Comparing and Contrasting Two 9/11s

11 Sep

With the landmark anniversary of a decade since the 9/11 attacks, compounded with an alleged terror plot, it is all two easy to forget the other monumental 9/11 in recent history – the Augusto Pinochet overthrow of the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende on September 11, 1973. Chilean academic and commentator contrasts the reactions of the Chilean and US population to their respective 9/11s today, writing on OpenDemocracy.net:

“Both people suffered a grievous blow on their 9/11. Americans did not deserve to be attacked, Chileans did not deserve to be put under tyrannical rule. But if Chileans – admittedly over more than two decades, as opposed to the decade the US has so far had – learned tolerance and compromise from their traumatic experience, Americans seem to have become more divided and less willing to compromise after theirs. Chile is a much better country than before its 9/11; few in the US would say the same. The United States has yet to make the terrible moment part of a larger lesson about the need for tolerance, compromise and national unity across political divides.”

Expertos afirman, en Chile Educación gratuita y pública Sí es posible

11 Sep

Más allá de las movilizaciones, más allá del rompimiento de ciertos pactos nacionales, más allá del vencimiento de algunos códigos y etiquetas democráticas construidas mucho antes de que la actual generación de estudiantes naciera, si nos vamos al tema puntual y original de todo el movimiento chileno del cual el mundo ha sido testigo en los últimos meses, al centro de todo esto está el sistema educativo.

Todo este año hemos visto a los millones de jóvenes chilenos exigir: EDUCACION GRATUITA Y DE CALIDAD. Ahora, luego de escuchar y leer aquellas demandas, la pregunta es lógica: ¿es aquello posible?

Porque una cosa es lograr que todo un país ponga la atención sobre determinado tema, que el mundo, aunque sea por un segundo, de vuelta la cabeza y mire a este lugar tan al sur, y otra cosa distinta es la  cabida dentro de la realidad técnica y económica como la de una propuesta que implica que el sostenimiento y financiamiento de todo el sistema educativo venga desde el aparato estatal y sin perder una coma de calidad, al contrario, en el caso chileno, avanzando en aquel ultimo punto.

Dejamos aquí, entonces, un link de prensa, donde se comenta como un grupo de economistas de un par de universidades publicas y privadas nacionales, entre ellasla Universidadde Chile – la mejor universidad del país y la quinta o sexta en Latinoamérica –  se reúnen bajo la iniciativa de la fundación TERRAM, y, primero, afirman que todo aquello dela EDUCACIONGRATUITAY DE CALIDAD sí es posible, y, segundo, elaboran ellos mismos una propuesta paso a paso en función de su afirmación.

Les dejamos, además, el propio documento a continuación.

New Chilean Hip-Hop for Education

9 Sep

Subverso with a powerful song and video for the education reform movement, Rap al Despertar.

Cause for Alarm in Guatemala Election

8 Sep

The former Guatemalan general Otto Perez Molina appears poised to reach power in Sunday’s presidential election. He currently leads in the polls by 30%, according to Guatemala’s El Periodico. 

Notorious for his remark that “La población civil es a la guerrilla, lo que el agua es al pez,” (“The civilian population is to the guerilla, what the sea is to the fish – a statement that so succinctly captures the Guatemalan military’s genocidal civil war policy of collective punishment against the indigenous population – his potential victory this Sunday raises some major eyebrows for observers of human rights in Central America and Guatemala. Molina would be the first military leader to return to power since the 1996 peace accords. His campaign’s  focus on security doesn’t do much to soothe those concerns.

Here he is in action:

There is resistance to be found. There is great fear in Guatemala, no doubt about it, of Perez’s election.

In this video, (which so nicely uses Nicaraguan Carlos Mejía Godoy’s No Pasarán), images of Guatemala’s civil war are juxtaposed with the statement “We will not return to a militarized Guatemala, for our grandparents, parents, uncles and aunts, brothers and sisters, and children, the assassinated and the disappeared, because the spilled blood was not in vain, because yes, there was a genocide, judgement and punishment for Otto Perez Molina.

As talked about on this blog, nobel peace prize winner Rigoberta Menchú will be on the ballot – but she is currently pulling less than 2% in polls. She doesn’t fear monger – but she also hasn’t built a critical mass around her in this second presidential run:

Poetry from Argentina: Carlos Barbarito

7 Sep

Cover image for Carlos Barbarito's "Un fuego bajo un cielo que huye" / Illustration by Lisandro Demarchi

MUJER CON VIOLONCHELO WOMAN WITH VIOLONCELLO
Carlos Barbarito trans. Jonah Gabry
Desde el cuarto contiguo,
madera y metal vibran,
como vibra al unísono su carne.
Sin desnudarse, de todo lo superfluo
se despoja. Armonía
que la hace a quien la crea
una entre todas las cosas
y convierte al resto en un espejo
que con distorsión
la refleja. Ahora
es un final de exilio
sobre cuerdas que regresan
al día anterior a las cenizas;
al oír puedo decir yo soy
en lugar de yo fui
y encontrar presencia
donde reinaba la privación, la falta.
From the next room,
wood and metal vibrate,
as her body vibrates in unison.
Without undressing, she lets go of
all that is superfluous. Harmony
that makes its creator
one among all things
and turns all else into a mirror
that, in a distorted image,
reflects her. Now
puts an end to exile
on strings that return
the previous day to ashes;
when I hear it I may say I am
instead of I was
and find presence
where deprivation, lack, once reigned.

Carlos Barbarito nació en Pergamino, Argentina, el 6 de febrero de 1955. Lleva publicado 15 libros de poesía y dos de crítica de artes plásticas. Sus textos sobre arte y literatura y su obra poética están traducidos, en parte, al inglés, al francés, al portugués, al catalán y al holandés.

Su blog: http://vigabajoelagua.blogspot.com/

Carlos Barbarito was born in Pergamino, Argentina in 1955. He has published 15 poetry collections and two books of art criticism. His work has been translated into English, French, Portuguese, Catalan and Dutch.

His blog: http://vigabajoelagua.blogspot.com/

This poem appears in Barbarito’s collection “Un fuego bajo un cielo que huye”, published in 2009 by Baile del Sol.

Find this book HERE

¡Que viva el peatón en Bolivia!

5 Sep

(Long live the Pedestrian!)

Time for good news this Monday as La Paz, Bolivia catches the wave of cities like New York and Bogota creating car-free spaces, even if only for a day.

Sunday Music Break: Los Rakas

4 Sep

Panameño California hip-hop group Los Rakas, from their new album Chancletas Camisetas Bordada. I’m lovin’ the juxtaposition of the slow flow spanish rap with the atypical latinoamericano aesthetic. I’m expectin’ some booty shakin’, I’m seein’ Taco trucks and shot of families reppin’ México.  Check it.