Monday, December 13, 2010
The description of the countryside around Ciudad del Este as a possible location for all manner of international mafia and terrorist groups reminds me of Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker's The Many Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic. Not a venture for casual reading, the book explores the spaces outside of domination by the British Empire where people were able to flourish with alternative "community" building societies based on equality and freedom. While I am NOT NOT NOT arguing mafia and all terrorist types have some pursuit of freedom in mind, I am reminded of the idea that the modern project of political and corporate empires is often less desirable among a certain set of the population: remember that the Mennonites went to Paraguay for that very reason. Is it possible that all sorts of global anarchists are hiding out in a jungle some place... history tells us it is possible. Is it the end of the "Western" world... I somehow doubt it, but I'm no Carnac.
*Yes, I have read the NY Times articles - and I would love confirmation that some of the people they were talking to really are up to what they say they are up to.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
And, yes, considering Chomsky's focus on Chile and Mexico as well as Friedman's, I think this IS a pertinent post for the Reflections on Latin America.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
But what most surprised me was their agreement that the US and corporations "did Latin America wrong" via neocolonialism and neoliberalism but then followed up that point of view by saying that corporations did no such thing in the US. Moments like Homestead and the Ludlow Massacre were the fault of labor for getting greedy, labor contributions to corporations are "manipulating the system" while corporate contributions are an expression of free speech, and that 80% of campaign contributions come from one quarter of one percent of the richest Americans just shows that most Americans are too lazy to participate in politics - that is why the business people run things, they are the "go getters." Democracy, they argued, is a sure road to dictatorship, said one student. I look forward to part II of this conversation.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
"From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don't need any more than that... but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans."
"When I hear members of the extreme right of the Republican Party speak in the language that they do about immigration, I, frankly, take offense — because there's something about me that they don't like."
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
My (humble, of course) opinion of the legislation is that it sounds fairly conservative - especially in terms of funding that higher education - and seems to fit the bill of allowing citizens-in-all-but-papers to reach the logical conclusion of their presence in the US. You can read the text of the senate bill here. Should it move you can find it here by typing in S 729 for the bill number.
In a final note (and my last bit of parting snark), Senator Hutchison issued the following statement about the protesters, saying she, "appreciates these students' passion for their cause but hopes they can find safer and more peaceful ways to voice their opinions." I was pleased to hear that sit-ins and hunger strikes will now be the cut-off point for acceptable violence in this country.
Friday, November 26, 2010
We also looked at Nuevo León, the happiest region of Mexico, which was the happiest country in Latin America when we did this work--actually the happiest country in the American hemisphere. Something interesting's going on there.
Something interesting's going on there. Religion is very important: For more than 80 percent of the people in this part of Mexico, religious faith tops their list of values. We know worldwide that religious people are happier than non-religious people.
Their definition of family is about an order of magnitude bigger than a typical definition of family. Theirs includes no only kids and moms and dads, but also cousins and second cousins, aunts and uncles, godparents. And that does some helpful things.
Religious people with a focus on the family? Those crazy anarchist Mexicans.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Since the distinctive dome shape went up, church leaders said they have received phone calls from concerned neighbors who’ve mistaken the building for an Islamic mosque. READ MORE HEREThe group has placed a banner up on the dome stating that they are "building a christian house of prayer." I'm not sure what disturbs me more - that a dome suddenly becomes an evil structure or the implication that if the group building the dome wasn't LDM it would be ok to be concerned.
See a related (but different) Phoenix News Times article here.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Another force is in play: immigrant voting strength. About 20 percent of Canadians are foreign born (compared with 12.5 percent in the United States), and they are quicker to acquire citizenship and voting rights. “It’s political suicide to be against immigration,” said Leslie Seidle of the Institute for Research on Public Policy, a Montreal group. READ THE FULL STORY HEREBut there are some down sides I would mention.
1) Consider the visa restrictions that were placed on Mexicans and their entry into Canada. I think we might go too far if we see this story and start applying the stereotype of Canada as the "nice" country compared to the US. As one former Canadian official told the Times:
“The big difference between Canada and the U.S is that we don’t border Mexico,” said Naomi Alboim, a former immigration official who teaches at Queens University in Ontario.It is an interesting concept. It sounds like British Canada is using the US as a buffer state with Spanish Mexico - essentially the purpose that the American mid-west, and Texas served as for centuries. Ahhh... borderlands history (or at least playing fast and loose with it).
2) Canada's points system often makes it harder for the poorest of immigrants to seek employment and refuge - exactly the population that might most need it.
Final note: Kudos to Jason DeParle and John Woods for this conversation starting piece of writing and photography. Good job.
Friday, November 12, 2010
A jury has awarded $1.73 million to the family of an illegal immigrant from El Salvador who died of penile cancer that went undiagnosed for more than a year while he was in state and federal custody.Two things I might say about this:
After he was convicted of methamphetamine possession in 2005, Castaneda spent more than a year in state and federal facilities, where he was repeatedly denied adequate care for painful lesions on his penis, his lawyer Conal Doyle said Thursday.
Doctors who examined Castaneda twice ordered a biopsy, but he never got one. The first time the procedure was ordered, it was denied by a prison's chief physician. The procedure was apparently forgotten the second time because a doctor failed to follow up. A third time, a federal physician ordered a biopsy but Castaneda was released before it could be done.
Castaneda was given only pain pills and clean boxer shorts every day, and his condition worsened until he had to have his penis amputated in 2007. He died shortly afterward at age 36.
1) Why was he in prison? Why wasn't he in a medical rehab facility? Medical rehab has proven - time and again by the Rand Corporation - to be far more effective in terms of cost and changing behavior.
2) Was he denied care because he was illegal? Would it not have been far more effective to provide care at the start rather than pay for incarceration and then the cost of legal bills. This decision doesn't even cover the federal law suit pending against the penal system in LA.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
After an intensive five-year search, a team of Texas Archeological Stewardship Network (TASN) members and professional archeologists have announced the discovery of the original location of Mission Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de los Hainais, later, "de los Tejas," in western Nacogdoches County.Granted, the missions and presidios of East Texas are failures in a failed colonial enterprise, generally only important for creating a buffer zone between the French and British Empires and their Indian allies - with all of the attending viral effects. Nevertheless, the discovery of what until now has been the stuff of no more than local legend and speculation could re-kindle an interest in what is probably the most interesting of Texas Spanish/French/Indian borderlands.
The mission is the oldest yet discovered from 18th-century Spanish Texas, predating the missions and presidio in San Antonio. Additionally, Mission Concepción is the earliest location yet discovered that bears the name "Tejas".
Read more here.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
It seems they have moved from Biblical exhortations for stewardship of the Earth to outright exploitation and dominion. They have bought up nearly 2m hectares, worth, these days, in the region of $600m (£382m), made themselves fabulously wealthy from a $100m-a-year meat and dairy business, and are now in danger of totally destroying an unique ecosystem, indigenous peoples and all.If nothing, let's give the Mennonites a hand for being consistently controversial for 500 years (and you can take that any number of ways). While I would point to Durango and Chihuahua where Mennonite land practices are quickly stripping the aquifer and the grass that grows in the high desert, I also want to point out that the Mennonites are doing what people from the Afro-Eurasian complex have been doing for over 10,000 years: dramatically altering their landscape for agriculture. While I oppose the destruction of the Chaco, I also have to agree with one of the feedback comments on the blog:
Let me see if I have this straight. A "journalist" from a paper headquartered in the most environmentally backward country of Europe decides that a tiny group of Mennonites in Paraguay are the bad guys?I see that soya is the leading agricultural export of Paraguay... with China and the US being the largest non-Latin American trading partners. I think we can all agree that the demand of soy beans is driving an explosion in that expansion, and that perhaps we're going after Mennonites when rather we need to be listening to liberation theologians: this has more to do with a structural sin.
And Vidal, if you want to be a serious journalist, why don't you stick to the environmental damage being done by the Brit military in Afghanistan or the environmental ruin demanded by the greedheads in the City every day.
Monday, October 25, 2010
1) The focus of the story on market forces.
2) The angst of the pot growers about corporations and taxes.
3) The sense of nationalism... a sort of "smoke California first" approach combined with the "fight the cartels" discussion.
4) The faith and trust that law enforcement puts in big business to solve the narcotics problem.
5) The focus the police have on the racial imbalance regarding pot (see El Aguila's post at Cyber Hacienda).
Of those I found most disturbing the trust and faith that mother's groups and the police put in the hands of business. I'm not sure I see many social benefits aside from the monopoly of violence by the state from the legalized vice trade. I also wonder if we aren't seeing the corporate hegemony at work, with people turning to established business for safe shelter instead of the community or health care (though most of that, of course, is big business as well - but I'm not sure we think of it that way as a society).
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Tales of racial scapegoating in the United States are nothing new. In the American south and northeast blame has been laid on generic Puerto Rican, African American, and generally Afro-Caribbean immigrants for decades if not centuries. The southwest is no stranger to the imagined Hispanic killer trope, for sure. But the pacific north west and mountain west? I think we have here one example of the clear convergence of three factors: Mexico's image in the media and the associated political hysteria, increased migration to the northwest, and urban legend.
As the number of Hispanics in the northwest continues to grow (faster in Washington and Idaho than in Montana), the sensational hysteria of political media seems to be influencing perceptions of Hispanics in the area. As a teen, I recall migrant sugar beet pickers, cherry pickers, and potato pickers being seen as hard working individuals that made agricultural life affordable. Between we teenagers and migrant workers, farmers in Montana were able to keep labor costs low in a profession that has a 10% or less profit margin. By contrast, a recent Bozeman Chronicle article hints that things are changing.
Millions of immigrants are "changing the character of this country," said Paul Nachman, a Bozeman retired physicist and one of the most outspoken critics of migration in Gallatin County. "We are importing an underclass, importing poverty."
In California, where he lived for nine years, Nachman said illegal immigrants are a great burden on the state budget, schools, prisons, welfare system and emergency rooms. They have created large enclaves where Spanish is the main language. Many more jobs would be available, he said, if they went home.
I don't mean to say you could not find overt racism in the northwest - try being Native American in Spokane or Billings. But I do mean to say that increased migration has increased the problem - and I don't mean Hispanics, I mean folks from places with large Hispanic populations that come with discriminatory baggage in place (like Nachman). For example, see the current Christian Exodus movement. At any rate, it makes it possible - and I would add more frequent - for people to lay down ideas like the western tale of the killer hitchhiker on top of the tale of the violent Latina/o. Urban legend meets political hysteria.
And finally, the thing that really stood out for me from Nachman's comment was his shot at the "underclass" in his comment. Montana has the 17th highest poverty rate in the United States, and comments like Nachman's reek of the sort of elitist class divisions that can and do split the state. But I would also point out that it is easy for Nachman to ease into this division, not only coming from California, but also going to Montana. As I mentioned, discrimination against Native Americans in the state and region is at intolerable levels, and I should also add (no surprise to historians, economists and anthropologists) that Montana's reservations see 20% or higher poverty.
In the end, I would like to think that westerners are better than the sort of discrimination in both class and race we see in such pronounced ways in the south or east, but I think patterns established with Native Americans reveal that it is just not going to be the case - but I don't think it has to be the case. Certainly, I think there needs to be far greater outreach to Hispanics in states like Montana as well as to the Anglo population so that westerns can do what they do best - adjust and change. And frankly, considering the outward migration of the sons and daughters of the west's farmers, Hispanics may be the demographic future of the survival of agriculture in the west.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
San Antonio, Texas, Festival and resources
Mexic Arte Museum
Build Your Own Altar
MexConnect - Day of the Dead from All Over
Papel Picado Resources
But most importantly, teachers, get your kids some pan del muerto.
Monday, October 18, 2010
And that, I think, is my point today. Globalized corporations have the power to reach across oceans and bring together markets and maximize profits, but they also tie together labor in a way the labor (outside of the internationals) has no idea about. Miners in Butte - especially in the increasingly conservative unions - had little understanding of how they fueled an empire that reached into the heart of South America and squeezed out the life blood of labor there with brutal practices. Workers in Chile had little understanding that their nationalization would create a spiral in prices and stocks that would pull the legs out from underneath a poor, extractive area on the other side of the globe. And of course, you can be sure that the owners in the middle weren't flipping burgers at Mickey D's when the smoke cleared. In fact, ARCO went on to become a subsidiary of BP, today dragging its feet on cleaning up the mining mess in Butte (the largest in the US) while simultaneously fixing oil prices in Russia, abusing human rights in Azerbaijan, dumping oil on the ground in Alaska, and paying paramilitaries to assault farmers in Colombia with weapons purchased for them by US tax dollars.
It is the industrial-sindical zen of globalization, I suppose. Link us all together and an angry doctor from Argentina, a greedy executive from New York or London, a slightly kooky Chilean socialist, and a broken family from Montana all fuel each other's dreams ... and nightmares.
Friedrich Katz, 83 years old, of Chicago, died on October 16, 2010, in Philadelphia. Professor Katz was a distinguished scholar of Mexican history, whose major work on the Mexican revolution drew acute parallels with major trends in global historiography. His wide interests extended from the study of Aztec society to an account of Mexico's diplomatic role in World War I. Katz taught at the Humboldt University in Berlin before joining the Department of History at the University of Chicago, where he taught for 40 years. Katz was born in Vienna and raised in Berlin up to the age of six, when his family fled Nazi Germany for Paris. In 1938 the family had to flee again, this time to New York. Unable to gain permanent resident status in the U.S., they found refuge in Mexico, sparking Katz's lifelong interest.Katz's epic and impressive work on Pancho Villa is quite a legacy to leave, and his Secret War in Mexico will be on reading lists about Mexico for more decades to come. This autumn has been hard on some of the biggest names in the field: First we saw the passing of David Weber, the tragic and shocking passing of Adrian Bantjes, and now the death of one of the greatest scholars of Modern Mexico, Dr. Katz. Of course I never knew any of them personally, but their scholarship has shaped not only my profession but my own personal academic path. D.E.P.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Santa Muerte is back in the media, this time on the serial killer show Dexter from Showtime on US cable. It turns out that the show has introduced a character and a plot line dealing with some sort of Santa Muerte cult in Miami and decapitation. Great. Santa Muerte plays an interesting role in anglo society that I doubt it was intended to in Mexico: titillation. The adoration of St. Death in Mexico is an alternative worship for the marginalized whose lives feel the strain of life and recognize the ultimate equality in humanity via death. It creates an alternative divine space. In the United States, it gives us a cheap thrill and another way to show the barbarity of the other, often in the form of drug dealers and the generic term "immigrants" without recognizing the economic and social conditions that create drug use and immigration. Santa Muerte is being used here as a cheap thrill and a distraction when it should be used as a wake-up call.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
Monday, March 1, 2010
Ok, from reading the WSJ it sounds like the Indians are looking to use their resources as they will ala Milton Friedman and these commies from Quito are swooping in and regulating the heck out of their resources. No details, and just a small quote. Let's see another take on that... .
After two days of meetings, CONAIE heads blamed the government for the breakdown of the talks, which started in October, after the death of a member of the Shuar native in a clash between police and protesters amid demonstrations against a proposed law regulating water and mining and oil activity on their lands.
Delfin Tenesaca, head of the Ecuadorian Confederation of Kichwa Nationalities, or ECUARUNARI, a CONAIE arm, told Dow Jones Newswires that indigenous people "will start to implement a plurinational state with our own rules in each of our communities."
The Latin American Herald Tribune which appears to quote extensively from actual CONAIE members has a little different POV.
In the assembly, Conaie denounced the government “for not modifying the colonial state and continuing to strengthen the neo-liberal and capitalist system, betraying the Ecuadorian people,” Santi said. “Neo-liberal” is in Latin America a term used as a slur by leftists to describe advocates of free-market, laissez-faire economic policies.That doesn't sound like what the WSJ says or at least intimates. The CONAIE are upset because Correa isn't EZLN enough. But Chevron and the WSJ are pretty sure he's the bad guy.
What else happened earlier in the month? Ecuador was placed on financial terrorist list by the French. And earlier this year? Ecuador deepened ties to both China and Iran and ended leases on US military bases. When the only reporting I really see in the mainstream on this supposed coming revolution in Ecuador is on the pages of the Wall Street Journal after Ecuador has decided to screw the US military and Chevron, I have to encourage Correa to not fly *cough*(Torrijos)*cough* or take any cigars from strangers.
PLEASE, follow the Chevron link to see what sort of power they are throwing behind a lawsuit in Ecuador. Not eye-opening, but certainly position affirming.
And for more in Mr. Peabody's way-back machine....
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
In an unprecedented collaboration, the New-York Historical Society and El Museo del Barrio will present Nueva York (1613-1945), the first museum exhibition to explore how New York’s long and deep involvement with Spain and Latin America has affected virtually every aspect of the city’s development, from commerce, manufacturing and transportation to communications, entertainment and the arts.I would give my left arm to be in New York this fall to see the exhibit. At any rate, while the program promises to be Boricua heavy (isn't the NY Yankees baseball cap the official hat of Puerto Rico?), art will be on display by (who else) Diego Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco. There will also be some work by Uruguayan painter Jose Torres Garcia (like his Docks of New York, 1920, below).
Organized by the two institutions, Nueva York will be on view from September 17, 2010, through January 9, 2011, at El Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Avenue (at 104th Street), while the New-York Historical Society’s landmark building on Central Park West undergoes a $60 million architectural renovation. The project team has been directed by chief curator Marci Reaven of City Lore and chief historian Mike Wallace, Distinguished Professor of History at the City University of New York and Pulitzer Prize-winning co-author of Gotham.
Bringing together the resources of New York’s oldest museum and its leading Latino cultural institution, this exhibition will span more than three centuries of history: from the founding of New Amsterdam in the 1600s as a foothold against the Spanish empire to the present day, as represented by a specially commissioned documentary by award-winning filmmaker Ric Burns. Nueva York will bring this story to life with hands-on interactive displays, listening stations, video experiences and some 200 rare and historic maps, letters, broadsides, paintings, drawings and other objects drawn from the collections of the two museums, as well as from many other distinguished institutions and private collections.
Monday, September 20, 2010
This issue (September) looks at the development of a railroad system across the Caucuses from Azerbaijan to Turkey. It reads, in short, like a cientificos lecture by Justo Sierra. A little tyranny (in Azerbaijan) brings development and order - all based on the development of a single market export - oil. This lines up nicely with the month's topics in my modern lat am course: Progress and Order... and the Popular Response to It. Students are reading Todd Diacon's great work on the building of the railway in Santa Catarina in Brazil and the social stress and upheaval that such a project brings. National Geographic, for all its progressive pretensions, paints the building of a rail system through a religiously sensative area as a possible antidote to the woes of the Caucuses. Once more, I would submit that a few minutes in a Latin America class would benefit many policy makers outside of the area. Building a railroad to export a single market item in an area prone to conflict... this is totally in our tool box.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
I'm reminded of a story told by a professor of Roman history to teaching assistants. He said when he was approached by a TA about apathetic students and their desire to coast through Western Civ he had said that you just had to look at it like being a missionary among the barbarians. He was a little chagrined to come into a training session a couple years later where this young woman, now an experienced TA, was drilling future teaching assistants about the glorious and almost divine mission they had to teach students Western Civ. The TAs must, at all cost, instill the importance of Western Civ on these students. She then pointed to professor X and said "It is like you said, we are missionaries to the barbarians." Chagrined, he shook his head and said, "I just meant that you go in there and throw a little water around and hope it sticks."
I threw a little water around today.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
During an amateur football match in Brazil, a man died of stab wounds received by the referee, angry because he protested a foul. The victim’s brother, who came to his aid, was also injured.It happened on Sunday afternoon in the city of Barreira, 72 kilometers away from Fortaleza. Read more here.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Sure enough, Guatemala is making a full push to remove legislation that slows down the creation and approval of Free Trade Zones. Essentially, by 2015, most trade barriers and protections will need to be removed from Guatemala so that they can be more competitive. And who is the big competitor that Guatemalan trade ministers and economists seem to be so worried about and mention time and again that they want to emulate: El Salvador. El Salvador, the economic, environmental, and demographic nightmare that never seems to find the dawn is Guatemala's new future. Good luck with that. Pop on over to CISPES and tell me how that is going to work out for you.
How long can people cry out about the history of these free trade zones in Latin America before someone starts to listen?
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
In October of 1991, El Toro and his men were stopped at a check point by forty police officers in a "routine" roadblock... and in the following shoot out El Toro took seventeen shots to the body including, according to the LA Times, one at close range between the eyes. Not long after that authorities began exhuming dozens of human remains from El Toro's 7,500 acre plantation (er, ejidal land), resolving the disappearance of many locals.
According to The Capitalist Revolution in Latin America El Toro was an example of what happens when there are not strong and honest institutions at work in a nation. According to the authors of that 1997 Oxford U press book, Mexicans enter into a sort of competition with the criminal state and create what they call "the blocked society." What is a blocked society? According to freemarket reformers it is
"one in which markets are closed, regulated, or monopolized by the state, leaving little or no room for individual free enterprise and unhampered product and market innovation. Survival in the "blocked economy" requires connections; bribes; and payments of regulatory, licensing and various tax fees for access to markets, resources, capital, and a work environment undisturbed by strikes and regulatory harassment or confiscation." (Richard Ebeling review of The Capitalist Revolution in Freedom Daily, August 1997.)What I find interesting is that for Mexico, The Capitalist Revolution argues that the legal basis of the corruption and murder of not only caciques and drug traffickers is the 1917 Mexican constitution. Because it "abrogates the rights of individuals" in favor of a powerful government that (because no entrepreneurial avenues are open) breeds corruption. Such corruption encourages competition from the populace in the form of caciques and cartels. Crime, it essentially argues, is the result of the welfare state. Wow. Mexico's entire history of plunder politics and foreign exploitation as well as the market demands from the US for a black market product all swept away in favor of free market ideology. For good fun, turn the book over and see that the book was endorsed by George Schultz, Jose Pinera (Pinochets minister of finance), Pedro Aspe (Salinas Minister of Finance), and an economist from the University of Chicago.
The rule of law, I think, is perhaps one of the most perplexing presences in the entire discussion of free markets ... and perhaps one of the least discussed.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
With the arrest of the fairly washed up former drug princepin known as "La Barbie," the blogosphere and the news folks are up in a fluster again about how "Calderon's" drug war / US proxy war in Mexico is destroying the country. Is it so long ago that the indie media (of which I am generally a fan), and the correspondents of the mainstream were all over one of Mexico's truly "bad guy" presidents Carlos Salinas de Gortari for NOT doing enough to go after the cartel butchers? At the end of the day I am no big fan of the PAN or Calderon... not beyond their presence starting a little competition in the Mexican political market. However, Eddie Valdez (La Barbie) did some truly rotten things to both Mexican and US citizens for which he needs to do some serious (life) jail time. Until Mexico and the US either A) invent a time machine that goes back to 1930 and changes narcotics policy; B) they work out an economic system that legitimizes all narcotics and black market items while simultaneously creating a total global free market where everything is legal and offer amnesty for crimes committed in the past by "alternative economy" types; C) they go back to the 1970s model of ignoring narcotics trafficking THEN we have to deal with a reality where a president serious about law enforcement regarding a truly brutal sector of society needs to be engaged.
On both the right and the left the conversation about the rule of law in Latin America has been heated... and in one direction: that it is a cure for Latin American ills. But the slaughter we see in Mexico is a direct result of that transition to the rule of law. So I have to ask, do you really want it or not? And if your answer is to simply change the laws to fit the criminals (make narcotics legal), then is that really the rule of law? And if not narcotics, what is next? At the end of the day this war in Mexico is and will continue to be brutal and Calderon will continue to be mediocre president at best. And while we know he is not the best Mexico can do, is he really the worst?
Friday, August 27, 2010
So, Mexicans immigrate to the United States because Mexico stinks and they want to come to the US and simultaneously take jobs / live on unemployment while not having to live in Mexico while turning the US into Mexico. *sigh* Living in Texas I get to hear all sorts of perceptions about immigration.
Meanwhile, back in Montana, the Center for the Rocky Mountain West appeared in an article in the Missoulian and, shock of shocks, they point out that immigration is a product of supply and demand in the labor market. I am sure all Latin America specialists, business people, and workers are completely baffled by this concept. At any rate, it is a nice article from the Missoulian.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
1) the comments from the readers were overwhelmingly negative, with one commentator on a related story on the temple wondering if the building was a front for drug runners and illegal aliens. LDM is probably Mexico's closest approximation of the sort of Christianity you will find practiced by many in Alaska, such as Palin's former Wasila Assembly of God church. LDM are probably conservative Alaskans' greatest allies in terms of "issues" - but they certainly can't see beyond the racial profiling.
2) Not far from San Antonio the Luz del Mundo maintain a lavish exotic animal park and collection of vintage cars (see the San Antonio News Express story here) - an odd juxtaposition to the 4 year struggle of the Alaska congregation to finish its building. While I appreciate the interesting idea of Mexican wealth needing to prop up insufficient funds in the US, I am also struck by the lack of central planning in an otherwise very tightly controlled centralized church. Perhaps LDM is not the religious juggernaut that I and others have made it out to be. Apparently, according to the ADN story, this is not the only stalled church in the works. Perhaps, of course, I am just reading too much into a policy of asking local congregations to take control of the their own building facilities.
Monday, August 23, 2010
A bullet that flew through a building at the University of Texas at El Paso may have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border during a shootout between drug traffickers and Mexican federal police, authorities said.
University President Diana Natalicio said Sunday a bullet struck Bell Hall sometime Saturday evening. No injuries were reported at the building.
That same evening, a "major gun battle" between drug traffickers and Mexican authorities broke out in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, just 30 yards from the U.S. border at El Paso, Texas, a U.S. Border Patrol spokesman said. Read more here.
Of course, El Paso seems to be simultaneously fulfilling its historical role while missing out on much of the tourist money that could be made from that role. If you ever get a chance to take the self-guided walking tour of El Paso, TX - you MUST do it. It isn't my favorite town, but it is my favorite town in Texas. At any rate, you can still see some buildings where various revolutionary figures drank soda pop, played espionage games, or plotted coups. Most memorable are the hotels that proudly proclaim to the be the places where US Americans lounged about on the roof and watched the revolution. The US voyeurism of violence in Mexico still seems to be a popular pastime.
"A safe and comfortable place to view a Mexican Revolution." The roof garden of the El Paso del Norte Hotel was just one of the many buildings which provided a ringside seat to the Mexican Revolution (El Paso County Historical Society.)
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Under a military dictatorship with people plucked out of their homes and tortured we got nary a peep from the Argentine pastors, but now, under a leftist government and a society embracing abortion and gay marriage, the Argentine Bishops are suddenly all abuzz with the fear of street crime.
The Archbishop / Jesuit / Cardinal Bergoglio (son of Italian Argentine rail workers) is a fairly conservative fellow and probably the closest competition Ratzinger had in the elevation to pope - but essentially just two opposing peas in the same very conservative pod. At any rate, Bergoglio's sudden concern for security as an issue is most likely a ploy to get involved with Argentine politics after the July name calling / mud slinging between himself and Presidente Fernandez de Kirchner (he said gay marriage was from Satan, she called him medieval, etc).
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
The complex issues surrounding immigration are a matter of increasing concern and debate for all in this country.
Elected individuals have the primary responsibility to find solutions in the best interests of all whose lives will be impacted by their actions.
We repeat our appeal for careful reflection and civil discourse when addressing immigration issues. Finding a successful resolution will require the best thinking and goodwill of all across the political spectrum, the highest levels of statesmanship, and the strongest desire to do what is best for all of God’s children.
According to KSL, the Mormon owned media group in Salt Lake, the statement was greeted with thumbs up from both Proyecto Latino de Utah and the Utah Coalition on Illegal Immigration. In the context of the illegal and just mean spirited release of so-called illegals in Utah earlier this summer, perhaps a weak statement just to stay classy becomes a more powerful statement. At any rate, according to my cousins in Idaho the statement was greeted with incredible anger by conservative Mormons in SE Idaho (Holly, you really should have stayed in Montana).
Utah's Latino population - like the US South - has seen an explosion of mostly Latino immigration from outside the US. As Utah's families have become more affluent, teens and adults have abandoned service and agricultural work which are two of the driving forces in the state. And, yes, most of those immigrants remain Catholic or at least non-Mormon (sorry, Lou Dobbs). At any rate, Utah's governor has convened a round table that has generated little results (that I could find) at this point, but two big thumbs up to Luz Robles and Mark Shurtleff for these two comments:
"Reactive legislation, enforcing outside our state purview is not good public policy," said Sen. Luz Robles, D-Salt Lake City.Why should we care? Considering the wealth and power that the LDS community wields in Arizona, California, Nevada, and the rest of the Mountain West, proponents of a a civil discourse need support from US Mormons in the West.
"In 1869, this country was joined together in this state, and the two groups that came together to drive that spike were the Chinese and Irish workers," said Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff. "Immigrants who were not legal at the time."
Friday, August 13, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
"Although corruption has existed in different moments of the continent's history, we could say that we are witnessing a 'geometric' progression in the recent period," a final statement from the seminar asserts. "We see it in the growth of organized drug trafficking networks and frequently in electoral contests, especially in re-election processes that deteriorate the institutions of democracy." see the article here.
Read: "We don't really like the outcome of elections in Latin America these days, constitutional empowerment of the indigenous and poor, and being pressured to stop taking cash from drug cartels. And we really hate Chavez." Calling Cardinal Urosa a troglodyte probably has not improved the relationship with Rome.
It is hard for me to fathom that the bishops honestly feel that Argentina is more corrupt now than in 1950 or that Chile is more corrupt now than in 1980. Really? Because Colombia was a bastion of law and safety in 1928? El Salvador the playground of the Rule of Law in 1981? This is a disappointing performance by CELAM who appear to have succumbed to the complete influence of el Pastor Aleman.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
"If she has no data and is just mouthing off for political reasons, as I believe she is doing, then she must apologize to the people of Arizona for lying to them so blatantly."
Sen. Jesus Ramon Valdes, a member of the Mexican Senate's northern border affairs commission, called Brewer's comments racist and irresponsible.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Lic. Rodolfo Acosta Muñoz
Magistrado Presidente del Supremo Tribunal de Justicia
Del Estado de Chihuahua
Tel ( 52 614 ) 1 800 700
Lic. José Reyes Baeza
Gobernador Constitucional del Estado de Chihuahua
Palacio de Gobierno
Calle Aldama # 901 Col Centro C.P. 31000
Tel ( 52 614) 4 29 33 00 ext 11123
Send a copy to: Centro de Derechos Humanos de las Mujeres correo electrónico: acción@cedehm.org.mx
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
... according to AP’s Latin America Editor, Niko Price, he had sent her and her colleague, Oswald Olonso, not to write an in-depth analysis of drug trafficking in this fair city, but to write about “fear.“