Guatemala is a plurinational country that 22 Maya nations, Xinka, Garifuna, and Ladino people jointly call home. The efforts to gain access to natural resources—often without the consent of the communities affected—constitute another stage in the long history of dispossession and repression of Maya peoples since colonization.
Guatemala ratified International Labour Organization Convention 169 (ILO 169) on June 5, 1996, more than a year after Guatemala's Constitutional Court, the highest court in the country, ruled in Document 199-95 that the Convention did not contradict the Guatemalan Constitution.
On a hot Sunday morning in July 2013, the inhabitants of Piedras, a small municipality in the Colombian Andes, gathered to decide whether large-scale mining activities should be permitted in their territory.
Mining is a lot more than complex technology, logistics and finance. While mineral extraction does require an amazing array of machinery, computers, and processes for transporting and treating the materials, it is just as much a social project that is negotiated and conducted within a social context.
United States-Latin American relations have often suffered from a disconnect. While we stress security issues, the region's leaders speak of poverty reduction and trade. They resent being seen as afterthoughts to U.S. policies focused elsewhere. As a result, the region is sporadically open to new suitors, such as Spanish investors 15 years ago, or the Chinese today.
A shift of the global balance of power is under way. Emerging countries are increasingly playing significant roles on global issues, such as the global economy, trade, and investment, as well as in diplomacy and multilateral decision making.
On May 25, 32 million Colombians will vote in one of the most important presidential elections in the nation's recent history—an election that will turn on the issue that remains Colombia's greatest challenge: putting an end to the armed conflict.
Governments aim to make decisions that will improve the economic and social development and welfare of their citizens. But historically, decisions affecting Indigenous and tribal people's culture, ancestral lands and habitats have too often been made without their participation. ilo 169 and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples seek to redress this situation.
Fidelino Gómez remembers fondly the years he spent in Iowa, where his middle child was born. Standing outside his one-room wood home in his native Guatemala, Gómez, 34, thumbs through pictures he took of the Mississippi River, snowy Midwest winters and gatherings with family and friends. He recalls easier times. “We lived well,” Gómez says under the searing sun. “We could feed our children, pay our bills, and we still had money left over.
In the next two years, Brazil will host the three largest mega sports events in the world: the 2014 FIFA World Cup this summer, and then the Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Rio in 2016. Other nations in the Americas and across the globe will be watching to see if Brazil's hosting duties lead to broad-based, lasting growth, or are merely an expensive distraction. While history provides examples of both scenarios, hosting such megaevents can provide lasting and transformative value, including to developing nations.