Americas

AP Photo/Leslie Mazoch

Will the Mideast Unrest Reach Latin America?

By Antonio Corrales

Looking at the Latin America’s current position in the Human Development Index (HDI), which was created by the UN to measure life expectancy at birth, the adult literacy rate and a decent standard of living based on GDP, the general situation looks promising. Most of the countries rank between high and medium on the HDI. Apart from Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Costa Rica and Peru, most of the region’s countries have leftist governments. Some countries have created their own independent groups, such as the Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America and the Caribbean (ALBA), which is a proposed alternative to the US-sponsored Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).

AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner

US Veto on UN Settlement Resolution Shows Obama Is Not Ready for Change

By Andrea Dessi

On 18 February, the US vetoed a UN Resolution describing Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories as “illegal” and “constituting a major obstacle” for peace. First submitted by Lebanon in late December 2010 on behalf of the Arab Group and the Palestinians, the resolution was co-sponsored by over 120 nations and received the endorsement of all other veto-wielding members on the Security Council. In the hope of attracting a unanimous pledge of support the resolution was specifically drafted to include wording contained in past UN resolutions as well as US and EU statements on the topic of Israeli settlements.

AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills

São Paulo: The City of Contrasts

By Njoki Wamai

Meu nome é Njoki. Como você está? Obrigada. I thank my seatmate for a quick Portuguese language lesson and memorize the introductory lines one last time as our plane from Oliver Tambo Airport in Johannesburg lands at Guarulhos Airport in São Paulo. 

AP Photo/Kent Gilbert

Are Hugo Chávez’ Special Laws the Catalyst to the End?

By Antonio Corrales

Since the last legislative elections, the Venezuelan political environment has radically changed pace from its course over the last twelve years. 

AP Photo/Katsumi Kasahara

Do Arms Races Cause Wars?

By Joseph Maiolo

Ever since Britain’s Foreign Secretary Lord Grey in 1914 declared that the arms race had made war “inevitable”, the question of whether military rivalry causes war has perplexed policymakers and scholars alike. 

US Navy/Michael A. Blaha

Past the Eleventh Hour: US Withdrawal from Iraq

By Katherine Opoka

After eight months of political deadlock, the incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been tasked with forming a new government in Iraq. The re-election of the Shiite leader has sparked fresh waves of scepticism internationally as his government’s ability to maintain security in the weakened Iraqi state has been questioned. Following the 7 March 2010 National Elections, the insurgency has persisted, once again threatening to ignite tensions and fuel sectarian conflict across Iraq. As Iraq enters the eleventh hour, what is the future of the fledgling state? 

AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills

Terrorism in Mexico, Misperceptions and Misconceptions

By Mauricio Meschoulam

“How can you actually live there?” an American PhD student colleague asked me just a month ago. “Aren’t they shooting each other in the streets all the time?” “Watch out, you might be killed for what you’re writing about”. If outside of Mexico the general perception about the country is like this, inside of our borders the situation is not very different. A recent survey revealed that most people believe that more civilians than cartel members have been killed in the drug war, which is very far from the truth.