South and Central America

Colombian government, FARC guerrillas in peace talks

By Bill Van Auken, 6 September 2012

Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos formally announced that his government is in peace talks with the FARC guerrilla movement.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

5 September 2012

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Brazil’s public workers end strike

By Bill Van Auken, 31 August 2012

The majority of Brazil’s federal unions have called off a nearly four-month strike that pitted some 350,000 workers against the Workers Party government of President Dilma Rousseff.

Death toll in Venezuelan refinery blast rises to 41

By Bill Van Auken, 28 August 2012

President Chavez urged the public not to engage in “speculation” on the cause of the disaster, even as union officials charged that Venezuela’s state-owned oil company had neglected maintenance and safety.

Venezuelan TV cuts broadcast after workers challenge Chavez

By Bill Van Auken, 23 August 2012

Venezuelan television abruptly cut off its broadcast of a public appearance by President Hugo Chavez Monday night amid vocal interruptions from a mass audience of workers.

Tensions deepen as Brazil federal strike grows

By Bill Van Auken, 10 August 2012

Tensions between the government of Workers Party President Dilma Rousseff and hundreds of thousands of striking federal workers deepened as federal police and other sectors of the public workforce joined the walkout.

Brazilian public sector strike challenges PT government’s economic policy

By Bill Van Auken, 7 August 2012

A prolonged strike by 350,000 university professors, electrical workers and other federal employees poses a direct challenge to the economic policies initiated by the Workers Party government in response to the global crisis.

Peru’s President Humala imposes another state of emergency against mine protests

By Armando Cruz, 10 July 2012

Ollanta Humala declared another “state of emergency” in the northern highlands region of Cajamarca to suppress a powerful movement opposing the multi-billion-dollar Conga mining project.

The Paraguayan coup

By Bill Van Auken, 3 July 2012

The US State Department has refused to classify the toppling of Paraguay’s elected President Fernando Lugo as a coup, even as reports emerge of behind-the-scenes negotiations between the Pentagon and those who orchestrated Lugo’s ouster.

Paraguay’s president ousted in parliamentary coup

By Bill Van Auken, 25 June 2012

The Paraguayan right utilized a massacre of poor peasants as the pretext for impeaching and ousting the country’s president, Fernando Lugo, in a drumhead set of proceedings that lasted barely 30 hours.

Peruvian government imposes state of emergency to quell mine protests

By Armando Cruz, 6 June 2012

Peruvian president Ollanta Humala has imposed a state of emergency in the province of Espinar in Cusco to quell violent protests over a mining company’s environmental destruction.

Hondurans demand US withdrawal over civilian deaths

By Bill Van Auken, 19 May 2012

The killing of at least four Honduran civilians, including two pregnant women, in an attack by a US helicopter triggered angry protests in Honduras’s remote northeastern Mosquito Coast area.

Argentina partially re-nationalizes YPF oil company

By Bill Van Auken, 24 April 2012

The announced expropriation of a 51 percent share in YPF is only the latest episode in a protracted, politically driven looting and manipulation of the formerly state-owned oil company.

At least 13 dead in another Honduran prison massacre

By Bill Van Auken, 31 March 2012

At least 13 prisoners died Thursday in a prison riot and fire in Honduras that has once again exposed not only the desperate conditions in the country’s prison system, but also the overall assault on basic rights of the population.

Pope Benedict backs market measures in Cuba

By Rafael Azul, 30 March 2012

Pope Benedict spent three days in Cuba, supporting the turn toward private property and foreign capital by the government of Raúl Castro.

Three workers killed in Peru mining protests

By Armando Cruz and Luis Arce, 29 March 2012

On March 15, three workers were shot dead in protests against Peruvian government decrees penalizing those involved in “informal mining.”

Workers Struggles: The Americas

21 March 2012

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

6 March 2012

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Popular protests sparked by deadly train accident in Argentina

By Rafael Azul, 1 March 2012

Popular anger has erupted in Argentina over evidence that a train accident that killed 51 people was the result of decades of neglect of the country’s passenger rail system.

Fire kills 29 at rehab center in Lima, Peru

By Luis Arce, 25 February 2012

Twenty-nine people died as the result of a fire that ripped through the “Christ is Love” rehabilitation center located in one of the poorest districts of Lima on January 28.

Thousands march in Peru against US-backed mining project

By Armando Cruz, 22 February 2012

On Friday, February 10, thousands of Peruvians participated in the “Gran Marcha Nacional por el Agua,” or “Grand March for Water,” in downtown Lima.

Honduras’s prison inferno: A crime of capitalism

By Bill Van Auken, 18 February 2012

The horrific fire that killed over 350 prisoners in Honduras is not only a tragedy but a crime for which the country's ruling families and foreign capitalist exploiters bear ultimate responsibility.

Clashes follow over 370 deaths in Honduran prison fire

By Bill Van Auken, 16 February 2012

Relatives of prisoners clashed with police and soldiers outside a penitentiary in central Honduras where over 370 inmates perished in a fire.

UK-Argentine tensions rise over Malvinas Islands

By Bill Van Auken, 10 February 2012

On the eve of the 30th anniversary of the war between Britain and Argentina, tensions over the Malvinas Islands are rising once again.

Latin American governments “apologize” for dictatorships’ crimes

By Bill Van Auken, 20 January 2012

The formal state apologies offered by the governments of El Salvador and Uruguay for decades-old atrocities carried out by rightist regimes only underscores the failure to hold accountable those responsible for these crimes.

Ex-General Otto Perez Molina to expand drug war as Guatemala’s new president

By Kevin Kearney, 17 January 2012

Otto Perez Molina, a former army general accused of war crimes in Guatemala’s protracted civil war, assumed office as the country’s president Saturday.

Haiti’s President Martelly seeks to bring back military as internal police force

By John Marion, 5 January 2012

Two reports issued recently by the UN document murders and torture committed by the Haitian National Police over the past year.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

3 January 2012

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Peruvian crisis shifts Humala government to the right

By Luis Arce, 15 December 2011

A week after its declaration of a state of emergency in Cajamarca, the replacement of Peru’s prime minister by a retired army officer signals a sharp turn to the right by President Humala’s government.

Chilean prosecutor charges ex-US officer in 1973 murder of American journalists

By Bill Van Auken, 5 December 2011

A judge in Chile has issued an indictment against a retired US Navy officer in connection with the arrest, torture and murder of two American journalists, Charles Horman and Frank Terrugi, in the wake of the CIA-backed military coup that toppled the government of President Salvador Allende in 1973.

Brazilian army, police occupy Rio de Janeiro slums

By Rafael Azul, 15 November 2011

On Sunday Brazilian police and Government troops occupied three slums in Río de Janeiro as part of a pacification program in preparation for Soccer and Olympic competitions in 2014 and 2016.

Half a million students strike over education law in Colombia

By Luis Arce, 29 October 2011

Tens of thousands of students took to the streets of Colombia’s major cities Wednesday to demand the rescinding of a proposed university “reform” that they say will benefit the country’s wealthiest at the expense of the majority of Colombian youth.

President Piñera unleashes repression against Chile’s student movement

By Luis Arce, 11 October 2011

Using mounted police charges, rubber bullets, teargas and water cannon, the right-wing government of President Sebastián Piñera violently suppressed a student march last Thursday in Chile.

Imperialist powers prepare to keep UN forces in Haiti

By John Marion, 28 September 2011

Amid new controversy, the United Nations is debating renewal of the mandate of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti.

Bolivian government violently represses indigenous protest

By Bill Van Auken, 27 September 2011

The government of President Evo Morales carried out a bloody crackdown against a march by indigenous protesters against the building of a new highway through their lands.

Ex-general set to win Guatemalan presidency

By Kevin Kearney, 23 September 2011

Otto Perez Molina, a former army general during Guatemala’s bloody civil war, won the greatest number of votes in the first round of the country’s presidential election.

Former Colombian secret police chief convicted of murder

By Bill Van Auken, 17 September 2011

The conviction of former Colombia secret police chief Jorge Noguera

Chile’s student struggle and the legacy of 1973

By Luis Arce and Rafael Azul, 16 September 2011

The mass struggles of Chilean students and youth have been accompanied by the promotion of political illusions in the Popular Unity government of Salvador Allende.

Teenager killed by police in mass demonstrations in Chile

By Joseph Kishore, 27 August 2011

Hundreds of thousands of Chilean workers and students took part this week in mass demonstrations and a general strike against social inequality and the privatization of education.

Chilean students demand a national referendum on education rights

By Rafael Azul, 19 August 2011

Striking university and high school students in Chile are calling for a popular referendum to modify the Chilean Constitution and education laws to insure quality education that is free for all.

Humala packs Peruvian cabinet with pro-business figures

By Luis Arce and Armando Cruz, 16 August 2011

Ollanta Humala, who won the Peruvian election on the basis of appeals to nationalism and resentment over social inequality, has filled key posts in his cabinet with representatives of the ruling elite.

Latin stock markets hit hardest by US credit downgrade

By Luis Arce, 12 August 2011

Latin America’s financial markets suffered the most severe losses of any in the world in the “Black Monday” global sell-off that followed the downgrading of US debt.

Strike hits world’s largest copper mine in Chile

By Rafael Azul, 1 August 2011

On July 21, 2,375 copper miners at the Escondida copper mine in northern Chile walked out over management’s violation of contract provisions concerning bonuses and hours.

WikiLeaks cables detail US military designs on Haiti

By John Marion, 28 July 2011

Newly released embassy cables reveal the US government’s interest in maintaining a UN military force for the occupation of Haiti.

Press under attack in Haiti

By John Marion, 12 July 2011

A series of recent events in Haiti have highlighted continuing threats to press freedom in a country where democratic rights are routinely denied in the interests of US imperialism and the local ruling elite.

120,000 students, teachers march in Chile against attacks on public education

By Luis Arce, 8 July 2011

Chilean students took to the streets to demand the repeal of a Pinochet era education law and an end to the privatization and inequality that it has fostered.

WikiLeaks exposes US profiteering after Haiti earthquake

By John Marion, 24 June 2011

On June 15, the whistleblower web site WikiLeaks began releasing US diplomatic cables from the period immediately following the devastating Haitian earthquake of January 2010.

Peru’s president-elect Humala bows to bankers

By Luis Arce, 11 June 2011

Following his victory at the polls last Sunday, Peru’s president-elect has made it his first priority to reassure capitalist investors, foreign and national, that they have nothing to fear.

Humala beats Fujimori in Peru’s presidential vote

By Luis Arce, 7 June 2011

With nearly 90 percent of the vote counted in the presidential election held in Peru Sunday, the ex-army officer Ollanta Humala emerged as the clear winner.

Aymara protesters seize Peruvian city of Puno

By Luis Arce, 4 June 2011

A week before Peruvians go to the polls on Sunday to elect a new president, nearly 20,000 members of the Aymara native ethnic group occupied the city of Puno.

Global commission brands “drug war” a failure

By Bill Van Auken, 3 June 2011

An international commission that includes former Latin American presidents and US officials issued a scathing indictment of Washington’s “war on drugs.”

Argentine victims of dirty war to sue Daimler Benz in US Court

By Rafael Azul, 23 May 2011

A US appeals Court has reinstated a suit against German carmaker Daimler Benz for its participation in the kidnapping and murder of workers at one of its Argentine plants during the so-called dirty war of the 1970s.

Brazil’s poor evicted to make way for Olympics

By Bill Van Auken, 4 May 2011

In preparation for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic games, authorities in Brazil are carrying out mass expulsions of favela (shantytown) residents in Rio de Janeiro and other cities.

Chavez deports opposition journalist back to Colombia

By Bill Van Auken, 28 April 2011

The government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez summarily deported Colombian journalist Joaquin Perez Becerra back to Colombia Monday, igniting angry protests in Venezuela and elsewhere in Latin America.

Bolivian unions end strike against Morales government

By Luis Arce, 28 April 2011

Faced with the danger of the strike turning into a political confrontation with the government of President Evo Morales, the union leadership hurried to reach an agreement and bring the struggle to an end.

BRICS summit denounces “use of force” against Libya

By John Chan, 18 April 2011

Global economic shifts are behind the push by the BRICS grouping for the Western powers to make room for the “emerging economies”.

Bolivian workers strike against government salary decree

By Bill Van Auken, 15 April 2011

Thousands of Bolivian teachers, miners and other workers have carried out strikes and mass protests for more than a week in opposition to the government’s attempt to limit wage increases.

Peru elections pit Humala against Fujimori in second round

By Luis Arce, 13 April 2011

The nationalist candidate of Gana Peru (Peru Wins), former army officer Ollanta Humala, won the first round of the presidential election in Peru.

CIA terrorist Posada Carriles acquitted in immigration trial

By Bill Van Auken, 12 April 2011

The travesty of a trial of Posada Carriles on immigration-related charges let the veteran terrorist and CIA agent walk free, despite being wanted for the killing of scores of civilians.

Ex-singer tied to death squads named winner in Haitian vote

By Bill Van Auken, 7 April 2011

The Haitian elections were marked by wholesale fraud, disenfranchisement and gross intervention by Washington and the so-called “world community,” both bent on installing a pliant regime to help suppress the population.

Nationalist candidate Humala rises in Peru election polls

By Luis Arce, 2 April 2011

The meteoric rise of Ollanta Humala to first place in the polls two weeks before Peruvians elect a new president has taken the media and the country’s ruling elite by surprise.

Honduran government unleashes violence against striking teachers

By Bill Van Auken, 30 March 2011

The US-backed government of President Porfirio Lobo has used police and military violence in an attempt to quell a teachers’ strike and protests that have continued to escalate over the last month.

Haiti election result to be announced this week

By Peter Daniels, 29 March 2011

Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) announced last week that it will release preliminary results from the March 20 presidential election runoff by the end of the month.

Obama in Chile: No apology for 1973 coup

By Bill Van Auken, 23 March 2011

During his visit to Chile, Obama rejected an appeal for an apology for Washington’s role in fomenting a fascist-military coup that plunged the country into 17 years of dictatorship.

WikiLeaks cables expose Peruvian politicians’ subservience to Washington

By Luis Arce, 2 March 2011

Two weeks ago, El Comercio, Peru’s most influential newspaper, began publishing secret cables from the US embassy in Lima released by of WikiLeaks. What has been released so far reveals the degree of submission and dependency on US imperialism by all the major political parties of the Peruvian bourgeoisie.

Top Argentine union leader arrested in murder of left-wing worker

By Bill Van Auken, 25 February 2011

Jose Pedraza, the president of Argentina’s Railway Union, was arrested Tuesday for the murder of Mariano Ferreyra, a left-wing worker, during a goon squad attack last October.

Bolivia’s Morales confronts general strike over food prices

By Bill Van Auken, 22 February 2011

After five years in office, the government of Bolivia’s President Evo Morales faced a nationwide general strike last Friday amid a growing popular rebellion against rising food prices.

Runoff election campaign begins in Haiti

By Patrick Martin, 17 February 2011

Two right-wing candidates, both with links to the former Duvalier dictatorship, are competing in Haiti’s US-orchestrated presidential vote.

Two Colombia mine explosions kill 26

By Samuel Davidson, 7 February 2011

Two mine explosions in less than two weeks have claimed the lives of 26 miners, beginning another deadly year for Colombian miners.

Human rights report cites Brazil for torture, police killings

By Bill Van Auken, 27 January 2011

A report released this week by Human Rights Watch cited Brazil for widespread torture, police killings and a continuing amnesty for crimes carried out under the military dictatorship.

US begins deportation of Haitians

By Andrea Peters, 24 January 2011

The US deported 27 Haitian nationals last Thursday, resuming forced repatriations to the devastated country a year after the massive earthquake of January 2010.

“Baby Doc” Duvalier arrested in Haiti

By Bill Van Auken, 19 January 2011

Haitian authorities arrested Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier Tuesday, barely two days after the former dictator flew back to the country after a quarter of a century in exile.

Hundreds dead in Brazilian flooding

By Bill Van Auken, 15 January 2011

The death toll from flooding and mudslides rose past 500 Friday, with hundreds more missing, as Brazil confronted its worst ever natural disaster.

CIA terrorist Posada Carriles on trial for lying to immigration

By Bill Van Auken, 13 January 2011

Luis Posada Carriles, the Cuban-born CIA terrorist, went on trial this week in a Texas court for lying to immigration authorities.

One year since the earthquake in Haiti

By Bill Van Auken, 12 January 2011

One year after Haiti’s devastating earthquake, the horrors facing its population have only deepened, with a cholera epidemic claiming thousands of lives and hundreds of thousands left stranded in fetid tent camps.

Raul Castro sought “political channel” to Washington

By Patrick Martin, 30 December 2010

WikiLeaks cables showed that Fidel Castro believed that the Obama administration would be open to relaxing the longtime US isolation of Cuba.

Guatemala escalates drug war with a declaration of martial law

By Kevin Kearney, 29 December 2010

Guatemalan president Alvaro Colom unilaterally declared martial law in Alta Verapaz—a state near the country’s northern border with Mexico—eliminating the few political and due process rights of the region’s impoverished indigenous masses.

US to resume deportations to Haiti

By Andre Damon, 22 December 2010

Less than a year after the Haiti earthquake killed hundreds of thousands of people, the US government is preparing to resume deportations to the cholera-gripped country.

Colombia cable: Army murder of civilians “widespread”

By Bill Van Auken, 21 December 2010

A classified cable from the US embassy in Bogota confirms that Washington was told the Colombian army’s murder of civilians was “widespread,” yet still approved military aid.

Chile prison inmates on hunger strike

By Rafael Azul, 15 December 2010

Prisoners in Northern Chile are on hunger strike to protest overcrowding.

Cables bare US operations in Brazil

By Bill Van Auken, 14 December 2010

Scores of cables between the US State Department and the American embassy in Brasilia released by WikiLeaks have laid bare the ruthless pursuit of US imperialist interests in Latin America’s largest country.

81 prisoners die in Chile penitentiary fire

By Rafael Azul, 10 December 2010

The deaths of 81 prisoners in a fire at Chile’s San Miguel Prison on Wednesday was the direct result of repressive policies and overcrowded conditions.

Riots erupt in Haiti after announcement of election results

By Tom Eley, 9 December 2010

The Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince erupted in riots and demonstrations Tuesday night and Wednesday morning after the announcement that Jude Célestin, the presidential candidate backed by the despised outgoing head of state, René Préval, would be included in the two-way runoff.

Anti-UN protests spread as Haitians die without aid

By Bill Van Auken, 20 November 2010

Protests against United Nations troops have spread to the capital of Port-au-Prince Thursday as growing numbers of Haitians die of cholera in the absence of significant aid from the UN or other relief agencies.

Protesters shot dead as Haiti cholera toll tops 1,000

By Bill Van Auken, 17 November 2010

Haiti remains tense in the wake of Monday’s violent clashes between protesters and United Nations troops that left at least two dead and over a dozen wounded in Cap-Haitien, the country’s second largest city.

200,000 at risk in Haiti cholera epidemic

By Patrick Martin, 13 November 2010

The United Nations issued an emergency appeal for aid as the death toll in Haiti passed the 800 mark.

Hurricane threatens Haiti as cholera epidemic surges

By Bill Van Auken, 5 November 2010

Some 1.5 million Haitians, still homeless after last January’s devastating earthquake, are facing the combined deadly threats of an approaching hurricane and a rapidly spreading cholera epidemic.

Brazil stock market rises on Workers Party election victory

By Rafael Azul, 2 November 2010

The Brazilian stock market reacted favorably to the victory of the PT candidate Dilma Rousseff in Sunday’s election. Eight years in power have confirmed the so-called Workers Party as a stalwart defender of capitalism.

Haiti’s cholera toll: An indictment of imperialism

By Bill Van Auken, 1 November 2010

Like the massive death toll inflicted by the earthquake last January, the outbreak of a cholera epidemic in Haiti is not some natural disaster, but rather the product of desperate poverty created by imperialist oppression.

Capitalism and the Chilean miners

By Cesar Uco and Bill Van Auken, 29 October 2010

The editorial pages of two of the most prominent newspapers of the US ruling establishment rushed to claim the rescue of the 33 miners in Chile as a triumph for free-market capitalism.

Haiti cholera epidemic reaches Port-au-Prince

By Tom Eley, 26 October 2010

At least five cases of cholera have been confirmed in Port-au-Prince, a week after the epidemic emerged in central Haiti. By Monday evening the national death toll was reported to be 259.

General strike in Argentina over killing of left-wing youth

By Rafael Azul, 25 October 2010

The general strike Thursday was organized over the murder of Mariano Ferreyra, a 23-year-old leftist youth, by thugs from the rail union, which works closely with the government.

Cholera epidemic kills 150 in Haiti

By a reporter, 23 October 2010

The outbreak of disease is the worst since last January’s devastating earthquake, which killed 250,000 people and left another 1.5 million homeless.

Chilean workers protest San Jose mine’s closure

By Rafael Azul, 22 October 2010

More than 300 Chilean workers jobless due to the closure of the San Jose mine, made famous by the recent rescue of 33 trapped miners, have threatened to occupy “Camp Hope” near the mine until they receive severance pay.

Chile mine rescue exposes precarious working conditions

By Rafael Azul, 18 October 2010

The collapse of the San Jose gold and copper mine that trapped 33 miners for 10 weeks below ground has focused attention on the safety of operations at Chilean mines.

Haiti presidential elections to be held at gunpoint

By John Marion, 16 October 2010

The November 28 elections in Haiti will be a travesty of democracy, in which foreign investors seek to manipulate an election held amid terrible conditions after the January 2010 earthquake, with large sections of the electorate robbed of the right to vote.

Chilean miners rescued after ten-week ordeal

By Patrick Martin, 14 October 2010

Both the resilience of the miners, trapped underground for 69 days, and the energy and determination of their rescuers, have won well-deserved admiration.

Poor safety condemned by workers at San Jose mine

By Rafael Azul, 14 October 2010

Many of the workers rescued from the Chilean mine have long complained bitterly of lax safety.

Traditional parties take beating in Peru elections

By Cesar Uco, 11 October 2010

The Peruvian elections have dealt a humiliating defeat to the traditional parties, with a “resurgence of the left” being proclaimed in Lima, and the victory of regional groupings elsewhere in the country.

US agency exploited Guatemalans for lethal medical tests

By Rafael Azul, 5 October 2010

The exposure of a 64-year-old secret study conducted in Guatemala on human subjects by the US Public Health Service has created an international uproar, forcing the US government to issue a belated apology.