This Week in the Americas

Some Good News, For a Change
By Laura Carlsen

Happy New Year to one and all! 2007 holds promise for the Americas, perhaps more than any other year in recent history.

Maybe it’s because the year contains a seven, a sacred number in Mayan mythology.

Or maybe it’s because social movements have matured and deepened throughout the continent, forcing governments to respond to the long-deferred demands of the poor and disenfranchised. Or that the U.S. Congress has been wrested from the control of conservative Republicans, or that progressive governments are clearing new paths across the continent.

Whatever the source of the optimism, mystical or material, the year will be filled with decisive events and challenges. Before launching in on those, we join with some of our partner organizations and collaborators in the IRC Americas Program to note the small and not-so-small victories of the year:

1. Building hope among the poor: Evo Morales’ blow to racist colonial rule in Bolivia, Rafael Correa’s victory over banana magnate Alvaro Noboa, the success of worker-run factories against all odds, the Zapatista’s grassroots challenge to corrupt political power and economic injustice