Unwrapping Development

After 24 years, Acteal is still an open wound in Chiapas

Desire for reconciliation marks first anniversary of Acteal massacre Text of an article I wrote that was published in Catholic New Times, Jan. 31, 1999. ACTEAL, Chiapas, Mexico – The people who came to Acteal Dec. 22 made a brightly-coloured crowd. Huipiles – hand-woven, brightly-coloured blouses – were evidence of the diversity of the people of Chiapas, […]

Gabriel Boric: Hope defeated fear in Chile 

Good news is that Gabriel Boric won the election in Chile. Since the election of Salvador Allende in Chile in 1970, the left in Latin America has participated in elections and governed according to the rules of liberal democracy. They do so without sufficient regard for the roles of money, foreign interference and private media companies.

What is to be done? Tolstoy, Lenin, John the Baptist and recent elections

Soon after my return to Canada from my first visit to the Dominican Republic in 1983, I saw Peter Weir’s brilliant film, In a Year of Living Dangerously. As a socialist option in Indonesia collapses through local intrigue and U.S. intervention, Linda Hunt’s character, Billy Kwan, asks obsessively: “What is to be done?” In the wake of […]

20 years: Digna Ochoa, ¡Presente!

“I learned that due to the rampant corruption and impunity in Mexico, it was not sufficient to be innocent, to be right, and to have the law on your side, but it was necessary to fight against an entire government structure that defends very specific political and economic interests.” Digna Ochoa, speaking in September 2000 […]

Vaccine equity: Release the patents!

For those of us concerned about global vaccine equity—“none of us is safe until we’re all safe,” the politicians keep saying—there was good news and bad news over the weekend. Good news is that Pope Francis lent his powerful voice to those calling for fair access. “In the name of God,” he said Saturday to a world […]

Anacaona and the Day of Indigenous Resistance 

Today, October 12, is the Day of Indigenous Resistance, at least in Venezuela and in the hearts of millions of people in other lands. In Costa Rica, it’s the Día de las Culturas. But in many places, it’s still called Columbus Day or the Día de la Raza. In Canada, the date is mostly ignored. Here, […]


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