Friday, November 30, 2012

A Balancing Act in El Salvador

Tim Hollins of El Salvador Solidarity Network (Esnet) has a good, quick overview of the war in El Salvador and the events of the last twenty years for the UK's Morning Star in A Balancing Act.
El Salvador in central America has a brutal past. It was a reactionary, feudal state up to the 1970s where 14 wealthy families, all with close ties to the US, owned virtually everything - land, and all the state apparatus of power.
The workers and peasants laboured in desperate conditions of widespread poverty, little health care or education and few rights. Massive inequalities in all areas of life led to an inevitable upsurge in demands for change.
As a protest movement began to grow in the mid-'70s, inspired by Cuba and the struggle of the Sandinistas in neighbouring Nicaragua, the Salvadorean state responded with massive repression in an attempt to annihilate the movement.
The death squad became the first solution of the state to any kind of opposition. The people reacted with thousands joining the Farabundo Marti Front of National Liberation (FMLN) guerilla organisation with the aim of bringing about revolutionary change. 
I would just say that, comparatively speaking, the United States did not have very strong relations with the Salvadoran elite prior to the late 1970s. It's not that they didn't have any, but El Salvador just wasn't that important. Coffee and most other agricultural production was in the hands of a nationalist, reactionary elite.

The first attempt at an armed resistance to the regime was in 1960-1961, immediately following the success of Cuban Revolution. It failed. The Communist Party of El Salvador (PCS) then committed itself to the electoral route to power. Cayetano Carpio and others left to form new rebel groups in the late 1960s/early 1970s. Most, if not all were inspired by the Cuban Revolution as well, but many of them were also inspired by liberation theology. These rebel groups carried out bombings, bank robberies, and kidnappings throughout the 1970s. They also worked to organize supporters in the countryside and to build mass bases in the cities. The increasing repression, electoral fraud, and the Sandinista Revolution all provided new recruits for the ERP, FPL, RN, PRTC and the FAL.

When the US, Christian Democrats, and moderate elements of the military favored political reform, land reform, nationalizations, and more professional counterinsurgency operations after the October 1979 coup, the extreme right continued to rely upon the use of death squads. These death squads, some operating within the Treasury Police and the Guard and others outside of government, killed four US churchwomen on December 2, 1980.

Anyway, Hollins piece is short and pretty good. He also has some things to say about postwar El Salvador. And, if you are in the neighborhood, he will be speaking at the Latin American Conference in London on Saturday.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Salvadoran Americans in the 2009 elections

Even with an unpopular outgoing ARENA administration, a terrible candidate, worsening security and economic conditions, the FMLN's Mauricio Funes won the 2009 presidential election by a rather slim margin. Part of why we believe Funes won was that his candidacy was supported by a group of moderate businessmen and former government and military officials. These individuals were few up with ARENA management of the government and the economy.

While the focus was always on the Friends of Mauricio in El Salvador, a number of Salvadoran Americans were also very influential in bringing about Funes' candidacy and in convincing voters that it was okay to vote red. In Luis Reyes: Entrepreneur as Revolutionary, Alexandra Starr has the scoop on Reyes and other Salvadoran Americans like Leonel Flores who pushed Funes' candidacy in the United States.
It drove them to distraction that the ARENA party had managed to win four successive elections since the end of the civil war in 1992. They mused about all that could be done if the government made no-brainer changes, like providing universal education. The rambling conversations were bittersweet: Anything was possible in their ideal world, but for men accustomed to getting things done, it felt as though they were spinning their wheels.
In 2005, the Lauriol Plaza crew saw a tantalizing opening to finally take on ARENA. Mauricio Funes, a CNN en Español correspondent, stopped by the restaurant one night and told the group that he planned to run as the FMLN candidate in the 2009 election. Reyes and his companions immediately grasped the potential of a Funes candidacy. FMLN candidates still tended to be hoary ex-guerrilla fighters who espoused taking over private enterprises, which lent credence to ARENA's allegations that they were communist throwbacks. Funes, by contrast, was both telegenic and not prone to rants about U.S. imperialism.
To be competitive, Funes needed two things: cash and support from his country's business community. In fact, several Salvadoran business leaders who had soured on ARENA had started a group called Amigos de Mauricio, or Friends of Mauricio. On a long August night in 2007, Reyes and his companions congregated around the bar at Lauriol Plaza and committed to launching a parallel organization in the U.S.
When the men clinked glasses over the new organization, Reyes felt a rush that he likens to the feeling he had when he first opened the doors of Lauriol Plaza. Rather than complaining about his homeland's dysfunctional political culture, he was finally doing something to shake it up.
It's a good story and you can read some of my comments near the end. Given the slim margin of victory, Reyes and other businessmen were an important part of why El Salvador has its first FMLN president.

I suspect that the Salvadoran Americans mentioned in the story were also behind the push to have the FMLN nominate Oscar Ortiz as the party's presidential candidate. They failed and Ortiz will instead be the party's vice presidential candidate in 2014. The hardliners remaining in the FMLN were not going to take a backseat to another moderate president who they would be unable to control. There's only fifteen more months until we find out whether their bet pays off.    

Grant Temporary Protected Status to Guatemalans

AntoinetteV left a comment on TPS? Deportation of Guatemalans Increase by 14% that I thought that I would reproduce here.
Dear friends,

I wanted to let you know about a new petition I created on We the People, a new feature on, and ask for your support. Will you add your name to mine? TPS for Guatemala. If this petition gets 25,000 signatures by December 22, 2012, the White House will review it and respond!

We the People allows anyone to create and sign petitions asking the Obama Administration to take action on a range of issues. If a petition gets enough support, the Obama Administration will issue an official response.

You can view and sign the petition here:
The petition needs to reach 150 before it is publicly searchable on the White House's We the People site.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Climate change and El Salvador

Environmental organization Germanwatch recently identified El Salvador as the fourth most at risk country in terms of the affects of climate.
"It rained ten days in a row on one occasion," Antonia Canas Calderon recalls, "and the amount of rain in 2011 was 41 percent higher than the average for the last four decades." As a result of the increase, El Salvador lost over one third of its GDP, says Canas who's at the Doha conference as part of El Salvador's delegation to the climate talks.
It's that rainfall that has put El Salvador fourth in the ranking of the climate risk index. The chart, which was presented by the environment organization Germanwatch on Tuesday (27.11.2012), was compiled with data from the Munich Re reinsurance company, Germanwatch looked at the economic damage and the number of deaths caused by climate change and ranked the countries accordingly.
The BBC's Elizabeth Shoda also has El Salvador-related climate stories in Ready for the worst of nature and Disaster planning ignored by the media.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A foreign witness to Guatemala’s war

Amnesty International has a post written a friend of Guatemala, Jean-Marie Simon up on its website. In it, she writes about the different types of violence in the cities and the countryside in 1980s Guatemala (think Men with Guns), the relief that came with Rios Montt's coup, and the conflict out in Nebaj.

Guatemala is deceptive. I know people think that in the 80’s it was a war zone.
But the country was very different from that. You knew things were going on, you sort of arrived in the capital and you did see soldiers all over the place but it was not like they were sand-bagging the main streets and car bombings and green zones and people running around in flak jackets.
In Guatemala City the army was targeting student leaders, unionists, and university professors. Picking them off one by one or in small groups. In fact, I think the word “desaparecer” (“to disappear”) as a transitive verb, first originated in Guatemala back in the 1960s.
The press conference that announced the coup in 1982 was more dramatic than the coup itself in terms of images. There was Ríos  Montt gesticulating all over the place, saying “from now on there won't be any bodies by the side of the road, from now, we’ll kill legally” doing this in his camouflage uniform flanked by his two subordinates.
What was actually striking in the first few days after the coup was a sense of euphoria and relief. There was a huge rally in the park in front of the National Palace and people waving posters saying “we believe in the army”, “we want peace” because urban repression had been so intense under the previous government headed by Lucas Garcia that people thought - it turned out wrongly - that anyone, even another military man, had to be an improvement on what they had suffered previously.
I was taught that desaparecer was first used during Argentina's dirty war. I have no citation for that, just a recollection of class notes. But it always made sense that it would first have been used in Guatemala after the 1954 coup when hundreds were arrested and then again in the 1960s when many of the urban guerrilla cells were broken up.

I also used to be under the impression that U2's Mothers of the Disappeared referred to Argentina's Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo. While in many ways it does, it is song inspired more by COMADRES in El Salvador.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Unity and Disunity in the FMLN

Alberto Martin and I have a paper on Unity and Disunity in the FMLN in the recent issue of Latin American Politics and Society. Here's the abstract:
Problems of unity can affect an armed opposition group at many stages of its existence—during the war, in peace negotiations, and in its transition to political party. This article assesses how internal divisions affected the performance of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) in El Salvador. It finds that while the FMLN suffered significant internal divisions in the early years of the war, it remained remarkably unified from 1983 on. Significant divisions began to appear during the later war years but were not exacerbated until after the war’s conclusion, when repeated fracturing occurred. The FMLN began to present itself as a programmatically coherent party only in 2005, and this ideological homogeneity allowed it to establish a series of partnerships with moderate, nonrevolutionary sectors of Salvadoran society and to achieve victory in the 2009 presidential elections.
I've mentioned this paper before as it took several years to get published - something not that unusual in academia. The genesis of the paper came from one hypothesis in my dissertation on how unity, or the lack thereof, affects formed armed opposition groups as they make transitions to political parties. I presented a version of the paper that focused on the FMLN and the URNG at LASA in 2007. At some point, I returned to the paper and Alberto joined the project as a co-author. We dropped the URNG from the analyses and focused on the FMLN.

We submitted the paper to LAPS in August 2010. At that point, we had to convince the editor that this paper was substantially different from my papers on the FMLN in 2006 and 2010. That was easy but somewhat worrisome. Was the academic market saturated with papers on the FMLN after two journal articles?

Anyway, we received a revise and resubmit in February 2011. The anonymous reviewers asked us to clarify our research question, cut back on the discussion of unity within the FMLN during the war and extend the analyses through the 2009 election, and add a comparative component to the paper. We weren't keen on including the transitions of other groups as we thought the paper on the FMLN could stand alone and we were already at the 50 page limit. But we did anyway and added five pages on the FSLN, URNG, and the Tupamaros.

We returned the R and R in June. At that point, the managing editor sent the paper back because we had the left and right margins at 1 inch and they needed to be at 1.25. When they converted the paper to 1.25, our paper was nine pages over the limit. We had to cut the nine pages before they would review it again. That wasn't easy as we had had six-plus pages of single-spaced reviewer comments that we had had to incorporate.

We were able to make the edits and get the paper back in a few days. Fortunately, it was summer. We received another R and R at the end of July. Reviewers 1, 2, and 4 said to publish while reviewer 3 had more suggestions to strengthen the comparative and theoretical sections. In October, we received a provisional acceptance of the manuscript. At this point, we were told that our manuscript was too long. While we were under the 50-page limit, we were over their word limit - we were near 14,000 words and had to get under 13,000.

Fortunately, a new reviewer, Reviewer 3, and the editor didn't think that the comparative analysis was strong enough to include in the paper and agreed that we should remove that section. Yes, the first set of reviewers asked us to include it when it wasn't there before. We were then able to reincorporate details on the FMLN which we had had to cut when adding the comparative section. On the positive side, I used this comparative section as the basis for my paper at a Party Building Conference earlier this month. We made the edits and the paper was finally accepted in November 2011. Copyediting took place in August and September of this year and the paper just came out.

On the one hand, the process was frustrating. The reviewers wanted us to turn the paper into a comparative piece when it was really designed as a case study on the FMLN. Alberto and I both carried out fieldwork in El Salvador that addressed unity in the FMLN whereas we had not done so on the other groups. While we agreed that a comparative analysis would be a good idea, that wasn't what we were doing. On the other hand, the theoretical and analytical sections of the final paper are much better than when we first started.

The reviewers and the editor at LAPS were very patient with our stubbornness and for that we are grateful. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

La Esperanza Prison

The BBC looked at life inside the Ciudad Barrios prison in El Salvador earlier in the week. Now, AFP-Getty Images photographer, Jose Cabezas takes you on a photo tour of La Esperanza, the largest jail in the country.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Political and economic conflict in Panama

The Economist has a good article on recent economic and political developments in Panama. I can't say that I like the title Angry Panama: The earthbound bite back or the discussion of a little inhabited Panamanian island,but it's still pretty good.
Panama’s economy outclasses others in Central America, but its government is every bit as dysfunctional. Ricardo Martinelli, a supermarket tycoon who became president in 2009, is at war with his vice-president, Juan Carlos Varela, who comes from a different party and whom the constitution prevents the president from sacking. Mr Varela has accused the president of taking a $30m bribe in return for awarding a contract for helicopter and radar services to an Italian firm. Mr Martinelli is suing Mr Varela for $30m in damages.
Critics accuse the president of packing the Supreme Court with his acolytes, in order to overturn a constitutional ban on re-election. Mr Martinelli has responded by promising that he will not run in the next election, due in 2014. He is also accused of pushing around the National Assembly, which obediently passed (and then speedily repealed) the law to sell the Colón land. And in a country that has no army, some Panamanians fear that the newly beefed-up Border Service is starting to look like one, having staged an unusual march through the capital on independence day earlier this month.
The situation sounds familiar to that of Nicaragua. More crime than there used to be but still comparatively safe. There's strong economic growth and poverty reduction but there's also quite a bit of government corruption. Finally, there are attacks against opposition parties and the media leading to an erosion of democracy in the country. Ortega and the Supreme Court disregarded the ban on re-election in Nicaragua while there remain concerns that Martinelli and the Supreme Court will do the same in Panama. The breakdown of democracy in Panama has not been quite as serious as that of Nicaragua, but it has the potential to do so in the next two years.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Hondurans choose their presidential candidates

The Liberal, Conservative and Libre parties chose their candidates for Honduras' 2013 presidential elections last weekend. The elections are scheduled for November.

Former first lady Xiomara Castro will represent that the peaceful, revolutionary and socialist Liberty and Refoundation party (Libre) while it looks like Mauricio Villeda will head the Liberal Party and Juan Orlando Hernandez the National Party.

An Organization of American States observer mission characterized the voting process as "normal." However, normal isn't always great if you read some entries from the Honduras Solidarity Network's Election Accompaniment Delegation.

Finally, Dana Frank of UC Santa Cruz and Pamela Spees, a lawyer at the Center for Constitutional Rights, appeared on Al Jazeera's Inside Story Americas.

Read more here:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

El Salvador's MS-13 gang

The BBC has a new video on El Salvador's MS-13 gang: Life on the inside.In the short 3 1/2 minute video, Dave O'Neill follows Jose Luis Mendoza, a founding member of the MS-13, around the Ciudad Barrios prison which holds 2,500 members of the MS-13.

Linda Pressly also has a report on the ongoing gang truce for the same BBC in El Salvador gang truce: Can MS-13 and 18th Street keep the peace? In the story, Fr. Antonio-Lopez Tercero makes that claim that Mexican drug cartels are behind the truce because violence is bad for business.

Others make more troubling claims - they believe local and Mexican drug cartels are somehow behind the peace. Gang warfare makes their business messy, and the traffickers need the truce to get their product north to the US market.
"The truce and the negotiations that made it are a strategy of drug-traffickers, not the government," says Father Antonio Lopez Tercero, a young Spanish priest who has worked in Mejicanos, a gang-dominated community in the capital San Salvador, for more than 10 years.
"The main problem in El Salvador and this region is not gang activity, it's 'narco-activity'."
Father Antonio organises beauty, hairdressing and computer repair courses for his parishioners - positive alternatives to gang life - and he is cynical about the fall in the murder rate.
"Of course there's been a drop - that's part of the strategy. It's what I call a 'mafia peace', that is, the end doesn't justify the means."

Basically, while there's strong evidence that the Funes government was behind the truce and that the murder rate is down significantly, many Salvadorans remain suspicious.

Monday, November 19, 2012

US attitudes on Immigration

Dan Hopkins has some recent research on American attitudes towards immigration in Surprise! Americans actually agree on immigration for Poli-Sci Perspective, a weekly Wonkblog for the Wasington Post.
The core conclusion is that we are looking at two variants of the same image. Democrats and Republicans alike prefer high-skilled immigrants with high-status professions. Neither group is as supportive of immigrants who can’t speak English, have no plans to look for work, or those who have made a previous, unauthorized trip to the country.
One of the other interesting findings, that Hopkins doesn't highlight, is that people tend to have a more negative view immigrants whose primary reason for application is to "seek a better job" than to reunite with family (no effect) and to escape persecution (positive effect).

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Adelante FMLN

El FMLN, partido gobernante en El Salvador formado por la antigua guerrilla izquierdista, utilizará en su campaña para los comicios de 2014 la palabra “Adelante”, que sirvió al presidente de EE.UU., Barack Obama, para su reelección. 
“Salvador, presidente. Adelante”, “El Salvador. Adelante” y “Salvador y Oscar. Adelante” son algunas frases en las que el FMLN combinará la palabra que Obama usó en su campaña para los comicios del pasado día 6 (Forward, adelante).
El portavoz del FMLN, Roberto Lorenzana, reconoció ante los periodistas que su partido usará el mismo lema de Obama, pero argumentó que no sólo el gobernante estadounidense lo ha hecho, sino que “hay varios (candidatos) que lo han utilizado” en otros países, incluido el presidente de Venezuela, Hugo Chávez.
“Esa es una palabra que se ha utilizado a lo largo de la historia” en campañas políticas, agregó.
Lorenzana explicó que con el lema “Adelante” el FMLN buscará convencer a los salvadoreños de que no debe haber “retroceso” en los cambios iniciados por el actual Gobierno, que preside Mauricio Funes (2009-2014).
That's pretty funny. The FMLN is going with the same slogan as Barack Obama and the Democrats. That's not the only similarity. The FMLN is going to have to convince voters to return them to the presidency following lackluster economic growth. And there are no signs that the economy is going to pick up before the 2014 election.

NYC Jesuits remember the UCA martyrs

David Gonzalez has a story for the NYT on how several New York City Jesuits remember the martyrs of the UCA.
On Thompson Street, the memory of the UCA Martyrs, as they are known, remains vivid, their faces a daily backdrop to meals, coffee breaks or a quick respite reading the paper. Yet members of the Roman Catholic order are quick to point out that their brother priests – who fiercely decried the civil war’s violence – shared the fate that befell thousands of unheralded Salvadorans.
Fittingly, the women’s portraits occupy a central place.
“The arrangement is like the men are embracing the two ladies,” said the Rev. Alan Briceland, the superior of the Thompson Street community, which is home to eight priests. “They are our highlighted heroes, but so many others were massacred too.”
I knew that Dean Brackley left the Bronx to go work at the UCA following the deaths of the Jesuits. However, in the article I also learned that Fr. Charles Beirne went as well. Fr. Beirne replaced Ignacio Martín-Baró as the UCA's vice president of academic affairs in 1990. Fr. Beirne was the headmaster at my high school in NYC (Regis) from 1978-1983. I attended from 1988-1992.

November 16th was the 23rd anniversary of their deaths.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Guatemalan mayor shot and killed

From Fox News Latino
The mayor of the southwestern town of San Gabriel was fatally shot early Thursday as he left his home, Guatemalan authorities said.
Rene Lopez died in a hospital emergency room in the nearby city of Mazatenango, a police spokesman said.
San Gabriel lies in an area of cattle ranches in the province of Suchitepequez, 170 kilometers (106 miles) southwest of Guatemala City.
 Lopez, 43, was elected mayor in September 2011 on the ticket of Guatemala's ruling Patriot Party.
Authorities are trying to determine a motive for the murder. The mayor's family and associates told police he had not received any threats.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Challenges of Party-Building in Latin America

I am off to Boston for the rest of the week to present papers at the Northeastern Political Science Association's annual meeting and at a Challenges of Party-Building in Latin America conference at Harvard University.

At the NPSA, I am presenting a paper on the long-term electoral performance of the FMLN. This is more of an extension of my paper on The Legacy of Violence on Post-Civil War Elections in Central America: El Salvador.

At the Harvard conference I am presenting a paper on internal divisions within the Central American guerrilla groups as political parties. Why did the MRS, PD, MR, PD and ANN break from the FSLN, FMLN, and URNG and why have they all failed? If you know of any good academic work looking at these questions, please forward them to me. Thanks.

The paper's aren't where I need them to be right now, but that's why I have a spring sabbatical. Drop me an email if you are going to be at either conference.

Crime and Violence in Central America

According to a recent CID-Gallup poll, Nicaragua has been the safest Central American country over the last four months.

A CID-Gallup survey asking people if they have been robbed or assaulted in the past four months suggests Nicaragua has less street crime than its neighbors.
Across the region, 19% of Nicaraguans said they have been robbed or assaulted in the past four months, compared to 21% of Costa Ricans, 22% of Panamanians, 28% of Salvadorans, 29% of Guatemalans and 33% of Hondurans, according to CID-Gallup.  
I don't know why it only covers the last four months, but it is what it is. 

Murder rates in El Salvador are going to fall in 2012. In Guatemala, they also look like they are going to fall to somewhere between 33 and 35 per 100,000, down from 39. Belize is getting worse with the third consecutive year with homicides over 100. Nicaragua remains about the same. Costa Rica's murder rate might decline even though they appear to have a serious problem with burglaries.  Murders in Panama decreased in 2010 and then again in 2011. 

Anyway, what's the story line at the end of the year?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

TPS? Deportation of Guatemalans Increase by 14%

According to Guatemalan officials, deportations of Guatemalans deported from the United States increased by 14% so far this year.
Guatemalan deportations from the USA increased this year by 14 percent, while President Otto Perez Molina has asked his counterpart Barack Obama to stop the repatriations due to the impact of the earthquake.According to reports today from the Department of Immigration, two flights filled with migrants arrived last Friday, the same day that Perez testified that he signed an official letter to send Obama, in which he discussed the critical situation arising from the recent earthquake and asks that returns to Guatemala be curbed.
From the 35,196 repatriated, 32,273 are adult men, 2,387 women, 499 boys and 37 are girls, said the source.
At the headquarters of the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction, the head of state said on November 9 that he was also urging Obama to grant migrants Temporary Protected Status.
Here's what I wrote in October 2011 and, for the most part, in 2010. It should still hold.
Here's an idea. The President should extend Temporary Protected Status to our Guatemalan neighbors so that the country can better recover from these natural disasters without the additional challenge of dealing with the deportation of thousands of their countrymen.
TPS isn't a magical solution to the migratory challenge that confronts the US and Latin American and its southern neighbors. However, it is one tool that the executive branch has at its disposal right now and can make a real difference in the lives of millions of people in Guatemala and the United States.
Now that the elections are over and President Obama and Republican members of congress like Sean Hannity (R-Fox) are talking about comprehensive immigration reform, extending TPS to Guatemalan nationals living in the US seems a bit more likely.

Monday, November 12, 2012

IACHR Guatemala Guilty for Rio Negro Massacres

In September, the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) found Guatemala guilty for the Rio Negro Massacres. 

Monti Aguirre at International Rivers has the summary:

Full details of the ruling by the Inter-American Human Rights Court:
  • The Court resolved that it was within its jurisdiction to address the issues of human rights violations relative to: forced disappearances, lack of impartial and effective investigation (by the State), lack of identification of executed people and disappeared, and the destruction of the community’s social network and forced displacement.
  • The State of Guatemala in turn partially recognized its international responsibilities for some of the human rights violations. Among those, the violations against the right to life, right of children, rights to personal integrity and right to personal integrity.
  • The Court recognized that today, member of the Rio Negro community cannot perform their funeral rituals because 17 disappeared villagers have still not been identified. And the Chixoy Dam flooded many of the sacred sites.
  • The Court considered that the construction of the Chixoy Dam and its reservoir physically hindered the return of the Rio Negro communities to their ancestral lands.
  • The Court ruled that even though the Guatemala State has made some efforts to resettle some of the Rio Negro massacre survivors, it has not established adequate conditions for repairing or mitigating the effects of displacement caused by the State.

What the Court Demands of the State of Guatemala:
  • The Court held that the judgment constitutes a form of reparation and further ordered the State to investigate, without delay the facts of the violations declared in the judgment, with the order to prosecute and eventually punish the alleged perpetrators.
  • The State must perform an effective search for the whereabouts of the forcibly disappeared persons and to hold exhumations and identification of persons allegedly executed, and to determine the cause of death and possibly prior injuries.
  • The State must make a public acknowledgment of international responsibility on this case, build the basic infrastructure and services for the Rio Negro community residing in Pacux, design and implement a project to rescue the culture of the Maya Achi and to provide medical and psychological treatment to the victims in this case. Compensation for material and immaterial damages should be provided and the reimbursement of costs and expenses.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

"Violencia Política y Movilización Revolucionaria en América Latina 1959 - 1996"

Eduardo Rey and Alberto Martín have edited a volume of Naveg@mérica focused on "Violencia Política y Movilización Revolucionaria en América Latina 1959 - 1996." There looks like a number of interesting articles related to Central and South American revolutionary movements. Alberto is currently at the Instituto de Investigaciones Doctor José María Luis Mora in Mexico and Eduardo is at the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela.


Eduardo Rey Tristán, Alberto Martín Álvarez
La oleada revolucionaria latinoamericana contemporánea, 1959-1996. Definición, caracterización y algunas claves para su análisis.PDF
Alberto Martín Álvarez, Eduardo Rey Tristán
Las organizaciones armadas revolucionarias latinoamericanas y la militarización.PDF
Julieta Bartoletti
La cuestión de la democracia en los discursos y prácticas de los comunistas uruguayos, desde la fundación del PCU al Gobierno del Frente Amplio.PDF
Ana Laura de Giorgi, Adolfo Garcé, Federico Lanza
¡A las armas, camaradas!: Frente Patriótico Manuel Rodríguez (1983-1990).PDF
Cristián Pérez
“Montoneros leales a Perón”: notas sobre la Juventud Peronista Lealtad.PDF
Martina Garategaray
Cómo hacer la revolución con palabras. Movilización y cultura de masas en la Argentina de los `70.PDF
Edoardo Balletta
Montoneros. Vanguardia Armada de la Revolución Argentina.PDF
Javier Salcedo

Experiencias investigadoras

Discurso y praxis del Movimiento 26 de Julio: ¿planificación o improvisación?PDF
Patricia Calvo González
Comunicación y proceso revolucionario en El Salvador. La prensa clandestina en la configuración y desarrollo de las organizaciones insurgentes (1970-1980).PDF
Eudald Cortina Orero
El Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional, 1961-1979: reflexiones para su análisis.PDF
José Manuel Ágreda Portero
La guerra revolucionaria en la perspectiva de las FF.AA. argentinas.PDF
Julio Lisandro Cañón Voirin

La conspiración de las ratas. La construcción del enemigo político en México, 1970-1980.PDF
Camilo Vicente Ovalle

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath: The Rockaways

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Strong earthquake strikes Guatemala

On Wednesday morning, a strong 7-plus (some say 7.2, others 7.4.4 magnitude earthquake struck Guatemala. The quake was located southwest of Champerico, off the Pacific coast. At least 48 people were killed and another 100 were missing, many in the department of San Marcos. 76,000 people were left without power. Roads and buildings collapsed. Mudslides also blocked the Interamerican Highway.

Wednesday's earthquake was the strongest since the big 1976 quake that killed 23,000 people. The government did not get high remarks following the recent volcanic eruption. Hopefully, they are better prepared for today's disaster.

The Grounded Academic

Shaun Grech (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK/Integra Malta) talks about academia and practice through an action research project delivering emergency health care to disabled people in poverty in rural Guatemala. The project is run jointly with local level disabled people's organisations (DPOs).
Read more at Integra.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Queens Residents head to the polls

MSNBC has two shots of Rockaway and Breezy Residents heading to the polls today.

I heard on the radio this morning that they had a generator at one of the Rockaway voting stations, but no gasoline.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Alma: A Tale of Guatemala’s Violence

LightBox presents an exclusive look at an interactive, narrative documentary about gang violence in Guatemala told through the story of Alma, a young former gang member.
I didn't get around to watching or posting this before the storm but it looked interesting.

Rockaway Beach, New York

Sorry for the lack of posts. We lost power here in Pennsylvania last Monday night and didn't get it back until late Thursday evening. However, given that the temperatures in the house were in the 40s, we didn't ho home until Friday.

Aside from that, I was in Rockaway Beach, NY on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I grew up in Rockaway and it was devastated by Hurricane Sandy. My mom and aunt still live there.

I spent the time evacuating them and some of their possessions from our home and then clearing out the basement apartment which had about 7 feet of water at the height of the storm.

113th-114th Street Fire

Harbor Light on 130th and Newport Avenue (unknown number of homes burned as well)

101st Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard
It's going to be awhile before Rockaway and Breezy Point, which is the next town over, get back on their feet. Businesses and homes burnt to the ground and/or were inundated with salt water and sewage. Even if one's home didn't suffer structural damage, it is going to need a new furnace and boiler, and, in many cases, electrical. Electrical and salt water do not mix well. Thousands of cars will also need to be replaced. Last I read, the train service will be out for several weeks, maybe months, due to bridge damage.