Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas


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Politics Innovator: María Rachid, Argentina

María Rachid never wanted to become a politician. But she is responsible for some of the most important human rights bills in Argentina’s recent history, including the 2010 Marriage Equality Law, which legalized same-sex marriage, and the 2012 Gender Identity Law, which allows transgender people to change gender identity on official documents without prior approval. … Read more

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Missed Opportunity?

For the past five years, Argentina’s current government and the Clarín Group, the country’s principal media conglomerate, have been on a collision course. President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has denounced the group on national TV for having once been “partners” with the military dictatorship and accused its executives of plotting against her. Meanwhile, Clarín, the … Read more


Argentina’s 2013 Elections: Signs of Change or More of the Same?

With national legislative elections coming up on October 27, Argentina is abuzz with political activity. In addition to the high economic stakes—the country suffers from increasing inflation and faces the threat of a deep recession—many view this year’s elections as a harbinger of who will become Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s successor two years … Read more


El Partido de la Red araña la democracia en Argentina

¿Cómo se teje la democracia en red? Construyendo un puente entre el clic y el voto.  Así de simple y ambiciosa es la propuesta de un grupo de jóvenes argentinos expertos en tecnología, que busca alcanzar una curul en la legislatura de Buenos Aires en las elecciones del próximo 27 de octubre, para representar la … Read more

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Hangar Pains: The Argentina-Chile Airport Controversy

Relations between neighboring Argentina and Chile have reached a new low point. The latest controversy surrounds a decision by Argentina’s airport regulator, ORSNA, mandating LAN-Argentina, a Chilean-owned airline operating domestically, to vacate its maintenance hangar at Aeroparque Jorge Newbery, one of Buenos Aires’s two airports. LAN-Argentina’s director, Agustín Agraz, called this decision a form of … Read more


The Renewed Interest in Argentine Energy

Last year when Argentina expropriated most of Repsol’s majority stake in YPF, the country’s flagship oil and gas company, the Spanish government and the European Union howled in anger, leading calls to sanction Argentina and restrict trade in retaliation. The high drama in April 2012 culminated in a few months of frosty relations between Spain … Read more


Argentina Signs Deal to Jump-Start Drilling

A little more than a year after Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner seized control of Argentine oil company YPF from Spain’s Grupo Repsol, Argentina has enlisted Chevron to develop its massive Vaca Muerta shale oil and gas field. The deal, inked Tuesday evening in Buenos Aires, confirms the California-based Chevron Corporation will invest an … Read more


Seeking Investment, Argentina Eases Restrictions on the Oil Industry

The Argentine government announced on Monday that it would allow oil companies that invest at least $1 billion over five years to explore the Vaca Muerta oil field and to export, tax free, up to 20 percent of the crude and natural gas they produce in the country. The move is part of a growing effort … Read more


Opposition Journalist’s Corruption Investigation Highlights Argentine Media Fight

With his signature in-your-face style, influential Argentine opposition journalist Jorge Lanata continued his quest on Sunday night to single-handedly take down the Argentine government. Since April, Lanata’s weekly Sunday night news program, “Periodismo Para Todos” (Journalism for All–PPT)  has aggressively reported on allegations that businessmen close to Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and her … Read more


Argentine Farmers Announce Five-Day Strike

Four of Argentina’s main farm associations announced on Tuesday a five-day commercial strike that will begin this weekend to protest the Argentine government’s market regulations. Argentine farmers, one of the largest global providers of food, will stop selling livestock and grain from Saturday, June 15, through Wednesday, June 19.  The strike is motivated by rising … Read more


Jorge Videla, a Sinister Argentine Dictator, Dies

I was born in June 1976, only weeks after Argentina’s most violent dictatorship began. Early in the morning on a sad March day before I was born, my father was taken away by the military regime. He didn’t meet me for the first time until almost a year later. I was lucky; thousands of children … Read more


Monday Memo: Paraguayan Elections – Ríos Montt Trial – Argentine Protests – Guantánamo Hunger Strike – Venezuela

Top stories this week are likely to include: Horacio Cartes will be Paraguay’s new president; Guatemala’s Constitutional Court will decide whether Efraín Ríos Montt’s genocide trial can continue; Argentines protested Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s government; Guantánamo prisoners’ hunger strike grows; the Venezuelan election audit process will take a month. Horacio Cartes Wins Presidential Election in … Read more


This Pope Doesn’t Wear Prada

Everyone who is anyone from the political and religious world arrived in Rome this week to take part in a mass to coronate the Catholic Church’s newest leader, Pope Francis.  At its pinnacle, cardinals and bishops in full regalia prayed in Latin while bells rang over St. Peter’s Basilica.  It was one of the world’s … Read more

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The New Pope and Gay Rights

While naysayers joke that the Cardinals may as well have elected another Italian Pope in choosing a porteño, the move to elect Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, now Pope Francis, is of undeniable significance for the global south. This is particularly true for Latin Americans, who—while accounting for 40 percent of all Catholics—often complain of … Read more

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