Latin America: Week in Review

Great Reads Round-Up: Jan. 20-25

January 25, 2015 By Staff

Aiming to Create a Jazz Capital

Melena Ryzik. The New York Times. January 18, 2015.

Danilo Pérez, a Panamanian jazz pianist and founder of the Panama Jazz Festival, is a towering figure in the world of jazz — a genre of music not quite as popular in the region as in the U.S. or Europe. As a teacher and mentor, he is a tireless promoter of musicianship in his home country. Here, reporter Melena Ryzik explores his highly influential jazz club — Danilo’s Jazz Club, the only venue dedicated solely to jazz in Panama City and the center of a burgeoning Panamanian jazz scene.

Land of Opportunity — and Fear — Along Route of Nicaragua’s Giant New Canal

Jonathan Watts. The Guardian. January 20, 2015.

Nicaragua’s government has teamed up with a mysterious Chinese billionaire to build a massive canal that will cut across the country. Supporters argue it will be a boon for the economy, creating thousands of jobs. Critics assert it will ruin the local ecosystem and displace thousands of people. Jonathan Watts takes a trip down the proposed canal route, spotlighting the places and people along the way.

Who Owns What in Haiti?

Jacob Kushner. The New Yorker. January 18, 2015.

In Haiti, land ownership practices are highly informal — around 95 percent of land sales in rural areas have been made without going through legal formalities. This has proved problematic for a country trying to attract foreign investment in tourism, mining, manufacturing and agriculture. Nobody knows who owns what in Haiti, an issue addressed here in The New Yorker by journalist Jacob Kushner.

Bad Dream

Greg McArthur. The Globe and Mail. January 23, 2015.

What happened when an elderly billionaire philanthropist invested in the Caribbean’s burgeoning gambling industry by partnering with mobsters living in the Dominican Republic? A seven-part multimedia story by Greg McArthur on the “nightmare” that ensued.

Legal Limitations

Steven Yoder. Comstock’s. January 20, 2015.

Last year, U.S. President Barack Obama called the surge of children crossing the border an “urgent humanitarian situation.” Here, Steven Yoder explores the legal challenges faced by the children who make it across, and the fight to provide them with greater access to lawyers.

Image: Porto Bay Events, CC BY 2.0