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South America

Rio’s Favelas – Where Beauty Meets Brutality

What does one think of when hearing the word favela? Those familiar with the term would likely connect it with crime, gangs, and violence in the forgotten cities within Rio de Janeiro where the so-called “people of the hill” live. The favelas largely represent a failure of the Brazilian government …

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Too soon to release the white dove? Colombia’s peace process

Juan Manuel Santos has been a public servant in Colombia for 21 years. He has definitely been a man of controversy from his early days in politics, from continuous attacks on the FARC guerilla in the past to receiving a Nobel prize for his progress in peace in the present …

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Politics of Public Space – the Transformation of Bogotá

During the first half of the 1990’s, the Colombian capital, Bogotá, had the reputation of being ‘the worst city in Latin America’. In the aftermath of the 1980’s fights between governments and drug cartels, the overall situation of the country was critical. The situation in Bogotá was a reflection of …

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A collapsing Venezuelan economy on its way into the abyss

Masses of people waiting outside of state-owned supermarkets have become a common sight in Venezuela in the past year. The shortage of basic foods make Venezuelans spend entire nights outside grocery stores in the hopes of getting hold of some rice, milk, canned food or whatever might be offered that …

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Even peace has enemies – Colombia’s peace process

In 2012, Colombia’s government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP), formally launched a new round of peace talks to end the longstanding internal armed conflict. The proposed negotiations, hosted in Cuba, were celebrated internationally, however amongst Colombians the peace talks have been met with a degree of guarded …

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Is it Time for Peace with Colombia’s Newfound Optimism?

From the ‘La Uribe Agreements’ in 1982, to the empty chair at ‘El Caguán’ in 1999 and most recently the hand shake in Havana, there has been 30 years of fruitless peace talks in Colombia. But on September 24th Colombia’s president, Juan Manuel Santos and FARC’s (Revolutionary Armed Forces of …

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Colombia peace talks: is an end in sight of the longstanding FARC conflict?

Since the mid-1960s, Colombia has been suffering from an ongoing conflict which has made a large impact on the civil community in the country. Different political ideologies separate Colombia and the way of implicating these ideologies has been through violence for many years. However, by the end of 2012, peace …

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Summing up the year; the left-wing wind stays alive in South America

Raffael Correa and Nícolas Maduro were elected presidents in Ecuador and Venezuela respectively during the first months of 2013. Later the same year, Michelle Bachelet followed suit in Chile. This wave of left-wing presidents continued during October 2014, with the presidential elections of Brazil, Bolivia and Uruguay. These elections meant …

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Clean consciousness, dirty digging: The real price of a clean future

While the global climate negotiations are at a halt and the prospects of making serious commitments to stop climate change appear depressingly far away, companies and consumers sit on parts of the solution. The sudden boom in the production and sales of e-cars can be seen as a part of …

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Brazil 2014: FIFA World Cup and Presidential Elections. Is this Brazil’s busiest year in history?

The eyes of the entire world were turned towards Brazil during this summers FIFA’s World Cup. However, the World Cup wasn’t the only mayor event in Brazil this year, as the worlds 5th largest democracy is currently preparing itself to elect a new president on October 26th, after an exciting first …

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