Tuesday, November 24, 2009

WNU #1013: Solidarity Wins for Honduran Maquila Workers

Weekly News Update on the Americas
Issue #1013, November 22, 2009

1. Honduras: Solidarity Wins for Maquila Workers
2. Honduras: Isolated, De Factos Prepare for Vote
3. US: SOA Protest Highlights Honduras, El Salvador
4. Haiti: UN Troops Shoot Again
5. Links to alternative sources on: Economic Crisis, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Puerto Rico

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: Solidarity Wins for Maquila Workers
On Nov. 17 the US-based United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) announced an agreement with Russell Athletic of Atlanta for the sports apparel maker to rehire 1,200 workers it laid off in January when it closed its Jerzees de Honduras plant soon after the workers joined a union. Russell, a subsidiary of Kentucky-based Fruit of the Loom, is to open a new maquiladora (tax-exempt assembly plant producing largely for export) in the same area as the old plant, the Choloma region of the northwestern Honduran department of Cortés. The new plant will be called Jerzees Nuevo Día (“Jerzees New Day”).

The agreement is the biggest win to date for the decade-old student movement against sweatshops, which organized at nearly 100 North American campuses to force colleges to end licensing agreements for Russell sportswear because of the company’s labor violations. The workers were represented by the local Union of Empresa Jerzees Workers (SITRAJERZEESH) and the national General Workers Central (CGT). Although the most conservative of the three main Honduran labor confederations, the CGT has been active in the resistance to a June 28 military coup that removed President José Manuel Zelaya Rosales from office; Honduran business owners generally supported the coup [see Updates #997, 1000].

The USAS-Russell agreement is expected to have a major impact on labor rights in Honduras. With eight maquiladoras and more than 10,000 workers in Honduras, Fruit of the Loom is the country’s largest private employer. "For Honduran workers this accord represents a real hope, especially in the midst of the unemployment crisis in our country,” said Evangelina Argueta, CGT coordinator in Choloma. “The support of the international organizations was very important.” (Honduras Laboral 11/18/09 from Red Solidaridad de la Maquila (RSM, Canada); New York Times 11/18/09; People’s Weekly World 11/19/09)

The agreement comes at a time when a five-year decline in the maquiladora sector has been worsened by the political crisis [see Update #1002]. Even the Catholic hierarchy seems to be concerned about getting the industry back on its feet. “Investment is very important,” Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga told the Wall Street Journal in early November. “With investments there are more jobs for our people.” Rodríguez, who backed the June 28 coup, admitted that investors “are not all saints…. But what should we do without those jobs?”

“Maquilas are especially important for women,” the cardinal added, “because their jobs have been a source of dignity. When they earn their own money they are no longer slaves to the macho man in their lives, who often is not even their husband.” (WSJ 11/16/09 from correspondent)

*2. Honduras: Isolated, De Factos Prepare for Vote
Guatemalan foreign minister Haroldo Rodas announced on Nov. 21 that Guatemala was not going to recognize the general elections to be held in Honduras on Nov. 29 under the de facto regime installed after the June 28 removal of President Manuel Zelaya. He added that Guatemala would not send observers to the elections. Spain was also planning not to send observers because it “cannot support” elections under these conditions, foreign ministry sources told the Spanish wire service EFE on Nov. 21.

Many Latin American governments have rejected the plan to proceed with the elections, although it is supported by the US. The presidents of two of the nations with the largest economies—Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner—confirmed on Nov. 18 that their governments would not recognize the elections if they are held under the coup regime. Ecuador has the same position, according to Foreign Minister Fander Falconí. Organization of American States (OAS) general secretary José Miguel Insulza has said that that organization can’t send observers because the representatives of Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela indicated at a special meeting at the beginning of November that their governments wouldn’t recognize the elections.

Despite the boycott, a delegation of 250 election observers has been put together. It will include two former center-right Latin American presidents: Vicente Fox Quesada of Mexico (2000-2006) and Alejandro Toledo of Peru (2001-2006). The main Guatemalan business group, the Committee of Commercial, Industrial and Financial Associations (CACIF), has agreed to participate. (Vos el Soberano (Honduras) 11/21/09 from EFE; ADN.es (Spain) 11/21/09 from EFE; Radio YVKE Mundial (Venezuela) 11/22/09; Reuters 11/18/09)

On Nov. 20 Esdras Amado López, director of the Cholusat Sur Canal 36 television station, said his channel was “off the air because its signal has been interrupted with a signal from a parallel transmitter” playing “pornographic films and some westerns.” “[T]errorists paid by the government of [de facto president Roberto] Micheletti” are responsible, according to López. He wrote National Telecommunications Commission (CONATEL) head Miguel Angel Rodas asking for his “immediate attention to an extremely delicate matter taking place in the moment during which Honduras is getting ready to be present at an electoral process in which freedom of the press is an important bastion for legitimizing the process.”

Canal 36 and Radio Globo are the two largest broadcast media that have opposed the coup. The de facto government shut down both of them temporarily in the first days of the coup. (EFE 11/20/09; Vos el Soberano 11/20/09; Honduras Coup 2009 blog 11/20/09)

On the weekend of Nov. 21 the Committee of Relatives of Disappeared Detainees in Honduras (COFADEH), one of the country’s leading human rights organizations, warned of a deterioration in the human rights situation as the elections approached. COFADEH reported that there was an unusual deployment of soldiers, police agents and paramilitary groups in the country and that the military had acquired new equipment, including an armored car, a powerful water cannon and a chemical that would enable the authorities to identify anyone hit by the water for 48 hours. The group called for the international community to stay on alert about the situation. (Vos el Soberano 11/22/09 from Defensoresenlinea.com; Prensa Latina 11/22/09)

*3. US: SOA Protest Highlights Honduras, El Salvador
Four people were arrested for trespassing on the US Army's Fort Benning base in Columbus, Georgia on Nov. 22 as thousands marched through pouring rain in an annual protest against the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), formerly the US Army School of the Americas (SOA). The school trains Latin American soldiers; SOA Watch, which sponsors the protests, says SOA graduates are among the region's most notorious human rights violators. Organizers didn’t give a crowd estimate this year, but Columbus police said there were 4,732 protesters at 10 am, down from 7,497 at the same time in 2008. The largest demonstration to date was in 2006, when SOA Watch reported 22,000 participants [see Update #875]; 286 activists have served up to two years in prison for civil disobedience at the base since the protests began in 1990.

This year marked the 20th anniversary of the Nov. 16, 1989 murder of six Jesuits, along with their housekeeper and her teenage daughter, at the University of Central America (UCA) in El Salvador. SOA graduates have been held responsible for the murders; activists started the Fort Benning protests a year later to highlight the connection. This year’s participants included Colombian human rights defenders and Bertha Oliva, coordinator of the Committee of Relatives of Disappeared Detainees in Honduras (COFADEH). According to SOA Watch, two of the leaders of the June 28 coup d’état in Honduras, Armed Forces head Gen. Romeo Vásquez Velásquez and Air Force head Gen. Luis Prince Suazo, received training at the SOA.

At this year’s protest, John Meyer of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) announced that his organization was nominating SOA Watch and its founder, Fr. Roy Bourgeois, for the Nobel peace prize; the AFSC was one of two Quaker organizations that won the prize in 1947 for their humanitarian work. (SOA Watch press release 11/22/09; EFE 11/22/09; Ledger-Enquirer (Columbus) 11/22/09)

*4. Haiti: UN Troops Shoot Again
Chilean troops from the Brazilian-led United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) wounded one local man in the early morning of Nov. 10 when they opened fire on a crowd in Grand-Goâve, a town south of Port-au-Prince in the West Department, according to Haitian witnesses. Chilean Gen. Ricardo Toro Tassara said airborne troops from Chile’s 514-member contingent landed during a nighttime training exercise when one of their UH-1H helicopters developed a mechanical problem. At daybreak a crowd of 200 residents gathered around the helicopter asking for food and water, Toro Tassara said, and when some came “closer than necessary,” the soldiers fired into the air to disperse them.

Residents who were at the scene said the soldiers would not let anyone cross the field where they had landed, including farmers who wanted to reach the beach to go fishing. The troops fired several rounds into the field, according to the residents, and Rinvil Jean Weldy, a health worker from the neighborhood, was shot in the shoulder. “I want justice and reparations,” he told the Inter Press Service (IPS). “Weldy was there like everybody, he wasn't doing anything wrong,” resident Natacha Louis said. “We want MINUSTAH to leave." (EFE 11/11/2009; IPS 11/20/09)

Haitians have repeatedly accused MINUSTAH troops of firing indiscriminately. Two or three people, including a 10-year-old boy, were reportedly wounded in early June during protests by university students in Port-au-Prince for a higher minimum wage, and a young man was shot dead during the funeral of popular priest Gérard Jean-Juste on June 18 [see Updates #993, 994]. On Nov. 18 Haitian police arrested two professors, 12 students and two employees of the State University of Haiti (UEH) as they protested to mark the 206th anniversary of the defeat of French forces by Haitian general Jean-Jacques Dessalines at the battle of Vertières. The demonstration was organized by the UEH Crisis Committee, the Association of Dessalinian University Students (ASID), the Autonomous Federation of Haitian Workers (CATH) and others to protest the handling of a curriculum dispute at UEH and “to say ‘no’ to the occupation of the country by a foreign force.” (AlterPresse 11/19/09)

*5. Links to alternative sources on: Economic Crisis, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Puerto Rico

Impact of Crisis in Latin America Less Severe than in the Past

Argentina moves to compel DNA from suspected "dirty war" children

From Chile to Guatemala: A Gringo in Latin America

Chile: Toward Reconstruction of the Mapuche Nation

Brazil: Guarani teacher missing after violence over ancestral lands

Brazil: protests greet Ahmadinejad at start of South American tour

Beyond the Votes in Bolivia: A Reflection on Evo Morales’ First Term

Peruvian police peddle "pishtaco" paranoia

Colombia: secret police agent gets mobbed, guerilla suspect "unarrested"

Tensions rise as Venezuela blows up footbridges on Colombian border

Venezuela arrests one terrorist, praises another

Panama: police back up cattle company bulldozers to evict indigenous community

Nicaragua: political violence leaves one dead

El Salvador's gold fight goes international

Guatemala: Beneath the Rock and the Storm - Photo Essay

A New United Movement Stops Mexico for a Day

Mexican Supreme Court Finds Oaxaca Governor Responsible for Human Rights Violations

Mexico: A War Against Organized Crime Becomes a War Against Organized Labor

Mexican Layoffs, U.S. Immigration: The Missing Link

Explosions of Unrest Mark Puerto Rico's Economic Crisis

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:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

WNU #1012: Actions in Mexico Protest Layoffs

Weekly News Update on the Americas
Issue #1012, November 15, 2009

1. Mexico: Nationwide Actions Protest Layoffs
2. Honduras: More Candidates Join Election Boycott
3. Panama: Students Protest “US Bases”
4. Dominican Republic: One Dead in New Blackout Protests
5. Links to alternative sources on: Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Global Warming, Terror Threats

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. Mexico: Nationwide Actions Protest Layoffs
Tens of thousands of unionists, campesinos, students, and members of grassroots organizations and left and center-left parties demonstrated in Mexico’s Federal District (DF, Mexico City) and more than 20 of the country’s 31 states on Nov. 11 to express solidarity with some 44,000 electrical workers laid off when President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa abruptly liquidated the government-owned Central Light and Power Company (LFC) the night of Oct. 10 [see Updates #1007, 1008, 1009].

Mexico City was paralyzed as members of the Mexican Electrical Workers Union (SME), which represents the LFC workers, led marches from five different points in the city starting early in the morning of Nov. 11. Miners, telephone and transportation workers, and employees and students from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), which suspended classes for the day, joined the protesters as they moved around the city, rallying at various government buildings. Adding to the disruption of traffic, protesters blocked major arteries in the states surrounding the capital.

The actions outside the city were sometimes violent. There were 10 arrests and a number of injuries as protesters and agents of the Federal Police (PF) confronted each other near Tlalnepantla, México state, north of Mexico City on the México-Querétaro highway. Shots were fired; the government blamed the protesters, who said that they were unarmed and that the police had shot in the air. Protesters also blocked roads in Ecatepec de Morelos and Nezahualcóyotl. Some 400 SME members massed on the Peñón-Texcoco turnpike, joined by students and teachers from the Chapingo Autonomous University and by activists from the Front of the Peoples in Defense of the Land (FPDT), a campesino organization based in San Salvador Atenco, México state. The protesters took over the tollbooth and let cars drive on the turnpike without paying. Other activists opened up the México-Pachuca turnpike to traffic at Pirámides. PF agents used tear gas and anti-riot equipment to disperse protesters blocking the entrances to the city from Puebla state and Cuernavaca, Morelos, in the east and south. Residents of Mexico City’s Xochimilco and Tlalpan boroughs who had been blocking the Cuernavaca highway regrouped and hurled rocks at the police.

At the end of 12 hours of actions, many of the protesters went into the capital to join a march and rally in the central Zócalo plaza. More than 200,000 people participated in the closing demonstration, according to the SME; the DF police put the number at 60,000. Two well-known activist bishops, Samuel Ruiz García, former bishop of San Cristóbal de las Casas in Chiapas, and Raúl Vera López, bishop of Saltillo, Coahuila, sent solidarity messages.

In the southeastern state of Chiapas solidarity actions also targeted recent tax hikes and the arrests of farmer leaders accused of having links with armed groups. In the southern state of Oaxaca, an estimated 70,000 school teachers carried out a one-day strike, and the leftist Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) took over the offices of the Federal Electrical Commission (CFE), the country’s larger publicly owned electrical company, into which the LFC is being merged. In the north, hundreds of telephone workers, leftists and social activists held public marches in Chihuahua City and Ciudad Juárez, in Chihuahua state. (Frontera NorteSur (FNS) 11/12/09 via MexiData.info; Latin American Herald Tribune 11/11/09 from EFE; La Jornada (Mexico) 11/12/09, __)

An editorial in the left-leaning Mexican daily La Jornada called Nov. 11 “a day without precedent in the history of the country’s popular causes,” an action which brought together “the different sectors of the opposition—the parties, the unions, the social organizations.” The paper called this “the possible birth of a broad bloc antagonistic to the political-business-alliance that holds the country’s power (public and private).” SME general secretary Martín Esparza Flores raised the possibility of planning a national general strike. He noted that in 2010 Mexico will celebrate the bicentennial of its war of independence from Spain and the centennial of the revolution against the Porfirio Díaz dictatorship: “And as before, we will defeat the transnationals, the dictatorship, tyranny and violations of the Constitution. It’s time for the people to organize.” (LJ 11/12/09, __; FNS 11/12/09)

On Nov. 12 Labor Secretary Javier Lozano Alarcón discounted the ability of the SME and its supporters to mount a general strike. He said that 24,149 laid-off LFC workers, 54.2% of the total workforce, had already signed up for the governemt's severance package; in the government’s view, workers lose the ability to challenge their termination if they accept the severance agreement. On Nov. 14, the deadline for signing with the government, reporters found a low turnout at the centers where the former employees could file their papers. One young worker arrived with his wife, who needed treatment for a kidney ailment, and their two children. “I’m coming here against my will, from necessity,” he told a reporter. “I support the compañeros all the way, I’m a unionist and I’ll put up with blows, insults and what have you...but not my children.” (LJ 12/13/09, 12/15/09)

In other news, in Oaxaca on Nov. 9 federal magistrate Javier Leonel Santiago Martínez ruled that evidence the federal government had presented against APPO activist Juan Manuel Martínez Moreno for the murder of New York-based independent journalist Brad Will was “false” and “prefabricated.” Will was shot during a demonstration against Oaxaca governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz on Oct. 27, 2006; activists and Will’s friends and family have insisted that he was killed by Ruiz’s supporters, not by APPO activists [see Update #964]. Magistrate Santiago ordered district judge Rosa Ileana Ortega Pérez to free Martínez Moreno within 48 hours. The government can appeal, and the activist’s attorney, Gilberto López, said he didn’t expect his client to be released immediately. (EFE 11/9/09; Milenio (Mexico) 11/9/09)

*2. Honduras: More Candidates Join Election Boycott
In a press conference in Managua, Nicaragua, on Nov. 13, the mayor of San Pedro Sula, Honduras’ second largest city, confirmed that he was no longer running for another term in general elections scheduled for Nov. 29. “The people don’t believe in this process, because these are elections where absolutely nothing is going to get elected,” Mayor Rodolfo Padilla Sunceri said. A member of the center-right Liberal Party (PL), Padilla joined a growing number of candidates who have withdrawn from the race in order to protest the control of the process by a de facto government put in place after a military coup removed President José Manuel Zelaya Rosales from office on June 28 [see Update #1011]. Padilla was the frontrunner in polls taken before the coup. The Nov. 29 general elections are intended to elect the president, the 128 members of the National Congress, 20 deputies to the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN), and members of the country’s municipal governments.

Independent presidential candidate Carlos H. Reyes officially withdrew from the race on Nov. 9. A former unionist with strong links to the grassroots movement against the coup, Reyes was third in a field of six candidates, according to polls. The frontrunner is Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo of the rightwing National Party (PN); Liberal candidate Elvin Santos trails him by 15-20%, according to political analyst Gustavo Irías. Santos is badly damaged by a split in the PL between supporters of President Zelaya and supporters of de facto president Roberto Micheletti Bain; both are members of the party.

The mayoral candidates boycotting the election include Heber Iván Gómez Mendoza, PL candidate in Morolica, Choluteca department; Luis Alberto Posadas Alfar, an independent candidate in Danlí, El Paraíso; and Gladys Gloria Ebanks Campell, an independent candidate on Roatán island, Islas de la Bahía department. The small leftist Democratic Unification (UD) is badly split, with presidential candidate César Ham planning to continue in the race while many other candidates want to withdraw; the party will lose its place on the ballot and government matching funds if too many candidates drop out. The Party of Innovation and Social Democratic Unity (PINU) is also split. The leadership supports the coup, but many candidates for Congress oppose it and may withdraw, so that this party too could lose its ballot position. (EFE 11/13/09; Comun-Noticias 11/13/09 via Honduras Laboral blog; La Jornada 11/14/09 from correspondent)

During the night of Nov. 12 an explosive device was detonated in a Tegucigalpa residential neighborhood without causing any damage or injuries. The police and the media originally said an airplane flew over the city and dropped a bomb on a location where ballots were being stored for the Nov. 29 elections, even though no damage was reported there. The airplane turned to be a commercial flight from Guatemala. Later an RPG-1 grenade-launching device was discovered in the area, and the military announced that unidentified persons had attempted to hit the storehouse but had overshot it. “We have preliminary information about some actions which people who are from the left are carrying out,” Armed Forces head Gen. Romeo Vásquez Velásquez said at a Nov. 13 press conference. "We know where these artifacts come from,” said Gen. Miguel Ángel García Padgett, the army’s commander. “[T]hey cross over the border and are artifacts of Russian or Chinese origin, and they are precisely the ones used by people of a leftist tendency.”

Unionist Juan Barahona, a coordinator of the National Front of Resistance Against the Coup d’Etat, insisted that the opposition’s strategy was a nonviolent boycott of the elections. “The people don’t have the ability to do these things [bombings]. Here the only ones who have this ability are the police and the Armed Forces.” He charged that the military had used similar tactics in its campaign against the left in the 1980s. “They are the ones responsible; they’re generating an environment so that later they can generate the repression they’ve got planned and can consolidate the coup,” he said.

The Front has been focused on printing up and distributing handbills and posters calling on people to boycott the voting. (EFE 11/13/09 via ADN.es; LJ 11/14/09; Adital (Brazil) 11/13/09)

*3. Panama: Students Protest “US Bases”
Students from the Student Revolutionary Front (FER-29) and the University Popular Bloc closed off one of Panama City’s main arteries for more than an hour on Nov. 11 to protest what they said were plans to open US military bases in Panama. Police agents dispersed the demonstrators with water cannons and tear gas and arrested 16 students, most of them from the Arts and Trades College. On Nov. 12 Governance and Justice Minister José Raúl Mulino told reporters that the four bases the students were protesting would be “100% Panamanian.” They are to be under the control of the Air-Navy Service (SENAN) and the National Border Service (Senafront) as part of the agencies’ effort to control the transport of narcotics through Panama, he said. “They are not military bases.”

According to Mulina, the government is opening up the first of the bases on Chapera island before Nov. 30. The others are to be in Darién province, near the border with Colombia, and in the La Perlas archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. According to the Venezuelan-based TeleSUR television network, on Oct. 20 Mulina had referred to two bases the US would set up in Panama, but in his Nov. 12 statement the minister clarified that while the bases would be Panamanian, they were part of the Mérida Initiative, a US-funded operation to fight the drug trade in Mexico and Central America. The US military had as many as 100 bases in Panama before the US withdrawal from the Panama Canal was completed in 1999. (EFE 11/11/09; ABC.com (Paraguay) 11/12/09 from ANSA; TeleSUR 11/13/09, some from EFE) [Many activists in Mexico and the US oppose the Mérida Initiative, calling it “Plan Mexico,” on the model of the US-sponsored Plan Colombia; see Update #987.]

*4. Dominican Republic: One Dead in New Blackout Protests
One person was killed and one wounded in the early morning of Nov. 11 during protests over power outages in the community of Canca, Licey al Medio municipality, in the northern Dominican province of Santiago. Police spokesperson Jesús Cordero Paredes told the Spanish EFE news service that masked protesters had been blocking a highway with tree trunks and burning tires at 3am when Ramón Martín Medina Rivas and Emilio José Vargas drove up to the barricade in a truck carrying plantains and other farm products to be sold in the Santiago market. The protesters fired on the truck, killing Medina and wounding Vargas, according to the police.

Víctor Bretón, a spokesperson for the Broad Front of Popular Struggle (FALPO), condemned the killing and denied that members of his grassroots coalition were involved. The demonstrations had started on Nov. 10 over repeated blackouts and a number of local grievances, including the construction of a sports stadium. Working-class neighborhoods in the provincial capital, Santiago de los 30 Caballeros, the country’s second largest city, have reported 12-hour blackouts, while outages are said to have lasted up to 20 hours in the northwest of the country. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), which approved a de $1.7 billion credit program for the Dominican Republic on Nov. 9, has called for restructuring the electrical sector. (EFE 11/11/09) [The sector was privatized in the 1990s. At least two other people have died in protests over blackouts in the Dominican Republic this year; see Update #998.]

*5. Links to alternative sources on: Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Global Warming, Terror Threats

New DNA Law in Argentina Will Help Find the Missing Grandchildren

Brazil claims progress against Amazon destruction

Evo Morales: US has military designs on Bolivia's hydrocarbons

Peru: oil majors eye Amazon

World indigenous leaders condemn Peru's Amazon repression

Colombia: Cauca militarized after deadly FARC attack

Colombia, Venezuela in new border incident as tensions mount

Venezuela: Chávez faces off with governor of militarized Táchira

Venezuelan blackouts: corporate media gloat —Chávez ignores lessons?

El Salvador Devastated by Hurricane Ida - Support People to People Disaster Relief Via CISPES

Emergency aid for El Salvador

Honduras: US seeks "happy end" —at cost of democracy?

Academics and Experts on Latin America Call on Obama to Denounce Human Rights Abuses by Honduran Dictatorship

Honduran Resistance Calls for Deepening of Democracy

Video Documentary: Honduran Voices

U.S. State Department Sells Out Honduran Democracy for Senate Confirmations

Honduras Revisited

President Zelaya to President Obama: Walk the Talk

Electrical Workers of Mexico Take on Calderon Government

UN peacekeepers for northern Mexico?

From Greenland to Andes, signs mount of climate shift

Manufacturing a Terror Threat in Latin America

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:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

WNU #1011: Honduran Resistance Rejects “Afghanistan-Style” Elections

Weekly News Update on the Americas
Issue #1011, November 8, 2009

1. Honduras: Resistance Rejects “Afghanistan-Style” Elections
2. Honduras: US and Latin America Split Over Elections
3. In Other News: Mexico, Cuba, Haiti
4. Links to alternative sources on: Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Central America, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Cuba, Biodiversity, Indigenous, Economy, Media

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 Rejects “Afghanistan-Style” Elections
As of the evening of Nov. 7 talks in Tegucigalpa between representatives of Honduran president José Manuel Zelaya Rosales and de facto president Roberto Micheletti Bain had failed to revive the Tegucigalpa/San José Accord, an agreement the two sides signed on Oct. 30, a little more than one week earlier. Members of a Verification Commission established by the agreement had tried to salvage the accord by having the two sides meet again on Nov. 7.

Zelaya’s representatives apparently signed the Oct. 30 agreement on the understanding that the National Congress would return Zelaya to the presidency--from which he was removed by a June 28 military coup backed by the Congress and Supreme Court--and that he would then form a multi-party Government of Unity and National Reconciliation. The agreement stipulated that the new government would be in place by the end of Nov. 5 [see Update #1010]. But the Congress, which is in recess until general elections scheduled for Nov. 29, failed to reconvene, and Micheletti proceeded to name a multi-party cabinet which Zelaya refused to recognize. Micheletti’s new cabinet had the same ministers as the old de facto government in key ministries: foreign relations, finance, agriculture, defense, security and the presidency. (Honduras Coup 2009 blog 11/8/09; El Día (Spain) 11/8/09 from EFE; La Jornada (Mexico) 11/7/09 from correspondent)

On Nov. 3 the US government, which had brokered the Tegucigalpa/San José Accord, abruptly dropped its commitment not to recognize the Nov. 29 elections if Zelaya wasn’t returned to office. During an interview with the CNN en Español television network, US assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs Thomas Shannon was asked whether the US would recognize the elections without Zelaya’s restitution. “The future of Honduran democracy is in the hands of the Hondurans,” Shannon replied. The interviewer then asked more explicitly: “The US, whatever may happen, in the process will recognize whatever happens on Nov. 29?” Shannon answered: “Yes, exactly.” (El Heraldo (Tegucigalpa) 11/4/09)

“I don’t want Afghanistan-style elections for my country,” Zelaya told the opposition Radio Globo station on Nov. 6, referring to the reelection of US-backed Afghani president Hamid Karzai in August balloting marred by reports of widespread fraud. The grassroots movement against the coup is calling for a boycott of the elections. Some resistance activists want to go further. “It’s not just about not going to vote,” indigenous leader Salvador Zúñiga said on Nov. 6. “The same way they took away our ballot box on June 28, we have to take theirs away from them.” The June 28 coup prevented Zelaya’s government from holding a nonbinding referendum that day to ask Hondurans whether they wanted to vote in the Nov. 29 elections on a Constituent Assembly to rewrite the 1982 Constitution.

“From now on,” Zúñiga said, “it’s going to be forbidden for politicians to come into our neighborhoods and communities, and we’re going to forbid them to set up the voting places.” (LJ 11/7/09)

*2. Honduras: US and Latin America Split Over Elections
The rapid failure of an Oct. 30 accord between Honduran president Manuel Zelaya and the country’s de facto government “leaves egg on the faces of US and regional diplomats who had engineered the deal,” according to an analysis piece by the Reuters news service. (Reuters 11/6/09)

The agreement’s collapse also increases the distance between the government of US president Barack Obama—which is now in effect siding with the de facto regime--and most governments in Latin America and the Caribbean. On Nov. 6 the 12-member Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) demanded Zelaya’s “immediate restitution,” as did foreign ministers at a meeting of the Conference of Latin America and the Caribbean (CALC) in Jamaica the same day.

Even diplomats and leaders who maintain good relations with the US implicitly criticized the US position. “The measures in the accord are clear and were subscribed to by the free will of the parties,” Organization of American States (OAS) general secretary José Miguel Insulza said on Nov. 5 after de facto president Roberto Micheletti named a “unity government” not backed by Zelaya. “I expect [these measures] to be fulfilled without more subterfuges, in order to reestablish democracy, institutional legitimacy and coexistence among the Hondurans.” “[N]aturally, the person who was elected by the Honduran people to exercise the function of the president of the republic should preside” over the unity government, Insulza said in Washington. (Prensa Latina 11/6/09; Adital 11/6/09; LJ 11/7/09)

In an interview with CNN en Español on 11/7/09, former Chilean president Ricardo Lagos (2000-2006), the highest-ranking member of the accord’s Verification Commission, was equally clear that Micheletti had violated the agreement when he named his own “unity government.” Asked who should head the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation, Lagos answered: “[T]he logic of this accord is that in the event that Zelaya Rosales was installed as president…there would be a national unity cabinet.” “When we met with Mr. Micheletti and he said what he was doing [naming a unity cabinet], we told him that this wasn’t what was agreed to and that he couldn’t do it.”

Costa Rican president Oscar Arias, generally a supporter of the US and a leader in the negotiations that led to the accord, distanced himself from the de facto government on Nov. 7: “They are looking, by means of delaying tactics, to pass the time until the elections come, risking that the future government will not be recognized by some countries," he said. (Honduras Coup 2009 blog 11/8/09; El Tiempo (San Pedro Sula) 11/8/09; El Día (Spain) 11/8/09 from EFE)

In the US, Congress members from the Republican Party are supporting the Obama administration’s new position. But criticism is coming from forces that usually side with the Democratic president. “If the Obama administration chooses to recognize the election without Zelaya first being reinstated, it will find itself at odds with the rest of Latin America,” a Los Angeles Times editorial warned on Nov. 5. “That would be a setback for democracy and for the United States.” (LAT 11/5/09) “An election run by the coup plotters won’t be credible to Hondurans—and it shouldn’t be to anyone else,” the editors of the New York Times wrote on Nov. 7. (NYT 11/7/09)

At the same time, other forces on the liberal side seem to pushing for the US to recognize the Nov. 29 elections. The “pragmatic middle ground” might be for the US and the OAS to recognize the elections “under protest of how they came about,” according to Shelley A. McConnell, an assistant professor of government at St. Lawrence University and a former analyst for the Carter Center, a prestigious election-monitoring organization founded by liberal former US president Jimmy Carter (1977-1981). “You don’t punish the next guy,” she told the New York Times. (NYT 11/7/09) [The frontrunner in the Honduran presidential race is Profirio (“Pepe”) Lobo of the center-right National Party (PN); he and his party backed the June 28 coup.]

*3. In Other News: Mexico, Cuba, Haiti
The Mexican government announced in mid-October that it had approved 35 requests to test-plant genetically modified (GM) corn. The announcement said the testing would be strictly monitored and would be confined to closed areas. Environmental activists and campesinos have staged protests in recent years to demand a total ban on GM corn, which they say could threaten the country’s 200 existing varieties of corn. (Xinhua 10/21/09) … The United Nations General Assembly voted on Oct. 28 to condemn the US embargo on trade with Cuba that has been in effect since 1962. This is the 18th time the General Assembly has supported a nonbinding resolution against the embargo. The vote was 187-3 with two abstentions; last year’s tally was 185-3 with one abstention [see Update #966]. The US, Israel and Palau voted against the resolution; the Marshall Islands and Micronesia abstained. (Reuters 10/28/09) … On Nov. 7 Haiti’s Chamber of Deputies voted 52-0 with two abstentions to confirm Planning and External Cooperation Minister Jean-Max Bellerive as the next prime minister. The Senate had approved him the day before. Bellerive will replace Michèle Duvivier Pierre-Louis, who was voted out of office by the Senate on Oct. 30 [see Update #1011]. (AlterPresse (Haiti) 11/8/09)

*4. Links to alternative sources on: Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Central America, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Cuba, Biodiversity, Indigenous, Economy, Media

Argentina's last dictator stands trial in rights absues

Argentina: Kraft Firings Feed Protests

Hope and Disappointment in Uruguay's Elections

Paraguay: military shake-up amid coup rumblings

Peru: indigenous people face off with Hunt Oil in rainforest

Peru: Hunt Oil Contract to Reignite Amazon Uprising?

Peru: US Oil Company Threatened with Eviction from Amazon

Ecuador: The Battle for Natural Resources Intensifies

U.S. Military Documents Show Colombia Base Agreement Poses Threat to Region

Authorized’ Minga in Colombia? The Challenges of Popular Movements

Colombia: court rules against US bases plan as more details revealed

Border violence, US base plans escalate tensions between Bogotá and Caracas

Venezeula: isolated Amazon people die in "swine flu" epidemic

Suspects Arrested in Murder of Venezuelan Indigenous, but Chief’s Detention Fuels Conflict

Constitutional Reform Cuts Both Ways in Central America: The Right Pushes Back

Clandestine Graves Re-emerge in El Salvador

My Thoughts on Honduras--Robert White

Nothing resolved in Honduras

Honduras: US and coupsters pull bait-and-switch on Zelaya?

The Real Winner in Honduras: The United States?

Unilateral "Unity Government" Announced in Honduras; Deal "Dead"

President Obama's Credibility on the Line in Honduras

Honduras: political deal "dead"; bogus "unity government" declared

Mexico: campesino leader killed in Sonora massacre

Mexico: extraditions to US reach record high

International Tribunal on Trade Union Freedom Condemns Mexican Presidency

The Case of the Cuban Five

Biodiversity Report

Indigenous Uranium Forum Denounces Mining, Militarization, and Hate Crimes in Indian Country

Facing Economic Crisis, Citizen Organizations in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Mexico Fight Back Against Structural Adjustment

Inter American Press Association: free speech under attack across hemisphere

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

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

WNU #1010: “Popular Victory” in Honduras?

Weekly News Update on the Americas
Issue #1010, November 1, 2009

1. Honduras: “Reactionary Accord” or “Popular Victory”?
2. Honduras: US Officials Finally Act
3. Mexico: Labor Rights Tribunal Is “Scandalized”
4. Haiti: UN Force Renewed, Labor Rights Certified
5. Links to alternative sources on: Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Honduras, 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: “Reactionary Accord” or “Popular Victory”?
On Nov. 1 Honduran president José Manuel Zelaya Rosales expressed optimism about an agreement his representatives signed with the country’s de facto government on Oct. 30 to end a political crisis that began with a military coup on June 28. At the same time, he warned against possible “manipulation” by de facto president Roberto Micheletti. “[W]e need to stay alert until compliance [with the accord] is accomplished,” he told the Venezuela-based TeleSUR television network.

Under the agreement, the two sides and the Organization of American States (OAS) were to name a Verification Commission by Nov. 2 to make sure the accord is carried out. The two sides were then to form a multi-party Government of Unity and National Reconciliation by Nov. 5 and proceed with the scheduled Nov. 29 general elections. The agreement does not explicitly restore Zelaya to the presidency but calls on the National Congress to “return the incumbency of the Executive Power to its state previous to June 28” until the end of Zelaya’s term on Jan. 27.

The members of the Verification Commission were already named by Nov. 1. OAS general secretary José Miguel Insulza, a Chilean diplomat, appointed former Chilean president Ricardo Lagos (2000-2006) and current US labor secretary Hilda Solis. Zelaya designated Arturo Reina Idiáquez, a former university rector who represents Honduras at the United Nations, and Micheletti appointed Arturo Corrales, a member of his negotiating team.

Zelaya told TeleSUR on Nov. 1 that under the agreement Congress needs to return him to power by Nov. 5, since the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation is scheduled to be installed that day. The OAS, which still hasn’t lifted the sanctions it imposed on Honduras after the coup, may also impose a different deadline: in an OAS meeting on Oct. 30, Bolivian representative José Pinelo proposed that the organization hold a special assembly in Tegucigalpa on Nov. 16 to reconsider the sanctions--if the agreement had been complied with. (Vos el Soberano blog 11/1/09 from TeleSUR, 11/1/09 from EFE; Honduras Coup 2009 11/1/09)

On Oct. 30 the National Front of Resistance to the Coup d’Etat, the trade union and grassroots coalition which coordinated nonviolent actions against the coup, issued a statement on the Oct. 30 agreement calling the restoration of Zelaya to office “a popular victory over the petty interests of the coup-making oligarchy.” The victory had been “obtained through more than four months of struggle and sacrifice by the people,” which “despite savage repression” had been able to become “an irrepressible social force.” Although Zelaya had agreed in the accord to “renounce” any efforts to rewrite the 1982 Constitution through a Constituent Assembly, the statement called constitutional revision an “aspiration that cannot be renounced” and for which “we will go on struggling in the streets.” (El Frente Nacional de Resistencia contra el Golpe de Estado blog 10/30/09)

Groups to the left of the National Front weren’t as optimistic. On Oct. 31 the Trostkyist Central American Socialist Party (PSOC) denounced the agreement as a “reactionary accord with a taste of treason.” It criticized the “bureaucratic vices” of the National Front’s leadership, which it said had “committed many errors in the more than 100 days of resistance.” (El SOCA website 10/31/09 via Vos el Soberano)

An editorial in the left-leaning Mexican daily La Jornada praised the “admirable demonstrations of popular resistance within Honduras,” which, along with “international isolation,” had “cornered” the coup regime. But it noted the accord’s "questionable elements," such as the inclusion of the coup’s perpetrators in the government of national reconciliation. The “formal conclusion of the political crisis” is something positive, the editors wrote, but “the international community should be careful that [the accord] isn’t used as a pretext to give accreditation to the failed coup and to leave unpunished the crimes against humanity committed during the last four months.” (LJ 11/1/09)

*2. Honduras: US Officials Finally Act
There is little question that the US was the main force behind the Oct. 30 agreement between the de facto Honduran government and representatives of deposed president Manuel Zeleya. Talks to end the crisis were deadlocked as of Oct. 23, after 16 days of negotiations [see Update #1009]. A delegation from the US headed by Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Thomas Shannon joined the talks in Tegucigalpa on Oct. 28, and an agreement was signed just two days later.

Until Oct. 28 the administration of US president Barack Obama had publicly let Latin Americans take the lead in negotiations, claiming the US wanted to avoid “intervention.” “Not all countries have the same weight, especially in relation to Honduras,” Michael Shifter, vice president of the Washington, DC-based nonprofit Inter-American Dialogues, told the BBC network, referring to longstanding US economic, political and military ties to the country. “Who knows what would have happened if the [US] delegation had arrived earlier?” asked Eduardo Enrique Reina, the Honduran ambassador to the US appointed by Zelaya in July. (BBC 10/30/09 via Vos el Soberano)

Various US interests had been stepping up pressure on the Obama administration for a solution. On Oct. 27, just as the State Department delegation was about to leave for Tegucigalpa, seven trade associations--including the American Apparel and Footwear Association, the National Council of Textile Organizations and the National Retail Federation--sent Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton a letter on the crisis. "We are increasingly concerned that with the continued uncertainty regarding the political situation…the US-Honduran textile complex--one of the most vibrant in the Western Hemisphere--is in danger of being permanently damaged," the associations said. Imports of textiles and apparel from Honduras dropped by 38% in June, July and August this year, according to the letter, and exports of US textile products to Honduras fell by 38% in August, September and October, a $165 million loss. (The Hill (Washington, DC) 10/28/09) Honduras is a major center for the maquiladora industry, the tax-exempt assembly of products like apparel chiefly for export [see Updates #1005, 1006].

Meanwhile, US supporters of the coup were experiencing setbacks in their efforts to claim that the coup was legal and backed by a majority of Hondurans.

Several legal experts had already dismissed an August report by the Law Library of Congress claiming that Zelaya’s removal was constitutional [see Update #1009]. On Oct. 27 Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA), chair of the House Foreign Relations Committee, sent a letter to Librarian of Congress James Billington calling the report “misleading to the Congress and the public” and charging that it “contains factual errors and is based on a flawed legal analysis.” They asked for the Law Library to issue a corrected version including other views. The report had been requested by a Republican, Rep. Aaron Schock of Illinois, and Republican Congress members promptly charged Kerry and Berman with censorship. (The Hill 10/27/09; Miami Herald 11/1/09)

In late October the CID Gallup polling organization released the results of a survey it conducted Oct. 13-19 among 1,420 Hondurans over 18; the company put the margin of error at 2.8%. Some 42% of those interviewed recognized Zelaya as their president, as against 36% for de facto president Roberto Micheletti; 18% recognized no president. Those surveyed were split over whether it was necessary for Zelaya to be returned to office—with 49% against and 47% in factor—but 60% said that Zelaya had always or almost always done “what is good for the people,” while 59% said Micheletti had rarely or never done this. (La Nación (Paraguay) 10/28/09 from AP; Honduras Coup 2009 10/31/09). The latest poll followed the same pattern as the three other polls that have been taken in Honduras since the coup [see Update #1009].

*3. Mexico: Labor Rights Tribunal Is “Scandalized”
The International Tribunal on Freedom of Association, a new body investigating violations of the right to unionize, held its opening sessions on Oct. 26 and 26 in Mexico City. Created by more than 30 Mexican and foreign civil society organizations, the tribunal includes 16 authors, academics and labor and human rights activists from eight different countries. They heard testimony and received documents from 16 cases brought by trade unions alleging that the Mexican government had violated International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 87, on freedom of association and the right to organize, and Convention 98, on the right to collective bargaining.

The complainants included the National Education Workers Coordinating Committee (CNTE), a rank-and-file caucus in Mexico’s largest union, the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE). Mexican teacher Gerardo Cruz described how CNTE offices “were occupied, damaged and ransacked" by goons from the SNTE executive committee on the day of a local union election. Another focus was on the government’s Oct. 10 liquidation of the state-owned Central Light and Power Company (LFC) and the dismissal of some LFC 43,000 workers in what many consider an effort to break the Mexican Electrical Workers Union (SME), one of the country’s oldest and strongest independent unions [see Update #1008]. The Secretariat of Labor and Social Welfare (STPS) was invited to the public hearings but failed send a representative.

The tribunal is to issue verdicts in April 2010 after hearing other cases, but it made a preliminary declaration at the conclusion of the first two sessions. “We are concerned, surprised and even scandalized by the gravity of labor rights violations and the violence against workers that is occurring in Mexico," the members wrote. (Inter Press Service 10/29/09)

At an impromptu rally outside the Mexico City offices of the Federal Reconciliation and Arbitration Council (JFCA) on Oct. 31, SME general secretary Martín Esparza Flores told thousands of union members about plans to fight the LFC liquidation with legal challenges and a possible national solidarity strike by other unions. On Nov. 2 the SME leadership was to announce a financial plan for the laid-off workers, who have now gone for four weeks without a paycheck. The government is pushing for the workers to sign up for a severance package, which would mean giving up the right to challenge their termination. As of Oct. 31, 18,500 laid-off workers, about 42% of the total, had signed up, according to the STPS. SME spokesperson Fernando Amezcua questioned the number, saying 30,000 workers, about 70% of the work force, had filed the challenges called for by the union. (La Jornada 11/1/09)

As an extra incentive, on Oct. 18 the government announced that it would provide jobless electrical workers with scholarships of 5,387 pesos (about $405.11) a month for retraining if they sign up for the severance package by Nov. 14. The scholarships are to cover up to three months of classes in fields such as computer work, automobile repair and refrigeration. There will also be classes in English. (CNN Expansion 10/18/09; LJ 10/19/09)

*4. Haiti: UN Force Renewed, Labor Rights Certified
On Oct. 13 the United Nations (UN) Security Council approved a one-year extension of the mandate for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), a 9,000-member military and police force that has occupied Haiti under Brazilian leadership since June 2004. The main change in the mandate is a slight reduction in the number of soldiers from 7,000 a 6,940, with the number of police agents increasing from 2,000 to 2,211. (Adital 10/15/09)

According to Radio Jamaica on Oct. 20, US president Barack Obama has certified Haiti as having fulfilled workers' rights criteria. The country was required to establish an independent labor ombudsperson’s office and a program operated by the International Labor Organization (ILO) to assess compliance with basic labor rights in Haitian factories. Some local producers also had to participate in the ILO program. The labor rights certification means that Haiti will continue to be covered by HOPE II, US trade legislation which gives duty-free access to the US market for some apparel products and other articles assembled in the country, including brassieres, luggage headgear and sleepwear. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, called the certification a sign that Haiti was ready for business. (Radio Jamaica 10/20/09)

Former US president Bill Clinton (1993-2001), now a special UN envoy to Haiti, has joined with US and Brazilian business interests to promote the development of assembly plants (maquiladoras) in Haiti that would benefit from the HOPE II legislation [see Update #1007].

On Oct. 30 the Haitian Senate passed a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Michèle Duvivier Pierre-Louis, with 18 of the 27 members in favor of the motion. Pierre-Louis is now required to resign, and President René Préval will have to appoint a new prime minister. The motivation for Pierre-Louis’ removal, which was promoted by senators from President Préval’s Lespwa (Hope) party, is not clear, although critics said she had failed to move quickly to revive the economy during her 14 months on the job. The president is expected to nominate Planning and External Cooperation Minister Jean-Max Bellerive to replace her.

Both the UN and the US expressed concern that a new prime minister should take office as soon as possible. “The international community wants stability, predictability, and a government favorable to Bill Clinton's business investment project,” University of Virginia professor Robert Fatton told the Miami Herald. “Whether it's Michèle Pierre-Louis or not is irrelevant” to major players like Canada, France and the US. (Miami Herald 10/29/09; AlterPresse 10/30/09, __, __)

*5. Links to alternative sources on: Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Honduras, Mexico

Peruvian Cardinal Does Not Want Rebel Priest as President

Ecuador: The Battle for Natural Resources Deepens

Ecuador: Oil Giant Is Gone, Legal and Environmental Mess Remains

The Continuity of Immunity for Tío Sam in Colombia

International Criminal Court warns Colombia on paramilitaries

US signs military base plan with Colombia

Coca-Cola: Off the Hook for Colombia Terror

Venezuela: Colombian incursions, espionage charged

Venezuelan Labor Between Chavez and the Golpistas

Venezuela: Demarcation Without Land

"No Pago" Confronts Microfinance in Nicaragua

Obama shouldn't cave in to the far right on Honduras

Video: 100 Days of Resistance in Honduras

Clock ticking in Honduras

Honduras: deal announced, but coupsters admit it's bogus

Honduras: Solution or Stall?

Agreement to End Honduran Coup Marks Victory and Challenge

The Hidden Side of Mexico's Drug War

Mexican Political Prisoners Gloria Arenas and Jacobo Silva Released

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: