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Buenos Aires’ Split Personality

To check out my podcast on the Brazilian city’s controversial construction just click the blue box on the right.

An audio slideshow telling a short history of the Cerro Rico mine in Bolivia, once South America’s richest mine, and now one of its poorest:

The photos were taken by me on my gap year trip to South America in 2004.

Jungle Drums is the UK’s most well-known bilingual magazine on Brazilian culture, news and arts in Britain. Editorial assistant Milo Steelefox talks to Latino Lookout about what the magazine has to offer…

mexican-flag

The Mexican flag ©Esparta Palma

Mexico has been ranked as the second deadliest place to work for journalists covering the news after Iraq, according to Newseum records. Many journalists killed were crime reporters, a dangerous profession in the midst of Mexico’s deadly and unstoppable drug wars.

The chairman of the Newseum interactive museum in Washington D.C., Alberto Ibarguen said in an Associated Press article: “These murders strike at the heart of democracy by silencing speech and by depriving a community of the information it needs to conduct its affairs.”

Last week the Institute for Contemporary Arts (ICA) and other cinemas across London showcased films for the 13th annual Human Rights Watch film festival. The UK premiere of Crude, a documentary about a 13 year-old battle between indigenous tribes in Ecuador and the oil drilling which Chevron started, is one of the festival’s highlights.

The documentary does not preach, but rather shows both sides, a refreshing break from the slew of Michael Moore films and spin offs which are informative but inherently flawed. Crude lets the viewer make up their own mind, though the injustice is clear. The awful effects of the refineries and oil spills speak for themselves. 30,000 indigenous plaintiffs have contaminated water to drink and some have been forced off their land. Many have contracted cancer from living atop covered up oil pits that were not cleaned properly when Chevron moved out in 1993.

The film works well because it has engrossing characters which give the case a human face. The charismatic and sweet Ecuadorian lawyer contrasts against the brash but clever American lawyer as they work together with groups like the US-based Amazon Watch to try to bring the case to court. Unfortunately, and as predicted, Chevron has been prolonging the case since it started 13-years ago, their main aim to dry up the prosecuting team’s funds. Crude is an anger-making but insightful look at the severe injustice the indigenous tribes affected by the refineries in Ecuador have suffered in the past 30 years, and how the capitalist giants who commit these heinous crimes can always buy their way out of them.