World in View: Latin American Notes

May 19, 2022

From the May-June 2022 issue of News & Letters

by Eugene Walker

El Salvador—President Nayip Bukele’s response to a spike in gang violence was to arrest 18,000 people, mostly youth, and suspend civil liberties. Children aged 12 to 16 received 10-year sentences to be served in adult prisons. “It’s a stigmatized sweep up, where anyone who looks like a thug can be arrested,” said Tiziano Breda, a Central America analyst at the International Crisis Group.


Peru—A state of emergency was declared at the Cuajone copper mine, where residents of a nearby community shut down the water supply to the mine. They were demanding financial compensation and a share of future profits. The shutdown there, and at other mines, resulted in a 20% reduction of Peruvian copper production. Extractivism is the battleground as communities lose their water sources and remain impoverished while mining companies, most of them foreign (U.S. and Canadian), become richer and richer.

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