By J C Suresh | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
TORONTO (IDN) - Chile has received kudos for making significant economic progress in the previous three years but has been faulted for “some glaring inequalities”. A new study finds that – together with Mexico – Chile displays “the greatest inequality gap” in the 34-nation Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
The average income of the wealthiest 10 percent in Chile and Mexico is 27 times that of the poorest 10 percent, in other words, a ratio of 27 to 1. By contrast, the OECD average is around 10 to 1, informs the 2013 Economic Survey of Chile.
By J C Suresh | IDN-InDepth NewsReport
TORONTO (IDN) - Latin America has achieved economic growth and made significant progress in poverty reduction over the course of the last decade. But it is now facing headwinds, according to the latest Latin American Economic Outlook.
Jointly produced by the OECD Development Centre, the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN ECLAC) and CAF - Development Bank of Latin America, the report was released in Panama City during the XXIII Ibero-American summit on October 18-19, 2013.
“Between 2003 and 2012, the region grew at an average annual rate of 4% thanks to the rapid rise of global trade and increasing commodity prices, and this despite the contraction brought about by the international financial crisis,” states the report.
By Oscar Ugarteche, Valentina Ballesté* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
QUITO (IDN) - With no haste, but without pause, the participation of women in the labour market has seen accelerated growth since the 1970s, according to the Panorama Laboral 2012 of the International Labour Organization (ILO). There is a gradual closing of the differences in participation between men and women in the labour force.
The participation rate of women in Latin America in 2012 was 49.8%, the employment rate was 40.2% and the unemployment rate 7.7%, while for men the participation rate was 71.4%, employment 59.8% and unemployment 5.6%. (1)
By Luisa Parraguez, Francisco Garcia Gonzalez, Joskua Tadeo*
MEXICO CITY (IDN | Yale Global) - The Latin American blogosphere held its breath when Bolivian president Evo Morales’s plane was forced to land in Vienna in July. As European authorities searched for former U.S. National Security Agency contract worker Edward Snowden on board, Twitter accounts of South American presidents exploded with resentment.
The continent denounced the United States for extending its hemispheric supremacy to Europe, sputtered words like “colonialism” and “imperialism,” and claimed that the incident violated the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Argentina’s President Cristina Kirchner called the incident “not only humiliating to a sister nation, but also for the whole South American continent.”
By Ryan Mallett-Outtrim* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
CARACAS (IDN | Venezuelanalysis.com) - Two events that defy hawk logic have taken place in the same month. First, on June 5 United States secretary of state John Kerry met with Venezuela's foreign minister, Elias Jaua, and stated that he had agreed to pursue a more “positive relationship” with Venezuela. Then, just weeks later, Iranians voted in a president who has openly argued against nuclear proliferation.
What happened? Iran and Venezuela's amiable relationship of the last decade was supposed to be the sum of all fears for Washington. Two “tyrants”, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez, were accused of co-sponsoring all sorts of wild, fantastical plots by Washington's warmongers. But was the Iran-Venezuela relationship ever about crushing the “free world” by assembling an unholy alliance of druglords, Islamists and socialists, or is there a slightly saner explanation?
By Ted Hewitt* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
LONDON, ONTARIO (IDN) - Much of the global media has focused on the protests occurring throughout Brazil. Almost all have drawn their own conclusions as to the cause of the tumult, and almost all in splendid contradiction. Similarly, there has been an enduring preoccupation in most news reports with the violence and looting associated with all such public demonstrations.
In reality, both the causes and the effects of the Brazilian protests are only poorly understood at this point; and for its part, the violence portrayed in the media has primarily been the exception rather than the rule.
By Paulo Genovese, Pressenza
The writer, a member of the Humanist Movement, gives not only a personal account of protests that appeared to have come from nowhere, but also looks behind the scene and beyond.
SAO PAULO (IDN) - Millions of Brazilians have been protesting in the streets since June 6 when students blocked streets in downtown Goiânia, set fire to car tires, threw homemade bombs, and broke windows of police cars.
By Ernest Corea* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
WASHINGTON DC (IDN) - The death of President Hugo Chavez, after a drawn-out battle with cancer, brought out huge crowds of grieving Venezuelans onto the country’s streets. Their grief suggested that he had been a more effective ruler than many of his critics allowed.
His visceral reaction to most things American was unfortunate, standing in the way of expanded economic relations which could have benefitted both countries, while each remained faithful to its internal political imperatives. In one area, however, he was personally responsible for a strong and beneficial link with the US.
By Melissa Moskowitz*
NEW YORK (IDN) - Despite being immensely popular among the people of Argentina, the Argentinean government's decision to nationalize the YPF (Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales) oil company has continued to come under attack by those who obstinately promote extractive capitalism. The measure would nationalize YPF and restore 51 percent of the company's ownership to Argentina. It would thus end sister company Repsol's 57.4 percent majority stake in the company.
By Richard Johnson
LONDON (IDN) – Against the backdrop of the Fukushima disaster, Mexico has decided to tango nuclear and wind power to meet 23% of the country's electricity needs by 2026. The new energy plan also envisages connecting the Mexico's entire population to the grid, cutting back transmission losses and developing abundant shale gas reserves.
By Pía Figueroa*
IDN-InDepth NewsInterview | Pressenza
SANTIAGO DE CHILE (IDN) - A series of student-led protests across Chile from May to December of 2011, which have come to be known as Chilean Education Conflict, drew worldwide attention. Protesters had multifaceted goals, to begin with broadly related to lowering the costs and strengthening the role of the state in secondary and higher education – against the backdrop that only 45 percent of high school students in Chile study in traditional public schools and the education system is largely in private hands. Pressenza's Pía Figueroa interviewed the humanist national leader of the Teachers' Association in "Umbral”, in the neighbourhood of Bellavista