Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Mexico’s New Undead Rapist Mayor-Elect

Yes, you read that title correctly. The small municipality of San Agustín Amatengo in the Mexican state of Oaxaca has recently attracted national attention due to what is likely the strangest story in electoral politics in the country. On July 7, Lenin Carballido, the candidate from a Partido Acción Nacional (National Action Party—PAN)-Partido de la … Read more

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The PRI’s Losses are Peña Nieto’s Gains

MEXICO CITY —Mexico’s July 7 local elections, held in half of the country’s states, were the first since President Enrique Peña Nieto took office. As such, they served as a quasi-referendum on the president’s Partido Revolucionario Institucional (Institutional Revolutionary Party—PRI), and provide the political backdrop against which Peña Nieto will push his agenda to remake … Read more


Participatory Budgeting Advances in Lima, But Stalls Elsewhere in Peru

A novel political endeavor took place earlier last month in Lima, as just over 17,000 citizens participated in the city’s first consulta ciudadana virtual (virtual citizen consultation) as part of the municipality’s participatory budgeting (PB) process. Across the city, residents used a new online system to vote in the consulta. Although those who participated represent … Read more


Guatemala Considers Abandoning Petrocaribe

On Wednesday, Guatemalan Vice President Roxanna Baldetti submitted a petition to Petrocaribe, an oil trading alliance among Caribbean nations and Venezuela, threatening that her country will leave the block unless the Venezuelan government agrees to maintain originally established interest rates. Former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez created Petrocaribe in 2005 to sell crude oil to neighboring … Read more


Criminal Violence Becomes Political Ahead of Mexico’s July 7 Elections

Not since Mexico’s transition to democracy in the late 1980s has the country witnessed the high levels of political violence that have characterized the build-up to the July 7 local elections. Local politicians across the country have been the target of death threats, arson attacks and shootings. Although organized crime and drug-related violence in Mexico … Read more

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Protester Confidence in Brazil

SAO PAULO, Brazil – The question of how long Brazil’s protest movement may last has stumped social and political analysts, with the movement’s rapid growth since early June taking nearly all by surprise. But low unemployment rates may now be giving Brazilian protesters the endurance to go the distance—a reminder of the situation during the … Read more


Correa’s Hand in the Snowden Affair

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said Monday that Ecuador will not grant asylum to Edward Snowden, the former contractor wanted by the United States for leaking National Security Agency information, unless he reaches Ecuadorian territory. Correa maintained his support for Snowden, whose actions he said were a brave act against tyranny—in defense of universal freedoms and … Read more


Monday Memo: Chilean Primaries – Cuban Co-ops – Brazil Protests – U.S. Immigration – Edward Snowden

Likely top stories this week: Michelle Bachelet wins Chile’s opposition primaries; Cuban state-run produce markets go private; President Rousseff’s popularity dips; U.S. immigration reform moves to the House of Representatives; Edward Snowden stuck in Moscow. Bachelet Wins Chilean Opposition Primaries: Former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet won a landslide victory on Sunday in Chile’s primary elections, … Read more


Chile Holds Historic Presidential Debates

Twenty-three years after the fall of Augusto Pinochet, on the surface at least, Chile’s democratic institutions appear strong. However, less than five months out from presidential elections, many Chileans feel more disillusioned with the political process now than at any point since the return to democracy. In the lead up to the November 17 vote, … Read more

Gendering Cuba’s Blogosphere

It’s not uncommon for the Castro regime to accuse dissidents of being CIA agents or puppets of the U.S. government. Viral media attacks on Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez are not unique. However, the manner in which they attack Sánchez and other female dissidents, compared to their male counterparts, does seem unique.                                                            Initially, the … Read more


Los indignados de América Latina

¿Cómo quitar los ojos de Brasil que en las últimas semanas ha sido objeto de la toma de sus calles por parte de jóvenes apartidarios, indignados, cansados de las políticas del gobierno de Dilma Rousseff? ¿Cómo no asistir casi estupefacto al crecimiento de un movimiento que espontáneamente apareció en vísperas de la Copa Mundial en … Read more


What Do the Protests in Brazil Signify?

Edited by Mable Ivory Six months ago, if someone were to ask any Brazilian about the possibility of a massive protest happening in 100 cities in Brazil, the idea would most certainly have been met with laughter. After all, the country—set to host two major sporting events in the coming years and profiled internationally because of … Read more

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The Protests in Venezuela Should Not be Overlooked

Over the last week, Brazil’s protests have captured headlines worldwide.  But Brazil is not the only South American country engulfed in protests.  Since early June, Venezuela has been witnessing a series of protests involving the university sector.  As with the public demonstrations in Brazil, the protests in Venezuela are a sign of deep political problems.  … Read more

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