On Friday, January 19, Pitt’s Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) and the University Center for International Studies (UCIS) had the pleasure of hosting a lecture by Mitchell A. Seligson, Centennial Professor of Political Science, Alexander Heard Distinguished Service Professor, and Professor of Sociology (by courtesy) at Vanderbilt University. Seligson is also an elected member of the General Assembly of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, and is best known for founding the Latin American Public Opinion Project, or LAPOP.
The point of departure of the latest Insight report based on the Americas Barometeris a well-known fact: “The United States has long suffered from an image problem across much of the Americas, due in large part to the many cases of U.S. involvement in Latin American and Caribbean affairs.” However, Laura Silliman, from Vanderbilt University, wonders whether “As these legacies of military and economic interventions perhaps begin to recede in the minds of Latin Americans, the question arises as to what factors influence the views of the U.S.
Results from preliminary pre-release 2014 AmericasBarometer survey data from Brazil indicate that the protests ongoing in the country since last year are driven largely by young, single, educated Brazilians, with widespread corruption and violence, and low quality education and healthcare at the top of their list of grievances. Thus, international sporting events like the World Cup have both exacerbated perceptions of systemic corruption among Brazilians and also provided a useful high-profile stage for protesters to voice their discontent.
The last report of the Americas Barometer Insight Series, authored by Ana Maria Montoya, focuses on Colombians' perception of the conversion of the FARC into a political party.
Early last month the U.S. House of Representatives passed two measures to tackle illegal immigration. The legislation has been lauded by Republicans including the Tea Party, and lambasted by Democrats. The proposal includes $694 million to bolster federal agencies dealing with the surge of immigrants. This number is significantly less than the $3.7 billion President Obama had previously requested (1).