I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Tom Hennigan

Slaying the Octopus

Brazilians have decided that the Workers Party’s efforts to improve the lives of tens of millions of the poor trump the fact that after twelve years in power it is now as corrupt as the regimes that preceded it. But corruption itself is an obstacle to pursuing the equality agenda.

The Modernist Moment

Brazil, in the mid-twentieth century, saw a spectacular flourishing of architecture and town planning, associated with names like Niemeyer and Costa. But since then chaos and venality have returned, with builders rather than architects in the driving seat and recent hopes that the World Cup could be a game-changer disappointed.

Beyond Belief

Gabriel García Márquez emerged explosively as a new international name in the 1960s with a novel stuffed with the baroque and the fantastic, which sought to translate the scope of America.

Power and the People

A new book on the Latin American left asks profound questions about the quality of societies being constructed and comes up with a fascinating portrait of left-wing administrations seeking to balance their supporters’ demands with the dictates of market orthodoxy.

Island Sickness

Long divided, Argentines finally found national unity under the leadership of the continent’s most murderous regime and its campaign to retake the Malvinas.

Losing It

Yet one measure of just how disorientating the global financial crisis has been for the world’s bien pensant elite is that Argentina’s economic history no longer just serves as a warning but simultaneously as an example for those countries in the developed world seeking to escape the wreckage left by of the crash of September 2008. For every commentator who finds toxic fallout from the South American country’s unprecedented sovereign default in December 2001 there is another ready to ignore it and laud strong economic growth since then as proof that there is indeed life after burning your bondholders.

One Of Our Own

Previously Morales insisted that coca was a legitimate crop, a gift from Pachamama, Mother Earth, and that cocaine was a problem for the Americans. “We produce our coca, we bring it to the main markets, we sell it and that’s where our responsibility ends,” he told a journalist in 1991. But as president he cannot afford to take such a myopic stance. Brazil, not the US, is the main market for Bolivian cocaine, where it produces far more violence and social mayhem than in any North American city.

Empress of Asunción

In March 1870 Solano López was finally hunted down in the Paraguayan wilderness of Cerro Corá and killed by a Brazilian soldier. Panchito died with him and Lynch buried them both with her bare hands before being escorted first to Buenos Aires, then to Montevideo, from where she boarded the Royal Mail packet City of Limerick, which brought her back to Europe, fifteen momentous years after the start of her South American sojourn.