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.

Noticias Week 14

Link to article

Synopsis

For the final noticias week, I chose the article titled “Search for Argentine submarine enters ‘critical phase'” that is written by Eliott C. McLaughlin and Stefano Pozzebon. The Argentine submarine ARA San Juan has been missing for over a week and eleven countries have joined in the search effort to locate it and save its 44 crew members, which includes the country’s first woman submarine officer, Eliana Maria Krawczyk. The submarine was last seen on November 15 in the San Jorge Gulf about half the distance from where the submarine disembarked and its hopeful and final destination. The submarine has enough air to last for ten days and since a week has since passed, an Argentine spokesperson states, “We are in a critical phase.” Nevertheless, there is still the possibility that the submarine has surfaced or so-called “snorkeled,” meaning that it has raised a tube to the surface to acquire new air.

People’s Response

Thus far, the search effort has been unsuccessful and has caused many family members and the country to severely worry about the passengers aboard on the submarine. The article includes statements from the brother of another passenger by the name of Christian Ibañez. His brother voices that the search effort was not performed quickly enough and he along with others believe that they are being disrespected by the navy that continues to state that the submarine could still be on the surface. He expresses, “If it was on the surface, they would have found it. They didn’t, and they didn’t look for them at the bottom. If they did it earlier, it could have been different” (McLaughlin). The daughter of Christian Ibañez has been told by her mother that her father is missing, but that he will be home soon. Despite all this turmoil, hope still remains that the submarine will be found. Several kind gestures have been carried out by the local community, such as the ones that is pictured below. Over 20,000 students from local schools made drawings that include hopeful wishes and have attached them near the base in Mar del Plata.

 

Outcome/Relation to Identity

No one knows where the submarine is, but there have been many theories for its disappearance and several reports of sounds and signals that could be related to the missing submarine, but they have since been proved false. This tragic event has greatly affected Argentina, however the way in which the country and several nations have assisted in the search for the submarine can be said to have a relation to Argentina’s identity. Despite this mysterious event and the understandable complaints that have been voiced by some people, Argentina is being portrayed in a relatively positive manner because of the willingness of other countries to take action and assist with the search effort. Additionally, the kind gestures that have been performed like the one mentioned above shows the nation’s optimism despite the sadness that it also greatly feels.

If you are interested in learning more about the search effort and the effect that this event has had on many people in Argentina, you can watch the video below:

McLaughlin, Eliott C. “Search for Argentine Submarine Enters ‘Critical Phase’.” CNN, Cable News Network, 23 Nov. 2017

Noticias

Over the past few weeks my blog posts have a reoccurring theme or topic. Which is the role of politics in Latin American or National Identity. Within countries with deep rooted corruption in their Government or current political/social upheavals (or scandals). Venezuela, being one of the few I’ve commented on, especially after it being topic of quite a few class discussions.

Antonio Ledezma, the former mayor of Caracas, speaking to the news media on Saturday after his arrival at the airport in Madrid. Credit Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

The article I choose for this weeks noticias is surrounded around the “Escaped Venezuela Opposition Leader [Reaching] Spain and [Vowing To] Fight”   To offer a little context to what is going on in Venezuela in relation to this article, we have to go back a few years. The Mayor of Caracas, Venezuela was arrested a few years ago on accusations that he along with others and the American Government planned to overthrow the current Venezuelan Government. Ex Mayor of Caracas, Antonio Ledezma refutes these accusations. Arguing along the line with many of his supporters that Venezuelan President Maduro, did so to silence opposition in Venezuela that is bringing attention to the suffering caused by severe economic decline and famine under his administration.

Supporters of the mayor of Caracas, Antonio Ledezma, demanded his release on Thursday.Credit Ariana Cubillos/Associated Press.

2015 NYTIMES ARTICLE

Mr. Ledezma has always been outspoken about Venezuela’s internal struggles and the Government’s lack of appropriate addressal to said issues. He led Government protests that shook Venezuela and still advocated for socio-economic political changes that would begin to fix the problems Venezuela faced from house arrest until his recent escape from the country.

After his escape to Colombia and then Madrid, Espana he stated that “[He is] going to dedicate [himself] to traveling the world, to spread the hope of all Venezuelans to escape this regime, this dictatorship,” because “Venezuela isn’t on the verge of an abyss — it has fallen into the
abyss.” To which since landing in Madrid he’s spoken to former Venezuelan Ambassador, Fernando Gerbasi, and former Colombian President , Andrés Pastrana. As well as, Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy.

It is important to understand that in the midst of all of this internal turmoil, like the declining economy and increasing nationwide famine there are large groups of people that oppose the current Government Administration under Maduro. They desire under a (metaphorical) banner of Venezuelan Nationalism, an administration that will represent their needs and work towards dismantling corrupt government practices that allow their issues to continue worsening. People are rallying against a Government collectively that they no longer support… (In class it was argued that the Government itself was made up of the Venezuelan people and that it was certainly possible that the Venezuelan people would continue the support of a corrupt Government…in an endless cycle that would obviously not end their issues. But, I believe there is enough opposition within that they could potentially cause some form of change, even if it takes the form of a coup.)

 

Noticía

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.

The Show Must Go On: The Role of Fiestas in Andean Transnational Migration by Karsten Paerregaard

This was an interesting article to read and I’ll confess it was a struggle to comprehend the complexity of communal identity in relation to “Transnational Migration”. I have very little knowledge of Peru much less Andean culture, so making connections between what I understood to what I am now learning was difficult. Cabanaconde, Peru, its community and culture present a unique situation that which I never even imagined, and if I did…not to this extent. I am to say the least, extremely intrigued by the division between the collective Peruvian community and culture, and the Cabaneos. Then the division amongst themselves between migrants and inhabitants of Cabanaconde.

What role does the Virgin of Carmen festival play in community identity? 

The Virgin of Carmen Festival is not only a religious celebration but a central aspect of the cultural customs of Cabanaconde, Peru. It is integral in this community’s identity, witnessed through the communities complexed celebrations and the deeper socio-economic implications in regards to its migrant and local participants. It plays such an important role in defining Cabanaconde’s identity that emigrants that have migrated to different countries, return at this opportunity to reconnect with their “native/ancestral” culture.

In what ways has the rise of transnational migration changed the significance of the celebration for the larger community? 

Like mentioned above the celebration has developed over time a complexed relation attached to a cabaneo’s socio-economic standing…especially between migrants and locals. MIgrants have developed a social and economic network through an ever growing transnational community of migrants that supports their involvement and investment in the Festival. In comparison to locals who lack access to these networks consisting of Cabaneo migrants. This adds to the inequality faced by locals and increases social tensions between both groups of participants.

Cabanaconde, Peru in relation to class themes

Cabanaconde has a complex identity centered around this principal festival. That has been complicated through transnational migration and social networks that provide migrants with support across international borders, while simultaneously putting local cabaneos at a disadvantage for their lack of said support networks. Cabanaconde’s cultural identity is diveded yet united all at the same time.

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.

Transnational Migration and Fiestas

     I thought the article on Fiestas in Andean Transnational Migration was a very interesting read, especially in the context of the themes in our class. Cabanaconde is a special village in southern Peru that takes pride in its culture and distinct characteristics that make it different from the rest of Peru. I found it very interesting that even though the village is located in Peru, the villagers go through an extensive measure to ensure that the indigenous peoples of the village stay separated from other Peruvian peoples and culture. At first, I thought it was strange that the CCA in Washington created a soccer league for Cabaneños only even though the other members were still from Peru. But after I continued reading the article and thinking about the issue, it made sense that these Cabaneños would want to preserve their cultural traditions and practices. As usual, the traditions and practices help to define cultural identities and I think that’s what makes the example of Cabanaconde a crucial example for this class’ themes.

     The Virgin of Carmen festival plays a huge part in the community’s identity because the Virgin of Carmen is a faith-based, religious figure. The Cabaneños celebrate the Virgin of Carmen around the time of crop harvesting in hopes that the Virgin would ensure them plentiful crops that year. To believe in a tradition custom to the village displays a lot of loyalty to Cabanaconde. For the Cabaneños to take pride in organizing the Fiestas even from the different countries they immigrated to. I think the rise of transnational migration changed the celebration of the fiestas both positively and negatively. A positive change in the sense that even when the Cabaneños migrated from Cabanaconde they didn’t have to feel like they abandoned their traditions back home; instead, they could still be involved with the festival from their new home as Cristina did. The negative impact that Transnational migration has on the celebration of this festival is that many Cabaneños that migrate to these new countries illegally find it hard to make it back to Cabanaconde to celebrate the tradition. This is the divide that Paerregaard mentioned in the thesis of her article. This divide comes across almost as a tinge of jealousy from those immigrants that are undocumented and can’t travel home to celebrate while they watch their documented family members and others take part in celebration.

Blog Post

The Paerregaard article talks about how the transnational citizens use the Virgin of Carmen as a mediation and media to express their ties to the original community in Cabanaconde. When people moved from one place to another, it is difficult for them to not feeling any cultural shock as well as the conscious difference. Therefore, they tend to use objects that could represent their culture in order to keep their original identity when being in a foreign land. Because I think when people moved to a new place, they may encounter the difficulty of distinguishing themselves. Their identities as Cabanacondes would be blurred and may be override and they will find themselves lost to both of them. Thus, the practice of the traditional habits or original customs are the ways they could potentially use to stay in their true identities and not being fully washed. Virgin of Carmen is a great example of showing this. People practicing this fiesta, traveling back to their homeland and spending thousands of hard earned money only means to preserve their ties to their culture and identity and connect to the tradition. However, when people are practicing the Virgin of Carmen, difference and divisions are shown. The preparations for the fiesta will emphasize some people’s success and exclusiveness over others who don’t have the chance and it’s often a signal to distinguish those who have achieved the social status as both transnational migrants and global cosmopolitans and those who do not.

But the old tradition changes with times and there are several big changes. The used to be villager’s agro-religious calendar and big event that emphasize protecting the good will of the local religious force has changed to serve as a tool for the migration to show their loyalty and their success in the cities. Also, it has switched from a rural religious life into a metropolitical lifestyle. It creates new relation of inequality and social tensions that thorough the change of the meaning of participation into the religious activity.