Venezuelans refer to their country’s slums and the individual improvised constructions as ranchos (ranches). These feats of engineering are ubiquitous throughout the country; they spill down the hills and mountains surrounding the capital city of Caracas, down to the port of La Guaira north of the city and south into the Tuy valleys, and dominate the periphery of even more intermediate cities like Maracay, Ciudad Bolívar, and San Cristóbal. Some Venezuelans claim that the rancho that has overtaken the colonial town of Petare
News and Politics
The mayor of Bogotá Gustavo Petro, a former M19 guerrilla, was released from his post and banned from holding public office for 15 years on December 9th following an accusation of mismanagement of Colombia’s capital city.
On November 12, 2012, former Mexican mayor Maria Santos Gorrostieta was abducted as she was driving her daughter to school. Her body was found a few days later and it is believed that she was tortured before she was killed. There is speculation that Gorrostieta was targeted for her frequent denunciations of drug cartels in the area where she served as governor, a small town in the western state of Michoacán.
It has been a while since a strikingly populist candidate has been a major contender in a presidential election in the United States. Many think of William Jennings Bryan, the three-time nominee of the democratic party at the end of the 1800s, as one of the only other strongly populist presidential candidates in American history (Ramone, 2010). President Trump’s campaign can fairly be described as populist through his rhetoric against the elites on Capitol Hill, his appeal to working class voters, and most importantly his outsider status as a non-politician.
On October 14th, President Obama utilized his executive powers to issue a new directive on the United States’ relationship with Cuba. The directive dictates new rules that cover a wide range of areas, from supporting medical-related business projects to reinstating normal limits on importing Cuban products for personal use.
Last year as Brazil geared up to hold the Summer 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, a huge corruption scandal hit the country: “Operação Lava Jato”, or “Operation Car Wash”. After much turmoil and international attention, many thought the scandal would subside with the new year. However, this has not been the case. And the scandal is still making headlines over a year since it first began, having become clear that it involves more than just Brazil.