Ariel Moutsatsos discusses the importance of economic, and fiscal reform in the upcoming elections in Mexico. He believes that what is at stake in these elections is not just the battle between progressive and traditionalist viewpoints, liberals against conservatives, nor is it a simple confrontation between independents and realists, revolutionaries against porfiristas; what is at stake is the wellbeing, future, and credibility of the Mexican nation itself. Moutsatsos explains the complexity of these issues, and describes how Spanish and Chilean socialism can serve as examples for Mexico in order to create and sustainable development, better the quality of life, and reduce poverty and social inequalities.
Javier Ortiz draw attention to the ups and downs that the fight against terrorism has taken during the last few years in Spain, and analyzes how the policies implemented by Rodríguez Zapatero (before his presidency) could now become obstacles to the very peace process that he began. In 2000, Zapatero took a hardliner stance on terrorism in order to gain support against ex-President Aznar. Since then, he has entirely changed his position on terrorism, and yet the mechanisms that he set in motion continue to function, and risk jeopardizing the whole peace process. In Ortiz‘s opinion, an important lesson can be learned from the current President of Spain on the dangers of political opportunism of any kind.
By Arshin Adib-Moghaddam (for Safe Democracy)
Arshin Adid-Moghaddam explains how a common ignorance and stereotyping of Islam has led to strained relations between the Muslim and Judeo-Christian world. These misinformed views place blame inaccurately on the teachings of the Qu’ran, and lack a complete understanding of the variety of factors that influence modern day Islam, perpetuating what Adid-Moghaddam refers to as a belief in nihilistic terrorism. It is increasingly difficult to ignore the fact that throughout Europe and the wider Western world, Islam is being turned into a police matter. Western governments are increasingly calling for new policies in order to manage the growing threat to social order that Islam appears to present.
Augusto Zamora perceives three significant movements that are currently shaping Latin America: first is the newly cemented Peruvian relationship with Brazil, second is the reform that Evo Morales is carrying out in the Andean Community of Nations (CAN), and third is the possible resolution of Bolivia and Chile‘s age-old conflict over access to the ocean. If the left wins in the upcoming elections in Mexico, Ecuador and Nicaragua, and if Lula and Chavez are reelected in Brazil and Venezuela, Zamora believes that Latin America will enter into a period of change, unity, and solidarity.
Pedro G. Cavallero sheds light on Argentinean President Néstor Kirchner‘s aggressive policies by looking at Argentina‘s past and through the study of History. Cavallero explains the motives behind the current Kirchner‘s antagonism towards a large number of social, political, and economic groups in Argentina, including the military and the Church, and states that with the next elections quickly approaching, his leadership becomes evident.
Bernardo Kliksberg analyzes the importance of corporate responsibility and how ethical conduct in businesses and corporations allows everyone to win: both the society, and the businesses themselves. Kliksberg points out which countries are the most advanced in corporate responsibility, discusses how companies are competing to lead the fight for ethical business, and explains why, thanks to growing social pressure from investors and consumers, corporate responsibility has won the battle of ideas in today’s world of globalization. Far from being a passing fad, social responsibility appears to be here to stay.
Amaia Sánchez explains why Sri Lanka‘s fragile peace is crumbling as a consequence of the armed conflicts between the government of Colombo and the guerilla organization the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Sánchez points out that the official classification by the European Union of the LTTE as a terrorist organization has not helped to dissuade the group from continuing violence, nor has it stopped the escalation of the conflict. Sri Lanka finds itself now before the imminent and horrifying possibility of a return to open war.
Ricardo Israel Z. discusses the recent series of student protests in Chile and how their onset has rattled the claims of the Chilean government that the country is living a period of stability. The protests have demonstrated the urgent need for improvement in the quality of Chilean education, and the importance of equal access to education for all citizens of Chile. Israel Z. believes that if Chile really wants to make progress towards improving its society, it must compare itself not only to countries that are worse off, but also to more successful countries. He explains how the penguins (high school students) have influenced public opinion in Chile and how they have rallied for better education through protests, cell phones, and the Internet.
Mercedes Herrero explains how Russia is taking advantage of the European Union‘s dependence on its natural gas in order to form privileged economic relationships, as well as quiet Europe‘s complaints about Russian internal affairs (such as the violation of human rights in Chechnya), and garner support for its own possible entry into the World Trade Organization. Herrero sheds light on the route of natural gas from Russia to the EU, on the reactions of Poland, Slovenia, and Ukraine to Russian pressure, and on why Brussels has decided to accept Russia‘s extortion in order to avoid instability in Europe‘s natural gas supply.