Monday, June 29, 2009

Latin American Troubles

Over the past couple of months, we've been seeing countless examples of violence towards Native groups in Latin America. Most strikingly on June Eighth:
Dozens of people are estimated to have been killed in clashes between police and indigenous activists protesting oil and mining projects in the northern Peruvian Amazonian province of Bagua. Peruvian authorities have declared a military curfew, and troops are patrolling towns in the Amazon jungle. Authorities say up to twenty-two policemen have been killed, and two remain missing. The indigenous community says at least forty people, including three children, were killed by the police this weekend.
Latin American politics seem to work along a highly predictable dichotomy - a loose liberal coalition of radicalized populists and Indigenous groups, and the militant neoconservative-leaning oligarchy. Something similar happened on Sunday in Honduras:

Naturally, the remaining democratic leaders of Latin America immediately suspected American involvement, since American meddling perhaps even defines the region and moreover, a recent American attempt was made against Hugo Chavez. The Obama Administration, however, seems to be adopting the same approach here as in Iran:

Honestly, this makes so sense at all. Those protesting the anti-democratic events in Iran are seen as weak against the threat of the Americans, so endorsing them would only undermine them. Those protesting the illegal actions of the Honduran military see the US as the cause of this or historically of very similar events, and therefore endorsing them would mark a radical shift in American policies and potentially undermine their opposition. Alternatively, Obama might want a counter-American-Intervention streak to their protests since that could very effectively rally the masses.

Nonetheless, things are getting interesting down there.

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