Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

This Week in Latin America: Political Crises in Guatemala

Here are a few of the stories we’re following this week: Turmoil in Guatemala: Guatemala’s President Otto Pérez Molina (pictured) may face impeachment over his alleged participation in a wide-ranging corruption scandal involving the country’s customs agency. The president denied any connection with the scheme during a televised address on Sunday night, just days after his former vice-president, Roxana Baldetti, was arrested on fraud charges. The scandal … Read more


Despite Early Prison Releases, Venezuela’s Opposition is Still Under Pressure

Retired General Raúl Baduel, a former Venezuelan defense minister and vocal government critic, was granted an early release from prison this morning after serving six years of an eight year anti-corruption sentence. His release comes just 24 hours after Daniel Ceballos, an opposition leader and former mayor, was granted house arrest due to poor health stemming … Read more


This Week in Latin America: Brazil Protests—John Kerry in Cuba—Haiti Election Results—Panama Canal Workers Threaten Strike

Here’s a look at some of the stories we’re following this week: Brazil Protests: A nationwide protest in opposition to Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff will take place on August 16. The wide-ranging Petrobras corruption scandal and what many consider a feckless response to Brazil’s faltering economy have led to calls for Rousseff’s impeachment; 66% of Brazilians now favor the measure, … Read more


In Ecuador, Broken Promises and Calls for an “Indigenous Uprising”

August 9 marks the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. In Ecuador, hundreds will mark the day in protest, as a march convened by CONAIE, the country’s chief Indigenous organization, is making its way to Quito from the far southwestern corner of the country. CONAIE, or the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, has … Read more


Jamaica’s Pride Week Is A Positive Step for the Caribbean

Correction appended below On Saturday, LGBT rights organizations kicked off PRiDE JA 2015, Jamaica’s first ever gay pride week. For a country that TIME magazine once called “the most homophobic place on earth,”  the event is testament  to a slowly improving climate for an often persecuted LGBT community. “Despite the realities, Jamaica is changing slowly … Read more


FARC Seeks Helping Hand from the Pope in Peace Process

It seems we can add the FARC leadership to the growing list of unlikely admirers—including Cuban President Raúl Castro and Bolivian President Evo Morales—of the Roman Catholic pontiff. Speaking from Havana, Iván Márquez, the chief negotiator for the FARC in the Colombia peace talks, called the possibility of meeting with Pope Francis “something extraordinary.”    “Imagine the … Read more


This Week in Latin America: Protests Follow Killing of Mexican Journalist—Haiti’s Elections—Petrobras Scandal Widens—Guyana-Venezuela Border Dispute

Here’s a look at some of the stories we’re following this week: Outrage after Killing of Mexican Journalist: Protests are expected to continue today after Rubén Espinosa, a photojournalist for the Mexican weekly Proceso, was found dead in an apartment building in Mexico City on Friday. Espinosa, whose body was found along with those of four other … Read more


UN Urges Renewed Effort to Combat Human Trafficking

Today, the UN Office of Drugs & Crime marked the first World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, an effort to raise awareness around the $150 billion global human trafficking industry. The event comes just days after the U.S. State Department drew criticism for its decision to remove Cuba from a list of countries that have … Read more


A Potential Turning Point for Gender Violence in Mexico

The often overlooked struggle to address violence against women in Mexico may have reached a turning point this week, after the country’s secretary of the interior approved “gender violence alerts” for 11 municipalities in Mexico state. The alerts, which some local governments have been requesting for several years, provide municipalities with federal funding and technical … Read more


Searching for the ‘Disappeared’ in Medellín’s Most Notorious Slum

On Monday, a team of Colombian officials began an excavation of what some believe may be the “world’s largest urban mass grave” in La Escombrera, a landfill in Medellín’s Comuna 13 slum. As many as 300 people are thought to have been buried there between 1999 and 2004, a period when the surrounding neighborhood was plagued … Read more


This Week in Latin America: Puerto Rico’s Debt Deadline—Montt on Trial—Ayotzinapa Protest—Press Freedom in the Americas

Here’s a look at some of the stories we’re following this week: Puerto Rico’s Debt Deadline: Puerto Rico, which is struggling to meet its obligations to international creditors, faces a deadline on two debt payments Saturday. The government there will have to pay down $169.9 million on debts assumed by the Government Development Bank, and another $93.7 … Read more


The Unsettled Legacy of the Candelária Massacre

On this day in 1783, one of Latin America’s most significant figures, Simón Bolívar, was born in Caracas. While many in the region will celebrate the occasion, today also marks the anniversary of a more chilling episode in Latin American history. Shortly after midnight on July 24, 1993, nine hooded men, including several off-duty police officers, opened … Read more


Why Indigenous Groups in Latin America Need Better Access to Health Care

Colombia’s National Health Superintendant fined six health care providers over $1 million each, last week, after finding that their failure to provide adequate medical and vaccination services to Indigenous communities in the northern department of La Guajira contributed to the 2013 deaths from malnutrition of 12 Wayuu children.   La Guajira is home to the … Read more


Can Mexico City’s Regulations Help Uber Gain Footing Elsewhere in Latin America?

Two months ago, hundreds of frustrated taxi drivers blocked traffic in Mexico City to call for government regulation of mobile-based car services like Uber. On Wednesday, those regulations arrived, as the city announced a slew of new rules to regulate the rapidly-growing industry. But despite a list of regulations that includes new permit fees and a 1.5 percent tax … Read more

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