Archive for September, 2011

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In Chile, Students Mount Massive Education Reform Movement

September 1, 2011

Teachers' Union head Jaime Gajardo (left) and student leader Camila Vallejo (Credit - Flickr/Gonzalo Zapata)

Five years after the famed revolución de los pingüinos (penguin revolution) erupted along the streets of Santiago, Chile’s students are once again experiencing of winter of serious discontent, leading a series of massive demonstrations that many observers describe as the largest since the end of the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship (1973-1990). Read the rest of this entry ?

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Nicaragua Takes Stock Of Its Juvenile Crime Laws In Wake Of Student Stabbing Death

September 1, 2011

Youth playing in Diramba, Nicaragua (Flickr/Ratterrell)


The recent stabbing death of a university student in Managua has ignited a fierce nationwide debate over Nicaragua’s juvenile crime laws. Critics say underage criminals hide behind the Código de la Niñez y Adolescencia to get away – literally in some cases – with murder. Rights groups, on the other hand, say the 13-year-old Código is sound. Rather than overhaul it, they say, authorities ought to do a better job of putting the code’s precepts into practice. Read the rest of this entry ?

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In El Salvador, Leaders Wary Of Civil War-Era Human Rights Probes

September 1, 2011

USF memorial to victims of the 1989 Jesuit massacres (Flickr/Steve Rhodes)

Even as it grapples with a new era of domestic security woes, violence-plagued El Salvador continues to be haunted by ghosts of its last internal conflict: a 12-year civil war (1980-1992) that resulted in some 75,000 deaths and an estimated 8,000 disappearances. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Chile: Piñera Govt Approves Controversial Dam Project, Unleashes Flood Of Popular Outrage

September 1, 2011

Patagonia's Baker River (Photo by Benjamin Witte)

Flip-flop rulings have left the fate of the controversial HidroAysén venture, a multi-billion-dollar dam scheme slated for southern Chile’s Patagonia region, very much up in the air. The recent roller coaster events have made one thing clear: in Chile, energy matters – once the exclusive domain of private utilities companies – are now becoming everyone’s business. Read the rest of this entry ?