Women Refugees- Not Just From Syria

In the news for the past few weeks, the Syrian refugee crisis has been discussed frequently. The storyline of people leaving a place of oppression in hopes of reaching a place of safety is timeless.

Another large source of refugees is from Central American women. They are being violently attacked and abused in their home countries and see the United States as a place to protect them. In return, Americans usually are insensitive to these women’s needs and advocate for better border control. Leaving this large amount of fleeing women out of the United States keeps them susceptible to the violent forces that drove them out in the first place.

This situation is close to home and is rapidly becoming a crisis that if it remains unchecked can cause enormous amounts of issues for the Western Hemisphere.

Source: http://www.buzzfeed.com/rossalynwarren/women-are-fleeing-violence-in-central-america-as-another-ref#.qqRYWLvmo

Peace Agreement Reached between Colombia and the FARC

Today, the president of Colombia signed a peace commitment with the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). This agreement is a huge step towards reaching peace in an area that has not been peaceful in a long time. The FARC is the longest running insurgency in Latin America.

Juan Manuel Santos, the President of Colombia, was very excited to announce this breakthrough. This peace talk will help to reverse decades of militant actions from the FARC. Even though ceasefires have been engaged previously, President Santos is optimistic that this agreement will work this time.

Posted by: Iris Brewer

Content From: http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/23/americas/colombia-farc-peace-agreement/index.html

Former Volkswagen Employees in Brazil File Lawsuit

Volkswagen, the German car company, has been involved in a scandal over software manipulation to evade emissions tests. But more recently, the car company has been taking fire for its practices during military rule in Brazil from 1964 to 1985. Former VW workers have stepped up and claimed that that were arrested and tortured during their time at the Sao Bernardo do Campo factory.

Numerous human rights violations were committed by the Brazilian government during their dictatorship regime. Now, decades later, Brazilians are coming forward with revelations of mistreatment. Volkswagen has been investigating these allegations for almost a year now, but with the additional scandal of the altered emissions tests, this civil lawsuit is causing a PR nightmare for the car giant.

Content from: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-34335094

Posted By: Iris Brewer

8.3 Magnitude Earthquake in Chile Causes Chaos

Just a little over five years after the massive 8.8 earthquake that killed 500 and caused a tsunami, Chile has once again been hit by an earthquake. This time, the quake struck offshore, but its effects are being felt on land. Just 28 miles away in the city of Illapel, the earthquake caused the displacement of the local people because of flooding and loss of electricity.

Since the quake struck off shore, waves have been hitting the coast of Chile causing flooding in the streets. The Chilean government is calling for the evacuation of people that live on the coast in order to protect them from the aftermath of this natural disaster. In the 2010 quake, the government did not fully warn the people the full danger of being near the quake zone nor the incoming tsunamis. After learning their lesson, the government is taking full precaution to protect their people.

Hopefully the aftermath of this quake does not cause much destruction. With better awareness, Chileans now can be prepared for the effects of this natural disaster.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2015/09/16/world/americas/16reuters-chile-quake.html?ref=world&_r=0

Posted by Iris Brewer

Venezuela Attempts to Stop Colombian Smugglers by Closing its Borders

Rafael Ramirez, the United Nations Venezuelan ambassador who used to be greatly involved in the energy and oil industries as the head of the national oil company, discussed the UN and Venezuela’s decision to close off its border with Colombia. Smugglers had been profiting by removing goods from Venezuela such as oil, flour, and produce and selling them for high prices in Colombia. Ramirez backed this decision by saying that smugglers take 35 percent of Venezuelan national economic output into Colombia.

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This move to increase security along the 1,360 mile border has greatly strained relations between Venezuela and Colombia. Also, it prevents the Wayuu indigenous people, who don’t recognize either of the two countries, from moving freely across the border.

It will be interesting to see how these events play out in the weeks to come. Venezuela moved to protect their economy and goods, but there might be unseen social and political consequences that hinder the progression of the Venezuelan and Colombian peoples.

See the connecting article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/09/world/americas/venezuelas-un-envoy-defends-crackdown-along-border-with-colombia.html?ref=world&_r=0

Introduction

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My name is Iris Brewer. I am a senior Environmental Biology major with Mathematics and International Studies minors at Wingate University. I have always been interested in learning about other cultures and this class will further my understanding of the history of Latin America. Some topics that I am interested in learning more about are how the influx capitalism in Latin America impacted the environment and how the diversity of Latin American people developed over time.

This article discusses various Brazilian responses to the government’s economic policies. About 800,000 citizens have protested in the streets to voice their disapproval of the Brazilian government’s efforts. As the citizens are still adjusting to their democratic ways after living under a dictatorship for generations. By calling for President Rousseff’s impeachment, they seem to be pushing for an extreme solution instead of pushing for a resolution of the issues that they are passionate about. As a relatively young democratic country, Brazilians will continue to voice their opinions in the streets until they receive the results they are pushing for.