Stories written by Humberto Márquez
Humberto, who joined IPS in 1999, has been a journalist for more than 25 years, specialising in international news. He worked for 15 years with Agence France-Presse (AFP), 10 as assignment editor in Caracas, covering Venezuela, the Caribbean and the Guyanas. He also worked for more than five years in the international section of the Caracas newspaper El Nacional. Márquez has covered various international conferences, regional summits, electoral processes in the Americas and Europe, conflicts and peace negotiations, tours by the Pope, the petroleum business, sports events and the state of prison systems.

Grassroots Venezuelan Initiative Aims to Combat Electricity Crisis with Solar Energy

Sweating profusely, unable to sleep because of the heat, fed up with years of blackouts several times a day, many residents of Venezuela's torrid northwest want to cover the roofs and balconies of their homes with solar panels, and are asking the government to import them massively and cheaply from China.

Venezuela Bids Farewell to Its Last Glacier, Wrapped in Plastic

Venezuela has undertaken the task of covering the remains of its last glacier, La Corona, on Humboldt Peak at 4,900 meters above sea level in the Andes mountains in the southwest of the country, with plastic "blankets" to slow the inevitable end of this icy patch of its mountain landscape and source of legends.

Poverty and Inequality Mark Rural Life in Latin America

Rural life in Latin America and the Caribbean continues to be marked by poverty and inequality compared to the towns and cities where the vast majority of the population lives. A new focus on rural life in the region could help reveal and address the challenges and neglect faced by people in the countryside.

Suicide, Another Face of the Crisis in Venezuela

In the wee hours of one morning in early November, Ernesto, 50, swallowed several glasses of a cocktail of drugs and alcohol in the apartment where he lived alone in the Venezuelan capital, ending a life tormented by declining health and lack of resources to cope as he would have liked.

Venezuela’s Young Women Particularly Vulnerable to the Crisis

Hemmed in by poverty, with barely two days of school a week, and often at risk of unwanted pregnancy or the uncertain prospect of emigration, young women and adolescents are among the main victims of the ongoing crisis in Venezuela.

Migration Puts the Brakes on Venezuela’s Vehicles

Diego has just enrolled to study journalism at a university in the Venezuelan capital and, with 2,000 dollars that his family members managed to gather, has bought his first car, a small 2007 Ford that can take him to class from his home in the neighboring Caribbean port city of La Guaira.

Open Migration Flows and Closed-Up Houses in Venezuela

Gladys swore she would not cry in front of her small children, but she still had to wipe away a couple of tears when she turned her head and looked, perhaps for the last time, at her dream house on Margarita Island in Venezuela, from where she migrated, driven by a lack of income and by fear.

Latin America Is Lagging in Its Homework to Meet the SDGs

The Latin American and Caribbean region is arriving at the Sustainable Development Goals Summit on the right track but far behind in terms of progress, at the halfway point to achieve the SDGs, which aim to overcome poverty and create a cleaner and healthier environment.

Latin America Must Regulate the Entire Plastic Chain

Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have made progress towards partial regulations to reduce plastic pollution, but the problem is serious and environmental activists are calling for regulations in the entire chain of production, consumption and disposal of plastic waste.

Venezuela’s Educational System Heading Towards State of Total Collapse

Hundreds of thousands of children and young people, and thousands of their teachers, drop out of regular schooling in Venezuela year after year, and most of those who remain go to the classroom only two or three days a week, highlighting the abysmal backwardness of education in the country.

‘News Deserts’ Are Rampant in Latin America

Without the means to receive information about what is happening around them, millions of Latin Americans who live in poor remote rural or impoverished urban areas inhabit veritable news deserts, according to an increasing number of studies conducted by journalistic organizations in the region.

Menstrual Health and Hygiene Is Unaffordable for Poor Girls and Women in Latin America

Menstrual hygiene management is elusive for millions of poor women and girls in Latin America, who suffer because their living conditions make it difficult or impossible for them to access resources and services that could make menstruation a simple normal part of life.

The Workweek Is Still Long in Latin America

The reduction in the workweek recently approved by the Chilean Congress forms part of a trend of working fewer hours and days that is spreading in today’s modern economies, but also highlights how far behind other countries in Latin America are in this regard.

The LGBTIQ+ Community Still Oppressed in Venezuela

The vulnerability and struggles of the LGBTIQ+ community in Venezuela were once again highlighted when the Supreme Court finally annulled the military code statute that punished, with one to three years in prison, members of the military who committed " acts against nature.”

Venezuela Makes Timid Headway in Solar Energy

The installation of solar panels in a remote village in ​​the Andes highlands in late February marked a second incursion by the Venezuelan government into the field of solar energy, previously uncharted territory in this country that for a century was a leading global oil producer.

Venezuela Drafts Legal Stranglehold on NGOs

The Venezuelan parliament, in the hands of the ruling party, is moving towards passing a law to control non-governmental organizations (NGOs) so that, in practice, they could not exist independently.

Management of Protected Areas Is a Latin American Priority for 2023

The environmental priority for South America in 2023 can be summed up in the management of its terrestrial and marine protected areas, together with the challenges of the extractivist economy and the transition to a green economy with priority attention to the most vulnerable populations.

In Venezuela, Radio Stations are Shut Down and Information Is Just Another Migrant

More than 100 radio stations were shut down by the Venezuelan government this year, accentuating the collapse of the media and further undermining the already meager capacity of citizens to stay informed.

New Political Agreement Finally Tackles Venezuela’s Social Crisis

The social crisis and humanitarian emergency in Venezuela became international headline news again once the government and the opposition, bitter adversaries for two decades, agreed to direct three billion dollars in state funds held abroad to social programs.

Oil Exporters Make Markets, Not War

The decision to cut oil production by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies as of Nov. 1 comes in response to the need to face a shrinking market, although it also forms part of the current clash between Russia and the West.

Migration for Many Venezuelans Turns from Hope to Nightmare

Thousands of Venezuelans who have crossed the treacherous Darien jungle between Colombia and Panama, or who have made the perilous journey through Central America and Mexico to reach the United States, have found themselves stranded in countries that do not want them, unable to continue their journey or to afford to return to their country.

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