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Latin America

The Goldman Murders

Environmental activism in Latin America very frequently pits indigenous local leaders against rapacious companies backed by foreign money and the full military weight of the state. As IB’s Brian Hagenbuch writes here, the separate murders of two recent winners of the prestigious Goldman Prize over the past year, in Mexico and Honduras, threw a spotlight on a much larger pattern of violence and intimidation that claimed dozens of lives in the region.

Mark Baumer’s final blog post on January 21, 2017 was morbidly prophetic.

Trump Suggests a Friendly Little Invasion

Whether Donald Trump’s suggestion he might send US troops to Mexico was a threat, as this article suggests, or a friendly offer, as the White House today claimed, the idea of US troops on the soil of a country that lost half its territory to the United States in various wars is raising a firestorm in Mexico. From Proyecto Puente, Dolia Estevez’s scoop which sent a minor shockwave through Mexico yesterday:

The President of the United States, Donald Trump, told his Mexican counterpart, Enrique Pena Nieto, that the United States does not need Mexico

The Gunman in Winter

Snapshots from the life of a Caracas street thug, retired at an early age, from Leo Felipe Campos.

He was 12 years old the only time his father asked him for a gun. That is his last memory of the father: He heard him saying through clenched teeth that someone had robbed him and he wanted revenge. The boy got him the gun.

‘That Sixty Million Americans Voted For Him Is Terrifying’

Joseph Zarate’s in-depth reporting* on the effects of natural resource extraction on indigenous communities and the land in Peru have won him a reputation as one of Latin America’s most insightful and accomplished young journalists. Here, he gives International Boulevard a glance from his vantage point on the United States as Donald J. Trump takes power.

As a Peruvian, how do you interpret Donald Trump’s victory? Did it surprise you or change how view the United States?

For Mexicans, the Double Curse of a Pushover President in the Face of Trump

Twice now since August, Donald Trump has treated the Mexican president with open contempt, and been met with shocked and feeble hesitation, writes the Mexico City daily La Jornada. A president and a political class which have somehow still failed to apprehend the kind of man they are now dealing with in Washington:

“When you don’t make a decision soon enough,” the old proverb says, “someone will make it for you.”

Counsel for the Dead

An archaeologist obsessively excavating the catacombs of El Salvador’s endless unmarked graves, an attorney for the nameless victims of an undeclared war: a portrait of the solitude of a forensic investigator unlike any other, from International Boulevard’s Tomás Andréu:

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One night he reached out for help on a social network. It was nearly midnight, and he had so many bodies to identify that he didn’t know what to do with them all.

Trump – The View From Havana

What does the President-elect mean for Cuba? As with most things Trump, nobody can say quite yet. International Boulevard’s Mateo Jarquin did, however, happen to be in Havana when Americans cast their ballots, and thus got a sense of how Cubans viewed the election and its consequences for their future.

The first thing worth mentioning is that while Cubans remain unusually sealed-off from the rest of the world – they rely overwhelmingly on state-controlled media, and must pay an expensive rate of 2 dollars per hour for internet access.

If Brazilian Politics Were a TV Script, They’d Fire the Writer

Politics in Brasilia have not exactly hauled themselves out of the gutter since Dilma Roussef was impeached, writes Joao Sette Camara. Sleazy real estate deals and secretive dealmaking have already touched the new president, even as it becomes increasingly clear to Brazilians that the people who removed Roussef were actually trying to hide their own misdeeds.

Ever since the impeachment of former president Dilma Roussef, Brazilian politics has taken on the air of the script of a bad soap opera

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