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TOPIC: latin america

In The News

New $2 billion Ukraine Aid Package, Peshawar Suspects Arrested, The Last 747

👋 Ekamowir omo!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where the U.S. is readying another $2 billion in military support to Ukraine, suspects are arrested in the Peshawar mosque bombing and the long (jumbo) life of Boeing’s 747 reaches a final milestone. Meanwhile, French daily Les Echos reports on the emerging haute cuisine culture rising around gluten-free.

[*Nauruan, Nauru]

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"Splendid" Colonialism? Time To Change How We Talk About Fashion And Culture

A lavish book to celebrate Cartagena, Colombia's most prized travel destination, will perpetuate clichéd views of a city inextricably linked with European exploitation.

-Analysis-

BOGOTÁ — The Colombian designer Johanna Ortiz is celebrating the historic port of Cartagena de Indias, in Colombia, in a new book, Cartagena Grace, published by Assouline. The European publisher specializes in luxury art and travel books, or those weighty, costly coffee table books filled with dreamy pictures. If you never opened the book, you could still admire it as a beautiful object in a lobby or on a center table.

Ortiz produced the book in collaboration with Lauren Santo Domingo, an American model (née Davis, in Connecticut) who married into one of Colombia's wealthiest families. Assouline is promoting it as a celebration of the city's "colonial splendor, Caribbean soul and unfaltering pride," while the Bogotá weekly Semana has welcomed an international publisher's focus on one of the country's emblematic cities and tourist spots.

And yet, use of terms like colonial "splendor" is not just inappropriate, but unacceptable.

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Geopolitically, "Latin America" Does Not Exist

The election in Brazil of Luis Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula) is being hailed by some as the confirmation of Latin American around a shared leftist project, yet even the left can't agree with itself. It's a story that goes back centuries, and can only change with a commitment to move beyond ideology.

-Analysis-

BOGOTÁ — In 1826, the liberator and then president of (a much larger) Colombia, Simón Bolívar, convened the Summit of Panama, in Panama City, with the aim of uniting the recently liberated provinces of the Spanish empire. Bolívar's guest list excluded the United States and imperial Brazil. In spite of good intentions, the summit proved an utter failure.

There was no Latin American integration then, nor is there today, 200 years on, as the continent remains fragmented and divided. In geopolitical terms, there is no Latin America.

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Walls Of Shame: Trump Is Not Alone In Building Barriers To Shut Out Latin Americans

Keeping out the poor from one country to another, or even within a country, is not a new idea, though former U.S. President Donald Trump seems to have set off a new wave across the region, and the world.

If you are from Latin America and you hear the word “wall,” you most likely think of the one that Donald Trump began to build between the United States and Mexico. However, there are currently more than 60 border walls around the world, and, contrary to popular belief, Trump's is not the only one keeping Latin Americans out of a territory.

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Green
Luize Sampaio

Meet The Brazilian Waste Pickers Working In Dumps That “Don’t Exist”

Despite being forbidden since 2010, rubbish dumps are still a common feature on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. It's time to know the lives of those who scrape out a living there.

Brazil's Gramacho dump is the largest wasteland in Latin America. And yet, though millions of Brazilians know its name, for local and national government agencies, neither this nor any other dumps exist.

Many others are also large enough to have names — Itacoa, Morro do Céu, Niterói, Maré, and Praça do Lixão — and the waste pickers who work there and the poverty they hold is as real as the trash.

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Geopolitics
Rosendo Fraga

Brazil, The Next Election With Democracy Itself At Stake

Brazilians head to the polls this week in a runoff between leftist Lula and the far-right Bolsonaro. The elections will have far-reaching consequences for Latin America, and perhaps even the Western world.

BUENOS AIRES — The outcome of Brazil's presidential election on Sunday will of course have a major impact in the region: Brazil has by far the largest population in Latin America, and trails only the United States in the Western hemisphere. But the reverberations will also be felt around the world, and not only for the country's size.

A victory for the socialist candidate Luis Inácio Lula da Silva will confirm the trend in Latin America of the "progressive" Left's return to the countries it governed in the first decade of the 21st century. But another term for the sitting president, the radical right-winger Jair Bolsonaro, may kill off this revival and strengthen the right's electoral prospects across the region. In recent elections in Peru, Colombia and Chile, conservative candidates made it to hard-fought runoffs against their leftist rivals.

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Green
Tobias Käufer

Germany's Cynical Solution To The Energy Crisis: "Green Colonialism"

Germany has supplies of climate-damaging resources like oil, gas, coal, lithium. But faced with an energy crisis, its government, including the Greens, has opted to outsource extraction to Latin America. The party's betrayal of its core values has not gone unnoticed.

-Analysis-

BERLIN — The experienced environmental activists from Ende Gelände, known for occupying coal mines, already have their sights set on the next target.

Their latest campaign was to defend the village of Lützerath in western Germany, close to the Dutch border, against eviction and demolition. The declared opponent is the energy company RWE. Its plans to promote lignite, the most polluting of coal types, were recently fought with a climate camp lasting several days and a demonstration to preserve the village.

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It is precisely these protests that Germany's so-called traffic light coalition, especially the Green Party's cabinet members Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck, fear. They call into question their party's essence: climate and environmental protection.

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Ideas
Héctor Abad Faciolince

The Noble Absurdity Of Granting Constitutional Rights To Nature

Giving nature rights, as South American nations are keen to do these days, is well-intentioned, but far too limited in scope to make sense.

-OpEd-

BOGOTÁ — The Webb space telescope's extraordinary ability to "see" has allowed us to observe what was previously hidden by cosmic dust.

Thanks to cameras catching infrared light, which humans cannot see, a new universe has unfolded, thousands of millions of light years away: with unknown galaxies, stars that are born and collapse, cosmic precipices, magnificent explosions and black holes that swallow stars.

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Society
Gwendolyn Ledger

Didi, The Chinese Food Delivery App Finding Its Tasty Niche In Latin America

Didi Food, a delivery startup that struggled in East Asia, has found a growing market in Latin American cities, where appetite for home deliveries has yet to be fully satisfied.

SANTIAGO DE CHILEBarranquilla and Soledad are the latest Colombian cities to join the Chinese delivery firm Didi Food's expanding market in Latin America.

The firm began exploring partners here months ago, but announced its "arrival" online in late June once it had a critical mass of eateries and partners registered with it. The application is available in other Colombian cities, as well as in Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica, Chile and the Dominican Republic.

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Economy
Lila Paulou and McKenna Johnson

Food Shortages Around The World, Product By Product

The war in Ukraine and the climate crisis have been devastating for food production. Here's a look at some of the traditional foods from around the world that might be hard to find on supermarket shelves.

The consequences of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia have been far-reaching. A Russian blockade of the Black Sea has meant Ukraine, known as “Europe’s breadbasket,” has been unable to export much of its huge harvests of wheat, barley and sunflower oil.

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So even those thousands of miles from the battlefields have been hit by the soaring prices of basic necessities.

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Society
Hannah Steinkopf-Frank and Sophia Constantino

End Of Roe v. Wade, The World Is Watching

As the Supreme Court decides to overturn the 1973 decision that guaranteed abortion rights, many fear an imminent threat to abortion rights in the U.S. But in other countries, the global fight for sexual and reproductive rights is going in different directions.

PARIS — Nearly 50 years after it ensured the right to abortion to Americans, the United States Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade case, meaning that millions of women in the U.S. may lose their constitutional right to abortion.

The groundbreaking decision is likely to set off a range of restrictions on abortion access in multiple states in the U.S., half of which are expected to implement new bans on the procedure. Thirteen have already passed "trigger laws" that will automatically make abortion illegal.

U.S. President Joe Biden called the ruling "a tragic error" and urged individual states to enact laws to allow the procedure.

In a country divided on such a polarizing topic, the decision is likely to cause major shifts in American law and undoubtedly spark outrage among the country’s pro-choice groups. Yet the impact of such a momentous shift, like others in the United States, is also likely to reverberate around the world — and perhaps, eventually, back again in the 50 States.

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Ideas
Lux Lancheros*

Political Fashion In Latin America Leaves White Men In Suits Behind

Politics has always been associated with image. This is especially true in Latin America, where white men in suits have dominated the field for years. But a new generation of women are shaking up politics — as well as how female politicians are expected to dress.

During "The Great Male Renunciation," toward the end of the 18th century, men stopped using refined forms of dressing in order to be taken seriously, leaving conspicuous consumption of clothing and ostentatious dressing to women. It was an attempt by the bourgeoisie to leave behind all the decadent vanity of the overthrown aristocracy.

Men flaunted their power through the clothing their female counterparts wore, though they themselves could not aspire to that same power. Men could no longer dress extravagantly and had to moderate their "feminine impetus", unless they wanted to be considered weak and frivolous. That is why many women at that time who wanted to succeed in “men's” professions had to dress in a masculine way (like French novelist George Sand), with some going as far as pretending to be men.

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