Perils of Plan Mexico, Mexico’s Crisis, Citizens Fight New Structural Adjustment, Mapuche Struggle, Biodiversity Report, Human Rights in Oaxaca


Dear Friends,

I want to thank all of you out there who volunteer your time to translate our articles. You’re a vital part of the Americas Program and your great work has enabled us to expand this North-South dialogue, while making it possible to reduce our costs at this difficult time.

We’re publishing an average of six articles a week, all original material from staff and writers throughout the hemisphere on grassroots movements and U.S. policy. The Americas Updater and Boletín Américas go out to thousands of subscribers every week and the articles are freely republished in electronic and print publications in countries throughout the region. We couldn’t have done it without the Americas Program cyber-team.

Now because of how much the program has grown, we need more translators. We can’t offer money, but you can become an active part of our program and have your work read by thousands of interested and interesting readers.

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Thanks for supporting the Americas Program,




AFL-CIO Letter to Clinton Opposing Honduran Elections

Repression of Campesino Organization in Venustiano Carranza, Chiapas


Rise of the Native National Security Corporation

Native Corporations as National Security Corporations


New from the Americas Program

Perils of Plan Mexico: Going Beyond Security to Strengthen U.S.-Mexico Relations
By Laura Carlsen

Mexico should be a U.S. priority. But providing exclusively security-focused equipment and training to Mexico is like pouring gas on a fire. We must return the U.S.-Mexico relationship to the simple equation that a healthy neighbor equals better trade, security, and cultural relations.

A strong and mutually beneficial relationship must cover the full range of issues between the two nations. The Obama administration and Congress must reorient the militarized relationship with Mexico. A new approach must go to the roots of the illegal drug trade by addressing inequality, poverty, employment, and the high costs of prohibitionist policies. Instead of seeking to bolster the Calderon administration, and police and military forces characterized by corruption, we must stand by human rights, democratic institutions, and a strong role for civil society.

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Mexico and the Crisis of a Dependent Economy
By Laura Carlsen

This year Mexico will be one of the worst-hit countries due to the crisis that began in the United States and quickly spread all over the world. The cost of Mexican economic dependence on the United States is being paid by the poor, in clear violation of their social and economic rights. The question is: to what point will the people tolerate this and what has to happen to make the government change its course…

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Facing Economic Crisis, Citizen Organizations in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Mexico Fight Back Against Structural Adjustment
By Kent Paterson

While mainstream economists and the Obama administration declare the recession over, throughout the Americas a different story unfolds. As if the old International Monetary Fund had risen from the dead, structural adjustment and austerity regimes are ripping apart the landscape from Seattle to San Juan and from Guadalajara to Gary. Rampant joblessness, continued home foreclosures, excessive consumer interest rates, decimated social services, and plain old gouging are tearing at the fabric of the working and middle classes.

In the United States, Puerto Rico, and Mexico, popular protests are shifting the terms of debate. In numerous ways, the destinies of these three nations are intertwined…

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Toward Reconstruction of the Mapuche Nation
By Raúl Zibechi

Tired of waiting for the slow transfer of lands from the state and the always problematic recognition of their rights, dozens of Mapuche communities have begun to mobilize, a process that the Chilean government has responded to with extreme harshness…

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Biodiversity Report from Americas Program of CIP—November 2009
By Carmelo Ruiz Marrero

This month in the Americas Program Biodiversity Report:

Argentina: World Forestry Congress
The 13th World Forestry Congress (WFC) took place in Buenos Aires Oct. 18-23. The international gathering brings together representatives from the forestry industry—read: industrial tree monocultures—governments, scientific organizations, and the private sector.

Mexico: Government Approves Genetically Modified Corn Cultivation
In October the Mexican government approved requests from U.S. biotechnology companies Monsanto, Dow Agrosciences, and Pioneer to cultivate "experimental" GM corn.

Condemnation of "Sustainable" Palm Oil
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) gathers agroindustrial companies involved in the production of oil palms (used for biodiesel among other things) and civil society sectors that aim to develop criteria for its sustainable production and grant a "green" certification to those operations that comply with such criteria. Critics say there is no such thing as sustainable palm oil plantations…

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Mexican Supreme Court Finds Oaxaca Governor Responsible for Human Rights Violations
By Monica Wooters

After two days of deliberations, on Oct. 14 the Mexican Supreme Court made public its decision that Ulises Ruiz Ortiz (governor of the state of Oaxaca) is culpable for the human rights violations that occurred in Oaxaca as a result of teacher protests and political and social unrest in May 2006-January 2007 and July of 2008. The decision came after an investigation into the events—ordered by the lower house of the Mexican Congress in 2006—resulting in a vote of six to four. Among the violations cited by the court were the lack of access to justice, violations of personal integrity and the right to life, and violation of the right to transportation and work, freedom of expression, and denial of access to information…

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