Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Clash between Indigenous Group, Military Police Leave Seven Injured

At least seven military police were injured in a confrontation with Indigenous Mapuche in the Araucania region of Chile on Wednesday. The clash began on Monday when 30 hooded individuals, presumed to be Mapuches took over the privately-owned El Canelo farm in an act to reclaim land they believed to be theirs by ancestral rights. After the perpetrators set fire to the … Read more


U.S. Court Sides with Chevron in Ecuador Case

A U.S. federal judge ruled in favor of Chevron Corp. yesterday, dealing a blow to the 30,000 Amazonian villagers who successfully sued the California-based oil company for $9.5 billion over environmental damage in 2011. In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan wrote that U.S. courts could not be used to collect the $9.5 … Read more


Venezuelan Protests Continue as Criticism Grows Against Maduro

Widespread protests continue for a thirteenth consecutive day in Venezuela as the country’s president, Nicolás Maduro, faces increasing criticism—some of it from within his own ranks—for how he has handled the unfolding crisis. The president’s recent crackdown on the remaining free media in Venezuela and an upsurge of State violence last week have led at … Read more


Venezuelan Government Crisis Unfolds in the Streets

Support AQ! “Like” our Fall 2013 issue cover here: http://on.fb.me/1kNso1z The Bolivarian Revolution of Venezuela, currently led by Hugo Chávez’s handpicked successor, Nicolás Maduro, is facing the most significant wave of social discontent with its policies in more than a decade. Over the past six days, daily spontaneous protests across the country have diluted the … Read more


Guatemala’s Attorney General Faces Legal Fight to Stay in Office

Last week’s decision by Guatemala’s Corte de Constitucionalidad (Constitutional Court—CC) to reduce Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz’s term in office has been met by a wave of criticism and legal challenges. The internationally-recognized Paz y Paz, who was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2013, is credited with improving the investigative work of … Read more


Colombia: Las ‘Chuzadas’ de la era Santos

Que en Colombia hay enemigos del proceso de paz que adelanta el Gobierno con las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) en la Habana no es nuevo ni sorprende. Hay fuerzas partidarias que le apuestan a las conversaciones de paz, tanto como aquellas que nunca estuvieron de acuerdo con que se comenzaran, el uribismo en … Read more


Narcocorridos Drum up Support for the Knights Templar in Michoacán

Narcocorridos—songs that celebrate drug dealers as folk heroes—have been a part of Mexican culture for as long as the illicit activity has existed in the country.  Attempts to censor them from reaching radio airwaves have triggered debates over freedom of speech, as well as outcries from the more liberal media.  But as a recent concert … Read more


Colombia Military Spies on the Peace Process with the FARC

Two top Colombian intelligence officers were dismissed on Tuesday after allegations that the Colombian military was spying on government peace negotiators. General Mauricio Zúñiga, chief of army intelligence, and General Jorge Andres Zuluaga, director of the army’s national intelligence center, were dismissed from their positions after an investigation by the Colombian newsmagazine Semana found an … Read more


Independent Watchdog Says NSA Program Is Illegal

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, an independent federal privacy review board, has concluded that the National Security Agency (NSA)’s phone call record collection program is illegal and should be discontinued. The 238-page report published yesterday finds that the spying program “lacks viable foundation” under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, violates the First … Read more

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Inroads or Detours in the Drug Debate?

In June, 15 gunmen traveling in three vehicles attacked a police station in the small town of Salcaja in the northern Guatemalan highlands. By the time the shooting ended, eight policemen were dead—and one, the station’s deputy inspector, was kidnapped. The motive was initially unclear, but the government’s subsequent investigation revealed that the deputy inspector … Read more


Poderes Especiales para Maduro

A finales de 2002, empresarios, trabajadores y algunos medios de comunicación venezolanos unieron fuerzas e iniciaron una paralización nacional en protesta al gobierno del entonces presidente Hugo Chávez, que acababa de sobrevivir a un golpe de estado ocho meses antes. Durante 62 días, negocios, bancos y hasta puestos de gasolina permanecieron cerrados incentivando a la … Read more


Monday Memo: Presidential Powers in Venezuela – U.S. oil in Latin America — Bachelet leads first round – Mensalão corruption charges – Cristina Fernández de Kirchner

Likely top stories this week: Venezuela’s National Assembly is increasing presidential powers for President Nicolás Maduro; Demand for U.S. oil grows in Latin America; Michelle Bachelet enters second round of presidential elections in Chile; Arrest warrants are issued for bankers and politicians involved in Brazil’s biggest corruption trial; Cristina Fernández de Kirchner returns to office. … Read more


Ríos Montt Trial Resumption Delayed Until 2015

Last week, Guatemala’s Court of High Risk “B” (Tribunal de Mayor Riesgo “B”) announced that the genocide trial of Guatemala’s former president, General Efraín Ríos Montt,  will not resume until January 2015. The trial was pushed back from an earlier date of April 2014, and by the time proceedings continue, Ríos Montt will be 88 … Read more


Progress of Peru’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission Brought Before IACHR

Speaking before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) last week, petitioning organizations from Peru formally highlighted problems within Peru’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)—an agency established in 2001 to address human rights abuses committed during the internal conflict of the 1980s and 1990s. The TRC was created after the fall of President Alberto Fujimori … Read more

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