It's been a busy series of days in Bogotá as the MINGA Popular continues to expand and flourish. From the streets in the center of the city, to the Plaza del Ché at the National University where an international forum was held on Saturday, from the media centers of the indigenous movement to the dozens of meetings taking place around the city where "Mingueros" are discussing the five point agenda with all the sectors that are interested to listen, the enthusiasm and energy of the popular movement can be felt.
Once again, developing countries will have to bear the brunt of the global financial crisis originating in the U.S. and other developed countries. The financial positions of many developing countries are much stronger than they were at the time of the financial crises in Asia and Latin America, given their strong foreign reserve positions and generally better fiscal balances. Yet, this does not mean these countries are immune to the crisis originating in the developed countries as suggested by those who claim that the larger developing countries have "decoupled" from the U.S. economy.
A decade ago, ordinary Americans would not have tolerated such widespread use of the Taser, a stun gun delivering a 50,000-volt shock. They would not have tolerated the electrocution of unarmed, non-threatening civilians without following the normal "escalation of force" policy. Ironically, American political leaders and the media once cast aspersion on the regimes of Guatemala and Argentina, which used cattle-prods on prisoners. Cattle-prods only deliver 25,000-volt shocks, half that of the Taser.