Industrial soy production continues to expand in Argentina, pushing small farmers out of the countryside and replacing other crops and cattle. It presents a challenge in a country where 70 percent of the food consumed comes from family farms, but which also needs the foreign exchange brought in by what has been dubbed “green gold”.
The government of Argentina is building a marriage of convenience with China, which some see as uneven and others see as an indispensable alliance for a new level of insertion in the global economy.
In the movie “A Day Without a Mexican“, the mysterious disappearance of all Mexicans brings the state of California to a halt. Would the same thing happen in some Latin American countries if immigrants from neighbouring countries, who suffer the same kind of discrimination, went missing?
If cities have souls, the Argentine capital’s is turning more and more grey. Real estate speculation, the fencing in and paving of parks, and the installation of private bars and restaurants in public squares have changed the face of the city. Green spaces with carefully tended flower beds? Today they’re found mainly in the nostalgia brought on by a classic tango song.
The murder of a young Argentine girl on a beach in neighbouring Uruguay shook both countries and drew attention to a kind of violence that goes almost unnoticed as a cause of death among Argentine adolescents: femicide.
The death of a special prosecutor investigating one of the biggest unresolved mysteries in the history of Argentina, the bombing of a Jewish community centre over 20 years ago, has put to the test an immature democracy that is caught up in a web of conspiracy theories and promiscuity between the secret services and those in power.
After adopting a new law banning trans fats in industrially processed foods, Argentina is starting out the new year with an improved public health outlook. The challenge now is for the food industry to incorporate the new rules, in an adaptation process that started four years ago.
Summers in northeast Argentina are hot and humid. At siesta time, the people of this rural municipality like to drink “tereré” (cold yerba mate), which until now they had problems preparing because of lack of clean water or electricity. But sometimes small donations can make a big dent in inequality.
The eternally young Latin America is also ageing, due to the rise in life expectancy and the drop in birth rates - a demographic revolution that poses new challenges in a region that has begun to move slowly away from its status as the most unequal part of the world.
The construction of gated communities on wetlands and floodplains in Greater Buenos Aires has modified fragile ecosystems and water cycles and has aggravated flooding, especially in poor surrounding neighourhoods.
The boom in unconventional fossil fuels has revived indigenous conflicts in southwest Argentina. Twenty-two Mapuche communities who live on top of Vaca Muerta, the geological formation where the reserves are located, complain that they were not consulted about the use of their ancestral lands, both “above and below ground.”
In Argentina there are more and more women in management-level positions in the public and private sectors, although they still have to forge their way amidst gender stereotypes, while shouldering the double burden of home and work responsibilities.
In Argentina they call it “yeil”, the hispanicised version of “shale”. But while these unconventional gas and oil reserves are seen by many as offering a means to development and a route towards energy self-sufficiency, others believe the term should fall into disuse because the global trend is towards clean, renewable sources of energy.
This small town in southern Argentina is nearly a century old, but the unconventional fossil fuel boom is forcing it to basically start over, from scratch. The wave of outsiders drawn by the shale fuel fever has pushed the town to its limits, while the plan to turn it into a “sustainable city of the future” is still only on paper.
Unconventional oil and gas reserves in Vaca Muerta in southwest Argentina hold out the promise of energy self-sufficiency and development for the country. But the fracking technique used to extract this treasure from underground rocks could be used at a huge cost.