My name is Kito Romero and I have just transferred in to 3rd year Poli Sci at UBC from Langara. Although I was born in Canada my family is originally from El Salvador, and thus Latin American Studies is a subject of particular interest to me. While at Langara I took all the LAST courses available and wanted to continue during my remaining time at UBC. Of particular interest to me, and a major focus of my studies, formally and informally, has been the application or lack there of, of Human Rights in the region( however that may be defined). Specifically, I have focused on violations committed by TNC( mostly based in Canada) and by illegitimate regimes. I am very excited to get to know you all throughout the semester, and continue to increase my knowledge of Latin America.
The first video id like to comment on is “The War on Drugs.” My first though about the video is that it gave a nice, easily followed chronological history of the drug trade. Starting by mentiontioning the start of the drug trade in Chile before Pinochet’s crack down, to pre-kingpin Escobar, and a small mention of how his empire grew. A second thing I found interesting was the project in brazil to combat drug use in Brazil. Their critique of the failures of the program as well as their analysis of some of the root causes of drug use in the country. Furthermore, some of the statistics provided in the video were very interesting, I.e., the worth of the industry, death tolls, ect.
On the other hand, I felt that the video failed to mention any of the cultural aspects of Coca farming and usage. As well as the fact that many farming families subsidise their income with the sale of the leaf. Thus making it an important form of income for many of them, although illegal.
A second video id like to comment on tackles the subject of the ” Sendero Luminoso” or “Shinning path” guerrilla in Peru. I have never learned much about them and i found it to be quite an educating video. The video explained their ideology( Maoist) and its differentiation from classical marxism. The video also spoke to the tactics used by the Guerrilla forces, their geographical strong holds and eventual downfall.
One of the key aspects from the video in my opinion is that they touched on the subject of indigenous and peasant exclusion and inequality as a precursor to the formation of the rebel force. Furthermore, it provided some information on the response of the government to the gurrilla movement.
I also found the video to be refreshingly un-biased. It gave historical perspective, fundamental causes of the conflict and a bit of history after the end of the conflict without any clear personal political leanings.
Until next week,