Latin America & the Caribbean

Mexico, a Democracy Where People Disappear at the Hands of the State

“Go and tell my dad that they’re holding me here,” Maximiliano Gordillo Martínez told his travelling companion on May 7 at the migration station in Chablé, in the southern Mexican state of Tabasco. It was the last time he was ever seen, and his parents have had no news of him since.

Concern over Profit-Oriented Approach to Biodiversity in Latin America

In July 2015, the Mexican government granted a U.S. corporation permission for the use of genetic material obtained in Mexican territory for commercial and non-commercial purposes, in one of the cases that has fuelled concern in Latin America about the profit-oriented approach to biodiversity.

UN Admits it Needs to do More After Causing Haiti Cholera Epidemic

Update: On Thursday 18 August the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the immunity of the UN from legal proceedings in the case of Georges et al v. United Nations et. al (the Haiti Cholera case) in accordance with the UN Charter and other international treaties.Six years since UN peacekeepers brought cholera to Haiti, the United Nations has finally accepted a greater degree of responsibility for its role in causing the outbreak, which has claimed tens of thousands of lives, and affected hundreds of thousands more.

Olympic Games – More Media Show than Sports Event

Brazil’s first gold medal of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics gave it a new multipurpose heroine, Rafaela Silva, whose defeat of the favourites in judo has made her a strong voice against racism and homophobia. Not only is she black and poor, but she just came out as gay.

Peruvians Say “No!” to Violence Against Women

Peruvians took to the streets en masse to reject violence against women, in what was seen as a major new step in awareness-raising in the country that ranks third in the world in terms of domestic sexual violence.

Women’s Inclusion in Sports Competes in Rio Games

At the age of 14, Kaillana de Oliveira of Brazil knows she won’t be as tall as most professional basketball players, because of family genetics. But she is not letting that get in the way of her dream of standing out in the sport.

The Wild Cards

The Rio Olympics began with the signature fanfare that accompanies the Games every four years. However, unlike every year, the nature and size of the spectacle, the synchronised dancers, over-the-top fireworks and the millions spent brought a new set of disappointments with them.

Native Plants Boost Local Diets in El Salvador

Juana Morales is cooking one of the most popular dishes in El Salvador: pupusas, corn tortillas with different fillings. But hers are unique: they are not made with the traditional corn tortillas, but use Maya nuts, a highly nutritional seed that has fallen out of use but whose consumption is being encouraged in rural communities.

Indigenous Communities Risk Lives in Struggle for Self-determination in Education

Indigenous peoples around the world continue to struggle for self-determination over their education, as highlighted by recent protests against proposed education reforms in Oaxaca, Mexico, which have left at least six people dead.

Right to Education Still Elusive for Native People in Latin America

Education, the most powerful instrument in the struggle against exclusion and discrimination, is still elusive for indigenous people in Latin America who remain the most disadvantaged segment of the population despite their wide presence in the region.

Olympic Games End Decade of Giant Mega-projects in Brazil

An era of mega-events and mega-projects is coming to a close in Brazil with the Olympic Games to be hosted Aug. 5-21 by Rio de Janeiro. But the country’s taste for massive construction undertakings helped fuel the economic and political crisis that has it in its grip.

Lessons from Germany for Latin America’s Energy Transition

Germany has been undergoing an energy transition for over 20 years, and it can offer valuable lessons to Latin America with regard to promoting renewable energy and moving towards a low-carbon economy.

Colombia Includes Gender Focus for a Stable, Lasting Peace

The novel inclusion of a gender perspective in the peace talks that led to a historic ceasefire between the Colombian government and left-wing guerrillas is a landmark and an inspiration for efforts to solve other armed conflicts in the world, according to the director of U.N.-Women in Colombia, Belén Sanz.

Urban Land – a Key Building Block to Full Rights

Now that the wind no longer blows her roof off and her house belongs to her, Cristina López feels safe in the shantytown where she lives on the outskirts of the Argentine capital. But she and her neighbours still need to win respect for many more rights they have been denied.

No Medals for Sanitation at Rio Olympics

The biggest frustration at the Olympic Games, to be inaugurated in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro on August 5, is the failure to meet environmental sanitation targets and promises in the city’s beaches, rivers, lakes and lagoons.

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