Brazil is by far the largest recipient of Norwegian development aid, but at the same time Brazil donates humanitarian and development aid to poorer countries. This paradox explains much about a changing world and Brazil's desire for world power status, write Torkjell Leira, University of Oslo, and Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert, the Peace Research Institute Oslo, in an article in Dagsavisen 16 November 2015 (in Norwegian).
Despite pessimism and the impression that there are only villains everywhere, there are also positive news to take back from Brazil these days. Heroes exist. They are named institutions, write Yuri Kasahara, Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research, and Leiv Marsteintredet, University of Oslo and University of Bergen, in an article in Bergens Tidende 16 November 2015 (in Norwegian).
Since 2010, there are more migrants travelling from Europe to Latin America than in the opposite direction, and more money is sent home from European migrant workers in Latin America than vice versa. It's time to start thinking about Latin America as part of the solution to the world's migration challenges, and not the problem, writes Benedicte Bull, University of Oslo, in an article in Dagsavisen 27 October 2015 (in Norwegian).
The Rafto Prize to Padre Melo can draw greater international attention to the defense of freedom of expression and democracy in Honduras, writes Leiv Marsteintredet, Universities of Oslo and Bergen, in an article in Bergens Tidende 24 September 2015.
Padre Melo is a shining example of a person who fearlessly fight for human rights. But he is also a living testimony that religious belief can provide unsuspected strength and courage in the fight for human dignity, writes Hans Egil Offerdal, University of Bergen, in an article (pdf, in Norwegian) in Dagen 5 October 2015.
With an economic growth forecast of measly 0.5 per cent for Latin America next year, the discussion now rages about who is to blame for the economic recession and investment drought. In many countries we see a crisis in varieties of social democratic experiments that sought to support the poor through cash transfers, jobs and increased minimum wages, writes Benedicte Bull, University of Oslo, in an article in Dagsavisen 22 September 2015 (in Norwegian).
According to plans, on Sunday 6 September the Guatemalans will go to the polls. It happens in the middle of the country's biggest political crisis in over 20 years. Since April, hundreds of thousands have participated in weekly demonstrations in reaction to a series of revelations of high-level corruption. writes Benedicte Bull and Mariel Aguilar-Støen, both University of Oslo, in an article in Bistandsaktuelt 4 September 2015 (in Norwegian).
Investment agreements are meant to attract foreign investors to a country. However, experience shows that they often bring more harm than good, writes Benedicte Bull, University of Oslo, in an article in Dagsavisen 18 August 2015 (in Norwegian).
The past decade parts of Latin America have been marked by a bloody peace. The level of violence in El Salvador is now higher than in most war zones in the world, writes Benedicte Bull, University of Oslo, in an article in Dagsavisen 15 July 2015 (in Norwegian).
The last two months have been marked by massive protests against corruption in several countries in Central America. The vice president of Guatemala has resigned, and in Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua there are mobilizations in the streets, writes Mariel Aguilar-Støen, University of Oslo, in an article on Radikal Portal 21 June (in Norwegian).
Latin American heads of state raise their glasses for increased independence from the United States, but are they better off in China's enclosed courtyard (siheyuan)? asks Benedicte Bull, University of Oslo, in an article in Dagsavisen 16 June 2015 (in Norwegian).
Initially Archbishop Romero distanced himself clearly from the leading liberation theologians, but within a short period as the church's leader he underwent a radical personal and theological transformation and became a crystal clear and politically powerful voice for social justice, writes Sturla J. Stålsett, Norwegian School of Theology (Menighetsfakultetet), in an article (in Norwegian) in Vårt Land 23 May 2015.
Regardless of what one might think about the similarities between Romero and Jesus, it is a fact that Pope Francis now points at Archbishop Romero of El Salvador – the defender of the poor – as an example and hope for the world's Catholics, states Hans Egil Offerdal, University of Bergen, in an article (pdf, in Norwegian) in Dagen 22 May 2015.
In recent months, corruption scandals have hit one Latin American government after the other. For many it is disappointing that left governments have been equally involved as their counterparts from the right. This can be understood as a result of asymmetric democratization, argues Benedicte Bull, University of Oslo, in an article in Dagsavisen 12 May 2015 (in Norwegian).
The article “Noruega non grata”(in Norwegian) in Bistandsaktuelt 26 April, on Norwegian official support to organizations opposing the construction of a cement factory in Guatemala, has caused a debate with contributions by researchers from the Centre for Development and the Environment at the University of Oslo; see the debate in Bistandsaktuelt (in Norwegian).
Fifty years have passed since more than 2,000 Dominicans and 44 soldiers from the United States were killed as a result of the US invasion of the Dominican Republic, but the Dominicans have not used the experience to create an enemy image of the USA, writes Leiv Marsteintredet in an article in Dag og Tid 30 April 2015 (pdf).
The Brazilian counterpart for Francis Underwood in "House of Cards", Eduardo Cunha, the social conservative president of the national assembly, plays for high stakes to weaken President Dilma Rousseff, writes Yuri Kasahara, Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research, in an article in Klassekampen 21 April 2015.
This weekend the head of states of USA, Canada and the Latin American countries will meet for the summit of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Panama. It should have been the summit to mark the end of the exclusion of Cuba from the good company, but US sanctions against Venezuela have created new problems in the Inter-American cooperation, writes Benedicte Bull, University of Oslo, in an article in Dagsavisen 7 April 2015.
Based on a huge corruption scandal in the state-owned oil company Petrobras, a Pandora's box of revelations about corruption and money laundering has been opened in Brazil. This is not entirely negative, as we can also make out the contours of a nation that gradually will have a legislation that not only in principle but also in practice, applies equally to all, writes Trond Heitmann, Østfold University College, in an article in Bergens Tidende 4 March 2015.
An article by Iselin Åsedotter Strønen, Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) has resulted in the critical comments by other academics, and two more articles by Strønen.
Archbishop Romero was shot and killed at the altar in El Salvador in 1980. By declaring him a martyr Pope Francis sends a crystal clear signal that he really wants a church where the poor are at the centre, writes Hans Egil Offerdal, University of Bergen in an article in Bergens Tidende on 15 February 2015.
Once again film censorship is taking place at the time for historical events in Cuba, but when “Retour à Ithaque” (in Norwegian: “Himmelen over Havanna”) by French director Laurent Cantet was denied screening at the film festival in Havana in December, the scandal disappeared in the cheering for the historic rapprochement between the US and Cuba, writes Håkon Tveit, University of Bergen, in an article in Nordlys on 13 January 2015.
Mexico has become the world's most dangerous country for Catholic priests. The priests who are most actively engaged in work for human rights and social justice, are now risking their lives, writes Hans Egil Offerdal, University of Bergen, in an article in Dagsavisen on 21 January 2015.
Brazil's truth commission submitted its final report on December 10 and concluded that the military regime's human rights violations must be considered as crimes against humanity. Nevertheless it is expected that the torturers will go free. The generals and their political backers still have much power in Brazil, writes Torkjell Leira, University of Oslo in an article in Dagsavisen on 2 January 2015.
The Cuba agreement alters the policy dynamics of the entire American continent. The upcoming dialogue may prove to be US’s gate-opener to Latin America, writes Benedicte Bull, University of Oslo, in an article on NRK Ytring on 22 December 2014.