Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Brazil’s government this week announced a major shift away from its policy of building mega-dams in the Brazilian Amazon – a strategy born during the country’s military dictatorship (1964-1985) and vigorously carried forward down to the present day. The Temer government claims the decision is a response to intense resistance from environmentalists and indigenous groups, but while that...
20 December 2017 Dear LAB Supporter and Friend, The ghosts of elections past, present and future Across the world, polls this year have been confounded as elections yielded surprising results (not least, for those of us in the UK, in the 2016 referendum on EU membership and the general election in 2017). These results have led many analysts to identify strands...
This article was first published in Revista Opera. You can read the original, in Portuguese, here. October 23, 2017: The day begins at 8 o’clock. We arrive in Pacaraima, whose streets, in spite of being Brazilian, are filled with hispanic sounds on every side. As I get out of the car, a man comes up to me offering to...
What do you do if you’re living on public land, in a house that your great-grandparents built in an era before strict housing regulations, and the government suddenly decides to evict you? This dilemma afflicts several informal settlements known as favelas, along with other occupations of public land by traditional communities. With a political landscape increasingly intolerant of these...
1 December 2017. Just over a year ago, Rio was on a roll, basking in post-Olympic glory, applauded all over the world for a successful Games. Now the arrest of its most prominent politicians has exposed the rotten underbelly of the ‘cidade maravilhosa’, the beautiful city. They are facing accusations of blatant, scandalous corruption schemes that have been ripping...
A chapter in international solidarity with Brazil’s embattled rural poor closed on Sunday 26 November with the death of Dominican priest and lawyer, Henri des Roziers.  Henri had worked in Brazil since 1978, using his skills as a lawyer to defend rural workers’ unions and to bring to justice the landowners who ordered the killing of so many of...
28 November 2017 Dear LAB Supporter and Friend, Elections Chile: Results in the first round of Chile’s presidential elections, on November 19, confounded all the pollsters. Sebastián Piñera, candidate for the Chile Vamos coalition, universally tipped to win and possibly to gain an absolute majority in the first round, slid to only 36.5%. Alejandro Guillier, standing for Nueva Mayoría, and the intended...
Authorities, representatives of social and cultural movements, and an appreciative audience gathered in Belo Horizonte for the opening of the Farmers' Market Shop, another permanent space for sale of products from Land Reform farms. The shop occupies a prime location in the capital city of Minas Gerais, on the corner of Avenida Augusto de Lima, in the Barro Preto neighbourhood,...
Dear LAB Supporter and Friend, Protest art in Latin America Louise Morris, a member of LAB’s Editorial Team who travelled to Central America for us at the end of 2016 to collect interviews for our forthcoming book Voices of Latin America won a commission from the BBC to record an exciting series of three programmes on protest art in Latin America,...
Jan Rocha takes a break from her usual razor-sharp analyses of Brazil's political landscape. Yet, even in Santarém, Pará, where the Tapajos river joins the Amazon, she finds that all is change: rapid urbanisation, a massive grain terminal, clearance of forest for soya and the arrival of indigenous people from Venezuela. A full moon hangs in the sky over...

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