Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

El Estado de Michoacán: De Paraíso a Infierno

El estado mexicano de Michoacán es famoso por sus bellezas naturales y sus hermosas ciudades. Cuna de la antigua civilización purépecha, posee importantes sitios arqueológicos y pueblos coloniales declarados como Patrimonio de la Humanidad por la UNESCO, así como fiestas declaradas también Patrimonio Intangible de la Humanidad. Sus artesanos están considerados como grandes maestros en … Read more


Clarín Group Adheres to Argentine Media Law

Clarín Group, Argentina’s largest media conglomerate, announced plans Monday to divide its operations into six subsidiary companies, in compliance with the country’s Ley de Medios (Media Law). The anti-monopoly law was upheld by the Argentine Supreme Court last week after four years of legal disputes between Clarín and the federal government. Clarín representatives said the … Read more


Monday Memo: Brazil’s Economy – Argentine Debt – Tropical Storm Sonia – Honduran Police Abuses – Uruguayan Marijuana

Likely top stories this week: Brazil will reduce lending by 20 percent next year; Argentina wins a stay on its $1.33 billion payment; Tropical Storm Sonia Hits Mexico; Honduras’ police chief denies abuses; Brazilian delegation opposes Uruguayan marijuana legalization. Brazil to Reduce Lending Due to Budget Deficit: Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega said Friday that … Read more

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The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez

The 1993 death of the drug-cartel kingpin Pablo Escobar ended the bloodiest chapter in Colombia’s modern history, allowing the country—a decade later—to begin a process of collective catharsis. This catharsis first became clear on Colombian television. Once dominated by romantic melodramas, the industry began producing realistic “narco-series” that portrayed the violent and glamorous life of … Read more

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Squeeze Play

From the high-profile cases of the Wikileaker U.S. Army Private Chelsea Manning (formerly Bradley) and the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden to a series of lesser-known cases, the U.S. government has increased the investigation and prosecution of officials who have leaked government information. In many of these cases, the recipient of the … Read more

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Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Media concentration remains a crucial challenge for democracy in Latin America. There are no media monopolies, strictly speaking, in the sense of a single corporation owning all media offerings, but media market concentration remains high. Legacy media properties, as well as the majority of advertising expenditures, are controlled by a small number of companies. Some … Read more

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Media in the Americas: Threats to Free Speech

Articles: Journalists Speak Out by Carlos Dada, Jorge Ramos, Ricardo Uceda, Tim Padgett, Michèle Montas-Dominique and Alfredo Corchado Past winners of the Maria Moors Cabot Gold Medal for reporting on the Americas assess the future of journalism in the region. (video available) Full text available. Breaking Up is Hard to Do by Silvio Waisbord Tackling … Read more


Police Charged in Rio Murder and Disappearance Case

Ten police officers were charged yesterday in the murder and forced disappearance of Amarildo de Souza, a bricklayer and lifelong resident of Rio de Janeiro’s largest favela, Rocinha. The charges were announced months after Mr. Souza’s disappearance on July 14, which sparked public protests in Rio and São Paulo and led to the launch of … Read more


Brazil’s Supreme Court Decides Against Public Opinion

Brazil’s Supremo Tribunal Federal (Supreme Federal Tribunal—STF) was deeply divided on the afternoon of September 18. The court’s eleven justices had to decide whether they would accept a motion to hear the appeals of twelve politicians charged in last year’s landmark corruption trial, popularly deemed as the mensalão (monthly allowance). Ten justices voted in last … Read more


Bahia Empowered in Brazil’s Search for Truth

Brazil’s Comissão Nacional da Verdade (National Truth Commission—CNV), responsible for investigating human rights violations committed by state agents under the country’s military dictatorship between 1964 and 1985, was inaugurated on May 16, 2012 with much fanfare. At the time, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff emphasized the importance of democratic progress, calling the ceremony “a celebration of … Read more


Brazil Cancels Preparatory Trip to the U.S. Over Espionage Claims

Brazilian authorities canceled a delegation trip to Washington that had been scheduled to lay the groundwork for President Dilma Rousseff‘s meeting with President Barack Obama in October. The decision was made on Thursday in response to allegations that the Brazilian president was a target of U.S. electronic espionage. The allegations were made on September 1 … Read more


Brazil’s Future in the Shadow of the Mensalão

For four months in 2012, like a national soap opera, Brazilians watched the biggest political corruption trial in the country’s history unfold inside Brasilia’s Supreme Federal Court. The complex plot, whose script was based on seven years of investigation, revealed a bribery scheme known as the mensalão—in which members of the Partido dos Trabalhadores (Workers’ … Read more


Corrupción en Venezuela, ¿sólo promesas?

Durante las protestas de junio en Brasil, millones de personas salieron a la calle para hacer una catarsis colectiva de lo que, en su opinión, no funcionaba en el país. Muchas fueron las banderas, pero el rechazo a la corrupción fue uno de los puntos más significativos en común. Según el informe de Transparencia Internacional—organización … Read more


Protests Mark Start of Humala’s Third Year in Office

In the midst of a deepening political crisis, Peruvian President Ollanta Humala gave his second Independence Day speech on Sunday. But for the first time since the dictatorship of Alberto Fujimori, widespread protests and mobilizations against the government are gaining national momentum. On Saturday, thousands of citizens gathered in the historical center of Lima. Protest … Read more

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