“The problem is that in Brazil you don’t convict. I’ve been in court for seven years, yet this is the second time we attempt to reach conviction. This course of action is still very novel to me and to other judges.”
Some of the snapshots from Chile’s ongoing student movement depict a lighthearted mobilization. Led by the charismatic Camila Vallejo, the students have used Twitter and Facebook to stage kiss-a-thons and superhero-themed costume protests. But other images have been more violent.
In 2008, President Barack Obama had a clear idea for Latin American foreign policy. The Bush administration, distracted by events in the Middle East, had pursued a harmful hemispheric policy of blustering unilateralism and neglect; Obama, conversely, would pursue a “new partnership” with the Americas, one marked by cooperation and mutual interests. His subsequent election was heralded throughout Latin America as [...]
Picture a world where the whistle of bullets drowns out the chirping of birds. Where army units patrol violent, poverty-stricken streets. Where farmers walk among fields of poppy, hoping a successful harvest will provide for their families. Where mothers of lost sons gather and pray that each new day may bring a resurrection of peace. This is not a distant snapshot, but a reality close to home. Welcome to the world of narcocultura. Welcome to Mexico.
“The time is ripe for change in Cuba.” Many have made this claim before, and many have been dead wrong. Indeed, the Cuban Castro regime, having survived to see ten U.S. presidents come and go, outlasted an embargo for over fifty years while maintaining its communist-authoritarian integrity. His rule has inspired, as of late, a spate of rather pessimistic literature. [...]
“Indian peasants live in such a primitive way that communication is practically impossible… The price they must pay for integration is high-renunciation of their culture, their language; their beliefs, their traditions and customs, and the adoption of the culture of their ancient masters… Perhaps there is no realistic way to integrate our societies other than asking the Indians to pay that price…”
“In the United Status, you have a very different conception of crisis than we do in Bolivia. For you, it is something bad that comes along every couple years, gets resolved, finished and forgotten about. For us, crisis is permanent. Crisis is our way of life. We breathe it and we feed from it. It is part of our consciousness.” [...]
This passage from Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude could be read as another example of the Nobel Prize-winner’s genius ability to use fantasy as a metaphor for everyday life. It could be an imagined story that references the violent history of Colombia and the country’s seeming inability to learn from its experiences. Yet as those who visit Colombia will realize, Marquez describes Colombian reality much more often than one would think, and this case is no exception: in Colombia, banana companies help pile people like bananas.