March 8 in Mexico is not only a show of strength and convening power for women’s movements, but also an opportunity to see how the movement is changing with the times.
Although we still have a long way to go and we continue to be one of the countries with the highest rates of femicide in the world, this is a step forward. We know that it can be a fragile achievement because we are surrounded by conservative and powerful forces, conditioned by the resources of the evangelical and Catholic churches to have control of women’s bodies. We know that and, as a feminist, I am alert to backlash because, as I said at the beginning, I’ve learned to be wary and not take good intentions for granted.
The pro-government deputies approved in early January the tenth extension of martial law that allows the government, among other things, to hide information on public spending. The exception regime includes the suspension of the constitutional guarantees of Salvadorans and the use of the military in public security.
One week after the Chilean citizens overwhelmingly voted to reject the text of the new Magna Carta in the plebiscite on September 4 (62% to 38%), the leaders of the political parties in Chile, with the exception of the far-right Republican Party of Sebastián Katz, met to outline a new constitutional process. They agreed to designate a completely new body, elected by popular vote, in charge of drafting the new text, although the number of people that will integrate it is not yet known.
The images of the January 8 violent attacks against the governmental buildings in Brasília spread through international media and are still resounding today. Wearing the colors of the national flag and the beloved Brazilian football team, the mob of supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, stormed and vandalized the Federal Supreme Court, the National Congress’s building and the Planalto Presidential Palace, institutions that compose the Three Powers Plaza.
After being besieged relentlessly throughout his 16 months in office, Pedro Castillo was removed from the presidency on December 7 by Peru’s national Congress after he announced a gutting of the institutional order. Castillo’s attempt to dissolve Congress was followed just hours later by the move to “vacate” him, the third attempt during his term, and the first successful one.
Militarization, now institutionalized in the Constitution and in practice, extended for the next six years and quite possibly forever, is not just the latest bone of contention between political parties. It is an issue that has profound implications for Mexican society, democracy, security, gender equality and human rights. It has to be analyzed within the framework of these considerations, beyond the false and hypocritical positions of the political parties.
Carefully treading a crossing of slippery stones strung across the shallow Rio Grande between Ciudad Juárez and El Paso, trickles of migrants climbed up the embankment on the U.S. side.
Joining with others who had crossed from down river, the asylum seekers waited peacefully to surrender to U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents. Watching the evolving ritual were a gaggle of Mexican journalists and local residents. A young man from Venezuela with one leg hopped around on crutches while a pair of municipal cops observed the drama from a parked truck. Standing atop the Mexican embankment, a young girl gazed across the narrow river at the forming line of asylum seekers of all ages, tears welling up in her sad eyes.
Two major developments can be inferred from the results of the November 8, 2022 mid-term elections in the United States. First, the voters did not punish Joe Biden after his first two years as president as the pre-election polls had predicted they would. Consequently, Donald Trump’s political standing has diminished along with the legitimacy of his leadership role in the Republican Party.
Nevada-based mining firm is suing Guatemala for more than $400 million, the first suit of its kind for the impoverished Central American country. The company contends that the Guatemalan government didn’t do enough to protect its investments in the country. But that’s news to my community and others who faced violent police repression when we nonviolently demonstrated to keep these mining operations from poisoning our health and water.