Diverse studies observe that social conflicts and protests arise in areas where natural resource extraction occurs (Arellano-Yanguas 2011a, b). Recently, several intense localized protests have occurred at mining sites in almost all the democratic countries of Latin America (except in Paraguay); for instance, these social demonstrations have arisen in Peru (Conga), Chile (Mina Invierno), Argentina (Fanatina), Panama (Cerro Colorado), Uruguay (Aratirí), Costa Rica (Crucitas de Crutis), and Ecuador (Fruta del Norte).
Health and Society
On December 1st, people across the globe raised consciousness about HIV/AIDS through World AIDS Day. This year’s theme, “Close the gap for an AIDS-free generation,” is a reason to celebrate in Latin America since antiretroviral treatment has reached over 600,000 people in the past decade. The Pan American Health Organization recently released a press report that states that cases of antiretroviral treatment have increased from 210,000 in 2003 to 795,000 in 2013.1
Durante las últimas dos décadas en América Latina fue noticia la emergencia movimientos indígenas en las arenas políticas. Su irrupción supuso un cambio en las dinámicas políticas de varios países tanto por la creación de partidos étnicos como por la capacidad de reformar las constituciones para incluir derechos multiculturales (Van Cott 2005). Sin embargo, durante los últimos años la presencia política de los pueblos indígenas parece haber perdido la centralidad y la visibilidad que tenía (Martí i Puig 2014).
Peru is home to one of the most geographically and biologically diverse landscapes in South America. Coastal beaches, desert, mountains, and rainforest can all be found within this country’s borders. Due to this rich diversity, however, the different regions of Peru are slightly isolated from one another. These divisions have lead to various problems in the past, and continue to be an issue today, particularly for the environment.
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
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.