It’s a journalist’s nightmare.
You’ve just spent weeks taking notes, recording interviews, shooting photos, gathering material for a series of articles.
And then you lose it.
As two muggers were trying to tear my bag – with most of the contents of this month’s main theme – from my back, that nightmare seemed to be coming true.
It happened a few hours after I’d arrived in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo, across the River Plate from Buenos Aires. My attackers’ technique was rough, but as poor as my bag was tough. My body less so – as several fractures and a punctured lung were to testify.
But the content of this month’s special report on neighbouring Argentina remained resolutely intact and on my back.
Argentina has been in the news a fair bit recently – for its battle with financial speculators, politely described as ‘holdouts’, more graphically as ‘vulture funds’. And for its loud pot- and pan-banging protests, of which there have been many recently. Often the country is presented in the international media as a source of trouble. But, as this issue of the magazine shows, it should be seen as a source of solutions.
Which can hardly be said for Indonesia when it comes to responding to the world’s demand for cheap vegetable oil. It’s not just the orang-utans that have issues with the creation of massive palm oil plantations – as Ollie Milman’s feature on the subject explains. It’s a question of human rights too.
On a more positive note, Veronique Mistiaen meets the Iraqi environmentalist who is credited with having ‘breathed life into the Garden of Eden’. Curious? Read on.
Vanessa Baird for the New Internationalist co-operative.