Rival Gangs Clash Over Cockfights in Mexico

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Twelve people were killed and five were injured on Sunday at a cockfighting event held in Guerrero, Mexico. It is suspected that the shooting was a result of a conflict between rival gangs that unfortunately reached the public level, even killing two children.

“The assailants arrived at the scene in several pick-up trucks and starting shooting shortly after the cockfight began”, AG’s office spokesmen told EFE.

“All the evidence collected so far indicates the attack was carried out rival criminal groups,” said state prosecutor Miguel Angel Godinez.

The possibility remains that the victims were in some way affiliated with these gangs, which would provide investigators with a motive for the shooting.

Cuajinicuilapa Mayor Constantino Garcia has taken action, sending additional state police to the funerals of the victims in case the violence continues there.

Still, there isn’t much else authorities can do on the matter. This event illustrates how prevalent and powerful the gang problem has become in Mexico and brings back memories of similar acts of violence against presumably innocent bystanders, such as the disappearance of the 43 students that has brought about countless protests and demonstrations. It is safe to say that no one is really safe in a place where gangs have greater social, financial, and political power than government authorities.


Posted by Sophie Terry

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-34783489

http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2015/11/10/death-toll-from-shooting-at-cockfight-in-southern-mexico-rises-to-12/

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Brazil Hosts First Ever World Indigenous Games

imagesToday marks the first day of the first ever World Indigenous Games. Hosted by Brazil, the games will take place in northern city of Palmas and will continue until October 31st. Some 2,000 athletes will be participating from a variety of indigenous ethnic groups from a total of 30 different countries.

The competitions will include well known Handmade Software, Inc. Image Alchemy v1.14sports like football, as well as traditional sports such as archery, canoeing, spear tossing, and a foot race through the forest. There will also be non-competitive events showcasing the many different traditionsof indigenous ethnic groups involved, such as a football-style game called xikunahity in which the ball is controlled only with the head, played in the Matto Gross region of Brazil.

From Brazil alone, 24 different indigenous 1028978226groups are taking part. Along with the indigenous tribes across the Americas, delegates from Russia, Australia, The Phillipeans, Ethiopia, and New Zealand will also be participating

However it seems not everyone is on
imagesboard with this celebration. Some indigenous people are protesting the event, saying that the money used for the games would have been better spent on actually improving the lives of the indigenous people instead of showcasing them.


Posted By: Sophie Terry

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-34612073

Missing 43 Students Case File Made Public

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The Mexican Attorney General’s Office has released the entire redacted file of its investigation of the most high profile human rights case the country has ever seen. There has been resounding criticism of the governments recorded actions because of the many contradictions found between the reports and the press releases the government had previously given and the newly released papers.

The story goes like this: On September 26 of 2014, Mexican police attacked dozens of students who were trying to get to an annual rally in Mexico City to commemorate the 1968 Tlatelolco student massacre. Six students died in the attacks, several were injured, and 43 were never seen again. It was reported that, “local police handed the students off to the Guerreros Unidos drug gang who killed the students and incinerated their bodies at a trash dump in the neighboring town of Cocula”. No evidence has been found of such a fire in the Cocula trash dump. However, understanding that this is a notorious drug gang, it would not be wise to assume that this lack of evidence means that the students are still alive.

A panel of experts fielded by the International American Commission on Human Rights concluded in a report last month that this gory version of events has no basis in forensic science, which is the same thing forensic analysts have been saying for months before the report came out. Apparently, the human remains found at the alleged sites only matched the DNA for one student, begging the whereabouts of the other forty two bodies.

Murillo Karam, the attorney general serving through these events, has stood by the original claims and continues to defend them in the face of these new findings. Karam was replaced by Arely Gómez in February, who will now have to confront the public backlash of this atrocity.

Posted by Sophie Terry

http://news.yahoo.com/mexico-posts-probe-43-missing-students-online-211700804.html

Brazilian Director’s Success Strikes Sexist Chord with Peers

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PARK CITY, UT – JANUARY 26: filmmaker Anna Muylaert of “The Second Mother” poses for a portrait at the Village at the Lift Presented by McDonald’s McCafe during the 2015 Sundance Film Festival on January 26, 2015 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)


Brazilian Director Anna Muylaert is facing criticism for her movie, “The Second Mother”, which is now Brazil’s most successful cinematic piece. Not just criticism, but sexist criticism. Not just sexist criticism, but sexist criticism specifically from her male peers. Filmmakers Cláudio Assis and Lírio Ferreira couldn’t seem to help but ruin a panel on the movie, interrupting and talking over her multiple times with chauvinistic comments about the film, the main actress, and the director herself.

Muylaert is a veteran of the movie industry. She has worked as a screenwriter for many TV shows and films, and has directed and written multiple highly acclaimed, award-winning movies. It is safe to say that she knows what she’s doing.

Assis and Ferreira later apologized for their comments. However, this instance perfectly illustrates the still prevalent issue of sexism in the entertainment industry. Women are still struggling to stand out amongst the machismo culture, and when they do, it is not uncommon for them to face this kind of unwarranted criticism.

“Men have always occupied the center stage and women stayed in the audience applauding,” said Muylaert in an interview with Brasil Post. “When your film starts making money, you reach the male zone.”

“Que Horas Ela Volta?” received the Special Jury Award at this year’s Sundance Festival for the performances of Casé and Márdila. At the Berlin Festival, it won the Panorama Audience Award. The film has been shown in several countries and caused an uproar among local and foreign critics; the Guardian gave it four stars; the Hollywood Reporter described the actors as “wonderful.”

In an interview, Muylaert explains the sexist culture that women face in Latin America, not only in entertainment but in politics as well. To read more, click the link below.


Posted by Sophie Terry

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/09/10/anna-muylaert_n_8118472.html

A Message to the Pope

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On Pope Francis’ first official visit to the United States, an unexpected but very important event took place. Sofia Cruz broke through the masses to deliver a letter to the Pope. While she was first escorted back to the crowd by security, the Pope called her back, accepting her letter, hugging and kissing her. She then returned to her father while the crowd roared around her.

Sofia told reporters that her letter was concerning the heavily disputed human rights issue of illegal immigrants.

She said that she wrote the letter about the five million children in the US like herself whose immigrant parents could be deported.
She also included a drawing with a message in Spanish that translates: “My friends and I love each other no matter our skin colour.”

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The Pope has already showed in his earlier visit to congress that he is very much concerned with human rights and it will be interesting to see how this esteemed figure’s words affect the decisions of those who oppose immigration.


Posted by Sophie Terry

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34343955

Pope to Visit Cuba

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Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Cuba this September which will be his tenth and longest trip yet. It is common knowledge that the Pope has been making drastic changes within Catholicism, focusing more on charity and addressing the need of the poor rather than critiquing people’s lifestyles. While this change has altered the Catholic Church for the better, many traditionalist Catholics disagree with these methods, which has created a great deal of controversy between Christians over the past few years.

Pope Francis has changed the face of the Vatican over the course of his service and in doing so, has found a friend in both Fidel Castro and current president Raúl Castro. Even though Cuba is officially agnostic, Castro said himself after previous talks,”If the Pope keeps going the way he’s going, I’ll go back to praying and go back to the Church, and I’m not joking”.

The Pope’s friendly relations with Castro could have beneficial effects on Cuba, internally and externally, especially in addressing their past of human rights violations. It will be interesting to see how these positive relations alter the state of Cuba’s government in the future, if at all. This may also have an effect on the United States relations with Cuba due to the fact that Christianity is the dominant religion in the US. Since the Pope’s opinion is therefore held in high esteem with the majority of American people, it is not out of the realm of possibility for a begrudging friendship to form.


Posted by Sophie Terry

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-34280662

Leopoldo Lopez Found Guilty

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A notorious revolutionary, Leopoldo Lopez, has recently been found guilty of “public incitement to violence and association to commit crimes” during protests in 2014, where it was reported that 43 people from both political sides died. Lopez has been in custody since February 2014 and will now carry out 13 years and 9 months in prison.

Lopez is an active politician who is the founder and National Coordinator for the Venezuelan political party, Voluntad Popular. His incitement of the protest to oust current president Maduro was documented on his Twitter account, where prosecutors claimed that over 700 of the messages sent around the time of the protest called for violence. His wife, Lilian Tintori, and supporters argue that Lopez called for peaceful protest and that the security authorities were the ones who provoked it, though there is little evidence to suggest this.

However, there is a foul smell surrounding this case. According to the article, Venezuela Opposition Leader Leopoldo Lopez Sentenced, “His defence team earlier said there had been serious irregularities in the trial, with the judge hearing 138 witnesses for the prosecution but only one of the 50 witnesses and pieces of evidence submitted by the defence”. It is also rumored that Lopez’s human rights were violated during his detainment. His family stated that he had been held in solitary confinement for almost all of his 19 month stay in prison. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights all called for Lopez’s release from his initial holding period as well as numerous previous presidents who protested the charges against him.

Posted by Sophie Terry

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-34217285

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Venezuelan-Court-Finds-Leopoldo-Lopez-Guilty–20150904-0027.html

Let’s get rolling

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Introduction: My name is Sophie Terry and I am a Junior at Wingate University currently studying Marketing with a minor in English. My interests in Latin American revolutions center around changing social dynamics during rebellion.


An exciting example of modern day rebellion is currently taking place in Brazil. In the article, Brazil: Why do Latin American protests so often call for impeachment?, it is clear that citizens of the state are not happy with their current president, Dilma Rousseff. Rousseff is currently being blamed for “a struggling economy and one of the largest corruption scandals in its history”. Protests calling for her impeachment have been littering the streets, and some, though they are few, have even been calling for military action.

On the one hand, it is heartening to see Brazilians so vocally involved in the state of their country. Ever since Brazil rid itself of their 21 year old dictatorship, the general population have been keenly aware of the state of their Union and have repeatedly and successfully called for action against unsatisfying governments. Aside from the corruption scandal, the protestors have legitimate reason to be angry. Energy bills have been rising ever since Rousseff’s 2014 election and there are allegations that she “held electricity prices artificially low while campaigning”.

That being said, there are some that are critical of the high turnover rate of Brazils presidents, saying that people are too quickly and easily dissatisfied. In this case, opponents argue that there is no legal way to oust Rousseff at this time, and if it is not legally done then it is not worth it. Senate has been trying to quell the issue as well as the business community, who have been “active in pressuring politicians to keep the situation from advancing”.

Either way, it will be interesting to see how the Brazilian government responds to its people. It seems that Rousseff may have no choice but to change her methods and meet the demands set before her if she wants to stop the alarming drop in her approval rating. However her actual impeachment is not likely due to the legal issues surrounding it.

Posted by Sophie Terry

The Battle for Puerto Rico’s Soul

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Puerto Rico has long been struggling with an identity crisis. Due to its status as a territory of the United States, there is a conflict between the idea that they are a part of both the US and Latin America. For this reason, one can see a great deal of cultural changes in Puerto Rico, one being the steady commercialization of neighborhoods.

Recently, local artists have been taking a stand against this strange clashing of cultures in the form of painting large murals on surrounding buildings. As areas have been becoming more commercialized, images have been popping up to combat it, and the statements they make are very clear and very bold. They want to claim their Puerto Rico as vibrant, challenging, “and most importantly, different.”

Posted by Sophie Terry

Watch the video here: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-32329682

Tons of Dead Fish Removed from Rio Olympic Rowing Venue: Article Review

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Due to an overabundance of pollution in Guanabara Bay, thousands of fish have gone belly up creating a disturbing scene in what will be this years olympic rowing venue. There is a great deal of controversy over what kind of pollution they are dealing with.

“Rio’s environmental secretariat said on Thursday that the deaths were the result of a sudden change in water temperature, but scientists rejected that explanation.
Paul Rosman, an oceanographer who works at the lagoon, told Reuters that a rise in algae blooms had led to a build up of carbon dioxide in the water.”

Regardless of how this happened, there is now a great deal of concern revolving around whether or not the cleanup will be complete in time for the olympics. More than 33 tons of dead fish have been removed so far, and a group of 60 or so people have been working for the past two weeks to clear Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas. This could put a damper on the largest coming together of foreign nations and will have an interesting effect on international relations.

Posted by Sophie Terry

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-32345508