Friday, May 30, 2014

Panels on the Americas at Left Forum in New York City, May 31-June 1, 2014

If you are able to attend the Left Forum conference in New York City this weekend, you might be interested in these panels dealing with Latin America and the Caribbean or related subjects.

For more information on the Left Forum and for schedule updates:

Weekly News Update editor David L. Wilson will be speaking at "The Global Minimum Wage Struggle"  panel on June 1:


10:00 p.m. – 11:50 p.m.

Bringing the Right Back In: How the Right has Responded to Latin America's Left TurnSession 1 1.123 Sat 10:00am - 11:50am

Gabriel Hetland, Chair -- UC Berkeley Sociology
Gregory Wilpert -- Telesur
Angela Marino -- UC Berkeley Dept of Theatre Dance and Performance Studies
Carlos Salamanca -- Polo Democratico Alternativo
Roberto Lovato -- Writer, New American Media

Domestic Workers, Mothers and Other Caregivers – Organizing for Welfare and a Living Wage
Session 1 1.109 Sat 10:00am - 11:50am

Selma James, Chair -- Global Women's Strike
Pat Albright -- Every Mother is a Working Mother Network (Philadelphia, PA)
Monica Peabody -- Parents Organizing for Welfare and Economic Rights (POWER) Olympia, WA
Pat Gowens -- Welfare Warriors and MaGoD (Mothers and Grandmothers of Disappeared Children) Milwaukee, WI
Leddy Mozombite -- Peru Domestic Workers Organization

Capitalism, Immigration and Immigrant/Migrant Justice Struggles
Session 1 1.81 Sat 10:00am - 11:50am
Sponsored by: International Socialist Review

Sarah Pomar-Flores, Chair -- International Socialist Organization
Donald Anthonyson -- Families For Freedom
Denise Romero-Franco -- Raza Youth Collective

12:00 p.m. – 1:50 p.m.

Challenging GMOs: Toward a More Transformative Movement
Session 2 1.92 Sat 12:00pm - 01:50pm
Sponsored by: Review of Radical Political Economics, Capitalism Nature Socialism

Brian Tokar Chair -- Institute for Social Ecology/University of Vermont
Andrea Brower -- University of Auckland
Amalia Leguizamón -- CUNY Graduate Center
Chaia Heller -- Institute for Social Ecology
Les Levidow -- Open University, UK

Cuba Today: Capitalist Reform or Safeguarding the Revolution?
Session 2 1.123 Sat 12:00pm - 01:50pm

Arnold August, Chair -- Author ZEDBooks(UK)/Fernwood Publishing(Canada)/Palgrave Macmillan (USA)
Dr. Juana Rosales Garcia -- Senior Researcher, Institute of Philosophy, Havana, Cuba
Dr. Felipe de Jesús Pérez Cruz -- President of the National Union of Cuban Historians (UNHIC) in Havana, Cuba

Venezuela and the Corporate Mass Media: Its National and International Impact
Session 2 1.124 Sat 12:00pm - 01:50pm
Sponsored by: Telesur English,

Gregory Wilpert, Chair -- Telesur English
Eva Golinger
Keane Bhatt
Claudia Salerno -- Venezuelan Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs for North America
Carol Delgado -- Consul General of Venezuela in New York City

Deportations and Citizenship In the Neo-Liberal Era
Session 2 L.76 Sat 12:00pm - 01:50pm

David Brotherton, Chair -- John jayncollege and graduate center cuny
Yolanda Martin -- Bmcc, cuny
Luis Barrios -- John jay college

3:10 p.m. – 4:50 p.m.

Book Launch Celebration: They Can't Represent Us! Reinventing Democracy from Greece to Occupy
Session 3 1.105 Sat 03:10pm - 04:50pm
Sponsored by: Verso Books

Camilo Turi, Chair,
Dario Azzellini -- Johannes Kepler University, Austria
Marina Sitrin

Latin America: Renewed Challenges and Opportunities for the Left
Session 3 1.124 Sat 03:10pm - 04:50pm
Sponsored by: Science & Society and the Union for Radical Political Economics

Julio Huato, Chair -- St. Francis College
George Ciccariello-Maher -- Drexel University
Peter Bohmer -- Evergreen State College

The New Face of Mesoamerican Immigration in New York - Reproducing Indigenous Culture as a Means of Resistance
Session 3 1.81 Sat 03:10pm - 04:50pm

Cynthia Santos, Chair
Oscar Ramirez
Pablo Benson
Juan Carlos Ruiz
Leobardo Ambrosio
Trío de Huapango "Dinastía Veracruzana"
Rogelio Torres

Opposing War and Military and NGO Occupation. Supporting Whistleblowers and Refuseniks
Session 3 8.61 Sat 03:10pm - 04:50pm

Phoebe Jones, Chair
Lori Nairne -- Queer Strike / Chelsea Manning Grand Marshal, Not Court Martial Coalition
Eric Gjertsen -- Payday men's network
Pat Alviso -- Military Families Speak Out
speaker from Haiti Action Committee

5:00 p.m. – 6:50 p.m.

Working in Fear: Deportation and Labor Exploitation in the Obama Age
Session 4 1.81 Sat 05:00pm - 06:50pm
Sponsored by: Dissent Magazine

Michelle Chen, Chair
Denise Brennan -- Georgetown University
Daniel Coates -- Make the Road New York
Abraham Paulos -- Families for Freedom

Human Rights and Freedom of Speech in 15 years of the Socialist Government of Venezuela
Session 4 1.121 Sat 05:00pm - 06:50pm

Gregory Wilpert, Chair -- TeleSur English
Rod Stoneman -- embassy of the bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
Daniel Kovalik -- embassy of the bolivarian Republic of

Post-Chávez Venezuela: New Directions under the Presidency of Nicolás Maduro?
Session 4 1.124 Sat 05:00pm - 06:50pm

Clara Irazabal, Chair -- Columbia University
Steve Ellner -- Universidad de Oriente (Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela)
Dario Azzellini -- Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria
George Ciccariello-Maher -- Drexel University
Naomi Schiller -- Temple University
Arnold August

Protracted People’s War and Contemporary Revolutionary Struggles
Session 4 1.108 Sat 05:00pm - 06:50pm
Sponsored by:

Christian Laureano, Chair -- Liaison Committee for a New Communist Party - NCP(LC)
Fernanda Pardo -- Maosoleum
Carlos Rivera -- Maosoleum
Santiago Avila -- Maosoleum
Karl Riukas -- Maosoleum

Guatemala: Corporate Power, State-Sponsored Violence and the Struggle for Justice
Session 4 1.123 Sat 05:00pm - 06:50pm

Kelsey Alford-Jones, Chair -- Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA
Jennifer Harbury
Amanda Kistler -- Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)

The Legacy of Slavery: Critical Dialogue on CARICOM and Reparatory Justice
Session 4 1.73 Sat 05:00pm - 06:50pm

Gordon Barnes, Chair -- The Graduate Center, CUNY
Rhone Fraser -- Delaware County Community College
Ahmed Reid -- Bronx Community College
Horace Campbell -- Syracuse University

SUNDAY, June 1

10:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.

Colombian Peace Talks: The Flame of Hope Is Back Again!
Session 5 1.124 Sun 10:00am - 11:50am
Sponsored by: Toward Freedom

Juan Carlos Vallejo, Chair -- Director Humanitarian Law Peace and Democracy
Members of the Peace Delegation of the FARC-EP

Drug War Revolution in Latin America: The Road to Legalization of All Drugs
Session 5 1.123 Sun 10:00am - 11:50am
Sponsored by: International Socialist Review

Nurit Mablu, Chair -- International Socialist Organization
Helen Redmond -- International Socialist Organization
Héctor Agredano Rivera -- International Socialist Organization
Gabriel Chaves -- International Socialist Organization

Beyond Borders: The Global Fight against Racism
Session 5 8.67 Sun 10:00am - 11:50am
Sponsored by: Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung—New York Office

Kazembe Balagun, Chair -- Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung—New York Office
Opal Tometi -- Black Alliance for Just Immigration
Miriam Neptune -- Barnard Center for Research on Women
Sunyata Altenor -- Latin American and Caribbean Community Center

Resisting Dispossession and Deportation in Canada
Session 5 1.81 Sun 10:00am - 11:50am
Sponsored by: Red de Solidaridad Zapatista-Canada

Eloy Rivas, Chair -- Carleton University- Department of Sociology
Mostafa Henaway -- Immigrant Workers Centre-Montreal
Noe Arteaga -- Status for All Coalition-Canada
Yavar Hameed -- Human Rights Lawyer
Tings Chak -- No One Is Illegal - Toronto
Samir Shaheen-Hussain -- Health Justice Collective-Canada

12:00 p.m. – 1:50 p.m.

The Global Minimum Wage Struggle
Session 6 1.109 Sun 12:00pm - 01:50pm

Stephanie McMillan, Chair -- Proletarian Alternative
Kiki Makandal -- Batay Ouvriye Solidarity Network, One Struggle NY
David Wilson -- Weekly News Update on the Americas

Brazil's Dance with the Devil: The World Cup, The Olympics and the Fight for Democracy
Session 6 L.76 Sun 12:00pm - 01:50pm

Sponsored by: Haymarket Books
John McDonald -- Chair,
Dave Zirin
Samantha Retrosi -- Former Olympian
Eduardo d'Albergaria

Does the Left Exist?: Global Perspectives - Part 2
Session 6 1.71 Sun 12:00pm - 01:50pm
Sponsored by: Situations: Project of the Radical Imagination

Martin Cortes, Chair -- University of Buenos Aires
Marcus Grätsch -- Interventionist Left, Germany, FelS Berlin, Left Forum, NY
Carlos Frade -- University of Salford
Bruno Bosteels -- Cornell University
Rose Kim -- CUNY

The Dominican Republic: History and Politics since 1959 - Constanza, Maimon, Estero Hondo and Freedom Struggles up to the Present
Session 6 1.124 Sun 12:00pm - 01:50pm

Vita Devyatkin, Chair
Ricardo Deschamps
Wilson Spencer Hernandez

Haiti and Caribbean in Western Imperial Storm
Session 6 1.114 Sun 12:00pm - 01:50pm
Sponsored by: Haiti Liberte Newspaper

Pojanee PJ Fleury, Chair -- Brown Eyes Company
Colia L Clark -- Green Party and Guadeloupe Haiti Tour Committee
Kim Ives Haiti -- Liberte Newspaper
Daniel Rivera -- Green Party
Johanna Fernandez -- Educators for Mumia Abu Jamal
Basiymah Muhammad Bey -- UNIA/ACL Black Cross Nurses Association

3:40 p.m. – 4:40 p.m.

Justice for Victor Jara: An Update and Discussion
Session 7 9.681 Sun 03:40pm - 05:40pm
Sponsored by: Toward Freedom News Journal

Robin Lloyd, Chair -- Toward Freedom News Journal
John Summa -- RiseUpFilming & University of Vermont
Mark Cook -- Journalist
Joyce Horman -- The Charles Horman Truth Foundation
Almudena Bernabeu -- Center for Justice & Accountability

Puerto Rico Update!
Session 7 1.124 Sun 03:40pm - 05:40pm

Digna Sanchez, Chair -- Friends of Puerto Rico Initiative
Olga Sanabria -- COPRONU - Puerto Rico Committee to the United Nations
Andres Torres -- Professor of Economics Lehman College

Reform and/or Revolution: Strategic Challenges for the Mexican Working Class
Session 7 1.123 Sun 03:40pm - 05:40pm
Sponsored by: NACLA Report on the Americas, New Politics, Campaign for Peace and Democracy

Joanne Landy, Chair -- Campaign for Peace and Democracy
Edur Velasco Arregui -- Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Azcapotzalco, Mexico
Richard Roman -- University of Toronto
Dan La Botz -- New Politics, Mexican Labor News and Analysis
Antonio Nadal-- Friends of Puerto Rico Initiative

Nou Pa Dakò: Mobilization against Anti-Haitianism in the Americas, Past and Present
Session 7 1.115 Sun 03:40pm - 05:40pm

Sophia Cantave, Chair -- International Campaign to End Apartheid in the Dominican Republic
Dahoud Andre -- Lakou, New York Radio Program
Miriam Neptune -- HWHR/Independent Filmmaker
Nadja Fatal -- Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees

Migration from a Revolutionary Perspective: Changing the Predominant Narrative
Session 7 1.89 Sun 03:40pm - 05:40pm
Sponsored by: AfrobeatRadio.Com

Opal Tometi, Chair -- Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI)
Janis Rosheuvel -- United Methodist Women & Black Alliance for Just Immigration
Donald Anthonyson -- Families for Freedom (FFF)
Ninaj Raoul -- Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees (HWHR)
Aly Wane -- Syracuse Peace Council & Central New York Worker's Center

Monday, May 26, 2014

WNU #1221: Latin American Protesters Target Monsanto, Chevron

Issue #1221, May 25, 2014

1. Latin America: Protesters Target Monsanto, Chevron
2. Honduras: OAS Agency Orders Protection for Campesinos
3. Mexico: Capitals Residents Fight Water Project
4. Dominican Republic: Will New Law Settle Citizenship Conflict?
5. Links to alternative sources on: Latin America, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, Caribbean, US/policy

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. It is archived at For a subscription, write to Follow us on Twitter at

Note: There will be links but no Update on June 1, 2014. Publication will resume the following week.

*1. Latin America: Protesters Target Monsanto, Chevron
Latin American activists joined thousands of environmentalists and farmers around the world in an international protest May 24 against genetically modified (GM) crops and Monsanto, the Missouri-based multinational that dominates the transgenic seed industry. This was the third March Against Monsanto since May 25 last year [see Update #1195], and organizers expected the day of action to include protests in some 351 cities in 52 countries.

In Chile, where a farmer won more than $65,000 in December 2013 by challenging the contracting methods of Monsanto’s local affiliate [see Update #1207], organizations including Chile Without Transgenics and I Don’t Want Transgenics (YNQT) sponsored protests in eight cities.

Mexicans held a total of 13 different protests. In the southeastern state of Chiapas, Without Corn There Is No Country and other groups organized an informational event in front of the cathedral in San Cristóbal de las Casas to raise awareness about the consequences of GM crops, while about 60 protesters marched in Santiago de Querétaro, the capital of the central state of Querétaro. Rubén Albarrán, of the band Café Tacvba, joined the painter and environmentalist Francisco Toledo to protest in the southern state of Oaxaca, and hundreds marched in Mexico City chanting: “We want beans; we want corn; we want Monsanto out of the country!” GM planting is limited in Mexico, but researchers say that even the current level of sowing has contaminated some of the many varieties of native corn; the plant was first cultivated in Mexico.

In Puerto Rico activists marched from San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Rivera Park to the Capitol. Monsanto doesn’t sell GM seeds on the island, but along with other multinationals like Pioneer and Syngenta it uses large tracts of farmland for experiments, according to Jesús Vázquez Negrón, the spokesperson for the Nothing Saintly About Monsanto collective. Activists claim Monsanto uses more land than it is entitled to under Puerto Rican law [see Update #1181]. (Aporrea (Venezuela) 5/24/14 from TeleSUR and unidentified wire services; Primera Hora (Puerto Rico) 5/24/14; La Jornada (Mexico) 5/25/14, 5/25/14)

Three days earlier, on May 21, activists held a similar international action against another multinational, the California-based Chevron Corporation. With protests in 13 countries-- Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Nigeria, Romania, Spain, Switzerland and the US—International #AntiChevron Day targeted the petroleum giant for damage to the environment and to people living near the company’s operations. (Adital (Brazil) 5/20/14; TeleSUR 5/21/14)

Latin American activists focused on Chevron’s refusal to settle a $19 billion judgment (later reduced to $9.5 billion) by a court in Ecuador in favor of indigenous people there whose territory was damaged by oil exploitation that the Texaco Company carried out from the 1960s to the 1990s, before its merger with Chevron in 2001. On Mar. 4 this year a New York court ruled that the plaintiffs and their lawyers obtained the Ecuadorian judgment through fraud and that the company could ignore it [see World War 4 Report 3/22/14]. Chevron insists that Texaco cleaned up the damage in the 1990s and that all existing problems are the fault of Ecuador’s own state-owned oil company, Empresa Estatal Petróleos del Ecuador (EP Petroecuador). Ecuador’s government responded the week of May 19 by releasing the results of 2013 tests by the US-based Louis Berger Group indicating that Chevron is in fact responsible for the ongoing pollution. (Reuters 5/22/14)

While Ecuador’s center-left government supports the demand that Chevron settle the judgment, similar governments in the region continue to do business with the multinational. In April Chevron joined with Argentina’s state-owned oil company, Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales (YPF), to announce plans for an additional $1.6 billion investment for hydrofracking at the Vaca Muerta shale deposit in the southwestern province of Neuquén [see Update #1191]. “The shale play in Argentina is unique because of the rock,” Chevron spokesperson Kent Robertson told the Reuters wire service on May 22. “Argentina has kind of won the geological lottery.” (Reuters 5/22/14)

Meanwhile, as of May 24 Venezuelan oil minister Rafael Ramírez had signed an agreement with Ali Moshiri, Chevron’s head of Latin America and Africa operations, for the multinational to provide a $2 billion low-interest loan to the state-owned oil giant Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) to help increase oil output at the two companies’ Petroboscan oil joint venture. “We will continue to collaborate and cooperate with PDVSA because we believe the resources that are here in Venezuela are significant enough that we will be able to increase production not just in our current project but also in future projects,” Moshiri said, according to the Wall Street Journal. (Latin Post (New York) 5/24/14)

*2. Honduras: OAS Agency Orders Protection for Campesinos
On May 8 the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR, or CIDH in Spanish), the human rights agency of the Organization of American States (OAS), ordered a series of protective measures for 123 leaders of campesino movements struggling for land in the Lower Aguán River Valley in northern Honduras. The campesino organizations filed a request for the protection orders last October with the assistance of the North American nonprofit Rights Action, which reported that as of July 2013 a total of 104 campesinos had been killed since 2009 in ongoing disputes with large landowners in the region [see Update #1204]. In March of this year the CIDH asked the Honduran government for information on what steps it was taking to end the bloodshed; the government reportedly failed to respond. (Adital (Brazil) 5/23/14)

The Honduran government came in for further criticism in the CIDH’s annual country report, released in April. Despite some improvements in legislation, the CIDH found that as of the end of 2013 “a legislative framework persists which in practice creates situations of human rights violations, particularly for transsexual persons.” Transsexuals, especially women, are at risk of abuse and arbitrary arrests by the police, regardless of whether they are engaged in sex work, according to the CIDH. The report also cited evidence from Honduran organizations of 112 violent deaths in the LGBT community from June 2008 to July 2013. (Proceso Digital (Honduras) 5/17/14)

The CIDH has referred another issue to a related OAS agency, the Costa Rica-based Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CorteIDH). This is a legal case concerning the village of Triunfo de la Cruz near Tela in the northern department of Atlántida. The inhabitants are members of the Garífuna ethnicity, a group descended from Africans and from Arawak and Carib indigenous peoples. They say the government has refused to grant them land titles even though the village is on their ancestral land. The court heard testimony on May 20 from the government, the CIDH and Garífuna representatives, including village resident Angel Castro, who charged that a large part of his land had been sold off illegally. The parties to the dispute have one month to present written summations. (La Prensa (San Pedro Sula) 5/20/14 from EFE)

*3. Mexico: Capitals Residents Fight Water Project
Dozens of Mexican civilians and police were injured on May 21 in a violent confrontation over water resources in the centuries-old village of San Bartolo Ameyalco, now part of Alvaro Obregón delegación (borough) in the Federal District (DF, Mexico City). Over the past year a group of village residents has fought against a plan that the Alvaro Obregón government announced in April 2013 to run pipes off the natural spring now supplying water to San Bartolo Ameyalco. When workers arrived, with a police escort, in the morning of May 21 to lay down pipes for the project, residents armed with clubs, rocks and Molotov bombs attempted to block the construction. The protesters set up flaming barricades and detained at least two police agents, while the police arrested nine protesters, according to villagers. By the end of the day the village was without electricity and was surrounded by some 2,000 DF police agents, who ensured that the construction could proceed. About 50 police agents and 50 to 70 residents were reportedly injured.

According to delegación head Leonel Luna, the project’s goal is to use the spring to supply potable water to 20,000 area residents--without affecting access to water by the San Bartolo Ameyalco community. DF head of government Miguel Angel Mancera Espinosa, of the center-left Party of the Democratic Revolution (DF), claimed on May 22 that he’d received reports blaming the protests on water vendors concerned that the increased supply of water would cut into their sales. DF security secretary Jesús Rodríguez Almeida charged that the attacks on police agents constituted what he called “citizen brutality.”

Residents insisted that Leonel Luna’s plan is not to supply water to nearby neighborhoods but to divert the water to the Centro Santa Fe, a huge shopping mall about five miles away. Hundreds of villagers gathered in an assembly in San Bartolo Ameyalco’s main plaza on May 22 and announced that they would prevent the new pipe system from going into operation. They said they no longer recognized Luna as their representative; their only authority from now on would be the village assembly, they decided, and political parties would not be allowed to intervene. (Revolution News 5/21/14; La Jornada (Mexico) 5/22/14, 5/22/14, 5/23/14)

In other news, the body of Ramón Corrales Vega, a former official of a local ejido (communal farm) was found in Choix municipality in the northwestern state of Sinaloa, the night of May 22-23; he was apparently shot by men armed with AK-47 and AR-15 assault rifles. Corrales Vega was a leader in protests against iron mining by Paradox Global Resources S.A. de C.V., the Mexican subsidiary of the Chinese Rizhao Xingye Import and Export Co industrial conglomerate. Some 50 protesters kept workers and equipment from entering the Paradox mine for 15 days in August and September 2013 to press a demand that the company pay $5 million that the activists said it had promised the ejido. State police arrested 30 of the protesters, and 17 are still in custody. Corrales Vega had apparently been in hiding to avoid arrest for his role in the protest. (LJ 5/25/14)

*4. Dominican Republic: Will New Law Settle Citizenship Conflict?
A new naturalization law went into effect in the Dominican Republic on May 23 when it was officially promulgated by President Danilo Medina. The law seeks to regularize the status of thousands of Dominicans, mostly Haitian descendants, affected by Decision 168-13, a ruling by the Constitutional Tribunal (TC) last September declaring that no one born to undocumented immigrant parents since 1929 was a citizen. The new law--which President Medina had promised to introduce to Congress on Feb. 27 [see Update #1213]—was approved quickly once he finally presented it in May. The Chamber of Deputies passed the bill on May 16, and the Senate voted 26-0 on May 21 to approve it.

Under the new law, people born in the Dominican Republic to foreign parents between 1929 and 2007 will become citizens if they are listed on the electoral board’s civil registry and can present certain documents. People who cannot present the documents will have 90 days to register for regular immigration status if they can produce proof that they were born in the Dominican Republic; after two years as resident immigrants, they will be able to apply for citizenship. The government says only about 24,000 people were affected by Decision 168-13, including 13,000 Haitian descendants; human rights groups put the number affected at 200,000 and say almost all are Haitian descendants. (Associated Press 5/21/14 via New York Times; El Nuevo Herald (Miami) 5/23/14 from EFE)

Haitian immigrant rights activists were critical of the measure. “The law gives you something,” Jean Baptiste Azolin, the coordinator of the Support Group for the Repatriated and Refugees (GARR), said on May 20, while the bill was still awaiting approval, but the measure “complicates the situation” for the Dominicans who aren’t in the civil registry and lack the required documents. The 90-day limit is too narrow to produce documents, according to Azolin. “Does the Dominican government have the capacity for receiving all these people in that period of time?” he asked. “Can the Haitian government produce papers by the deadlines?” Jean Robert Argand, the director of another Haitian rights group, the Dec. 4 Collective, said the measure “only mitigates certain effects. The problem can come up again at any moment.” (AlterPresse (Haiti) 5/20/14)

*5. Links to alternative sources on: Latin America, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, Caribbean, US/policy

Canadian Mining in Latin America Doing Serious Environmental Harm (Latin America)

South America: How ‘Anti-Extractivism’ Misses the Forest for the Trees

Bolivia’s Mother Earth Law Hard to Implement

Bolivia’s Conamaq Indigenous Movement: “We will not sell ourselves to any government or political party”

Phosphates Mining Rocks the Boats in Northern Peru

Chevron in Ecuador Representative of Multinationals' Continuing Abuse of Indigenous Peoples

Terrorism in Venezuela and Its Accomplices

"Here the People Govern": Autonomy and Resistance in San Francisco Opalaca, Honduras

Guatemala: Violent Eviction of the La Puya Peaceful Mining Resistance

Social Conflicts Escalate around Hydroelectric Projects in Guatemala

Guatemala's New 'Right-wing' Attorney General Raises Questions and Fears

After an assassination, the world stands in solidarity with the Zapatistas (Mexico)

Mexico: more narco-mineral exports seized

Mexico and Monsanto: Taking Precaution in the Face of Genetic Contamination

Pay Rumble at Border Big Rig Plant (Mexico)

The Creeping Decriminalization of Marijuana in the Caribbean

Remember When Venezuela and Bolivia Kicked the U.S. DEA Out of Their Countries, Accusing It of Espionage? Looks Like They Were Right... (US/policy)

Nobel Peace Laureates to Human Rights Watch: Close Your Revolving Door to U.S. Government (US/policy)

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. Feel free to reproduce these updates, or reprint or re-post any information from them, but please credit us as “Weekly News Update on the Americas” and include a link.

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

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

WNU #1220: Argentine Protesters Fast for City Services

Issue #1220, May 18, 2014

1. Argentina: “Villa” Residents Fast for City Services
2. Mexico: 6 Arrested in Killing of EZLN Backer
3. Mexico: Migrants March for Safe Passage
4. Links to alternative sources on: Latin America, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, US/immigration

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. It is archived at For a subscription, write to Follow us on Twitter at

*1. Argentina: “Villa” Residents Fast for City Services
As of May 18 a group of Argentine activists were continuing an encampment they had set up on Apr. 21 at the Obelisk in Buenos Aires’ Plaza de la República to push their demands for improved services in the city’s 17 marginal communities, known in Argentina as “villas.” The action’s sponsor, the leftist Independent Villa Residents’ Current, was calling on the government of rightwing Buenos Aires mayor Mauricio Macri to declare a housing, health and educational emergency in the impoverished communities; to formalize their status as urban areas; to carry out audits of the cooperatives and businesses that work in the neighborhoods; and to regularize rents and housing subsidies. A statement by the group denounced what it called “the model of two cities that Macri proposes, where the rich city excludes the poor one…while officials of the city government don’t hide their intention to fill their pockets.” Leftist groups have confronted the Macri government in the past over plans that they say favor real estate interests over the needs of the majority of city residents [see Update #1174].

The action at the Obelisk began with a hunger strike which was still in effect on May 5. The activists’ outreach efforts have included setting up 100 informational tables at street corners throughout the city, with the support of other leftist groups, in a May 10 day of action to explain the purpose of the encampment; Julián Bokser, one of the organizers, called the response “very positive.” On May 3 and May 17 the group organized hundreds of volunteers to carry out repairs and other maintenance work in various villas, highlighting the city’s government’s failure to provide these services. Adrián Lutvak, the president of a major student organization, the Buenos Aires University Federation (Fuba), visited the encampment on May 14 to express his solidarity; other political and social figures, including human rights activist and 1980 Nobel peace prize winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, have also visited. The protesters said they have already achieved one of their objectives by drawing the attention of the media and the capital’s population to the crisis in the communities. (Página 12 (Buenos Aires) 4/21/14; Adital (Brazil) 5/5/14; El Comercial (Argentina) 5/10/14 from Télam, 5/17/14 from Télam)

In other news, Pedro Simón, a prosecutor in the northern province of Santiago del Estero, has filed a charge of “inciting to collective violence” against Juan Pablo Suárez, the director of the regional newspaper Ultima Hora. The charge, which could result in 12 years in prison for Suárez, stems from the paper’s coverage of a demonstration last December by rank-and-file police agents in which a protest leader, Nelson Villagrán, was brutalized by police commanders. Suárez was arrested on Dec. 9 and held for 10 days; he was released after international media rights groups protested. But the prosecutor has now upped the charges to include “terrorizing the population” under a change made to the penal code’s Article 3 in 2011. This is the first time a prosecutor has tried to apply the “terrorism” charge to newspaper coverage. (Thomson Reuters Foundation 5/14/14 from Reporters Without Borders; Adital 5/15/14)

*2. Mexico: 6 Arrested in Killing of EZLN Backer
State police arrested six indigenous Mexicans on May 17 in connection with the killing on May 2 of an activist in La Realidad, a village in the official municipality of Las Margaritas in the southeastern state of Chiapas [see Update #1219]. La Realidad is one of a number of indigenous communities that supporters of the rebel Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) have considered autonomous municipalities since December 1994. The victim, José Luis Solís López (“Galeano”), taught at a “little school” (escuelita) that since last year has provided international activists with an introduction to the Zapatistas’ experiment with autonomous communities. Another 15 EZLN supporters were wounded in the May 2 violence, and a school and a clinic were destroyed.

The EZLN charges that its unarmed supporters were ambushed by members of the “Historic” faction of the Independent Central of Agrarian Workers and Campesinos (CIOAC) and supporters of the center-right National Action Party (PAN) and the small centrist Ecological Green Party of Mexico (PVEM). The attackers were “paramilitaries directed by Mexico’s institutional and governmental parties,” according to the EZLN. One of the six men arrested on May 17 is Carmelino Rodríguez Jiménez, described in press reports as a CIOAC spokesperson and the La Realidad municipal agent--presumably the agent at La Realidad for the official municipality, Las Margaritas. The Chiapas state government is headed by a member of the PVEM, Gov. Manuel Velasco Coello. The party is widely viewed as a front for the powerful centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), and Velasco is the only PVEM member ever elected to govern a Mexican state. At a May 14 press conference, CIOAC general secretary Federico Ovalle Vaquera denied that his group’s members were paramilitaries and called for a thorough investigation of the killing.

The EZLN has mobilized to protest Solís López’s killing, suspending other activities and scheduling a demonstration in the central Chiapas city of San Cristóbal de las Casas for May 18. Unions planned a protest for the same day in Greece, while activists and politicians in Italy, Argentina and Chile issued statements condemning the attack on Zapatista supporters. In the US a large group of intellectuals, artists and organizations--including Noam Chomsky, Junot Diaz, Rebel Diaz, Angela Davis, and many others—issued a statement calling for actions May 18-24 to support the Zapatistas. “Given the experience of the 1997 massacre [of 45 Zapatista supporters] at Acteal, we are concerned about the mounting paramilitary activity against Zapatista bases of support,” they wrote. “It is clear that if we do not take action now, the current situation in Chiapas may also lead to an even more tragic end.” Information on planned events is available at (Upside Down World 5/14/14; La Jornada (Mexico) 5/15/14, 5/15/14, 5/17/14, 5/17/14)

*3. Mexico: Migrants March for Safe Passage
A delegation of 15 Hondurans traveled to Mexico City in mid-April to seek a meeting with Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto and ask for his government to provide Central American migrants with a “humanitarian visa” allowing them to travel safely through Mexico on their way to the US. The delegation represented the 432 members of the Association of Migrants Returning with Disabilities (Amiredis), an organization of Hondurans injured while trying to cross Mexico; the vice president, Norman Saúl Varela, lost a leg while riding north through the southern state of Tabasco on a freight train that migrants call “The Beast” [see Update #1189]. The group failed to get an interview with President Peña Nieto, but they managed to meet with Governance Undersecretary Paloma Guillén on Apr. 11. (El País (Madrid) 4/13/14 from correspondent)

This was just one of several recent efforts by Central American migrants to draw attention to the dangers they face while traveling through Mexico without documents: in addition to the risks of accidents on freight trains, they have routinely been subjected to robbery, kidnapping, rape and murder by criminal gangs, in many cases with the collusion of immigration officials and local police [see Update #1086].

In early April a group of migrants from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua set out from El Naranjo, Guatemala, in what they called the “Viacrucis Migrante” (“Migrant Way of the Cross,” a reference to a traditional Catholic representation of Jesus carrying a cross to his crucifixion). A number of immigrant rights activists went with the group in an effort to provide protection; among them were Rubén Figueroa from the Mesoamerican Migrant Movement; Fray Tomás González, director of La 72: Refuge-Home for Migrant Persons in Tenosique, Tabasco; and Father Alejandro Solalinde Guerra, director of the Brother and Sister Migrants on the Road shelter in Ciudad Ixtepec, Oaxaca. The group swelled to as many as 800 or 1,000 by the time it reached Mexico City, where the migrants tried unsuccessfully to meet with President Peña on Apr. 23; they did arrange a meeting with Mexico City head of government Miguel Angel Mancera. In early May some 400 of the migrants reached the US border near Reynosa, Tamaulipas, and 61 of them crossed openly into Texas to seek asylum from US authorities; the asylum seekers were mostly mothers with children, unaccompanied minors, seniors and members of the LGBT community.

At least two other large groups of migrants have also tried to cross Mexico recently. In late April about 300 Central Americans set off on foot from the La 72 shelter in Tenosique. Another 300 Central Americans were to start a “Caravan of Migrants for Free Transit” on May 9 from the Brother and Sister Migrants on the Road shelter in Ciudad Ixtepec. Organizers said these open caravans and marches represent a shift from the migrants’ usual practice of trying to pass through Mexico secretly. The new tactic was inspired by actions of the Dreamers in the US—undocumented youths who have publicly announced their immigration status at protests, and also at a border crossing in March—according to Father Solalinde.

The Mexican authorities have been inconsistent in their reaction. The federal government gave the Viacrucis Migrante group some 800 transit visas good for 30 days, but in Tabasco on Apr. 30 agents of the National Migration Institute (INM) and the Federal Police (PF) detained 291 of the migrants marching from Tenosique; marchers were beaten, including Fray Tomás González and Rubén Figueroa, and children were reportedly left stranded when their accompanying adults were arrested. As of May 9 the group planning to leave from Ciudad Ixtepec had suspended its march because of a heavy presence of INM and PF agents along the route; organizers said the caravan might resume on May 19. Adding to the difficulties for the migrants, the Ferrosur and Kansas City Southern de Mexico railroad company has started enforcing a ban against use of the “The Beast” by migrants. (El País 4/24/14 from correspondent; La Opinión (Los Angeles) 4/29/14 from correspondent, 5/8/14 from correspondent; Adital (Brazil) 5/6/14, 5/14/14; El Universal (Mexico) 5/10/14; New York Times 5/11/14 from correspondent)

The US government is now retaliating against Mexican authorities for the transit visas they gave Central American migrants in April, according to unidentified Mexican officials, who say 730 of the visas were used by migrants planning to enter the US without authorization. Currently the US is deporting Mexican immigrants to nine repatriation points along the border in which the Mexican government and private groups supply assistance to the deported Mexicans. Reportedly the US now plans to go back to using all 27 repatriation points, including many without services and in dangerous areas with a strong presence of criminal gangs. (La Jornada (Mexico) 5/18/14)

*4. Links to alternative sources on: Latin America, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, US/immigration

In the face of this obscure obsession for gold, a moratorium on mining is needed (Latin America)

Latin America’s LGBTI Movement Celebrates Triumphs, Sets New Goals

Andrés Carrasco, Argentine Scientist and Activist: A Thank You

Argentina: deal to probe AMIA blast struck down

Argentina: Journalism and Propaganda

Rio: favela violence spills into Copacabana (Brazil)

Mass Trial of Indigenous Leaders Set to Begin This Week in Peru

Bagua Massacre – A Test for Justice in Peru
Peru: Indigenous Organizations to Present Joint Climate Change Agenda

Chevron's Ecuador Plan B

Colombian Army Escalates Attack on Communities near Tolemaida Military Base

Colombian Poor Occupy Lands Slated for Military Base

ARENA Strategist Takes Fall in Colombian Drug Scandal

Venezuelan Leftists Meet to Discuss Future Directions in Political Ideology and Eco-Socialism

El Salvador: Blood and Roses on Mother’s Day

Hank Johnson on the Two-Year Anniversary of the Ahuas Killings and the Launching of a Joint Inspector General Review of the Incident (Honduras)

Congress in Guatemala Officially Denies Genocide

Perpetuating Impunity: Guatemala's Congress Votes to Deny Genocide

Guatemala passes genocide denial resolution

A Call to Action: Stop the War against the Zapatista Communities

Biío Hioxo Wind Energy Project Hurting Indigenous Peoples and their Territories (Mexico)

Sex Workers in Mexico: Defense of their Corners with Dignity

A Mother’s International Quest for Justice (Mexico)

May Day Marchers Reject Peña Nieto's Reforms (Mexico)

The war that most interests Peña Nieto (Mexico)

Border Farmers’ Market a Year-Round Hit (Mexico)

Songs on the Borderlands: An Interview with Robert Neustadt (US/immigration)

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. Feel free to reproduce these updates, or reprint or re-post any information from them, but please credit us as “Weekly News Update on the Americas” and include a link.

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

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

WNU #1219: EZLN Backer Killed in Chiapas Strife

Issue #1219, May 11, 2014

1. Mexico: EZLN Backer Killed in Chiapas Strife
2. Cuba: 4 Miami Residents Arrested as Terrorists
3. Chile: Students Restart Marches for School Reform
4. Haiti: Police Repress Workers' May 1 Demo
5. Links to alternative sources on: Latin America, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, 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. It is archived at For a subscription, write to Follow us on Twitter at

*1. Mexico: EZLN Backer Killed in Chiapas Strife
One supporter of Mexico’s rebel Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) was killed and several were wounded on May 2 in violence involving rival indigenous groups in La Realidad, Las Margaritas municipality, in the southeastern state of Chiapas. EZLN sources say La Realidad resident José Luis Solís López died after being shot three times; he also suffered machete wounds. The mostly indigenous Chiapas Highlands and Lacandón Forest region, where La Realidad is located, have experienced several fights between different groups recently [see Update #1215].

La Realidad is the site of an autonomous EZLN base community, but the village also includes supporters of other groups, principally the “Historic” faction of the Independent Central of Agrarian Workers and Campesinos (CIOAC)—which is apparently separate from the CIOAC’s “Democratic” faction. According to CIOAC member and La Realidad municipal agent Carmelino Rodríguez Jiménez, in March CIOAC members seized a van belonging to the local Zapatista Council of Good Government (JBG). EZLN supporters responded on May 1 by detaining a CIOAC representative and then a commission of 15 CIOAC members the next day, Rodríguez Jiménez said. CIOAC supporters retaliated by cutting off water from the Zapatistas and dismantling the JBG’s school. Armed EZLN supporters then arrived, and Solís López was killed in the ensuing confrontation, according to Rodríguez Jiménez; 13 COIAC supporters were also wounded. Reporters saw four people being put on an ambulance headed to a government hospital in nearby Guadalupe Tepeyac.

EZLN supporters refused to speak to reporters on May 3, with the result that Mexican media initially carried the CIOAC version. But on May 5 the Zapatista JBG issued a statement supported by the Chiapas-based Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba), which had two observers in La Realidad during the incident. The JBG denied that the EZLN supporters had detained the CIOAC representatives, who were meeting with the Zapatistas to negotiate over the seized van. According to the JBG and Frayba, some 140 La Realidad residents—mostly CIOAC members but also supporters of the center-right National Action Party (PAN) and the small centrist Ecological Green Party of Mexico (PVEM)—attacked the JBG’s school without provocation the evening of May 2 and used rocks, machetes and guns against a group of unarmed EZLN supporters arriving in three vehicles. Frayba called on the state government to carry out a prompt and impartial investigation and to punish Solís López’s killers and the people responsible for the attack. (La Jornada (Mexico) 5/5/14, 5/6/14)

Mexican and international activists and groups have issued statements in solidarity with La Realidad’s EZLN supporters. English writer John Berger, Mexican sociologist Pablo González Casanova, Pervuvian leftist Hugo Blanco Galdós and Mexican leftist Carlos González sent a brief message expressing their “most profound indignation at the aggressions suffered by our compañeras and compañeros.” They charged that the CIOAC “Historic” faction “is being used by the state and federal governments as a paramilitary arm to attack our compañeras and compañeros, trying to make it appear that what’s at issue is an intra-community confrontation. This is what they did in Acteal [where 45 EZLN supporters were massacred in December 1997]; this is what they’re doing now.” (LJ 5/9/14)

*2. Cuba: 4 Miami Residents Arrested as Terrorists
The Cuban government arrested four US residents on Apr. 26 and charged them with planning to attack military installations, according to an Interior Ministry note published on May 7. The four suspects--José Ortega Amador, Obdulio Rodríguez González, Raibel Pacheco Santos and Félix Monzón Álvarez—had planned to burst into a military unit, murder soldiers and officers, and “make a call for violence,” according to an article dated May 7 but published the next day in the youth-oriented Cuban newspaper Juventud Rebelde. The article links the alleged plans to the US government’s failed “Cuban Twitter,” the cell phone-based social network ZunZuneo [see Update #1216]. “It’s quite obvious,” the article said, “that these violent actions of attacking Cuban military installations, with the intent of creating panic and confusion, are very similar to the supposed ‘social explosion’ hoped for by ZunZuneo’s creators.”

According to the Interior Ministry, three of the four suspects admitted that they were following orders from three rightwing Miami-based Cubans linked to earlier terrorist acts against Cuba: Santiago Alvarez Fernández Magriñá, Osvaldo Mitat and Manuel Alzugaray. Alvarez and Mitat were arrested by US federal agents in November 2005 for possession of a large cache of weapons acquired in a plan to carry out attacks in Cuba. Alvarez, a real estate magnate, was also charged with helping former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) “asset” Luis Posada Carriles--the alleged mastermind of various anti-Cuban attacks, including the bombing of a Cuban airliner in 1976—to enter the US in 2005 [see Updates #826, 948, 949]. Alvarez was convicted and served nearly four years in federal prison. He has denied any connection with the four suspects arrested in April. “This is just a bunch of lies,” he told the Reuters wire service on May 7. The charges had more in common with a James Bond movie than with reality, Omar López, director of the Miami-based Cuban American National Foundation (CANF), told the AFP wire service. (Juventud Rebelde 5/8/14; La Jornada (Mexico) 5/8/14 from Reuters, AP, AFP, Notimex; El Nuevo Herald (Miami) 5/8/14 from AP)

The arrests of the alleged US-based terrorists came just days before the US State Department’s Apr. 30 publication of its annual listing of nations accused of sponsoring terrorism. Cuba was listed, along with Iran, Syria and Sudan, for the 32nd consecutive year since 1982. The claim of terrorism sponsorship was based only on Cuba’s granting of asylum to a few refugees from the US legal system and to members of the Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) group and the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). However, the report noted that the Cuban government had cooperated with Spain in arranging the repatriation of a number of ETA members in 2013 and had hosted peace talks between the FARC and the Colombian government. Cuba’s Foreign Relations Ministry responded to the State Department’s list by insisting that “the national territory never has been and never will be used to harbor terrorists of any origin, or for organizing, financing or perpetrating acts of terrorism against any country in the world, including the US.” (Adital (Brazil) 5/8/14)

*3. Chile: Students Restart Marches for School Reform
Tens of thousands of Chilean college and high school students marched in Santiago on May 8 in the first major demonstration for educational reform since President Michelle Bachelet began her second term on Mar. 11. Bachelet, a Socialist, has promised to make changes to the educational system, which was heavily privatized during the 1973-1990 dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet; the protest was intended to pressure her to honor her commitments, which students also criticized as too vague. The organizers estimated the crowd at 100,000, while the carabineros militarized police put the number at 40,000. There were also protests in other cities; some 4,000 students marched in Valparaíso and 3,000 in Concepción. The Santiago march ended with isolated acts of violence by hooded youths.

The marchers included several Congress members who had been student leaders in 2011, when the massive demonstrations began during the administration of conservative president Sebastián Piñera [see Update #1172]: Camila Vallejo from the Communist Party of Chile (PCC), Giorgio Jackson from Democratic Revolution (PD) and Gabriel Boric, an independent. “We’re no longer the representatives of the student movement,” said Vallejo, who like the other former student leaders was elected in November 2013, “so we’re only here to support, but we’ll have one foot in Congress and the other in the streets with the students.” (Télam (Argentina) 5/8/14)

In other news, as of May 7 three Mapuche prisoners incarcerated in Angol, the capital of Malleco province, were still on a hunger strike that the indigenous activists began on Apr. 10 to push for a review of their sentences and a pardon for a fourth prisoner, José Mariano Llanca, who they say is terminally ill [see Update #1216]. Justice Minister José Antonio Gómez met on May 6 with the prisoners’ representatives in response to a sit-in their relatives held at the prison on May 3, but the representatives reported that there had been no progress in the talks. The prisoners, Cristian Pablo Levinao Melinao, Luis Humberto Marileo Cariqueo and Leonardo Eusebio Quijón Pereira, said they would continue their fast. (ALER (Madrid and Quito) 5/7/14)

*4. Haiti: Police Repress Workers' May 1 Demo
Workers in Haiti’s garment assembly sector observed International Workers’ Day on May 1 with a march continuing their campaign for a minimum wage of 500 gourdes (US$12.69) for an eight-hour day [see Update #1218]. The protest--organized by the leftist labor organization Batay Ouvriye (“Workers’ Struggle”) and the Textile and Garment Workers Union (SOTA) and backed by the Popular Democratic Movement (MODEP) and other groups—started at the large industrial park in the north of Port-au-Prince. After a long march including a brief protest in front of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MAST), the protesters planned to conclude at the statue of revolutionary hero Jean-Jacques Dessalines in the city’s central Champ de Mars. Agents from the Corps for Intervention and the Maintenance of Order (CIMO), a riot police unit, blocked the marchers, hurling tear gas grenades and beating and arresting two students. Several assembly plant workers required treatment at a hospital.

The two students were released later that day after union leaders intervened with the judicial authorities, but other students held a protest on May 2 against the arrests, using barricades of burning tires to block Christophe Avenue near the Human Sciences Faculty (FASCH) of the State University of Haiti (UEH). (AlterPresse (Haiti) 5/2/14, 5/3/14)

Labor protests continued the following week. The Parc Industriel de Caracol (Caracol Industrial Park, PIC), a massive facility built in the Northeast department with international aid to house assembly plants, was shut down most of May 5-7 when the workers walked out to protest the lack of a road. The facility, which US officials once claimed would generate at least 20,000 jobs, currently employs 3,600 workers. There were also protests at the Compagnie de Développement Industriel S.A. (Codevi) “free trade zone” in Ouanaminthe in Northeast department at the Dominican border; in this case the issue was the lack of electricity in the city. (Miami Herald 5/9/14 from correspondent)

After talks on May 6 with the National Education and Professional Training Ministry (MENFP), several teachers’ unions agreed to have their members return to the classrooms on May 8, ending a job action that started on Apr. 23. Other teachers’ unions decided to continue the walkout. Josué Mérilien, the coordinator of the National Union of Haitian Teachers (UNNOH), said his organization would wait for an agreement to be signed before it would call an end to the strike. (AlterPresse 5/9/14)

*5. Links to alternative sources on: Latin America, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Mexico, Haiti
Rival trade pacts vie for Pacific hegemony (Latin America)

Amazon mega-dams: 'hydrological experiment'?

Conflict Over New Bolivian Law Highlights Mining Sector Contradictions

Peru: OAS rights body rules in Conga case

A Reading on Ecuador’s Return to the World Bank

Ecuador: A new political map

Ecuador - The Yasuní and the Current State of Affairs: Economics, Regulation, and Opposition

Ecuador nixes vote on Yasuni oil drilling

Another win for Chevron in Ecuador imbroglio

Ecuador: face-off in Intag Valley mining dispute

In Colombia, Free Trade Brings More Poverty and More Killings

Hands Off Venezuela! What Has Been Happening Since February and Why It Matters

Venezuelan Policeman Killed by Sniper While Clearing Protest Barricade in Caracas

After 34 Years, Walter Rodney's Assassination in Guyana now Under Review

The War Against the Zapatistas and the Role of the Media (Mexico)

Three years after a murder, Mexican movement demands justice

In Mexico, the corner belongs to those who work on it

A Failure Foretold: USAID’s Plans to Build a Port in Northern Haiti

Martelly Appoints Duvalier Lawyer to Oversee Elections (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. Feel free to reproduce these updates, or reprint or re-post any information from them, but please credit us as “Weekly News Update on the Americas” and include a link.

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

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Links but No Update for May 4, 2014

[There is no Update this week; we'll be back next week. Below are links to stories from other sources.]

Brazil: riot rocks Rio favela

Why Is Blackwater Helping to Train Brazil’s World Cup Security?

Peru’s Conga Mine Conflict: Cajamarca Won’t Capitulate

Fundacion Pachamama Is Dead - Long Live ALBA (Ecuador)

Ecuador: A new political map

The Colombian President, “Some Judge” and the Mayor of Bogotá

Colombia: Presidential Candidates Must Champion Human Rights

May Day mining disaster in Colombia

Extended Social Programs and Benefits Announced during Venezuela’s May Day Celebrations

HRW: Systematic rights abuses in Venezuela

Panama: Mayday with strikes and elections

Panama Police Attack Ngäbe Protest Camps

Resistance as Promised, Panamanian Indigenous Continue to Protest

Impunity and Dispossession in Mexico: San Sebastián Bachajón on the Anniversary of the Assassination of Juan Vázquez Guzmán

Fight Against Monsanto Enters the Courtroom (Mexico)

The Crusade Against Hunger and the Persistence of Poverty (Mexico)

Los Mineros Victory at Teksid (Mexico)

LGBT Conference in Cuba Surrounded by Expectations and Controversy

The Fight Deepens on May Day 2014 (US/immigration)