Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Brazil Signs Internet Bill of Rights into Law

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff signed an Internet Bill of Rights into law yesterday—the first of its kind  in the world. The new bill ensures the privacy of its users by restricting the amount of metadata that can be collected and also prohibits companies from restricting certain services by requiring the user to pay more, such … Read more


Will Mexico’s Telecom Reform Hurt Internet Freedom?

On March 24, Enrique Peña Nieto presented the Mexican Senate with a bill for a new telecommunications law that complements the constitutional reforms he approved in 2013. The legislation proposes, among other things, to promote competition in the sector, improve telecom services, and regulate the radioelectric spectrum through the new telecommunications regulator, the Instituto Federal … Read more


Contested Lands, Contested Laws

Read more about proposals for regulation here. The right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC), or consulta previa, has expanded throughout South America. Nine states have ratified the International Labour Organization’s Convention 169 (ILO169)—the principal treaty regarding consulta previa.* But regulations created by four of those states—Colombia, Chile, Peru, and Ecuador—contradict the commitments they … Read more


Two Views of Consulta Previa in Guatemala: A View from Indigenous Peoples

Read a view from the private sector here. Guatemala is a plurinational country that 22 Maya nations, Xinka, Garifuna, and Ladino people jointly call home. The efforts to gain access to natural resources—often without the consent of the communities affected—constitute another stage in the long history of dispossession and repression of Maya peoples since colonization. … Read more


Contradiction in International Law

Indigenous peoples’ control over natural resources continues to be one of the most controversial issues in international law.1 Numerous international human rights treaties recognize Indigenous communities’ right to be consulted over the use of resources on or beneath their communal lands. But international law tends to consider third parties’ exploitation of natural resources on Indigenous … Read more


Reducing the Financial Risk of Social Conflict

Read a sidebar on foiled energy projects. The Peruvian economy has experienced exceptional growth in the past 10 years, with its GDP expanding at an average yearly rate of 6.5 percent. Much of this growth is due to the mining sector, which in 2012 accounted for 9.6 percent of Peru’s GDP, 1.3 percent of its … Read more


Politicians Under Fire in Mexico

This week, two mayors in the state of Michoacán were arrested by the Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado de Michoacán (Attorney General of the State of Michoacán—PGJE ). Uriel Chávez, the mayor of Apatzingan and a member of the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (Institutional Revolutionary Party—PRI), and Noé Aburto Inclán, mayor of Tacámbaro and a … Read more


Ten Sentenced in Argentine Sex Trafficking Case

Ten individuals suspected of the kidnapping and sexual exploitation of Maria de los Ángeles “Marita” Verón were sentenced to prison in Tucumán, Argentina on Tuesday. While walking to a doctor’s appointment in 2002, Verón, 23, disappeared, and was suspected to have been forced into a sex trafficking ring. All 13 individuals accused of being involved … Read more


Alianzas peligrosas en El Salvador

Recuerdo que, hace algunas décadas, las palabras más temidas por alumnos de secundaria eran: “preparen papel y lápiz para una prueba sorpresa.” Confieso que en alguna ocasión, en silencio elevé una plegaria para pedir una intervención divina que no dejara al profesor enunciar esas palabras. Jamás me pasó por la mente que existiese la posibilidad … Read more


Fresh Look Reviews

Fresh, unique perspectives on recent books from across the hemisphere originally published in English, Spanish and Portuguese.


Negotiations with Peruvian Informal Miners Continue

After six days of mining protests the Peruvian government finally announced an agreement with mining representatives on Tuesday, only to have it turned down by protesters. Over the past week over 20,000 unlicensed gold miners in Arequipa and Lima protested through marches, road blocks and sit-ins, denouncing a 2012 regulation that would require informal miners … Read more


Brazil Charges Execs with Price Fixing

Thirty executives from a dozen international companies were charged on Tuesday with price-fixing during the construction and maintenance of subway and train systems in São Paulo, Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre and Rio de Janeiro. The companies named by the São Paulo State Prosecutor’s Office include Siemens of Germany, CAF of Spain, and Alstom of … Read more


Monday Memo: Chilean Protests – Rio Violence – Guantánamo – Venezuela Protests – Buenaventura, Colombia

Likely top stories this week: Chileans protest in Santiago; Brazil sends the military into Rio’s favelas; Uruguay will receive five Guantánamo prisoners; Venezuela will investigate abuses during protests; Colombia sends troops to Buenaventura. Chilean Protests: Newly-elected Chilean President Michelle Bachelet faced the first major protest of her new administration on Saturday, which was organized to … Read more


Portillo Admits Guilt, Awaits Sentence

On Tuesday former Guatemalan President Alfonso Portillo plead guilty to a money-laundering case in New York City federal court and will be sentenced to four to six years in federal prison on June 23. In exchange, prosecutor Preet Bharara has agreed to drop additional charges against Portillo that could result in a life-long sentence behind … Read more


Qatar Denies Bribery over World Cup Bid

Qatar’s World Cup 2022 Bid Committee said on Tuesday that it was not aware of alleged bribes paid by the former head of the country’s football association, Mohamed Bin Hammam, to former FIFA Executive Committee member Jack Warner. The statement comes as a response to a March report in the London-based Daily Telegraph that claimed … Read more

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