Art and Culture

Decriminalization of Marijuana in Mexico Leads to Greater Problems

April 26, 2016

In 2009, Mexico decriminalized the possession of small quantities of several drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and LSD in an attempt to combat police corruption and to put a greater focus on the more dangerous cartels and traffickers rather than the small-time users.

2 Degrees or 1.5? What the Paris Climate Agreement Means for the Caribbean

April 26, 2016

If you have heard anything about the Paris climate conference—formally known as the 21st Conference of Parties, or COP21—then you know that lots of people seem very excited about the recently adopted 2 degrees Celsius agreement. “I believe this moment can be a turning point for the world,” said U.S. President Barack Obama.  U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared, “What was once unthinkable has now become unstoppable.”1,2 But what does this number mean?

The Reemergence of Pablo Escobar in American Popular Culture

April 26, 2016

With the late-summer release of Netflix’s new hit series, “Narcos,” which documents the rise of Pablo Escobar and his position as one of the most powerful men in Colombia, as well as one of the richest men in the world, the former drug lord has reemerged as a hot topic in American popular culture nearly 22 years after his death. This is not the first time, though, that Escobar’s life has been dramatized for either film or television.

Brazil’s Belo Monte Dam and the Green Economy

April 26, 2016

The Brazilian government has placed its bet on Amazonian hydroelectric infrastructure as a key piece of its clean energy future. A national discourse about the green economy and sustainable development surround such large development projects today, despite the long and distressing historical track record of building large dams in the Amazon.

Giving a Voice to the Voiceless: Street Art as a Form of Political Protest

April 26, 2016

Military dictatorships in most Latin American countries during the 1970s suppressed the population, but out of it grew a movement that remains strong. People who were typically voiceless, began to use walls as a microphone for their political and social expressions. While street art is not always politically linked, the movement grew from the need to not be silenced anymore.

Challenges to El Salvador’s Focus on Migrant Remittances

April 26, 2016

More than a fourth of the total Salvadoran population lives outside of El Salvador, and migrants’ remittances account for the country’s largest source of income 1 2. According to the World Bank, El Salvador has become one of the world’s top recipients of remittances as a share of GDP (Ratha & Silwal 2012).  As emigration grew throughout the postwar period following displacements from the country’s 1979

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