Latin America & the Caribbean

Biodiversity and Food Security: the Dual Focus of the World Potato Congress

Potatoes were first taken out of Peru, where they originated, 458 years ago to feed the world. Half a millennium later, potatoes have spread throughout the planet but there are challenges to preserve the crop’s biodiversity as a source of food security, as well as the rights of the peasants who sustain this legacy for humanity.

Argentina Continues to Seek Truth and Justice, Despite the Hurdles

Thirty-four years after Argentina’s return to democracy, more than 500 cases involving human rights abuses committed during the 1976-1983 military dictatorship are making their way through the courts. This high number not only shows that the process of truth and justice is ongoing, but also reflects the delays and the slow process of justice.

Argentina’s Law on Forests Is Good, But Lacks Enforcement

Never in the parliamentary history of Argentina had something similar happened: one and a half million people in 2007 signed a petition asking the Senate to pass a law to reduce deforestation. The law was quickly approved, and promulgated on Dec. 26 of that year. But 10 years later, it has left a bittersweet taste.

Expansion of Soy Resurrects Key Railway Line in Brazil

The railroad can contribute to the economy, making transportation cheaper, but it is unlikely to foment equitable development in and of itself, apart from facing complex construction obstacles in countries like Brazil.

Tocantins, a River of Many Dams in Central Brazil

Tocantins, the newest of Brazil’s 26 states, which was created in 1988 to seek its own paths to development in central Brazil, fell into the common plight of expanding borders, based on soy and hydroelectricity.

Argentina Pursues the Lithium Dream

The government of Mauricio Macri dreams of Argentina becoming the world leader in lithium production. But it does not seem so clear that this aspiration, underpinned by the interest of multinational corporations, would also drive the development of local communities.

Clean Energy Sources Manage to Cut Electricity Bill in Chile

A 75 percent drop in electricity rates, thanks to a quadrupled clean generation capacity, is one of the legacies to be left in Chile by the administration of Michelle Bachelet, who steps down on Mar. 11.

Landlocked, a Railway Remains Idle in Brazil

The rails have been laid - thousands of km of rails deteriorating due to lack of use, to the despair of those who believe that a country as vast as Brazil can only be developed by means of trains.

Argentine Soldiers Rest in Peace in the Malvinas/Falkland Islands

Julio Aro, a veteran of the 1982 Malvinas/Falklands war, returned to the islands in 2008. When he visited the Argentine Military Cemetery he found 121 tombs that read: "Argentine soldier only known by God", and he resolved to return their identity to his fellow soldiers. Today he can say that, to a large extent, he has achieved his goal.

Uncertainty Surrounds Renegotiation of NAFTA and Its Consequences for Mexico

The first few months of 2018 will be key to defining the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), whose renegotiation due to the insistence of U.S. President Donald Trump has Mexico on edge because of the potential economic and social consequences.

Moralist Upsurge in Brazil Revives Censorship of the Arts

It is not yet an official policy because censorship is not openly accepted by the current authorities, but de facto vetoes on artistic expressions are increasing due to moralistic pressures in Brazil.

Central America Weakens Forest Shield Against Future Droughts

Jazziel Baca lives in the municipality of Esquías, in western Honduras, one of the areas hardest hit by the southern pine beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis), which damaged almost 500,000 hectares of forest in that Central American country between 2013 and 2015.

Central America Hashes Out Agenda for Sustainable Use of Water

The countries of Central America are striving to define a plan to promote the sustainable use of water, a crucial need in a region that is already suffering the impacts of climate change.

How a Venezuelan Living with HIV Could Change the Way Mexico Deals with Refugees

As Daniel*, a 26-year-old architect, stood before a visibly exhausted doctor in the main public hospital of the once-idyllic beach resort town of Isla Margarita, northern Venezuela, a terrifying premonition took hold of him.

To Be a Latin-American Migrant in Madrid

If you are in Madrid and have some spare time, just go to an area which residents consider a “high class” neighbourhood situated in a district bordering Barrio de Salamanca, one of the richest areas in the Spanish capital.

Rise of Teenage Pregnancy Deters Development Goals

A few years ago, someone shared a video with me that deeply impacted me. It was called "The Girl Effect". In three minutes, the video demonstrates the fate of millions of girls and teenagers around the world.

Venezuela’s Oil Industry Is Falling Apart

Corruption in the Venezuelan state oil industry, denounced by the government itself, and with former ministers and senior managers behind bars, is the latest evidence that, in the country with the largest oil reserves on the planet, the industry on which the economy depends is falling apart.

Using Data to Combat Prejudice Against Immigrants

What are the contributions of migrants to trade, to the economy of their countries of destination and origin? This is an angle that is generally ignored in the international debate on the subject, which usually focuses more on issues such as the incidence of foreigners in crime or unemployment.

Climate Change Threatens Mexican Agriculture

Azael Meléndez recalls the tornado that in May 2015 struck his hometown of San Gregorio Atlapulco, in Xochimilco, on the outskirts of Mexico City.

Central America Builds Interconnected Clean Energy Corridor

Countries in Central America are working to strengthen their regional electricity infrastructure to boost their exchange of electricity generated from renewable sources, which are cheaper and more environmentally friendly.

Debate on Glyphosate Use Comes to a Head in Argentina

In and around the city of Rosario, where most of Argentina's soybean processing plants are concentrated, a local law banned the use of glyphosate, the most widely-used herbicide in Argentina. But two weeks later, producers managed to exert enough pressure to obtain a promise that the ban would be overturned.

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