South and Central America

Washington endorses gunpoint election in Honduras

By Bill Van Auken, 27 November 2009

The Obama administration has endorsed this Sunday’s elections in Honduras under conditions in which the regime that overthrew President Manuel Zelaya last June remains in power and is preparing to suppress popular opposition to an illegitimate vote.

Honduras: Republicans praise Obama for “reversing” policy

By Bill Van Auken, 9 November 2009

Republican lawmakers who openly back the coup regime in Honduras have voiced satisfaction that the Obama administration has “reversed” its policy on the return to office of the country’s ousted president, Manuel Zelaya.

Washington pushes through deal with Honduran coup regime

By Bill Van Auken, 31 October 2009

With the intervention of the US State Department, the Honduran coup regime and ousted President Manuel Zelaya signed a deal Friday that legitimizes last June’s coup while betraying the demands of Honduran working people who opposed it.

Honduras: Is US moving to back ‘state of siege’ election?

By Bill Van Auken, 19 October 2009

Reports from Washington indicate that the Obama administration may back a presidential election in Honduras under state of siege conditions and without the restitution of ousted President Manuel Zelaya to office.

Puerto Rico: General strike against mass layoffs

By Bill Van Auken, 17 October 2009

Hundreds of thousands of workers joined a day-long general strike Thursday in opposition to the layoffs of tens of thousands of public employees ordered by the island territory’s Governor Luis Fortuño.

Puerto Rico: Mass layoffs provoke protests, strikes

By Bill Van Auken, 5 October 2009

The Puerto Rican government’s announced layoff of 17,000 public employees has provoked protests and strikes.

Three months after coup:

Honduran regime imposes state of siege

By Bill Van Auken, 29 September 2009

In a bid to crush popular resistance, the Honduran coup regime imposed a state of siege, suspending basic democratic rights for 45 days. On Monday it put the decree into effect, repressing demonstrations and closing down opposition media.

Revolt and “dialogue” in Honduras

By Bill Van Auken, 26 September 2009

The turn to “dialogue” by ousted President Zelaya and those who overthrew him is aimed at quelling a mounting popular revolt against the coup regime that is calling into question the governability of Honduras.

Honduran regime meets Zelaya’s return with “state of siege”

By Bill Van Auken, 23 September 2009

The return to Honduras of deposed President Zelaya, who has called for “dialogue” from his refuge in the Brazilian embassy, has been met with violence and repression from the coup regime.

Venezuela, Russia in $2.2 billion arms deal

By Bill Van Auken, 15 September 2009

Sunday’s announcement by President Hugo Chávez that Venezuela has reached a $2.2 billion deal to purchase Russian tanks and missiles is symptomatic of the growing international tensions in Latin America.

Brazil: Evangelical leader tied to Lula government charged with wholesale fraud

By Ali Ismail, 15 September 2009

Last month, prosecutors in Brazil charged the founder of one of the country’s largest evangelical churches with committing fraud against its followers, many of them poverty-stricken, as well as the church itself.

Workers struggles: The Americas

15 September 2009

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Workers struggles: The Americas

1 September 2009

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Workers Struggles: The Americas

25 August 2009

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Coup regime steps up repression in Honduras

By Rafael Azul, 6 August 2009

Demonstrations in Honduras against the government of de facto President Roberto Micheletti and the military forces that seized power on June 28, expelling President José Manuel Zelaya, have continued in the face of mounting repression.

US military base plan fuels Latin American tensions

By Bill Van Auken, 5 August 2009

The Pentagon’s plan to deploy US forces at seven new military bases in Colombia has fueled mounting tensions in Latin America.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

4 August 2009

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Honduran coup regime launches brutal crackdown

By Bill Van Auken, 1 August 2009

The Honduran coup regime launched a brutal crackdown against demonstrations in Tegucigalpa Thursday, as deposed President Manuel Zelaya met with US officials in neighboring Nicaragua.

Honduran coup enters second month

By Bill Van Auken, 29 July 2009

With the coup in Honduras now entering its second month, the Obama administration’s policy is directed at consolidating the changes wrought by Zelaya’s overthrow, while formally condemning the action.

Honduran military appears to back plan to restore Zelaya to office—not to power

By Rafael Azul, 27 July 2009

At Washington’s instigation, the military of Honduras has weighed in independently in support of the San José accord for restoring the country’s ousted President José Manuel Zelaya to office—though not to power.

As Zelaya accepts amnesty for coup leaders

Human Rights report reveals brutal repression in Honduras

By Rafael Azul, 20 July 2009

A preliminary report issued by the Committee of the Families of the Disappeared and Detained in Honduras (COFADEH) provides a devastating exposure of the actions carried out by the coup’s organizers against the Honduran people.

Ex-Clinton aides advising Honduran coup regime

By Bill Van Auken, 15 July 2009

The role of key ex-Clinton aides as advisers to the dictatorship in Honduras has cast light on Washington’s real attitude towards the military coup in that country.

Peruvian President Garcia swears in new cabinet to “restore order”

By Luis Arce, 15 July 2009

Peru’s President Garcia is moving towards a confrontation with the working class in the wake of nationwide protests over the recent massacre in the Amazon basin.

Thousands of Peruvian workers join protests against Garcia’s policies

By our correspondent in Lima, 15 July 2009

Thousands of workers marched in Lima, Peru on July 8 in opposition to the free-market economic policies of President Alan Garcia.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

14 July 2009

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Honduras: US-backed mediation legitimizes military coup

By Bill Van Auken, 11 July 2009

The mediation taking place in Costa Rica between Honduras’s ousted president and the leader of the government installed by last month’s military coup was set up by Washington to consolidate the aims of the coup’s organizers.

Washington’s mediator in Honduran coup

Who is Oscar Arias?

By Bill Van Auken, 11 July 2009

Costa Rican President Oscar Arias has been promoted in the US media as the ideal choice for mediating a settlement between the ousted Honduran president and the leaders of the military coup that overthrew him.

Brazil: students resist attacks by shock troops at University of Sao Paulo

By Julio Maia, 11 July 2009

On June 9, the University of Sao Paulo (USP), the largest university in Brazil, with nearly 80,000 students, was the scene of events that have not taken place in the country in 30 years, since the darkest days of the military dictatorship.

Background to the Honduran coup: Poverty, exploitation and imperialist domination

By Rafael Azul, 9 July 2009

Underlying the coup that overthrew Honduran President Manuel Zelaya is a social system dominated by extreme inequality and grinding poverty for the vast majority of the country’s people, as well as a long history of US intervention and domination.

The Honduran coup: A warning to the working class

By Bill Van Auken, 8 July 2009

With nationwide strikes and protests, workers have waged an implacable struggle against the coup in Honduras. The success of this movement depends upon its political independence from all sections of the ruling elite, including ousted President Zelaya.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

7 July 2009

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Honduran troops kill anti-coup demonstrators at Tegucigalpa airport

By Barry Grey, 6 July 2009

Honduran troops on Sunday fired on anti-coup demonstrators outside the airport in the capital, Tegucigalpa, killing at least two and wounding many more.

US seeks deal between Honduran coup leaders and deposed president

By Barry Grey, 2 July 2009

The standoff between deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya and the “interim government” installed by the military intensified Wednesday, following resolutions passed by the UN General Assembly and the OAS condemning the coup and demanding Zelaya’s reinstatement.

The US and the Honduran coup

By Alex Lantier, 1 July 2009

President Barack Obama's condemnation of Zelaya's overthrow as a "terrible precedent" is belied by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's refusal to characterize it as a coup.

The Honduran coup: another US destabilization operation

By Barry Grey and Rafael Azul, 30 June 2009

While publicly opposing the military coup that ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya on Sunday, the Obama administration on Monday indicated that it will not cut off aid to the Central American country or demand Zelaya’s reinstatement.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

30 June 2009

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Honduran military ousts president in coup

By Joe Kishore, 29 June 2009

The military of Honduras ousted President Manuel Zelaya on Sunday morning, just before a planned national referendum.

Peruvian government forced to repeal Amazon free trade decrees

By Luis Arce, 23 June 2009

In the face of mass protests over the recent massacre in the Amazon basin and continuing blockades by indigenous groups, the Peruvian government has been forced to repeal two decrees opening up the region to exploitation.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

16 June 2009

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Peru: Massive protests against García government over Amazon massacre

By Luis Arce, 13 June 2009

A wave of mass demonstrations and marches swept across the whole of Peru Thursday in popular repudiation of the government’s massacre of Amazon Indians last week.

Peruvian massacre aimed at opening Amazon to transnationals

By Luis Arce, 8 June 2009

A massacre carried out by heavily armed Peruvian security against protesting Amazon Indians left dozens dead as the Garcia government attempts to open up the region to exploitation by the transnational corporations.

Brazil, China deals challenge US position in Latin America

By Luis Arce, 6 June 2009

Last month’s visit to Beijing by Brazil’s president pointed to the vast political-economic shifts taking place globally as economic rivals seek to fill the vacuum left by a US tied down in two wars and struggling to confront its deep financial crisis.

OAS vote on Cuba exposes waning US power in Latin America

By Bill Van Auken, 5 June 2009

The unanimous vote taken by the Organization of American States to repeal the 47-year-old decision barring Cuba from membership is a clear indication of the weakened economic and political position of US imperialism throughout the region.

Workers Struggles: the Americas

13 May 2009

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China challenges US dominance in Latin America

By Luis Arce, 24 April 2009

China’s recent announcement of multi-billion dollar deals with several Latin America countries will strengthen its already substantial presence in a region the US has historically regarded as its own backyard.

Americas Summit ends with no agreement on economic crisis

By Bill Van Auken, 21 April 2009

While the media has focused its attention on the handshakes between Obama and his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez, what dominated the Americas Summit was the absence of agreement on policies to confront the deepening capitalist crisis.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

14 April 2009

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Peru: Ex-President Fujimori sentenced to 25 years for “dirty war” killings

By Luis Arce, 10 April 2009

A three-judge panel of Peru’s Supreme Court unanimously sentenced former President Alberto Fujimori to 25 years in prison Tuesday for his role in two massacres carried out by the military death squad known as Grupo Colina, as well as kidnappings.

Peru: President promises to protect foreign capital from social unrest

By Luis Arce, 9 April 2009

Responding to fears that growing social unrest will scare off foreign capital, Peruvian President Alan Garcia vowed to employ extra-constitutional power to guarantee the security of foreign investments in Peru.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

24 March 2009

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Latin America hit hard by world crisis

By Luis Arce, 18 March 2009

As a result of the worldwide capitalist crisis, Latin America’s economies have suffered a massive drop in exports, production and consumption, resurrecting old fears of the continent’s countries going into default.

After winning El Salvador vote

FMLN vows respect for private property and Washington

By Bill Van Auken, 18 March 2009

After winning the El Salvador presidential election Sunday, ending the right-wing ARENA party’s two decades of rule, the FMLN vowed to pursue a policy that included defense of private property and closer ties with Washington.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

3 March 2009

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Colombia rocked by wiretapping revelations

By Bill Van Auken, 27 February 2009

A Colombian spy agency under the direct command of President Uribe was implicated in wholesale wiretapping against opposition politicians, judges and journalists, just as the country’s defense minister arrived in Washington to seek more military aid.

Chavez wins referendum vote as Venezuela’s crisis deepens

By Bill Van Auken, 19 February 2009

President Hugo Chavez registered another victory at the polls last Sunday as Venezuelans voted to end term limits, allowing him to run for a third term. The vote took place amid signs of mounting economic crisis and increasing class struggle.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

20 January 2009

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Workers Struggles: The Americas

16 December 2008

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Chinese president tours America’s “backyard”

By John Chan, 29 November 2008

Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visits to Costa Rica, Cuba and his presence in Peru for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit last week testified to Beijing’s more assertive economic and diplomatic engagement in Latin America.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

18 November 2008

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Huge IMF bailout for emerging economies

By Peter Symonds, 1 November 2008

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), backed by central banks in the US and Europe, has taken drastic steps over the past week to prop up so-called emerging economies around the world from Asia to Eastern Europe and Latin America.

Fearing default, Argentina moves to nationalize private pension funds

By Luis Arce, 24 October 2008

Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner proposed legislation Tuesday to nationalize the country’s private pension funds—known in Spanish as AFJPs—in an attempt to stave off a new government default on its debt.

Washington imposes sanctions on Bolivia

By Rafael Azul, 1 October 2008

The Bush administration has imposed fresh sanctions on Bolivia in retaliation for the decision of the country’s president Evo Morales to expel the US ambasssador and close down US programs in the country.

New documentary on Pinochet’s dictatorship: Some wounds should not heal

By Debra Watson, 25 September 2008

The Judge and the General tells the story of recent efforts to bring to justice the perpetrators of horrific acts of political repression committed three decades ago under Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet.

Latin American presidents meet with Bolivia on brink of civil war

US ambassador an expert in partition

By Rafael Azul, 16 September 2008

The presidents of nine Latin American nations assembled in the Chilean capital of Santiago Monday for an emergency summit of the recently created Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) to deal with the crisis in Bolivia.

Former Argentine generals sentenced to life

US links to the junta

By Debra Watson, 8 September 2008

At the end of last month two former Argentine generals were convicted of kidnapping, torturing and murdering a senator three decades ago, during the military dictatorship of General Jorge Videla.

Rising inflation and unemployment in Chile drive workers into debt and poverty

By Roger Silva, 8 July 2008

Chile is characterized by some economists as the most “globalized” nation in Latin America. The more conservative among them present it as a model to be followed by other countries on the continent. They point to the country’s supposed stability and security and Chile’s economic growth in recent years.

Mounting questions about Colombian hostage operation

By Bill Van Auken, 7 July 2008

As right-wing politicians on three continents basked in the reflected glory of an ostensibly brilliant July 2 rescue of hostages held by Colombia’s FARC (Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia) guerrillas, doubts have surfaced as to the real character of this operation.

Latin America: What are the real interests behind the creation of the Union of South American Nations?

By Carlos Prado, 28 May 2008

Last Friday, May 23, presidents and representatives of 12 South American countries met in Brasilia to sign a treaty creating the Union of South American Nations, or Unasur.

Colombian extraditions aimed at covering up Uribe’s death squad ties

By Bill Van Auken, 15 May 2008

In a deal worked out between Washington and its principal ally in Latin America—Colombia’s President Alvaro Uribe—14 leaders of the country’s right-wing paramilitary militias were suddenly extradited to the US on Tuesday to face drug trafficking charges.

Bush speech on Latin America—defense of a failed policy

By Bill Van Auken, 9 May 2008

In a speech in Washington on Wednesday, President George W. Bush delivered what amounted to a defense of the manifestly failed and rudderless policy that his administration has pursued in Latin America since coming to office more than seven years ago.

US Navy resurrects Fourth Fleet to police Latin America

By Humberto Santana, 7 May 2008

Washington announced at the end of last month that it is resurrecting the long-ago moth-balled Fourth Fleet to reassert US power in the Caribbean and Latin America. Created at the time of World War II to combat German submarines attacking merchant shipping convoys in the South Atlantic, the Fourth Fleet was seen as no longer necessary after the Second World War and was disbanded in 1950.

Global food crisis grips Latin America

By Giancarlo Marinho Costa, 25 April 2008

The Brazilian government Wednesday announced the temporary suspension of rice exports, as the commodity’s price hit a record high of $25 per hundredweight on the futures markets.

Colombia’s President Uribe implicated in paramilitary death squad probe

By Bill Van Auken and Ascher Brum, 24 April 2008

The arrest in Bogota of ex-Senator Mario Uribe Escobar, the cousin of Colombia’s president, on charges of involvement in the country’s paramilitary death squads has deepened the political crisis of Bush’s closest political ally in Latin America.

Paraguay: Election ends six decades of one-party rule

By Bill Van Auken, 23 April 2008

The election victory Sunday of former Catholic bishop Fernando Lugo brings an end to 61 years of unbroken rule by the right-wing Colorado Party.

At least 14 Haitian migrants drowned off the coast of the Bahamas

By Hiram Lee, 23 April 2008

The US Coast Guard continued searching Tuesday for as many as 10 Haitian migrants still missing in the waters northwest of Nassau, Bahamas after an incident Saturday in which a boat capsized leaving 14 migrants dead. The coast guard and Bahamian rescuers pulled three survivors from the water on Monday, two of whom were Haitian, while the third was Honduran. Identified by another survivor as the “smuggler” attempting to transport the migrants to south Florida, the Honduran was soon taken into custody by Bahamian immigration officials.

Cuban “reforms” promote private property and social inequality

By Bill Van Auken, 17 April 2008

The Cuban government was compelled to issue a statement Wednesday denying that the series of reforms announced by President Raul Castro in the barely two months since his assuming the reins of power from his ailing older brother Fidel signal an abandonment of “socialism.”

Haiti: Thousands protest over growing hunger

By Bill Van Auken, 5 April 2008

Thousands of Haitians took to the streets Thursday to protest against soaring food prices and growing hunger in the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country.

Argentina: Truce in three-week agricultural strike

By Jadir Antunes, 3 April 2008

Leaders of Argentina’s four major agricultural producers’ organizations announced a 30-day truce in the three-week-old strike and road blockades that have shaken the country for the past three weeks, leading to widespread food shortages and a growing atmosphere of political crisis. At the same time, however, they threatened to resume their actions if the government fails to meet their demands.

Ecuador: deepening crisis, floods trigger surge of inflation

By Asher Brum, 28 March 2008

In Ecuador, it is clear that inflation for the first quarter of this year is going to surpass the rate projected by the government for all of 2008, according to statistics from the country’s Central Bank. The principal causes of the inflationary surge are the financial crisis gripping Wall Street and climatic events, which have both served to expose the weaknesses of the Ecuadoran economy.

Brazil’s ruling Workers Party pays homage to Pierre Lambert for services rendered

By Hector Benoit, 17 March 2008

The death in January of Pierre Lambert, the long-time leader of the French Organisation Communiste Internationaliste (OCI) and its successor, the Parti des Travailleurs (PT), occasioned widespread press reports in France as well as condolences from leading figures in the French Socialist Party and the Force Ouvrière (FO) trade union federation.

Latin American crisis triggered by an assassination “Made in the USA”

By Bill Van Auken, 7 March 2008

Nearly a week after Colombia’s cross-border raid against an encampment of the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) guerrilla movement in neighboring Ecuador, Latin America continues to confront its worst regional diplomatic and military crisis in decades. The US government and mass media have weighed in with unsolicited judgments and advice, attributing the tense standoff between Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela to the threat of terrorism to Colombia, the complicity in terrorism on the part of Venezuela and overheated animosities between the respective heads of state of these three countries.

US-backed border massacre brings South America to brink of war

By Bill Van Auken, 5 March 2008

The Colombian military’s massacre last Saturday of 17 members of the guerrilla movement FARC, including its second in command, on Ecuadoran soil has brought tensions in the region to an unprecedented level, raising the serious threat of armed conflict.

Fidel Castro retires as Cuban president after 49 years in power

By Patrick Martin, 20 February 2008

Fidel Castro, the last of the “third-world” nationalists who rose to power in the 1950s and 1960s and came into conflict with American imperialism, announced Tuesday that he was retiring as president of Cuba and commander-in-chief of its armed forces.

Colombian rebel leader sentenced to 60 years over captured contractors

By Bill Van Auken, 31 January 2008

A Washington, DC federal court Monday handed down a draconian 60-year sentence against a leader and negotiator for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a guerrilla movement that has been in conflict with Colombian government forces for 40 years.

Philip Agee, former agent who exposed CIA crimes, dies in Cuba

By Patrick Martin, 14 January 2008

Philip Agee, the former CIA operative who broke with the agency and devoted his life to exposing its role in political subversion, assassination, torture and support for military dictatorships, died January 7 in Cuba. Cuban sources said that he died of peritonitis after ulcer surgery. He was 72.

Ex-Peruvian president Fujimori jailed after first trial

By Bill Van Auken, 13 December 2007

Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori was sentenced to six years in prison Tuesday, at the conclusion of the first in a series of trials in which he faces charges of corruption, abuse of power and responsibility for death squad massacres as well as other human rights atrocities committed during his decade of rule that began in 1990.

The referendum defeat in Venezuela: A warning to the working class

By Bill Van Auken, 4 December 2007

The narrow defeat on Sunday of a constitutional reform submitted to a referendum vote by the government of President Hugo Chavez has produced a mood of right-wing triumphalism within both Venezuela’s oligarchy and the US political establishment.

Venezuela: the class issues in Chavez’s constitutional referendum

By Bill Van Auken, 28 November 2007

The approach of the December 2 referendum on the proposed reworking of Venezuela’s constitution has produced a sharp intensification of the country’s political crisis.

Top general urges Brazil to develop nuclear weapons

By Bill Van Auken, 19 November 2007

Brazil should develop the technological capacity to manufacture nuclear weapons, one of the country’s top generals declared in a television interview last week.

Near-unanimous vote at UN to repudiate US blockade of Cuba

By Bill Van Auken, 1 November 2007

The United Nations General Assembly Tuesday voted by a near-unanimous majority to condemn the 47-year-old US economic blockade against Cuba. The vote, coming less than a week after President Bush delivered a bellicose speech suggesting violent regime change in the Caribbean island nation, represented a stinging rebuke of Washington’s policy.

Bush threatens escalation of aggression against Cuba

By Bill Van Auken, 25 October 2007

When it comes to profaning the name of freedom, there have been few speeches given anywhere that could seriously compete with the diatribe on Cuba that President George W. Bush delivered at the State Department Wednesday.

Chilean court extradites ex-Peruvian President Fujimori

By César Uco, 27 September 2007

Peru’s ex-President Alberto Fujimori arrived in Lima as a prisoner on Saturday September 22, after being extradited from Chile to face charges of corruption and violations of human rights during his decade in office between 1990 and 2000.

Hurricane Dean inflicts devastating blow to Caribbean agriculture, infrastructure

By Naomi Spencer, 24 August 2007

Hurricane Dean swept through the Caribbean and into Mexico this week, killing at least 25 and causing extensive damage to homes and infrastructure. In addition to Mexico, the countries of Belize, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Dominica, St. Lucia, and other islands of the Lesser Antilles, were impacted by flooding and winds up to 256 kilometers per hour.

As residents protest lack of aid

Peruvian president sends troops into earthquake-ravaged region

By Rafael Azul, 21 August 2007

Peru’s central government has announced the deployment of troops to the cities of Pisco and Ica in the country’s south, citing the need to stop looting in the wake of the massive earthquake that struck last Wednesday evening. Fearing a social explosion, special forces patrols are already in Pisco, where 80 percent of all structures collapsed or have been damaged as a result of the quake.

Hundreds dead in massive earthquake in Peru

By David Walsh, 18 August 2007

A massive earthquake struck Peru Wednesday, resulting in hundreds of deaths and homelessness for tens of thousands. The principal victims were the poor in a region on Peru’s Pacific coast south of the capital, Lima, including the cities of Pisco, Chincha and Ica.

Brazil: government intervenes against workers at occupied factories

By V. Hugo, 4 August 2007

After being occupied and operated for nearly five years by workers, the Cipla-Interfibra factory complex was raided suddenly last May by Brazilian federal police, which sent some 150 armed men to take over the facilities and replace the factory leadership elected by the workers with a federal intervener. In June, the Flasko factory suffered a similar intervention.

Jury finds Drummond Coal not liable in murder of Colombian unionists

By D. Lencho, 31 July 2007

On July 26, after less than four hours of deliberation, jurors found Alabama-based energy giant Drummond Coal not liable for the 2001 murder of three Colombian union officials by paramilitary death squads.

United States warns Spain over Cuba policy

By Vicky Short, 30 July 2007

The United States has warned Spain about its policy towards Cuba as the imperialist countries seek power and influence there as Fidel Castro’s decades in power come to an end.

200 dead in Brazil air disaster: Lula government shows gross indifference

By M. Ybarra, 26 July 2007

The following article was sent in Portuguese by a Brazilian correspondent for the WSWS on July 22. In the meantime, the crisis of the Brazilian government has deepened, with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva forced to fire his defense minister, Waldir Pires, the official in overall charge of the country’s precarious aviation system. In an evident attempt to quell criticism from the right, Lula selected as his replacement Nelson Azevedo Jobim, a politician of the opposition PMDB and former justice minister in the government of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

Peru’s President Garcia faces nationwide protests

By Cesar Uco, 20 July 2007

Three weeks shy of his first anniversary in power, Peruvian President, Alan Garcia is facing nationwide mass protests against his political and economic program. Culminating in a two-day protest on July 11-12, millions of Peruvians including industrials workers, miners, coca growers, high school teachers, students and small merchants went on strike, organized marches, occupied public buildings and blockaded roads leading to all major cities.