By Madeline Asta
Two years ago, I sat in a classroom in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and listened as Brazilian university students analyzed the election of US President Donald Trump on an international scale. It was the day after Trump was elected and I was still trying to wrap my brain around the outcome. I felt isolated from my country both physically and emotionally. The students spoke about a right-wing shift the world was undergoing, basing their arguments on their own political atmosphere – which had just seen their leftist president impeached – and the trends they were studying in England, France, and their own region. They predicted that their own country would again shift to the right in their next election, foreshadowing the results of Brazil’s presidential election on October 28.
Jair Bolsonaro won Brazil’s presidential election last weekend with 55.1% of votes against the leftist Workers’ Party candidate Fernando Haddad’s 44.8%. Bolsonaro garnered attention during his campaign for his firm stance on combating the nation’s violence and ridding the government of corruption, which has indicted many high-level politicians since 2014. However, Bolsonaro is also known for his blunt, homophobic, racist, and sexist statements and is referred to as the “Trump of the Tropics” for the similarities in the two politicians’ rhetoric and campaign tactics. Bolsonaro’s election represents the most dramatic political shift in Brazil since it restored democracy in 1988, but the nation is not alone in its turn away from the left. Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and the United States have all recently elected conservative leaders, and this trend sparks questions as to why this shift is occurring and what it could mean for the Western Hemisphere.
We’ve added a new feature to the website! All of our newsletters discussing current events in the Americas have now been posted. View them here.
By Leah Hutton Blumenfeld
Writing a historiography of labor in Colombia is not a simple task. The variety of topics and time periods that have been covered in the literature reveal that it is underdeveloped, since there are not a significant number on any one era or area in particular. Generally speaking, as one searches for sources on Colombia, one finds hundreds of articles and books on drugs and violence. This may be part of the explanation for the unevenness of sources on labor, and can be considered a reason to explore other aspects of Colombian history so as not to pigeonhole it any more than it already has been. A reorientation in the approach to Colombian history may, in fact, help illuminate the proclivity towards drugs and violence in Colombian history in a different and possibly clearer fashion.
By Pilar Espitia
Hacia finales del siglo XVI y desde una mirada deseante del imperio español, Lima, o la Ciudad de los Reyes, era lo que podríamos considerar un modelo de la perfección católica. De acuerdo con la ideología promovida por la colonia, Lima era un jardín de virtudes donde se exhalaba el olor de santidad. A diferencia del virreinato de Nueva España, Lima se convirtió en una “máquina de santos”, [i] a la vez que en las afueras de la ciudad, se comenzaba una ardua campaña de extirpación de idolatrías. Sin embargo, el panorama era mucho más complejo y, en realidad, el virreinato del Perú, y Lima en particular, eran espacios multiétnicos y multiculturales.
By Emanuel Pietrobon
Trinidad and Tobago is an insular state of Caribbean America, a nation that, along with Suriname and Guyana, possesses a historical tradition of religious pluralism that includes a substantial Islamic community. A 2011 census of the population describes a multi-faith panorama composed of Catholics (21.6%), Hindus (18.2%), Pentecostals (12.0%), Anglicans (5.7%), Baptists (5.7), Muslims (5%), and a number of other faith groups.
Congratulations to the winners of the first annual Open Americas photography contest! We received high-quality submissions from across the hemisphere, making it difficult to select winners.
Images were judged for their ability to capture the richness of the diverse landscapes and environments of the Americas. The beautiful photos below were taken in Mexico, Brazil, the U.S., Colombia, and the Dominican Republic.
First Place, Nathaniel Morris
Second Place, Gabrielle Rocha Rios
Third Place, Eduardo Perme
Honorable Mention, Gabrielle Rocha Rios
Honorable Mention, Camilo Andrés Avila Manjarres
Honorable Mention, Edelio Aviles
By Laura Schroeder
The video begins with slow, dramatic music.
The words “Grupo Jaremar” flash against a concrete wall, followed by shots of factory equipment and signage surrounded by lush foliage and zooming cars.
A deep male voice announces in Spanish that Grupo Jaremar, a Central American palm oil conglomerate, delivers high-quality products with the customer in mind.
Then, the stories start.