Americas Archive

  • TRAITOR. Madwoman. Striptease artist. Fascist. Leaders of Venezuela’s populist regime have recently hurled these insults and more at Luisa Ortega Díaz, the country’s attorney-general. It matters not that she extols the regime’s founding father, Hugo Chávez, as “the most humanist man to have existed on the planet”. Her former comrades now see her as a dangero..

    The rebellion of Venezuela’s top prosecutor

    TRAITOR. Madwoman. Striptease artist. Fascist. Leaders of Venezuela’s populist regime have recently hurled these insults and more at Luisa Ortega Díaz, the country’s attorney-general. It matters not that she extols the regime’s founding father, Hugo Chávez, as “the most humanist man to have existed on the planet”. Her former comrades now see her as a dangero..
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  • THE Olaroz salt flat sits nearly 4,000 metres (13,000 feet) above sea level at the end of a road that snakes through the Andes mountains. The loudest sound in the featureless expanse is a mechanical one, made by untended pumps. They extract lithium-bearing brine from wells sunk deep below the salt crust and deposit it in evaporation pools. The concentrate wi..

    A battle for supremacy in the lithium triangle

    THE Olaroz salt flat sits nearly 4,000 metres (13,000 feet) above sea level at the end of a road that snakes through the Andes mountains. The loudest sound in the featureless expanse is a mechanical one, made by untended pumps. They extract lithium-bearing brine from wells sunk deep below the salt crust and deposit it in evaporation pools. The concentrate wi..
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  • KNOWN, like Donald Trump, as the presenter of a local version of “The Apprentice”, a reality-television show, João Doria entered Brazil’s political firmament last year when he was elected mayor of São Paulo by a huge margin over his nearest rival.He has the smooth charm of a professional communicator and, with his lithe build and V-necked navy-blue cashmere..

    Who will survive Brazil’s political cull?

    KNOWN, like Donald Trump, as the presenter of a local version of “The Apprentice”, a reality-television show, João Doria entered Brazil’s political firmament last year when he was elected mayor of São Paulo by a huge margin over his nearest rival.He has the smooth charm of a professional communicator and, with his lithe build and V-necked navy-blue cashmere..
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  • SWIVEL, clank, scoop, dump. On the outskirts of Desdunes, a town in Haiti’s fertile Artibonite valley, three enormous excavators sink claws into the banks of the muddy Duclos canal. Arching across it, their slender hydraulic arms uproot small trees and drag them through the clay-coloured water as they gouge out mud from the canal bed. They deposit the gliste..

    A possible future for Haiti

    SWIVEL, clank, scoop, dump. On the outskirts of Desdunes, a town in Haiti’s fertile Artibonite valley, three enormous excavators sink claws into the banks of the muddy Duclos canal. Arching across it, their slender hydraulic arms uproot small trees and drag them through the clay-coloured water as they gouge out mud from the canal bed. They deposit the gliste..
    Read More
  • IN RECENT months the fluctuation of the Mexican peso against the dollar has resembled an electrocardiogram during a panic attack. The currency fell some 15% after the victory of Donald Trump, who promised to scrap the North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA) linking Mexico, the United States and Canada. The peso has since recovered, on mounting hopes that..

    The bogeyman of Mexico

    IN RECENT months the fluctuation of the Mexican peso against the dollar has resembled an electrocardiogram during a panic attack. The currency fell some 15% after the victory of Donald Trump, who promised to scrap the North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA) linking Mexico, the United States and Canada. The peso has since recovered, on mounting hopes that..
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  • “YOU don’t remove a president whenever you please,” pronounced Gilmar Mendes, the top judge of Brazil’s supreme electoral tribunal (TSE) on June 9th as he voted to acquit Brazil’s president, Michel Temer, of charges of soliciting illegal campaign donations. With that tiebreaking vote, Mr Temer survived the biggest threat yet to his scandal-hit presidency. It..

    Brazil’s electoral court keeps Michel Temer in office

    “YOU don’t remove a president whenever you please,” pronounced Gilmar Mendes, the top judge of Brazil’s supreme electoral tribunal (TSE) on June 9th as he voted to acquit Brazil’s president, Michel Temer, of charges of soliciting illegal campaign donations. With that tiebreaking vote, Mr Temer survived the biggest threat yet to his scandal-hit presidency. It..
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  • “TO BUG” the Workers’ Party (PT). That is how Aécio Neves, who narrowly lost the presidential election in 2014 to the left-wing PT incumbent, Dilma Rousseff, has justified an electoral suit his Party of Brazilian Social Democracy (PSDB) brought against her winning ticket. The suit alleged such “abuses of economic power” as mailing pamphlets through the state..

    Brazil’s electoral tribunal could topple the president

    “TO BUG” the Workers’ Party (PT). That is how Aécio Neves, who narrowly lost the presidential election in 2014 to the left-wing PT incumbent, Dilma Rousseff, has justified an electoral suit his Party of Brazilian Social Democracy (PSDB) brought against her winning ticket. The suit alleged such “abuses of economic power” as mailing pamphlets through the state..
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  • THE wood-panelled walls of Rodrigo Moya Torres’s study are decorated with hunting knives. On his desk lies a pistol; underneath is a rifle. Mr Moya, who wears a black Stetson and monogrammed cowboy boots, grew up on a ranch. But he has spent the past 31 years publishing a weekly newspaper in the town of Ecatepec, just north of Mexico City.The firearms are f..

    A Mexican vote with big consequences

    THE wood-panelled walls of Rodrigo Moya Torres’s study are decorated with hunting knives. On his desk lies a pistol; underneath is a rifle. Mr Moya, who wears a black Stetson and monogrammed cowboy boots, grew up on a ranch. But he has spent the past 31 years publishing a weekly newspaper in the town of Ecatepec, just north of Mexico City.The firearms are f..
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  • HE LIVES in a house of cardboard and tin in Puente Piedra, a sprawling poor district on Lima’s northern fringe. His mother sells cooked food in the street; his father is a mechanic. Yet César Huamán is studying architecture at a new private university. To pay the fees of $137 a month he works on building sites during the holidays. His parents and six sibling..

    Latin America’s campus revolution

    HE LIVES in a house of cardboard and tin in Puente Piedra, a sprawling poor district on Lima’s northern fringe. His mother sells cooked food in the street; his father is a mechanic. Yet César Huamán is studying architecture at a new private university. To pay the fees of $137 a month he works on building sites during the holidays. His parents and six sibling..
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  • From bouquets to briquettesTHE peskiest weed in Cuba sprouts a charming flower. Pink and wispy, with a bushy yellow tail, it looks like a cross between a Chinese lantern and a Muppet. Marabú, as Cubans call the leguminous tree, covers 2m hectares, about 18% of the country’s territory. It spread unchecked during the “special period” of the 1990s, when the Sov..

    The miracle of marabú, Cuba’s wonderful weed

    From bouquets to briquettesTHE peskiest weed in Cuba sprouts a charming flower. Pink and wispy, with a bushy yellow tail, it looks like a cross between a Chinese lantern and a Muppet. Marabú, as Cubans call the leguminous tree, covers 2m hectares, about 18% of the country’s territory. It spread unchecked during the “special period” of the 1990s, when the Sov..
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