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From the Cold War to the Drug War

As Moscow’s satellites spin wildly out of control, all the world’s eyes are focused on Checkpoint Charlie, Wenceslas Square, and Europe’s leap into the post-Yalta future. But what about the rest of the world? If the Cold War is ending in Europe, can

Military Parade in Concepción, Chile. Photo byt APF Fellow Pamela Constable

Crime and Impunity in Chile: Perverting the Law of a Legalistic Land

Item: A teacher is kidnapped by the secret police, and his family files a petition for judicial protection, which is rejected after the government asserts the man is not in custody. Several months later, he is found in a prison camp, recovering from

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Beating Alcohol Through Tribal Self-Help

A giant of an Indian knocked at a door in Custer, Montana on a sultry afternoon in the late 1940s. The big man wore three braids under a flat-brimmed, dome-crowned hat. He asked for my father and Dad joined him on the front

David Halberstam, July, 1961. Courtesy of The New York Times Archives.

David Halberstam: The Making of a Critic

When David Halberstam arrived in Saigon in early September, 1962, his new dateline remained distant and obscure to his readers and even his editors. It would be several months before he would move back onto the front page with the regularity he had

Lech Walesa, Solidarity chairman, on his way to address striking shipyard workers in Gdansk in 1988. AP/Wide World Photo.

Growing Up: Solidarity’s Turbulent Times

May 15-20, 1989:   A week of highs and lows for Lech Walesa. In Strasbourg, France, the Council of Europe honors him with a human-rights award. In ceremonies there, he is accorded the protocol usually reserved for heads of state. Before Mass at

Contras look for a clearing in the jungle moments after a Sandinista ambush in Rio Yamilita, Honduras during February, 1987. Photo by Jason Bleibtreau/Sygma

Rebellion Among The Rebels

When several angry Nicaraguan contra field commanders last year challenged Enrique Bermudez, the rebel army’s “Supreme Commander,” their first tactical move reflected the dynamics of power within the anti-Sandinista movement: they called the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa to request a meeting with the

A wheat field near Coahuilla in Mexico’s Colorado River delta growing region shows the effects of too much salt in an irrigated field. Photo By Russell Clemings


LOST HILLS, Calif.–On a recent May afternoon when the temperature was toying with triple digits, Dr. Joseph Skorupa, a federal wildlife biologist looking for bird eggs, walked a low earthen levee between two vast pools of shallow water. With light-colored clothing and a

A protest outside Chile's National Congress. Photo by Miguel Angel Larrza.

Chile’s Lost Generation

We were the generation that thought we had the world in our hands. We were building a new country, and we gave our all to the cause. We lived and felt intensely, every moment. Estela Ortiz, 39, a communist youth activist during the

Hauling garbage for a living at the Santa Fe dump. Photo by Damian Dovarganes

The Economic Chaos In Mexico: A Primer

MEXICO CITY–Augustina Cruz lives in the western fringe of Mexico City in a one-room ramshackle house built of broken boards and cartons and a rusty strip of metal for a roof. Each morning Cruz, 45, a widowed mother of five, walks the short

Thousands of petitioners oppose the construction of a dam on the Danube River. John Nordell-JB Pictures

A Dam on the Danube: The Greening of Hungarian Politics

ESZTERGOM, Hungary–For more than 20 years, Istvan Horvath sifted and searched for Hungary’s buried treasures: ancient gold coins, altars, arches and urns. Were it not for the bulldozers on the banks of the Danube, he would have gone on digging peacefully for another

By 1982, dozens of CIA agents in the Honduras were working hard to train and arm a counterrevolutionary army. Photo by Jason Bleibtreu/Sygma

The Ambush of A Young Sandinista: An Early Contra Victory

The death of Daniel Teller in a 1983 contra ambush deeply shook colleagues throughout the Sandinista Front. He’d proven himself to be one of Nicaragua’s most brilliant and promising young political cadres. During four years of revolutionary work in northern Jinotega province, Teller

A rally for Augusto Pinochet Ugarte in Chile. Photo by APF Fellow Pamela Constable

The Dictator

On September 30, 1988, Augusto Pinochet Ugarte was in majestic fighting form. Chile’s barrel-chested, 72-year-old dictator had just nominated himself for president, with the concurrence of his three fellow military commanders, and officials were gathered in a cavernous hall for his acceptance speech.

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The Stale, Small War in El Salvador

The war in El Salvador is “stuck,” and the United States is “itself stuck with the war.” Washington has failed to “revitalize” the Salvadoran government, which “remains ineffective.” U.S. economic assistance “has achieved little.” The Salvadoran military remains “remarkably immune” to U.S. efforts

The lights of the Mon Reve lottery bank in Port-au-Prince invite Haitians to bet their pennies on winning a fortune.

Land Of Dreamers: What Haitians Want

Text and Photos by Maggie Steber …Then there is the mysterious something foreigners are always being told they can never fathom: “la psychologie Haitienne.”. Deep in the psyche of Haiti lies a violence that goes beyond violence. That this is so is demonstrated

Malcolm Browne of Associated Press interviews Quang Lien, spokesman for the protesting Buddhist monk's in Saigon, in June 1963. Wide World Photos, Inc.

America’s Little War Becomes A Nightmare

SAIGON, South Vietnam, mid-1963–Mal Browne drifted into a far world, caught up in the aromatic lure of incense, the shadowy vision of shuffling saffron, and the lulling monotone of an ancient prayer. “Na…Mo…Ah…Di…Da…Phat…” a lean and ascetic monk intoned. A second bonze solemnly

Manuel J. Clouthier and Cuauhtemoc Cardenas meet the press. Fernan Rodriguez C.

The Opposition Struggles In Mexico

MEXICO CITY-In the wake of last July’s controversial presidential election, center-left opposition leader Cuauhtemoc Cardenas could readily muster 200,000 supporters to fill Mexico City’s central plaza to rally against the ruling party. But as the memory of irregularities and fraud charges stemming from

Sketch for World War II poster. (General Services Administration).

The Age Of Electronic Government

It began as a routine Freedom of Information Act request but ended in a tangle, a computerized Catch-22. In 1985, the non-profit organization, Public Citizen, requested that Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provide an array of records detailing workplace hazards. The Washington-based

The body of a man shot one week before the presidential elections in November, 1987. It was placed in the well-traveled Carrefour section of the capital as a warning to would-be voters.

Death In Haiti

Text and Photos by Maggie Steber In Haiti, it is said that when you look at a man, you see death standing next to him. Personalities, dates and methods change, but there is always one sure factor–and that is death. It is as

In the early 1960’s, the war in Vietnam was a rural effort involving elephants and canoes. Training was small scale. Marine Captain William Bethel, right, instructs two South Vietnamese soldiers in the operation of a portable flame thrower. Photos Courtesy U.S. Dept of Defense.

The Wary Chronicler Who Inspired A Rebellion

South Vietnam, late December 1961-Homer Bigart of The New York Times had been shot at in anger in some part of the world during each of his past twenty years. The tiny and obscure American war in Vietnam would be his last battle,

Rodolfo Gonzalez Guevara, an activist in Mexico’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Arturo Fuentes/Imagenlatina

The Fragile Peace

For most of his adult life Samuel I. del Villar, a former Mexican government official and prominent intellectual, was a member in good standing of Mexico’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, PRI, and a staunch defender of the one-party system. But in the aftermath