Tag Archives: Noticias

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.

Malls- Their growth in Latin America, and Decline in the North


This article in City Lab examines the explosion in the growth of Malls and their construction in the last decade. The writer begins by stating how 25 percent of the roughly 1,100 shopping malls still alive in the U.S. are projected to close by 2022.


Nolan writes,

“Developers haven’t built a new mall since 2006 (except for one in the bizarre land of Sarasota, Florida). “

Conversely, 100 new malls were built in Latin America in 2016 alone and, the largest mall in the western hemisphere is in Panama. Nolan describes this trend with an air of wistfulness for a time past.

Multiple anchors. Many different stores that attract customers and allow the businesses to benefit from each other’s presence by agglomeration. Beyond retail, Latin American malls often house other major employers, including call centers, healthcare facilities, and office space. The writer describes how he thinks malls as they exist in Latin America today, embody their original designer’s vision of them: mixed-use hubs rather than gigantic shopping hubs. He describes how these malls in Latin America are increasingly incorporating residential homes as well in apartments and condos. The writer argues that is this diversity of use that will allow malls in Latin America to outlive and out-function their North American counterparts.


While these malls in Latin America thrive on diversity and multipurpose usage, they also exist in much more specialized areas and for functions. Nolan describes how there are malls in some parts of Latin America such as Guatemala that exist specifically for dining and restaurants. He also explains how there are malls that exist specifically for interior design and how such malls, not meant for selling clothes, remain rare in the US, and Canada.

American malls are anchored by big chain stores, like Macy’s and J C Penney, and as these companies have gone out of business in recent years, they have dragged the malls built around them down with them. Nolan describes the cultural and social effects malls have had in America especially in the 80s and 90s, at their peak, and in Latin America now. Nolan examines how young people mill around malls and don the fashionable clothing brands and labels as a product of these malls, and how in the wake of stagnating incomes, and a reduction in wage increases, people have less and less disposable income and therefore less and less money to spend in shopping malls.

Nolan describes how the poor internet access and delivery services protect brick and mortar stores from the convenience and ubiquity of online shopping in Latin America. Whereas in North America, malls are doomed because of the ubiquity of the internet, in Latin America, malls remain thriving and abundant because internet access is much less ubiquitous there. It is interesting then that industrialists and capitalists identify this market opportunity and exploit the lack of internet rather than address it.  Nolan also cites the security of malls as compared to isolated stores as a reason why people migrate and become concentrated around them. Shoppers also prefer to do their shopping in a safe area. This has led to the rise of the shopping mall in Latin America.

Nolan describes how when we feel nostalgia for malls, maybe what we’re really feeling is nostalgia for a time when incomes were rising in North America, and the quality of life of average people was improving. Today, that’s what’s happening in much of Latin America. But as their mall era begins, and the American one fades, he encourages land developers and people in North America to find a more enduring model for the shopping mall.

I find it interesting how Nolan correlates economic phenomena like the growing middle class in Latin America with less economic phenomena like the activities of children and teenagers to paint  a vivid and relatable image of the shopping mall and the impact it has had on society and our daily lives.

Final Noticias 11/28/17: Honduras’ Presidential Election



Honduras is currently going through its presidential election. Salvador Nasralla, a former television host and sports journalist, is running against the incumbent Juan Orlando Hernández. Supporters of both candidates have been celebrating, as both candidates have claimed victory, though the final votes are not yet in. The election results are supposed to be finalized on Thursday. As it stands, approximately 57% of the vote has been counted, and Nasralla has 45.17% while Hernández has 40.21%. According to the article, Honduran election observers have been critical of the “unprecedented delay” in the vote count, however, president of the Honduran electoral tribunal David Matamoros has said that the count was completely transparent, and that everyone, including the Honduran political parties, the OAS, and the EU, has access to the records. Thus, the whole world is eagerly awaiting the results.

The article goes on to describe the campaigns that each candidate ran with. Nasralla wants to end corruption in the government, whereas Hernández is more focused on shutting down the powerful and violent gangs of Honduras. During his first term, Hernández received financial aid from the US to support his campaign against the gangs. He is considered an ally of the US, and he has been credited with bringing down the murder rate in Honduras, which has one of the worst murder rates in the world.

I think the article does a good job of presenting Latin Americans in an unbiased way. I can’t really find any point in the article where I can definitively say the article portrays Latin Americans in a negative or positive light. I do think the fact that Honduras is, like many Latin American countries, having issues with corruption in government and powerful gangs reflects negatively on Latin America as a whole. In addition, the “unprecedented delay” in the election results is a bit suspicious. That being said, I think that the complete transparency of the electoral tribunal (especially to the EU and OAS) is a good sign that, despite its issues with corruption, murder, and gangs, among many other things, Honduras may be attempting to become a better country overall.

In terms of identity, the widespread public support for both Nasralla and Hernández shows that the Honduran public do not identify with the violence and corruption that plagues their country. They identify with and strongly support leaders who claim to be against corruption and violence. It shows that the large majority of the population wants to improve the country as a whole.

“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.

Noticias 11/28/2017

Tijuana turns wastewater into wine, as Latin America dips toe in reuse


Within this article by Thomas Reuters, he tells us that the city of Tijuana is starting to break the barrier on their water crisis by simply reusing it. This is all starting to happen through a winery that is reusing water from the water treatment plant to irrigate their grapes used to make the wine. By using the treated water rather than the natural water that they would normally get from another irrigation system, it helps out other winery’s that struggle with the lack of water due to their location like the one in the Baja de California Peninsula that competes for water supplies from other local towns. Reusing water is a very underused system in the world and in Latin America only 30% of the wastewater is treated, but with their newfound knowledge of what they can do with the reused water, they will surely implement more water treatment plants to help create more reusable water for the people.

The Latin American people are portrayed like a progressive people in a way that they are in search of a cleaner and easier way to get water to their crops to further businesses but they are also mindful of the economic problems that the reuse of water can cause for the people.

Relating to our class theme of the identity of Latin America, these people seem to be thinking about the future and what they can do to make life easier for them like bringing another “source” of water to their problem of lack of usable water as their solution. This shows them in progressive mindset as said before but also they are mindful in what their actions can cause as far as economic problems and who should get the water (city or farmers) for a higher price or maybe even the same price.

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.

Final Noticias

Tijuana turns wastewater into wine, as Latin America dips toe in reuse

Reuters. “Tijuana turns wastewater into wine, as Latin America dips toe in reuse.” NBC News, November 27, 2017.

Image result for water reuse


My final article was about a new way that people are using wastewater from a Mexican treatment plant. An Italian wine maker has begun to use treated wastewater from a Mexican plant to irrigate his nearby grape fields. While it may seem gross or unsanitary to use wastewater, this winemaker guarantees the water is perfectly clean and suggests that the water will make grapes that will eventually become wine that will sell for $200 a bottle. In addition to growing good grapes, the use of wastewater helps with water shortages in Mexico’s arid climate. In many other regions around the world including Singapore, Israel, and parts of the US people already use recycled wastewater however Latin America has been slow to adopt the trend despite water shortages. In some Latin American countries including Mexico, Chile, and Brazil are beginning to use treated wastewater for agriculture, specifically irrigation. Water recycling is very efficient and cost effective but it requires lots of infrastructure that many Latin American nations do not have yet. There is also a stigma about treated wastewater that makes people reluctant to use it, especially for drinking. There is also a growing concern among farmers about water prices potentially increasing because of water recycling which could easily put their farms out of business.

This article is interesting because the portrayal seems very balanced which is rare, especially for an article about Latin America. I liked this article because it did not talk about anything bad or violent like many other articles about Mexico and Latin America in general. Many articles that I have read for noticias posts in the past week have talked about murder, rape, corruption and poverty. It was nice to find an article that focused on an example of technological advancement in Latin America. While it did not really mean anything, it felt kind of nice to end on a high note.

This article began by portraying Latin America and Mexico in a positive light by talking about the technological advancements that Mexico has made that help deal with wastewater and water shortages in arid regions. The article also discussed similar systems in other Latin American countries which is a good thing and could save Latin America. The only part of the article that portrayed Latin America in a negative light was the part where it talked about the lack of technological advancement in Latin America. This may have been negative in a way but at the same time it was purely factual and did not embellish at all which is good. They also did not talk about poverty or infrastructure outside of the context of the article so I think that this article did a good job overall of remaining unbiased.

Noticias Week 11/26


“Did Zika Cause More Miscarriages Than Microcephaly?” by Jason Beaubien is a NPR article about whether Zika causes more miscarriages or microcephaly. Microcephaly is a birth defect where the inflicted have abnormally small heads that can lead to seizers and other complications. Dr. Benedito Fonseca is a professor of internal medicine who conducted research on Zika after the huge crisis. He had 1,125 pregnant women complete in the study and out of them 178 tested positive for Zika. Out of the 178 women nine had spontaneous abortions (the body aborts the baby) and four women gave birth to babies with microcephaly. Dr. Fonseca expected to see a lot more babies with microcephaly. Alber Ko’s (a researcher from Yale) reason for the expected outcome of microcephaly to be greater then it was is that it wasn’t until after the babies were born with microcephaly did people start to worry. Ko suspects that the spontaneous abortions went unnoticed. As a result, there was more panic then proportional to the number of microcephaly affect babies caused by Zika.

This article reminded me of one time in class there was a discussion about how you are less likely to be in a terrorist attack then a car accident. However, since the media reports all the terrorists’ attacks but not all car accidents the opposite is thought to be true. This suggested a larger question if all the different news outlets are a good thing. Does the news bring with it unnecessary panic? While of course Zika caused complications in pregnancy was the amount of panic justified? Of the 1,125 women pregnant 15.8% of the women had Zika. Of the Zika inflicted women 2% had babies with microcephaly. This means out of the total women in the study who were pregnant 0.3% had babies with microcephaly. I remember Zika being in the news and I remember thinking that if a mother had Zika her baby was going to have microcephaly, no doubt in my mind. This is proven to be false. The news blow things out of proportion for ratings and as a result leads to misinformation and needless terror.

Almost as a subconscious curb the author was mainly focused on the fact that Zika isn’t as bad as it use to be. The author briefly mentions that the decrease in Zika complications could be due to the fact that the people have become immune. If this is true, then officials didn’t due anything to solve the Zika problem and Zika just ran its “common course” which would be unfortunate to think that there still is no cure. By only briefly mentioning this the author makes it appear that Zika is no longer a problem, but in reality Zika could mutate (like some viruses do) and it could come back with a different set of symptoms.

This article links to our course theme of identities. Latin America was facing a crisis when Zika originally broke out. Their people were panicked and as a result Latin America worked together to try and come up with a solution to Zika. Zika is a sensitive issue in Brazil and Brazil acted to try and come up with a solution. This shows the Brazilians as strong people who will not let anything take them down. This article is centered in Brazil and I think it shows it in a positive light. It shows Brazil is as capable as any other country at solving its medical problems. Before this article some readers may have doubts if Brazil had the resources to try and the Zika. This article demonstrates that Brazil is a capable country

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.