Latin America Today

Latin America Today

News and analysis of politics, security, development and U.S. policy in Latin America and the Caribbean, from the Washington Office on Latin America.... Show More

Episodes

June 25, 2020 49 min

An exchange with Bogotá-based filmmaker Tom Laffay, whose documentary work with the Siona people of Putumayo, Colombia, supported by the Pulitzer Center, is featured by The New Yorker. Laffay portrays Adiela Mera Paz, who is leading demining efforts to allow displaced Siona to return.

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Carlos Quesada, director of the International Institute on Race, Equality, and Human Rights, explains how laws, treaties, and the Inter-American system offer tools for change—or survival—for the LGBT community and other marginalized groups in Latin America.

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This month, WOLA premiered an animated video for our Beyond the Wall campaign and recorded a panel discussion. Our panelists discuss the challenges and solutions on a rights-respecting approach to migration. The panel is moderated by Mario Moreno, WOLA’s Vice President for Communications, and includes Geoff Thale, the President of WOLA, Maureen Meyer, WOLA’s Director for Mexico and Migrant Rights, Adam Isacson WOLA’s Director for ...

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Guatemala is selecting a new slate of Supreme Court justices. The country must not get this wrong, because a nexus of corrupt and powerful people could end up choosing their own judges. We talk to 3 people leading Guatemala·s anti-corruption charge.

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Nina Lakhani, a veteran correspondent for the Guardian in Mexico and Central America, discusses her new book about Honduran indigenous activist Berta Cáceres, her 2016 murder and its aftermath, a corrupt system, and a badly misdirected U.S. policy.

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WOLA Director for Venezuela Geoff Ramsey and Senior Fellow David Smilde offer a situation report on Venezuela. While the picture is unavoidably grim, they offer a rare nuanced view of Venezuela's search for a political solution and the state of US policy.

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Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) has traveled often to Colombia, the subject of this episode. A leading voice on human rights in Congress, he has a lot to say about recent espionage scandals in Colombia's military, attacks on social leaders, and U.S. policy.

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In this episode of Beyond the Wall, Mario Moreno, VP for Communications conducts two interviews regarding the harrowing conditions migrants face in ICE detention centers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The first is with Sarah Sanchez and Isabel Ribe, two advocates at the Santa Fe Dreamers Project working with detained migrants. In the second interview, Mario talks with Dr. Tracy Green, a Brandeis University professor and Dana Gold, s...

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Jonathan Rosen of Holy Family University is the author of, or collaborator on, a large body of recent scholarly work on security policy, drug policy, organized crime, and corruption in the Americas. Here, he lays out what governments keep getting wrong.

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Since "Remain in Mexico" began, Taylor Levy, an El Paso-based immigration attorney, has done much of her work across the border in Ciudad Juárez. Her account of the obstacles asylum-seekers face—both before and during the COVID-19 crisis—is maddening.

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A conversation about Colombia, U.S. policy, human rights advocacy, and social struggle with anthropologist Winifred Tate of Colby College, whose more than 30 years of work as both a scholar and an advocate give her a very unique perspective.

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Five WOLA program directors talk about how COVID-19—and governments' response—are hitting Latin America. We discuss dangers to democracy, rights, economics, and marginalized people, focusing especially on Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico, Bolivia, and Brazil.

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Abbey Steele of the University of Amsterdam is an expert on the dynamics of conflict and violence. She has worked extensively in Colombia, and in 2017 published a book about displacement and "political cleansing" based on fieldwork in the Urabá region.

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Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, policy counsel at the American Immigration Council, walks us through how the asylum system is meant to work. He then explains how the Trump administration has steadily decimated the right to seek protection at the US-Mexico border.

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The Center for Civilians in Conflict works to minimize harm done to civilians in armed conflicts. What should this work look like in Latin America, where traditionally defined armed conflicts are rare? Annie Shiel and Mike Lettieri of CIVIC explain.

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WOLA's director for the Andes, Gimena Sánchez-Garzoli, explains what Colombia·s response to the coronavirus means for communities affected by its conflict. As a new WOLA urgent action documents, the situation for social leaders remains very serious.

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Three experts with long experience in defense and security collaborated on a new paper for the Friedrich Ebert Foundation that takes stock of geopolitics, the crisis of democracy, and emerging threats and trends across the hemisphere.

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In his latest book, "In Their Own Best Interest," Lars Schoultz of UNC Chapel Hill takes to task U.S. policymakers and advocates who seek to "uplift" Latin American nations, finding them to be part of a very long tradition. This makes for a lively discussion.

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This month, Mario Moreno, WOLA's VP for Communications. interviewed Joanna Williams, the Director of Education and Advocacy at the Kino Border Initiative. The Kino Border Initiative (KBI) is a binational organization in Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. KBI works in the area of migration, providing direct humanitarian assistance and accompaniment with migrants.

They discuss what is happening at the border, how shelt...

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When you think about environmental threats to the Amazon, you may envision illegal logging, cattle ranchers, and fires. But the western Amazon has oil, too, and companies are moving in. We talk about this with Andrew Miller and Moira Birss from Amazon Watch, which published a report in March.

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