General elections in Brazil are approaching and politicians get busy establishing deals. Even if the Brazilian party system seems to consolidate at the national level around two leading players, there is still room for important supporting actors.
Over the last months the already rampant violence related to organized crime in Mexico have increased further. In this article, visiting professor Carlos Flores at the University of Oslo, explains how the surge of organized crime is rooted in the structure and functioning of the Mexican state, and thus share the origin with the declining economic development, rising levels of poverty and increasing disillusion with democracy in Mexico. Read the article here in Norwegian or here in Spanish.
On June 29 last year the president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, was deposed in a coup d'état and sent to Costa Rica, and an interim government led by Roberto Micheletti was installed. This resulted in strong international reactions and the suspension of Honduras from the Organisation of American States (OAS). In November elections were held, and Porfirio Lobo Sosa was elected president. He took office on 27 January this year. Subsequently many countries have reestablished diplomatic relations with Honduras, and the country has disappeared from international news. The following two articles agrue that there is still a long way to go before Honduras can be called a democracy, and that the surrounding world should find new ways of relating to Honduras. Read the article by Jorge Bonilla here in Spanish or here in Norwegian, and the article by Nelson Salinas here in Spanish or here in Norwegian.
On Friday 26 February the Constitutional Court of Colombia ruled that Alvaro Uribe will not be allowed to run for a third period as president. This way the court ruled out the possibility of organizing a referendum about allowing a third consecutive presidential period. An era has come to an end in Colombia, and a new president will be elected this spring. What does this ruling mean for the Colombian democracy, and how will Uribe be remembered? Read the article by Knut Andreas O. Lid and Jemima García-Godos here in English or here in Norwegian.
Does it make sense to compare the president of El Salvador, Mauricio Funes, withLula? Could Funes be a mediator between different political fractions in such a divided country as El Salvador? And could he be a stabilizing factor in turbulent Central America, similar to what Lula has been in South America? Read the article by Nelson Salinas and Benedicte Bull here in Spanish or here in Norwegian.
In contrast to the fable about the three pigs and the wolf, in El Salvador the doors are closed for those who see their homes torn apart by natural phenomena as the storm Ida, after first having been denied solid construction materials. The resulting experience of impotence and lack of support aggravate the consequences of natural catastrophes for mental helath. Read the article by Nelson Salinas here (in Spanish) or here (in Norwegian).
The elections in Honduras give the country a possibility to solve the political crisis, despite sabotage from the international society, writes Leiv Marsteintredet from the University of Bergen in this article in Minerva (in Norwegian).
In this article, Benedicte Bull, associate professor at the University of Oslo and leader of NorLARNet, asks if Norwegian social scientists' interest in contributing to changes in Latin American societies is of any use for Latin Americans. Read the article here (in Norwegian).
On 15th september, in the middle of the tense Mapuche conflict, the most important international instrument on indigenous peoples' rights came into force in Chile. Read the article here (in Spanish only).
In this article in the Norwegian daily Bergens Tidende, researcher Wenche Hauge argues that President Alvaro Uribe’s plans to grant the US military rights to use at least seven Colombian army, navy and air force bases will lead to increased militarization of Colombia. The agreement has been strongly criticized by Senator Piedad Córdoba, who has been trying to initiate a peace process in the country for many years.
- Utelating av forskingsresultat, tilsynelatande mangel på eksakt kunnskap, komplettert med store dosar rasisme, gjorde at urfolk i Amazonasstroka i Peru kom svært dårleg ut i tidlegare tider, og no i 2009 syner det seg, igjen, at ein kvit, middelaldrande mann frå middelklasse i Peru har middelmådig politisk teft og manglande innsikt i og oversyn over store delar av landet han styrer, skriv Birgen Agvik i denne artikkelen. Les artikkelen her.
What groups and interests have caused the present political crisis in Honduras? Are the legal arguments against president Zelaya valid? Read the article here (only in Spanish)
The sentence of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori to 25-year of imprisonment has great legal significance, as it is the first time in history that a former state leader is extradited to his country of origin in order to be prosecuted for human rights violations. På norsk her. In English here.
While the eyes of the world - and of the United States - are fixed at Mexico and the war against the drug violence there, Central America is struck by an even worse wave of violence. På norsk her. In English here.
This article looks into the background for Rafael Correas' victory in the elections on 26th April and describes the political project of the president. Read the article here (in Norwegian) and here (in English).
History has come back to haunt Honduras. On Sunday 28 June the army took control of the Presidential Palace and sent president Manuel Zelaya to Costa Rica. While the international community codemns the military coup, the Honduran Congress has appointed a new president. Elin Cecilie Ranum, program coordinator at the Norwegian NGO The Development Fund is presently in Tegucigalpa, and has written an article for NorLARNet. Here in Norwegian and here in English.
NorLARNet presents two articles that, from different perspectives, give the background for the violent clashes between police and indigenous protesters on 5th June. Jorge Balarezo, Peruvian lawyer living Norway, discuss the different initiatives taken by Peruvian governments to promote development in the Amazon: in Spanish or in English (abbreviated version). Anders Krogh from the Rainforest Foundation Norway writes about the indigenous movements’ response to the present government’s initiatives in relation to the Amazon: in Norwegian or in Spanish.
These are links to other articles that might be of interest, from: Council on Hemispheric Affairs, El País, Americas Program - in English and Spanish and an article by president Alan García from 2007.
The fifth Summit of the Americas was celebrated as the start of a new era in the traditionally strained relationship between the United States and Latin America. But how much has really changed in the relations between the two parts of the continent? This was discussed at a seminar organized by Norwegian Peace building Centre (Noref) and the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. last week, with around 30 experts on international politics and inter-American relations.
A NorLARNet associate reports from Mexico City about the difficulties in interpreting what is the real situation of the spreading disease. Read the report here .
Since wining the elections, Mauricio Funes has indeed shown decisive leadership. Read the article here .
It is not possible to fully understand the drug trafficking phenomen in Mexico without taking in to consideration the specific characteristcs of the political regime, Dr. Carlos Antonio Flores Pérez writes in this article. Flores Pérez was in Norway in April as NorLARNet's guest and he gave lectures in Oslo and Bergen. Read the article here (in Norwegian) and here (in Spanish).
Previous financial crises have led to dramatically reduced economic growth and increased poverty in Latin America, and there is a great fear that this crisis may be even worse. But what distinguishes this crisis from previous ones is that the Latin-American governments themselves quickly have responded with measures to meet the crisis. Many things have happened since the Asia crisis in Latin-America. På norsk her. In English here.
After the assesination of lawyer Rodrigo Rosenberg on May 10th Guatemala has experienced one of the worst political crises in recent history. The day after the killing a video was made public, showing the lawyer accusing president Alvaro Colom of ordering his death. Read the article here (in Norwegian) or here (in Spanish).
Professor Anders Breidlid at Oslo University College criticizes the presentation in a recently published report of the conflict between Chilean mapuches and the Norwgian company SN Powers.
Researcher Henrik Wiig critizes the role played by the Norwegian Government and the Rainforest Foudation Norway in the conflict leading up to the killing of some 50 indians and police officers on 5th June.
Read the commentary in Dagens Næringsliv (26.06.09) here (in Norwegian).