chosen successor Juan Manuel … Read more

Embrace of the Serpent

‘Embrace of the Serpent’ Is a Haunting Tale of Colombia’s Amazon

In Colombia’s first Oscar-nominated feature film, director Ciro Guerra offers both an ode to humanity’s capacity to hope and a eulogy for the loss of Latin America’s indigenous culture and knowledge. “Embrace of the Serpent” takes place during Latin America’s rubber boom in the early 20th century. The film’s message is delivered through Karamakate, a … Read more

An internally displaced Embera child in Colombia

Colombia’s Next Challenge? A Psychologically Traumatized Society

Following a breakthrough in negotiations with FARC guerillas on Wednesday, President Juan Manuel Santos suggested that peace in Colombia was closer than ever. But even if a deal is signed, the task of coming to terms with the psychological effects of the decades-long conflict will remain. Colombian economist Andrés Moya is studying what that might … Read more

Colombian police help Colombian women carry their belongings as they cross the Tachira border river from Venezuela to Colombia

The Trump-ification of Venezuela

Welcome to the Trump-ification of Venezuelan politics. By closing one of the busiest sections of the border with Colombia, and launching mass deportations of citizens from that country, the government of President Nicolás Maduro has actually implemented what the Republican presidential candidate only dreams of doing.  Indeed, Maduro’s policies constitute a low point in the … Read more


Indigenous Enrollment

Since its formation in February 1971, the Consejo Regional Indígena del Cauca (Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca—CRIC) has made the education of young Indigenous Colombians one of its most important goals. The dream of creating an autonomous university for Indigenous youth was finally realized in November 2003—when the CRIC’s high council formally created the Universidad … Read more

Medellin 510x340

Why Sustainability Matters to the Private Sector

As a business, the EPM Group is a beneficiary of the broad municipal program of sustainability in which we participate.  A wholly owned utility company of the municipality of Medellín, we have benefited both locally and internationally from the progressive urban politics of Medellín.  Until eight years ago, we were entirely local, but in recent … Read more


Dismissal of Bogotá’s Mayor Violates International Law

On December 9, the mayor of Bogotá, Gustavo Petro, was removed and disqualified from holding public office for 15 years by the inspector general of Colombia, Alejandro Ordóñez, as a result of “irregularities in the public service of garbage-collection.” The inspector general’s decision, however, violates the American Convention on Human Rights, ratified by Colombia in … Read more

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