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February 21 2014

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February 04 2014

Aymara Children and their Mental Health

The website Indigenous News analizes a report carried out by BMC Psychiatry which studied 748 children, whose ages range between 9 and 15, from nine different schools attended by low socioeconomic classes in the city of Arica, in northern Chile. Out of the total number of children that took part of the study, 37% were Aymara.

Aymara families live a traditional lifestyle. Elders advise the youth, mothers take care of household tasks and educate the children, while fathers are the bread-winners and often make family decisions.

The study concludes:

Although Aymara children have migrated from the high Andean plateau to the city, this migration has not resulted in a greater presence of anxiety and depressive symptoms. Greater involvement with the Aymara culture may be a protective factor against anxiety and depressive symptoms in Aymara children. This point to an additional benefit of maintaining cultural traditions within this population.

January 22 2014

10 Documentaries on South American Music to Watch Online

Nick MacWilliam from the blog Sounds and Colours has compiled a list of 10 documentaries, “looking at all manner of musical styles and movements from the region, with films focused on Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru and Venezuela.”

This list makes no attempt to rank the films, nor does it purport that these films are any better or worse than other music documentaries related to South America. The idea is to provide a sample of some of the films out there so that, firstly, they are enjoyed and, secondly, we hope they will open a few doors for our readers into new areas of regional identity.

The films are available online, for free.

January 18 2014

Peru and Chile Await The Hague's Decision on Maritime Border Dispute


Map presented by Alain Pellet in the case of Peru – Chile during oral arguments before the International Court of Justice in the Hague in December 2012. [The dark blue zone indicates the contentious area.] Published in Wikimedia under the license: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported.

[Links are to Spanish-language pages except where otherwise noted.]

The upcoming date on which the International Court of Justice [en] (ICJ) in The Hague is set to deliver its judgment regarding the controversy surrounding maritime boundaries between Chile and Peru [en] is generating tremendous expectations and anxiety in both countries. 

The controversy originated as long ago as 1985 in a dispute over maritime sovereignty [en] of a 37,900 km² area in the Pacific Ocean. In 2008, when the parties were still unable to come to an agreement, Peru took its case to the International Court in the Hague in the hopes of having the issue resolved. The Court announced it would deliver its ruling on January 27, 2014.

In 2008, the Peruvian economist and blogger Silvio Rendón commented that by instigating the lawsuit, Peru was signalling a new level of dissatisfaction in its relations with its neighbour to the south, and that this would only foster a climate of increased nationalism in both countries:

Lo más probable es que con este reclamo ante La Haya el Perú como Chile radicalicen su carrera armamentista y las escaramuzas de guerra fría que venimos librando desde hace años. Se trata de chispas que pueden calentar lo que ahora está frío. [...] Si oficialmente no estamos en guerra, ¿por qué se habla de hacer la paz? Es que sí estamos en una guerra, una guerra fría (ver Guerra Perú-Chile) que debería terminar ya. Lo diré una vez más. El camino del Perú debería ser el del crecimiento, no el del armamentismo (ver Triángulo equivocado y Ad “Triángulo Equivocado”). Perú tiene el 10% del PIB per cápita de EEUU y Chile tiene 20%. Deberíamos estar concentrados en mejorar el bienestar de nuestras ciudadanías y el camino a ese objetivo no pasa por la propiedad del triángulo marítimo.

It is likely that with this claim before The Hague, both Peru and Chile will intensify the arms race and the cold war skirmishes they have been waging for years. We are talking about sparks that could ignite something that, for the moment, is cold. [...] If we are not officially at war, why are we talking about making peace? It's because we are indeed at war, a cold war (see Guerra Perú-Chile) that must end now. I will say it one last time. The road Peru takes should be one of development, not stockpiling (see Triángulo equivocado and Ad “Triángulo Equivocado”). Peru's per capita GDP is 10% of that of the U.S. and Chile's is at 20%. We should be focussing on improving the wellbeing of our citizens and the road to that objective is not paved with proprietary wrangling over the maritime triangle.

Currently, beyond the legal arguments on which each country has based its position, there are those such as El Drac of the blog El Abrazo de Almanzor, who see abuse and manipulation of the claim by powerful interests who have the support of certain sectors of the press. Moreover, the blogger mentions the economic implications of the dispute :

Pese a que ambos países han insistido en que la resolución del tribunal internacional no afectará a sus relaciones comerciales, los empresarios chilenos han expresado su preocupación por el impacto que podría tener en la industria pesquera. [...] En el caso de que el fallo resultara favorable a la tesis peruana se registraría un impacto en el área pesquera chilena, ya que Chile perdería soberanía sobre una amplia zona marítima en la cual hoy desarrolla entre el 70% y 80% de la captura pesquera en la norteña zona de Arica, según estimaciones empresariales.

Despite the fact that both countries insist the decision by the International Court will not affect their trade relations, Chilean business leaders have expressed their concern about the potential impact on the fishing industry. [...] If the ruling favours Peru's contention, this will affect Chilean fishing, as the the country will lose control of a wide stretch of sea which today accounts for 70-80% of the catch in the Northern Arica zone, according to industry estimates.

The website Otra Mirada emphasizes that defence of Peruvian sovereignty has ensured a degree of national unity in the country, but it also raises the question of what the agenda for immediate economic development should be. To which it adds:

El fallo de La Haya definirá, entonces, un nuevo panorama en el país, por lo cual, se debe preparar una agenda de Estado que incluya temas fundamentales como: 1. Definir rol de las Fuerzas Armadas en la defensa de nuestra seguridad y soberanía en la etapa post La Haya. 2. Establecer una política de desarrollo del sector pesquero en esta zona del país. 3. Establecer acciones inmediatas sobre la situación laboral de los chilenos que viven en el Perú y los peruanos que viven en Chile. 4.Promover un plan de inversión pública en las regiones Tacna y Moquegua a favor de la integración sudamericana. 5.Definir políticas de integración económico – social y cultural con nuestros vecinos fronterizos.

The Hague's verdict will, therefore, determine a new outlook for the country, for which a  national agenda must be set, one that includes fundamental issues like: 1. Defining the role of the Armed Forces in our national security and sovereignty in the post-Hague phase. 2. Establishing a development policy for the fisheries industry in that area of the country. 3. Taking immediate actions regarding the situation of Chilean labourers in Peru and Peruvians who live in Chile. 4. Promoting a public investment program in the Tacna and Moquegua regions that favours South Amercian integration. 5. Formulate socioeconomic and cultural integration policies with our neighbours.

Meanwhile, as predicted by Silvio Rendón, there has been a recent upsurge in nationalism, evident in former President Alan García's proposal that the flag be raised outside homes and offices across Peru on January 27, the day when the International Court in The Hague will finally come down on one side or the other of the dispute. This has generated controversy, as the call was rejected by Peru's governing party and a number of Chilean politicians. However, García has defended his proposal, which was well received in other quarters, namely some of the country's provinces and districts.

Peru also felt the impact of the meeting that Chilean President Sebastián Piñera held with his National Security Council to analyze the potential repercussions of the ICJ decision.  Afterwards, and in the face of criticism by certain Chilean politicians, the country's Minister of the Interior, Andrés Chadwick, declared that the meeting “did not point to a situation of a military or bellicose nature.” 

Nevertheless, Chile's digital newspaper El Mostrador published information in July of 2013 about military preparations in both Chile and Peru in anticipation for an adverse decision by the ICJ or a situation in which one of the two countries refused to comply. More recently, the Peruvian pro-military blogger Report Perú publicized alleged early warning measures by the Peruvian Armed Forces. 

There are fewer than 10 days to go before the judgment by the International Court of Justice in The Hague; so many things could still happen, and rumours and controversy are sure to continue to abound. But one valid reflection was made by the lawyer Francisco Canaza on his blog Apuntes Peruanos, referring to a prior ruling by the ICJ regarding the territorial and maritime dispute between Colombia and Nicaragua [en], which resulted in Colombia not recognizing the Court's decision and withdrawing from the Pacto de Bogotá, a treaty whose signatories [a majority of Latin American countries] are obliged to resolve their conflicts through pacific means, awarding jurisdiction to the ICJ:

sin ser el caso Peru – Chile ante la Corte Internacional de Justicia de La Haya un proceso similar al de Nicaragua – Colombia, ¿Chile podría, como Colombia, denunciar (retirarse) del Pacto de Bogotá y así evitar la ejecución de un fallo “no ajustado a derecho”?

Although Peru – Chile, now before the International Court of Justice in The Hague, is not necessarily similar to the case of Nicaragua – Colombia, could Chile, like Colombia, denounce (withdraw from) the Pacto de Bogotá [en] and thereby avoid enforcement of a ruling that is “not consistent with the law”?

Post originally published on Juan Arellano's blog Globalizado.

January 11 2014

“No”, the Brilliant and Optimistic Campaign that Boosted a Revolution

“No” campaign logo. Released to public domain.

Augusto Pinochet, perpetrator of the 1973 coup d’etat in Chile, fell from power by the force of the ballot box in 1988. He is history’s only dictator who organized an election to decide his future, and was deposed democratically. As in any political race, there were campaigns supporting each side. The “Yes” was advocating for Pinochet’s reelection; the “No” aimed to put an end to the military dictatorship. Openly airing an advertising message against a military regime that controls the media is a heroic task, even today. But the “No” campaign used an optimistic message — bringing about a paradigm shift in the art of presenting raw and painful human rights issues — and with that was able to propel a revolution.

The 2012 film “No” by Pablo Larraín, tells the story – without being a documentary – of the October 5, 1988 referendum on Pinochet in a positive light. The central character – René Saavedra (Gabriel García Bernal) is a bright young advertising agency creative and the son of a well-respected opposition figure who returns to Chile after growing up in exile in Mexico. His talent and family background lead the “No” campaign leader, José Tomás Urrutia (Luis Gnecco), ask him to participate in the strategy and design of the “fringe” (a name given to the official 15 minute television program used for political propaganda by all parties during elections).

At the beginning of the process, members of the Concertación (the group of opposition parties) wanted to show the vicious reality of the dictatorship: murders, tortures and disappearances, as a way to open people’s eyes and lean public opinion towards their just cause. René managed to convince the opposition to bet on selling democracy as a desirable product rather than emphasizing the dark realities of the present. “No” became the campaign that talked about the joy of living in freedom. And the “No” beat Pinochet.

It would be naive to think that an advertising campaign alone was able to overthrow a dictator. But it is interesting to consider the idea proposed by this campaign: re-thinking the way we advocate today by shifting the focus on the negative, the vile and painful towards hope and happiness and – why not humor – that the future may hold. In recent years, we have witnessed multiple revolutionary movements around the world, but also many instances of mass violence and injustice. Many of us have reached the point of an overload of messages of struggle that are so often disheartening. Media studies scholars like Wendy Johnston and Graham Davey have studied the ways in which this abundance of images and stories of atrocities online can be enough to leave one feeling apathetic, even helpless. It may be critical to find new ways to spread this sense of urgency towards achieving peace and freedom — many activists are doing this already, and finding great success. The humorous “No Woman, No Drive” (a spoof on Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry”) video created by Saudi comedian Hisham Fageeh to support the Women2Drive campaign in Saudi Arabia is a terrific example of this kind of ingenuity — Syria Untold, a web platform that highlights creative and journalistic projects within the non-violent Syrian uprising, is another.

The harsh realities that people in these situations face still need to be documented and shared openly — but we can complement these narratives with humor, hope, and an optimistic approach towards realizing the changes this planet is looking for.

On a recent edition of GV Face, co-founder Ethan Zuckerman and GV editors Solana Larsen, Sahar Habib Ghazi, and Ellery Roberts Biddle discussed the ins and outs of “solutions journalism.”

January 10 2014

Latin America's Black Metal Fans, Punks and Otakus

Santiago, Lima, Mexico City and Oaxaca have been some of the cities in which photographer Carla Mc-Kay has photographed punks, thrashers, transvestites, black metal fans, new waves and otakus, recording their everyday lives in their habitat.

Sentidos Comunes has published Carla Mc-Kay's photographs in a photo essay titled “Street Youth” [es].

December 13 2013

Spanish Television Show Does Not Represent Reality of Expats in Santiago

Madrid native David Sigüenza [es] watched a recent episode [es] of Spanish program “Madrileños por el Mundo,” focusing on Chilean capital Santiago, “hoping to see a representation of the reality of this city, where many young Spanish people have found themselves living due to the crisis faced by our country.”

“Madrileños por el Mundo” shows the lives of Madrileños (people from Madrid) living in other countries. However, David says that the stories about life in Santiago portrayed by the program were unrepresentative of the reality of “the exiled Madrileños in Santiago.”

For example, the program included the story of a Spanish woman married to a lawyer; “Her life consisted of going to the golf club, then to the shops, afterwards to the gym and to look after her children – a typical day for anyone, right?” writes David.

The reality here is much more difficult than [this story], the reality is about people who earn a little more than 1000 Euros a month [a low salary earned by countless Spaniards] but who are better off here in Santiago than filling up unemployment lists in Spain. It's about people who fight to live with dignity and get ahead with the hope of one day returning to their country. It's about people who save month after month to be able to afford a plane ticket that will take them to see their loved ones who are more than 10,000 km and a month's wage away.

The complete entry can be found in his blog [es].

December 04 2013

PHOTOS: 5 Places of Remembrance in Santiago, Chile

Former torture and detention centre Londres 38 on September 11, 2013. Photo by user Hi Sashi on Flickr, under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Former torture and detention centre Londres 38 on September 11, 2013. Photo by user Hi Sashi on Flickr, under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

In the blog Memory in Latin America, Lillie Langtry has published a series of posts about “places of memory” in Chile's capital, Santiago: buildings or sites related to the military coup d'état that overthrew socialist president Salvador Allende on September 11, 1973, and the 17-year dictatorship led by Augusto Pinochet. This year, 2013, marked 40 years since the coup.

1. Museum of Memory and Human Rights

Museum of Memory and Human Rights. Photo by Giovanni A. Pérez on Flickr, under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Museum of Memory and Human Rights. Photo by Giovanni A. Pérez on Flickr, under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC 2.0)

This online tour starts with the Museum of Memory and Human Rights [es], “a large and striking site”, as Lillie explains:

Sadly you're not allowed to take photographs inside, which is a real shame, because the most striking feature for me is the huge wall of photographs of the disappeared reaching up across the entire space. There is also a point where you can stand and look out at it and locate individual names and faces.

On the ground floor various terminals show footage of the 1973 coup and its aftermath. As you move upstairs, different areas cover aspects like exiles and international solidarity, media coverage, and torture – including, chillingly, an electric shock device (made by General Electric – not suggesting they intended it to be used for that purpose!). There are also items made by prisoners and photographs of memorial sites throughout Chile.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the Museum of Memory and Human Rights, Chile. Photo by Jen Dyer on Flickr, under a Creative Commons license

Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the Museum of Memory and Human Rights, Chile. Photo by Jen Dyer on Flickr, under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Lillie also notes that, “[T]his is explicitly not a space where you will get some sort of pseudo-neutrality or weighing up of the pro- and anti-Pinochet factions as equal”, and she quotes the museum's catalogue:

“The task of building a memory must be guided by a moral compass; we must build a reading of the collective trauma that goes above and beyond what is evident, a history of victims and criminals, guilty and innocent. The goal in the museum's construction of memory is to become a space that assists the culture of human rights and democratic values in becoming the share ethical basis of our present and future coexistence. Only in this way can we empower our claim of NEVER AGAIN.”

You can see more photos of the museum (including some from the inside) on Flickr.

2. Londres 38

“40 Years of Fighting and Resistance”: Londres 38, former torture and detention centre in Santiago, Chile. Photo by the Municipality of Santiago on Flickr, under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

In another post, Lillie writes about a former detention and torture centre called Londres 38:

It was used by the DINA (secret police) as a torture and holding centre for regime opponents, at least 98 of whom died there or afterwards [es]. In front of the building, victims’ names are embedded among the cobble stones (similar to the Stolperstein in Germany).

She adds:

I was initially a little surprised at the condition of the walls, but of course it makes far more sense to see it like this than artificially spruced up. You certainly get more of a sense for the suffering that took place there; although it's also really amazing to think how central the location is. writes that the building was known for the loud classical music coming from it – pretty chilling when you realise what that music was covering up.

Londres 38 on September 11, 2013. Photo by César Castillo on Flickr, under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Londres 38 on September 11, 2013. Photo by César Castillo on Flickr, under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

3. La Moneda

La Moneda, Chile's presidential palace. Photo by user alobos Life on Flickr, under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

La Moneda, Chile's presidential palace. Photo by user Alobos Life on Flickr, under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Lillie also includes a post about Chile's presidential palace, which was bombed during the coup on September 11, 1973.

Francisco Vergara Perucich writes about the bombing in Democracities:

This building, considered a symbol of national independence and republican tradition, a built expression of the social progression, was completely burned and destroyed by the own military forces that swore loyalty to the nation and its constitution. Imagine two F-16s bombing the White House, or two Typhoons bombing Buckingham Palace… A scene really hard to believe. This attack was a sign of the end of a republican and democratic era.

Forty years since the military coup. La Moneda. Photo by Hi Sashi on Flickr, under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Forty years since the military coup. La Moneda. Photo by Hi Sashi on Flickr, under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

4. Memorial for the Disappeared

Memorial for those detained, those who disappeared and those who were executed for political reasons. Photo by user Nuevasantiago on Flickr, under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Memorial for those detained, those who disappeared and those who were executed for political reasons. Photo by user Nuevasantiago on Flickr, under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

In her last post in the series about places of memory in Santiago, Lillie mentions the Memorial for the Disappeared: ”a large, stone wall with a list of victims carved into it”.

She explains that the memorial is inside a cemetery:

I always really like seeing a memorial used, actually part of the fabric of life. In this case, at the bottom of the memorial are many notes, photos, little plaques, flowers, and so on. It's a sombre site but then, it is in a graveyard. The important thing is these victims did not previously have anywhere where their families could go to mourn them and to mark their lives, and now they do, and they are acknowledged in the chief cemetery of the capital city as being part of the country's history.
Raúl Valdés Stoltze. Memorial for the Disappeared. Photo by Paul Lowry on Flickr, under a Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.0)

Raúl Valdés Stoltze. Memorial for the Disappeared. Photo by Paul Lowry on Flickr, under a Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.0)

Visit Lilie's blog for more posts about memory and human rights in Latin America. You can also follow her on Twitter: @Lillie_Langtry.

5. The National Stadium

Chile's National Stadium. Photo from Wikimedia Commons, under a Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.0)

Chile's National Stadium. Photo from Wikimedia Commons, under a Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.0)

Finally, we'd like to add one more place of remembrance in Santiago, Chile: the National Stadium (Estadio Nacional in Spanish), which was used as a detention and torture center.

As Pascale Bonnefoy explains in Global Post, “Estimates of the total number of prisoners range from 7,000 to 20,000, including about 1,000 women. [...] Torture took place on the cycling track, in administrative offices, in corridors and on fields. There is no solid figure on how many people were killed or disappeared from the stadium.”

Remembering the prisoners 40 years later, on September 11, 2013 at the National Stadium. Photo by Pablo Trincado on Flickr under a Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.0)

Remembering the prisoners 40 years later, on September 11, 2013 at the National Stadium. Photo by Pablo Trincado on Flickr under a Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.0)

November 18 2013

Michelle Bachelet Wins Chilean Election But Will Face Runoff

Michelle Bachelet votes on November 17, 2013 in Santiago, Chile. Photo by prensachile3, copyright Demotix

Michelle Bachelet votes on November 17, 2013 in Santiago, Chile. Photo by prensachile3, copyright Demotix

With 46.7% of the vote, former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet was the clear winner of Chile's presidential election. However, the former Executive Director of UN Women will have to face a runoff election in December against conservative candidate Evelyn Matthei, who came in second with 25% of the vote.

Bachelet's win didn't come as a surprise, as some forecasts had even predicted that she could've won an absolute majority of the vote in the first round.

But on social networks users had voiced their discontent with Bachelet's candidacy and her previous administration throughout the campaign. After yesterday's results, many are commenting about the difference between views on social networks and reality in Chile:

A tip for brands: After these election results you know that social networks have NO weight.

[If you voted for Bachelet] I'm glad to know that social networks don't represent reality. We are a group of privileged people with a smartphone.

[If you voted for Bachelet] you probably don't have Twitter.

I would like to know how many of those using #SiVotastePorBachelet went out to vote….You can't change the country on social networks!!

The hashtag #SiVotastePorBachelet [If you voted for Bachelet] began trending in Chile on election day, and has been trending today too, a day after the election.

[If you voted for Bachelet] don't complain about student protests.

[If you voted for Bachelet]
-Start saying goodbye to your Pyme (small and medium-sized business)
-Less sustainability
-Welcome Monsanto
-More thermoelectric plants
Should I continue?

Conservative candidate Evelyn Matthei will face Michelle Bachelet in a runoff vote on December 15, 2013. Photo by Fernando Lavoz, copyright Demotix

Conservative candidate Evelyn Matthei will face Michelle Bachelet in a runoff vote on December 15, 2013. Photo by Fernando Lavoz, copyright Demotix

Meanwhile, Jeaneth Alexandra points out:

The presence of women is getting stronger. Two [female] candidates, Bachelet and Matthei, to the runoff for the presidency in Chile.

And Bachelet and Matthei supporters congratulate their candidates:

Congratulations to the next president of my country…a woman full of convictions. I'm with you [Michelle Bachelet]

We are going for that runoff on December 15, for a government full of changes

Finally, with a conciliatory attitude, Julio Arriagada writes:

Excellent for Chileans who voted. Now we must motivate those who didn't care about voting. Congratulations to Bachelet and Matthei. Viva Chile!

November 17 2013

Chileans Abroad Hold Symbolic Vote with Surprising Results

Results are in for votes cast by Chileans living abroad who participated in a symbolic election through the online platform “Voto Ciudadano” [es, Citizen vote], since Chilean law does not allow voting from overseas.

The results show a surprising difference with the forecasts made by pollsters in Chile, which placed Michelle Bachelet -the candidate from the left wing Nueva Mayoría [New Majority] coalition- as the winner, and Evelyn Matthei -the candidate from the right wing Alianza [Alliance] coalition- in second place.

According to these results, however, Michelle Bachelet would compete in a run-off election with Marcel Claude, the candidate from the Partido Humanista [Humanist Party].

Results #VotoExterior via @elquintopoder

The symbolic vote had a high turnout, as detailed on Twitter by El Quinto Poder:

The votes on #VotoExterior were 12,486 and were cast from 105 countries all around the world.

This map shows the countries where the votes were cast:

Countries where most of the votes came from #VotoExterior via @elquintopoder

These are some reactions on Twitter about this symbolic election:

I would have never guessed the % of the vote from abroad, here are the results

Even though it was symbolic, it was still exciting.

Thanks to #votociudadano [citizen vote] I was able to vote today from Mexico. Good initiative! We have to keep fighting for the vote from abroad.

People living abroad know! It's terrible that those votes are not valid :/

In the Voto Ciudadano website [es] you can find more details about the vote from abroad and its results.

November 14 2013

PHOTOS: Humans of Latin America

“She laughed, laughed and laughed while she waited for inter-provincial transportation. Tiraque, Cochabamba”.
Photo by Mijhail Calle for Humans of Bolivia, used with permission.

Inspired by photographer Brandon Stanton's blog Humans of New York (HONY), professional and amateur photographers across the world have created blogs and Facebook pages where they collect images and stories of people from all walks of life –and Latin America has not been an exception.

Stanton's idea has inspired Latin American photographers who want to showcase their country or city through portraits of its diverse people.

This is a brief overview of some of the “Humans of…” projects in the region.

Humans of Buenos Aires

“Come and visit me whenever you want. I'm sorry I can't offer you mate [local beverage] but I have no place to heat up water.” Photo by Jimena Mizrahi, used with permission.

Freelance photographer Jimena Mizrahi started Humans of Buenos Aires in May 2012, and her Facebook page has attracted over 11,000 likes.

Her project also caught the attention of a city official, which resulted in the first Humans of Buenos Aires exhibition. The Argentina Independent reports that “the exhibition ‘Micro historias del Microcentro’ featured displays of portraits of individuals who live or work in the city’s central business district”.

Jimena told The Argentina Independent that she does Humans of Buenos Aires “not only because I simply love interacting with people, but because each of these interactions is a lesson. Every person is a world.”

“-I can't believe it! A woman cab driver!
-Of course, do you think that women can't be taxi drivers? It's time to stop being surprised when women do things that aren't common for their gender, there aren't things for men or women.”
Photo by Jimena Mizrahi, used with permission.

Humans of Colombia and Humans of Bogotá

“A Wayuu girl, daughter of a restaurant owner in Uribia.”
Photo by Gábor Szentpétery, used with permission.

Humans of Colombia was created by designer Maurent Roa and architect Gábor Szentpétery. During their travels the couple met Mauricio Romero, who has joined the project and contributed some photographs. While traveling, they also noticed that many people didn't know much about Colombia or had a negative perception of the country; with this project they aim to show a different side of Colombia.

“The idea is to represent Colombia through its people because ethnic diversity in Colombia is incredible. It is a mixture of Amerindians, Spanish and African descendants, and that's what we want to show the world,” Maurent explains.

“Carmen Lorena grew up on a coffee plantation estate about three hours from Bogotá, but she thinks the city life is not for her, she prefers the countryside where she will stay after finishing her studies.”
Photo by Mauricio Romero, used with permission.

“What is your perception of love, and your favorite way to love?”
-”I think that love is everything, it makes up everything that surrounds us and I'd say that my favorite way to love is…breathing”.
Photo by John Cardona, used with permission.

For more photos from Colombia, you can also visit Humans of Bogotá, a page created in August 2013 by John Cardona and Jonathan Arévalo.

John and Jonathan are motivated by the response they've received, and by the chance to meet new people and hear stories that they can show the world through their page. They say that this movement “shows how we can all identify with someone, no matter how far they live.”

“One wish?
-Safety in all of Bogotá.
-Tranquillity and peace”
Photo by John Cardona, used with permission.

Humans of Bolivia

“In Sipe Sipe – Cochabamba, the man said ‘take this abroad'. Then he began playing his charango.”
Photo by Mijhail Calle, used with permission.

Created on November 3, 2013, Humans of Bolivia is one of the newest Facebook pages to mirror Humans of New York in the region. Estelí Puente and Mijhail Calle want to create the same empathy they saw in the New York project and similar projects like Humans of Amsterdam, “the feeling that humanity is formed by individuals with their own stories.”

Although Mijhail takes most of the photographs, they are reaching out to other photographers who can share images from different parts of Bolivia. “This dynamic is also allowing us to create a space to share and discuss the role of the image and photography in the construction of our identities, so for now it looks like this will be more than a series of portraits. We want it to be a reason to reflect about ourselves,” Estelí explains.

“There are not many amauta women, it's hard to be one, but I am. Now I'm part of the union”.
Photo by Mijhail Calle, used with permission.

Humans of Honduras

“My biggest desire is for politicians to turn a blind eye to the colors of their parties, and for their focus to be solely on the betterment and unity of their country. This is the only way in which Honduras will be able to move forward.”
Photo by Claudia, used with permission.

Claudia Elvir and Daniela Mejía “invite you to get to know Honduras through its people” on their Facebook page Humans of Honduras.

Claudia started following Stanton's blog and was impressed by how he not only “captured impressive photographs, but also used them to capture the humanity behind each portrait, and how each photograph told a story that resonated in the hearts of the readers.”

Her friend Daniela conducts the interviews. Claudia and Daniela want to change the violent and negative image that the world has about Honduras, and they also want to change the way Hondurans see their own country.

Through their photographs and interviews, Claudia and Daniela hope to show that Honduras is a country “full of hard-working people, people with dreams, ambitions, joys and sorrows just like in every corner of the world.”

“I asked him to smile and very amiably he said, ‘I would like to, but in this job you have to be serious.’ and with that he demonstrated how appearances are deceiving.”
Photo by Claudia, used with permission.

Humans of Guatemala

“Slow but steady! Yes, it´s a long way to go, but I will make it.”
Photo by Elmer Alvarez, used with permission.

Elmer Alvarez had already been taking photographs of people around Guatemala before starting the Facebook page Humans of Guatemala in September 2013. Wendy Del Aguila, who now writes the captions, told Elmer about Humans of New York and he felt motivated to start a similar page about Guatemala.

Elmer and Wendy seek to capture “spontaneous moments of these extraordinary people reflecting their smile, passion, curiosity, hard work, shyness, kindness and most important their uniqueness!”

La Teacher-

La Teacher-”Let Your Smile Change The World”
Photo by Elmer Alvarez, used with permission

More “Humans of…” projects

“Every morning Don Pedro has opened his taqueria in this small village for two years. He has the usual clients and he gives out free tacos to all the minibus drivers who stop their minibus near his stand. “
Photo by Humans of Mexico, used with permission

The image above comes from Humans of Mexico, a page created in March 2010. Also from Mexico, Humans of Mexico City seeks to create a “photographic census of Mexico City. One street portrait at a time.”

Humans of Costa Rica, a page created in July of 2013, has more than 1,700 likes.

In Brazil, the Humans of Rio de Janeiro Facebook page is one of the most active in the region, and has over 9,000 likes.

Some Facebook pages -like Humans of Nicaragua, Humans of Panama, and Humans of Santiago, Chile- ask users to contribute photographs to the project. Others -like Humans of Quito, Humans of Lima, Humans of Peru, and Humans of Asunción- have been created less than a month ago.

Have we missed any “Humans of…” projects from South or Central America? Let us know in the comments!

November 05 2013

‘Women Should Be Submissive', and Other Google Autocomplete Suggestions

A series of ads by UN Women, revealed in late October, used the Google Autocomplete feature to uncover widespread negative attitudes toward women. Global Voices followed reactions to the UN Women campaign and conducted its own experiment in different languages. The results of searches conducted both within the UN Women campaign and Global Voices revealed popular attitudes not only about women’s social and professional roles, but also about their sexuality, appearance and relationships with men.

UN Women ad featuring Google autocomplete suggestions for the phrase

UN Women ad featuring Google autocomplete suggestions for the phrase “women shouldn't”

The creators of the UN Women ads used search phrases like “women cannot”, “women shouldn’t”, “women should” and “women need to” completed by genuine Google search terms to highlight overwhelmingly negative stereotypes, sexist and highly discriminatory views held about women by society globally. The ads quickly went viral and sparked a heated discussion online. Last week, creators have announced that they are planning to expand the campaign in response to the mass online reaction.

The auto-complete function for searches, according to Google, predicts users’ queries based on the search activity of all users of the web as well as the content of indexed pages. The predictions may also be influenced by past searches of the particular user if they are signed into their Google account.

Global Voices asked its contributors from around the world to carry out Google searches using the same or similar phrases as those used in the UN Women campaign, in their own languages. The searches done between October 19 and October 25, 2013, revealed attitudes about the roles women are expected to take in society, often demonstrating the same global prejudices, but sometimes showing contradictions in different countries. Below are searches in 12 languages from different countries and continents:



“Women should not…”. A screenshot by Silvia Viñas. October 21, 2013.

Women should not…
Women should not preach
Women should not work
Women should not talk in the congregation
Women should not drive


“Women cannot…” A screenshot by Juan Arellano. October 21, 2013.

Women cannot…
Women cannot preach
Women cannot be pastors
Women cannot donate blood
Women cannot live without man

Puerto Rico

“Women should…”. A screenshot by Firuzeh Shokooh Valle. October 21, 2013.

Women should…
Women should be submissive
Women should use the veil
Women should preach
Women should work



“Women should…”. A screenshot by Suzanne Lehn. October 21, 2013.

Women should…
women should stay at home
women should work
should women preach
women should wear skirts
women should be submissive
women should know
women should vote
women should stay at home
should women work
women should do the cooking

“Women don't know…”. A screen shot by Rayna St. October 21, 2013.

Women don’t know…
women don't know how to drive
women don't know what they want
women don't know how to be in love
women don't know how to read cards


Egypt (similar results in Jordan)

“Woman cannot…”. A screenshot by Tarek Amr. October 21, 2013.

Woman cannot…
Woman cannot live without marriage
Woman cannot live without a man
Woman cannot keep a secret
Woman cannot interpret man's silence


“Women cannot…”. A screenshot by Gloria Wang. October 21, 2013.

Women cannot…
Women cannot be too smart
Women can't drive
Women cannot give birth
10 topics women cannot discuss with their husbands


“Women should not…”. A screenshot by Diana Lungu. October 21, 2013.

women should not…
women should be loved not understood
women should not be understood
women should not wear pants
what women should not do in bed



“Women should…”. A screenshot by Gaia Resta. October 22, 2013.

Women should…
Women should stay at home
should play hard to get
should stay in the kitchen
should be subdued

“Women should not…”. A screenshot by Gaia Resta. October 22, 2013.

Women should not…
Women should not be understood
should not work
should not be understood but loved
should not read



“Woman should not…”. A screenshot by Katrin Zinoun. October 21, 2013.

Woman should not…
Woman should not teach
My wife should not work

“Woman can…”. A screenshot by Katrin Zinoun. October 21, 2013.

Woman can….
Woman cannot come
Woman cannot get pregnant
Woman cannot cook
Woman cannot get a baby


“Women don't…”. A screenshot by
Gilad Lotan. October 21, 2013.

Women don't…
Women don't work
Women are not modest
Women don't know how to drive
Women don't want to have kids


“A woman should be…”. A screenshot by Marietta Le.
October 21, 2013.

A woman should be…
a woman should be a chef in the kitchen
a woman should be pretty and ruthless


“Women cannot…”. A screenshot by Solana Larsen. October 20, 2013.

Women cannot…
Women cannot drive
Women cannot control vagina
Women cannot be color blind
Women cannot barbecue

In Danish, the searches for “women cannot” and “women can” yielded the same results.


“Women should not…”. A screenshot by Veronica Khokhlova. October 19, 2013.

Women should not…
Women should not be believed
Women should not lift heavy things
Women should not drink
Women should not be trusted


The UK

“Women should…”. A screenshot by Annie Zaman. October 25, 2013.

Women should…
Women should be seen and not heard
Women should stay at home
Women should know their place

 Not all searches carried out by members of Global Voices community turned up negative terms. Nevertheless, the results of the experiment largely confirm UN Women’s worrying conclusion that a great deal of work still remains to be done in order to advance women’s rights and empowerment around the world.

October 24 2013

This Weekend at Developing Latin America 2013 Apps Challenge (Part II)

Foto obtenida del set en Facebook de Desarrollando América Latina.

Photo from Desarrollando América Latina Facebook page.

We continue the virtual tour of the countries participating in the third edition of Desarrollando América Latina [Developing Latin America]-#DAL2013. (See the first part here.)

Bolivia's [es] envisioning meeting took place a few weeks ago and they were also preparing for Demo Day. And although the organizers have not been very active on social networks, [es] they have been virtually supporting participants.

Learn about social issues to be worked on in Bolivia during #DAL2013

Tired of your work being a machine?

The people of Chile [es] are among the most enthusiastic about #DAL2013:

Preparation for #dal2013 in Chile :)

Learn more about the first #DAL2013 Chile workshop on Flickr

Days from hackathon #DAL2013 Chile! Check out what we've done so far

In Chile, preparations for the close of a successful day. #DAL2013 participants creating real solutions!

We share the Dynamic Management workshop at #DAL2013. Don't forget Oct. 26 is the end.

In Argentina [es] there have been a couple of preparatory meetings, but the actual hackathon will be the 25th of this month:

This Thursday at 19:30h will be the preview of #DAL2013, join in to think about technological solutions with social impact

And so we start Argentina's #DAL2013.  Crazy photos

The presentations of the projects begin

Argentina presents the projects for #DAL2013. Follow it live here

Click here to see the #DAL2013 Argentina projects

#Dal2013 Argentina is the hackathon where there are more girls than programmers

It is the first time [es] that Paraguay [es] is participating in a DAL event and expectations are high:

The day has arrived! #DAL2013 in Paraguay is a reality! Thanks to all for the support and effort, now all that remains is….

Paraguay. Day 1. Just started

In Paraguay #DAL2013 is not over! The teams continue developing!

There is still enthusiasm and will for @dalparaguay. The second day of #DAL2013 has been amazing!

talking about the environment in Paraguay :)

In Uruguay [es] there is once again a month dedicated to open data and the following tweets are only part of all the activity going on in Montevideo:

In Uruguay, the expedition is in development. The data is an unknown universe!

Subgroups present the results of the Data Expedition at the #OktoberDATAFEST

Thank you for the beautiful note about the #OktoberDATAFEST

Starting the #OktoberDATAFEST

This goes to show that anybody can participate in a hackathon!

And Brazil [es] is fulfilling its schedule of activities with a view towards Demo Day on this October 26.

The schedule of activities for the Brazilian edition of #DAL2013 has been published. Check it out, share it, and sign up!

This is #DAL2013 Brazil. Tomorrow 10 other countries have their turn.

We are on the third day of #DAL2013. Developers energetically brewing up ideas!

DAL Brazil 2013 Day 1 video

Prototype Saturday at DAL2013 Brazil

This has been a quick panorama of the activities in 12 Latin American countries participating in #DAL2013, but this isn't all that has happened; the central organization of #DAL2013 has been organizing and coordinating workshops for the participants, and many have had thoughts about Developing Latin America:

Open government isn't just transparency, it's openness to prioritize, create and implement policy and tools WITH its citizens

In a few minutes, a presentation of @EscuelaDeDatos, #DAL2013 and data scraping will begin. There will be a hangout 

What's cool about #DAL2013 is the interest generated by developers to create social solutions, hopefully it will be a success!

This October 26 at our Demo Day you can find out the results of #DAL2013. Stay tuned for more details!

We will soon bring you more updates about this year's Developing Latin America.

October 23 2013

16 Books on Latin American Street Art

In Latin America, street art is of major cultural relevance. The region’s traditions of social movements and revolution have allowed the form to give voice to otherwise unheard sectors of the population. Of course, not all street art is politically or socially-oriented in content, but it does often provide insight into specific objectives and ideals.

Nick MacWilliam from Sounds and Colours browsed the online store Amazon “to see what’s readily available for those who are interested in the subject of street art in Latin America.” He recommends 16 books on the subject, covering Haiti, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Colombia, Mexico, Argentina and more.

October 18 2013

Chile: Police Special Forces Evict Mapuche Community From Contested Lands

temucuicui Photo by Donmatas1 on Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

“Welcome to the Temucuicui Autonomous Community” Photo by Donmatas1 on Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

In the early morning of Wednesday, October 9, riot police and members of the Group of Special Operations (GOPE in Spanish), an elite, special unit of the Chilean Police, raided the Temucuicui Autonomous Community [es], an indigenous Mapuche community located near the town of Ercilla in the Araucania Region of Southern Chile.

A self-denominated “autonomous” community, Temucuicui has occupied what they consider to be ancestral lands for over two years. They have resisted several eviction attempts, and their resistance has landed many community leaders and members in jail.

The land where the community lives is part of what the Mapuche call “Wallmapu”, meaning Mapuche country, where clashes between police forces and Mapuche activists are common. Currently, these lands are contested, but legally owned by landowners Rene Urban, Martin Ruf and the Zeit family.

News site Terra [es], one of the few to speak to the police, cited [es] Commissioner Major Salomón Zenteno, the Commissioner in charge of the 2nd Police Station of Malleco, explaining details about the operation that morning:

Esta orden de desalojo comenzó alrededor de las 09:15 horas, participando aproximadamente unos 60 funcionarios a cargo del coronel Marcelo Teuber Muñoz de la Prefectura de Malleco”, dijo el comisario, agregando que “tuvimos dos detenidos, el señor Mijael Carbone (werkén o vocero) y su cónyuge. Durante el desalojo resultó una carabinera lesionada por la conviviente de Mijael Carbone, quien a oponer resistencia a su detención efectuó varios puntapiés, golpeando una de las manos de la carabinera.

“This eviction order began to be [implemented] at around 09:15 with the participation of approximately 60 officers under the command of Colonel Marcelo Teuber Muñoz from the Malleco prefecture”, said the Commissioner. He added that “we had two arrests: Mr. Mijael Carbone (werkén or spokesperson) and his partner. During the eviction, a police woman was injured in her hand by Mijael Carbone's partner when she kicked repeatedly while resisting arrest.”

[Note: In Latin America, the rank of Commissioner often refers only to the police official in charge of a single police station and not the entire police force, as is often the case in the UK or other countries.]

In a public statement, the community expressed its complaints and concerns about this operation and the broader context in which it occurs:

 1.- El día de ayer Miércoles 09 de Octubre de 2013, se produjeron dos graves hechos de violencia por parte los aparatos represivos del Estado Chileno, quienes una vez más han violentado nuestros derechos y la tranquilidad de la Comunidad, mediante la irrupción, incursión y militarización violenta a nuestras tierras, allanando y destruyendo todos los bienes y sembrados que poseemos en los predios que hemos denominado recuperación productiva y control territorial de nuestra tierra ancestral, hoy en manos de particulares.

1.- On Wednesday, October 9 of 2013, two serious, violent incidents were carried out by the repressive apparatus of the Chilean State. Once again, they have violated our rights and the tranquility of the community, through the intrusion and the violent militarization of our lands. They have raided and destroyed all our goods and the crops that we possess in lands that we consider under “productive recovery” and which today are controlled by private landowners.

The statement added:

 3.- Con esta grave y violenta arremetida policial, queda claramente demostrado que no existe la voluntad política y administrativa de parte el Estado Chileno en solucionar las demandas de nuestra comunidad. La “voluntad de diálogo” que supuestamente han manifestado, no es más que una práctica histórica de engaño y manipulación hacia el Pueblo Mapuche, por cuanto nuestra comunidad continuará reivindicando nuestro legítimo derecho a la tierra y territorio usurpado. Lamentamos que las autoridades de gobierno no hayan sido capaces de solucionar nuestras demandas, solo han respondido con una fuerte represión y maltrato a nuestra gente y con nuestras Autoridades Tradicionales, militarizando y sitiando completamente a nuestra comunidad.

3.- This serious and violent police advance demonstrates that the Chilean State does not have the political and administrative will to solve the demands of our community. The “will to dialogue” that they have supposedly expressed, is nothing more than a long-held practice of deceit and manipulation against the Mapuche People. For that reason, our community will continue to reivindicate our legitimate rights to stolen lands. We regret that government authorities have not been capable of solving our demands. They only have responded with the strong repression and mistreatment of our people and our Traditional Authorities. [They have] militarized and completely sieged our community

Hours after the operation, Azkintuwe [es], the first Mapuche media outlet in Chile, reported [es]:

Según el Werken Jorge Huenchullan, son alrededor de 300 efectivos policiales los que irrumpieron violentamente, destrozando casas y atropellando rebaños de ovejas pertenecientes a la comunidad, arrojando un saldo de 15 animales muertos y otros tantos heridos, “todos propiedad de los peñi”

According to Werken (leader/spokesperson) Jorge Huenchullan, about 300 police officers violently entered [the community], destroying homes and running over a flock of sheep that belonged to the community, leaving 15 animals dead and several wounded. “All belong to the peñis (brother in Mapudungun, the Mapuche language)

The Ajayula Magazine [es], republished [es] a post with the testimony of a Susana Curinao, a 25-year-old woman and member of the Temucuicui Autonomous Community. She explains that in the morning of October 9 they saw police forces destroying fences the community had erected to protect their sowed cereals. Mijael approached the person who was in charge of the operation to talk to them, while Susana filmed everything with her cellphone. She says that at least 20 police officers grabbed Mijael and kicked him. When Susana ran over to the officers to ask them to release Mijael, two female officers grabbed her. She says that 12 officers “dealt with her”

Me agarraron de la cabeza y el pelo para echarme hacia el suelo y me pateaban por detrás mientras otros me amarraban las manos atrás con algo como un elástico que hacía mucha presión sobre mis manos y de esa forma me subieron al un furgón policial. Arriba creo que sufrí lo peor que le puede ocurrir a una mujer en cualquier parte, donde quizás el insulto más suave que me dijeron fue “india puta, hija de borrachos, hedionda a culo, descendiente de ratas…”. También me decian que un día nos harían desaparecer a todos los mapuche así como lo había hecho su general con los comunistas, eso no lo entendí mucho pero creo que se referían a Pinochet…

They grabbed my head and hair to put me on the ground. They kicked me from behind while others tied my hands with something like a rubber band that put a lot of pressure in my hands. They put me in a police van. Inside, I suffered the worse that can happen to a woman anywhere. The softest insult I received was “indian whore, drunkard daughter, you smell like ass, rat’s descendant…”. They also said that one day they will make all of the Mapuche disappear, just like their General had done with the communists. I didn’t understand that much, but I think they referred to Pinochet…

On Twitter, many shared reactions using the hashtag #temucuicui:

Meanwhile, in Temucuicui…

Mijael Carbone and his wife detained, now in Angol, after violent raid in Temucuicui

Families of Temucuicui re-enter lands without fear of another eviction

In an article for Revista Anfibia [es], Carolina Rojas [es] explored the long-term effects of the violence:

Ayer, a las diez de la mañana seguían llegando carros policiales, todo era una Franja de Gaza a 535 kilómetros de Santiago. Las noticias del horario prime, no hicieron ninguna mención. De esa indolencia sabe muy bien Karina Riquelme, abogada de algunos comuneros de la zona. “Este ha sido el allanamiento más grande de la historia y a nadie parece importarle”, comentó.

Karina dice que una cosa es el daño a los adultos y otra es ese mundo infantil resquebrajado. Vidas que están reducidas a un espacio de guerra y a pequeños momentos de felicidad donde ellos juegan a la escondida con el sonido de los grillos de fondo, montan caballo y persiguen a los cerdos y a las ovejas. Esos, son sólo interludios en un continuo de violencia.  “Los niños experimentan esas situaciones desde que tienen meses de edad, niños que no sonríen y su seriedad se intensifica con el tiempo…

Yesterday, police vehicles kept on arriving at ten in the morning. It was like the Gaza Strip, but only 535 kilometers from Santiago. Prime time news did not mention it. Karina Riquelme, lawyer of some of the community members, knows well about that indolence. “This has been the largest raid in history and no one seems to care”, she said.

Karina says that one thing is the damage done to adults and another is how children are broken. These children's lives are confined to a war zone and only get brief moments of happiness when they play hide and seek to the sound of crickets, ride a horse or chase pigs and sheep. Those moments are only the interlude in a long continuum of violence. “Children go through these situations from the time they are months old. These are children that do not smile and their seriousness intensifies as time goes by…

To learn more about the Temucuicui community and their resistance, watch this interview [es] of Mijael Carbone by Prensa Opal from December 2012:

October 17 2013

Chilean Students March to Demand Education Reform One Month Before Elections

The Confederation of Chilean Students (Confech) called for a march on October 17 to demand free and high quality education for all Chileans. Photo shared by Prensa Opal on Facebook.

The Confederation of Chilean Students (Confech) called for a march on October 17 to demand free and high quality education for all Chileans. Photo shared by Prensa Opal on Facebook.

Chilean students participated in protests calling for education reform exactly one month before the presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for November 17, 2013.

The protests are part of ongoing mobilizations calling for an overhaul in the country's education system.

The day before the protests, the University of Chile Student Federation (Fech) posted a video [es] relating the student's struggle to the national football team's efforts to qualify to the 2014 World Cup:

No one said it would be easy. Yesterday we made a big step. Today, a new stage begins. There are still matches left to win. Never again without us. See you on the 17th.

The site Revolución 3.0 [es] gathered citizen photos and live streamed the march. They also explained:

Esta marcha tiene como fin emplazar a los nueve candidatos a la presidencia de la república, sobre las medidas que tomarían en un eventual gobierno. El vocero de la Cones, Moisés Paredes, dijo que el “llamado que se le hace a todos los candidatos es claro, acá no se necesitan consignas de que van a hacer una gran reforma educacional, sino que se necesitan propuestas claras”.

The goal of this march is to summon the nine candidates for the presidency of the republic, regarding the steps they would take in a new government. Cones [National Coordinator of Secondary Students] spokesman, Moisés Paredes, said the “call to all candidates is clear, we don't need slogans saying they will carry out a great educational reform, we need clear proposals”.

TeleSur reporter Raúl Martínez wrote on Twitter:

Students warn presidential candidates that they will continue to mobilize if there are no solutions to their demands.

Citizens and media outlets shared pictures, reports and reactions with the hashtags #NosVemosEl17 [es] (See you on the 17th) and #marchaestudiantil [es] (student march):

Thousands of students begin to march.

From the Alameda [main avenue in downtown Santiago]

FREE EDUCATION these secondary school students yell without fearing repression. We continue in the student march.

Others reacted to reports of violence during the protests:

I support the student movement's cause, but why incidents again when in the end that is the only thing they will talk about

And the same dumb delinquents go out to cause disturbances after the student march…Just in time for the news, how “curious”

According to reports by the University of Chile Student Federation, 50,000 people participated in today's protests:

Today we march because we are still brave! 50 thousand people on the streets. Because without us there is no reform! [Photo: "The students teach us to be brave"]

October 10 2013

Chilean Navy and Human Rights Groups Visit Torture Site on Dawson Island

This article originally appeared in El Magallanews [es] on October 8, 2013. El Magallanews is a local, online citizen newspaper and part of our partner Mi Voz.

Bienvenida a agrupaciones de derechos humanos en Isla Dawson

Welcoming the human rights groups to Dawson Island 

Dawson Island is located at the southern tip of Chile in the Strait of Magellan, 100 km below Punta Arenas. Stretching across 129,000 hectares, it served as a concentration camp where the Ona people were interned from the end of the 19th century until the middle of the 20th. Fifty years later it became a torture facility, this time for political prisoners.

It was on the island—one the most emblematic symbols of the repression exercised by the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet—that some 400 political prisoners were held and where, 40 years later, members of their families were able to begin to heal their wounds thanks to the initiative of the Chilean Navy.

It came about when a group of more than forty members from different Human Rights groups [es] and their families visited the site on October 7 as part of the commemoration activities marking the 40 years since Chile's military coup of 1973.

The initiative was the result of a petition by the Unión Comunal de Derechos Humanos led by Francisco Alarcón, who approached the Commander-in-Chief of Naval Zone III, Rear Admiral Kurt Hartung Sabugo, with the idea of bringing the group to the island, which had again been used as a concentration camp from 1973 to 1974.

Images from the island's concentration camp:

Activities on the island

The tour began at 7:30 in the morning, when the visitors boarded the patrol vessel Piloto Sibbald, docking at site 2 of Puerto Harris around 11:30 a.m. Later the group visited the national monuments preserved on the island, namely the smokestack of the Gente Grande cattleman society's sawmill, the chapel of the Salesian mission of San Rafael, and ending with the Río Chico internment camp.

The ranking naval authority in the Strait of Magellan pointed out that this “is the third time that a Navy ship has brought a human rights group to Dawson Island, a gesture that has once again filled us with gratitude at being able to meet the needs of our citizens.”

Today Dawson Island is home to some three hundred people, mainly naval personnel and their families. The island's naval base provides training and logistical support for the ships of the third naval zone. 

Political prisoners and literature

It is worth noting that the Isla Dawson concentration camp was designed by former SS officer and war crimes fugitive Walter Rauff who fled to Chile. The camp existed under the jurisdiction of an army division headquartered in Punta Arenas, and its guards were provided alternately by the Chilean Marine Corps and members of the Chilean armed forces. 

Here lived 99 political detainees, the majority of whom were members of President Salvador Allende‘s inner circle. Among them were Sergio Vuskovic, Luis Corvalán, Anselmo Sule, Osvaldo Puccio, Arturo Jirón, Clodomiro Almeyda, Julio Palestro Rojas, Fernando Flores Labra, José Tohá and Sergio Bitar.

The latter immortalized the story of the Chilean concentration camp in his memoir entitled Dawson, Isla 10 published in 1987. The book was brought to life on the big screen in the film of the same name directed by Miguel Littín in 2009.   

Trailer for the film “Dawson, Isla 10″

October 03 2013

Vote Like a Chilean Legislator with Populus

On the new online platform [es] citizens can learn about laws, vote on them and compare their choice with decisions made by members of Congress.

Citizens can answer questions on issues like health, internet and copyright, labor, culture, the environment, and more. The site provides background information to help users learn more about the law or citizen initiative. After they cast their vote, Populus shows users which legislators support or reject that particular issue.

“Do you support or reject Chileans voting from abroad?”

Sentidos Comunes [es] adds that the platform works “like a citizen thermometer so legislators can learn what people really think.”

October 01 2013

Chilean Singer Ana Tijoux Raps Against TPP

“A puertas cerradas se decide nuestro porvenir y en cuatro paredes van dictando lo que llaman devenir”.

“Behind closed doors they decide our destiny and inside four walls they dictate what they call future”

TPP Abierto [es] shares ‘No al TPP', the new single by Chilean musician Ana Tijoux, “specially prepared as harsh criticism of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement“:

Acoustic guitars, careful string arrangements, piano and a bossa rhythm come together in an eloquent and elegant act of protest, accompanied by a video in black and white directed by Fourd Alzamora.

Did you like it? then help us spread Anita's message among your friends, on social networks and where you want, so we can all say No to TPP!

And if you want to sing, you can download the lyrics here [es]. ;)

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