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ORE Latin American History

When the kids outsmarted the dictators

Decades before the internet was invented, young Argentines documented police brutality without iPhones, met and discussed their movement without social media, and even protested repression without marches. How? Through another of the most powerful and subversive media ever devised: rock music.

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Can microbiology tell us exactly what killed the Aztecs?

The arrival of the Spanish conquistadors to Mexico in the 1620s marked the beginning of the end for the indigenous people. With an estimated population of between 15 and 30 million at this point, this dropped dramatically to only two million by 1700: the result of battles, famine, drought, and perhaps most significantly, infectious diseases. The following Q&A investigates how microbiology contributed to the ruin of the once-flourishing Mesoamerican culture.

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The Bolivarian (r)evolution: the perpetual liberation of Venezuela

Ignoring both domestic and international protests, Venezuela’s president Nicolás Maduro has recently overseen the creation of a Constituent Assembly with the power to dissolve parliament, rewrite the constitution, and remove any remaining checks on his power. But this should not be interpreted merely as a power grab by yet another desperate ruler. History’s invisible hand is at work, playing out a recurring theme that has haunted Venezuela since its formation by Simón Bolívar.

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Finding reliable information on Latin America in the Internet flood

Recent political rhetoric filled with such hot button words as “drugs,” “immigrants,” “the Wall,” and “terrorists” serves in place of diplomacy that represents the interests of the United States while remaining respectful toward other nations. This blather is the result of loose-lipped politicians who prefer media quips to thoughtful commentary about policy. Although the United […]

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Singing resistance on the border

At an early age, Américo Paredes was preoccupied with the inexorable passing of time, which would leave an imprint in his academic career. Devoting his academic career to preserving and displaying Mexican-American traditions through thorough analysis and recording of folk-songs, it is clear that Paredes kept his focus on beating back the forces of time and amnesia. Indeed, Paredes’ lessons are still very much relevant today.

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Bodily identity and biotypology in Brazil

What does your body shape say about you? When typing this question on any online search engine one will find dozens of examples and images of models of varying bodily classifications as well as the relationship of bodily shape with many different types of physical and mental health and even personality. Rectangle, triangle, round, hourglass, slender, pear, apple, etc, are widespread categories used to label the body

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Brinksmanship does little to resolve crisis in Venezuela

For over eighty days, the opposition has challenged the government of Nicolás Maduro and sought his ouster through direct street actions. Dramatic images of masked protestors violently clashing with the Venezuelan National Guard or the Bolivarian Police dominate western media reporting on the country. The mainstream US media creates the impression that the entire country is in open revolt and Maduro only holds on to power through the use of sheer repression.

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Puerto Rico in crisis

The US territory of Puerto Rico is currently experiencing its most severe and pro­longed economic downturn since the Great Depression (1929–33). Between 2006 and 2016, the island’s economy (measured as Gross National Product in constant 1954 prices) shrank by 15.2%, while total employment fell by 28.6%. The elimination of federal tax exemptions under Section 936 of the Internal Revenue Code in 2006 dealt a serious blow to the island’s manufacturing industry.

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Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History

How simple, rural products changed Argentina’s history

With globalization and industrialization came both freedom and dependency, as Argentina shed the persistent stereotype that the country was simply a collection of farms and ranches. Rural and urban life blurred into a hybrid culture that thrived on export commodities and domestic consumption. To further illustrate how the urbanization of simple rural products shaped the culture and history of Argentina, we compiled some facts that help demonstrate how globalization had such an impact on Argentina from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th.

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How has Mexico influenced the United States economically?

While the current US administration is re-examining the North American Free Trade Agreement and finding issues with the trade deficit, it is worth considering the impact of trade between the United States and Mexico and examining the history between these two nations. In the following excerpt from the forthcoming 2nd edition of Mexico: What Everyone Needs to Know, Roderic Ai Camp explores how Mexico has contributed to the US economy in recent years.

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César Chávez would oppose Trump’s border policies

Donald Trump ran for the US presidency on the backs of undocumented immigrants, particularly those from Mexico, calling them criminals and promising to build a border wall across the entire length of the United States-Mexico border to keep them out. As Trump issues executive orders and unveils his Congressional proposals for immigration enforcement as an integral part of his initial “100-day action plan,” that timeline intersects with what would have been the 90th birthday of labor rights champion César Chávez on 31 March 2017.

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On language and defiance: a Q & A with Ilan Stavans

“The Trump Administration has taken down from the White House official website all references to Spanish. This to me is another symptom of its anti-globalist views.” We caught up with Ilan Stavans, Editor in Chief of Oxford Bibliographies in Latino Studies, to discuss his recent New York Times editorial, the use of the Spanish language in the United States, and why Spanish isn’t a foreign language in the US.

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Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History

Reckoning with the addict and the US “War on Drugs”

In 2015, nearly 1.25 million people in the United States were arrested for the simple possession of drugs. Moreover, America’s “War on Drugs” has led to unprecedented violence and instability in Mexico and other drug-producing nations. Yet in spite of billions of dollars spent and thousands of lives lost, drug abuse has not decreased.

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The centennial of mambo king Pérez Prado

In the late 1940s and early 1950s a new, fast, and instantly appealing music and dance style swept across the globe: the mambo. The man behind the new sensation was the Cuban pianist, composer, bandleader, and showman Dámaso Pérez Prado.

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The Cuban Revolution and resistance to the United States

The Cuban revolution came out of the very history that it was determined to redress, a history profoundly shaped by the United States and into which the Americans had deeply inscribed themselves with pretensions to preponderant power. For vast numbers of Cubans, the revolution was about a people determined to reintegrate themselves into their history as subjects and enact historical narratives as protagonists,

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