Our media coverage is often dominated by one big story that crowds out most everything else. As an antidote, every week, Nation interns try to cut through the echo chamber and choose one good article in their area of interest that they feel should receive more attention. Please check out their favorite stories below, watch for this feature each week, and please use the comments section below to alert us to any important articles you feel warrant broader attention.
Angela focuses on money in politics.
“We Can’t Have Corporate Accountability Until We Have Corporate Identifiers,” by Kaitlin Lee. Sunlight Foundation, November 1, 2011.
The Sunlight Foundation’s Kaitlin Lee highlights a little discussed problem: the lack of a reliable mechanism to identify parent corporations and their subsidiaries. Six Degrees of Corporations, the foundation’s new microsite, includes a handy visualization demonstrating the difficulty in linking these entities, as well as an overview of alternative identifier systems.
Cal follows the drug war and human rights in Latin America.
“Anonymous Acts are a Key Feature of Mexico,” by Deborah Bonello, Guardian, November 1, 2011.
Earlier this week, hackers claiming to be members of Anonymous launched an online attack against collaborators with the Zetas drug cartel. In a video widely circulated over YouTube, an alleged Anonymous member wearing a Guy Fawkes mask claimed that one of the international hacktivist network’s members was kidnapped by Zetas in the state of Veracruz, and that the group will begin to publicize the names and contact information of Zetas and the journalists and politicians sympathetic to them if their compatriot isn’t released by Friday. This news analysis piece touches on the supposed upcoming cyber attacks on the drug traffickers, but it also touches on much broader concept: the role of anonymity in Mexico’s drug war. After all, with all of the killings of “clean” police officers, journalists, bloggers and rival gang members, the only thing that seems to protect the players in the drug war—and civilians, for that matter—from almost certain death is lack of public exposure and the avoidance of exposing others. For if Anonymous is indeed intending to expose Zetas and their collaborators, it might only be a matter of time before even more hackers are caught in the crossfire.
Teresa focuses on “global South” politics, or sociopolitical developments in areas of the developing world.
“Raucous Trial is a Test of Haiti’s Legal System,” by Walt Bogdanich and Deborah Sontag. New York Times, October 21, 2011.
In 2010, a collection of Haitian police officers and prison guards gunned down unarmed inmates at a prison in the small city of Les Cayes—then tried to cover it up by burying them in an unmarked mass grave outside the prison yard. Now, thirteen alleged participants in the massacre are being tried by a judge in a local community theater. In a country where the police force is known to behave with impunity, the trial is viewed as a historical landmark in Haiti’s attempts to reinstate rule of law.