Connexions Resource Centre
Focus on South America
Recent & Selected Articles
- This is a small sampling of articles related to education and children in the Connexions Online Library. For more articles, books, films, and other resources, check the Connexions Library Subject Index, especially under topics such as
- Bolivian reality versus the extractivism debate (August 9, 2014)
Some left critics of progressive governments in South America point to differences between pro-extractivists and anti-extractivists. Federico Fuentes says that framework hinders real understanding of the issues.
- South America: How Anti-Extractivism Misses The Forest ForThe Trees (May 20, 2014)
A recent spate of high-profile campaigns against projects based on extracting raw materials has opened up an important new dynamic within the broad processes of change sweeping South America. Understanding their nature and significance is crucial to grasping the complexities involved in bringing about social change and how best to build solidarity with peoples struggles.
- The Dirty Hand of the National Endowment for Democracy in Venezuela (April 25, 2014)
Anti-government protests in Venezuela that seek regime change have been led by several individuals and organizations with close ties to the US government. The National Endowment for Democracy NED and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) have channeled multi-million dollar funding to Lopezs political parties Primero Justicia and Voluntad Popular, and Machados NGO Sumate and her electoral campaigns.
- The Politics of Pachamama (April 25, 2014)
While many economies and citizens have benefitted from the states larger involvement in the extraction of these resources, extractivism under progressive governments, as it had under neoliberalism, still displaces rural communities, poisons water sources, kills the soil, and undermines indigenous territorial autonomy.
- The KKK and Other Grassroots Movements (April 3, 2014)
A sign of a real revolution is its knack for conjuring a counter-revolution. To the extent that the Bolivarian Revolution has problems, the solution to them wont come from chats with those looking to overthrow it, but rather the organization of workers trying to fulfill its potential. There can be no neutral ground between those two positions.
- The Deceptive Use of the Phrase Peaceful Protests in Venezuela (March 29, 2014)
The Venezuelan opposition and much of the media use the term peaceful protests to distinguish gatherings of protesting students and other young people from the more violent actions.
- A Step Toward Justice in the Long "War on Terror": Uruguay Offers to Welcome Guantanamo Detainees (March 21, 2014)
Under the Presidency of José Pepe Mujica, Uruguay has made a number of international headlines in recent years for progressive moves such as legalizing same sex marriage, abortion and marijuana cultivation and trade, as well as withdrawing its troops from Haiti.
- Behind the Lies About Venezuelas Protests (March 14, 2014)
US Secretary of State John Kerry recently called on the Venezuelan government to end the terror campaign against its own citizens.
- The Class Conflict in Venezuela (March 5, 2014)
The current protests in Venezuela are reminiscent of another historical moment when street protests were used by right-wing politicians as a tactic to overthrow the elected government. It was December of 2002, and I was struck by the images on U.S. television of what was reported as a general strike, with shops closed and streets empty.
- Washington Seeks Regime Change in Venezuela (March 4, 2014)
Both the ongoing protests in Venezuela and the economic problems that the demonstrators are protesting against appear to have been orchestrated by the opposition in order to destabilize the country and bring down the government. Unable to gain power through the ballot box, the Venezuelan opposition has turned to unconstitutional means to oust President Nicolas Maduro.
- 9 things you need to know about Venezuela and the recent violence (February 27, 2014)
Behind the attempts to overthrow the Venezuelan government.
- Soon, the Battle for Venezuela (February 21, 2014)
They are already sewing your funeral gown, Venezuela. They are now ready to welcome you back to that world of the lobotomized, destroyed nations that are fully submissive to Western political and economic interests Indonesia, Philippines, Paraguay, Uganda, Kenya, Qatar, Bahrain, and almost the entire Eastern Europe. There are so many places like that it is impossible to list them all.
- Venezuela and the Imperial Script, 2004 Edition (February 21, 2014)
The minute some halfway decent government in Latin America begins to reverse the order of things and give the have-nots a break from the grind of poverty and wretchedness, the usual suspects in El Norte rouse themselves from the slumber of indifference and start barking furiously about democratic norms. It happened in 1973 in Chile; we saw it again in Nicaragua in the 1980s; and heres the same show on summer rerun in Venezuela, pending the August 15 recall referendum of President Hugo Chávez.
- Venezuela Under Attack Again (February 17, 2014)
A highly organized attack is once again being carried out against the democratic and popular government of Venezuela. It has involved monetary manipulations, economic sabotage, international media campaigns against the economy despite excellent economic indicators, defamation of the state run oil company, and deadly riots on the street.
- What's Really Happening in Venezuela? (February 16, 2014)
An analysis of the 2014 civil unrest in Venezuela.
- Venezuela Threatened by Far-right Violence (February 14, 2014)
A statement by the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network condemning the recent violent actions instigated by far-right sections of the opposition in various cities across Venezuela.
- Venezuela: The Political Economy of Inflation and Investment Strikes (February 10, 2014)
This paper adopts a Marxian class analysis to dispute the orthodox critique of high inflation in contemporary Venezuela. It draws a parallel between the 2002-03 oil industry lock-out and the capital strike in the Venezuelan foodstuffs industry today. In each case, capital has suspended production to bid up the price of basic goods and create widespread shortages.
Orthdox inflation-targeting conceals the class antagonism of capital strikes and highlights the class interests that underpin monetarism. The paper concludes that socialised production is a viable alternative to neoliberal austerity.
- Paraguay: Women at the Center of Resistance (January 6, 2014)
The headquarters of Conamuri is a gentle place that combines work with intimacy, like the campesino life that in some way it reproduces. The experience of Conamuri is great. They make their own rules and follow them in an educated way, not aggressively, but responsibly and with commitment. Although it may hurt, they tell us things to our face.
- Colombian farmers risk death to reclaim lost land (October 16, 2013)
The government wants to correct decades of 'land reform in reverse'. But powerful criminal, armed and business interests are ranged against the country's displaced peasants.
- Brazil: Balance Sheet and Prognosis (October 5, 2013)
The government is taking advantage of recent events to invoke the danger of the right and to reinforce the left wing of the ruling group. Ten days after the Rebellion of the Coxinhas we can now draw up a balance sheet.
- Brazil 2013: Mass Demonstrations, the World Cup, and 500 Years of Oppression (June 25, 2013)
Deep inequality lies in Brazil where the masses lack basic public goods. Billions of dollars being spent on the upcoming 2014 World Cup have triggered nation-wide mass demonstrations.
- Hugo Chavez and the Revolutionary Imagination (May 3, 2013)
Chavez was one of the most important voices for peace in Colombia a country ravaged by over 50 years of civil war. The revolution Chavez led in Venezuela is, without exaggeration, the most benevolent one in human history.
- Would You Believe That the United States Tried to do Something That was Not Nice Against Hugo Chávez? (April 10, 2013)
Wikileaks releases documents on U.S. efforts to overthrow Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
- The BBC's 'Bogeyman' Narrative on Hugo Chavez (March 7, 2013)
The changes in Venezuela, and throughout Latin America, over the past decade: the development of peaceful, democratic alternatives to the policies of neoliberalism; standards of living improved for millions of people following a process that has had popular, democratic support, are at risk of being written off as simply the actions of another 'anti-American' 'bogeyman' due to the media's relentless negative treatment of the Venezuelan government.
- The Chavez Legacy (March 6, 2013)
Chavez was a leader who, in unity with the people, was able to free Venezuela from the grips of US Empire, brought dignity to the poor and working class, and was central to a Latin American revolt against US domination.
- Hugo Chávez and me (March 6, 2013)
Tariq Ali's thoughts on how Hugo Chavez, the late president of Venezuela, will be remembered by his supporters as a lover of literature, a fiery speaker and a man who fought for his people and won.
- Preparing for a Post-Chávez Venezuela (March 6, 2013)
Hugo Chávez is no more, and yet the symbolic importance of the Venezuelan President that exceeded his physical persona in life, providing a condensation point around which popular struggles coalesced, will inevitably continue to function long after his death.
- How the Colombia Trade Agreement Accelerates Human Rights Abuses (December 21, 2012)
The Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) would lead, indeed by design, to the immiseration and mass displacement of rural peoples, especially Indigenous and Afro-Colombian. The article explores the displacement of indigenous peoples in the last year.
- The State and the Social Movements (October 15, 2012)
The article deals with the systematic, pervasive web of containment of social struggles and class conflict developed by the Brazilian Workers' Party (Partido do Trabalho, or PT) over decades, beginning in the 1980s, and culminating in its ten years in state power since 2002, first under Lula (20022010) and now under Dilma Rousseff (2010).
- Paraguay: A well-rehearsed coup (September 28, 2012)
The story behind the overthrow of Paraguayuan President Fernando Lugo.
- Make Sure You Don't Fall: Perspectives on the Recent Social Agitation in Chile, Part One (June 3, 2012)
Discontent and rage have always been there, but while Social Democracy was in power, the supporters of the regimewell placed in the open spaces for action and thought in high schools, universities and companieswere able to use them to channel protests into directions that did not endanger the political credibility of the ruling parties.
- Make Sure You Dont Fall: Perspectives on the Recent Social Agitation in Chile, Part One (June 3, 2012)
To understand and make sense of the recent wave of social unrest in Chile, we have to refer to the history of the last half century of this country: the revolutionary upsurge that had its peak in late 1972, the destruction of the social movement after the military coup, the neo-liberal restructuring imposed by the Pinochet regime and the consolidation of that legacy by successive civilian governments.
- Revolution against progress: the TIPNIS struggle and class contradictions in Bolivia (January 9, 2012)
Evo Morales's green light to a decades-old project to build a highway connecting Villa Tunari north to San Ignacio de Moxos through the indigenous territory and national park known as TIPNIS (Territorio Indígena del Parque Nacional Isiboro-Sécure), was the catalyst of his government's unpopular ratings.
- Out of the Backyard: New Latin American and Caribbean Bloc Defies Washington (December 7, 2011)
The CELAC meeting comes a time when Washingtons presence in the region is waning. Following the nightmarish decades of the Cold War, in which Washington propped up dictators and waged wars on Latin American nations, a new era has opened up; in the past decade a wave of leftist presidents have taken office on socialist and anti-imperialist platforms.
- Bolivia's Growing Crisis (November 1, 2011)
A confrontation between the government of Bolivian president Evo Morales and a part of his indigenous social base is leading to a serious political crisis. A violent police assault on indigenous community protests against a road being built through their self-governed Isiboro Secure National Park and Indigenous Territory (TIPNIS) have led to a growing confrontation.
- Bolivia's Uncertain Revolution (November 1, 2011)
Bolivia under the presidency of Evo Morales has become a favorite topic among progressives and social democrats, who have likened his ascendency to the nations highest post as nothing short of revolutionary. The buzz around Morales, a long time social movement figure and the first Indigenous president of the Andean nation has only lost a little luster since his election almost six years ago.
- Strike Wave Sweeps Brazil (October 3, 2011)
Workers in Brazilin heavy industry, services, the public sector, and agricultureare involved in a series of strikes and mass protests such as the country hasnt seen in decades.
- US and Colombia Escalate Attacks on Liberation Church (September 14, 2011)
The war on liberation theology.
- Bolivia: WikiLeaks Expose US Conspiracy (August 1, 2011)
Recently released United States embassy cables from Bolivia have provided additional insight to the events leading up to the September 2008 coup attempt against the Andean countrys first indigenous president.
- The Techno-Fantasies of Evo Morales (December 24, 2010)
There are two different Evo Morales: the one who makes international eco-proclamations and the one, at home, who is pushing dams, uranium excavation, cell towers, and mega-highways.
- Manual teaches intelligence agency employees how to spy on problem journalists (December 21, 2009)
The weekly Semana has revealed the existence of an instruction manual for employees of the Administrative Department of Security (DAS), Colombia's leading intelligence agency, that explains how they should spy on, threaten, intimidate and discredit NGOs, judges and journalists who create problems for the government.
- For the Reconstitution of the Movements from Below: Autonomy and Independence (December 15, 2009)
Within the grassroots there are mixed feelings of dissatisfaction, sadness and anger. The demand of re-appropriating the commons and natural resources like gas, petrol, minerals and water has fundamentally not been met. Transnational corporations continue to exploit and extract these resources, and the government manages them in a private, sectarian, inefficient and in many cases corrupt manner.
- Argentina: Disappearing Farmers, Disappearing Food (October 29, 2009)
Food sovereignty as defined by Via Campesina is the peoples' right to define their agricultural and food policy, and the right of farmers and peasants to produce food. Worldwide communities are seeking an alternative to a model controlled by Cargill, Monsanto, General Foods, Nestle and Kraft foods. Starved by industrialization and concentration, citizens are now hungry for traditional production methods and diversity in the food system.
- Through the Lens of Young Slum Dwellers (October 10, 2009)
Two dozen young slum dwellers in Buenos Aires began filming a documentary about themselves this month, in an attempt to break down the negative stereotypes with which they are portrayed in the media.
- Guinea Pigs Spell Independence for Women (October 2, 2009)
Raising guinea pigs has become an important means for Peruvian women to earn money to support their families, as well as to learn how to defend their rights.
- What Some US Reporters Don't Get About Brazil and the Honduras Crisis (September 23, 2009)
Clueless desk editors like those at the New York Times titled these conflicts "Riots in Honduras." But you don't need to be able to understand Spanish to see and hear that, distinct from rioters, the young people of the neighborhood that came out and violated the military curfew to defend their neighborhood from this police invasion know and have memorized complicated political slogans and rhymes which they chanted in unison. "Riots" are disorganized explosions. This neighborhood, and others like it, however, have been forced by the realities of the coup to organize themselves to a greater extent than ever before.
- Women Recycle for Income and Environment (September 12, 2009)
The women of this town in northern Venezuela no longer say "garbage" but rather "secondary raw material," and instead of referring to recycling, they talk about "separation at point of origin."
- Latin America: Women in History - More than Just Heroines (September 8, 2009)
Women in Latin American struggles.
- Brazil: Changing Lives Through the Power of Dance (September 7, 2009)
Founded in 1991 and directed by Dora Andrade, EDISCA is a non-governmental organisation that caters exclusively to children and adolescents from poor neighbourhoods.
- Volunteer Translators Wanted English to Spanish (September 4, 2009)
Connexions, an independent non-profit research organization and information clearinghouse based in Toronto, Canada, seeks volunteer translators to translate articles, and terms in our subject index, from English to Spanish, and from English to other languages.
- Militarizing Latin America (August 30, 2009)
Establishing US military bases in Colombia is only one part of a much broader effort to restore Washington's capacity for military intervention. There has been a sharp increase in US military aid and training of Latin American officers, focusing on light infantry tactics to combat "radical populism" -- a concept that sends shivers up the spine in the Latin American context.
- Why The U.S. Government Hates Venezuela (August 4, 2009)
Having lost in the realm of ideas, those supporting capitalism must compensate by other means.
- Damming Magdalena: Emgesa Threatens Colombian Communities (July 21, 2009)
Local people protest a project that attacks the region's biodiversity and communities.
- Movement Pachamama: Indigenous Movements in Latin America (June 1, 2009)
It is no accident that most of the remaining natural resources are on indigenous land. First the white world destroys their own environment, then they come asking for the last pieces of land they have put us on, the earth we have protected.
- An Unlikely Alliance: Indigenous and Campesinos Build an Alliance for Self-Defense (June 1, 2009)
In Colombia, campesinos are mostly non-indigenous family farmers who have often been pitted against indigenous people by wealthy landowners and corporations. Yet despite being traditional rivals, the Barí and campesino communities have been driven to a partnership by common enemies, including multinational mining companies, complicit Colombian regulatory agencies, and the US government.
- Bolivia's Autonomist Right -- A Dangerous Threat (July 1, 2008)
Autonomist right-wing forces in the Bolivian department (state) of Santa Cruz acting through the offices of the prefecture (governorship) and Santa Cruz Civic Committee held an illegal May 4 rerendum on departmental autonomy. According to the consulting agency Captura Consulting the yes side won 85% of the votes cast, with 15% against. However, many organizations within the left-indigenous bloc of the department had called for a boycott of the referendum, and were successful in obtaining an abstention rate of over 40%. Compare that to the remarkably low abstention rate of 15% in the December 2005 general elections that brought Evo Morales, the countrys first indigenous president, to office at the national level. Nonetheless, the right declared results a triumphant victory.
- Tide Turning in Latin America? (November 1, 2007)
NACLAs first volume in its new series, Dispatches from Latin America: On the Frontlines Against Neoliberalism, reported on an array of popular initiatives and left-leaning regimes across the continent. The second volume, Latin America After Neoliberalism, is also a collection of essays; but this one is organized by themes and more academic, though still accessible. The book is a useful guide for activists wanting a better understanding of the profound transformations underway in the region.
- Clausewitz on the Pampas: An Argentine Snapshot as Latin America Moves Leftward (2006)
- Latin America and Asia Are at Last Breaking Free of Washington's Grip (2006)
Chomsky discusses the growing independence of these regions from US domination.
- Eyewitness Chile: After 30 Years (January 1, 2004)
When I returned to Chile for the first time in 32 years to attend a week-long seminar called Thirty Years -- Allende Lives! Popular Alternatives and the Socialist Perspective in Latin America, I found myself entering the chilling atmosphere of the world's first laboratory for militarily imposed economic neoliberalsm.
- On Colombia (2004)
Chomsky illustrates the correlation between nations committing human rights violations - specifically Columbia - and American aid, exploring both direct and indirect effects.
Selected Websites and Organizations
- This is a small sampling of organizations and websites concerned with education and children in the Connexions Directory. For more organizations and websites, check the Connexions Directory Subject Index, especially under topics such as
Books, Films and Periodicals
- This is a small sampling of books related to education and children in the
Connexions Online Library. For more books and other resources, check the Connexions Library
Subject Index, especially under topics such as
- Changing Venezuela By Taking Power
The History and Policies of the Chavez Government
Author: Wilpert, Greg
Explores the historical and socioeconomic roots of the Venezuelan initiatives of recent years, the conflicts they have engendered, the achievements and pitfalls, the animating ideals of a genuinely participatory society, and the prospects for realizing them.
- The Devil Operation
Author: Boyd, Stephanie
A tale of corporate espionage unfolds in this exposé of torture, intimidation, and murder of Peruvian eco-activists and indigenous farmers. Shocking video footage, horrifying photos, and meticulous reports compiled by private security firms working for U.S. and British-owned gold mines are co-opted by the filmmakers to reveal the truth.
- Latin America The Liberation of Latin America
New Internationalist May 2003
A look at the issues which have surrounded Latin America and what is changing.
- Memory of Fire: Genesis
Part One of a Triology
Author: Galeano, Eduardo
A meditation on the clashes between the Old World and the New, and an an attempt "to rescue the kidnapped memory of all America." A fierce, impassioned, and kaleidoscopic historical experience that takes us from the creation myths of the Makiritare Indians of the Yukatan to Columbus's first joyous moments in the New World to the English capture of New York.
- Memory of Fire: Faces & Masks
Part Two of a Trilogy
Author: Galeano, Eduardo
A view of the 'New World' in the making, from the 1700s to the end of the nineteenth century.
- Memory of Fire: Century of the Wind
Part Three of a Trilogy
Author: Galeano, Eduardo
- Open Veins of Latin America
Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent
Author: Galeano, Eduardo
A political economy, a social and cultural narrative, and a powerful description of primitive capital accumulation.
- Relentless Persistence
Nonviolent Action in Latin America
Author: McManus, Philip and Schlabach, Gerald (ed.)
There is in Latin America a tradition of "firmeza permanente," relentless persistence, which has enabled the people to preserve parts of their culture during five centuries of conquest and oppression.
Learning from our History
Resources for Activists
The Connexions Calendar - An event calendar for activists.
Media Names & Numbers - A comprehensive directory of Canada's print and broadcast media. (CX5857).
Sources - A directory that enables journalists to find spokespersons of organizations. Organizations that list themselves in Sources signficantly increase their odds of getting called by reporters when they are doing a story of their issues..
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