Author: Alexa Tavarez

Tillerson on the Venezuelan Crisis and the Future of Regional Stability

On Feb. 1, 2018, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson addressed UT students and faculty on U.S. engagement in the Western hemisphere, before embarking on his “diplomatic mission” to Latin American and the Caribbean. He identified economic growth, security and democratic governance as the “three pillars of engagement” for the State Department’s strategy for regional stability. To reinforce these three pillars, Tillerson advocated for the integration of energy resources, such as crude oil, natural gas and electricity. He said the “energy renaissance” is already underway and this “energy force” will support the U.S. economy as the “most competitive and...

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Recent Quakes in Mexico Echo Similar Nostalgic Political Frustration

Photo of citizen rescuers in 1985 earthquake: United Nations (CC) Recent earthquakes in Mexico City have reinvigorated grassroots organizations’ appeals for municipal transparency and financial accountability. Civilian groups such as Los Topos and Transparencia Mexicana are placing pressure on federal and local officials as affected areas begin rebuilding. Grassroots platforms were similar catalysts for emergency management reform following the historic earthquakes on Sep. 19, 1985 that struck Mexico City, costing over 8.3 billion dollars in losses and resulting in more than 10,000 fatalities. Federal reforms included the creation of the Natural Disaster Fund (FONDEN). Furthermore, the state’s absence in coordinating...

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