—Samuel Adler-Bell focuses on labor, mass incarceration and literature.
"Gabriel García Márquez: Our Own Brand of Socialism," by Gabriel García Márquez. Jacobin, April 22, 2014.
On the occasion his death, Jacobin re-issued an interview with the Colombian novelist that originally appeared in the April 1983 issue of New Left Review. In it, Gabo is witty, forthcoming and unapologetically socialist—calling on Latin Americans to reject the failed or failing political arrangements of Europe and build their "own brand of socialism." By reproducing this piece a few days after the writer's death—as universally reverent remembrances circulate in the news and misattributed quotations appear on Facebook walls and Twitter feeds—one senses an effort on the part of the left to reclaim Gabo as our own. "So you love Garcia Marquez, huh?" we say to his conservative and liberal eulogizers (Bill Clinton and Barack Obama among them), "Well, he was a socialist! So there!" We are petty when we should simply mourn. But then, our pettiness arises from having seen, time and time again, how the greatest radical artists are sanitized in death by those who would seek to disentangle their unimpeachable creative output from their inconvenient political beliefs (an impossible maneuver, especially in the case of Gabo).
And pettiness, I hope we can agree, is a far lesser crime than hypocrisy.
—Dustin Christensen focuses on Latin American politics and sports.
"The War of Paz y Paz," by Steven Dudley. Insight Crime. April 21-23, 2014.
Insight Crime has recently published three excellent pieces about Guatemala's fearless attorney general, Claudia Paz y Paz: "Enemy of the State," "The Victims," and "The Revolution." The stories paint a portrait of a woman who has helped challenge a culture of impunity, whose work tackling entrenched power structures might have cost her the job. From charging General Efrain Rios Montt with genocide to increasing prosecutions for femicide across the country, Paz y Paz is a model of public service to some, and a thorn in the side of others. Former and current military figures, economic elites, organized crime and countless other political forces are working to ensure that Paz y Paz doesn't get a second term, afraid that they might well be next in her long list of high-profile cases. In these three pieces, Steven Dudley takes a measured look at the past, present and future of one of Latin America's most exciting and controversial political figures.