Latin America

Haiti Six Months Later: Still Suffering

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It has now been six months since Haiti’s devastating earthquake. In this time, international governments, aid organizations and concerned individuals have donated vast amounts of money and countless hours to the relief effort. But, there are still real concerns about recovery efforts. Last week, TransAfrica Forum hosted a congressional briefing,“Haiti Six Months Later: Reports from the Ground,” to share the devastating news: “what has emerged in the six month period since the quake is a confusing mix of good intentions gone awry.”
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Obama Losing Popularity in Mexico and Argentina

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In early June, we released Waiting for Change, a report on President Obama’s first-year policies toward Latin America. We aren’t the only ones aware of limited progress: Latin Americans are also less enthusiastic than at last January’s inauguration.

On June 17, the Pew Research Center released its most recent 22-nation Global Attitudes Survey, with Mexico, Argentina and Brazil representing Latin American opinion. Though U.S. favorability ratings in these nations jumped after Obama’s election, this year’s poll shows that fewer people in Argentina and Mexico have confidence that Obama “will do the right thing in world affairs,” than did one short year ago. Brazil, which has received special attention from the Obama Administration, consistently responded more favorably to this poll than did the other two Latin American countries represented.

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Listen Up: Time for Change, Latin America & the War on Drugs

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We’ve seen up close how the production and trafficking of illicit drugs has fueled a war in Colombia, corrupted governments in Central America and brought terrifying violence to Mexican communities.  We know about the devastating effects of drug abuse in our own neighborhoods in the United States.  What has become clear is that solutions the U.S. government has pursued, such as the massive aerial spraying campaign in Colombia which destroys food as well as illicit drug crops or aid that encourages the Mexican army to police the streets and checkpoints do not solve the problem. Instead, it leads to more devastation and violence.

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Guatemala: A Blow to Hopes for Justice

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Guatemalans dreaming of and campaigning for a nation governed by the rule of law were devastated June 7th when the head of a UN-supported body set up to investigate organized crime resigned in frustration. Carlos Castresana had labored valiantly, as head of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), to investigate the organized crime that has penetrated the nation.

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Guatemala's Week of Natural Disasters

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Here’s an update on the recent natural disasters that have hit Guatemala from Kelsey Alford-Jones of the Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA (GHRC/USA):

A week after Guatemalans experienced a dual assault from Pacaya Volcano and Tropical Storm Agatha, volcanic ash still hangs in the air. Over 80,000 people wait in emergency shelters—the homes, crops and livelihoods of many completely destroyed.

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