Monday, May 21, 2018
On March 29th, 2017, the small country of El Salvador became the first nation in the world to exercise its sovereign right to say “no” to metallic mining after carefully analyzing the costs and benefits of this industry. This historic decision was the result of a persistent 12-year struggle (the length of the civil war in the 80s and...
  Tens of thousands of Nicaraguans marched through the streets of the capital Managua and other cities at the end of April. The demonstrations were in answer to a call from the Catholic Church to press for Daniel Ortega’s Sandinista government to enter into dialogue over controversial reforms to the social security system that led to protests earlier in the month...
The imprisonment of former president Lula takes place against a background which is complicated at best and murky at worst. The case against him is as follows: Lula’s wife, who died two years ago, had been eligible to purchase a $0.5 million duplex apartment in the seaside resort of Guarujá in São Paulo state, but subject to paying for an upgrade...
São Paulo, 16 April. Lula disappeared into the federal police building in Curitiba on 7 April and nobody knows when he will be seen again. Two days before, after the Supreme Court refused to grant him a habeas corpus, the PT’s presidential candidate had bunkered down at the HQ of the metalworkers union in São Bernardo, surrounded by thousands of...
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...
22 March 2018. Marielle Franco was executed with four bullets. One each for racism, misogyny, homophobia and impunity. By killing Marielle, the assassins eliminated not just a politician elected on the PSOL ticket to the Rio City Council with 46,000 votes, a lone black woman in the sea of white, male, wealthy politicians. They also silenced the voice of a...
  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIhSvU6trWs Video: The intercept The murder on 14 March of Marielle Franco, a young black city councillor and human rights campaigner, has deeply traumatized Rio de Janeiro, a city so cheated by the failure of mega-events such as the World Cup and Olympics  to deliver lasting social change, and so bitterly accustomed to violence. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HN-JjAX_zdw Political colleagues and family members speak out about...
Costa Ricans went to the voting booths on February 4 to confirm what most polls had predicted: the victory of evangelical singer Fabricio Alvarado from the religious party National Renovation (RN) with 25 per cent of the votes. His success, as expected, was down to his radical response to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights’ opinion on same-sex marriage. But...
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...
In an unprecedented political atmosphere, Costa Ricans will vote for a new president on February 4th. The country has become famous for its wonderful natural beauty – home to nearly 6 per cent of the world's biodiversity – and receives approximately 3 million tourists every year. So it may surprise many visitors that a candidate who promises to open the...

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