New from the Americas Policy Program

2008: Latin America’s Hope and Challenge
By Laura Carlsen

Latin America faces three big challenges in this coming year and provides us with three sources of
hope. They might seem novel to those who just recently felt the new winds blowing from the southern part
of the hemisphere, but all are built on years of citizen involvement and vision. U.S. policies can promote
rather than suppress these efforts at self-determination and social justice. And there are signs that
the United States is ready for that kind of change too.

Laura Carlsen (lcarlsen(a) is Director of the Americas Policy Program ( of the Center for International Policy.

See full article online at:


Truth about Illegal Immigration and Crime
By Tom Barry

Anti-immigration forces have been hammering into our heads the dangerous link between illegal immigration
and increases in violent crime. Their only problem: the facts don’t support their alarmist contentions.

here have been dozens of national studies examining immigration and crime, and they all
come to the same conclusion: immigrants are more law-abiding than citizens. A 2007 study by the Immigration
Policy Center (IPC) found that immigrants, whether legal or illegal, are substantially less likely to
commit crimes or to be incarcerated than U.S. citizens.

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

See full article online at:


Lima’s Community Kitchens: Combating Hunger and Loneliness
By Raúl Zibechi

In Lima alone, community kitchens provide food for half a million people daily. Over 100,000 women
work in the local efforts each day to feed their children, and they do it collectively, seeking mutual
support to overcome poverty.

Over the years, and despite a noticeable improvement in the country’s economic situation,
the number of kitchens stayed at the level reached at the spike of poverty. A poll in 2003 revealed that
in metropolitan Lima there were some 5,000 soup kitchens with 150,000 women members.

Raúl Zibechi is an international analyst for Brecha, a weekly journal in Montevideo, Uruguay, professor and researcher on social movements at the Multiversidad Franciscana de América Latina, and adviser to social groups. He is a monthly contributor to the Americas Policy Program (

See full article online at:


Border Apartheid Documented in United Nations Report on Indigenous Peoples
By Brenda Norrell

The systematic racism, forced assimilation, and apartheid of indigenous peoples in the United States
has been documented in the "Consolidated Indigenous Shadow Report," to be presented by the
International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial
Discrimination in February.

The report is compiled from the testimony of individuals and groups of indigenous peoples
and includes data from a wide range of sources. The report reveals "a system of Apartheid and forced
assimilation," where indigenous peoples are "warehoused in poverty and neglect" in the
United States and details the systematic racism, violation and abrogation of Indian treaty rights, and
discrimination toward non-federally recognized Indian Nations. Statistics are included on unemployment,
violence against women, and sexual abuse in residential schools, and the destruction of sacred places,
environmental racism, and border injustices are revealed.

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

See full article online at:


UN Troops Accused of Human Rights Violations in Haiti
By Maria Luisa Mendonça

The UN stabilization mission in Haiti has been extended until October 2008. But critics and victims
of the UN forces, coordinated by Brazil, accuse the blue helmets of politically motivated killings and
extensive human rights abuses. More discussion of the role of Brazil in Haiti is needed.

Maria Luisa Mendonça is a journalist and coordinates the Network on Social Justice and Human Rights in Brazil.

See full article online at: