Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies, Fall 2015

Araucaria trees in front of the Andes mountains
CLAS Chair Harley Shaiken speaks before a CLAS event in 2015. (Photo by Jim Block.)

COMMENT: Fall 2015

By Harley Shaiken | The CLAS Chair highlights the Fall 2015 issue of the Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies’ analysis on the status of US-Cuba relations, Guadalupe Rivera’s reflections on the life of her father Diego, and the future of a post-neoliberal Latin America.

Barack Obama and his family take in a baseball game in Havana with Raúl Castro in March 2016. (Photo from the U.S. Department of State.)

CUBA: A Whole New Ballgame

By Valerie Wirtschafter and Julia Sweig | Cuba experts discuss the negotiations that led to the historic détente with Cuba and what to expect moving forward after Obama and Castro leave office.

 With its range shrinking due to collapsing sea ice levels, an emaciated polar bear hunts in the Arctic. (Photo by Stefan Cohen.)

CLIMATE: A Time to Choose

By James Gerardo LambAcademy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Charles Ferguson explains the dire threat that Latin America and the world face as a result of climate change and the options available to avoid ecological catastrophe.

An abandoned railcar sits rusting in a siding and symbolizes the failure of Argentina’s rail privatization under neoliberal policies in the 1980s. (Photo by Emilio Küffer.)

LATIN AMERICA: Economic Faultlines

By Manuel Castells and Fernando Calderón | What’s next for Latin America after the Washington Consensus? Political scientists Manuel Castells and Fernando Calderón analyze the development model currently evolving in the continent as the region undergoes an economic and political transition.

Rio de Janeiro’s Cristo Redentor statue outlined against a blue sky and swirling clouds. (Photo by Geraint Rowland.)

BRAZIL: Tottering on the Brink

By Elizabeth McKenna | After several years of economic boom and being seen as a rising power, Brazil is now in the midst of a severe political and economic meltdown. Elizabeth McKenna examines how this happened.

A large gathering of former members in a conference hall, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria, Concepción, Chile, August 2015. (Photo by Esteban Ignacio Paredes Drake.)

CHILE: Reflecting on the Revolutionary Left

By Marian Schlotterbeck | Half a century after its founding, Chile’s Movement of the Revolutionary Left (MIR) is still not widely understood. Historian Marian Schlotterbeck shares personal stories she encountered from former MIR members.

Diego Rivera sits with his toddler daughter Guadalupe on his lap, circa 1927. (Photo from Google Art Project/Wikimedia Commons.)

ART: The Mexico of My Father

By Yngrid FuentesGuadalupe Rivera, daughter of Diego Rivera, sheds new light on the life and times of Mexico’s most famous artist.

People surround a truck with hands outstretched, waiting for handouts from the Peña Nieto campaign during the 2012 election in San Luis Potosí, Mexico. (Photo by Germán Canseco/Procesofoto.)

POLITICS: How Clientelism Actually Works

By Carlos Schmidt Padilla | Clientelism is a political reality in much of Latin America. Political scientist Thad Dunning examines its modus operandi in Latin America and beyond.

An 1872 map of Cuba with a large red line showing the stark delineation of east and west. (Image from Wikimedia Commons.)

CUBA: The East and the West

By Rebecca BodenheimerDespite the image of a united Cuban society presented by the ruling Communist Party, ethnomusicologist Rebecca Bodenheimer reveals the deep divisions, including a marked regionalism, that shape political and personal relations on the island.

A triptych of portraits of Lucky Luciano, Pablo Escobar, and Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán. (Photos from Wikimedia Commons.)

MEXICO: The Geopolitics of Organized Crime

By Helke Enkerlin-MaderoProfessor Sergio Aguayo places the conversation on organized crime within a larger geopolitical frame, examining the history of the drug trade and looking towards its future in Latin America.

A woman silhouetted in the window of a darkened office building as she cleans alone at night. (Photo by Andrés Cediel.)

MIGRATION: Alone in the Night

By Levi Bridges“Rape on the Night Shift” explores the hidden truth of the abuse and sexual violence that immigrant women in the janitorial industry face in the workplace.

A young girl stands on a hilltop above the site of the El Mozote massacre. (Photo by Allison McKellar.)

ART: Horrors and Dreams

By Claudia BernardiArgentine artist Claudia Bernardi shares how the traumatic experiences faced by children fleeing violence in Mexico and Central America can tell their story through art they themselves create.

A hypnotic blue pool centers a painting in this detail from Alfredo Arreguín, “Cenote” (1980), 48 x 48 in., private collection. (Image courtesy of Alfredo Arreguín.)

ART: Patterns of Life: The Works of Alfredo Arreguín

Artworks by Alfredo Arreguín | The artist and master of pattern painting shares some of his works with CLAS.

A collapsed brick corner of a building underneath its roof shows damage from the Napa earthquake of August 2014. (Photo by hitchster.)

RESEARCH: A Few Seconds of Warning

By Margaret HellwegA member of a research team funded by a CLAS/CONICYT grant shares the team's findings on earthquake prevention technology in Chile and California.

Lago Blanco, a beautiful clear lake reflecting the mountains it nestles among, in Parque Pumalín, Chile, a project begun by Doug Tompkins in 1991. (Photo by Fanny & Greg.)

IN MEMORIAM: Douglas Tompkins

In Memoriam | In memory of Doug Tompkins, environmentalist and benefactor of large parks in Chile and Argentina.