From Spanish Wire

Chile’s Native Communities Find Ally in Supreme Court

Indigenous groups in Chile celebrated a recent court ruling that represented the latest victory in the struggle for respect for their right to be previously consulted about major projects which directly affect their communities.

Shedding Light on Inequality in World’s Most Unequal Region

A new report takes a close look at the territorial distribution of poverty and inequality in Latin America, which has long had a reputation of being the most unequal region in the world.

Demonstrators in southern Spanish city of Málaga protesting cuts in health and education. Credit: Inés Benítez/IPS

U.N. Warns of Social Fall-Out from Spain’s Austerity Plan

An expert body of the United Nations has warned the Spanish government that the severe budget cutbacks it is applying must not undermine its commitment to upholding the economic, social and cultural rights of the country's people.

Tangled Web of Corruption Debilitates Mexico

Although Mexico has signed several multilateral anti-corruption agreements, so far these instruments have yielded few concrete results in combating the rampant bribery, extortion and embezzlement, according to experts.

Trans Community Celebrates Groundbreaking Gender Identity Law

Under a new law that recognises a broad range of rights for transvestites, transsexuals and transgender persons in Argentina, they will have the right to modify their legal documents to match their gender identity.

An Argentine Perspective on Degrowth

The controversial concept of degrowth receives little press coverage in a region like Latin America. But the idea of a way of life that is not aimed exclusively at GDP growth does have its proponents in Argentina.

Spain Accused of Denying Justice to Victims of Franco-Era Abuses

Global rights watchdog Amnesty International presented an Argentine court Wednesday with documents which show that Spanish courts are blocking lawsuits brought by the families of victims of human rights crimes committed during the 1936-1939 civil war and the 1939-1975 dictatorship of General Francisco Franco.

Argentina Will Try to Double Number of Engineering Graduates

An educational stimulus programme launched in Argentina is aimed at doubling the number of engineering graduates by 2021, in an attempt to fulfil unmet growing demand from industry.

Even skeptics believe renewable energies could cover half of Germany’s energy demand by 2050, says Björn Pieprzyk.  Credit: Courtesy of Björn Pieprzyk

Renewable Energies Need New Incentives

Clean, renewable energies contribute to economic growth and job creation while decreasing dependency on imports. This is why governments should be increasing incentives for the development of renewable energy during a crisis like the one facing Europe today, German engineer Björn Pieprzyk told Tierramérica.

Rebecca Tavares: "Women's leadership should help the transition towards a green economy." Credit: Courtesy of U.N. Women

Q&A: “Women’s Leadership is Key to Ensuring Sustainable Development”

The vital role of women in creating a green economy will be highlighted at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, to be held in Brazil in June.

Cubans Want Faster Economic Reforms

A year after the Raúl Castro government approved a programme of changes and measures aimed at making the Cuban economic model sustainable, the slow pace of implementation is a focus of debate and criticism even among its supporters, who believe it should move forward more rapidly.

Mexico City – More Grey than Green

In his book "La Ville Radieuse" (The Radiant City), architect Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris (1887-1965), known worldwide as Le Corbusier, proposed a city filled with skyscrapers, wide streets, cement and cars, but decorated with gardens. The Mexican capital seems to be following these principles.

COLOMBIA: Saving the River Basin, One Schoolchild at a Time

"Out of love for the river, we reforest, recycle, and make this place beautiful," says a sign welcoming visitors to the Floragaita school, where a balsa (Ochroma pyramidale) tree with enormous white flowers guards the entrance to the lush green grounds on a hill in the heart of Colombia’s Andes mountains.

Brazil Forging Strategic Alliance with Africa

The Brazilian government of Dilma Rousseff is taking firm steps towards stronger relations with Africa, such as the creation of a special fund to finance development projects together with multilateral lenders like the World Bank.

In countries like Mexico, where this indigenous baby was born, and Brazil, many mothers still give birth at home, attended by midwives. Credit: Mauricio Ramos/IPS

Modern Obstetrics and Midwives Need to Join Forces

María dos Prazeres de Souza has lost count of the number of births "without a single death" she has attended as a midwife, an occupation that there is renewed interest in strengthening in traditional communities in Brazil where state services are not available or are not entirely acceptable for cultural reasons.

President Cristina Fernández announcing the nationalisation of YPF. Credit: Office of the president of Argentina.

Renationalised YPF Aims to Bring Self-Sufficiency in Oil and Gas

After the Argentine Congress approved the renationalisation of YPF, the country’s biggest oil company, late Thursday, thousands of demonstrators from different political and social groups cheered the decision outside the legislature.

Iron Fist Cracks Down on Guatemala

Rightwing President Otto Pérez Molina is keeping his promise to take a hard line on soaring crime in Guatemala, but his government is neglecting prevention measures. Analysts warn the strategy, along with upcoming legal reforms, may jeopardise human rights.

Central America Seeks to Buffer Effects of Crisis in Europe

The economic crisis plaguing many countries in the European Union has forced Central America to look at preventive measures to mitigate the effects in this region, which could include a decline in tourism, migrant remittances, exports and investment.

Spreading Climate Literacy in Cuba

Local communities can play a key role in adaptation to climate change if they are helped to properly understand the problem and take it on board. "Climate literacy is needed," says Ángela Corvea, a long-time Cuban environmental activist.

Cooperative member Rosinéia Soares displays the aubergines growing in her garden in Parque Genesiano da Luz.  Credit: Fabiana Frayssinet/IPS

Urban Farming Takes Root in Brazil’s Favelas

Women in one of the poorest neighbourhoods of this city 40 km north of Rio de Janeiro no longer have to spend money on vegetables, because they have learned to grow their own, as organic urban gardening takes off in Brazil.

“The Two Guatemalas” Meet

"It’s very hard for them to put food on the table, but they are very noble people," Diego Orozco, one of the thousands of young urban Guatemalans who spent last weekend with a poor rural family, told IPS.

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