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Articles in Latin America

Problems in Paraguay

By Martin W. Lewis | May 24, 2010 |

On April 24, 2010, Paraguay’s Congress granted its president emergency powers to combat the Paraguayan Peoples Army (EPP; Ejército del Pueblo Paraguayo). The decree, which covered five of Paraguay’s departments for one month, allowed arrests without warrants and joint police-army raids. Several commentators on the left denounced the move as an over-reaction to a

Misleading Historical Maps

By Martin W. Lewis | March 12, 2010 | 4 Comments

Many maps are misleading, but few are as consistently deceptive as the basic historical-political maps that fill the pages of most historical atlases. Such maps usually portray the polities of past, whether smallish kingdoms or vast empires, as if they were clearly bounded entities that exercised full control over their territorial domains. In actuality, most

Argentina’s Claims to the Falkland Islands, and Much More

By Martin W. Lewis | February 24, 2010 | 6 Comments

The Falkland Islands, known in Spanish as the Malvinas, are back in the news, as Argentina reasserts its claims while objecting to offshore oil exploration in the vicinity by British firms. In 1982 the Falklands made global headlines when Argentina unsuccessfully attempted to militarily wrest control of the archipelago from the United Kingdom.

The Communitarian Nation of Moskitia?

By Martin W. Lewis | February 18, 2010 |

On February 17, 2010, Nicaragua’s La Prensa reported that a local council of elders had asked the people of Nicaragua’s coastal region not to participate in upcoming regional elections. The elders, representing the Miskito Indians, urged noncompliance for a simple reason: they no longer recognize the authority of the government of Nicaragua. In August

Coke vs. Pepsi; Venezuela vs. Zulia

By Martin W. Lewis | February 5, 2010 | One Comment

Although Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has been able to secure relatively high levels of electoral support, his campaigns have faltered in the northwest. In the Andean highland zone, closely linked to neighboring Colombia, the states of Táchira and Mérida both voted “no” on Chavez’s constitutional referendum in 2009. Anti-Chavez sentiments also run strong in the

The Geography of the Chilean Election

By Martin W. Lewis | February 1, 2010 | One Comment

As last Friday’s post noted, recent elections in Chile and Bolivia produced markedly different results. In Bolivia, socialist president Evo Morales was reelected in a landslide, whereas in Chile the center-left coalition that had run the country for more than two decades lost power to the center-right. Although Chile’s out-going president Michelle Bachelet remained extremely

The Geography of the Bolivian Election

By Martin W. Lewis | January 29, 2010 |

Latin American electoral politics have been trending to the left in recent years. Although Chile just confounded that tendency by voting in a center-right president, Bolivia overwhelmingly reelected its socialist president, Evo Morales, in December 2009. Morales, the champion of Bolivia’s indigenous majority, received 64 percent of the national vote, while his main challenger, Manfred

Belize Vs. Guatemala

By Martin W. Lewis | January 8, 2010 |

A major controversy engulfed the small Central American country of Belize in early January 2010 after its foreign minister, Wilifred Erlington, described the border between his country and Guatemala as “artificial.” Enraged Belizean nationalists denounced Erlington as a “sell-out,” while opposition leaders demanded his resignation.

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