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Central America



  • Biden’s Plan for Central America Is a Smokescreen

    by Aviva Chomsky

    The Biden plan for Central America revives the Cold War formula of business-friendly economic development and militarized security in the name of stopping migration toward the US. This, the author argues, amounts to doubling down on failed policies that have driven migration for decades.



  • The 1954 US-Backed Coup in Guatemala

    by Ben Tumin

    Ben Tumin's "Skipped History" video series returns with a discussion of the 1954 Guatemala Coup, drawing on the work of Greg Grandin, Stephen Kinzer and Steven Schleshinger, and Vincent Bevins.



  • Letters From an American, March 13, 2021

    by Heather Cox Richardson

    What are the historical underpinnings of the immigration system, and what do politicians really mean by invoking a "border crisis"? 



  • The Manifest Destiny Marauders Who Gave the “Filibuster” Its Name

    by John Pat Leary

    The original "filibusters" were mercenaries who invaded multiple Latin American nations in the interest of subverting their governments and establishing slaveholding colonies. Today the name is tied to procedural efforts to subvert democracy and impose minority rule. 



  • Sanctuary Unmasked: The First Time Los Angeles (Sort of) Became a City of Refuge

    by Paul A. Kramer

    Los Angeles’s first sanctuary law grew out of the refugee wave that had brought Alicia Rivera to the city. By 1982, an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 refugees from El Salvador — a country with fewer than 5,000,000 people — and tens of thousands of Guatemalans had fled to the United States to escape murder, poverty, and starvation.  



  • "GUILTY": Justice for the Jesuits in El Salvador

    Applying the doctrine of Universal Jurisdiction for human rights abuses, a Spanish Court found former El Salvador Colonel Inocente Orlando Montano guilty in the assassination of six Jesuit priests and two Salvadoran women in 1989. The National Security Archive supplied hundreds of declassified documents as evidence. 



  • How Coffee Ruined a Country

    by Lizabeth Cohen

    Lizabeth Cohen reviews Augustine Sedgewick's book, which argues that coffee monoculture was disastrous to El Salvador.



  • The Maya meet the Internet

    Researchers began decoding the glyphic language of the ancient Maya long ago, but the Internet is helping them finish the job and write the history of this enigmatic Mesoamerican civilization.For centuries, scholars understood little about Maya script beyond its elegant astronomical calculations and calendar. The Maya had dominated much of Central America and southern Mexico for 1,000 years before their civilization collapsed about 600 years before the Spaniards reached the New World....