This Week in the Americas

The IDB—50 Years, Zero Reflection
By Laura Carlsen

At the end of March, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) celebrated its 50th anniversary in Medellin. The occasion presents an opportunity to revise concepts and move toward a fairer development model.

IDB-funded projects implicitly propose solving poverty by expelling the poor from their villages and communities. As the bankers discussed spending new funds to preserve these practices, a parallel meeting of organizations of displaced persons, alternative development experts, non-governmental organizations, and others met to call for fundamental changes in its lending practices and to move toward a more equitable development model.

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New from the Americas Program

The Left Triumphs in El Salvador
By Ana Martinez

The historic victory of Mauricio Funes of the Farabundo Martí Front for National Liberation (FMLN) in the presidential elections that took place in El Salvador March 15 marked the end of 20 years of government by the rightist Republican Nationalist Alliance (ARENA, Alianza Republicana Nacionalista) party.

The electoral triumph of the FMLN was the product of on-the-ground campaigning carried out by party members, the support of various social organizations that backed the movement for change, as well as the grassroots work through different citizen campaigns that highlighted the economic and social situation in the country.

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March Monthly Biodiversity Report from the Americas Program
By Carmelo Ruíz Marrero

We are pleased to bring you a new series on the theme of biodiversity in the Americas. These brief reports, written by Carmelo Ruíz, a long-time collaborator on environmental issues and expert on the region, cover the most urgent threats to biodiversity and the grassroots movements that struggle to oppose them.

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Indigenous Community Radio in Mexico
By Sara McElmurry

Throughout Mexican history, the rich mosaic of indigenous cultures has been the basis of resistance and survival. For many contemporary indigenous communities, geographical isolation and economic and social marginalization are eroding their languages and cultures, marking the final stage in a sequence of events that have made Mexico’s indigenous among the poorest and most excluded populations in the world.

By giving a "voice" to the "voiceless"—in their own language—community radio programs can support development and cultural revitalization efforts in indigenous communities.

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