Archive for the ‘Latin America’ Category

Latin America’s new challenges

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

[Translation of an article from El País of Madrid, Spain, for May 19, 2011. See original here. Ricardo Lagos was president of Chile from 2000 to 2006.]

By Ricardo Lagos

Since the second world war, growth of the gross national product has become practically universal as a standard economic measure, which has in turn become the final object of development policies. There is a history here; since the industrial revolution it has been thought that an increase in production of goods would bring with it greater well-being and better living conditions for the members of a society. Nevertheless, today for the first time we can verify that in the 30 richest countries of the world, growth of the economy does not account for the realities of a society. It does not necessarily imply an improvement in the social indicators of health and education.

Great advances have been made in the reduction of poverty in Mexico, Brazil and Chile. (more…)

Arms, drugs and intervention

Friday, February 25th, 2011

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for February 24, 2011. See original article here and the Página/12 article quoted below, in English translation, here.  See US embassy cables on Argentina as released by Wikileaks here.]

by John Saxe-Fernández

An enormous C17 (Globemaster III) belonging to the United States air force, with equipment for police “training,” tried to bring into Buenos Aires an undeclared cargo of powerful long weapons, equipment for encrypted communications, secret information programs and narcotic and stupefacient drugs, “with no satisfactory explanation of what it would be used for” (Página 12, 13-II-2011). In view of the regime change operations against Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador and the Honduran putsch, the resumption of this type of operation with United States personnel, halted by Néstor Kirchner, is surprising; the secret cargo on the C-17 demonstrates the serious risk of these schemes in view of a diplomacy of power that is growing more intense: were they going to teach a course or stage a coup? (more…)

US should curb its insatiable demand for drugs, former presidents say

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Commission meeting in Geneva proposes decriminalizing drug use

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for January 26, based on Notimex and Agence France Presse dispatches. See original here.]

Geneva, January 25 – The former presidents of Colombia and Brazil, César Gaviria and Fernando Henrique Cardoso, agreed today that the United States should curb its great demand for drugs in order to end the escalating violence it produces.

Within the framework of the Global Commision on Drug Policy, in which former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo also participated, Gaviria and Cardoso said separately that it is essential to ask the United States to demonstrate that it is reducing its consumption and that it is struggling to curtail the dimensions of the trade.

Defense ministers of America confer in Bolivia

Friday, November 26th, 2010

Evo Morales – Los Tiempos photo

[Translations of articles from the Bolivian government news agency Agencia Boliviana de Información for November 25, 2010,  and Opinión of Cochabamba for November 23, 2010 . See original articles here and here.]

America concludes forum on cooperation, defense and security

by Adalid Cabrera Lemuz and Daniel Espinoza

Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia
– After four days of deliberation in the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz, the defense ministers of the Americas reached agreements to strengthen regional security, devise programs to respond to natural disasters and increase transparency in weapons expenditures.

The Ninth Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas was held from November 22 to 25 with the participation of ministers and high officials of the defense departments of 30 American countries… (more…)

CEPAL proposes states in Latin America return to role of protagonists

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Inequality in distribution of wealth results from debt payments and decrease in social spending

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for May 30.]

by Roberto González Amador

The financial crisis has dealt a serious blow to the social progress of the past few years in Latin America. The region has come to occupy the position of the most unequal in the world: the average income per person in the wealthiest layer is more than 17 times that earned by the 40 percent in the poorest homes. That is the problem and the solution, according to the Comisión Económica para América Latina (CEPAL – Economic Commission for Latin America, an organ of the Untied Nations) is to redress the way the state has been excluded from economic decisions in the past three decades.

The report, which beginning this Sunday will be discussed during the annual CEPAL sessions in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, stresses the “necessity for a strong role for the state,” to which it assigns the position of “prinicpal actor in reconciling the policies of stability and economic growth, of productive development, job promotion and greater social equality.” (more…)

European FTA with Colombia and Peru criticized

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

[Translation of an article from the Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias, the Venezuelan government news agency, for May 19.]

Madrid, May 19 – The Spanish non-governmental organization Intermón Oxfam has criticized the free trade agreements between the European Union and Colombia and Peru signed Wednesday, charging they are an obstacle to the elimination of poverty.

“In clear violation of the EU mandate to promote regional integration, these pacts weaken the Andean Community of Nations,” stated Isabel Tamarit, a reprsentative of the NGO.

She warned that the partnership agreements between the EU and Central America and those reached with Colombia and Peru could become an obstacle to development policies for confronting poverty and inequality and for defending human rights. (more…)

Governments agree to continue neoliberal policies

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

They favor reducing social projects, increasing taxes

[Translation of an article from the May 19 edition of La Jornada of Mexico City. See also “Massive protest held in Madrid,” below.]

by Claudia Herrera and Armando G. Tejeda

Madrid, May 18 – Declaring themselves “global partners,”  heads of states from the European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean today closed their sixth summit by stengthening commercial ties. In the Madrid Declaration, they committed themselves to “improving energy efficiency” and reducing contaminating emissions that contribute to the greenhouse effect.

The Latin American leaders conveyed to their European counterparts their concern over possible consequences of the crisis confronting Europe as a result of the threat of bankrupcy in Greece and its possible contagion to Spain and Portugal, considering that exports from Latin American countries to Europe could be affected as well. (more…)

Massive protest held in Madrid against “predatory” capitalism

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Activists denounce European Union strategy of recolonizing Latin America

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for May 17.]

by Claudia Herrera Beltrán and Armando G. Tejeda

Madrid, May 16 – A massive and diverse demonstration made its way through the streets of Madrid today with one common purpose: to denounce the social, ecological and economic crimes perpetrated by European multinationals, which are the cutting edge of a “predatory capitalist” system. That is the belief of the organizations making up the People’s Summit, which have converged around Enlazando Alternativas [Linking Alternatives], a program meant to raise the voices of the vulnerable and marginalized of Europe and Latin America.

More than 15,000 people, by the organizers’ count, held a festive march in the Spanish capital to air a number of accusations and demands. They talked and shouted against repression in Colombia, against attacks on human rights in Mexico – specifically in Oaxaca and Chiapas – against European transnationals’ policies that damage the environment and natural resources, against the European Union’s economic practices, against international organizations’ strangling of countries through foreign debt… There were even calls for a general strike in Spain as a response to the extremely harsh adjustment plan proposed by the government of socialist José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. (more…)

Garzón suspended: Impunity for Franco’s followers

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

The ultra-right celebrates

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for May 14.]

by Armando G. Tejeda

Baltasar Garzón

Madrid, May 14 – Baltasar Garzón, the only Spanish judge to attempt to

investigate crimes committed during the fascist dictatorship of Francisco Franco (1939-1975) and to try to help the families of those executed and buried in common graves, was given cautionary suspension from his position by the highest body of the Spanish judicial system, the Consejo General del Poder Judicial (CGPJ – General Council of the Judicial Power).

A complaint filed by the extreme right – the Falange Española and the extremist union Manos Limpias – for alleged breach of trust, brought about the forced removal of the judge from his office in the Audiencia Nacional [National Tribunal], which brought conflicting reactions: franquistas and the Spanish right celebrated it as “a triumph of justice” while victims of the repression cried in rage and bitterness. (more…)

May Day: Workers of Latin America condemn neoliberalism

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

Confrontations leave 15 injured in Colombia, 66 arrested in Chile

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for May 2 with material from Agence France Presse and Deutsche Presse Agentur.]

Thousands of workers in different Latin American countries marked workers’ day on May 1, with massive demonstrations in Venezuela and marches in Colombia that left 15 injured and, in Chile, at least 66 arrested.

With an eye toward the May 30 presidential elections, Colombian unions

Bogota, Colombia

marching in Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, Barranquilla, Bucaramanga, Pereira, Neiva and Popayán pressed candidates for the creation of “more and better jobs and for curbing violence against union activists and society.”

Amid demands on the leaders in election polls, independent Antanas Mockus and governing-party candidate Juan Manuel Santos, a number of disturbances and explosions of homemade bombs were reported on Saturday in Bogotá and Bucaramanga.

Fifteen were injured, including five reporters. Also affected were presidential candidates Rafael Pardo of the opposition Partido Liberal and leftist Gustavo Petro, who were forced to leave a plaza in central Bogotá because of teargas launched by police when incidents broke out after a march. (more…)