Panama announces plans to crack down on immigration from Colombia, Venezuela, and Nicaragua
- Panamanian officials have announced new restrictions on immigration from the three countries, including conducting financial checks and shortening the duration of tourist permits from 180 days to 90 days.
- Anti-immigration sentiment has grown over the last year, with Colombians and Venezuelans particularly targeted and maligned as connected to drug trafficking and other crime in the country.
- Around 250,000 have immigrated to Panama from the three countries since 2010.
“Panama to Crack Down on Immigration, Colombians and Venezuelans” (teleSUR | May 2017)
“Panama cuts stays for Colombians, Venezuelans, Nicaraguans” (The Associated Press via The Washington Post | May 2017)
“Panama to tighten immigration policy for Colombia, Venezuela, Nicaragua” (Reuters | May 2017)
The Uncertain Task of Defining Race in Brazilian Affirmative Action
The redress of racial injustice in Brazil, long stymied by the country’s reputation as a “racial democracy,” has gained increasing political attention thanks to the work of black activists across the nation. Brazil’s recent attempts to install socioeconomic and racial quotas in public university admissions have created a number of challenges as fraud and race-policing have pitted student against student in ensuring fair enforcement, particularly as verification committees decide race based on appearance rather than heritage. Foreign Policy and The Globe and Mail examine the volatile debates surrounding Brazil’s new affirmative action policies and the general uneasiness the country has experienced as it has begun to address the long history of discrimination against its black, brown, and indigenous citizens.
“Brazil’s New Problem With Blackness” (Foreign Policy | April 2017)
“Black or white? In Brazil, a panel will decide for you” (The Globe and Mail | January 2017)
(Image Credit: Tiago Mazza Chiaravalloti/NurPhoto, via Foreign Policy)
Severe drug shortages leave Venezuelans with epilepsy and their families struggling
- With 85 of every 100 drugs missing, Venezuela faces an acute shortage of pharmaceutical drugs needed to treat a range of otherwise manageable illnesses, including epilepsy, schizophrenia, HIV, and cancer.
- Families report traveling hundreds of miles to obtain necessary drugs, sourcing from abroad, and taking expired or inappropriate medication.
- President Nicolas Maduro has blamed the shortage on a right-wing plot to overthrow him and announced new counteractive investments, although little progress has been seen.
“Epileptics struggle amid drug shortages in Venezuela” (Reuters | March 2017)
“Venezuela Is Falling Apart” (The Atlantic | May 2016)
“‘You name it, we can’t treat it.’” (Caracas Chronicles | March 2016)
“Falta de medicinas descompensa a los pacientes psiquiátricos” (El Universal | August 2014)
(Image Credit: Carlos Garcia Rawlings/Reuters)
Budget cuts and proposed land rights and environmental rollbacks threaten indigenous communities in Brazil
- Fundação Nacional do Índio (FUNAI), the government agency responsible for the protection of indigenous communities, faces large budget cuts under President Michel Temer’s government that advocates say could increase the insecurity of indigenous groups, particularly of the more than 100 uncontacted groups in the country.
- A draft decree seeks to increase the level of scrutiny applied in the demarcation of indigenous land reservations, annulling certain previously secured land rights and making the recognition of new claims considerably more difficult.
- A proposed bill seeks to overhaul environmental licensing protocol, shifting from federally managed licensing procedures to flexible, state-based determinations of licensing necessity for agricultural and land-use projects.
“Temer government set to overthrow Brazil’s environmental agenda” (Mongabay)
“Brazil’s plan to roll back environment laws draws fire: ‘The danger is real’” (The Guardian)
“Brazil budget cuts put uncontacted Amazon tribe at risk, say activists” (The Guardian)
(Image Credit: Ricardo Stuckert/The Guardian)
The Patricia Galvao Institute launches database cataloging gender violence in Brazil
- Dossiê Feminicído (Femicide Dossier) debuted as a resource for women, educators, advocates, researchers, and others interested in learning more about femicide and other forms of gender-based violence in the country.
- The platform also provides information about resources, services, rights, and policy for and affecting women confronting violence in their communities.
- Recent data indicates an average of 13 women are killed in Brazil each day, making the country one of the most dangerous in the world for women.
“Brazilian Women Ramp up Fight Against Femicide with Open Data” (teleSUR English)
(Image Credit: Reuters, via teleSUR English)
#NiUnaMenos demonstrations brings tens of thousands out in Peru
- The campaign, which has ignited throughout Latin America, protests the high levels of gender-based violence women face, with a particular focus on women’s and girls’ vulnerability to femicide.
- Peru’s women’s minister indicated that 10 women are killed per month in the country, with an additional 20 attempted murders.
- A series of court rulings that gave reduced or lenient sentences to perpetrators of violence against women led to social media outcry, which has fueled the demonstrations that reportedly brought out more at least 50,000 in downtown Lima, including the President and First Lady.
“#NiUnaMenos: 50,000 protest violence against women in Lima” (Peru Reports)
“Women in Peru protest against rising tide of murder and sexual crime” (The Guardian)
“#NiUnaMenos: así fue la marcha contra la violencia a la mujer” (El Comercio, in Spanish)
(Image Credit: Omer Musa Targal/Getty Images, via The Guardian)
Argentina announces new plans to combat violence against women
- President Mauricio Macri announced the National Plan of Action for the Prevention, Assistance, and Eradication of Violence Against Women, a plan to combat the cultural roots of gender-based violence and support women through measures including the creation of a network of shelters.
- The plan also includes the use of geolocation technology to ensure that aggressors are kept from physical proximity with their victims and a phone app that will allow threatened women to bypass dialing to access emergency safety services.
- The measures come in the wake of a national campaign to combat violence against women that brought thousands to the streets in demonstration.
“Plan to cut violence against women launched” (The Buenos Aires Herald)
“Cómo es el plan que presentó Mauricio Macri contra la violencia de género” (La Nacíon, in Spanish)
“Argentina announces new gender violence plan” (BBC)
(Image Credit: Getty Images via BBC)