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WeGov

Citizen Journalists Tweet Mexico's Drug War, Replacing Traditional Media

BY Julia Wetherell | Thursday, January 10 2013

Over the past several years, a growing number of Twitter users in cities throughout Mexico have taken to their feeds with real-time coverage of violent crime. Part public service, part journalism, sometimes completely anonymous, these feeds have become, in many cases, an alternative to traditional news media when it comes to coverage of the country’s escalating drug war. Read More

WeGov

Police Surveillance in Sao Paolo is at All-Time High, as Crime Wave Shocks City

BY Julia Wetherell | Wednesday, January 2 2013

A military police officer with a camera-mounted EagleEye backpack, from BBC Future Video.

BBC Future has a look into the Orwellian surveillance technology that police in Sao Paolo are using to monitor crime in the metropolis of 41 million. An integrated network of databases, tablet technology and mobile cameras are giving law enforcement officials an unprecedented eye on activity in the city streets. Read More

WeGov

No Capslock Allowed: Ecuador Has Online Conduct Code for Election Banter

BY Julia Wetherell | Tuesday, December 18 2012

Screengrab of the National Electoral Council's election portal, Voto transparente, Conoce a Tu Candidato

Ecuador is gearing up for national elections in February with an online portal aimed at giving voters transparency in their process of choosing a candidate, and 14 guidelines for good behavior online. Read More

WeGov

New Data Visualization of Poverty and Corruption in Colombia

BY Julia Wetherell | Friday, December 14 2012

A new data map compares poverty rates and World Bank aid with the Colombia Transparency Index in regions across the Latin American nation. Transparency International writes that the visual correlation between these factors brings issues of corruption to the fore. Read More

WeGov

Firefox Targets Developing States with Open Source Affordable Smartphones

BY Lisa Goldman | Friday, September 7 2012

Firefox has announced the 2013 launch of an open source operating system for smart phones. Since open source will bring down the price of a smart phone significantly, the initial launch will be in Latin America, with other developing regions to follow. Read More

WeGov

Brazil's Open-Government Shock Treatment

BY Greg Michener | Wednesday, June 27 2012

Officials in Brazil's government have had a transparency shock treatment in the past year. Photo: Mario Roberto Durán Ortiz

Countries arrive at more transparency and greater freedom of information either through long training or sudden shock treatment.

The U.S. experience, with decades of incremental law and legal precedent, is synonymous with the archetypical training regime. Brazil, on the other hand, is undergoing the epitome of shock treatment. In one month, May 2012, Brazil formally launched an ambitious freedom of information law that outlines a "right to information" – replete with provisions for the release of information in open, computer-readable formats – and, at around the same time, a new open-data portal. For added shock, the Brazilian government inaugurated a second new fundamental right, the "right to historical truth." This right is embodied by the newly established Truth Commission, whose aim it is to reconcile abuses from the military dictatorship that controlled Brazil from 1964 to 1985. Brazil also currently occupies the co-chair of the Open Government Partnership. In short, Brazil is in the midst of a massive transparency offensive and there are positive signs that it is moving in the right direction.

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Demanding More in Brazil

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, August 19 2010

Reuters' Stuart Grudging reports on the uncertain impact of online campaigning in the race to replace Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, better known as just "Lula." Read More

Chávezian Populism, Delivered Via Twitter

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, August 10 2010

Photo credit: Bernardo Londoy Read More

Candidatos Cibernéticos: The Web Meets Latin American Politics

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, August 25 2009

The Center for American Progress' Stephanie Miller has an overview of the role of the Internet in Latin America's upcoming elections. Read More