Latin America

The death of George H.W. Bush has dominated the U.S. news for days, but little attention has been paid to the defining event of Bush’s first year in office: the invasion of Panama. On December 19, 1989, Bush Sr. sent tens of thousands of troops into Panama, ostensibly to execute an arrest warrant against its leader, Manuel Noriega, on charges of drug trafficking. General Noriega was once a close ally to Washington and on the CIA payroll.

The recent death of 24-year-old Mapuche activist Camilo Catrillanca, who was gunned down in a police raid, has sparked wide condemnation and protests throughout Chile, writes Rodrigo Acuña.

In 2008, the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations published a report titled US-Latin America Relations: A New Direction for a New Reality. Timed to influence the foreign policy agenda of the next US administration, the report asserted: “the era of the US as the dominant influence in Latin America is over.”

Then, at the Summit of the Americas the next year, then-president Barack Obama promised Latin American leaders a “new era” of “equal partnership” and “mutual respect”.

Much of central Santiago de Chile has been brought to a standstill by protests against the police killing of 24-year-old indigenous Mapuche activist Camilo Catrillanca on November 14. Catrillanca joins Matiás Catrileo, Jaime Mendoza Collio, Alex Lemún, José Huenante and Rodrigo Melinaeo, all young Mapuche men who have been killed by Chilean police or disappeared while in police custody in recent years.

The cabinet picked by Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) is the most progressive in generations, despite some dubious choices, writes Ryan Mallett-Outtrim from Puebla.

Mexico’s first left-wing president in decades is one month away from taking office, though his cabinet picks — half of whom are women — remain a mixed bag for progressives. On one hand, AMLO supporters have welcomed selections like Olga Sanchez Cordero, the incoming interior minister who supports legalising abortion and recreational marijuana.

Within 24 hours of Brazil’s election result being announced, protesters gathered outside the Brazilian consulate in Sydney to express their opposition to president-elect Jair Bolsonaro and his fascist agenda.

Far-right candidate Bolsonaro was elected president in a second round run-off against Workers’ Party (PT) candidate Fernando Haddad on October 28.

Brian Mier, editor of Brasil Wire and Voices of the Brazilian Left: Dispatches From a Coup in Progress, spoke to Green Left Weekly’s Federico Fuentes about the victory of fascist candidate Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil’s presidential elections, and what it means for the coming period.

Following the election of ultra-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro as president on October 28, left MPs and party leaders in Brazil have warned about the dangers that a reformed military government could bring to the country.

Hundreds of women, men, children, youth and the elderly decided to leave Honduras on October 12 as a desperate response to survive, the Honduras Solidarity Network of North America writes.

The huge exodus that began in the city of San Pedro Sula reached more than 3000 people by the time the group crossed to Guatemala. The caravan, which is headed north to Mexico then aims to reach the United States, is the only alternative these people have to regain a bit of the dignity that has been taken from them.

Five hundred academics, Nobel prize winners, human rights activists and celebrities have released an international statement against the rise of fascism in Brazil.

Among the initial signatories are: Argentine Nobel Peace prize winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, African-American rights activist Angela Davis, US Senator Bernie Sanders, US actor Danny Glover, Chilean socialist academic Marta Harnecker, US academic Noam Chomsky, British-Pakistani writer Tariq Ali and economist Thomas Piketty.

Pages

Subscribe to Latin America