Latin America


Grass-roots Chávismo awakes

30 January 2008 Letting the grassroots lead is the only way forward from the referendum defeat, says Reinaldo Iturriza López

Democracy diary

10 December 2007 Hilary Wainwright reports from Caracas on Venezuela's referendum - and the next steps towards reform

Searching for Che

25 October 2007 What is the significance of Che Guevara's legacy for contemporary Latin America? Nick Buxton travelled to the place of his death in Vallegrande, Bolivia, to find out

Chile or Venezuela – Which is the Good Democracy?

20 June 2007 Outsiders who are looking for democracy in Latin America, and in particular, interesting experiments in its expansion, may choose to visit Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Argentina. In Chile, thus far, you will find a President who calls herself a socialist, twinkles at the edges of the system with some reforms, but not much else. Rodrigo Acuña reports

Popular revolt in Oaxaca

1 December 2006 Luis Hernández Navarro tells the story of revolt, repression and the emergence of new institutions of democratic power in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. He argues that it prefigures the future of popular protest - and power - across the country

Tropical Blair or Axis of Hope?

1 December 2006 Hilary Wainwright returns from Sao Paulo to report on how social movements are preparing for President Lula's second term

Through gritted teeth

1 October 2006 The former head of Brazil's biggest development bank says the government is 'practising the most brutal policy of wealth and income concentration on the planet'. So what does it mean for the onetime hope of the left, President Lula, in this month's election?

Carbon credits and the green desert

1 September 2006 As the struggle for land and water resources in Brazil intensifies, Heidi Bachram discovers that the new carbon market is an added burden for vulnerable communities.

Doing the US’s bidding

1 July 2006 Ex-CIA man Philip Agee sees many parallels between what the US is doing in Venezuela today and its successful efforts to undermine the Sandinista government in Nicaragua in the 1980s

Fizzy pop and music

1 July 2006 Gruff Rhys, lead singer and guitarist for the Super Furry Animals, writes a diary from Colombia

Venezuela’s new model army

1 April 2006 It was all very mysterious; but indicative of the seemingly random way things can happen in Venezuela. I had only a few days left in Caracas after the 2006 World Social Forum.

Together Chile’s left can do more

1 January 2006 On 15th January 2006 Chile decided to elect its first female President Michelle Bachelet of the New Labour style Concertación coalition. Dario Kenner interviewed the radical left Presidential candidate Tomás Hirsch to discuss the nature of the left wing alternative offered by the Juntos Podemos (Together we can do more) coalition to the current domination of free market politics. Juntos Podemos is a coalition of fifty five organisations, including the Communist and Humanist Parties, that criticises the neo-liberal model and argues for the redistribution of wealth, participatory democracy and full justice in human rights.

Bolivia at the crossroads

1 December 2005 A deeply divided Bolivia will go to the polls this month. Evo Morales, the coca growers' leader and leader of the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS), will challenge Tuto Quiroga, a white neoliberal enterpreneur and vice president under the former dictator Hugo Banzer.

Lula’s lament

1 October 2005 The success of the Brazilian Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT), or Workers Party, acted as a beacon to the left worldwide. Now it has been revealed that it was governing on the basis of systematic corruption. Hilary Wainwright reports on how the quest for power perverted the PT and subverted democracy

Uruguay: the left is watching you

1 July 2005 In his first 100 days, Uruguay's President has devoted most of his time tiding up the mess left behind by 175 years of governments of the right and centre-right. His priorities have been a comprehensive emergency plan to alleviate extreme poverty and the search of bodies of the "disappeared" during the dirty war of the 1970s. Nevertheless, a part of the left has been left wondering about his policies on abortion, laicism and water services nationalisation

Argentina and the IFIs: better off without them?

1 February 2005 There is a popular saying in Argentina: más vale estar solo que mal acompañado (better to be alone than in bad company). Increasingly Argentines are wondering whether it isn't time to go it alone and leave the International Financial Institutions (IFIs, the IMF, the World Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank) behind.

Chile’s Copper Lady and her detractors

1 January 2005 The Socialist candidate Michelle Bachelet is close to becoming the first woman elected to lead a major Latin American country, after winning more than 45 per cent of the vote in the first round of the country's presidential election on 11 December 2005. But some on Chile’s left are not rejoicing, writes Justin Vogler. He spoke to Thomás Hirsch, who was a presidential candidate for the left-green coalition Juntos Podemos Más (together we can do more).

A continent at the crossroads

1 December 2004 In his introduction to Red Pepper's special features on the region, Pablo Navarrete explains why the left around the world is currently looking to Latin America.

How the British media covers Latin America

1 December 2004 Gerard Coffey reviews British media coverage of Latin America and finds it lacking.

Forget about Lula?

1 December 2004 Brazilian president Luiz Inacio 'Lula' da Silva has failed to implement the radical reforms expected in the wake of his 2002 election victory. So what went wrong? Should Lula's Workers' Party no longer be thought of as a left-wing force? And where does Brazil go from here? Alfredo Saad-Filho and Sue Branford discuss

Campesinos take on goliath of globalization

1 December 2004 Will Braun talks to Oscar Olivera about the life and death politics of water, oil and gas in Bolivia.

Chavez sweeps to victory in Venezuela’s referendum

1 September 2004 The referendum victory takes the Venezuelan revolution to a new stage, writes David Raby

Britain toes Washington line in Latin America

1 August 2004 The UK government's policy of ending direct aid to Latin America received fresh confirmation last month in a report published by the Department for International Development (DfID). Increasingly, British aid for the continent will be directed through the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Shanties into plough-sharing

1 August 2004 David Raby is impressed by the first moves to make a new model of development in Venezuela

Showdown time in Venezuela

1 August 2004 Hugo Chávez faces a test of his own devising as Venezuelans are given the opportunity to endorse or end his presidency.

Is Chavez next for the Aristide treatment?

1 April 2004 In April 2002 the US tried a classic military coup in Venezuela, but got their fingers burnt when it was defeated in 48 hours by a popular uprising backed by progressive forces in the military. Between December 2002 and January 2003, Washington incited a bosses' lockout which paralysed the oil industry. But the government regained control

Lula critics expelled from Brazilian Workers Party

1 February 2004 When Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva addressed January's Summit of the Americas in Monterrey, Mexico, his words were music to activist ears. Neo-liberalism, he said, was "a perverse model that mistakenly separates the economic from the social, stability from growth, responsibility from justice". "We in Brazil have begun the war against hunger," he continued. "The starving cannot wait."

UK campaigners join Amazon battle

1 February 2004 An international tribal rights group is calling on the Brazilian government to take a stand against corrupt local politicians and Western businesses following the kidnap of three Catholic missionaries who supported indigenous Indians in the northern Amazon.

Interview: Grace Livingstone on Colombia

1 December 2003 The war on terror is a recent global phenomenon, yet in Colombia the idea is at least 40 years old. Colombia's internal conflict has attracted US interest since the early 1960s and, now, Colombia is the third largest recipient of military aid after Israel and Egypt. Mariela Kohon interviews Grace Livingstone, author of Inside Colombia: Drugs, Democracy and War on Colombia's version of state terrorism

Crunch time for Lula

1 October 2003 "We are following the example given to us by Lula," said Joao Paulo Rodrigues - one of the leaders of Brazil's powerful Landless Movement (MST). "He taught us how to organise the people and to struggle. He is our reference point." Rodrigues was addressing thousands of people marching for agrarian reform in Pontal do Paranapanema, a huge area of disputed land to the extreme west of the state of Sao Paulo. He was defending the MST against accusations of "lawlessness" made by enraged landowners.

Report on Venezuelan Labour: the Process Continues

1 September 2003 Nationalise the Banks! Take over enterprises that have shutdown and run them instead by workers! Refuse to pay the external debt and use the funds to create jobs! Reduce the workweek to 36 hours! Create new enterprises under workers" control! These were some of the demands that emerged from the action programme workshop, which were enthusiastically endorsed by delegates to the first National Congress of the National Union of Workers (UNT) of Venezuela on August 1-2 2003.

Defending Chavez’s “Bolivarian Revolution”

1 July 2003 In Venezuela, the political climate has become increasingly radical and polarised. Chávez's supporters and opponents no longer seem to speak the same language. As a result, any attempt to analyse what is going on comes up against the problem that the normal sources of information are notoriously biased. Nevertheless, beyond the rhetoric and the confusion, the basic options open to the society are becoming clearer. On the one hand, the hard core of the opposition to Chávez is more evidently committed to neoliberalism; and, on the other, a government characterised by the multiple contradictions typical of populist regimes begins to take important measures, which point in the direction of an alternative.

International solidarity with Venezuela takes off

1 June 2003 Despite the misunderstanding and even hostility expressed by some leftists, the Bolivarian Revolution of President Hugo Chávez in Venezuela is seen more and more as a beacon of hope in a unipolar world. From 10-13 April 2003 - the first anniversary of the short-lived fascist coup against Chávez - thousands gathered in Caracas for an international solidarity meeting.

The Ramonet Affair

1 May 2003 The ongoing campaign by various Venezuelan media outlets to discredit the government of president Hugo Chavez resulted in a rather embarrassing turn of events last month.

What’s happened to Venezuela’s dream of progress?

22 April 2003 Monica Henriquez meets some Venezuelan dissidents

Mexico City to pilot radical Climate Action Programme

1 December 2002 The capital of Mexico, whose air is one of the smoggiest in the world, is set to become the first city with its own climate action programme. The ambitious 2002-2010 Valley of Mexico Metropolitan Area Air Quality Improvement Programme, nicknamed Poraire III, will set a global precedent if it succeeds in its aim to reduce health expenditures through air quality management.

New dawn in Brazil

1 December 2002 By electing Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva with a huge majority, the Brazilian people have overwhelmingly rejected the "Washington consensus" and given a huge boost to Latin America's burgeoning emancipatory movement.

Guns, threats and exploitation behind the banana trade

1 December 2002 Jan Goodey interviews Guillermo Touma, the leading Ecuadorian trade unionist and human rights activist, exclusively for Red Pepper Online

Caribbean Cold War

1 May 1996 As the US runs roughshod over international law, Harold Pinter demands justice for Cuba.



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