WEB EXTRA: WikiLeaks & Latin America

The controversy over the website WikiLeaks has been broiling steadily for months, but with the recent release of confidential U.S. State Department diplomatic cables, things seems to have reached a peak of furor on both sides of the issue. The information made public–a mix of damaging behind-the-scenes machinations, sometimes catty descriptions of world leaders, and behavior of diplomats that some view as ethically questionable–has affected governments the world over. Additionally, the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on charges of sexual improprieties further contributes to the furious debate.

Some of the cables address the U.S.’s often tenuous relationship with our Latin American neighbors. The cables give an insight into how the U.S. shapes foreign policy with Latin America, and what challenges the State Department faces when working with our neighbors to the South. Emilene Martinez Morales works for the Mexico Project at the National Security Archive in Washington, D.C. She spoke with us about the impact of WikiLeaks massive document release on U.S.-Latin American relations.

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Dolores Huerta & DREAM Activist Lucy Martinez

The DREAM Act — the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act — received its first-ever vote in the U.S. of House of Representatives: and it passed. The measure faced a Republican filibuster in the Senate, and Democrats tabled it.

Thousands of student activists across the country have been advocating for its passage, often through acts of civil disobedience and non-violent protest. What’s clear, no matter the legislative outcome during this lame duck session of Congress, is that lots of young people have been politicized by this particular struggle.

We wanted to put one of those young activists together with a veteran organizer, someone who has more than her share of victories and defeats under her belt: Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers.

Maria invited the two women to talk about the next steps for the DREAMERS.

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