Top Colombian drug lord captured in Venezuela
Argentina Voting Age Change Debated
“Debate began in Argentina’s senate Wednesday on a proposal to lower the voting age from 18 to 16, while another battle heated up over efforts to bring politics into the public schools.” -Huffington Post
Cuba Health Care: Budget Cuts Threaten Sector
HAVANA — Cuba’s system of free medical care, long considered a birthright by its citizens and trumpeted as one of the communist government’s great successes, is not immune to cutbacks under Raul Castro’s drive for efficiency.
The health sector has already endured millions of dollars in budget cuts and tens of thousands of layoffs, and it became clear this month that Castro is looking for more ways to save when the newspaper voice of the Communist Party, Granma, published daily details for two weeks on how much the government spends on everything from anesthetics and acupuncture to orthodontics and organ transplants.
Mexico leader regrets US embassy car shooting
Felipe Calderon, the Mexican president, has voiced regret for the federal police shooting of a US embassy car that wounded two US government employees.
In his first public remarks about Friday’s shooting, Calderon told the US ambassador to Mexico that the attorney general’s office was thoroughly investigating the incident.
A judge on Monday placed 12 police officers under 40-day detention as prosecutors mull charges against them for the shooting, which the US embassy has described as an “ambush”.
Life in a Border Town Marred by Tension
The part of the border that divides the Dominican Republic from Haiti on the southern coast of the island of Hispaniola is seldom reached by outsiders. To get to the Dominican town of Pedernales from Santo Domingo takes a seven-hour ride on a public bus, or gua-gua, through a desertlike region bordered to the south by pristine stone beaches on the Caribbean Sea. On the opposite side, the trip from Port-au-Prince to the Haitian town of Anse-à-Pitre requires switching between multiple tap-taps that drive along a worn-out road. For the second leg from Marigot, one must choose between a brutal dirt-road drive that has no mercy for the ancient vehicles that navigate it, or an overnight voyage on a perilous wooden raft over the sea.
The Colombian Paradox: Capital Mobility, Land, and Power
Last Sunday, August 19, during a speech in the city of Sincelejo, former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe Vélez accused President Juan Manuel Santos ofnegotiating with guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), in Cuba. “This is incomprehensible: security deteriorating while the government is negotiating with the FARC terrorist group in Cuba,” he said. Santos has publicly denied the claims and Uribe did not provide any evidence. In this case, it is likely that what was said is not as important as where it was said. Sincelejo is the capital of the Northern Colombian department of Sucre, a powerful stronghold of Colombian landed elite, which has resisted land reform for decades. Colombia’s economy depends on the services and extractive sectors, but through its disproportionate political power, the landed elite hold the keys to war and peace, an historical paradox that has yet to be resolved.
Women In the Forefront of Bolivia’s TIPNIS Conflict
In the ongoing struggle against the Bolivian government’s plan to build a highway through the Isiboro Sécure Indigenous Territory and National Park (TIPNIS), lowland indigenous women have been on the front lines. Their protagonism has sparked controversy in a society where patriarchal traditions and attitudes still run deep—despite recent advances, including the election of women to almost half of all local government posts, as mandated by Bolivia’s new constitution.
Since July 23, workers have been on strike at Colombia’s private railway company FENOCO demanding better salaries, improved work conditions, and more social investments in areas of coal production. The strike may have serious implications on coal supply and prices in international markets, considering that Colombia is among the world’s largest coal exporters.
NACLA PHOTO CONTEST
Submit your photo to NACLA’s Photo Contest! Deadline is August 22nd! The topic for the Fall 2012 NACLA Photo Contest is “Media in the Americas.” The winning photograph for each issue will be published in full color in the next NACLA Report. The winning photographer will receive a copy of the magazine featuring their photograph and a one-year-subscription to NACLA!