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Military & Geo-politics

Jan Rocha, author of LAB's widely-read Brazil blogs, has just published a new history of  Clamor, the group which took in refugees from the South American dictatorships and denounced the crimes of Plan Condor. The book, Solidariedade Não Tem Fronteiras, with a foreword by Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, is launched on 10 July in São Paulo, at the Bar Tubaína, Rua...
São Paulo, 29 May 2018: A week-long strike by hundreds of thousands of lorry drivers, blockading highways and interrupting deliveries of petrol, food, medical supplies and livestock, paralysed Brazil. Without fuel, planes were grounded, buses were unable to run, and cars were stranded. Without medicines and blood, hospitals cancelled operations and turned patients away. Schools and universities closed down....
In the last two weeks the Brazilian scholar Matias Spektor of the Fundação Getúlio Vargas has brought to light documents which take us back to the dark depths of the country’s military regime which governed from 1964 to 1984. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaiFvx6lNSU Matias Spektor comments on the discovery of the CIA documents. Interview by Pedro Bial, Video: Fatos Incríveis https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2mP3XbFZPY Jair Bolsonaro defends Reserve General...
In a decision as closely watched as a World Cup final, Brazil’s Supreme Court decided by 6 to 5 to reject a habeas corpus application for ex-president Lula, opening the way for his imminent arrest.  The eleven judges spent 11 hours proffering their votes in erudite, legal language peppered with Latin expressions, impossible for the man or woman in...
Since 16 February an army general has been in charge of policing and security in the state of Rio de Janeiro.  This is the effect of a surprise decree issued by President Michel Temer, since approved by both chambers of the Brazilian Congress. This is the first time since the end of the military dictatorship in 1985 that power...
San José de Apartado is a Comunidad de Paz in the Department of Antioquía, Colombia, created in 1997 by some 500 people displaced from surrounding villages following a wave of massacres committed mainly by paramilitary groups. It was founded on the premise of neutrality in Colombia's savage internal conflict. LAB correspondent Gwen Burnyeat lived there and wrote a number...
A week on from the general elections held in Honduras, on 27 November, there is still no definitive result. The main candidates are presidential incumbent Juan Orlando Hernández, referred to locally as JOH, of the right-wing National Party, versus Salvador Nasralla of the Opposition Alliance, which brings together sectors from the political left and centre ground. The political environment...
Brigadier General Gustavo Moreno is sitting behind a wide desk in his air-conditioned office. It overlooks the parade ground of the police compound which sits vacant, belted by the midday sun. A receptionist brings in cups of weak, sugary coffee that Colombians call tinto. As the police commander for ‘Region Five’, General Moreno is in charge of security for one...
Without addressing crucial elements of the original agreement, the revised peace deal risks not living up to expectations in Colombia. It has been a year since the Colombian government and FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) rebel leader ‘Timochenko’ signed the agreement to end more than 50 years of conflict in Colombia. It was a historic moment. Since then, we...
¿La paz es ahora? Questions of peace and violence in Colombia An ambitious conference at Newcastle University in September 2017 examined the nature of violence in Colombia, as the signing of the peace agreement poses a myriad of questions in the post-conflict situation. Alba Griffin, Martha Borras Guevara and Diana Morales prepared this report for LAB. Last year’s signing of a...

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