When they Came for Reynaldo for the Last Time

In the Latin America of the 1980s, everyone knew who was behind the death squads and forced disappearances. In the new Honduras, after the coup and the rise of the drug gangs, the state is a weakened organism; it is perhaps no surprise that who has been disappeared, and who disappeared them, is a greater mystery now. But as Daniel Vicente Caravantes shows here, the state and its agents are often still to blame.

"Nubia, can you take me home?"

Among All Those Who Did Not Deserve to Die…

In the aftermath the Charlie Hebdo massacre, wrote Francois Burgat, former head of the French Institute for the Near East in a Facebook post, it is tempting to blame the demented ideology of the murderers, to refuse to look at the national and global context that brought them there.

At one end of the chain, before our very eyes, twelve people are executed. It arouses emotions one shares unreservedly. What else is there to say except perhaps, for me, and for many others, damn….Cabu…Cabu did not deserve that.

No, We Are Not All Kamel Daoud

In spite of a savage civil war in the 1990s in which jihadi groups killed over a hundred journalists as well as numerous musicians and writers, Algeria today is home to a thriving literary culture. The biggest star of the day is Kamel Daoud, whose literary repartee to Camus’s The Stranger made a splash in France last year and will soon be published in English translation. Daoud’s prominence and cantankerousness recently won him a death fatwa from a prominent local islamist.

A solicitation for murder. A solicitation for murder published, signed and acknowledged-proudly and publicly-by its author, a certain oddball called Hamadache.

A Bus Ride in Rome, Navigating Twin Seas of Resentment

In the wake of a seemingly inexplicable attack on a public bus by a mob of immigrants, a journalist in Rome rides the 508 bus at night, navigating a maelstrom of rage, fear and frustration among the Italian capital’s underclass, both immigrants and natives.

“Have you ever taken the 508?” A few days after the incident, I accept the invitation. I take the subway to Ponte Mammolo and walk to the Atac company station.

In Brazil, Racism’s Second Lives

Black Awareness Day in Brazil passed some weeks ago. Half the country’s 200 million people consider themselves white, half say they are black or brown, making it one of the most racially diverse large countries in the world. In this essay, a Brazilian journalist recalls the appalling practices of not so distant a past and measures the powerful, though almost invisible, present remains of the beast within.

In the 1970s, I remember vividly how one of my relatives kept two types of glasses in the cupboard.

Slum Golf

What lies beyond the manicured grass and stately buildings of Porto Alegre’s most exclusive country club? A slum village where the only jobs available are in service to wealthy golfers, a place where kids prefer golf to soccer. A landscape where old shipping containers converted into houses, open sewage ditches, rocky terrain, and impressive amounts of garbage are the fairway for their own golf course.

The path is narrow and winding. In some places it is not even a meter wide, a dirt track covered with candy wrappers, popcorn bags and plastic cups.

The Black Herald

Was there a better chronicler of the pitiless cruelty of Guatemala’s urban society than the artist Anibal Lopez? A profile of a provocateur, of the artist as thug and transgressor, by Sebastian Escalon:

Piglets are plentiful, on hog farms. But a piglet with a name, ‘Hugo,’ dressed up with a beautiful blue bow is something special; a pet, almost a person, a character like one of the three pigs who vanquished the wolf, or like the cartoon Porky Pig. Anibal Lopez, the controversial Guatemalan art

Everything Reminds Me of Sex

Obsessed with sex, and yet entirely unwilling to talk about it: the judgment of writer Baraa Ashraf on modern Egyptian society.

There is a joke about a famous Egyptian anchorwoman who decides to take on the subject of “human rights and equality” for her upcoming TV show. She goes out on the streets of the capital to ask people about their thoughts on the idea of equality. She takes a comb with her, as a concrete illustra

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