June 1, 2006

The plant that ate the lake

Katy says: Once again, the rain season is upon us, and lemna has returned in full force to Lake Maracaibo. A year after an environmental disaster caused, in part, by the government's complete disregard for environmental conditions in South America's largest lake, the plant has made an encore appearance. Neighbors are already complaining about the disease and the smell.

If anyone can tell me what the government has been doing this past year to prevent another serious outbreak of the stuff, I sure would like to hear it.

May 29, 2006

Are you in Brighton? Know anyone in Brighton?

Come to watch this roundtable on Wednesday (day after tomorrow) at 4:00 pm:

Latin America in the Spotlight & 40th Anniversary of IDS


Politics in Latin America: deconstructing the meanings of the Left and the implications for the region’s development

Much has been said about the turn to the left in Latin America as a response to the unsatisfactory socio-economic situation that lasts for more than two decades. The neoliberal approach failed to revert the situation and a shift to the left was a hope for many countries. Left-wing elected leaders in Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Brazil, Chile and Venezuela appear to enforce the impression that a homogenous Left block is being constituted in the region.

Nevertheless, the political projects of these countries are very diverse and constructed as a response to particular social, economical and political contexts. This roundtable aims to deconstruct this so called turn to the Left by debating:

  • What does this Left in Latin America really mean?
  • Is the turn to the Left in many Latin American countries a consolidation of democracy or a challenge to the current political system?
  • Does the Left represent a real alternative to the demands of the societies for region’s development?

Date: May 31st 2006, 4pm
Venue: Lecture Theatre at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, University of Sussex

*** Joe Foweraker
Director of the Centre for Mexican Studies, University of Essex

*** Laurence Whitehead
Senior Fellow of Nuffield College, University of Oxford

*** Francisco Toro
Former, journalist specialised in Venezuela. Publishes articles at The New York Times, The Economist, The Finantial Times, The Washington Post and several Venezuelan media

*** Sue Branford
Latin American Bureau, author and journalist of BBC, the Financial Times and Red Pepper among others

*** Mick Moore (Mediator) - Research Felow, Institute of Development Studies, Director of the Centre for the Future State

May 28, 2006

Podcast: The Velásquez Alvaray-Maria Alejandra Rivas-Julio Makarem-Anderson Case Nexus

In this seven minute podcast, I try to explain how the Velásquez Alvaray scandal fits in with the Anderson Case, and North American Opinion Research's Julio Makarem's role in the affair.