Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), recently announced his bid for another 5-year term at the helm of the world’s oldest and most influential regional organization. His re-election would be a major setback for good governance in the region. Hemisphere’s chief regional organization has been hobbled by pro-Trump leadership.
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.
In the middle of October, the Juicio Popular y Comunitario Contra el Estado y las Empresas Mineras (People’s Trail against the State and the Mining Companies) was carried out in Oaxaca City, Mexico. The participating organizations denounce that in the Central Valleys, the most populated region in the state, 80% of the territory is awarded to mining companies from Canada and the United States.
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.