· May, 2012

Stories about Feature from May, 2012

Brazil: Questions Surrounding Rio's ‘Pacifying Police’ Units

  30 May 2012

The state government of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, has adopted a security policy based on the installation of Pacifying Police Units who tackle crime in favelas (shanty towns) but also promote social policies. But there are questions about the motivations behind this strategy and whether the voices of residents are being heard.

Qatar: Deadly Blaze in Shopping Mall

On May 28 a fire broke out at Doha's Villaggio Mall, leaving 19 dead, 13 of whom were children. The children were trapped in a nursery within the mall, and they and four teachers died of smoke inhalation. Two firefighters died as they attempted to rescue them.

Ukraine: Homophobic Legal Initiatives in Sync with Public Attitudes

Ukraine's first Gay Pride Parade ever failed to take place on May 20 due to perceived threats of violence against its participants; one of the organizers was attacked and beaten by a group of masked men. Meanwhile, Ukrainian MPs representing various political forces seem for once united in their attempts to ban "homosexual propaganda" in the country.

Mexico: #YoSoy132, the Beginning of the Mexican Spring?

  25 May 2012

The visit of presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto to the Iberoamericana University was marked with protests by students who rebuked the candidate in several occasions. This, along with the media coverage of the event, unleashed an explosive mixture that first found an outlet in social media and has now taken its energy to the streets of major Mexican cities.

Myanmar: Power Shortage Protests Spread

  25 May 2012

Power blackouts in several Myanmar towns triggered peaceful protests in the country. Several protesters were detained but it didn't stop the gathering of ordinary residents and consumers who are angry over the electricity shortage. The protesters also want the government to explain why it continues to sell power supply to China despite the electricity shortage in the country

Peru: Iquitos Faces Aftermath of Record Floods

  23 May 2012

Reported floods swept the Amazon region in Peru for more than a month, reaching and bypassing the record height of floods recorded in the past. They have now slowly begun to recede. In this post we share citizen videos, photos and reports about the after effects of these floods.

Egypt: First Free Presidential Election Underway

Egyptians are voting in the country's first free presidential election. While large queues have formed at some polling stations, the turnout seems to be lower than for the parliamentary elections in November 2011. This may reflect a disillusionment with the candidates felt by many.

Mauritania: Al Qaeda Execution Stirs Debate

A YouTube video posted on the Al Akhbar website on May 12 has angered Mauritanians. The video shows a 40-year-old Mauritanian man being interrogated by members of Al Qaeda, who accuse him of espionage. He was later executed after confessing to working with Mauritanian intelligence.

Germany: #Blockupy Protests Against Pan-European Austerity

  21 May 2012

'Blockupy' protests against the austerity measures being implemented in the Eurozone shook the financial epicenter of Europe - Frankfurt - last week. Online social networks buzzed with citizen reports on the mobilizations that occurred under massive police presence and repression.