Mexico, the Military and Human Rights

By Sarah Johnstone

Last month British deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg visited Mexican President Felipe Calderón. In addition to the improvement of trade, the two leaders also agreed for their countries to tackle together such global concerns as security and human rights. Yet while Calderón is intending to address these issues on an international level, the Mexican people are facing serious domestic difficulties.


Al-Qaeda Is No More, With or Without Bin Laden

By Ghassan Dahhan

With the current unrest in the Middle East it appeared that, all of a sudden, everybody seemed to have forgotten about what President George W. Bush once described as “the biggest threat to civilisation itself”. Yet, with the assassination of Osama Bin Laden, Al-Qaeda has again taken centre stage in global politics and media coverage. The question that remains is: What is left of Al-Qaeda? Contrary to the popular assumptions, Al-Qaeda never fitted the description of an organisation because it lacks the very one element in order to be defined as such: structure. 

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.