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Chilean Anti-Corruption Resource: A Crowdsourced Database of Social and Political Connections

BY Jessica McKenzie | Friday, May 17 2013

Screenshot from the Esto es Poderopedia video via Vimeo

In countries where a small minority of social circles have a majority of the political and economic power, personal relationships can affect major decision-making, a serious concern of anti-corruption activists. A new web platform stores personal profiles of key players in Chilean business and politics, complete with biographies and personal and professional connections through family, education, social circles, employers and coworkers, to make tracking social relationships and conflict-of-interest easier. Called Poderopedia (from the Spanish word for power), the project sounds kind of like LinkedIn, but the creation and management of profiles is being crowdsourced out to journalists, activists and concerned citizens.

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WeGov

Now On YouTube: Indigenous Groups Burst Into Brazil’s Congress to Protest Land Rights Bill

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, May 2 2013

Screengrab from political journalist's video of protest on YouTube

After waiting an entire day for an audience with Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies to discuss a controversial bill, hundreds of aboriginal Brazilians bypassed security guards and burst into the session. The disruption was caught live on the Chamber of Deputies TV channel, and later posted on YouTube. A political journalist posted a second, shakier video that shows confusion and chaos during the protest.

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WeGov

Venezuelan Man Detained For Posting "Destabilizing" Photo On Facebook

BY Jessica McKenzie | Friday, April 19 2013

Screengrab of Venezuelan Youtube video

Following the presidential election in Venezuela, a government agency detained a man on April 16 for allegedly spreading photographs of burning ballots. The Interior and Justice Ministry accused twenty-two year old Daniel Andres Rondón Sayago of sharing the pictures with “destabilizing intentions.” The Minister for Information announced the detainment via Tweet.

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WeGov

Tribal Leader Uses Maptivism and Mobile to Improve Life in the Brazilian Rainforest

BY Julia Wetherell | Friday, March 29 2013

Tribal children in Brazil's Amazon rainforest (credit: Ben Sutherland/Flickr)

Forty years ago, the once-isolated Surui people of the western Brazilian rainforest were suffering with the consequences of contact with modern society.  Over the past several decades, the tribe has been threatened by disease, substance abuse, and the threat of deforestation on their ancestral land.  Yet today, an advanced technological agenda is helping to revive and preserve the Surui way of life, under the leadership of a tribal chief with a long-term vision for ecological and cultural preservation.

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WeGov

After Chavez, Social Media Picks Up for Venezuelan Politicians and Censors

BY Julia Wetherell | Wednesday, March 20 2013

"He's becoming a wax doll." Pérez's tweet from March 8.

Longtime Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez may have passed away earlier this month, but that won’t silence his voice on social media.  Chavez’s official Twitter account, from which he last tweeted to 4 million-plus followers in February as he entered the hospital, will be reactivated as a platform for the leader’s thoughts and works, as state media announced last week.  Yet recent reports of social media censorship – including a woman whose computer was confiscated by the police – confirm that, in the aftermath of Chavez’s death, Venezuela is taking a hard line on online discourse. 

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WeGov

In Lima, Peru, The Digital Public Square is a Work in Progress

BY Susannah Vila | Tuesday, February 19 2013

Screenshot from Datea.pe.

When the municipality of Lima, Peru, launched The Metropolitano, an urban initiative aimed at solving the city's myriad public transportation woes, a local NGO came up with a platform aimed at enhancing civic participation by aggregating citizens' concerns and forwarding them to the authorities while the project was still in the planning stages. Sounds like a great idea, right? But along the way to civic engagement, the NGO discovered the fatal flaw that needs to be resolved if initiatives like theirs and other, similar projects around the world are to succeed. Read More

WeGov

Colombian App Uses Crowdsourcing to Crack Down on Child Labor

BY Julia Wetherell | Thursday, January 31 2013

Screengrab from Yo digo: Aquí Estoy website.

In spite of widespread regulations condemning the practice, child labor remains a grim reality for millions of children throughout the world. In Latin America, UNICEF estimates that one out of ten children between the ages of 5 and 17 are engaged in some kind of unregulated labor. Colombia in particular has seen rising rates of child labor over the economic crises over the past several years. Read More

In Uruguay, Quesabes.org Helps Citizens Use Their Right to Open Government

BY Elena Casas-Montanez | Tuesday, January 29 2013

Screenshot from Quesabes.org

When Uruguay passed a freedom of information law in October 2008, international watchdogs applauded. The country of just 3 million people, squeezed in between Argentina and Brazil, became a regional leader in freedom of information. Citizens could access nearly any piece information held by the government, with exceptions for issues like national security. There was just one problem — nobody was actually using their rights under the law. That's where www.quesabes.org came in. 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