Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

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


Despite FIFA’s problems, billions around the world continue to be enthralled by the beautiful game.

FIFA’s $260 million headquarters complex in Zurich, Switzerland, with its huge glass façade and attractive parks, conveys a sense of modernity, openness and transparency—all qualities the organization lacks. Accusations of illegal or unsavory activities by the organization’s leadership have dominated the headlines, supplying critics with plenty of material. FIFA’s Honorary President, legendary football figure João … Read more

Pimpineros, gas smugglers, Colombia, Venezuela

Dispatches: Pimpineros

José, a tough-looking, dark-skinned man in his 40s, met me at a small restaurant in a crowded neighborhood in Cúcuta, capital of Colombia’s Norte de Santander department, and a traditionally “hot” place for contraband and mafia violence. A leader of Sintragasolina, the gas workers’ union, José agreed to see me only if we met in … Read more


Hard Talk

Does FIFA’s corruption hurt the beautiful game? Yes: Noah Davis; No: Juan C. Cappello


Dilma Reacts to Brazilian Protests

Responding to weeks of protests in over 100 Brazilian cities against corruption and government spending, President Dilma Rousseff sent Congress a proposal package on Tuesday, which included a referendum to make the country’s political system more representative. Even if it passes Congress, the non-binding plebiscite is not expected to take place before September. It would … Read more

brazil med

Mass Protests Awaken Brazil’s Political Consciousness

In what has been deemed Brazil’s largest political mobilization in over two decades, protesters took to the country’s streets during the last several weeks to demonstrate  deep dissatisfaction with the billions of public dollars being spent on World Cup preparations and a growing rejection of the country’s endemically corrupt political system. While protests initially focused … Read more


Brazil Congressman Sentenced to Prison for Corruption

On Wednesday, Brazil’s Supreme Court upheld a corruption conviction against a former congressman and sentenced him to prison—the first time a congressman has been imprisoned since the 1988 constitution was put in place. Natan Donadon will spend 13 years in jail for conspiracy and embezzlement of government funds from the State of Rondônia’s Legislative Assembly … Read more


Hope Amid Disappointment After Postponement of Ríos Montt Trial

Magdalena Pacheco lives in Chajul in the remote Ixil region of Guatemala. She is expecting a child and was recently hopeful about the direction of justice in Guatemala after former dictator Efraín Rios Montt’s genocide sentence. But her optimism has shifted after the guilty verdict was overturned.   “I am very bothered by this, it … Read more


Human Rights Groups Protest Annulment of Rios Montt’s Conviction

On Friday, Human rights organizations across Latin America will take to the streets to protest the May 20 decision by Guatemala’s Constitutional Court to overturn the genocide conviction of former dictator Efraín Ríos Montt. The Guatemalan general was sentenced to 80 years in prison on May 10 for ordering the deaths of at least 1,771 members of … Read more

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