The Blog — Latin America
Cuba is a tough place to get to know, at least if you want independent perspectives. Activists have their movement and speech restricted, media is tightly controlled, and the internet is not widely accessible. That makes an opportunity to speak with one of the foremost voices for free expression, democracy, and rule of law so valuable. So join us on Reddit for the latest in our series of activist chats as we talk with Yoani Sanchez, the blogger and well-known activist.
This week, #MovementsMonday takes a look at travel bans, and how authoritarian regimes are using them to scare, silence, and supress dissidents around the world. Photo: Generación Y Blog.
Follow these Twitter lists created by Movements.org and others to keep up with democracy and human rights activism all over the world. Is someone important missing from of the lists created by @aym? Want to help us create a list for your country? Email us and we'll make the additions.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-14820291 Brazilians Use Social Networks, Masks, and Clown Noses to Protest Corruption
Massive anti-corruption protests have taken place across Brazil this week. Brazilians are wearing clown noses to represent the "circus" that politics in Brasilia have become as well as wearing Guy Falkes masks- a popular symbol of protest.
Aiming to crack down on Internet crime, Brazilian congressman Eduardo Azeredo has introduced Law 84/99, which would spell out various penalties for illegal actions online. The Brazilian Institute for Consumer Defense, however, insists that the goal of this bill is much more sinister. According to the Institute, file sharing and even blogging could become punishable offenses, and Internet privacy and freedom would be compromised.Experts, as well as a petition with more than 163000 signatories, have backed this conclusion.
In the 1990s, an indigenous community in Mexico's Chiapas region grew into a movement and made a claim on the Mexican government that ended up significantly altering the political system. They were able to do this, in part, because they harnessed the earliest forms of the internet to engage with international networks of support. It's really the first case of a social movement capitalizing on the increased power of communications to bring in resources that it wouldn't have been able to amass otherwise. Can we still learn from their strategies and tactics? Read more at our case study on the movement.
Mexico boasts second highest quantity of Tweets per day in Latin America Twitter’s Still a Potent Force In Mexico
The Mexican newspaper Reforma reports on activists there that continue to harness social media to their advantage - focusing especially on successes mobilizing people via Twitter hashtags. Probably the most well known example of this is the #internetnecesario campaign, which in 2009 pushed legislators into repealing an unpopular law that taxed internet use. Can digital activists, though, build on what worked in that campaign and turn these hashtag success stories into longer lasting campaigns or organizations?
The Personal Democracy Forum conference came to an end on Friday, capping off two-days full of talks about the role of technology in Latin American politics. Around 400 activists joined with people from technology companies in the 30 story Telefonica building in Santiago, Chile, making for a great opportunity to discover some of the most innovative projects and campaigns happening throughout the region. Here are some highlights.