Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies, Spring 2015

A monarch butterfly perches amidst white, pink, and yellow flowers. (Photo by Tiago Fernandes.)
CLAS Chair Harley Shaiken speaking in front of a CLAS banner, 2015. (Photo by Jim Block.)

COMMENT: Spring 2015

By Harley Shaiken | Highlighting the Spring 2015 issue of the Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies’ in-depth coverage of Mexico, the art of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, and the first Latin American Pope.

Candles sit on student desks in a memorial to the disappeared students in Ayotzinapa, 2015. (Photo by Uriel López.)

MEXICO: "It Was the State"

By Tara P. BussPolitical scientist Alberto Díaz-Cayeros defines the role of the Mexican State in the disappearance of the 43 students in Ayotzinapa.

A painting of Lázaro Cárdenas signing the dramatic land redistribution law as Mexico’s president. (Photo by Jujomx.)

MEXICO: De Janvry on Mexico's Second Land Reform

By Carola Binder | UC Berkeley Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics Alain de Janvry digs deep into the connection between property rights, effective land reform and poverty in Mexico.

Seen from behind clad in his white robes, Pope Francis presides at a general audience. (Photo courtesy of the Catholic Church of England and Wales.)

RELIGION: The Final Conversion of Pope Francis

By Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Jennifer Scheper Hughes | Shedding light on Pope Francis’ background and the multiple challenges he faces as the first leader of the Catholic Church from Latin America.

A smiling Pope Francis gives a thumbs up during an event in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Jeon Han/

REFLECTIONS: Face-to-Face with Pope Francis

By Nancy Scheper-Hughes | Providing a personal account of meeting Pope Francis to discuss human trafficking.

A blurred image of the view boarding a bus in Mexico City. (Photo by Alejandro Mejía Greene.)

MEXICO: My Life as a Suspect in Mexico City

By Roberto HernándezSharing research on how Mexico's judicial reform is changing things inside some of the world’s most notorious criminal courts.

An aerial view of the structures on the Avenue of the Dead and the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacán. (Photo by Oscar Palma.)

MEXICO: Teotihuacán: A Multiethnic Metropolis

By Mario Alberto Castillo | Exploring archaeologist Linda Manzanilla’s decades of research at Teotihuácan, which have unearthed the history of an immense and sophisticated city with a complex sociopolitical organization based on group identity.

Frida Kahlo, “Self-Portrait on the Borderline Between Mexico and the United States,” 1932, oil on metal.  (© 2014 Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust,  Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.)

ART: Diego and Frida: Art Transcends Borders

By Harley Shaiken | Providing a personal perspective on Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo's time in the American Midwest and the profound impact it had on the artists and on generations of Detroiters.

Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo kiss on the scaffolding in the Detroit Institute of Arts during their visit to Detroit. (Photo courtesy of the Detroit Institute of Arts Archives.)

ART: Diego and Frida in Detroit

By Harley Shaiken | Interviewing Graham Beal, Director of the Detroit Institute of Arts, on the ground-breaking "Diego and Frida in Detroit" exhibition.

The work floor of an aircraft service center in Querétaro, with a disassembled jet engine. (Photo by francediplomatie.)

MEXICO: The Querétaro Approach

By Brittany Arsiniega | Looking at the Mexican State of Querétaro as an example of success amidst the dark stories of corruption, economic struggle and violence that plague the country.

Zeta reporter Sergio Haro and a photographer working in the streets of Tijuana. (Photo courtesy of Quiet Pictures.)

MEXICO: Reporting Under Threat

By Yolanda Martinez | Exposing the life-threatening work of journalists in Mexico with filmmaker Bernardo Ruiz.

Young women during “The Last March With Illegal Marijuana,” which took place on the day  the Uruguayan Senate voted on the Marijuana Regulation Law. (Photo by Gonzalo G. Useta.)

DRUGS: The 10 P's of Marijuana Legalization

By Beau KilmerOutlining the debate facing policy-makers over marijuana legalization in the U.S. and Latin America.

Local Indigenous women whirling through performing a traditional dance at the Museo Rural Communitario Barranca Larga, El Bolsón, Argentina. (Photo courtesy of Alejandra Korstanje.)

ARGENTINA: No Past Without a Present

By Katherine Chou | Untangling the complex history of colonization and indigenous communities in Argentina with archaeologist Alejandra Korstanje.

A screen shot from “H2Omx” shows a man leading his donkey to fetch water on the outskirts of Mexico City. (Photo courtesy of Icarus Films.)

MEXICO: City on a Lake, Running Dry

By Ignacio Camacho and Femke Oldham | Calling to action, the documentary “H20mx” highlights the crisis as Mexico City’s more than 8 million inhabitants face a dire water crisis.

Human bones remain amidst the rubble two years after the Rana Plaza building collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Photo from Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.)

LABOR: Lessons From Bangladesh

By Seth Leibson | Discussing what Latin American manufacturing can learn from the Bangladesh Accord for Fire and Building Safety with labor organizer Garrett D. Brown.

Evo Morales waves to supporters during his third inauguration in January 2015, La Paz, Bolivia. (Photo by David G Silvers / Cancillería del Ecuador.)

BOLIVIA: Morales: Continuity and Change

By Mathias Poertner | Describing the successes and ongoing challenges facing Evo Morales and Bolivia with author Linda Farthing.

The sun colors the clouds of ash from Calbuco Volcano’s eruption, seen from Puerto Montt, Chile, April 22, 2015.(Photo by M.E. Aguila.)

POETRY: Neruda and Volcano

By Pablo Neruda | Excerpting from Neruda's Canto Xii From the Heights of Macchu Picchu.