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  • Author: Cynthia Sanborn, Alvaro Paredes
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: During his 2011 presidential campaign, Peruvian President Ollanta Humala promised a new relationship between the Peruvian state and Indigenous peoples, in which the rights of the latter would be guaranteed and their participation in government would be treatedas fundamental.
  • Political Geography: Peru
  • Author: Jerónimo Carcelén Pacheco, Valentina Mir Bennett
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: While Chile has recognized and supported Indigenous rights through a variety of constitutional, legal and statutory norms, one of the most central—especially given the country's extractive industry—is one of the least settled. Officially International Labour Organization Convention 169 (ILO 169) has been in effect in Chile since September 15, 2009. But on September 4, 2009, just days before it was to take effect, the Ministry of Planning (today renamed the Ministry of Social Development) issued regulations intended to govern the norms and processes of consultation with Chilean Indigenous communities. Indigenous groups immediately rejected the regulations because the Chilean government had failed to consult them, calling it a law developed without "consultation about consultation." The regulations were officially overturned in March 2014.
  • Political Geography: Chile
  • Author: Silvel Elías, Geisselle Sánchez
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Although they constitute 40 percent of Guatemala's population, Indigenous Guatemalans face great inequality in terms of access to health, education, housing and—most critically—political representation. In 1995, the Guatemalan Constitutional Court asked Congress to approve and ratify International Labour Organization Convention 169 (ILO 169). Ratified on June 5, 1996, the Convention was elevated to the category of law, committing the Guatemalan government to adapt national legislation in compliance with it.
  • Political Geography: Guatemala
  • Author: Diana María Ocampo, Sebastian Agudelo
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: In Colombia's 2010-2014 National Development Plan, President Juan Manuel Santos listed the mining sector as one of the five engines of the country's economic growth, alongside infrastructure, housing, agriculture, and innovation. At the same time, the government recognized the need for regulatory, legal and policy instruments to make Colombia a regional powerhouse for mining and infrastructure.
  • Political Geography: Colombia
  • Author: Daniel M. Schydlowsky, Robert C. Thompson
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The Peruvian economy has experienced exceptional growth in the past 10 years, with its GDP expanding at an average yearly rate of 6.5 percent. Much of this growth is due to the mining sector, which in 2012 accounted for 9.6 percent of Peru's GDP, 1.3 percent of its employment and 56.9 percent of its exports.
  • Political Geography: Peru
  • Author: Paloma Muñoz Quick
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: While numerous United Nations mechanisms have addressed the impact of business activities on Indigenous rights, it was only in 2011—with the UN Human Rights Council's unanimous endorsement of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights—that the role of businesses in respecting, or abusing, these rights was officially acknowledged.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Carlos Andrés Baquero Díaz
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC), or consulta previa, has expanded throughout South America. Nine states have ratified the International Labour Organization's Convention 169 (ILO169)—the principal treaty regarding consulta previa. But regulations created by four of those states—Colombia, Chile, Peru, and Ecuador—contradict the commitments they accepted when they ratified the treaty, in effect violating the right of Indigenous people to be consulted on administrative and legislative measures that could directly affect them.
  • Political Geography: Colombia, South America, Chile, Peru
  • Author: Angela Bunch
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Indigenous peoples' control over natural resources continues to be one of the most controversial issues in international law. Numerous international human rights treaties recognize Indigenous communities' right to be consulted over the use of resources on or beneath their communal lands. But international law tends to consider third parties' exploitation of natural resources on Indigenous land to be legal—as long as Indigenous rights to consultation, participation and redress, among other rights, are met.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: José Guadalupe Gómez, Mash Mash
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Guatemala is a plurinational country that 22 Maya nations, Xinka, Garifuna, and Ladino people jointly call home. The efforts to gain access to natural resources-often without the consent of the communities affected-constitute another stage in the long history of dispossession and repression of Maya peoples since colonization.
  • Political Geography: Guatemala
  • Author: Cementos Progreso S.A.
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Guatemala ratified International Labour Organization Convention 169 (ILO 169) on June 5, 1996, more than a year after Guatemala's Constitutional Court, the highest court in the country, ruled in Document 199-95 that the Convention did not contradict the Guatemalan Constitution.
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Guatemala
  • Author: Diana Rodríguez-Franco
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: On a hot Sunday morning in July 2013, the inhabitants of Piedras, a small municipality in the Colombian Andes, gathered to decide whether large-scale mining activities should be permitted in their territory.
  • Political Geography: South Africa, Colombia
  • Author: Jose W. Fernandez
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: United States-Latin American relations have often suffered from a disconnect. While we stress security issues, the region's leaders speak of poverty reduction and trade. They resent being seen as afterthoughts to U.S. policies focused elsewhere. As a result, the region is sporadically open to new suitors, such as Spanish investors 15 years ago, or the Chinese today. Despite their frustration with Washington, Latin American leaders recognize that, as the hemisphere's largest economy and market, the U.S. remains the indispensable partner. The challenge, both for the U.S. and Latin America, is to agree on common economic priorities both sides can pursue jointly, rather than continuing parallel dialogues. Economic growth, poverty reduction and job creation are common elements on both sides' wish lists. Politically, the stars are more aligned than ever in recent history for a renewed emphasis on economics in our relations with Latin America. The administration of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has made clear that its priority will be economic reform at home and more integrated North American markets and supply chains. From the beginning of his term, the Mexican president called for elevating our economic diplomacy to the same levels as our security relationship, which led to the first High Level Economic Dialogue (HLED) between Mexico and the U.S. in late September.
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Francisco Miranda Hamburger
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: On May 25, 32 million Colombians will vote in one of the most important presidential elections in the nation's recent history—an election that will turn on the issue that remains Colombia's greatest challenge: putting an end to the armed conflict.
  • Political Geography: Colombia
  • Author: Sonia Meza-Cuadra, Katya Salazar, César Rodríguez-Garavito, Roberto Jungito Pombo
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: What have been the benefits of countries adopting consulta previa? Sonia Meza-Cuadra answers: Governments aim to make decisions that will improve the economic and social development and welfare of their citizens. But historically, decisions affecting Indigenous and tribal people's culture, ancestral lands and habitats have too often been made without their participation. ilo 169 and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples seek to redress this situation. The processes of free, informed prior consent, or consulta previa, have faced several challenges, most of which are rooted in the historical mistrust between governments and Indigenous peoples. Rebuilding this trust and reaching a consensus is complicated by the long absence of the state and, consequently, minimal public services in remote areas where most Indigenous people live. Progress in the implementation of ilo 169 has already benefited countries. First, the convention has improved awareness and understanding of Indigenous peoples' rights among the general population and the Indigenous community itself. Second, the laws, regulations and court decisions that have followed have laid the groundwork for more responsible and socially, economically and environmentally sustainable public and private investment. Third, in seeking to meet their commitments under the convention, governments and public officials have improved their capacity to seek popular consultation and consensus. Fourth, already the dialogues that have been established among governments, companies and communities have improved discussions among these stakeholders and lowered the long-term legal risks of these investments.
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Michael McDonald
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Dispatches: Guatemalan Migrants BY Michael Mcdonald Guatemalans returning home from the U.S. face unemployment, a maze of red tape—and social stigma. (slideshow available) Read a sidebar about voluntary return migration. Read a sidebar about the stigma that return migrants face. View a slideshow of return migrants in Guatemala below. Fidelino Gómez remembers fondly the years he spent in Iowa, where his middle child was born. Standing outside his one-room wood home in his native Guatemala, Gómez, 34, thumbs through pictures he took of the Mississippi River, snowy Midwest winters and gatherings with family and friends. He recalls easier times. “We lived well,” Gómez says under the searing sun. “We could feed our children, pay our bills, and we still had money left over.” From 2004 to 2008, Gómez and his wife María earned roughly $7 an hour working at Agriprocessors Inc., a slaughterhouse and meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa. The money was more than they ever imagined as subsistence farmers back home. But the family's dream was cut short when United States immigration officials raided the plant in May 2008, arresting hundreds of undocumented Guatemalan workers and deporting them. Now, like more than 100 other families deported after the Postville raid, they struggle to eke out a living back in the economically depressed farming village San José Calderas, some 40 miles (64 km) west of Guatemala City. They grow corn and beans to feed their loved ones and do odd jobs, scraping by on the equivalent of between $15 and $30 per month.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Guatemala
  • Author: Robert A. Boland, Victor A. Matheson
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The urgency and scale of hosting can provide a needed boost to public investment and transform a country's image, infrastructure and business conditions beyond the games. BY ROBERT A. BOLAND Do megasports events contribute to economic development? Yes Following the 2014 World Cup? Read more coverage here. In the next two years, Brazil will host the three largest mega sports events in the world: the 2014 FIFA World Cup this summer, and then the Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Rio in 2016. Other nations in the Americas and across the globe will be watching to see if Brazil's hosting duties lead to broad-based, lasting growth, or are merely an expensive distraction. While history provides examples of both scenarios, hosting such megaevents can provide lasting and transformative value, including to developing nations. Megaevents can accelerate the process of planning for and executing much-needed public investment, while the host countries or cities can rebrand themselves as safe for investment and trade, and as a destination for tourism. For democratic governments, the construction blitz around megaevents can cut through political deadlock, representing the best available chance to quickly bring about focused and necessary change. The ability to develop infrastructure that can improve the quality of life, health and economic strength of the host nation is key. Hosts with plans focusing on self-improvement, investment and the enlargement of existing assets tend to fare better than countries that simply build competition venues.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: America, Brazil
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Arts Innovator: Francisca Valenzuela, Chile Singer. Fashion designer. Entrepreneur. At 27, Francisca Valenzuela has already reached the kind of success usually associated with a professionally managed career. But instead of a top agent or a big record label, the San Francisco-born Chilean artist owes her achievements to a team that includes her mother, biochemist Bernardita Méndez, her boyfriend and artistic confidante Vicente Sanfuentes, and a small, committed staff in Chile that has skillfully used social media—including 275,000 Twitter followers and fans known as “Franáticos”—to spread the word of her talents. Valenzuela is one of the most engaging examples of a new generation of artist-entrepreneurs who are controlling their own career paths. “I'm not waiting for someone to come rescue me industry-wise,” Valenzuela says, describing how, when her music took off in her late teens, she and her mother purchased Business for Dummies online to understand the fine print in her first contract. Valenzuela's early musical success—with a hit single, Peces (Fish) in 2006—came after years of performing in talent shows, but she was never “serious” about music until she started performing on the underground jazz circuit in Chile. She eventually dropped out of the Universidad Católica de Chile, where she was studying journalism, to pursue her burgeoning musical career. Along the way, she has had two books published, two pop-rock albums that went platinum and gold in Chile, and designed a clothing line for the Chilean brand Foster. Now, Valenzuela develops projects and artistic collaborations through her own company, FRANTASTIC Productions. “We've structured an independent enterprise basically run by two people [that's] competitive with counterparts who have a whole corporate background,” she says proudly. Valenzuela's do-it-yourself ethic in the music industry is not the only thing that sets her apart from many of her peers. Valenzuela spent the first 12 years of her life in the United States before the family relocated to Santiago. In fact, Valenzuela's first book—Defenseless Waters, a collection of poems that she published at age 13 about themes ranging from long-lost love to social injustice to nature—was written in English. “When I was young in the Bay Area, everyone seemed to be doing extracurricular activities, sports, painting, nurturing kids,” she recalls. Valenzuela's literary background and political convictions have inspired her songwriting in Spanish. The title song of her latest album, Buen Soldado (Good Soldier, 2011), focuses on the power dynamic between men and women, and she has been an outspoken advocate of sexual diversity and LGBT rights in Chile, participating in gay rights marches since she was 14.
  • Topic: Development, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Brazil
  • Author: Robert Muse, Natalie Schachar, Charles Kamasaki
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Travel Regulations: OFAC and Cuba BY ROBERT MUSE The re-opening of “people-to-people” travel to Cuba by President Barack Obama in early 2011 was the boldest and, arguably, the single most consequential step taken by his administration in relation to the island. It was in fact a revival of a Clinton-era exemption to the decades-old ban on U.S. citizens visiting that country. The exemption had been closed in 2003 by President George W. Bush. Visits to Cuba must meet two requirements to be approved as people-to-people travel: the travel must be for an educational purpose, not tourism; and there must be frequent “meaningful” interactions between the U.S. travelers and Cubans who are not officials of the government of Cuba. The educational requirement of people-to-people trips is most often met through cultural programs that explore such subjects as Cuban music, dance, fine art, and architectural history. However, among many other current offerings there are also environmentally themed trips, as well as programs focused on the Cuban health care and education systems. Since the program was re-introduced, an estimated 100,000 Americans have been visiting Cuba each year on people-to-people trips. The visits have been organized by a wide variety of groups, including the National Geographic Society, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and dozens of similar institutions. The travelers meet and talk with Cubans from different backgrounds and leave millions of dollars in the hands of non-state restaurateurs, artists, musicians, taxi drivers, and small farmers who supply the new private eateries of a changing Cuba.
  • Topic: Development, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Argentina, Cuba
  • Author: Ted Piccone, Jim Swigert, Ariel Fiszbein
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Cuban Revelations: Behind the Scenes in Havana by Marc Frank BY TED PICCONE Popular interest in Cuba will continue to grow as Americans open their eyes and ears to one key fact: after 55 years, Cuba is changing. It is shifting from a highly centralized, paternalistic, socialist regime, both lauded and vilified for achieving social progress at the cost of democracy and civil liberties, to a hybrid system in which individual initiative, decentralization and some forms of limited debate are encouraged. As the Castro brothers prepare to leave the scene, they are handing power to a more institutionalized Communist party that maintains tight political control even as it liberalizes the economy. Marc Frank's new book, Cuban Revelations: Behind the Scenes in Havana, expertly captures this evolving terrain. He provides a clear and compelling guide to the transition from Fidel to Raúl Castro after the demise of the Soviet Union. Frank, currently a freelance journalist for Thomson Reuters and the Financial Times, deploys his two decades in Cuba and his extensive network of colleagues, friends and family (he is married to a Cuban) to explain to both seasoned and amateur observers why Cuba's leaders are embarking on a new path. This is no easy assignment. Nearly everything about life in Cuba today is complicated by Cuba's outsized role during the Cold War, the trauma of exile and the opaque nature of its regime. Despite Cuba's controlled media environment, Frank managed to open doors to information not readily available to others, a testament to his intrepid reporting.
  • Topic: Economics, Governance
  • Political Geography: America, Soviet Union, Cuba
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: World Cup Update Following the 2014 World Cup? Read more coverage here. With preparations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup nearing completion, soccer fans across the region can turn their attention to what really matters: their national team's chances of winning on the world's biggest stage. Although European teams have won four of the last six competitions, South American teams have historically fared far better when playing at home. The World Cup draw last December placed the 32 qualifying teams in eight groups of four. From June 12 to June 26, each team will play the other teams in its group in a round- robin format. The top two teams from each group will advance to the elimination round. Not all groups are created equal, so here are some predictions for the hemisphere's 10 qualifying teams.
  • Topic: Development, Markets
  • Political Geography: Europe, Brazil, South America
  • Author: Leani García, Kate Brick
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: As the costs of higher education continue to reach new heights, access to in-state tuition for public universities and colleges is often the determining factor in whether students will be able to continue their education beyond high school. Despite having grown up and been residents of states often longer than the typical residency requirements, undocumented immigrant youth, also known as DREAMers—named after the Senate's DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act—have historically been excluded from this critical state benefit. But this is changing.
  • Political Geography: California, Colorado
  • Author: Charles Hale
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The field of Latin American studies has been a target for critics ever since it became a prominent feature of the U.S. academic landscape in the 1960s. Earlier critiques were quite severe, often permeated by the premise that studying Latin America from the North (and even the very concept of "Latin America" as an object of study) connoted the region's racial and cultural inferiority. This was further aggravated by the inability to fully disentangle Latin American research from U.S. economic and geopolitical interests. Even the most apparently benign scholarship was considered to be a reinforcement of North-South hierarchies of knowledge and power.
  • Political Geography: Latin America
223. Protest U.
  • Author: Indira Palacios-Valladares
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Millions of students have taken to the streets across Latin America in recent years in protests that reflect an unprecedentedly broad mobilization of popular opinion.
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Carolina Ramirez
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The promise of upward mobility for Latin America's new middle classes has led to swelling university enrollment rates, but also to growing debt.
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Jesus Velasco
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: A recurrent theme in the immigration debate is how the United States can keep and attract the world's brightest minds. President Barack Obama and others favor maintaining and perhaps even expanding the number of visas for high-skilled immigrants. In his 2013 State of the Union address, Obama said the U.S. needed to "attract the highly skilled entrepreneurs and engineers who will help create jobs and grow our economy." A few days later, on January 29, 2013, at El Sol High School in Las Vegas, Nevada, Obama underlined the point: "Right now, there are brilliant students from all over the world sitting in classrooms at our top universities[.]but once they earn that diploma, there's a good chance they'll have to leave the country[..]That's why we need comprehensive immigration reform."
  • Topic: Immigration
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Álvaro José Mejía Arias
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Since its formation in February 1971, the Consejo Regional Indígena del Cauca (Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca—CRIC) has made the education of young Indigenous Colombians one of its most important goals.
  • Political Geography: Colombia
  • Author: Carol Stax Brown
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The United States and Latin America are both struggling to find ways to improve participation in quality education in the face of a labor-market skills gap. But all too often, policymakers, businesses and educators have looked to elite universities as a way of meeting those gaps. While important for high-end jobs, labor market and social demands also require us to look elsewhere.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Gabriel Sanchez Zinny
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The combination of sustained economic growth in Latin America, a region-wide expansion of the middle class, and a newly competitive business environment has boosted demand for quality education, and stoked desires for alternatives.
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Timothy DeVoogd
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: I expected high school biology students. Instead, I was facing 120 middle school students who were on an outing to Maloka, an innovative science museum in Bogotá.On the fly, I changed my presentation on how the brain works into a series of demonstrations. At the end, I was awed by the questions: "My mother has epilepsy; why is it that she doesn't recognize me when she has a seizure?" "I have a pet bird. Does he learn like I do?"
  • Political Geography: United States, Brazil, Riyadh
  • Author: Juan Cristobal Bonnefoy
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Those following tech and continuing education news have been surprised by the rising popularity of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). The basic promise for professionals in Latin America and the Caribbean is quite alluring: free online access to a world-class knowledge base. But questions remain. Will this new learning methodology last, or fade quickly once the novelty is gone?
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Richard André
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: In a landmark ruling, the Dominican Republic's Constitutional Court last September stripped an estimated 210,000 individuals—most of whom are Dominicans born to Haitian sugar cane workers—of their citizenship, effectively leaving them stateless. The ensuing outcry from the international community has included Junot Díaz and Edwidge Danticat—two of the best-known contemporary authors from the island of Hispaniola. Friends for over 20 years, Danticat (from Haiti) and Díaz (from the D.R.) have been relentless in their condemnation of the ruling. In a written exchange moderated by Americas Quarterly production editor and Haitian-American Richard André, Díaz and Danticat discuss the roots and legacies of racism and conflict in the neighboring nations, the impact of the court's ruling, and the responsibility of the diaspora to build bridges between Dominicans and Haitians and defend human rights at home and abroad.
  • Political Geography: Island
  • Author: Santiago A. Canton, Wade H. McMullen, Jr.
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Juliana Deguis Pierre was born in 1984 in Los Jovillos, Dominican Republic, 72 miles (116 kilometers) west of Santo Domingo. Under the country's constitutional recognition of birthright citizenship, Deguis—the daughter of two undocumented Haitian immigrants working in the sugar cane fields—was issued a birth certificate recognizing her Dominican nationality. Now 29 years old, she has never traveled outside her native country. She speaks fluent Spanish and hardly any Creole.
  • Author: Boris Muñoz
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: On April 10, Venezuelans stayed up past midnight to watch an event on TV that just a few weeks prior would have seemed incredible, almost miraculous: after three months of intense protests, headed by students in alliance with the most combative sectors of the opposition calling for President Nicolás Maduro's departure, the government and the opposition, thanks to mediation from the Unión de Naciones Suramericanas (Union of South American Nations—UNASUR), sat down to negotiate.
  • Political Geography: South America
  • Author: Joan Caivano, Jane Marcus-Delgado
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The gender-based data on social inclusion clearly indicate the opportunities and obstacles facing women in Latin America-as well as numerous contradictions and complexities. An examination of new trends, laws and policies brings to mind the Spanish expression, "Del dicho al hecho, hay mucho trecho. " In other words, even in many areas where there appears to have been significant progress, intervening barriers frequently preclude its consistent application.
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Matthew Budd, Marcela Donadio
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: With 11 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2012, Nicaragua stands out as a relatively fortunate exception in a region whose homicide rates rank among the world's highest. Its northern neighbors all recorded rates at least three times greater: with Guatemala at 34.3 murders per 100,000 citizens; El Salvador at 41.5; and—at the top of this grim list—Honduras at 85.5. To the south of Nicaragua, only traditionally stable and more developed Costa Rica recorded a lower rate (8.8). Panama registered 17.6 murders per 100,000 in 2012.
  • Political Geography: America, Tanzania, Honduras, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador
  • Author: Arturo Cherbowski Lask, Francisco Suarez Hernandez, Amgad Shehata, Salvador Alva Gómez Salvador
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: It's important to keep in mind that a region consists of different countries, each with its own needs and strengths, and bound to its particular culture and history—although tied firmly to a common, shared history and culture. In this mosaic, universities try to respond to their regional, national and local demands. Thus, the fields of knowledge and particular disciplines that each university develops answer to specific needs.
  • Topic: Culture
  • Political Geography: Germany
  • Author: Nathaniel Parish Flannery
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Can Mexico exploit its new demographic dividend? With contributing research from Miryam Hazán and Carlos López Portillo Maltos of Mexicans and Americans Thinking Together (MATT). Read a sidebar on Mexicans and Americans Thinking Together (MATT's) electronic job bank. Read a sidebar on Mexican migrants' return to restaurant work. José Antonio Pérez remembers as a child seeing migrants climbing onto La Bestia ("The Beast"), the train that carries Central American migrants north to the state of Oaxaca, and wondering where they were going. An uncle told him the migrants were "traveling to El Norte," the United States. "I didn't understand," Pérez recalled. "I only understood when I was older." At the age of 14, he joined them. He left his hometown of Arriaga, Chiapas, in 2003 and found work in a greenhouse in Chestertown, Virginia.
  • Topic: Migration
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Mexico
  • Author: Sarah Stephens, Joel Brito
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The EU has recognized that its Common Position has failed to improve human rights in Cuba. It's time for the U.S. to do the same with its embargo. BY SARAH STEPHENS Will warming Cuba-EU ties open up U.S.- Cuba relations? Yes When Louis Michel, then-development commissioner for the European Union (EU), met in 2009 with Bruno Rodríguez, Cuba's foreign minister, he worried openly about the slow pace of EU diplomacy. “I think that if the European Union does not consolidate the normalization of relations with Cuba,” Michel said, “the Americans will do so before us.”1 He need not have been concerned. In the nearly five years since Michel and Rodríguez sat down together, the Cuban government has pursued reforms to pry the island's economy back from the edge of crisis—ranging from creating space for entrepreneurship to ending travel restrictions. Now is the time for the United States to follow its Atlantic partner and get off the sidelines when it comes to engaging Havana. The Obama administration's track record signals some hope: thus far, the president has used his executive authority to restore Cuban-American family travel, reinstate people-to-people trips, and reconvene the episodic talks on migration and postal delivery. But he has left undisturbed the essential architecture of U.S. policy inherited from the Eisenhower era.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Business Innovator: Lisa Besserman Lisa Besserman could be at home anywhere in the world; but last year, the Queens, New York, native put down roots in Argentina to launch Startup Buenos Aires, to motivate, support and connect startups across the globe. The 29-year-old tech entrepreneur, named one of the “100 Most Influential Tech Women on Twitter” by Business Insider Australia in May, says that her goal is to put Buenos Aires “on the map of global startup ecosystems.” Her clients seem to agree. A year after its launch, her organization—which helps local startups find employees and funding, and connects local tech talent to projects and employers—has attracted some 4,000 members, including foreign firms. Besserman is a successful example of a new class of global workers that could be called “tech nomads.” In November 2012, feeling constrained by corporate culture in New York City, Besserman left her job as director of operations at AirKast Inc., a mobile app development startup, and looked at a map to determine where she'd begin her next business venture. The only requirement: the city had to have a similar time zone to the East Coast to make doing business easier.
  • Political Geography: New York, Colombia, Cuba
  • Author: Jaana Remes, Patricia Ellen, Raúl Rodríguez-Barocio, Cynthia J. Arnson
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Peace: Elections and Peace in Colombia BY CYNTHIA J. ARNSON Colombia's 2014 presidential elections marked a watershed in the country's politics. This was not because incumbent President Juan Manuel Santos won by nearly six percentage points, after having narrowly lost the first round to Óscar Iván Zuluaga, a hardliner backed by Santos's political nemesis, former president Álvaro Uribe. Rather, the campaign offered—as never before—starkly opposing visions of how to end Colombia's 50-year conflict with the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—FARC): through direct peace negotiations on a tightly constructed agenda, or through military action aimed at the FARC's defeat or surrender. Understanding how the elections became a referendum on the peace process—and on uribismo itself—requires looking less at the candidates themselves than at the alliance, and then bitter parting, of Santos and Uribe. Santos and Zuluaga served together in Uribe's cabinet, Santos as defense minister and Zuluaga as finance minister. Both had similar attitudes toward Colombia's economic opening and management, which led to record levels of foreign direct investment and growth rates well above the Latin American average.
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Colombia
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Competitive Eating Summertime in the U.S. typically evokes the image of barbecues featuring all-American fare. But for a group of unique, dedicated elite athletes, summertime food conjures up a chance at glory. Competitive eating was introduced in Coney Island on July 4, 1916, by Nathan's Famous to determine who could ingest the most hot dogs within a set time. Since then, it has pulled in a number of other foods, including the “accoutrements,” with the sponsorship of Coca-Cola and Heinz Ketchup—not to mention the upset-stomach reliever Pepto-Bismol. The sport revived in the mid-1990s when brothers George and Richard Shea took the helm of Nathan's Famous' publicity machine and gave it an air of serious athleticism, with rules overseen by two main bodies. The better-known Major League Eating (MLE) is run by the Shea brothers and hosts over 80 competitive eating events a year around the United States. But the crowning event remains the annually televised Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island. Then there's All Pro Eating Promotions, best known for inventing “picnic-style rules” in the U.S.—competitors must eat the food as presented, without mutilating it in any way.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Johanna Mendelson, Anthony Spanakos, Roger-Mark De Souza
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Venezuela Before Chávez: Anatomy of an Economic Collapse by Ricardo Hausmann and Francisco R. Rodríguez BY ANTHONY SPANAKOS During the 1970s, Venezuela was the richest country in Latin America. With the region's highest growth rates and the lowest levels of inequality, it was also one of the most stable democracies in the Americas. But starting in the early 1980s, things fell apart. The nation endured three coup attempts and one presidential impeachment. Per capita growth plunged, and mass protests became the norm. What happened? Venezuela Before Chávez: Anatomy of an Economic Collapse, edited by Ricardo Hausmann and Francisco R. Rodríguez, offers some intriguing answers. Pointedly departing from much of the current research (and political discussion) on Venezuela, which focuses on the 14-year presidency (1999–2013) of late President Hugo Chávez, the editors have assembled a distinguished group of experts with the aim not only of exploring, as they put it, the “enigma” of Venezuela's pre-Chávez collapse, but to explain why some countries go through such turbulence. The unexpected outcomes in Venezuela are used by the authors to challenge hypotheses that rely on big data analysis to explain economic collapse. While the explanation behind Chávez' rise to power may draw attention, as Venezuela continues to be rocked by internal conflict following his death, it is the book's second aim that makes it stand out as an important work of scholarship.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: In most countries the process isn't always clear or direct. Who does it, how to do it and how long it can take varies from country to country—a refl ection of the vagueness of ILO 169 and the uneven development of government regulations across the hemisphere. To compare, here are the steps you would need to take in Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, and Peru.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Colombia, Chile, Peru, Guatemala
  • Author: Rebecca Bintrim
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Across the Andes, land-and natural resource-related conflict has been increasing in the past 10 years, with only minor fluctuations from year to year. In the past six years, those conflicts have occurred against a backdrop of discussion, adoption and refinement of International Labour Organization Convention 169 (ILO 169) and consulta previa regulations to govern it. While not necessarily related, the long-term trends in conflict and the adoption of consulta previa raise important questions. Can consulta previa address or contain long pent-up frustrations and conflicts? Or will the rising expectations they bring to communities, if the laws are imperfectly or subjectively implemented, lead to even more conflict? The Charticle here shows the risks of the latter.
  • Topic: Government
  • Author: Cynthia Sanborn, Alvaro Paredes
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: During his 2011 presidential campaign, Peruvian President Ollanta Humala promised a new relationship between the Peruvian state and Indigenous peoples, in which the rights of the latter would be guaranteed and their participation in government would be treatedas fundamental.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Peru
  • Author: Jerónimo Carcelén Pacheco, Valentina Mir Bennett
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: While Chile has recognized and supported Indigenous rights through a variety of constitutional, legal and statutory norms, one of the most central—especially given the country's extractive industry—is one of the least settled.
  • Political Geography: Chile
  • Author: Geisselle Sánchez, Silvel Elías
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Although they constitute 40 percent of Guatemala's population, Indigenous Guatemalans face great inequality in terms of access to health, education, housing and—most critically—political representation.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Guatemala
  • Author: Sebastian Agudelo, Diana María Ocampo
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: In Colombia's 2010–2014 National Development Plan, President Juan Manuel Santos listed the mining sector as one of the five engines of the country's economic growth, alongside infrastructure, housing, agriculture, and innovation. At the same time, the government recognized the need for regulatory, legal and policy instruments to make Colombia a regional powerhouse for mining and infrastructure.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Colombia
  • Author: Daniel M. Schydlowsky, Robert C. Thompson
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The Peruvian economy has experienced exceptional growth in the past 10 years, with its GDP expanding at an average yearly rate of 6.5 percent. Much of this growth is due to the mining sector, which in 2012 accounted for 9.6 percent of Peru's GDP, 1.3 percent of its employment and 56.9 percent of its exports.
  • Topic: Economics, Communications
  • Political Geography: Peru
  • Author: Paloma Muñoz Quick
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: While numerous United Nations mechanisms have addressed the impact of business activities on Indigenous rights, it was only in 2011—with the UN Human Rights Council's unanimous endorsement of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights—that the role of businesses in respecting, or abusing, these rights was officially acknowledged.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United Nations