Americas (English Edition)

Articles from Vol. 63, No. 1, January-February

A Controversial Champion for Justice: Irishman Roger Casement Gained Notoriety in His Quest to End the Mistreatment of Indigenous Rubber Workers in the Putumayo Region of Peru during the Early 20th Century
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The centennial of the Putumayo Scandal will probably not be remembered by many people this year, either on the banks of the Putumayo River, where the trouble began, or at the London...
A New Wing for Art of the Americas
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The jadeite mask of a man's face hurls a challenge across almost three millennia of western civilization. "Who am I?" The Olmec mask (900-550 BC) is the oldest American artifact in the collection of Boston's Museum of Fine Arts...
Brazilian Jewelry: Color, Style, and Form
Much in the same way that Brazil's fashion industry has become globally known and appreciated, the nation's jewelry industry is also gaining international recognition for its innovation and style. Over the past fifteen years, Brazilian jewelry firms...
Cultural Contrasts
I have had the privilege of doing in-depth work in the three major English-speaking Caribbean countries. When I say "in-depth" I mean to say that I've led personal transformation courses in companies in Jamaica, Trinidad, and Barbados. Before leading...
Edmundo Paz Soldan: Walking the Tightrope
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] From the Andean country of Bolivia, a place of tropical forests, highlands, and lakes, where the song of the reed flute hovers and flits amid places of toil in copper and silver mines, the literary voice of Edmundo Paz Soldan emerges:...
Elections in Paraguay and Haiti
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] A team of 55 international observers travelled throughout Paraguay this past November to witness the election of mayors and municipal council members. The Election Observation Mission (EOM) reported normal procedures throughout...
Forging Inclusive Democracies
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The Latin American democracy forum, convened in Mexico City by the OAS, the UNDP, and the Mexican Federal Electoral Institute, opened a broad space for analysis. It brought together participants from a variety of backgrounds in...
From the Editor
It has been an unthinkably difficult year for Haiti. On top of the devastation of the January 2010 earthquake, the country has had to face the destructive force of hurricanes, landslides, and floods. Now, the hemisphere's poorest nation is also facing...
Letter of an Ancient Language
Four hundred years ago in a small town on the coast of Peru, a Spanish priest used the back of a letter for scrap paper. This simple act--recording a list of numbers and words--would excite scientists in the 21st century when they realized they had evidence...
Mined Lives: Ten Years Later: The Crusade to Put an End to Anti-Personnel Landmines
An instant. An instant. It only takes an instant to click, press the shutter, and capture an image of Monica, Manuel, Sofia, Adis, Fanar, and Skherum behind the lens. It also only took an instant for powder and shrapnel to turn to blood and destroy each...
OAS Action in Haiti
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] A small pot simmers over an open flame on a street corner just outside Port-au-Prince. From this pot, thirteen people who have been living in a tent city since the January 12 earthquake must eat. For OAS Assistant Secretary General...
Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago
In her protocol visit to the OAS Permanent Council, the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, called on the countries of the region to work together to have an impact and a voice in global policy debates on matters that pertain...
Rebuilding Haiti: The Inter-American Development Bank Is Helping Put Haiti Back in Business
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] When one thinks of reconstruction after a natural disaster, the first things that come to mind are the need to help victims, restore basic services, and repair damaged infrastructure. These are clearly urgent, but countless catastrophes...
Reconstructing Schools in Haiti
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Only three months after the earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010, German international cooperation agency Kinder Not Hilfe (KNH) and Chilean urban/environmental planning and architecture firm Habiterra were already...
Recording Coral Reefs
In the unspoiled reefs of Las Perlas Archipelago on the Pacific coast of Panama, the fish are talking and the humans are listening. By using a simple underwater recording device called a hydrophone, scientists are able to eavesdrop on coral reef communities....
Sustainable Commitment
Ministers and other authorities on environmental matters from OAS member states met in November in the Dominican Republic and adopted the Declaration of Santo Domingo. The Declaration establishes, among other things, a commitment to continue promoting...
Sustaining a Splendid Species: Efforts Are Being Undertaken by Concerned Citizens and Conservationists to Preserve the Diminishing Habitats of Great Green Macaw Populations throughout Central and South America
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Cautiously we plod through a cattle pasture trying to avoid slipping in the mud or stepping on piles of dung. In the treetops above us, we hear raucous screeching, and the closer we get, the louder and more insistent the screeching...
The Grupo Vidanta Awards: Democracy, Poverty, and Inequality
On October 14, 2010, the Grupo Vidanta Foundation, in collaboration with the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB), gave out its first Grupo Vidanta Foundation Prizes for: "Contributions to the Reduction...
The Sculptures of Nijole Sivickas
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Man was dust, earthen vase, on eyelid of tremulous loam, the shape of clay he was Carib jug, Chibcha stone, imperial cup or Araucanian silica ... --Pablo Neruda Born in the small Lithuanian town of Kedainiai, Nijole Sivickas...
The Winds of Omar Rayo: An Expose of Colombian Art as Realized through the Eyes of Two Different Artists, Each with a Distinct Perspective on a Similar Theme
Colombian artist Ornar Rayo (1928-2010) didn't have to change his name like Emmanuel Radnitzky (Man Ray) did. His last name--which means "lightning bolt" in Spanish--coincided nicely with his brilliant personality from the very beginning. Both Ray and...
The Wonder of a Dream
Happiness is related to the ability to achieve our goals and dreams. We all have different dreams, and though sometimes the path towards them requires effort and perseverance, it's an amazing feeling when the dreams come true. The fourteen members of...
Women and Power: For a World of Equality
In 2007, the General Assembly of the OAS proclaimed 2010 the "Inter-American Year of Women," in recognition both of the progress made and of the challenges that remain to full equality between men and women in our hemisphere. The contribution of women...
Young Man of Chan Hol
The desire to know who the first Americans were and where they came from has fueled vigorous academic debates and led to complicated expeditions into remote jungles. In recent years, scientists have been looking below ground to the mysterious world of...
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