Lovato Gets Pulitzer Grant to Report on Drug Wars in America Latina


Roberto Lovato was awarded a grant from the Pulitzer Center to look at how the Obama Administration’s proposed drug enforcement and security policies in El Salvador — and across Latin America — represent an attempt by the U.S. to assert new influence through old means: militarization.

Roberto's work began in March of this year with reporting on  President Obama’s visit to Latin America (March 2011). Obama's visit was supposed to put U.S. relations with its southern neighbors on a different path, one that diverges from the top-down military and trade policies of his predecessors. But while all signs would seem to point toward a new day in U.S.-Latin America relations, a closer look at Obama’s drug enforcement and security policies indicates that the more the U.S. stance toward Latin America changes, the more it stays the same.

Statements by several U.S. officials signal Washington’s wish to replace the militarized Cold War framework that dominated U.S.-Latin relations with an equally militarized framework rooted in the so-called War on Drugs. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other Obama Administration officials have taken to deploying terms like “narcoinsurgency” that fuse drug war adversaries with enemies in the war on terror.

Roberto will also examine how this militarization, coupled with El Salvador’s culture of violence, has impacted women in El Salvador. New studies indicate that El Salvador now suffers the highest rate of femicide in the hemisphere. Bringing more guns into a culture that's already steeped in violence is likely to worsen the crisis.

For more information on the Pulitzer project, click here.




Life is best lived in the placenta of words. Because discovering new ways to do things with words delights to no end, I've created this section to share words; words coined, words created by others, words with strange and mysterious origins, words that leave you breathless or brainless. 

In the cantankerous and always entertaining revolutionary spirit of Ambrose Bierce's Devil's Dictionary, the Diablo's Dictionary will verbally comfort the afflicted and linguistically afflict the comforted. More than anything, this dcitionary provides a space for lovers of words and lovers with words to safely traffic and deal their drug of choice in a supportive, propagand-free environment. I will be sharing a Word of the Week here and on my blog. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (y el Diablo)...

1. compañer@ - (Sp.)  comrade, friend, roommate, lover, schoolmate.  The best deployments of this fabulous word mix and scratch DJ-like all of the above in the making of magical life music in the sprited company of another or of others. Derived from Latin "comedere" (eat) + "panis" (bread), companer@ comes from the sacred and profane act of eating bread together, as in the campamento guerillero (guerrilla camp) described at the 50 second mark in this sublime song by  Luis Enrique Mejia Godoy from Nicaragua, Eran Treinte con El. Used to describe those belonging to liberation movements in América, compañer@ is directly related to the word that best describes what has long been the world's primary source of enslavement, the "company." And it's no coincidence that the word "company" also started being used to describe the military guarantor of enslavement, the company, right around the time when banks were born in the 12th century.  A sublime word for describing someone who is a little more than "that special someone" mentioned in greetong cards and in TV and internet ads.