There’s no doubt that after the blue skies and sunshine of December 1st, there are already clouds on the horizon. But the role of an engaged citizen cannot be to simply cross your arms and watch the storm roll in while saying “I told you so”. Giving President López Obrador the benefit of the doubt is to replicate the old styles of rulers who demanded unconditional support for their actions and cloaked themselves in authoritarian power and self-praise. Seeing treachery before it happens ignores the need for facts-based judgement and closes doors.
The victory of the extreme right candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, in Brazil’s presidential elections and the fall of the Workers Party are having a profound impact on the rest of the countries of Latin America. These dramatic events require close analysis on the left– to learn from what happened and avoid being shut out as an option for change, and to prevent further victories of the ultra-right.
This year the Caravan of Central American Mothers arrived in Mexico City to participate in the first World Summit of Mothers of the Disappeared with mothers, other relatives of the missing and allies from Mexico, Algeria, Tunisia, Senegal, Morocco, Mauritania, Spain, Italy and the United States to compare notes and gain a deeper understanding of the problem, across borders.
Former President Elías Antonio Saca was sentenced to ten years in prison. He thus became the first Salvadorian ex-president to be sent to prison for the crimes of corruption and misappropriation of public funds.
The battle to stop the spread of extractive industries pits indigenous and peasant communities against powerful business interests, backed up by politicians who encourage the foreign investments that convert millennial ways of life into cash for them.
Laura Carlsen talks to Jesus Vargas, a leader of the student movement who was at the demonstration when the army attacked on Oct. 2. Jesus recounts the terror of that day, how the movement regrouped and his work for social justice.