Risk with Great Reward in South America

April 12, 2012 by

For hundreds of years, South America has provided much of the world with essential natural resources. The global nature of the world economy, coupled with the development of South American countries and turbulence in the Middle East presents South America as an alternative to dependency on oil from far flung, sometimes adversarial areas of the world.

A (Real) Turning Point in US-Latin American Relations?

March 8, 2012 by

Will November be the beginning of a turning point in US-Latin American relations? For that to happen, it is essential for Washington, both Democrats and Republicans alike, to accept a new reality in order to start the very complex process of avoiding the frustrated superpower syndrome vis-à-vis Latin America.

In Bolivia’s Quest to Regain the Pacific, Political Posturing Is More Afterthought than Motivator

January 5, 2012 by

Since taking office in 2006, Bolivian President Evo Morales has been on a mission to regain access to the Pacific by way of Chile. Now that it has become painfully obvious that Chile is unwilling to engage in meaningful negotiations—Chilean President Sebastián Piñera has called Bolivia’s vision “impossible” —Morales has announced his intent to bring the dispute before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague.

Democratic Speed Bumps in Latin America

December 11, 2011 by

After a decade of growing popularity, democracy has hit a slump in Latin America. A recent Latinobarómetro poll cited by The Economist in late October underscores this point. In all but three Latin American countries, fewer people than last year believe that democracy is preferable to any other type of government. In the cases of Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, the drop in support for democracy is significant.

Where’s the Fame and Fortune for ‘The 33′ a Year After the Mining Accident?

August 8, 2011 by

Friday marked one year since the world watched the Copiapó mine bury alive 33 men for 69 days, 2,300 feet under the earth. Although the mining disaster shoved them into the spotlight, international media attention came and went in a flash. Now, with only four of the men back to mining, most are facing the dark reality of poverty. The infamously unstable 121-year-old copper and gold mine, located in the dry abyss of the Atacama Desert, caved-in early Thursday afternoon August 5, 2010. For seven days, friends and family of the miners waited on edge to see if their fathers, husbands and friends were dead or alive.

Chile: Police and Students Clash in Unauthorized Education Protest

August 4, 2011 by

Hundreds of Chilean students, fighting to overhaul their education system, clashed with an intensified police force as they protested without permission on Thursday through the center of Santiago. The Student Confederation of Chile (CONFECH) called students across Chile to protest in April, a month after school began. Students were fed up with the growing privatization trend in Chile that began under Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship in the 1980s.

Sleep In

August 4, 2011 by

You could hear a pin-drop in the empty rooms of Liceo N7 de Nina Lousia Saavedra, a public high school for academically high-scoring girls. July marks the middle of the school year in Chile, but the sole occupied classroom, an auditorium with a mountain of teenagers wrapped in multi-colored sleeping bags threatening to topple off of a wooden platform, contains only the occasional rustle of polyester blankets. Contanza Lang, a 16-year-old 11th grader here in the capital of Chile, spent her summer vacation in an unusual way: sleeping at school.

Chilean Fishermen: The Secret Weapons of a Disaster-Struck Nation

March 1, 2010 by

On February 27, Chile suffered a more powerful earthquake than the far more famous one that struck Haiti just weeks before, and which was followed soon after by a large tsunami that devastated entire coastal communities. While the Haitian earthquake killed hundreds of thousands and decimated that nation’s already weak infrastructure, by all accounts Chile fared much better thanks to more stringent building standards and a history of stronger earthquake preparedness measures. However, certain segments of the Chilean population and economy have suffered far more than others.