Bak nyhetene / Behind the News
Article (in Norwegian) by Leiv Marsteintredet on how presidential democracies solve the problems caused by presidential successions, related to the present situation in Venezuela.
Ten years have passed since Brazil's history took a new turn with the election of Lula da Silva as president. In this blog post (in Norwegian) Torkjell Leira explores the importance of Lula's years in office.
Article by Jorge Balarezo on the ongoing conflict about the Conga mining project in Peru and the challenges it represesents for Humala's government (Engl.)
Article by Cecilie Hirsch and John-Andrew McNeish regarding the conflict between lowland indigenous and the (indigenous led) government in Bolivia.
Article by Marcos Fabián Mosenson on Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s current challenges.
Article (in Norwegian) by Marte Skjerping on the difficult task of reforming a country with a long authoritarian history.
On Saturday 7 May 2011 Ecuador celebrated the third referendum during the administration of Rafael Correa, with the key questions related to judicial and media reforms. The referendums form part of the government’s reform of Ecuador’s political system. In this article - in Spanish and Norwegian - Inés Luna explores what actually happened during the dramatic incidents on 30 september 2010, and how they were related to the ongoing conflicts about the way forward for Ecuadorian democracy.
On March 20th Venezuela together with Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Cuba condemned the UN resolution authorising international intervention to protect civilians in Libya, as well as the military actions that followed. Up to then, Venezuela’s normally outspoken president, Hugo Chávez, had limited himself to warn against international intervention and to offer mediation between his old friend Muammar Gaddafi and the rebel forces. What is actually Chávez’ opinion on Gaddafi, and what do his statements tell about his foreign policy? I this article Erlend Skutlaberg takes a closer look at the relations between the two heads of state and the debate in Venezuela on the country’s relations to Libya.
Read the article in Norwegian (will be translated to Spanish or English)
Dilma Roussef was elected the new president of Brazil on Sunday 31 October, but many challenges lie ahead. Considering what was debated during the campaign, Ms. Roussef did not present a clear proposal about how to improve the economic growth in Brazil besides the desire for continuity of Lula's policies.
Read the article by Yuri Kasahara here.
The Colombians are remarkably stable voters, but when they went to the polling stations on 30 May all analysts agreed that a political revolution was on the line. Then something strange happened…
In response to an article previously published by NorLARNet, Kirsten S. Natvig of Caritas Norway maintains that a boycott is not the way to go to promote a democratic development in Honduras, as it only affects the poorest part of the population. “Even the most ardent opponents of the coup and supporters of Zelaya among those with whom Caritas cooperates, have asked the international society to not boycott the country”, Natvig states. Read the article in Norwegian or in Spanish.
Five months from now there will be presidential elections in Brazil. The battle will stand between Dilma Rouseff from the Workers' Party (PT) and José Serra from the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB). But the most exiting is what happens around a candidate that has no chance to win the elections, Marina Silva from The Green Party (PV). Are we witnessing the emergence of a new political force in Brazil?
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).
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).