Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Latin America Round-up

Here's some interesting stuff I've been reading over the past few days:

Latin America
Hey, it's an iconicity piece, so I'm going to link to it. Of course I agree that the region has icons (and I can't believe there's no mention of Che!) but I'm unconvinced that Latin America is obsessed with the past or indeed that this is a negative thing. In other circumstances we are always pointing out that countries are in a hurry to "move on" and sweep their pasts under the carpet. See also Greg's far more considered comments on the article.
In Latin America, dead leaders become icons (Washington Post)

The Argentine election was so predictable that I've found nothing new to say about it. Here is just a tiny quirk from crooked ex-president Carlos Menem, himself just re-elected as a senator, stating that all he needs now is to be named pope. Shame about that whole arms-trafficking thing.
Menem re-elected senator says the only post he's missing is 'Pope' (Mercopress)

Two pieces on Robert Funk's blog about political pressure on judges and voter registration. The key stat as far I'm concerned:
In the 21 years since democracy, more than 90% of people aged over 45 vote, but just 20% of those aged under 30 do.
A judge in Manhattan has sentenced two Colombian men involved in the kidnapping of an American citizen in Latin America, but the pair claimed to have been themselves abducted by the FARC as minors. The judge apparently believed them and criticised rigid sentencing guidelines.
LinkFARC members convicted in American's kidnapping (NY Times)

El Salvador
In the new gangland of El Salvador (New York Review of Books)
Alma Guillermoprieto's piece is fantastically well-written.

You know, one of the reasons that it's the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo and not the parents is because the relatives in Argentina made a conscious decision to keep the group women-only in the hope that the State would respect the sanctity of motherhood (supposedly held in high esteem by the Catholic, ultraconservative junta) and not dare to attack the members. You only need to read about the infiltration of Alfredo Astiz and the murder of the original leader of the Madres, Azucena Villaflor, to realise that that was wishful thinking. Yet decades later, in Mexico, women continue to battle for human rights in the face of considerable risk.
Ninety percent of the non-governmental organisations in Mexico are founded and run by women, says journalist and women's rights activist Lydia Cacho Ribeiro
Women reject normalisation of gender violence (IPS)

Uruguay finds bones of possible dirty war victim (CBS)

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