Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas
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Guatemalans Ousted Their President In 2015. Now They’re After His Replacement.

This article has been updated. It took more than 20,000 protesters marching in the streets of Guatemala City to force then-President Otto Pérez Molina to resign and face corruption charges in 2015. Two years later, Pérez Molina is gone – but the thousands of anti-corruption protesters are back, and they’re taking aim at the new president, Jimmy … Read more

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Why Central America’s Drought Is Harder On Women

Over the past 18 years, Rosalita García has nursed all 10 of her children back to health after bouts of malnutrition. But her three-year-old son’s recent hospital visit in Chiquimula, Guatemala has the 37-year-old mother more worried than usual. “I was able to feed my kids better before because it rained,” García told AQ. “But … Read more

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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

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How Guatemala Is Tackling Its Social Issues

One year ago, Americas Quarterly’s 2013 Social Inclusion Index gave Guatemala the lowest total score of all countries evaluated, with a total of 14.8 points out of a possible 100.  The index ranked 16 countries, including the United States and 15 countries from Latin America.  The comments in the evaluation for Guatemala indicated that “Poverty … Read more

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OAS General Assembly: More than Just the Drug Policy Agenda

When the 43rd General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) released its final resolution on June 7, those waiting for a brave new direction on the war of drugs were likely disappointed. For all the rhetoric of breaking taboos, decriminalization—at least of marijuana—proved to be a step too far for some participants. The writing … Read more

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Mining Conflict and Indigenous Consultation in Guatemala

A handful of Mayan-Q’eqchi’ men and women met with lawyers late last year in Ontario to review the details of three lawsuits filed in local courts against the Canadian mining company HudBay Minerals. They had traveled to Canada to pursue legal recourse for their claim that security personnel at the company’s Fenix Mining Project in … Read more

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Totonicapán: A Familiar Tale with the Hope for An Unlikely Outcome

On October 4, 2012, Guatemalan soldiers opened fire on a crowd of several hundred unarmed peasants from the western highland department of Totonicapán, killing six and wounding 34 others. Joined by teachers, students and local indigenous authorities, the peasants had set up roadblocks along the Pan-American Highway to protest the hike in electricity prices, education … Read more

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Smart Governance Practices on the Rise in Central America

The latest developments in information and communication technology (ICT) are no longer the rage among just tech-savvy enthusiasts. Municipalities across the hemisphere are also starting to pay attention. In Central America, mayors, municipal councilors and their advisors are embracing ICTs such as websites, social media platforms, mobile text messaging, and video cameras as useful tools … Read more

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Justice in Guatemala

Guatemala’s judicial system is on the upswing. In  2011, the Public Ministry made notable strides in the fight against organized crime and political corruption through the leadership of Claudia Paz y Paz—a new and competent attorney general who took over in December 2010—and the continued support of the United Nations sponsored Commission against Impunity in … Read more

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The Road to Victory for Otto Pérez Molina, Guatemala’s President-Elect

With all votes counted within a couple of hours of polls closing on Sunday, November 6, retired general Otto Pérez Molina was confirmed the new president of Guatemala, beating rival Manuel Baldizón by 53.74 percent to 46.26 percent. This year’s election was the second-largest presidential runoff turnout in Guatemala’s history. By the end of the … Read more

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