This Week in the Americas

Why Bolivia Matters
By Laura Carlsen

Bolivia today is an open laboratory. It might seem an unlikely stage for such an ambitious experiment:
a landlocked nation of scarcely nine million with strong vestiges of colonial rule and the continent’s
highest poverty rate. Yet the effort to use the state to retake and redistribute resources ceded to private
economic interests under globalization, to enfranchise indigenous populations, to narrow the appalling
gap between the haves and have-nots of our era deserves a chance and will no doubt provide lessons for
the rest of the world.

The response of the Bush administration to the Morales government has been hostile but guarded. U.S.
Agency for International Development has moved to directly fund projects in opposition regions to strengthen
resistance to the policies of Morales’ party, the Movement for Socialism (MAS), as part of its "democracy-building" program.

Laura Carlsen (lcarlsen(a) is director of the Americas Policy Program (
at the Center for International Policy in Mexico City, where she has been a writer and political analyst
for two decades.

See new article online at:


New from the Americas Policy Program

Apaches Rise to Defend Homelands from Homeland Security
By Brenda Norrell

Apache land owners on the Rio Grande told Homeland Security to halt the seizure of their lands for
the U.S.-Mexico border wall on Jan. 7, 2008. It was the same day that a 30-day notice from Homeland Security
expired with the threat of land seizures by eminent domain to build the U.S.-Mexico border wall.

Apaches at the Texas border have formed a national working group coalition of supporters, attorneys,
and fellow Apaches and other indigenous peoples to resist the seizure of their lands, the desecration
of their sacred places, and the militarization of their communities. In solidarity, the network opposes
the seizure of private lands by Homeland Security by way of eminent domain, the militarization of the
border, and construction of the border wall.

Brenda Norrell is a freelance writer and Americas Policy Program border analyst,
Her blog can be found at

See new article online at:


Losing the War of Ideas, Again
By Tom Barry

In the war of ideas over immigration, liberals are in disarray. Anti-immigration advocates have created
the ideological frameworks—security, rule of law, nationalism—that now frame the raging immigration debate.
Meanwhile, immigration advocates find that their own humanitarian, economic, and historical arguments
supporting liberal immigration flows have little resonance in the public debate.

Tom Barry is a senior analyst with the Americas Policy Program (
at the Center for International Policy.

See new article online at:


Fourteen Years of NAFTA and the Tortilla Crisis
By Ana de Ita

In January 2008, agricultural trade between Mexico, the United States, and Canada will become completely
free, with the end of the implementation period of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

During this last year of NAFTA’s transition period, multinationals that control the basic commodities
market are showcasing their monopolistic capacities and acting against producer and consumer interests.
The tortilla crisis shows that one of the NAFTA’s basic assumptions—that it benefits consumers, even
if it sacrifices farmers—is a macabre fallacy.

Ana de Ita is a researcher at the Centro de Estudios para el Cambio en el Campo Mexicano (Ceccam)
and Americas Policy Program analyst at
This article was originally published by GRAIN with the support from the Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst

See new article online at: