Tuesday, September 29, 2009

WNU #1005: Brazil, US Push Haitian Maquilas

Weekly News Update on the Americas
Issue #1005, September 27, 2009

1. Haiti: Brazil, US Push for More Maquilas
2. Honduras: Will Maquilas Survive the Coup?
3. Venezuela: South America-Africa Summit Meets
4. Ecuador: Chevron Tries New Dodge in Lawsuit
5. Argentina: Death Flight Pilot Arrested
6. Links to alternative sources on: Argentina, Paraguay, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Honduras, Mexico, Cuba, Biodiversity

ISSN#: 1084‑922X. Weekly News Update on the Americas covers news from Latin America and the Caribbean, compiled and written from a progressive perspective. It has been published weekly by the Nicaragua Solidarity Network of Greater New York since 1990. For a subscription, write to weeklynewsupdate@gmail.com . It is archived at http://weeklynewsupdate.blogspot.com/

*1. Haiti: Brazil, US Push for More Maquilas
During a meeting in Brasilia on Sept. 17, Brazilian foreign minister Celso Amorim and US commerce representative Ronald Kirk ratified a plan to allow Brazilian companies operating in Haiti to export products to the US without paying customs fees. This would be done through an extension of two US trade acts ostensibly aiding Haitian industries: the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity Through Partnership Encouragement (HOPE) Act of 2006 and the HOPE 2 Act of 2008. Amorim told the Chinese news agency Xinhua that the initiative’s goal is humanitarian, "to aid Haiti's economic development through sustainable production activity," although he noted that it would also benefit Brazilian and US companies.

Brazilian National Confederation of Industry (CNI) president Armando Monteiro Neto said Brazilian apparel companies had expressed interest in setting up assembly plants in Haiti under the agreement. A group of twelve investors were planning to visit Haiti Sept. 27-Oct. 3 to explore the possibilities. (Xinhua 9/17/09; AlterPresse 9/18/09)

Brazil leads the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), a 9,000-member military and police force that has occupied Haiti since June 2004. The United Nations is expected to renew MINUSTAH’s mandate for another year sometime before Oct. 15. During a Sept. 18-19 visit to Haiti with Brazil’s Amorim, French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner called for the mission to continue at least until after next year’s presidential election in Haiti. "After [the elections] we will see,” Kouchner told the Associated Press news service. “It depends on [the Haitians’] actions, [if] they are going to take their own affairs in hand." A co-founder of Doctors Without Borders and a former member of the French Socialist Partner, Kouchner is a longtime proponent of “humanitarian intervention” military operations. (Miami Herald 9/19/09 from AP)

The plan to expand the number of tax-exempt assembly plants—known in Spanish as maquiladoras—was announced less than a week after the Haitian Parliament passed a measure setting the minimum wage for assembly industry workers at 125 gourdes ($3.11) a day. The workers themselves, with strong student support, had mounted marches and wildcat strikes in August to demand a 200-gourde minimum [see Update # 1004]. The plan to increase apparel production comes after several years of sharp decline in the Caribbean and Central American maquiladora sectors, with the region’s share of the US import market falling dramatically since 2004 [see Update #996].

*2. Honduras: Will Maquilas Survive the Coup?
As of the morning of Sept. 28, a 45-day state of siege decreed by the de facto Honduran government was in effect, allowing the authorities to suspend rights of free speech and assembly; police agents and soldiers had already closed the Radio Globo radio station and the Channel 36 television station under the decree. The state of siege followed a week of increasing tensions after president José Manuel Zelaya Rosales, deposed by a June 28 military coup, secretly returned to the country on Sept. 21 and established his headquarters in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa. (Americas MexBlog 9/28/09)

The economy “stopped” after Zelaya’s return as a result of protests by coup opponents and a Sept. 22-23 round-the-clock curfew by the de facto regime, according to Sandra Midence, de facto president of the central bank, the Banco Central de Honduras (BCH). Jesús Canahuati, former president of the Honduran Maquiladora Association (AHM), said the two-day curfew alone had cost the country $50 million a day. Honduras, with a $14.1 billion annual gross domestic product (GDP), has lost as much as $200 million in investment since the coup, he said. (Bloomberg News 9/24/09; El Nuevo Herald (Miami) 9/27/09 from Bloomberg)

Even before the June coup, the Honduran maquiladora sector was suffering because of competition from China and declining demand from the US, the country’s main export market, now in its worst recession in decades [see Update #1002]. “In 2008 there were $3.5 billion in exports, while the projection for the end of 2009 would be around $2.7 billion, less than the amount expected a few months ago,” Guillermo Matamoros, an AHM regional director, told the Costa Rican newspaper El Financiero in early September. The year’s decline for the apparel export sector might be as much as 22.8%.

The Honduran maquiladora sector now employs about 114,000 workers directly; the industry claims that each maquiladora job generates four other jobs, so that the sector’s total contribution to the country’s GDP would be around 26%. The sector lost 15,000 jobs in 2008 and about 8,000 more so far this year. Jesús Canahuati said another 4,000 workers would probably be laid off in the last three months of 2009. Canahuati expressed optimism that apparel employment would increase soon if the US recession ends, but Matamoros was looking instead to the expansion of a new type of maquiladora: call centers and software centers in the north of the country. Because of the large number of Hondurans who are bilingual in English and Spanish, this could generate 25,000-40,000 new jobs, he indicated. (El Financiero 9/5/09; La Tribuna (Tegucigalpa) 9/16/09)

Maquiladora owners reportedly have increased exploitation of their employers because of losses stemming from the political crisis. The Honduran Women's Collective (CODEMUH) says maquiladora workers have been forced to work overtime, in clear violation of labor law, to make up for time lost during the curfews. "We call on transnational brands like Nike, Gap, Adidas, Hanes, HBI [Hanesbrands Inc] and Wal-Mart, among others,” CODEMUH writes, “as well as university students in the US and consumers in general, who wear the products produced in the sweatshops of Honduras, to demand the offshore industry pay its workers for the days they did not show up for work due to the curfew of the de facto government, without requiring that they make up these days.” (Americas MexBlog 9/25/09)

The focus that the coup has brought on Honduras might help revive the US-based student anti-sweatshop movement of the 1990s. In a Sept. 25 op-ed, two University of Washington professors, Angelina Godoy and James Gregory, called on the school to “re-examine [its] apparel relationship with Nike,” the US sports garment giant, because of the company’s failure to compensate workers in Honduras. In January Nike shut down two facilities in Honduras, Vision Tex and Hugger, the professors said, “without paying their approximately 1,800 workers the terminal compensation mandated by law—in some cases, without even paying them for hours already worked. The total owed to workers tops $2.5 million.” Godoy and Gregory charged that Nike is using the political crisis as an excuse not to act on the workers’ claims. “Nike's inaction amounts to coup profiteering,” they wrote. (Seattle Times 9/25/09)

*3. Venezuela: South America-Africa Summit Meets
Nearly 30 heads of state attended the Second Africa-South America Summit, a Sept. 26-27 meeting of representatives of 61 nations on Isla Margarita, Venezuela, intended to increase trade and economic development and cooperation between the two regions. The first summit was held in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, in November 2006. "North-North and North-South summits have been held,” Venezuelan Deputy Foreign Minister for Africa, Reinaldo Bolívar, told the Inter Press Service (IPS), “but apart from the Summits of South American-Arab Countries in 2005 and 2009, the Africa-South America meetings are the only South-South summits taking place in the world."

In addition to a general declaration and various trade agreements between individual countries, the summit included the launching of the Bank of the South with some $20 billion from seven countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela. This is a development bank that South American countries founded in 2007, in part to reduce dependency on international lending institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) [see Update #926]. Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez also floated a plan for “Petrosur,” a public multinational company to supply fuel to both regions.

The South American countries with strongest ties to Africa currently are Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela. Brazil's trade with Africa, mainly sales of food products and manufactured goods, rose from $5 billion in 2002 to nearly $26 billion in 2008 and represents 7% of the country's total foreign trade. Brazil has invested more than $4 billion in agriculture in Africa since President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva took office in 2003. Argentina sells more than $3 billion a year to African countries, accounting for 3.5% of its total trade. Venezuela's trade with Africa is minimal, but the country is making deals with Algerian and South African firms to participate in exploration for gas and crude in Venezuela, while South Africa has invited Venezuela to participate in developing a refinery and fuel storage facilities. (IPS 9/22/09; Agence France Presse 9/27/09; BBC 9/27/09; Prensa Latina 9/28/09)

*4. Ecuador: Chevron Tries New Dodge in Lawsuit
On Sept. 23 Chevron Corp., the second-largest US oil company, announced that it had asked the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague to shift responsibility to Ecuador for paying any money that Amazon Basin residents might win in a lawsuit over environmental damage from oil operations. The suit, brought by indigenous Ecuadorians 16 years ago, could result in an award of $27 billion. If Chevron wins in the arbitration court, Ecuador will have to pay the damages, according to Barry Appleton, an attorney who has represented companies in similar cases. “Judgments from this panel are enforceable around the world,” he said.

The new move comes less than a month after Chevron attempted to delay the conclusion of the suit by releasing videotapes that it claimed showed corruption and judicial misconduct in Ecuador [see Update #1003]. The plaintiffs’ lawyers said on Sept. 24 that with the effort to seek arbitration the company was now playing one of its "last cards." (Bloomberg News 9/24/09)

*5. Argentina: Death Flight Pilot Arrested
Spanish police arrested former Argentine military pilot Juan Alberto Poch on Sept. 21 in Valencia on charges by Argentine courts that he flew some of the "death flights" in which as many as 1,000 opponents of Argentina’s 1976-1983 military dictatorship were thrown from planes into the Atlantic while drugged. When he was arrested, Poch, a dual national of Argentina and the Netherlands, was working as a pilot for Transavia, a low-cost airline owned by KLM and Air France. He was arrested while at the controls of a plane in Manises airport, about to fly a holiday group from Valencia to Amsterdam. Spanish police said Poch is named in four separate investigations in Argentina; he will face an extradition tribunal to determine whether he will be sent to Argentina. (The Guardian (UK) 9/23/09)

*6. Links to alternative sources on: Argentina, Paraguay, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Honduras, Mexico, Cuba, Biodiversity

Julio Lopez: Impunity Yesterday and Today in Argentina

Paraguay: Lugo's dilemmas

Peru: police officer killed in metal worker protest

Peru: no global warming skeptics in Huaraz

VRAE: Ashaninka arm against narco-senderistas

The Streets Speak: Colombian Graffiti Artists Have their Say

Zelaya: "death squads" operating in Honduras

Zelaya back in Honduras?

The Siege of Tegucigalpa

Zelaya's return to Honduras met with force

Zelaya's Midnight Gambit

Clinton, Speak Clearly Now to Avoid a Massacre in Honduras

Honduran Crisis Explodes: Persecution and Panic-Buying Under Coup Crackdown

The Sound and Fury of the Honduran Coup: Acoustic and Chemical Attacks on Brazilian Embassy

Library of Congress Report on Honduran Coup Filled with Flaws

'Insurrection' in Honduras as Police disperse pro-Zelaya protest

The Road to Zelaya’s Return: Money, Guns and Social Movements in Honduras

Schock Thesis on the Honduran Crisis Ignores Verdict of the Honduran Supreme Court

Grade D-: Flawed Research from the Law Library of the Library of Congress

Honduras: Lawyers Question Basis of Zelaya Ouster

New Developments in Honduras–Same Old Bad Media

The Life and Death of a Mexican Environmental Prophet

Breaking the Silence: The Mexican Army and the 1997 Acteal Massacre

Obama Takes Step-by-Step Approach to Ending Obsolete Cuba Policies

Biodiversity Report from Americas Program of CIP—September 2009

New Summit Boosts Cooperation Between South America and Africa

For more Latin America news stories from mainstream and alternative sources:

For immigration updates and events:


Your support is appreciated. Back issues and source materials are available on request. Update subscribers also receive, as a supplement, our own weekly Immigration News Briefs.

Order The Politics of Immigration: Questions & Answers, from Monthly Review Press, by Update editors Jane Guskin and David Wilson:

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Links but No Update for September 20, 2009

[We are unable to send out an Update this week. We'll be back next week. Below are links to stories from other sources.]

FASINPAT: A Factory that Belongs to the People

Paraguay Rejects U.S. Military Deal

Paraguay: Marches call for Lugo to act http://upsidedownworld.org/main/content/view/2113/68/

Bolivia: A Presidential Race with a Foregone Conclusion http://upsidedownworld.org/main/content/view/2108/1/

Todos Somos Guerreros: A Documentary on Political Hip-Hop in El Alto, Boliviahttp://upsidedownworld.org/main/content/view/2110/1/

Peru: Hunt Oil contract to re-ignite Amazon uprising? http://ww4report.com/taxonomy/term/18

Correa vs. Social Movements: Showdown in Ecuador

South American Nations Question U.S.-Colombia Military Base Agreement

Honduras: Coup Squeezed from Above and Below

To Defend Democracy, U.S. Government Must Condemn Honduran Coup

Honduras: National opposition to coup becomes a social force http://upsidedownworld.org/main/content/view/2109/68/

Honduras: Colombian ex-Paramilitaries Recruited by Pro-Coup Forces

Honduran Lobster Divers: Risking it All in the Hunt for 'Red Gold' http://upsidedownworld.org/main/content/view/2115/1/

Coup inciting revolution in Honduras?http://therealnews.com/t/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=4235

A Pressing Case for NAFTA Review and Renegotiation

Plan Puebla-Panama Advances: New Name, Same Game

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

WNU #1004: Honduran Resistance Boycotts Elections

Weekly News Update on the Americas
Issue #1004, September 13, 2009

1. Honduras: Resistance Plans Election Boycott
2. Honduras: US Deports Coup Supporter
3. Argentina: Subway Workers Open Turnstiles
4. Haiti: Students Arrested in New Protests
5. Guatemala: Charge 9 in Rosenberg Murder
6. Links to alternative sources on: Chile, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico

ISSN#: 1084‑922X. Weekly News Update on the Americas covers news from Latin America and the Caribbean, compiled and written from a progressive perspective. It has been published weekly by the Nicaragua Solidarity Network of Greater New York since 1990. For a subscription, write to weeklynewsupdate@gmail.com . It is archived at http://weeklynewsupdate.blogspot.com/

*1. Honduras: Resistance Plans Election Boycott
Two Honduran presidential candidates announced in a communiqué on Sept. 9 that they will not participate in the Nov. 29 general elections unless four conditions are met: the return of President José Manuel Zelaya Rosales, who was removed from office by a military coup on June 28; an end to human rights violations; the demilitarization of Honduran society; and an end to a slander campaign against the leftist Democratic Unification (UD) party, which currently holds four of the 128 seats in the Congress. The two candidates are former union leader Carlos H. Reyes and legislative deputy César Ham, who heads the UD. Both are active in the National Front Against the Coup d’Etat, the leading resistance coalition; the front issued a communiqué on Sept. 7 calling for a boycott of “the electoral farce called by the coup perpetrators.”

The announcements by the front and the two leftist candidates seemed to conclude a debate within the resistance on whether to participate in elections under the present circumstances [see Update #1002]. The president, three vice presidents, 256 legislative deputies and alternates, 40 deputies to the Central American Parliament, and 298 mayors are to be selected in the balloting, which was scheduled in May before the coup; some 7.5 million Hondurans are eligible to vote. The de facto government headed by Roberto Micheletti—along with the two traditional parties, the National Party (PN) and the Liberal Party (PL)--have been hoping that the November vote would give them a way to legitimize Zelaya’s removal. (Diario Hoy (Dominican Republic) 9/9/09 from AP; Frente Nacional Contra el Golpe de Estado communiqué #23, 9/7/09)

Most countries, including the US, have indicated that they won’t recognize elections held under the de facto government. On Sept. 10 the European Commission announced in Brussels that the European Union (EU) will not send observers to the November vote if it is overseen by the coup regime. (Latin American Herald Tribune 9/10/09 from EFE)

Honduran business owners reportedly have a new strategy for making the elections successful. They are considering a plan to “give a discount in all the businesses to people who vote, so that people will go to the stores with the ink on their fingers [after voting] and get an automatic discount on any purchase they make anywhere in the country,” National Association of Industries of Honduras (ANDI) president Adolfo Facussé said in the Sept. 9 issue of the daily La Tribuna. The goal is “to strengthen democracy and overcome voter abstention,” Facussé told the paper, which is owned by his cousin, former president Carlos Flores Facussé (1998-2002). (La Tribuna 9/9/09)

In addition to clarifying its position on the elections, the National Front used its Sept. 7 communiqué to announce the formation of a National Coordinating Committee for the next three months, a commitment to “struggling for a Constituent Assembly” to rewrite the 1982 Constitution, and an effort to defend longtime environmental activist Father José Andrés Tamayo [see Update #998] from the de facto government’s efforts to deport him to his native El Salvador. The front also announced the formation of an International Commission to coordinate solidarity work with activists outside Honduras. (Frente Nacional communiqué #23, 9/7/09; Comisión Internacional Nota informativa #1, 9/7/09; Prensa Latina 9/8/09; Honduras Coup 2009 blog 9/7/09).

*2. Honduras: US Deports Coup Supporter
Honduran business leader Adolfo Facussé arrived at Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport near the northern Honduran city of San Pedro Sula the morning of Sept. 13 after being deported from the US. He was reportedly detained by US immigration authorities and sent back to Honduras after flying to Miami on Sept. 12. Facussé was apparently a casualty of a decision announced by the US State Department on Sept. 3 to revoke visas of Hondurans involved in the June 28 coup [see Update #1003]. Also on Sept. 12, Honduran officials said the US had revoked visas for de facto president Roberto Micheletti, 14 Supreme Court judges, the de facto foreign relations secretary and attorney general, and the armed forces chief (El Heraldo (Honduras) 9/13/09; New York Times 9/13/09 from AP)

On Sept. 9 the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a US government aid agency chaired by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, agreed, as was expected, to suspend $11 million in funding for two transportation projects in Honduras and to withhold $4 million for a road building a road project sponsored jointly with the Central American Bank for Economic Integration. An aid cutoff of some $31 million that the State Department announced on Sept. 3 apparently consisted of this aid suspension by the Millennium Challenge and of funds the US had already suspended unofficially on July 2--$1.9 million from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and $16.5 million in military funding. (Bloomberg 9/10/09)

On Sept. 6 the International Monetary Fund (IMF) office in Tegucigalpa denied the de facto government’s claim that it had received $150.1 million in special drawing rights (SDR) from the fund [see Update #1003]; IMF headquarters in Washington confirmed the denial on Sept 8. The IMF said it hadn’t recognized the de facto regime and that as a result the regime can’t convert the SDRs to cash. On Sept. 10 an IMF spokesperson said the fund suspended aid to Honduras three days after the coup; nonprofit groups in Washington report that IMF staffers have told them that all 186 member nations would have to agree to any decision to recognize the de facto government. (Honduras Coup 2009 blog 9/7/09; Reuters 9/8/09; El Nuevo Diario (Nicaragua) 9/10/09 from AFP; Quixote Center letter 9/11/09)

*3. Argentina: Subway Workers Open Turnstiles
An independent union of Argentine transit workers, the Union Association of Subte and Premetro Workers (AGTSyP), held job actions on Sept. 9 and 10 in the Buenos Aires transit system in a push to win official recognition. In the Sept. 9 action the workers opened the turnstiles for two hours, letting commuters ride for free. On the second day, they shut much of the system down for two hours, affecting about 160,000 riders, according to Metrovías, S.A., the company that has managed the capital’s subway and commuter lines since they were privatized in 1994. A unionist jumped on the tracks at the Pueyrredón station to block the trains, while a group of workers blocked the C Line tracks at the Avenida de Mayo station.

The workers are currently represented by the Automatic Tramways Union (UTA), an affiliate of the General Confederation of Workers (CGT), which is allied with the governing Justicialist Party (PJ, Peronist). But the new union says it already has the support of 1,600 of the system’s 2,600 workers and should be recognized by the government. Members of the new union said they were not impressed by the UTA’s claim that it had just won a 21% salary increase. “What good does 10 pesos more or less do me,” asked Roberto Pianelli, a delegate from Line E for the new union, “if I lose it tomorrow in unhealthy working condition because I have a union that for nine years has been signing contracts against the workers?”

The new union planned to carry out similar job actions the week of Sept. 14 if it didn’t win recognition. According to the left-leaning Argentine newspaper Página/12, the tactic of opening turnstiles is popular with commuters but carries “greater legal risks” than a conventional strike. (Página/12 9/10/09)

*4. Haiti: Students Arrested in New Protests
On Sept. 9 Haitian riot police and SWAT teams entered the grounds of the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy (FMP) of the State University of Haiti (UEH) in downtown Port-au-Prince and arrested about 20 students who had been occupying a building there since Sept. 7 to prevent the start of classes. Although police agents are generally not allowed on campuses in Haiti, the authorities said the raid was legal because the school’s administration had asked for it and a justice of the peace was present to monitor the operation. Students from the UEH’s Faculty of Ethnology responded to the raid by throwing rocks, and demonstrations continued at least through Sept. 11, when some 40 vehicles were reportedly attacked by students.

UEH students have been protesting regularly since last winter over curriculum changes and in solidarity with workers demanding a minimum wage of 200 gourdes a day (about $4.97) [see Updates #996, 1000, 1001]. “[T]his is a class struggle, an intergenerational struggle,” said FMP student Jean Blaise Bontemps, wearing his doctor’s gown, on Sept. 9. “Our demands are just.” (AlterPresse 9/9/09; Haiti Press Network 9/9/09, 9/11/09)

On Sept. 11 the Senate voted 18-0 with three abstentions for a modified minimum wage measure proposed by President René Préval and approved on Aug. 15 by the Chamber of Deputies. With both chambers of the Parliament approving the new measure, Préval is expected to promulgate the measure as law. According to Haitian news reports, the new measure fixes the minimum wage at 125 gourdes ($3.11) a day for workers in the assembly industry—the plants assembling principally for export, known in Spanish as maquiladoras--but at 200 gourdes for other industrial workers. [Previously our sources were unclear on whether the 125 gourdes minimum would apply to all industrial workers.] (AlterPresse 9/11/09)

*5. Guatemala: Charge 9 in Rosenberg Murder
On Sept. 11 Guatemalan and United Nations (UN) authorities arrested nine suspects in connection with the May 10 murder of attorney Rodrigo Rosenberg Marzano. The suspects include William Gilberto Santos Divas, a former officer of the National Civil Police (PNC) who is considered the ringleader; his brother, Alberto Estuardo Santos Divas, also a former PNC officer; two former police agents; and a former army specialist. According to Carlos Castresana, head of the UN-sponsored International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), the investigation was based entirely on physical evidence: tapes from video cameras near the crime scene in Guatemala City’s Zone 14; a search of William Santos Divas’ car, identified from the tapes; and some 12,000 messages on Santos Divas’ cell phone.

The investigators said the nine men arrested were suspected of carrying out the murder; the search for the “intellectual authors”—the people who ordered it—is ongoing, the authorities said, along with an investigation into a possible connection with the earlier murders of business owner Khalil Musa and his daughter Marjorie. In a video made shortly before his death, Rodrigo Rosenberg said Guatemalan president Alvaro Colom and people in his circle should be held responsible in the event of the attorney’s murder. Colom has repeatedly denied having any connection to the crime.

The CICIG was set up in 2007 under UN auspices but with a mandate to operate under Guatemalan law in cooperation with the Guatemalan authorities. Its work in the Rosenberg case has won praise from National Civic Movement coordindator Luis Pedro Álvarez, Helen Mack of the Myrna Mack Foundation, the US government, and Rosenberg’s brother, Eduardo Rodas Marzano. (Guatemala Hoy, Centro de Estudios de Guatemala 9/12/09, __)

*6. Links to alternative sources on: Chile, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico

Chile's Mapuches Call for Regional Autonomy

Spying Scandal Highlights the Use of Colombia's Women as Weapons of War

Chile: The Mapuche Nation Ups the Ante

Peru: veteran guerilla fighter Hugo Blanco speaks on Amazon struggle

Rural Revolution in Colombia Goes Digital

Throwing Bullets at Failed Policies: US Plans For New Bases in Colombia

Rerun in Honduras: Coup pretext recycled from Brazil '64

Honduras: Vote to Go Ahead Despite Int'l Refusal to Recognize

Video: Honduras - Mr. Zelaya Goes to Washington

Honduras: US State Dept Condemns "Coup d'Etat", Curtails Aid

Guatemalan Court Sets Precedent in the Case of Israel Carías

Mexico: The Great Swine Flu Cover-Up

For more Latin America news stories from mainstream and alternative sources:
http://americas.irc-online.org/ http://nacla.org/articles

For immigration updates and events:


Your support is appreciated. Back issues and source materials are available on request. Update subscribers also receive, as a supplement, our own weekly Immigration News Briefs.

Order The Politics of Immigration: Questions & Answers, from Monthly Review Press, by Update editors Jane Guskin and David Wilson:

Monday, September 7, 2009

WNU #1003: Honduran Students Protest Plans for Draft

Weekly News Update on the Americas
Issue #1003, September 6, 2009

1. Honduras: Students Protest Plans for Draft
2. Honduras: “Mixed Signals” on US Aid
3. Guatemala: Residents Dispute Goldcorp Charges
4. Ecuador: New Delay in Chevron Amazon Suit?
5. Links to alternative sources on: Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, Haiti

ISSN#: 1084‑922X. Weekly News Update on the Americas covers news from Latin America and the Caribbean, compiled and written from a progressive perspective. It has been published weekly by the Nicaragua Solidarity Network of Greater New York since 1990. For a subscription, write to weeklynewsupdate@gmail.com . It is archived at http://weeklynewsupdate.blogspot.com/

*1. Honduras: Students Protest Plans for Draft
Thousands of students marched in the northwestern Honduran city of San Pedro Sula on Aug. 28 to protest plans to reinstitute compulsory military service. “The current government isn’t legitimate, “ student leaders said, referring to the de facto government put in place by a June 28 military coup, “and we don’t want to waste time; we want to study.” The draft was replaced by voluntary service under former president Roberto Reina (1994-1998), but de facto president Roberto Micheletti’s administration is reportedly seeking to bring it back. Jaime Guifarro, student council president at the Technological Institute of Business Administration (INTAE), said the plan was “a step backwards for Honduras” and would hurt “the poor, not the children of the rich.”

Students from INTAE and other schools, including José Trinidad Reyes, Primero de Mayo and Cristo Rey de Choloma, marched down First Street to the central park beating drums and carrying signs with slogans such as “No to the military coup” and “Now I’m going to teach you to kill and beat the people.” The police did not interfere with the protest. (Honduras Laboral 9/2/09 from Resistencia Morazán; El Tiempo (San Pedro Sula) 8/29/09)

Unionized employees of the National Electric Energy Company (ENEE), the National Aqueduct and Sewer Service (SANAA), the National Telecommunications Company (HONDUTEL) and other state-owned enterprises held a one-day strike on Sept. 3 and participated in protests against the coup regime. According to the strikers, who were occupying their workplaces, the authorities have been laying off longtime workers and contracting new ones to replace them.

Organizers said Sept. 3 was the 68th consecutive day of protests against the coup. For the past several days, coup opponents had been visiting various neighborhoods to build support for the resistance, especially in the poorer areas. People in these neighborhoods tend to oppose the coup, but some have been reluctant to join demonstrations. (Minga Informativa de Movimientos Sociales 9/3/09 from Comunicaciones - Vía Campesina en Honduras)

Correction: Due to an error in one of our sources, we originally wrote that the student march took place on Sept. 1. It was on Aug. 28, and the El Tiempo article we cited should have been dated Aug. 29.

*2. Honduras: “Mixed Signals” on US Aid
On Sept. 3 US secretary of state Hillary Clinton held a meeting in Washington, DC with Honduran president José Manuel Zelaya Rosales, who was removed from office on June 28 in a military coup. Shortly after the meeting, the State Department announced that the US was taking three steps that would send a “very clear message” to the de facto regime: the cancellation of all non-humanitarian aid, the revocation of the visas of members of the de facto government, and a warning that the US would not recognize the results of the scheduled Nov. 29 general elections if they are held under the current conditions.

Also on Sept. 3, Brazil’s Foreign Relations Ministry announced it was suspending its agreements with Honduras on exemptions for diplomatic, official and service visas, along with an August 2004 agreement waiving visa requirements for citizens of Honduras. (La Jornada (Mexico) 9/4/09 from correspondent; Adital 9/3/09)

On Sept. 5 the de facto Honduran foreign ministry announced that in “strict reciprocity” it was suspending visa exemptions for Brazilian citizens wishing to visit Honduras. On the same day de facto defense minister Adolfo Sevilla warned that the US suspension of aid for fighting narco trafficking would affect the US more than it would affect Honduras: “If we don’t have the support of the country that’s the world’s biggest consumer of drugs, more drugs will go to them. We don’t have the funds; therefore, it will definitely be more difficult for them.” (LJ 9/6/09 from AFP, Prensa Latina)

The US aid suspended on Sept. 3 actually only amounts to some $31 million, part of which was informally suspended right after the coup took place. The affected aid includes $9.4 million distributed through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), $8.7 million in funds for security and the military, $1.7 million in funds for security, and $11 million distributed through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (although this suspension has to be approved officially in a meeting of the corporation the week of Sept. 7). Some $70 million in funds designated as “humanitarian assistance” will continue to go to Honduras, since the State Department is still calling Zelaya’s overthrow a “coup” rather than a “military coup”—a classification which would automatically end all aid. In contrast, another major donor, the European Union (EU), has blocked $90 million in aid. The US is also almost the only country that hasn’t withdrawn its ambassador from Honduras.

The State Department’s position has provoked criticism within the US. On Sept. 3 Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA), chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, wrote in the Los Angeles Times that the US should use the “military coup” designation. "This one looks, walks and quacks like a duck,” he said. “It's time to stop hedging and call this bird what it is. And if, for whatever reason, the State Department lawyers do not conclude that this was a [military] coup, Congress should examine other ways by which it can directly affect the flow of aid.” University of California, Santa Cruz historian Dana Frank told the Associated Press wire service that the US government is "sending mixed signals to [de facto president] Micheletti. Why haven't they already frozen all bank accounts and funding? Why are we still at an Air Force base there?" (LJ 9/4/09; Honduras Coup 2009 9/4/09; Reuters 9/3/09; AP 9/2/09)

In what was apparently an effort to distract attention from the impending suspension of US aid, on Sept. 1 the Banco Central de Honduras (BCH) announced that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had assigned Honduras $150.1 million in Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) on Aug. 28 and would assign another $13.8 million in a few days. BCH president Edwin Araque, who was removed from office by the de facto government, told the opposition Radio Globo from Washington on Sept. 2 that this was just an “accounting trick.” Araque said the IMF had set aside a special anti-crisis fund for members on Apr. 2, to be made available at the end of August, but that since it hadn’t recognized the coup regime, the current managers of the BCH couldn’t draw down the funds. On Sept. 4 IMF spokesperson Bill Murray indicated to the Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) that this was correct. "[Y]ou should go with what you were told" by the constitutional government of Honduras, he said. (Reuters 9/1/09; Prensa Latina 9/2/09; Upside Down World 9/4/09 from CEPR)

The IMF agreed in April to issue its member countries a total of $250 billion in SDRs to counteract the effects of the world economic crisis. Nicaragua reported receiving $151 million in SDRs on Aug. 28; Mexico was expected to receive most of an assignment of $4 billion in SDRs on the same day, with more coming in September. (Reuters 8/28/09)

*3. Guatemala: Residents Dispute Goldcorp Charges
The Canadian mining company Goldcorp Inc is continuing to press charges against five indigenous Mam in connection with a June 12 incident in which a pickup truck and an exploration drill rig were set on fire at the Marlin gold mine in San Miguel Ixtahuacán municipality in the western Guatemalan department of San Marcos [see Update #994]. An arraignment was scheduled for the San Marcos courts in the city of San Marcos on Sept. 7. According to the Canadian-based Rights Action organization, 98% of crimes go unpunished in Guatemala.

Goldcorp’s Guatemalan subsidiary, Montana Exploradora de Guatemala, SA, says that residents of the Saqmuj community, part of the villages of Agel and San José Nueva Esperanza in San Miguel Ixtahuacán, were armed with rocks, sticks and pistols during a dispute on June 11 over the presence of the equipment in Saqmuj, and that they burned the equipment the next day. The company also accuses the parish priest, Father Erik Gruloos, of leading the armed residents, and insists that it had bought the land where the equipment was placed.

Saqmuj residents deny that they had pistols. They say that after a discussion on June 11, Montana’s general manager, Marco Meneses signed a note agreeing to return for negotiations at 9 am the next morning. When Meneses didn’t show up on June 12, the residents became upset, and unidentified people started the fires around noon. The residents also claim that Montana’s purchase of the land from some community members was illegal, because sales that affect the entire community have to be approved by the entire community. (Rights Action alert 9/3/09)

On Aug. 14 Goldcorp announced that the Marlin mine in Guatemala had become the first mining operation in Central America to be fully certified under the International Cyanide Management Code for the Manufacture, Transport and Use of Cyanide in the Production of Gold ("the Cyanide Code"), a voluntary industry program developed under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Program. "Marlin's certification highlights Goldcorp's ongoing commitment to maintaining the highest possible standards of environmental stewardship," said Goldcorp president and CEO Chuck Jeannes. (Goldcorp press release 8/14/09; Prensa Gráfica (El Salvador) 8/14/09)

*4. Ecuador: New Delay in Chevron Amazon Suit?
On Sept. 4 Ecuadorian judge Juan Evangelista Núñez recused himself from presiding over a $27 billion lawsuit brought by indigenous Ecuadorians against the US-based Chevron Corporation for environmental damage by the Texaco oil company, which Chevron acquired in 2001. Núñez’s decision came as several branches of the Ecuadorian government announced investigations stemming from videos Chevron released on Aug. 31. The company claims the videos show the judge meeting with parties to the suit and saying that he had already made up his mind to rule against Chevron. The company also claims the videos contained evidence that bribes were discussed.

Núñez, who denied committing any errors, said that he would have made a decision around the end of the year and that his recusal will mean further delays for the 16-year-old case, which is being tried in Nueva Loja (Lago Agrio), capital of the northeastern province of Sucumbíos. (Reuters 9/4/09)

A Chevron spokesperson said on Sept. 1 that the company wouldn’t pay the damages if it lost the suit. "It is a judicial farce," Charles James, Chevron's executive vice president, told the Associated Press wire service. "When you have government complicity with the plaintiffs, a weak legal system and a rush to judgment against you, the only thing you do in these circumstances is fight the enforcement." (AP 9/1/09)

A group of indigenous people from the Amazon region brought a $1 billion suit against Texaco on Nov. 3, 1993 in US federal court in New York, charging that the transnational had caused serious harm to the environment and to 30,000 local people by using obsolete technology in drilling operations from 1964 to 1990 involving 356 oil wells over a territory of 1 million hectares [see Updates #632, 719]. The case was moved to Ecuador in 2003, and in 2007 the amount of the damages was raised to $27 billion, based on an expert’s report to the Nueva Loja Superior Court. (El Comercio (Quito) 9/6/09)

Han Shan, a coordinator with the US-based environmental group Amazon Watch, wrote on Sept. 3 that the videos don’t actually support the claims in Chevron’s press releases. “In fact, the whole episode raises more troubling questions about Chevron than about the judge or Ecuador's judicial process,” he concluded. Shan also noted that Chevron’s "media blitz" came just before the release of a feature documentary on the lawsuit, “Crude,” which is to premiere in New York City on Sept. 9. (Huffington Post 9/3/09)

*5. Links to alternative sources on: Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, Haiti

Iran approves defense minister wanted in Buenos Aires terror blast

Who’s Who in the Bolivian Presidential Elections: Anyone New Opposing Morales?

Evo demands Peru yank asylum status for wanted Bolivian ex-ministers

Peru: VRAE populace rejects "combat zone"

Peru: indigenous leaders reject Hunt Oil concession in rainforest

Peru: "truth commission" on Amazon massacre established

US military bases for Peru?

Peru: narco-senderistas down helicopter

Peru: bus travel reveals stark class divisions

Peru: indigenous leaders go to court to block Amazon oil concession

Chevron Accused of Nixon-style Dirty Tricks Operation In Ecuador

Spying Scandal Highlights the Use of Colombia's Women as Weapons of War

Colombia: hip-hop artist assassinated

Colombia: At Least 12 Indigenous Awa Massacred in Narino

Neoliberalism Needs Death Squads in Colombia

US to make case for Colombian bases before UNASUR

UNASUR Pushes Forward with Continental Integration as Leaders Express Unease over Colombia-US [military agreement]

Venezuelan “Peace Bases” to Counter U.S. Military Buildup in Colombia with Binational Reconciliation

Moving Beyond Representation: Participatory Democracy and Communal Councils in Venezuela

French film-maker who covered Mara gangs killed in El Salvador

Honduran coup has been far from bloodless

IMF bails out Honduras Coup Regime with $150 million

IMF bailing out Honduras?

IMF May Withhold $164 Million Allocated to Honduras

Honduras' Historic Two Months

Guatemala: ecologist assassinated at Lake Izabal

Guatemala: A Traditional Community Fights for Its Land

Resurrecting the "Guatemalan Dream"

Mexico: massacre in Juárez, assassination in Michoacán

Remembering a Champion of the Poor in Haiti

For more Latin America news stories from mainstream and alternative sources:

For immigration updates and events:


Your support is appreciated. Back issues and source materials are available on request. Update subscribers also receive, as a supplement, our own weekly Immigration News Briefs.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

WNU #1002: Honduran Economy Could “Quickly Buckle”

Weekly News Update on the Americas
Issue #1002, August 30, 2009

1. Honduras: Economy Could “Quickly Buckle”
2. Honduras: Business Sector Gets Nervous
3. Honduras: Resistance Debates Next Steps

4. Links to alternative sources on: Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Honduras, Mexico, Environment, US

ISSN#: 1084‑922X. Weekly News Update on the Americas covers news from Latin America and the Caribbean, compiled and written from a progressive perspective. It has been published weekly by the Nicaragua Solidarity Network of Greater New York since 1990. For a subscription, write to weeklynewsupdate@gmail.com . It is archived at http://weeklynewsupdate.blogspot.com/

*1. Honduras: Economy Could “Quickly Buckle”
The Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE) announced on Aug. 26 that it was freezing credits to Honduras as a result of a coup that removed Honduran president José Manuel Zelaya Rosales from power two months earlier, on June 28. The move is provisional, since the banks' governors are still considering whether to join the many multilateral agencies and foreign governments that have suspended financing for aid projects until Zelaya is returned to office. The BCIE has provided about $971 million in financing for Honduras over the last five years. (Associated Press 8/27/09)

The Honduran economy, with an annual gross domestic product (GDP) of about $14.1 billion, was already shrinking before the coup. According to the Banco Central de Honduras (BCH), economic activity declined by 3% during the first six months of the year as a result of the world recession; the economy had grown by 3.5% during the same period in 2008. Exports dropped 13% from the first six months of 2008, to $1.37 billion, while remittances from Hondurans living abroad fell by 10%, to $1.19 billion. The recession especially affected the maquiladora sector—the tax-exempt plants that assemble products chiefly for export, employing about 140,000 people out of a population of 7.6 million. Textile and apparel production, the main activity in the maquilas, fell by 17.9% compared to the same period last year.

The decline in international aid and commerce after the coup--combined with investor uncertainty and strikes against the de facto government by the labor movement—has added to the country’s economic problems. As of Aug. 28, the BCH reported that liquid reserves of international currency were at $2.064 billion, reportedly down by about $400 million since the coup. Alcides Hernández, director of the economics program at the National Autonomous University (UNAH) in Tegucigalpa, told the Bloomberg news services that the political crisis was probably costing the country about $20 million a day in lost trade, aid, tourism and investment.

Edwin Araque, the president of the BCH in Zelaya’s government, told the Tegucigalpa daily La Tribuna, which supported the coup, that the economic problems are created by Honduras’ isolation from the international community. “This won’t be resolved with economic policies,” he said. “It will be resolved with a political solution.” Araque was removed from office by the administration of de facto president Roberto Micheletti; he was one of five officials from Zelaya’s government that a Honduran court charged with corruption on Aug. 12. But the BCH president appointed by the de facto regime, Sandra Midence, largely agreed with Araque. “If this political situation keeps up into next year, we’ll have problems,” she told the Bloomberg news service. “It’s intensifying the economic crisis.”

“I don’t know how long the Micheletti government can resist international pressure,” UNAH economist Hernández said. “If they start blocking trade too, a country as poor as ours would quickly buckle.” (Bloomberg 8/7/09; La Tribuna 8/20/09; La Prensa (Honduras) 8/13/09, 8/27/09; Honduras Coup 2009 blog 8/28/09)

*2. Honduras: Business Sector Gets Nervous
On Aug. 25 the US State Department announced that it had temporarily stopped issuing visas to Hondurans in an effort to pressure the de facto Honduran government to allow President Zelaya’s return to office; there will be exceptions for emergencies and for people who are immigrating to the US. On Aug. 26 US deputy assistant secretary for Andean, Brazilian and Southern Cone affairs Christopher McMullen indicated that the US might apply additional sanctions. More than half of Honduras’ trade is with the US.

Honduran business leaders, who generally backed the coup, started worrying about economic damage from the political crisis as early as July 5 [see Update #997]. The visa suspension has increased their concern. “This visa thing has a very big negative effect, especially because it affects the purchase of raw materials, which are necessary for the production processes of small and medium industry,” Enrique Núñez, president of the National Association of the Medium and Small Industry of Honduras (ANMPIH), told the Agence France Presse news service. He called for a political solution to the crisis.

There are fears that that the US may even suspend Honduras’ participation in the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA), which especially benefits the maquiladora sector. Jorge Canahuati Larach, a major figure in the industry, told AFP: "The best thing for the country is for us to find a middle point between the two positions” of the coup supporters and the coup opponents.

Adolfo Facussé, president of the National Association of Industries of Honduras (ANDI), dismissed the threat of a suspension of DR-CAFTA. "[W]e’re ready to resist,” he said, “because it’s better to eat tortillas and beans for year than to return to the situation we were in before, under the influence of Mr. Chávez”—Venezuela’s leftist president Hugo Chávez FrÍas, an ally of Zelaya. But an Aug. 27 editorial in El Tiempo—a major daily based in San Pedro Sula, the center of maquiladora production in the country—took the threat of further US sanctions very seriously, warning Micheletti that “it’s not possible that the entire world could be wrong, including the great majority of Hondurans, and that only a sector of the economic and political elite, allied with the military command, is the arbiter of what’s right.” (AFP 8/27/09; El Tiempo 8/27/09)

El Tiempo’s owner, Jaime Rosenthal Oliva, is himself a member of the “economic and political elite” and a good example of the interconnections between politics, business and the media in Honduras. One of the country’s richest people, Rosenthal has fought to keep unions out of his maquiladoras, and his Promotur tourism company has been accused of trying to seize land belonging to communities of the Garífuna ethnic group. He is a powerful politician in the Liberal Party (PL), and his son, Yani Rosenthal Hidalgo, was presidency minister under President Zelaya in 2007. [See Updates #485, 491, 531, 858.]

In addition to his maquiladora connection, Jorge Canahuati is the majority owner of two of Honduras’ largest newspapers, La Prensa and El Heraldo. Also in the Canahuati family are Honduran Maquiladora Association head Jesús Canahuati and his brother Mario Canahuati, a former ambassador to the US who ran for vice president in 2005 for the National Party (PN). (NACLA Report on the Americas January-February 2009; NACLA website 8/3/09) ANDI president Adoflo Facussé is a cousin of former president Carlos Flores Facussé (1998-2002), owner of La Tribuna, another of the country’s main newspapers. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution 8/6/09 from AP)

*3. Honduras: Resistance Debates Next Steps
Before the June 28 coup, some in the Honduran left and grassroots movements had looked to the scheduled Nov. 29 general elections as a chance to break the monopoly on power held for decades by the Liberal Party (PL) and National Party (PN). Currently the two parties control 95% of electoral posts and government positions; of the 15 Supreme Court justices, eight are from the PL and seven from the PN. But the social movement was divided: union leader Carlos Humberto Reyes was registered as independent presidential candidate, while legislative deputy César Ham was running as the candidate of the small leftist Democratic Unification (UD) party.

Now the opposition also has to confront the possibility that the elections will be held under the de facto government, which is considered illegitimate by both the international community and the domestic opposition. But the UD has been strengthened by the defection of some politicians from the PL—both the PL and the PN supported the coup, even though Zelaya was a PL member. A number of former PL politicians are now registered as UD candidates for legislative or municipal positions, and UD leaders are hopeful that the party could win a strong representation in the National Congress. “We have to participate,” Ham has said. “Otherwise what will happen to us is what happened to the reactionary right wing in Venezuela, which didn’t run in the elections…and left Hugo Chávez alone in the National Assembly.”

But Juan Almendares, former rector of the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH), says “the two traditional parties are the masters of the electoral machinery… It is difficult for the left to win, even if international observers come.” According to Almendares, both parties have a history of fraud and Zelaya’s narrow win over PN candidate Porfirio Pepe Lobo in 2005 may have been fraudulent, since at that time the business community and the US embassy preferred Zelaya.

Much of the grassroots movement is threatening to boycott the election. On Aug. 28 the National Front Against the Coup d’Etat in Honduras (FNGE), the main grassroots coalition, announced that it wouldn’t recognize the campaign or the elections “if the constitutional order is not restored” and called on the UD and independent candidates to declare their positions on this. But Carlos Eduardo Reina, a PL leader close to Zelaya, noted that an electoral is boycott is difficult to manage. “Not even the [leftist rebel] Farabundo Martí Front for National Liberation [FMLN], armed in the mountains, was able to carry out a boycott of elections” during El Salvador’s civil war of the 1980s, he said. (La Jornada (Mexico) 8/29/09; FNGE statement 8/28/09)

*4. Links to alternative sources on: Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Honduras, Mexico, Environment, US

"Buddies" Ease Transgenders' Hospital Visits in Argentina

Change on the Pampas: Industrialized Farming Comes to Argentina

Consequences of the "Chilean Miracle": The Salmon Farms and the Privatization of the Sea

Bolivia: Morales Leads Still Undefined Bolivian Presidential Race

Bolivia: Too Many Obligations, Too Few Rights for Aymara Women

What is Behind the Bolivia-Islam Connection?

Peru's García accuses Bolivia of secret pact with Chile in maritime dispute

Peru: Amazon natives issue ultimatum to mining company

Peru: village revolts against copper company

Peru: controversy over "dirty war" truth commission

Peru: "narco-sendero" attack leaves six dead

Montesinos gets ten years on rights abuses

Peru demands Interpol arrest exiled indigenous leaders

Peru: demands grow for Amazon massacre truth commission

Arequipa, Peru: peasant cooperatives march for land and water

Colombia: Awá indigenous people massacred —again

South America: U.S. Military Bases in Colombia and the Dispute over Resources

Honduran resistance goes it alone

Toppling a Coup, Part VI: Electoral, Armed, or Something Else

The Learning Curve of the Teachers vs. the Honduras Coup

Coup Catalyzes Honduran Women's Movement

Honduran Constitutional Assembly Would Be a Step Toward the Emancipation of Women

U.S. Continues to Provide Honduran Regime With Millennium Challenge Corporation Aid Money

Honduran Crisis Necessitates New Sanctions

Spain Steps Down: Universal Jurisdiction and the Guatemalan Genocide Cases

Troubled Waters in the Mexico-Canada Relationship

CIP Americas Program Criticizes State Department Report on Human Rights Under the Merida Initiative

Biodiversity Report from Americas Program of CIP—August 2009

US Escalates War Build-Up Against Latin American Revolution

Reclaiming a Continent: Latin American Experiments in Democracy

For more Latin America news stories from mainstream andalternative sources:
http://americas.irc-online.org/ http://nacla.org/articles

For immigration updates and events:


Your support is appreciated. Back issues and source materials are available on request. Update subscribers also receive, as a supplement, our own weekly Immigration News Briefs.

Order The Politics of Immigration: Questions & Answers, from Monthly Review Press, by Update editors Jane Guskin and David Wilson: