Enviro Journalists, Tourism in Mexico, Obama in Latin America, Mexico vs. China, Argentina’s politics

Note to our readers:
Look for our latest convention coverage on the blog at www.americasmexico.blogspot.com and be sure to send me your questions or comments at lcarlsen(at)ciponline.org.
Laura Carlsen

New from the Americas Policy Program

Mexican Environmental Journalists Improve Coverage
By Talli Nauman

The Americas Policy Program is pleased to announce the launch of a new series of Citizen Action Profiles on successful grassroots communication projects, supported by the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC). This comprehensive report on environmental reporting in Mexico details the obstacles environmental reporters have faced in bringing to light the severe environmental crises facing the nation and the valiant efforts of a dedicated group of underpaid and under-recognized reporters.

The Mexican Environmental Journalists Network (Red Mexicana de Periodistas Ambientales, Rempa) is struggling to put down roots firmly enough to reach its goals, which range from “permanent training for journalists on environmental subjects” to “producing materials … that contribute to the advancement and expansion of environmental journalism in Mexico.”

Talli Nauman (talli(at)hughes.net) is a longtime Americas (www.americaspolicy.org) collaborator, and a founder and co-director of Journalism to Raise Environmental Awareness, an independent media project initiated in 1994 with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

See full article online at:


"Acapulco-ization": The Final Stage of Tourism?
By Kent Paterson

First emerging as a Mexican-oriented resort where locals ran boarding houses and offered up home-cooked food to hungry visitors, Acapulco later turned its sights to affluent foreigners from the United States and other nations in a successful bid for world fame, disregarding warnings about environmental destruction.

Once packed almost year-round, Acapulco’s fortunes now rest on the long Mexican weekend holidays known as “puentes” and the traditional summer, Easter, and winter vacations. This economic model is not providing for middle-sized cities like Acapulco—and Puerto Vallarta, Zihuatanejo, and Cancun are learning similar lessons.

Kent Paterson is a freelance journalist who covers the southwestern United States, Mexico, and Latin America, and an analyst for the Americas Policy Program at www.americaspolicy.org.

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Obama, Latin America, and FDR
By Tom Barry

To frame his proposed Latin America policy, Barack Obama is using the “Four Freedoms” vision of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, which he referred to in his “Renewing U.S. Leadership in the Americas” speech to the Cuban American National Foundation in Miami on May 23, 2008.

A commitment to mutual respect, self-determination, and cooperation would take Obama much further in forging an Americas partnership.

Tom Barry directs the TransBorder Project of the Americas Policy Program (www.americaspolicy.org) at the Center for International Policy in Washington, DC.

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Taking Away the Ladder: China and the Competitiveness of Mexican Exports
By Kevin P. Gallagher and Roberto Porzecanski

Cambridge University economist Ha Joon Chang has pointed out that developed countries are “kicking away the ladder” of development policies traditionally used by developed and developing countries alike to raise the standards of living of their people. According to Chang, rich countries do this by forcing poorer countries to sign on to constraining trade treaties such as NAFTA. However, China, a large country that has been able to avoid such treaties, is “taking away the ladder” by deploying policies that are outlawed in NAFTA-like treaties to outperform Mexico and virtually every other developing nation in world manufacturing markets.

If Mexico doesn’t rethink its industrial and macroeconomic policies, China may take away the ladder to economic development that Mexico seeks to climb.

Kevin P. Gallagher is a professor in the department of international relations at Boston University and research associate at the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE) Tufts University. Roberto Porzecanski is a researcher at GDAE. They also contribute to the CIP Americas Policy Program at www.americaspolicy.org.

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A Partial Debate On a Partial Plan
By Andrés Musacchio

Argentina finds itself embroiled in a deep political crisis, a contrast to the best economic situation it has been in for several decades. Involved in a dispute around deductions, Argentina has faced a broad opposition: from factions on the far left to sectors most associated with the repression of the dictatorship that have joined forces to defend the agricultural sector in the face of the increase in reductions in exports of certain agricultural products.

Faced with this scenario which at times has taken on a destabilizing hue, the government has committed a number of errors of political strategy and even, at times, has raised what was hidden behind the debate on deductions, that is to say the discussion around an economic and social model.

Andrés Musacchio is an economist at the IDEHESI University in Buenos Aires—CONICET, and an analyst for the Americas Policy Program (www.americaspolicy.org).

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Crossing the Medicine Line

About 21 million people become climate refugees annually, from the big storms and droughts, and by 2050, 1.2 billion people


Latin America will be all feminist!

March 8, International Women’s Day (IWD), serves as a barometer of the strength of feminist and women’s movements, especially in