What can we expect from Mexico’s new government?

On Sunday July 1st, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (generally known as AMLO) was elected president of Mexico with a comfortable majority, securing over 53% of the vote against three rival candidates. The candidate of the party of the outgoing president, Enrique Peña Nieto, José Antonio Meade, came a poor third. The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) … Continue reading What can we expect from Mexico’s new government?

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Lula, the coup and the Left

Brazil's former president Lula is now confined in his specially prepared cell in the headquarters of the Federal Police in Curitiba. This ended a weekend of high drama following his defiance of Judge Moro's order to surrender himself by 5 pm on Friday. His arrival at the place where he is to begin a sentence … Continue reading Lula, the coup and the Left

Marielle Franco and the politics of hate in Brazil

On Wednesday, March 14, Rio de Janeiro councilwoman Marielle Franco was shot dead in  a car in the city centre, together with her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes. Born in the favela of Maré, Marielle Franco was a tireless campaigner for the human rights of the  people of the favelas. With a sociology degree from the … Continue reading Marielle Franco and the politics of hate in Brazil

Temer’s new intervention in Rio

Michel Temer, the unpopular Brazilian president installed by the coup against Dilma Rousseff, has just done something without precedent since twenty-one years of military dictatorship ended in 1985. He has issued a decree which gives the army direct control over public security in Rio de Janeiro, thereby removing all control from the elected state governor … Continue reading Temer’s new intervention in Rio

Distinguished anthropologists taking a stand in Chiapas

The Council of the University of Sciences and Arts of Chiapas,  the UNICACH, has recently approved the award of an honorary doctorate to General Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, current Secretary of National Defence, by a majority of 20 votes in favour to 8 against. This act has led two exceptionally distinguished anthropologists to renounce the honorary … Continue reading Distinguished anthropologists taking a stand in Chiapas

The judgement of Lula: where next?

Yesterday, January 24, the higher federal tribunal based in Porto Alegre rejected former president Lula's appeal against his conviction on corruption charges by the lower court of Judge Sergio Moro in Curitiba, the court that is responsible for the Lava Jato anti-corruption investigations. The three judges who composed the Porto Alegre second instance tribunal were … Continue reading The judgement of Lula: where next?

Trump: the end of all illusions?

The long-expected announcement, by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, of the end of Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA, popularly known as the “Dreamers” program) sees Donald Trump delivering on an election pledge, sort of. No new applications will be accepted from young people who were brought to the country illegally before they reached … Continue reading Trump: the end of all illusions?

Fachin’s List: the end of political bias in the Brazilian coup?

Last Tuesday, Minister Edson Fachin, the Supreme Court judge responsible for the Lava Jato (Operation  Car Wash) investigations in Brazil, responded to the request from the Attorney General, Rodrigo Janot, to approve investigations by the Supreme Court into serving politicians implicated by the plea bargain testimony of the CEO and other executives of the Odebrecht … Continue reading Fachin’s List: the end of political bias in the Brazilian coup?

Brazil’s prison crisis

This first week of January has seen two massacres of inmates in Brazilian prisons. The first took place in Manaus. Fifty-six inmates died, the highest number to be killed since the Carandiru prison complex massacre in São Paulo in 1992. But in that latter case it was the police who did the killing. In Manaus … Continue reading Brazil’s prison crisis

Calling police to account in Bairro da Paz

This post is mostly about a recent event in a community in Salvador, the capital city of the state of Bahia, which I began to study in 2006. Bairro da Paz is an irregular settlement with a population of 60,000 residents, formed by a land invasion during the last years of military rule. The remarkable … Continue reading Calling police to account in Bairro da Paz