Magazine article New Internationalist

Latin America: The Unreported Year 2003

Magazine article New Internationalist

Latin America: The Unreported Year 2003

Article excerpt

[Map Not Transcribed]

JANUARY

BRAZIL The World Social Forum sees more than 100,000 people gather in the southern Brazilian city of Porto Alegre for a four-day event promoting workable alternatives to capitalism.

MEXICO Former Mayor of New York, Rudolph Giuliani, visits Mexico City to advise how his 'zero tolerance' policy can be used to cut crime in Mexico's capital city. Giuliani's crime-busting contract will earn him $4.3 million.

FEBRUARY

VENEZUELA Strike leader and prominent entrepreneur, Carlos Fernandez, is placed under house arrest to await trial on charges of 'rebellion, treason and sabotage'. The two-month strike forces Venezuela to suspend oil exports and severely damages the economy.

BOLIVIA A strike, organized by the Central Bolivian Workers' Union - the country's largest - ends in rioting with at least 33 dead.

MARCH

CUBA Twenty-six independent journalists are imprisoned for starting up two underground publications - unprecedented in the 44 years of Castro's rule.

APRIL

CUBA Despite being in the midst of its worst human-rights crackdown in a decade, Cuba is assured election to another three-year term on the UN Commission on Human Rights. The Commission has a growing number of members who act as a bloc to defeat or eviscerate any human-rights criticism of individual governments.

MAY

BRAZIL Rio de Janeiro's new police chief declares the city 'out of control' after a wave of attacks by drug gangs. The police have killed more than 100 suspected drug traffickers this month.

ARGENTINA Former President, Carlos Menem, confirms that he is pulling out of the presidential run-off. Fellow Peronist and rival Nestor Kirchner (who eventually wins the Presidency) blames Menem and big business for Argentina's economic collapse.

ECUADOR Lawyers representing 30,000 rainforest people file a suit against Chevron Texaco, claiming that, over a 20-year period, the company destroyed their homeland by dumping huge quantities of toxic waste and crude oil.

JUNE

BRAZIL Foreign Minister Celso Amorim is honoured for his role in convincing the World Health Organization's 192 Member States to adopt the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

COLOMBIA In pursuit of guerrillas belonging to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), troops from the 50th Counterguerilla Battalion discover $16 million buried in a hideout. …

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