Category Archives: Uncategorized

Honduras Election Mess

I am writing my article over the chaos that is happening in Honduras over the election that happened on Nov. 26th. The article I read was over the riot police in Honduras, and how they have decided to strike, and not enforce the curfew because they believe that it makes them take sides in this heated political issue. On November 26th candidate Salvador Nasralla and Juan Orlando Hernandez went head to head in the Honduras presidential election where the two candidates tied. The Honduras electoral commission has started a recount of ballets. But supporters of Nasralla believe that Hernandez is using his current power as president to sway the vote his way. The supporters of both candidates have started protesting, sometimes making the protests violent, which is why the curfew was put into place. During the recounting of the ballets the Electoral commission had to stop the recounts because they said they had a computer failure which resulted in lost ballets. The only people allowed to be out during the curfew is people on the campaign, police, emergency workers, and government employees.  The reason that people are protesting is that there is to believed to be major voter fraud occurring.

Valdes , Gustavo, Dakin Andone, and Marilia Brocchetto. “Honduras Begins vote recount in unresovled election .” December 4, 2017. Accessed December 5, 2017.

“Honduras election: Army given more power to quash unrest.” December 2, 2017. Accessed December 5, 2017.

“Honduras police revolt amid tension over election .” December 5, 2017. Accessed December 5, 2017.

Noticias Questions

Kiera‘s Article

  1. What is the definition of a refugee. How much help should a refugee expect when moving to a new country.
  2. When viewed from the governments perspective how much help should be given to refugees when economic factors and other things of the sort are concerned
  3. Instead of fleeing to another country why not try to reform Venezuela with the help of other Latin American countries such as Brazil.

Brook’s Article

  1. What are the benefits of reusing unclean water in this way, can it benefit Latin American economically and how successfully would it be incorporated in these countries.
  2. Do you believe using waste water in products meant for consumption is ethical. Also what are some possible health side effects associated with this.
  3. What are some regulations that could be put in place to insure that waste products are not used in products meant for consumption or if they are that they are properly treated.

“Latin America has a long history of humanitarian solidarity and protecting migrants.”

I think the article I chose for this week nicely touches on our themes of encounters and identities in Latin America, as it deals with the migration of citizens from one Latin American country to two other Latin American countries. The article is called “How Latin America Is Responding to Venezuelan Refugees” and emphasizes how Latin American countries have been accepting of refugees, and welcoming them with open arms. The article specifically mentions Peru and Brazil, and how there are governmental gaps that may worsen the situation if not taken care of. The two main issues are the governments being reactive rather than proactive, and a lack of communication about policies to refugees themselves. The article then breaks down the issues by country that refugees may face.

In Peru, the government has passed a temporary work study permit that is specifically targeted to Venezuelans for the length of one year, although it can be renewed. They also passed an asylum law that applies to Venezuelans who left due to persecution or violence. However, these policies aren’t adequately explained to migrants and refugees, leading to confusion and difficulty in applying for permits or refugee status. The work study permit, called PTP, shouldn’t be considered a form of protection according to the article, as it only briefly covers fundamental rights. Many people have applied for PTP when they qualify for refugee status, just because they don’t know that they qualify, making the government ineffective at properly helping refugees.

In Brazil, there was no law on migration or reception program/system until 2017. There was however, a refugee law, allowing migrants to stay in the country while a committee rules on their case. The refugee law allows for migrants to work and have access to public services. After pressure from citizens, Brazil passed a law granting temporary residence to Venezuelans, giving them work permits and temporary residency. However, many Venezuelans are unaware of this and still apply for refugee status, as well as the temporary residence permit being expensive.

I found this article to be very good at explaining the issues, but still applauding these countries for taking the steps they did.

Final Noticias


On November 15th a submarine from the Argentine naval forces the “ARA San Juan” with 44 crew members onboard went missing and the search began. Since the submarine was lost there has been limited communication with the vessel but in the few messages received the vessel’s captain told the naval command that water entered the submarine through the snorkel and made its way to the submarines battery by way of the ventilation system causing an onboard fire or smoke without fire. The fire was resolved and the damaged battery was isolated  and the vessel made it continued to move underwater on a secondary battery.

The Argentine military submarine ARA San Juan and crew are seen leaving the port of Buenos Aires, Argentina June 2, 2014. Picture taken on June 2, 2014. Armada Argentina/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. - RC1370ED5680

the vessel was commissioned 1985 and most recently refitted 3 years ago

shortly after last communication an explosion was detected in the search area while attempting to find and rescue the vessel, no debris or physical evidence has been discovered but the same unfortunate situation holds true for the location of the submarine.


Final Noticias

     For the final Noticias post, I chose to read an article called “Gender Violence in Guatemala”. Though short, the article contains an interactive portion that tells the stories of six indigenous Guatemalan women that have been victims of all types of physical violence. The article opens with a brief description of the history that has led to such gender violence becoming a norm in the central American country. I found it especially interesting that much of the violence began during the political conflict between the indigenous peoples and Guatemalan government during the civil war in the late twentieth century. The article stated that “between 1960 and 1996, more than 100,000 women were victims of mass rape with many indigenous women forced into sexual slavery by the military”. The article suggests that this disturbing history has led to today’s high rate in femicide in the country, with at least two women being murdered a day. I thought this article was very inspiring because it talks about a small group of Mayan women that take matters into their own hands regarding the issue when the government does seemingly nothing to promote justice for those women.      

     The women in this article are portrayed as very brave. Recently in the news, there has been a lot of talk of sexual harassment in the United States, especially with the rise of the #MeToo movement on social media. From seeing and being involved in those current events, it has occurred to me just how hard it is for women, or anyone for that matter, to speak up about times they have felt unsafe or personally victimized in terms of sexual harassment and abuse. For these Latin American women to speak in a country where this very problem is profuse is incredibly courageous. I think this shows that these women are exceptionally strong and believe in fighting back against the issues that the government won’t fight against itself.

     Over the weeks in class, we have seen several Noticia articles where an injustice or injustices have been targeted at specific Latin American countries and peoples. We talk a lot about how that affects their cultures and their identities and how many of those people don’t have the power to fight back against the issues. I think this article is so important because instead of letting the issue of gender violence exist as a part of Guatemalan culture and identity as the article suggests, these women have chosen to speak out against the “norms” and speak to the women who need help. I feel like the women apart of the AGIMS organization are attempting to replace this negative aspect of Guatemalan identity and replace it with one that shares the value of community, support, and unity for everyone in the country, whether they are indigenous or not and regardless of their gender. We haven’t explicitly talked much about replacing parts of cultural identity in this class but I think it’s important especially in cases like these when a negative identifier of a community should be replaced.

Noticias 11/27/2017

The article I chose this week is very different from articles I have chosen in the past. This article sheds provides positivity and inspiration in contrast to the usual current event and news. This weeks article is, “Mexico Creates Huge National Park to Protect Marine Life.” The Mexican government sectioned a large marine reserve around the Revillagigedo Archipelago ( a group of islands along the west coast of Mexico). The protection zone 57,000 square miles. This is about the length of the United States times 20!! This reserve has now become the largest in North America. The National park will ban fishing, forbid extracting natural resources, ban the building of hotels, and be patrolled by the navy to ensure the safety of the wildlife. The reserve is home to endangered and unique wildlife including rays, whales, sea turtles, and coral. The goal of the National park include helping populations which have been affected by commercial fishing.  The site is also a major breeding and migrant are for humpback whales. The new protected area will ensure their safety as well. The new national park hopes to The President of Mexico signed the decree with the hopes of influencing other countries to take measures like these to protect wildlife and the environment.

Mexico is portrayed as a positive role model and eco friendly nation with this move to create a National Park. I chose this article because I feel as though it really connected to some of our class presentations on species and wildlife in Latin America. It is refreshing to see humans positively interacting with nature and attempting to mend the damage we’ve done. Chile has also created a massive marine national park and hopefully other countries will begin to as well.


In Mexico, Not Dead; Not Alive, Just Gone 

In the article named “In Mexico, Not Dead; Not Alive, Just Gone”,  it addresses incessant citizen missing events in Mexico have become a such urgent issue in Mexico that needs solution in the first priority.

The story begins with a father trying all kinds of ends to find his two daughters who went missing after going to the clubs one night. It has been six years since that tragedy, but the father is still desperately searching every corner of potential places to find his daughters or even their bodies. He had become a man consumed by rage, impotence, and purpose. He spent every day planning his next search for his daughter, his next interview with her friends, his next stakeout of the men he thought responsible. In recent years, the unofficial missing toll for innocent people being involved in the drug violence is estimated amount to more than 30.000 people. Satirically, no official estimate number has been made to announce to the public. Nobody actually knows the precise number of disappearance except for the raw figure because many of the people who are reported missing may never be found again. It creates massive difficulty to actually count the numbers. Their names and details never leave a trace in the modern history.

Nevertheless, only until the time when 43 students who went missing at once on Sep. 26. 2016 has forced the corrupt government and the impotent officials to start the national reckoning. New laws regarding the disappearance cases have been enacted and new system has been in effect. The truth is it has never been helpful. Anti-corruption movement fails when scandals after scandals happen and more journalists being killed in the new laws to protect the nation’s media. No matter what, the father is still calling for the attention and raising money for the scout because, in his eyes, the government seemed incapable of helping citizens.

I think this New York Times article has much in common with the central theme of our class. First, I think, because women are less advantaged in Mexico, they are given less say in this male-dominated society, which as a result, their rights are not properly being protected. Often times, the females are forgetter by the government. Eventually they would become the easy prey for thugs or gang members to take advantage of. Second, government is the culprit behind those endless missing cases happening in Mexico. It is their impotence that leads to the savage actions carried out by those criminals.They know they’re not going to be punished for the crimes. The corruption inside the state political sphere has made itself powerless in addressing issues like this. If the government is willing to involve more into the improvement of the situation, it would have to require the police officers to observe their duties and investigate every case with their full heart. It may sound load-heavy and hard, but it all depends on whether the government has its own willpower to take the responsibility. Further, It is too dangerous for people to have this set of mind that the missing is normal. Once if they do, they would become numb to the situations and be passive towards those crimes all the time. The government should prevent this vicious cycle from happening, otherwise more unwanted results may happen. Overall, the responsibility of a government to protect its citizens is indispensable.

Paerregaard Article Response

Cabanaconde, the location where the Virgin of Carmen fiesta is celebrated, is an important piece of identity for not only the Cabeneños who reside in the village, but also for the migrants who have sought another life in the United States. The author, Karsten Paerregaard mainly explores the effect on identity for the migrants who do not currently reside in their native land and the social and cultural implications that have resulted. The Virgin of Carmen festival is organized by a devoto; Cristina is the particular devoto who is mentioned in the article that organized the 2005 fiesta. The author mentions that oftentimes the devoto is a migrant who is well-established in the U.S., however a myriad a sponsors also play an important role in the economic aspect of the event. The fact that the organizer is a migrant is important to note. The fiesta is a “showcase for migrants’ loyalty to their native village” and demonstrates that they still have a good connection with their place of origin (58). It gives migrants a sense of belonging, but is also used as a means to show that the organizer has been successful as an immigrant in the United States. As for community identity, the festival is centered on religion and spirituality where the Virgin of Carmen is their protector. This is notion that the community is united around. In fact, this is probably the most significant reason for why the devoto chooses to organize the event. Cristina states that she was diagnosed with cancer, however with her belief in the Virgin of Carmen and statement that she would organize a fiesta, she almost fully recovered. Other devotos experienced similar miracles.

A divisive result of translational migration that has changed the significance of the event for the larger community is the sense of social divide that exists among the migrants and native villagers. The author argues, “The village’s migrant population is thus gradually taking over Cabanaconde’s traditional rituals and religious life world, which has become an arena of migrant competition and growing mistrust and tension between migrants and villagers” (59). A transformation is occurring in which the event is converting from a rural religious celebration to an urban and globalized event. For the 2005 fiesta, Cristina and her networks spent nearly USD$100,000. Through this modernization and globalization, Cristina and other devotos are trying to portray themselves as important people that have contributed greatly to their village and as people who exert significant economic and social influence of their migrant networks. Devotos are essentially using their platform as an organizer of the event to fortify their role in their support networks. As a result, the event is losing its spiritual aspect as it becomes increasingly globalized by migrant devotos.

Paerregaard Article Blog Post

It is clear after reading the article that the Virgin of Carmen festival plays an incredibly important role in community identity for the Cabaneños. For Cabaneños abroad, the funding, planning, participation in, and celebration of the Virgin of Carmen festival allows them to form and strengthen their identities as part of the Cabanaconde community. For the Cabaneños in Cabanaconde, the participation in and celebration of the Virgin of Carmen festival allows them to commemorate the history and culture of their community. Large religious celebrations and rituals all tend to help strengthen a person’s identity in relation to their community, and I would argue that the Virgin of Carmen festival is no exception. Much like how a person’s participation in Easter or Christmas might help them form and strengthen their own identity and the identity of the Christian community that they are a part of, the Virgin of Carmen festival helps Cabaneños everywhere to celebrate and preserve their culture while also strengthening personal and communal identities. This is perhaps best shown through this quote: “In effect, the fiesta has become an identity emblem that migrants can draw on to express their sense of belonging and that serves as a point of reference with which Cabanenos living elsewhere distinguish themselves from migrants from other regions”.

In the article, the author argues that the rise of transnational migration has indeed changed the manner in which the festival is celebrated. Paerregaard states that “the village’s migrant population is thus gradually taking over Cabanaconde’s traditional rituals and religious life world”. Due to the fact that transnational migrants in places like the US have more connections and networks to draw from and access to more money, they have the ability to affect the entire community. When you apply this to the Virgin of Carmen festival, you can see how the migrants have changed the manner in which it is celebrated. What was once a religious ritual has now become “an event supported by an urban consumption lifestyle”. In addition, it would appear as though many of the inhabitants of the village are a bit bothered by the fact that the migrants have “taken over” the festival. Although the celebration promotes unity among Cabaneños everywhere, the rise of transnational migration has created competition between migrants and villagers.

Fiesta of Virgin of Carmen

In the article “The Show Must Go On: The Role of Fiestas in Andean Transnational Migration” by Karsten Paerregaard, he talks about the fiesta of Virgin of Carmen and the significance it holds for the Cabaneno community. Paerregaard explains how originally the fiesta was a religious experience where the community made offerings to the Virgin of Carmen and to the local mountains. Currently the fiesta is a platform for people who have migrated from Cabanaconde to show how successful they are. The fiesta has two devotos who sponsor and organize the fiesta. The devotos are competing to see who can provide the best entertainment, food, and other activities. To pay for all of this each devoto turns to his family and close friends to see if they could help pay for things. The fiesta easily costs USD$10,000, but it most likely costs more. The devotos take on this role for multiple reasons. One reason is to showcase how successful they are, and the other reason is to stay connected to their roots. The fiesta of Virgin of Carmen is a huge celebration for the Cabaneno community and lasts about four days. It is a huge part of their community; therefore, it is a part of their identity. It is their biggest celebration. Even when some of the Cabanenos migrate to different countries, their relatives who still live in Cabanaconde record the fiesta and send it to them, so they can see it.