Thursday, February 21, 2013

Social Media Activist Threatened in Mexico; Racial Attack in Uruguay; Cubans Hoping for Better Internet Connection

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Articles in SourceMex, NotiCen, and NotiSur for Feb. 20-22

Criminal Organizations Target Social-Media Activist in Tamaulipas
Criminal organizations have managed to intimidate many journalists and media outlets in Mexico into suppressing coverage of drug-trafficking activities. Drug traffickers have also targeted citizens using social media, but have not been as successful in their intimidation efforts. In the same week in February that a coalition of international journalist organizations called on President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration and the Mexican Congress to step up protection for journalists in Mexico, a drug cartel in Tamaulipas offered a bounty on the person or persons who have managed Twitter and Facebook accounts dedicated solely to warning citizens in the state to stay away from areas of risk.  -Carlos Navarro     Read More

Uruguay Examines Hidden Racism Following Violent Attack on Afro-Uruguayan Woman
Peaceful Uruguay, a small corner of South America with slightly more than 176,000 sq km, fewer than 3.3 million inhabitants, and a progressive government, awoke on Dec. 16 to news that, before dawn in the capital Montevideo, four white women had attacked an Afrodescendent woman, screaming "black shit," kicking and punching her, and leaving her unconscious, bleeding, and with a perforated liver. More than a century and a half after Uruguay abolished slavery, 47 years after the country signed the UN's International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and having always lived in apparent peace with the descendants of the men and women brought like animals from Africa--slightly more than 8% of the Uruguayan population has African roots--the cultured and egalitarian country discovered that racism is widespread in its society. -Andrés Gaudín     Read More

New Arrests, Indictments In 40-Year-Old Case Of Slain Chilean Singer Víctor Jara
Protected for nearly four decades by a thick wall of military secrecy, a handful of former Chilean soldiers--including a retired Army lieutenant now living in the US--are finally being called to answer for the 1973 torture and murder of famed folk singer Víctor Jara. The musician, who was also an accomplished poet, theater director, and university professor, remains one of the most iconic victims of the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990). -Benjamin Witte-Lebhar    Read More

Cubans' Expectations Increase for Better Access to Internet, Information, and World Connection
The Cuban populace began 2013 under the impression that the island's connection to the world was increasing thanks to the first tests of the submarine fiber-optic cable linked with Venezuela, better access to international information through Latin American television network teleSUR, and the commencement of immigration reforms that reduce foreign travel restraints. -Daniel Vázquez   Read More

Billionaires Carlos Slim, Bill Gates Donate Millions of Dollars for Global Food-Security Efforts at Agricultural Research Center in México State>
Billionaires Carlos Slim and Bill Gates have joined efforts to promote long-term global food security by providing millions of dollars to fund research for improved varieties of corn, wheat, and other crops. The two tycoons--who are at the top of the Forbes list of the wealthiest people in the world—were on hand for the opening of a new agricultural research center in Texcoco, México state. Slim donated US$25 million for the effort through the Fundación Carlos Slim, while Gates pledged about US$90 million available over a five-year period through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The funds will be used to expand infrastructure and attract top researchers to the Texcoco facility managed by the Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maíz y Trigo (CIMMYT). -Carlos Navarro    Read More

Indigenous Communities in Panama Commemorate March Against Open-Pit Mining in Which Two Protestors Were Killed
A mass celebrated by Father Adonai Cortés in the Iglesia de San Félix on Feb. 5 marked the beginning of a series of commemorative events held by Panama’s Ngäbe Buglé communities--the country’s largest indigenous group--to pay homage to the two protestors killed during an anti-mining march in 2012 . After the mass, indigenous people marched to the junction on the Inter-American Highway where protestor Jerónimo Rodríguez Tugrí was shot by police exactly one year ago.  -Louisa Reynolds    Read More

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