» Gun Violence Darkens Political Unrest in Venezuela
Seven of the 20 people killed in the street protests that have shaken Venezuela since the second week of February were shot in the head, a testimony to the role being played by firearms in the political struggle in this oil-rich country. The armed forces and the police, and a few thousand licensed civilians, carry […]
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» Untimely Rains Hit Cuban Tobacco Harvest
Near the close of the harvest , local people in the Cuban municipality of San Juan y Martínez, which boasts the finest tobacco plantations in the world, are seeing their hopes of a plentiful season dashed by unexpected winter rains. ?It?s been a bad year, a rebellious one as we call it. There was a […]
» Chevron Wins Latest Round in Ecuador Pollution Case
In the latest twist in a 21-year-old environmental pollution case, a U.S. federal judge Tuesday ruled that the victims of massive oil spillage and their U.S. attorney could not collect on a nine-billion-dollar judgement by Ecuador?s supreme court against the Chevron Corporation. In a racketeering case brought by the U.S. oil giant, the judge found […]
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» Costa Rican Farmers Become Climate Change Acrobats
José Alberto Chacón traverses the winding path across his small farm on the slopes of the Irazú volcano, in Costa Rica, which meanders because he has designed it to prevent rain from washing away nutrients from the soil. His careful husbandry ensures his crops of beans, maize and carrots on his half-hectare parcel of land, […]
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» Vegetable Gardens Ease Poverty in El Salvador
Vegetable growing is flourishing in Cuscatlán, the smallest department in the tiny country of El Salvador, with the help of a national programme to promote family agriculture and lift hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty. On one and a half hectares of land, four of the Ramírez brothers used to grow only maize, […]
» Predatory Lionfish Decimating Caribbean Reefs
The lionfish, with its striking russet and white stripes and huge venomous outrigger fins, wasn?t hard to spot under a coral reef in 15 feet of clear water. Nor was it a challenge to spear it. As I approached and brought the point of my Hawaiian sling to within a foot of it, it simply […]
» Shifting Rainy Season Wreaks Havoc on Barbuda?s Crops
Water rationing has become a way of life for the 1,800 residents of the tiny island of Barbuda, which has been experiencing prolonged dry periods, especially in the Highlands area near the main agricultural lands. Marine biologist John Mussington told IPS the problem is that the wet period has shifted from the traditional July to […]
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» Rich Railroad Brings Few Opportunities in Brazil
The Carajás railroad, regarded as the most efficient in Brazil, runs a loss-making passenger service for the benefit of the population. But this does little to make amends for its original sin: it was created to export minerals and crosses an area of chronic poverty. Three decades after it was built, the Carajás corridor, or […]
» Indoor Mini-Farms to Beat Climate Change
Industrial engineer Ancel Bhagwandeen thinks that growing your food indoors is a great way to protect crops from the stresses of climate change. So he developed a hydroponic system that ?leverages the nanoclimates in houses so that the house effectively protects the produce the same way it protects us,? he says. Bhagwandeen told IPS that […]
» Rights Trampled in Venezuelan Protests
Fifteen dead, dozens injured, some 500 arrested and denunciations of torture, illegal repression by security forces and irregular groups and attacks on the press are the fruits of over two weeks of political confrontation in the streets of some 30 Venezuelan cities. The state ?has tossed the United Nations basic principles on the use of […]
» The Race to Save the Caribbean?s Banana Industry
When Dean, the first storm of the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season, lashed Dominica on Aug. 16, it left behind a trail of destruction, claimed the lives of a mother and son, and decimated the island?s vital banana industry. Seven years later, Dominica?s agricultural sector remains painfully vulnerable to natural disasters and climate variability. Every year, […]
» Cartel Boss Captured, Mexican Drug Trade Soldiers On
The arrest of the head of the Sinaloa drug cartel, Joaquín ?El Chapo? Guzmán, will not affect drug trafficking in Mexico, but it presents an opportunity to change the country?s drug policy, experts told IPS. The organisational hierarchy of the Sinaloa cartel ?reflects the weakness of the Mexican state,? said Edgardo Buscaglia, head of the […]
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» Where Would You Like Your New Glacier?
The idea sounds like harebrained science-fiction, but the accelerated retreat of glaciers due to global warming and the effects of mining is leading scientists to seek to restore or recreate these valuable reservoirs of fresh water. ?There are a number of technologies for saving and creating new glaciers,? Chilean glaciologist Cedomir Marangunic told Tierramérica. This […]
» Rising Prices Threaten to Increase Inequality in Argentina
Argentine consumers have responded to calls on social networks to mobilise against price hikes that threaten the country?s major advances towards poverty reduction and greater social equality. A consumer boycott has had encouraging results, according to some consumer associations and government spokespersons. The results were not quantifiable, but the campaign not to make purchases for […]
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» ?Blessed? Rains Become a Curse in Antigua
Antigua is one of the most drought-prone countries in the Caribbean. So whenever it rains, the inhabitants generally regard the weather as ?showers of blessing?. But that is starting to change. Many farmers now see the rains as a curse and are now fighting an uphill battle to save their crops, vital for both the […]