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Latin America


  • Originally published 07/31/2013

    NACLA: "This American Life" whitewashed U.S. crimes in Latin America

    Celebrating 2012’s best examples of broadcast journalism, the George Foster Peabody Awards attracted the likes of D.L. Hughley, Amy Poehler and Bryant Gumbel to the Waldorf-Astoria’s four-story grand ballroom in New York this past May. In a gaudy ceremony hosted by CBS star-anchor Scott Pelley, National Public Radio’s This American Life received the industry’s oldest and perhaps most prestigious accolade. The 16-member Peabody Board, consisting of “television critics, industry practitioners and experts in culture and the arts,” had selected a particular This American Life episode—“What Happened at Dos Erres”—as one of the winners of its 72nd annual awards on the basis of “only one criterion: excellence.”...

  • Originally published 07/30/2013

    Obama's Lost War on Drugs

    Rather than relying on our hopeless forty-fourth president and an even more hopeless Republican-controlled Congress, citizen groups need to mobilize together to oppose the waste of their hard earned taxpayer dollars in the War on Drugs. 

  • Originally published 07/18/2013

    Marie Arana: Simon Bolivar the "Polar Opposite" of George Washington (INTERVIEW)

    In Bolivar, Ms. Arana recounts Bolivar’s bloody military campaigns and forays into the turbulent and frustrating politics of the new republics, and she also presents a striking portrait of the times and the many contradictions and foibles of the Great Liberator -- a passionate embodiment of the Enlightenment who was addicted to gambling, glory, and women.

  • Originally published 04/18/2013

    Marie Arana: Latin America’s Go-To Hero

    Marie Arana, a journalist, novelist and adviser to the librarian of Congress, is the author, most recently, of “Bolívar: American Liberator,” and a guest columnist.Can you name an American founder whose name is shouted in the streets, whose legacy inspires fanatical worship, whose image is used to bolster ideals not his own, whose mantle is claimed by both left and right? There is no Washington party, no Jeffersonian republic. No one runs for president in Madison’s name. But in Latin America, as the Venezuelan election on Sunday reminded us, the question is easy, and the answer is Simón Bolívar.

  • Originally published 03/26/2013

    Look at Hugo Chavez Through a Latin American Lens

    Hugo Chavez during a state visit to Guatemala. Credit: Agência Brasil.Few would contest that Hugo Chávez had a penchant for fiery rhetoric. Less understood is the role that rhetoric played in turning Latin America from a region where the United States held unparalleled sway when he first took office in 1999, to one where leftist governments of varied stripes now assert unprecedented autonomy vis-à-vis their neighbor to the north.

  • Originally published 03/20/2013

    A Pope of Firsts, But Will Francis Actually Change the Vatican?

    Pope Francis at the Vatican. Credit: Flickr/mazur.Pope Francis, the former Cardinal Bergoglio of Argentina, was installed on the feast day of St. Joseph as the 266th pope over the Holy Roman Catholic Church. For a religious historian like myself, his appointment has been a dizzying number of firsts: the first Jesuit to become pope, the first pope in the modern era to succeed a pope, Benedict XVI, who is still alive, the first pope from Latin America, and the first to take the name of Francis.While all of these firsts are important, they also must pass through the prism of the Jesuits' history, the Catholic Church’s history in Latin America, and by Bergogolio’s own history in Argentina during the Dirty War. While Pope Francis’s ascension to the petrine throne may signal some change in the manner in which the papacy is lived out in front of the world, will it engender real, substantive changes in the Catholic Church, and its worldwide following?

  • Originally published 03/18/2013

    Tenemos un Papa!

    Pope Francis. Painting by Dan Lacey via Flickr.At 8:12 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran announced from the famed loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica “Habemus Papem,” “We have a pope.” Within minutes, as the world's 1.2 billion Catholics and curious onlookers worldwide processed the announcement that Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires had been elected the 266th pope, Latin Americans and U.S. Latinos exclaimed “Tenemos un Papa,” “We have a pope!” Or, as the Huffington Post announced, “The Holy Sí! Argentine Pope.” What does it mean to have a Latin American pope?

  • Originally published 02/19/2013

    Washington Tortures Everywhere ... Except Latin America

    Map of CIA rendition sites. Countries in red cooperate with the CIA to detain and allegedly torture terror suspects. Drawn from data first published in the Washington Post. Map credit: HNN staff/Wiki Commons.Originally posted on TomDispatch.com