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Latin America

A Constitution Corrupted

By: 
Gavin O'Toole

It is easy to understand scholarly and progressive interest in this year’s centennial of the Russian revolution, but harder to explain why there is little apparent enthusiasm for an anniversary that is arguably more important – that of Mexico’s 1917 constitution, signed on February 5, 1917. In fact, Mexico’s constitution provided the model for the first Soviet constitution. Its failure to inspire global interest may reside in an uncomfortable question facing the country: whether it should be celebrating or mourning.

How TIAA Funds Environmental Disaster in Latin America

By: 
Linda Farthing

If you are in U.S. academic, research, medical, or cultural fields, your assets are likely managed by pension fund giant TIAA(formerly TIAA-CREF). Though frequently neglected, pension funds constitute the largest sector of the financial industry. TIAA is among the 100 largest corporations in the United States, serving over five million active and retired employees from more than 16,000 institutions.

Some thoughts, self-criticisms and proposals concerning the process of change in Bolivia

By: 
Pablo Solon
What has happened? How did we come to this? What occurred in the process of change that more than 15 years ago won its first victory with the water war? Why is it that a conglomeration of movements that wanted to change Bolivia ended up trapped in a referendum to allow two persons to be re-elected in 2019?
To say that it’s all the work of the imperialist conspiracy is nonsensical. The idea of the referendum for re-election did not come from the White House but from the Palacio Quemado.[2] Now it is obvious that imperialism and the entire ultra-right are benefiting from this great error, the calling of a referendum to enable two persons to be re-elected.

What Happened to the Pink Tide?

By: 
Kyla Sankey

When the “pink tide” of left-leaning governments first rose to power on the back of anti-neoliberal protests across Latin America in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the initial reaction from the Left was euphoric. Striving to move beyond the “there is no alternative” mantra, many pinned their hopes on what seemed to be a new wave of actually existing alternatives to neoliberalism.

Amidst the revolutionary fervor of social forums, solidarity alliances, and peoples’ councils, it appeared an epochal shift was underway, which Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa optimistically dubbed “a genuine change in the times.”

But in retrospect, the 2005 political mobilizations that led to the defeat of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) may have been the high point of the pink tide project. Since then, the balance of power has slowly shifted back towards the Right, with the popularity and efficacy of left-wing governments rapidly diminishing.

Review of Atilio Borón's "Twenty-First Century Socialism: Is There Life after Neoliberalism?"

By: 
Rudy Leal McCormack

Borón determines that present-day Marxism has to prove that alternatives to neoliberal capitalism exist, and that these alternatives can be useful as ‘guides to action’. Borón wittingly uses a prison break analogy demonstrating that in order to escape capitalism one must imagine a strategy and exit point for escape. Borón adamantly doubles down that in LACs (latin american countries) there is no other sustainable response, a revised socialism for the twenty-first century is the answer. The alternative – more capitalism – will doom human existence.

Water is More Valuable than Gold

By: 
Ellie Happel

The hill overlooking the tailings pond—a vast, dammed tub of liquid residue—was littered with bones.  Residents from the area said the goats and cattle that once grazed the land had died since mining operations began a few years ago.  They held our hands as we crossed a river, directing us to jump from rock to rock to avoid plunging a foot into the polluted current.  The human settlements tucked in the valley beneath the white smoke snaking into the sky appeared to be the only life remaining in the area.  We were at Pueblo Viejo in the Dominican Republic, one of the largest gold mines in the world. 

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