Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas
 

Monday Memo: Argentine Midterms – UN Anti-Spying Measure – U.S. Immigration – Paraguay and Mercosur – FARC Releases Captive

Likely top stories this week: Argentine opposition gains influence in midterms; Brazil and Germany lead a UN anti-spying initiative; lobbyists push for U.S. immigration reform; Paraguay to represent Mercosur in negotiations with EU; hostage Kevin Scott Sutay is released by the FARC. Argentines Vote in Midterm Elections: With 72 percent of the votes counted in … Read more Monday Memo: Argentine Midterms – UN Anti-Spying Measure – U.S. Immigration – Paraguay and Mercosur – FARC Releases Captive

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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 The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez

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The FARC’s escalating demands; ongoing attacks and intransigence demonstrate that it doesn’t really want peace.

The current dialogue between the Colombian government and the FARC has no chance of ending in a definitive peace agreement. Various factors threaten its success: the guerrillas’ arrogant and demanding negotiating style, the lack of public support for the talks and sheer time constraints. Since the peace talks began in Havana, the FARC has sabotaged … Read more The FARC’s escalating demands; ongoing attacks and intransigence demonstrate that it doesn’t really want peace.

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Pragmatism on both sides of the negotiating table suggests a willingness to end the armed conflict.

After 50 years of armed conflict, the Colombian government and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—FARC) have an unprecedented opportunity to break with the patterns of violence and underdevelopment that have plagued the country for decades. The Colombian government had promoted similar peace talks between 1999 and 2002, yet two … Read more Pragmatism on both sides of the negotiating table suggests a willingness to end the armed conflict.

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Fresh Look Reviews

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

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Hard Talk

Will the negotiations between the government and the FARC bring lasting peace to Colombia? Yes: Aldo Civico; No: Alfredo Rangel

 

Racial Apartheid Persists in Latin America

In the second annual release of its Social Inclusion Index, Americas Quarterly measured 16 Latin American countries based on numerous performance variables, including access to formal employment and adequate housing, enrollment in secondary school and civil society participation. Among its most interesting findings, the Index provided insight on the systemic nature of racial discrimination in … Read more Racial Apartheid Persists in Latin America

 

Monday Memo: Immigration Reform – Correa in Bolivia – Colombia-Panama Border Security – Jesse Jackson – Chilean General Commits Suicide

Likely top stories this week: U.S. legislators make a last push for immigration reform; Correa visits Bolivia; The Colombian defense minister travels to Panama; Juan Manuel Santos declines help from Jesse Jackson; a Chilean general involved in the “Caravan of Death” commits suicide. Renewed Push for Immigration Reform in U.S. House of Representatives: Despite a … Read more Monday Memo: Immigration Reform – Correa in Bolivia – Colombia-Panama Border Security – Jesse Jackson – Chilean General Commits Suicide

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AQ Slideshow: Colombian Farmer Protests

On August 19, 2013, after several failed attempts to bring the Colombian government’s attention to their economic struggles, peasant organizations from all over the country halted agricultural production and blocked interstate highways nationwide. This Sunday, the Colombian government announced that it had reached a preliminary agreement with the striking farmers, who agreed to lift their … Read more AQ Slideshow: Colombian Farmer Protests

 

Monday Memo: Colombian Farmers Reach Deal – Capriles’ IACHR Case – Peña Nieto’s Reforms –Brazilian Protests – Colombia Peace Talks

Likely top stories this week: Colombian government and striking farmers reach a deal; Henrique Capriles takes Venezuela’s election results to the IACHR; Enrique Peña Nieto outlines his plans for reform; Brazilians protest again; and the Colombian government and FARC resume peace talks. Colombian Government Strikes Deal with Farmers: The Colombian government announced on Sunday that … Read more Monday Memo: Colombian Farmers Reach Deal – Capriles’ IACHR Case – Peña Nieto’s Reforms –Brazilian Protests – Colombia Peace Talks

 

Peace Talks with FARC Ruled Constitutional

The Constitutional Court of Colombia, the country’s highest court, ruled yesterday that peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia—FARC) are constitutional, rejecting a legal challenge that would have stalled negotiations in ending over 50 years of conflict.   The decision comes after several weeks of the court listening … Read more Peace Talks with FARC Ruled Constitutional

 

ELN Frees Captive Mining Executive

Colombia’s second-largest rebel group, the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (National Liberation Army—ELN), released a Canadian engineer on Tuesday after holding him hostage for seven months. Gernot Wober, vice president of exploration for the Toronto-based Braeval Mining Corporation, was turned over to the International Committee of the Red Cross. The ELN captured Wober in January along … Read more ELN Frees Captive Mining Executive

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