De las tres elecciones presidenciales que se celebrarán este mes en el Cono Sur, en Brasil la clase media jugará un rol particularmente decisivo, estima el analista Miguel Ángel Bastenier, en una columna publicada recientemente por el diario El País de España.
On September 22nd and 23rd, the United Nations held its first annual International Conference on Indigenous Villages. Indigenous representatives from around the world gathered in New York City to discuss indigenous rights in order to bring equality to a group of people that have been oppressed and discriminated against since colonization. The indigenous population of the world totals 370 million people, which constitutes 5% of the total world population and they represent about one third of people living in poverty.1
The second Panoramas Roundtable discussion of the 2014-2015 school year took place on October 2, with contributors Ana Lúcia Gomes, Bruno Hoepers and Barry Ames. The topic of discussion was the upcoming presidential election’s top three candidates: incumbent Dilma Rousseff, Marina Silva of the socialist party, and Aecio Neves. All three panelists discussed the political landscape of Brazil setting up a structural frame of reference, before moving on to prior corruption scandals and the potential influence of the new middle class.
October 13th is nationally recognized as Columbus day, marking the day Christopher Columbus discovered the new world in 1492. This encounter, as students learn as early as elementary school, changed the course of American and Latin American history. This year, many cities across the US have protested this holiday demanding that instead of lauding Columbus, we use this day to recognize the indigenous people whose land Columbus allegedly invaded.
On October 16, 2014, Argentina launched its first geostationary satellite, which will allow Argentines, Chileans, Paraguayans, Uruguayans, and citizens of the Malvinas Islands to enjoy full satellite coverage. The satellite will be used primarily for data transmission as well as telephone and television services. The satellite was constructed out of entirely Argentine parts and has been named ARSAT-1.1 A week later, on October 24, the ARSAT-1 reached its destination and is now in its permanent orbital location.
This October Dilma Rousseff was re-elected as Brazil’s president by the slimmest of margins. With approximately 51.4 percent of the vote she beat competitor Aécio Neves of the Social Democracy party (PSDB) who received about 48.5 percent.1 The election reveals Brazil’s clear divide amongst the population with regard to the direction of the country as evidenced by her victory speech in which she admitted that she wants to be “a much better president than I have been until now.”2
Most accounts of social sector reform in Latin America portray middle-class professionals as unmovable obstacles, while state elites from above or social movements below as the principle forces for reform. In our article “The Role of Professionals in Policy Reform: Cases from the City Level, São Paulo”, published in Latin American Politics and Society in July 2014, we raise the claim that social reform can come from the middle, through the professional networks of public sector workers and their allies in civil society.
Between the months of July and August of this year, in some parts of Latin America, there was no rainfall for 45 continuous days. While reservoirs and water systems are in place in most large cities across Central and South America, agriculture during those months suffered greatly. Across Central America, some of the poorest countries are being hit the hardest: 236,000 families in Guatemala, 120,000 in Honduras, 100,000 in Nicaragua and 96,000 in El Salvador are facing the repercussions of a long and unusual dry season.1