Dear Friends,

There has been so much going on in the Americas lately that it’s hard to know where to begin. This new edition of the Americas Updater offers a good sampling of the breadth and depth of events in the region.

As chronicled in This Week in the Americas, the Fourth World Water Forum held in Mexico City last week marked a turning point in the battle for public control over water. The Americas Program attended both the official and alternative forums, so expect more articles on this vital issue in the next Updater as well. Moving south, our investigative reporters Sam Logan, Ben Bain, and Kate Kairies write on the vexing rise of gang violence in Central America and the role of U.S. immigration and deportation policies in feeding the problem. From Argentina, Marie Trigona gives us a Citizen Action Profile containing the nuts and bolts of how recuperated enterprises in Argentina are challenging a competitive market system with worker-run, solidarity-based alternatives. Finally, monthly contributor Raúl Zibechi writes on grassroots involvement in the battle between Uruguay and Argentina over the construction of polluting paper plants on their shared river border, and our sister program FPIF takes an in-depth look at Chile’s new woman president, Michele Bachelet. We finish this issue with a broad view of how U.S. foreign policy could be reframed from the perspective of a Global Good Neighbor.

As always, we’re not looking to cover events but to open up discussions on new trends and their implications and create a deeper North-South dialogue to confront shared challenges. We have a problem though. We need support. We’ve gotten to the point now that we really don’t know if we can continue to provide this service UNLESS you, our readers, help us out. If ever there was a time to give to the IRC Americas Program, this is it. We’ve been working hard to create intercontinental links and quality analysis, and to cut back