South and Central America

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.

Workers Party candidate fails to win first-round victory in Brazil

By Bill Van Auken, 5 October 2010

Workers Party candidate Dilma Rousseff, incumbent President Lula da Silva’s hand-picked successor, failed to win an outright majority in Sunday’s Brazilian election, forcing her into a run-off with José Serra, the candidate of the right.

Ecuador shaken by police, military uprising

By Bill Van Auken, 2 October 2010

Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa denounced an uprising by police and sections of the military over austerity cuts as an attempted coup.

Brazilian election points to continuity of “Lulaism”

By Bill Van Auken, 1 October 2010

Brazil’s October 3 election appears set to deliver the presidency to the Workers Party candidate Dilma Rousseff and cement the continuity of the pro-capitalist policies pursued by incumbent President Lula da Silva.

Cuba’s mass layoffs: The dead-end of Castroism

By Bill Van Auken, 17 September 2010

This week’s announcement that over half a million Cuban workers are to be thrown out of their jobs in the next six months has laid bare the class character of the Castro regime.

Cuba announces firing of half a million state workers

By Bill Van Auken, 15 September 2010

With its announcement that over 500,000 state workers will be fired over the next six months, the Castro regime is carrying out its most sweeping attack on Cuban workers since it came to power more than half a century ago.

Chile’s trapped miners: Victims of a ruthless drive for profit

By Cesar Uco, 3 September 2010

With 33 Chilean miners nearing one month trapped 2,300 feet underground, the human drama of what could prove a four-month ordeal before they are rescued has riveted attention worldwide.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

31 August 2010

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

Colombian high court rejects US bases agreement

By Bill Van Auken, 21 August 2010

A Colombian high court decision to toss out a treaty allowing the US to set up military bases in the country has left the governments in both countries scrambling to salvage the agreement.

Santos takes office as Colombia’s president

By Rafael Azul, 9 August 2010

Behind the August 7 celebration of the swearing in of Manuel Santos as president, Colombia is in a state of profound crisis, marked by rising poverty and unprecedented social inequality.

Cuba’s Raúl Castro unveils plan for massive job cuts

By Bill Van Auken, 5 August 2010

President Raúl Castro Sunday outlined plans that could eliminate the jobs of over one million Cuban state workers, while promoting the growth of private enterprise in the country’s service sector.

Report exposes journalist killings in Honduras

By Rafael Azul, 29 July 2010

Seven journalists were shot to death and another severely wounded in Honduras earlier this year. These assassinations expose Washington’s claims that Honduras is on the road of democracy and reconciliation.

Venezuela breaks with Colombia over guerrilla accusations

By Bill Van Auken, 24 July 2010

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez broke off diplomatic relations with neighboring Colombia over charges by that country’s government that Caracas has sheltered FARC guerrillas.

Six months since the earthquake

American imperialism and the Haitian catastrophe

By Patrick Martin, 13 July 2010

The six-month anniversary of the earthquake that destroyed much of Haiti was observed Monday, with media coverage admitting there has been virtually no progress in rebuilding the devastated country.

Suffering and struggle: Six months after the Haitian earthquake

By Patrick Martin, 10 July 2010

Six months after an earthquake destroyed much of Haiti and killed more than 300,000 people, little has been done for the survivors.

Rescue crews find no survivors in Colombian coal mine

By Rafael Azul, 28 June 2010

Nine days after a catastrophic explosion at the San Fernando coal mine in Amagá, Colombia, rescue crews ended their work. Seventy-three bodies were removed from the mine.

One year since the Honduran coup

By Bill Van Auken, 28 June 2010

June 28 marks one year since the coup that ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya. The Obama administration defends the country’s current regime as a “democracy,” even as death squad murders and military violence continue.

Over 50 miners trapped in a Colombian coal mine

By Rafael Azul, 19 June 2010

At least 23 miners have been killed in a coal mine explosion in Colombia, the latest in a series of such disasters internationally.

US pushes for readmission of Honduras to Organization of American States

By Rafael Azul, 12 June 2010

At this week’s summit meeting of the Organization of American States, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for Honduras to be readmitted as an OAS member.

Jamaica state of siege: Scores dead, hundreds detained

By Bill Van Auken, 28 May 2010

Scores have been killed or wounded and hundreds arrested in what critics describe as indiscriminate violence by Jamaican security forces besieging the impoverished Kingston neighborhood of Tivoli Gardens.

Workers rally in support of Puerto Rican students

By Rafael Azul, 21 May 2010

Thousands rallied across Puerto Rico on May 18th in support of striking Puerto Rican students and in opposition to the austerity policies of the governor.

Police attack student strikers at University of Puerto Rico

By Rafael Azul, 17 May 2010

On May 14, Puerto Rican security forces moved to break a student strike by laying siege to the Rio Piedras campus of the University of Puerto Rico, in violation of the long-standing tradition of autonomy at UPR campuses.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

5 May 2010

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

Puerto Rican students occupy four universities

By Alphonso Santana and Rafael Azul, 28 April 2010

Students have occupied Puerto Rico’s largest university, the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras, in a suburb of San Juan, to oppose tuition increases and the privatization plans of Governor Luis Fortuño.

Hundreds killed in Rio de Janeiro mudslides

By Rafael Azul, 14 April 2010

For the second time this year, scores of Brazilians have been victimized and left homeless by storms in Rio de Janeiro state.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

13 April 2010

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

Washington asserts colonial-style control of Haiti at UN donors’ conference

By Barry Grey, 2 April 2010

The international donors’ conference for Haiti, held Wednesday at the United Nations in New York, was a forum for the United States, in the persons of Bill and Hillary Clinton, to assert American colonial-style control over the devastated island nation.

Bush, Clinton visit Port-au-Prince

Washington dictates terms to devastated Haiti

By Patrick Martin, 24 March 2010

Bush and Clinton preached capitalism as the solution to Haiti’s problems, pressing President René Préval to lift restrictions on the use of land by foreign NGOs and corporations. During the visit, Préval issued the decree demanded by Washington.

New Chilean president to continue military occupation of earthquake ravaged regions

By Rafael Azul, 15 March 2010

Shortly after his March 11 inauguration, President Sebast’an Pi–era extended the state of emergency in central Chile and re-imposed the curfew in the Concepción region.

Haitian president at White House: US military occupation to continue

By Hiram Lee, 12 March 2010

President Obama and Haitian President René Préval met at the White House on Wednesday to discuss ongoing recovery and reconstruction efforts in Haiti.

Earthquake exposes social chasm in Chile

By Rafael Azul, 8 March 2010

Anger is mounting in Chile over the inadequacy and indifference that have characterized the governmentÕs response to the earthquake of February 27.

Military occupation of earthquake-ravaged region expands in Chile

By Rafael Azul, 4 March 2010

The death toll in Chile mounted to more than 800, with thousands still classified as missing. Many parts of the earthquake zone have yet to receive any significant quantity of aid.

As death toll from quake, tsunamis mounts

Massive military mobilization in Chile

By Patrick Martin, 3 March 2010

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet doubled the number of troops mobilized in the central coastal region devastated by Saturday’s earthquake, as first reports from the hardest-hit areas suggested that the death toll could go much higher than the official total of nearly 800.

Government declares martial law in central Chile after earthquake

By Rafael Azul, 2 March 2010

As the death toll from the massive earthquake has reached 723 and rising, 10,000 soldiers have taken control of Maule and Bío Bío, the two regions most directly affected.

Wall Street Journal cites Chilean earthquake to praise Pinochet

By David Walsh, 2 March 2010

According to the Wall Street Journal, the impact of the Chilean earthquake is a vindication of the fascist dictatorship of General Pinochet.

British oil drilling off Malvinas escalates tensions with Argentina

By Paul Bond, 2 March 2010

Britain’s decision to begin exploratory drilling has stoked tensions with the Argentine government over control of the disputed Malvinas (Falklands) Islands, and the oil reserves on the seabed around them.

Chile earthquake death toll tops 700

By Rafael Azul, 1 March 2010

The massive 8.8 magnitude earthquake has left hundreds and perhaps thousands dead. The Chilean government has responded by imposing military rule in parts of the country.

Canada’s prime minister uses Haiti visit to promote “hard power”

By Guy Charron, 25 February 2010

Canada’s Conservative government has been anxious to assert a leading role in the relief and reconstruction of Haiti, so as to advance the interests of Canada’s corporate elite in the Caribbean and assert Canada’s claim to be a major power.

Mass protests greet Sarkozy visit to Haiti

By Alex Lantier, 19 February 2010

Mass protests greeted Sarkozy’s arrival in Haiti, as plans proceed for the US and other major powers to take control of Haiti’s government and indefinitely suspend elections.

Haiti disaster is worst in modern history

By Hiram Lee, 18 February 2010

A new report released by the Inter-American Development Bank declares the disaster still unfolding in Haiti as the worst in modern history.

Haiti’s elite eyes profits as millions face disease and hunger

By Bill Van Auken, 16 February 2010

Haiti’s wealthy ruling elite and US corporations are looking forward to increased riches and big profits off of post-earthquake reconstruction as millions of working class and poor people face the threat of starvation and infectious epidemics.

Honduras: The making of a death squad “democracy”

By Bill Van Auken, 12 February 2010

With the restoration of diplomatic ties and the resumption of aid and credits, Honduras has been welcomed back into the fold of “democratic” nations, even as the organizers of last June’s coup remain at their posts and death squad murders continue.

Four weeks after earthquake

Haiti: hunger sparks growing protests

By Bill Van Auken, 9 February 2010

On Sunday, Haiti saw one of its largest protests since the January 12 earthquake. as four weeks after the disaster, frustration with continuing hunger and homelessness mount.

Haiti: Three weeks after earthquake, angry protests over aid delays

By Bill Van Auken, 4 February 2010

Three weeks after the January 12 earthquake leveled most of Port-au-Prince and claimed the lives of over 200,000 people, anger in Haiti over the slow pace of relief and the impotence of President Rene Preval’s government has erupted into protests.

Newly available at Mehring Books

Pamphlet on Haitian history available in French

4 February 2010

Mehring Books is pleased to announce the availability in French of a pamphlet that reviews the record of imperialist oppression in Haiti.

US group charged with child trafficking in Haiti

By Bill Van Auken, 2 February 2010

Ten members of a Baptist-affiliated group from Idaho are accused of child trafficking for attempting to spirit 33 Haitian children out of the country, supposedly for adoption in the US. Several of the children said their parents are not dead.

US halts military flights to evacuate Haiti earthquake victims

By Alex Lantier, 1 February 2010

Starting last Wednesday, the US military refused to fly wounded Haitians to the US for medical treatment.

Obama’s guilty silence on Haiti

By Bill Van Auken, 30 January 2010

In his State of the Union speech Wednesday President Barack Obama barely mentioned the historic catastrophe unfolding on America’s doorstep, with the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Haitians and millions more left injured, hungry and homeless.

Haitian president says 170,000 bodies recovered

By Bill Van Auken, 29 January 2010

Haiti’s President René Préval told a press conference Wednesday that some 170,000 bodies have been recovered from the rubble of the January 12 earthquake. More than two weeks after the disaster, large numbers of its victims have yet to receive aid.

Troops fire on starving crowds in Haiti

By Patrick Martin, 28 January 2010

Troops under UN command have fired on crowds of hungry Haitians, a sign of impending confrontation between the people of the earthquake-wracked country and the armed forces sent there under the auspices of the imperialist powers.

Venezuela: Two students killed in clashes

By Bill Van Auken, 28 January 2010

Two students, one a government supporter and the other an opponent, were killed Monday as demonstrations and counter-demonstrations took place across Venezuela following an order to suspend broadcasts by an anti-Chávez television channel.

US Marines in Haiti: Back to colonialism

By Bill Van Auken, 27 January 2010

The US Marines sent to Haiti by the Obama administration are being told to model their mission on the “success” of the 20-year occupation of Haiti by US Marines that ended in 1934.

Pamphlet on Haitian history available from Mehring Books

27 January 2010

Mehring Books is pleased to make available to readers of the World Socialist Web Site a pamphlet from its archives that provides historical background to the events currently unfolding in Haiti.

“Reconstructing Haiti” on starvation wages

By Bill Van Auken, 26 January 2010

Government ministers, international bankers and aid agencies gathered in Montreal Monday to discuss plans for reconstructing earthquake-ravaged Haiti. At the heart of their proposals is the exploitation of Haitian workers at poverty wages.

Criticism mounts over US response to Haiti disaster

By Jerry White, 26 January 2010

Two weeks after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, there is growing criticism of the US for undermining rescue and relief efforts by focusing almost entirely on the military occupation of the Caribbean nation.

Haiti: Rescue effort ended as people still emerge from rubble

By Bill Van Auken, 25 January 2010

The Haitian government together with United Nations authorities announced the official end to efforts to rescue people trapped in the rubble from the January 12 earthquake, even as survivors were still being pulled out alive.

The Nation praises US intervention in Haiti

By Alex Lantier, 25 January 2010

The Nation reacted to the humanitarian catastrophe caused by the earthquake in Haiti and exacerbated by the US military occupation of the country by praising the Obama administration.

As US prepares long-term occupation, Haiti’s quake victims still without aid

By Bill Van Auken, 23 January 2010

Washington indicated Thursday that it is preparing a long-term occupation of Haiti. In the immediate crisis confronting millions of homeless, injured and suffering people, however, the US military has yet to organize a viable distribution of aid.

Haitians dying by the thousands as US escalates military intervention

By Bill Van Auken, 22 January 2010

With thousands of Haitians dying every day for lack of medical care and supplies, the Pentagon has announced that it is expanding the US military presence in the country, maintaining its priority of troops over humanitarian aid.

ISSE Public Meetings:

The social and political roots of the Haiti earthquake tragedy

22 January 2010

The ISSE announces a series of meetings examining the social and political roots of the Haiti earthquake disaster.

US military operations block relief efforts in Haiti

By Alex Lantier, 21 January 2010

The US military intervention in Haiti continues to block arrival of critical humanitarian supplies.

Haiti’s tragedy: A crime of US imperialism

By Bill Van Auken, 21 January 2010

The death and suffering inflicted upon Haiti by the January 12 earthquake has laid bare a massive international crime by US imperialism, which prepared this catastrophe with a century of oppression and is now exploiting the disaster for its own ends.

Letters on the Haiti earthquake

21 January 2010

The following letters were sent to the World Socialist Web Site in response to articles on the Haiti earthquake disaster.

Washington shuts door on Haitian refugees

By Tom Eley, 20 January 2010

The Obama administration has taken extraordinary measures to prevent desperate Haitians from entering the US since a January 12 earthquake devastated the Caribbean nation.

Chilean right returns to power for first time in 20 years

By Bill Van Auken, 20 January 2010

With the victory Sunday of billionaire businessman Sebastián Piñera in Chile’s run-off presidential election, right-wing parties identified with the Pinochet dictatorship are set to return to power for the first time in 20 years.

Death toll at 200,000

US military to enforce state of emergency in Haiti

By Tom Eley, 19 January 2010

The Haitian government declared a state of emergency on Monday to be enforced by the US military, six days after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake laid waste to much of the nation and killed at least 200,000, according to the latest estimate.



US military tightens grip on Haiti

By Alex Lantier, 18 January 2010

Washington has focused on establishing indefinite military control of Haiti, to the detriment of aid and rescue operations.

Bush, Clinton and the crimes of US imperialism in Haiti

By Patrick Martin, 18 January 2010

In selecting his two immediate predecessors to head up fundraising for relief efforts in Haiti, President Obama has demonstrated that the devastating human tragedy in Haiti will not bring any alteration in the rapacious role of US imperialism in that impoverished semi-colonial country.

Haiti: US troops deployed as popular anger mounts

By Bill Van Auken, 16 January 2010

The first contingents of a US military force expected to reach 10,000 troops arrived in Haiti as anger mounted over the failure of international aid to reach the millions left injured, homeless and destitute by Tuesday’s earthquake.

US provides more troops than aid

Death toll mounts in Haiti

By Patrick Martin, 15 January 2010

More than 48 hours after a devastating earthquake leveled much of the city of Port-au-Prince, millions are without shelter, power, food and water. The estimates of the death toll range from 50,000 to ten times that number.

The history that “binds” the US and Haiti

By Bill Van Auken, 15 January 2010

In a statement on the earthquake in Haiti, President Obama spoke of the “long history that binds us together.” Neither he nor the US media, however, want to examine that history and its relation to the catastrophe confronting the Haitian people.

Hundreds of thousands feared dead in Haiti

By Bill Van Auken, 14 January 2010

Officials warned Wednesday that the earthquake which devastated the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince may have claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

Major earthquake devastates Haitian capital

By Alex Lantier, 13 January 2010

A severe earthquake hit the Haitian capital city of Port-au-Prince on Tuesday.

Chile: Right-wing presidential candidate wins first round

By Rafael Azul, 18 December 2009

Last Sunday’s presidential elections in Chile took place in the context of increasing social polarization, growing unemployment and a continuing legacy of the dictatorship that ruled the country for 17 years.

Bolivia: Morales wins landslide re-election

By Bill Van Auken, 8 December 2009

Bolivian President Evo Morales won re-election by a landslide Monday, though the results exposed the continuing division of the country between the impoverished, predominantly indigenous highlands and the wealthier lowland regions.

Honduran vote held amid repression, mass abstention

By Bill Van Auken, 1 December 2009

Sunday’s elections in Honduras were marked by systematic repression and mass abstention. Nonetheless, the Obama administration hailed the vote as a “legitimate way out” of the five-month-old crisis that began with the June 28 coup.

Uruguay: On the first-round victory of the Frente Amplio

By Hector Benoit, 30 November 2009

On October 25, José “Pepe” Mujica, a former member of the Tupamaro guerrilla movement and presidential candidate of Uruguay’s ruling Frente Amplio (Broad Front), won by a wide margin over his nearest rival, ex-president Luis Alberto Lacalle.