Reviews of Latin American Electronic Information

Compiled and reviewed by Rhonda L. Neugebauer
University of California, Riverside
Bibliographer, Latin American Studies
Collection Development Division

This page contains the reviews of Latin American electronica that were originally published in the SALALM Newsletter from 1997 to the present. They are republished on this site with permission. These reviews provide descriptions of a variety of Latin American electronic information resources (primarily websites, but also databases, CD-ROM indexes) and assess their usefulness for research, study and teaching about Latin America.

E-Resources for Latin American Studies
Major Websites and Guides

By Rhonda L. Neugebauer

In this column I will describe and evaluate significant electronic resources in Latin American Studies. These new information sources, especially the Internet resources developed in the last few years, have profoundly broadened our thinking about research and networking, have greatly influenced our professional activities in many areas, and have added new dimensions to our duties as LA specialists. Increasingly, we are obliged to provide connections to and evaluations of the vast resources that proliferate on the Internet. We are also challenged to creatively manage and share these resources in order to facilitate the delivery of scholarly information. The ubiquitous and interconnected nature of e-resources has created new opportunities for professional and institutional collaboration and cooperation, and, at the same time, has highlighted an increased need for technical competencies, customized delivery systems, and sharing of expertise. As the scholarly community increases its usage of electronic resources and communications, and as additional constituencies (business, governmental, non-profit) join in the development of new information products, services and networking, our professional contribution becomes more important and more complicated. By contributing to the design, publishing and evaluation of these resources, we share our collective knowledge with others and thus increase our potential to facilitate academic research in the field of Latin American studies.

The sites chosen for review here, with their pages of links and sections of resources, provide complex but easily navigated maps for exploration of the rapidly changing and expanding territory of Latin American Internet country. As noted in the annotations of these sites, many SALALM members and institutions have already developed innovative products, web services, and electronic tools that have enhanced Internet understanding and usage. Their work has provided insight, guidance and value to this information and has supported as well as influenced research and communication in critical new ways.

1. Latin American Network Information Center (LANIC), ( This WWW site, managed by the Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, is the most comprehensive server and gateway of Internet resources focused on Latin America. Since its establishment as a gopher directory in 1992, it has become a renowned website and directory for Latin American Studies resources, with over 3,500 links to websites, newsgroups, and listservs. This site has earned recognition from the Internet, publishing, and scholarly communities. It is an exciting and rapidly growing hub of electronic offerings for Latin American Studies and an important leader in networking, reporting and archiving of considerable electronic resources. With directories covering all countries and most academic disciplines, the strength of this site is in its provision of access to Latin American sites and networks, academic databases (with several unique searchable indexes), research institutions, libraries, commercial sites and gopher resources. The site also hosts several joint projects and databases, some with growing national "bibliographic" significance, such as ARL's Latin Americanist Research Resources Pilot Project, the LASNET archives, the LASA Papers archive, and Molly Molloy's guide, Internet Resources for Latin America (reviewed below). LANIC's main page is organized into geographic and subject directories, and provides access to 33 countries and 38 subjects. Also listed are ten other topics/guides with pages of links and services including inter-disciplinary subject-based resources, international services, virtual libraries, conference announcements, business and personal pages, and WWW/internet tools.

2. Hispanic Reading Rm., Library of Congress ( This attractive website is part of the Library of Congress site. It contains information from the Hispanic Reading Room and the Hispanic Division, special events and publications, guides and reference aids (including "HLAS Online"), information about the Luso-Hispanic collections, the Hispanic Reading Room reference collection, and other related LC collections (American Folklife Center, Manuscript, Microform, Newspapers and Current Periodicals, Prints and Photographs, Rare Books, Exhibits and Pictorial). The site also provides selected links to other Latin American resources on the Internet (special projects, other libraries, websites and gophers of the Americas, and Mexican search engines). One of the most important features of this site is its electronic publication of "HLAS Online" ( This is the electronic version of the Handbook of Latin American Studies, the premier reviewing source for publications about Latin America since 1938, with approximately 5000+ scholar-contributed annotations added each year. "HLAS Online" is an extremely valuable resource for Latin American Studies and its release has ensured improved currency (with weekly and daily updates, and with access to unannotated entries still in the editorial process), and enhanced searching (with options for basic or advanced and with ranking by relevancy). For an excellent comparison of the web-based "HLAS Online" with the CD-ROM version, HLAS/CD, and HLAS via telnet to LOCIS, there is a link to Sue Mundell's paper (delivered at the SALALM 1996 conference). The Hispanic Reading Room site also allows the user to select an online version in Spanish.

3. HAPI Online ( This web version of the Hispanic American Periodicals Index is an enhancement of the well-known print publication produced at the UCLA Latin American Center. This unequalled index continues to stand out as the single most important guide to journal articles published on Latin America. Although subscription access via the Internet has been available since 1991, HAPI Online, the newest electronic version of the index, allows even more sophisticated searching, downloading and delivery of information. HAPI Online is available by subscription (the free trial period ended in August). Other types of electronic access include Telnet access, access through RLG (CitaDel service) or MELVYL (free to University of California schools only), HAPI on CD-ROM (part of Latin American Studies, vol. 1), system-wide web purchase, and purchase of tapes of the database. The contents of the index are comprised of full bibliographic citations of book reviews, articles, and original literary works and other materials taken from over 400 social science and humanities journals. The subject headings are assigned by contributing Latin American specialists and the HAPI editorial staff from a customized subject thesaurus and name list which is also available online. The coverage in all versions of HAPI is from 1970 to the present, and the database contains over 210,000 citations with about 8,000 records added each year. New features have been added such as document delivery via an online order form for many items in the database ($10.00 per article plus mailing or fax costs). The web version of HAPI has several advantages: the index is updated semi-monthly; searches can combine subject and other elements in the record; there are date and some language delimiters (full language delimiters from 1996 to the present); records can be displayed in citation or full record format; the Online Thesaurus (no Name Authority) and Journals Indexed lists are included; and the main Spanish and Portuguese headings have been translated. There is a capability of creating customized bibliographies for printing or for sending them to a remote e-mail address for downloading. Subscriptions to the web index are available at three rates (with options for individual or institutional levels): an annual site license, a monthly subscription, or scholar's rate. This index in any of its various electronic formats is an essential resource for Latin American studies research.

4. Internet Resources for Latin America ( Written and maintained since 1994 by SALALM member Molly Molloy, this guide is an exceptional resource for Latin America-related Internet information and it has evolved into one of the most important starting points for Latin American research and networking. As with the UT-LANIC site, a great number of Latin American home pages link to this site, making it a standard reference for any guided electronic exploration of Latin American area studies on the Internet. The e-resources in this document are divided into several sections, including directories and indexes, databases and reference sources, online news and academic information, national and international organizations, lists of listservs and newsgroups, and, an especially useful and unique section on networking and Internet services in Latin America (with links to sites that track Latin American network growth and access). The guide begins with an introductory commentary that summarizes the growth of Internet in Latin America, describes a wide range of Latin American internetworking activities (professional, institutional, governmental, organizational), and identifies strategies for keeping up with this rapidly changing technology. The subsequent sections primarily consist of links to other (web, gopher or telnet) sites with brief descriptions of the site's content, quality, URL, contact name and e-mail address. This guide, albeit necessarily selective, is a significant contribution to electronic support for research. It can be used as a tool to assist librarians and others to keep current about growth in access and usage of the net, and it can assist scholars of Latin America more fully utilize and benefit from this rapidly changing, non-traditional research, publishing and dissemination environment. In addition, the author's suggestions for further reading serve to identify the major issues and context for future Internet products, services, repercussions and usage. Several other web resources of note have been developed by Molloy and are available at the New Mexico State University Library site ( They include several unique and useful resources: Andanzas al Web Latino (described below), Mexico News Archives, Best of Mexico, Border and Latin American Information, and teaching information (these files/sites were developed for courses she taught at the NMSU Library, on "Information Literacy," and at the Institute for Technology Assisted Learning, on "Electronic Library Resources for Distance Education," and "Connectivity Issues."

5. Andanzas al Web Latino ( This site, published on the web in March 1997 by Molly Molloy, brings together notable e-resources by/about Latinos and Hispanics in the U.S., with a special emphasis on the U.S.-Mexico border region (many sites mentioned in this guide were recently removed from Internet Resources for Latin America). The guide, while still a "work-in-progress", is an extensive and substantial compilation of links to Latino/Hispanic and border studies and contains links to 169 websites, lists and newsgroups. It is divided into seven categories: Puertas Abiertas (Major Latino Gateways), Puertas al Sur (Gateways to Latin America), Puertas Culturales (Cultural links), Puertas Politicas (Political links), Puertas Economics (Economic links), and listservs and newsgroups.

The above column was originally published in the SALALM Newsletter, vol. 25, no. 2 (Oct. 1998): 38-40.

E-Resources for Latin American Studies
Environment Resources

By Rhonda L. Neugebauer

The environment is a complex and pervasive issue. It intersects with nearly all human activities, including the economic, political, cultural and social aspects of our existence. A short time ago, substantial discussion of the environment was uncommon, and proponents of such discussion were often labeled "special interests," or worse, and most likely dismissed. Now, expressions of concern about the impact or sustainability of the environment, are much more common in many different settings: industry and business, government planning, scientific and academic circles, advertising, philanthropy, schools and universities, labor unions, and even in travel agencies. Acknowledgement of this increased importance has also sparked a host of new "green" business interests (waste management and recycling, tourism, organic agriculture, self-help exchanges, and other types of sustainable commerce and development). Without a doubt, the environment effects us and we effect it.

On one level, discussion or study of the environment encompasses issues like the exploitation and appropriate use of natural resources. On another level, the discussion and research agenda also involve such issues as adequate conservation and preservation measures, and the groups that advocate more caution. If we are to understand the environment, we must uncover and study its relationship to many complicated issues which have political, economic and humanitarian considerations (industrialization, modernization, urbanization, indigenous and ancestral rights, national sovereignty and international relations, wildlife and habitat protection), and heed the growing calls for sustainable development, responsible commerce, and more judicious utilization of natural resources.

All of these issues are important in the study of the environment. And, in Latin America, as in the rest of the world, all of these issues and aspects of the environment have their proponents and detractors. The opposing interests of use/exploitation and conservation/protection proponents have finally been put on the table for discussion, due, in no small part, to the availability and utilization of Internet technology by non-mainstream, activist local groups and international movements built in the last few decades. Just a few years ago, such groups and individuals rarely had access to channels of distribution to disseminate their viewpoints, let alone channels with the speed, efficiency, and far-reaching attributes of the Internet. Now, not surprisingly, many of these activist groups have taken advantage of the Internet's more level playing field to distribute their information to supporters and allied networks effectively, quickly, and cheaply.

In this column, I have chosen to highlight the websites of one individual (Eco-Travels) and several groups that are notable for their environmental concerns. The sites have an activist perspective, advocate preserving and respecting natural resources, and have identified the Internet/WWW as a tool to be used in carrying out new forms of education, information dissemination, coordination, and networking. The development of these web resources is an extension of these groups' efforts to build and publicize alternative and sustainable development practices and are powerful testimonials to their beliefs and to their new skills and methods of dissemination.

1. Eco Travels in Latin America ( This elaborate, beautifully designed and rapidly-expanding website is published and maintained by Ron Mader, freelance environmental writer and journalist who has an extensive background of study, reporting and travel in Latin America. The site, initiated in 1995, aims to connect travelers, writers, researchers and tour providers, and to provide current information and selected archives about environmentally friendly travel and socially responsible tourism in Latin America. A majority of the information at this site is original material, but there are also links to relevant sites with travel and environment news and resources. The overall writing and coverage of ecotourism topics at this site is in-depth, creative and sometimes provocative. The focus is on Mexico, the U.S.-Mexico border region, and Central America (especially Honduras), with lesser coverage of South America. A cornerstone of the site is the archive of issues of the quarterly print and e-newsletter, El Planeta Platica=The Earth Speaks, begun in print in January 1994, and established as a component of this site in March 1995. The newsletter was created to help travelers to Latin America become aware of the environmental impact of tourism and to offer resources about travel/tourism from the perspectives of journalists, researchers, travel providers, and environmentalists. Organized by themes relating to tourism/travel, the newsletter contains original articles, editorials, and book reviews by Mader and others. The sections of the e-newsletter, along with its frequently updated pages of related articles, bibliographies and links, are interconnected with other local website resources and this results in broad coverage of this topic. This website is divided into many interesting subsections filled with abundant original resources. Several resource pages within the website are worth mentioning. "Cybercafes in the Americas" is a list, by country, of 30 public access Internet points in Latin America. There is an index to El Planeta Platica=The Earth Speaks. The "Eco Travel Resources" page has reviews of books, classifieds, recipes and a directory of Spanish language schools. The "Eco Travel Destinations" page contains more resource pages organized by region, including the "Borderland Environmental Archives," an impressive collection of articles, bibliographies, working notes, contact lists, and links to related agencies, institutions, publications and individual homepages. The "Eco Travel Topics" section consists of four cross-referenced thematic indexes of the site and newsletter (Resources for Journalists, Greening Trade and Technologies in the Americas, Latin America and the Oil Industry, and Coffee and Agricultural Issues in the Americas). There are also five topical pages of "Links to Related Sites" including the subsections "Sustainable Development and the Americas," "Exploring Ecotourism," "Environment," "Links to Latin American Information," and the "Eco Travels Center," which is a page of links to the site's "highlights." The "Condor Awards" page lists this website's selections for "best of the web." With its overall depth of coverage, crisp design and layout, easy browsability, searchable index, and convenient inter-connectivity between indexes, resources, links and articles, this website appears to have successfully met a need for reporting news and views on environment-friendly travel and advocacy. While the site is available free on the WWW, this commercial site supports itself by raising revenues through subscriptions to the newsletter ($25/year), banner advertisements, and email/web links from the Spanish language school directory. Conscientious travelers, as well as researchers, students and others, are wise to consult this site before departing. The site is translated into Spanish and German. Contact: Ron Mader,

2. Environment and Latin America Network (ELAN) ( This open, unmoderated listserv mailing list was created in July 1994 to facilitate discussion and promote dissemination of information/news among diverse groups: scholars, environmental activists, practitioners, and others interested in environmental issues and their impact in Latin America. This network-based dialogue was initiated by the Environment and Natural Resources Working Group, a section of the Latin American Studies Association. Its editors, David Barkin, an economist, and Timmons Roberts, a sociologist, are university professors and members of LASA. The scope of the discussion on this listserv is broad and covers many topics. As with any listserv, the information and messages are contributed by subscribers and focus on topics determined by their interests. With almost 1000 subscribers in various professions and disciplines, ELAN brings together a diverse group of committed, creative, energetic, opinionated, learned individuals, many of whom seem to have serious, long-standing, and ardent interest in understanding the environment and its sustainability. Moreover, whether their slant is biological, ecological, political, economic, sociological or recreational, the discussants' apparent enthusiasm for sharing resources and information about scholarship, activism, news, and announcements, is matched by the collective agreement for the need to protect or, at least cautiously, utilize the disparate ecosystems of Latin America. A day's worth of messages may include analysis and/or commentary on current research, books, data sources, contacts, and information about noteworthy developments in governmental policies, economic issues, political activities, preservation, conservation, and/or activism. The layout and design of this site are simple. A main page has several dozen internal links to the monthly folders of archives and to twenty-seven external links (some to sites not necessarily as highly focused on the environment as this one). The archives are the backbone of the site. The ELAN discussion group mail messages from 1994 to the present, along with some contributed papers and data sets, are archived at the website of the Communications for a Sustainable Future. Messages from January 1996 to the present (having been converted to HTML) are organized into folders by month and linked to the main webpage. The earlier messages (1994-1995), are also arranged into folders chronologically by month, and are available through gopher and ftp at The entire site can be searched by word or phrase. To subscribe: To post: Contacts are: David Barkin, Timmons Roberts,

3. EnviroLink Network ( EnviroLink is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing information on all aspects of the environment (earth elements: air, water, earth, fire; and living creatures: flora and fauna). Its site has archived and/or indexed a significant amount of full-text material on environmental issues in Latin American countries. The EnviroLink Network was created in 1991 by university student (now Executive Director) Josh Knauer as a mailing list on environmental issues, and has developed into a vast resource and forum for community sharing, discussion, resource-sharing, and unified planning/action. This site functions as a clearinghouse of information resources on the environment, and confidently proclaims itself "the largest on-line environmental information resource on the planet." At the least, the EnviroLink organization has produced a truly refreshing network and website. With its creative use of local reporting, its archive of original information resources, and its meta search engine capabilities, it comes close to using the website format to its full "connective" potential. The site brings together a large number of widely dispersed environmental action groups and individuals, and compiles their research, advocacy, action campaign information, and local news/reporting into resources on this website. In addition to this vast array of locally contributed, original resources, and links to other sites, several sections of this site contain useful information on Latin America. The easiest way to retrieve this information is by using the site's search engine on the "Search EnviroLink" page. This engine allows searching of this site or of a combination of sites from its meta-list of 14 selected environmental sites. In my search for Latin American related information, I found hundreds of hits on "Latin America" using both the local and the meta-list. Also, by searching the meta-list, I found 316 hits on Nicaragua, 872 on Peru, over 1000 on Mexico, and 266 on Cuba. This strong coverage of Latin America warrants checking this site for at least some specialized reference inquiries and/or research projects. In addition to its strong content base, the website is visually appealing. It has a very attractive and easily navigable layout. It has warm muted colors, lightly textured "earthy" backgrounds, and superb original artwork based on ancient designs-all intended to project the designers' values of promoting sustainable societies through connecting with activist and other "earth-conscious" communities. Several sections of this site are worth mentioning: "Express Yourself," an online discussion forum; "What Soars, What Snores and What Bites," a compilation of candid reviews on sites that work on or effect environmental issues; "EnviroArts Gallery," a gallery of original art works with a "reverence for nature;" "EnviroIink Library," a substantial and growing full-text and hyperlinked resource covering hundreds of topics, organizations, publications, educational tools, and background articles; "EnviroLink News Service," a daily international wire service, offered by exclusive arrangement with the Environment News Service (an independently owned and operated news service); and "Sustainable Business Network," journal and related resources meant to promote socially responsible business practices. This site is bound to provide leads if not in-depth information to answer those difficult questions on the environment in Latin America. Contact: Josh Knauer,

4. The Latin American Alliance (LAA) ( This site is published under the auspices of the World Stewardship Institute, a nonprofit environmental education and advocacy organization established in 1995 by Warren Linney and Richard Coates, longtime educators and activists. The Latin American Alliance is a project of the WSI, and has as its mission the development of environmental and sustainable commerce information for Latin American countries. LAA, just this year, began to build a network of non-governmental organizations, educational institutions, and businesses with sustainable development practices, and developed an information infrastructure of support for the growth and outreach of these associated groups. This website is the cornerstone of that cooperation and collaboration. The purpose of this site is to showcase nongovernmental organizations and educational institutions involved in environmental projects and help them build an Internet presence, while at the same time supporting the growth of socially responsible business services and products through contact with members of this network. The website contains twenty-two homepages of Latin American NGO's (in its "NGO's Country Directory") and a huge contact list of environmental organizations and institutions in the world, as well as many topical sections. In a series of broadly cast subject pages there are articles on biodiversity, conservation, environmental issues, and business strategies for social responsibility and sustainable management. There are also dozens of links and/or articles on eco-tourism, travel in Central America, McDonald's beef purchasing practices, and several pages of support for website design and development (computer graphics, search engines, newspapers and news services, and HTML reference works, guides and authoring tools). This site is only a few months old, but I think they have done a commendable job of collecting, mounting and organizing information. The pages of web tools that are meant to support budding Latin American NGO web authors and webmasters, are especially well-done. However, in order to become a solid content-rich site that gets repeat usage from non-affiliates, the site needs to clearly designate its important and/or unique subject areas, to supply explanations of link hierarchies, to describe the purpose of certain pages, and to indicate the source of articles. These changes would improve overall coherency, allow the user to interact with the pages more effectively, and signal the user about what to expect from a link or a page. Further, to improve interactivity and browsability, several pages need to be cleared of typos, misnamed or miscoded links, and mismatched fonts/styles. Some simple, uniform navigational icons/tools on each page, also, would greatly improve the user friendliness of this site. Finally, the background color (black) hampers printing, and the use of light colors for fonts (for example, yellow on the main page) makes some text difficult to read and to print. On the whole, this website represents an important and successful organizational contribution in its outreach to NGOs and to sustainable businesses. And, it appears that the LAA network has developed an electronic resource with great potential to attract many more Latin American environment-conscious and activist groups to the Internet while assisting them in their development of contacts, commerce and information exchange with businesses engaged in sustainable management and development practices. This site is translated into Spanish, French and German. Contact: Joseph A. Wing,

5. These three groups are among the strongest and probably the most well known environmental action groups/networks in the world. While their programs and emphases may differ, their information resources are meant to inform, expose, motivate and create new models of advocacy and grassroots empowerment. Through these websites, many small groups (including several from Latin America) have found an Internet presence, have formed networks of support, have released important information on abuse of the environment and of people, and have circumvented the negligible reporting of the mainstream media and the indifference of powerful politicians. The resources on the websites of these three groups offer convincing evidence that individual actions do count, that small organizations can successfully open new avenues in information dissemination, that heeding ecological considerations can benefit whole communities, that sustainable production and responsible commerce can impact larger networks of production, and, that everybody and everything in the world is connected (environment, wildlife, habitat, economics, politics, development, governments, cultures and human beings too).

EcoNet ( EcoNet is one of five divisions of the Institute for Global Communications (which is the U.S. member of the Association for Progressive Communications, a global network of independently operated progressive networks). The EcoNet section brings together organizations and individuals that work on environmental issues (including environmental justice, global warming, energy policy, rainforest preservation, legislative activities, water quality, toxics and environmental education). It is a massive undertaking to collect, archive and disseminate electronic information worldwide. With 10 APC member networks in Latin America, there is a large amount of information on Latin American environmental issues generated locally and given international access through EcoNet. Some features of EcoNet and IGC are available only to IGC members, while others are accessible by both members and non-members.

Greenpeace ( This website lists the mission and goals, policies, history, organization, research agenda, funding sources, and advocacy projects of the renowned activist environmental group. The site's coverage of Latin American topics is limited to information that overlaps with Greenpeace projects and concerns. Searches of this site by country name (Mexico, Peru, Cuba) produced a total of 200 hits related to global warming, nuclear power and fuel dumping, pollution, and habitat protection.

Rainforest Action Network ( This site is a beautifully designed, well-thought-out, graphically appealing display detailing the organization's international programs, actions, campaigns, demonstrations, and background educational material. The mission of RAN is to protect the world's tropical rainforests, and support their inhabitants' rights through education, grassroots organizing and non-violent direct action; they also work with consumers and community groups to increase the public's awareness of how their choices may effect the rainforest and its inhabitants. One of RAN's major projects is the preservation of the Amazon, and there is plenty of information here on the struggle to protect that region and its native forest-dwelling people. RAN has developed actions, campaigns and information resources on several Latin American countries, including Brazil, Central America (Belize, Honduras, Costa Rica) and Ecuador.

The above column was originally published in the SALALM Newsletter, vol. 25, no. 3 (Dec. 1997): 68-71.

E-Resources for Latin American Studies
Indigenous Peoples

By Rhonda L. Neugebauer

At times, visitors from the urbanized, industrialized societies look at indigenous peoples/communities as objects of curiosity and wonder from an ancient time, and they are sometimes surprised that there is so much to admire in these communities' modern-day values, norms and lifestyles. As students of these peoples/communities, we often seek to answer lingering questions about the history of indigenous nations, their ancient knowledge and belief systems, and the impact of colonization on the "loss" of their culture. Academics in many disciplines have devoted years of study in order to understand and explain indigenous practices and philosophy, and their studies have produced volumes of materials from a myriad of learned perspectives that seek to accurately portray the history and culture of indigenous communities. Nevertheless, even the best students of indigenous issues (anthropologists, archaeologists, historians, economists, and, even activists) often fail to grasp the delicate balance of events, environment and beliefs that coalesce into an indigenous worldview. This fact was made clear to me this month (Jan. 1998) as I traveled in Quintana Roo and Yucatan, Mexico on a brief study tour of "Mayan civilization". Our group of students and professionals visited Maya families, villages, and "abandoned" religious centers, and learned about their life-sustaining beliefs, customs and ceremonies from the perspective of a Maya scholar of oral tradition, history and culture. Our teacher, Maestro Panfilo Novelo, revealed a perspective that was uniquely Maya and pointedly indigenous without completely divorcing it from the surrounding "modern," Western, Hispanic, non-Yucatecan experiences and culture. He eloquently portrayed the complexities of Maya scholarship and beliefs, and explained that the Maya perspective of history is extremely important, yet oftentimes it is ignored. He encouraged us to continue exploring the indigenous perspective in the region and reminded us that the Maya have contributed and continue to contribute essential interpretations of their own history, legacy, accomplishments and current circumstances.

With that thought in mind, I chose to review seven websites that facilitate research on indigenous issues and that offer an autochthonous perspective on modern-day indigenous peoples and communities. These sites focus on the study and support of indigenous peoples and communities, and proudly assert the indigenous perspective of tradition, struggle, survival, and rehabilitation. Amidst the large amount of information generated, released, archived, and disseminated on the Internet about indigenous peoples and related issues, these sites are noteworthy documentation, testimonial and advocacy efforts.

While this column barely skims the surface of the web-based information available on indigenous communities/nations/peoples, these e-resources can be used as starting points for research, networking and connecting to related sites, information and discussions. The reviewed sites include projects by a research center, several support and solidarity organizations, a progressive electronic network, and a host of volunteer undertakings by individuals who have contributed their time and expertise to develop forums for indigenous thought and action. Each of these electronic projects are distinct and substantial additions to the complex and ongoing tasks of documenting indigenous efforts to preserve their culture, land, intellectual patrimony, and human rights, and disseminating their own perspective of their history, ethnicity, conditions and community.

It is certainly a new phenomenon to observe some indigenous groups and their supporters utilize the most current information technologies to establish their presence and to network with organizations that promote their insight, struggles and experiences. As an example of the proliferation of materials, networks and information supportive of the indigenous struggle in Chiapas, I include a webpage that highlights the Zapatista movement in Chiapas, Mexico entitled "Zapatistas in Cyberspace: a guide to analysis and resources." It is an important document and introduction to the several new media that have been utilized in an effort to quickly disseminate information about events in Chiapas (since 1994), from the perspectives of the affected indigenous communities, the guerrilla organizations, the civilian population, and the supporters of the uprising. Of course, with the abundant number of sites and resources available on events in Chiapas, it deserves its own column (which I will tackle in a later column). Still, with a quick glance at this guide, one can immediately discern that the voice of the indigenous activist has reached far beyond what was possible just a few years ago, and that new Internet technologies have provided additional tools to use in researching and understanding the indigenous perspective, no matter how short our visit to their "domain."

1. Fourth World Documentation Project: Indigenous Peoples' Information for the Online Community) ( Begun in 1992, this project, also called the Chief George Manuel Library and Archive, is an ambitious documentary undertaking sponsored by the Center for World Indigenous Studies (, and directed by John H. Burrows. The FWDP has compiled and made available information about indigenous peoples' ideas, knowledge and history of struggle around the world. On this award-winning website, there are over 500 full-text documents, including essays, accords, position papers, declarations, resolutions, organizational information, treaties, UN documents, speeches, letters and agreements. These materials are important for research on Indian society and governing, inter-tribal organization, and the history of Indian nations' political, cultural, strategic and human rights struggles. The FWDP has collected important documents from nations and organizations in many parts of the world and made them available on the Internet. The Latin American section, "North, Central and South American Documents," contains several dozen documents on indigenous groups in Nicaragua, Mexico, Ecuador, and Panama. Other sections of the archives are: European and Asian Documents; Melanesian, Polynesian and Micronesian Documents; Trial and Inter-Tribal Resolutions and Papers; Internationally Focused Documents; and Treaties, Agreements and Other Constructive Arrangements. There is also a "What's New" section and a search engine for the FWDP Archives. The search engine identified several dozen hits on Latin American topics, but sometimes offered peripherally related material. While this archive contains some singularly significant primary documents, its use for specific Latin American topics is limited because of its narrow coverage of Latin American indigenous peoples. The layout is simple, the site is easy to navigate, and the archived materials provide valuable documentation for the study of indigenous groups and nations, with major emphasis on the U.S. and Canada. At this time, the focus of this site seems to be U.S. and Canadian nations with a small number of documents on Latin America. And, while many of the documents provide primary evidence of activism and struggle, the currency of the site and its updating are lagging (the most current date I could find was March 5, 1997). Given the proclaimed world-wide scope of these archives, I think this site holds some promise for the future, once stable routines of updating and currency are implemented. Contact: John Burrows,

2. Indigenous Peoples ( The Indigenous Peoples website is a section of the website of the Institute for Global Communications (which is the U.S. member of the Association for Progressive Communications, a global network of independently operated progressive networks). This site contains 34 annotated descriptions and links to organizations that focus on indigenous issues. Among the sites listed here, only 3 sites provide primary coverage of Latin America, but several of the links are for organizations with some documents/files on Latin America. Several of the sites mentioned on this page are reviewed in this column (SAIIC, NativeWeb, NativeNet, CWIS).

3. NativeWeb (; South and Meso American Indian Rights Center, SAIIC (; and Abya Yala Net ( Closely interconnected and published as collaborative efforts, these three websites highlight their work, resources and contacts as supporters of indigenous groups/rights. The organizations are closely affiliated and their respective websites provide complementary coverage of indigenous issues. NativeWeb covers indigenous issues throughout the world, some of which is about Latin America. SAIIC actively disseminates information, especially current events and news, about Latin American indigenous struggles. And, the Abya Yala Net provides extensive resources on Latin American indigenous communities, including primary documents/declarations, searchable indexes, search engines, links to related sites on Latin America, and information about organizational and financial support for indigenous organizing.

NativeWeb ( NativeWeb provides broad coverage of indigenous issues and serves as sponsor of the other two sites (which are more focused on Latin America). This site, published by a collective of contributors since May 1994, offers several categories of information: the Resource Center, the Community Center, General Site Information, and a list of "Ongoing Projects and Sites by NativeWeb Collective Members." The three primary indexes (Subject Index, Nations Index and Geographic Region Index) and the Search Forms are available on a left-side box (frame) on most pages. The Resource Center also provides access to Indexes, Search forms (with options to search all affiliated NativeWeb sites, including Abya Yala Net and SAIIC), and has links to "Abya Yala Net," "Law and Legal Issues" and "Tracing Your Roots." The Community Center section contains "Message Boards," "Events," "Announcements," "Job Listings," "Email Lists and Archives," and "News Sources." The General Site Information contains information on the NativeWeb community, the history, new activities, awards, volunteer activities, contacts list, a personalization page and statistics. This site contains many unique resources compiled by specialists in order to facilitate research and communication among indigenous peoples. Plans for future enhancements include providing electronic access to native newsletters, journals and bibliographies, and more links to related archives, news groups, and listserv lists. Contact for technical questions & general mail: David Cole,

The South and Meso American Indian Rights Center (SAIIC) ( Since its founding in Bolivia in 1983, the Center has disseminated news and analysis and provided educational and activist resources to support indigenous rights, self-determination and organizing. This website highlights several noteworthy SAIIC projects and publications, especially the quarterly journal Abya Yala News. The site also offers an array of materials on Latin American indigenous groups, territorial rights, the environment, and autonomous development issues that reflect the Center's indigenous perspective and advocacy work. Among the unique materials located on this website are special reports ("Indigenous Rights in Brazil" is available at the site, and "Indigenous Peoples and Biodiversity" is forthcoming), selections from and an index to the quarterly journal Abya Yala News, and special action alerts that describe the ongoing work of the Center and affiliated organizations. Other sections of the site describe SAIIC projects and activities: to develop an international network of indigenous groups and scholars; to operate a listserv called saiic-l (send a subscription request to and a PeaceNet conference (saiic.indio); to develop resources for organizing (books, videos, posters); to provide technical assistance in computers, electronic communications, fundraising and journalism to indigenous communities and organizations; to facilitate communication between indigenous groups and with environmental and human rights organizations, policy institutions and foundations; to maintain a reference library of periodicals, audio-visuals and books in Oakland, California; to arrange cultural exchanges between indigenous peoples; to participate in organizing international meetings (such as The First Continental Conference on 500 Years of Indian Resistance in 1990); and to build a coalition of indigenous groups (Continental Indian Coordinating Commission, a 26-nation organization founded in 1992). This site has a simple layout and contains pages that serve to promote their work: outreach, news, publicity, connections to others, and activism on indigenous issues. Contact: SAIIC,

Abya Yala Net ( The Abya Yala Net, a project of SAIIC and "in collaboration with NativeWeb," focuses on the indigenous peoples of Mexico, Central and South America providing information about their struggles as well as relevant cultural and organizational background information. The name Abya Yala means "continent of life" in the language of the Kuna people of Panama and Colombia, and is used to denote the website's coverage of the Americas. The site's developers are Marc Becker and Gilles Combrisson, both of whom have academic backgrounds in Latin American Studies. Since Sept. 1996, they have coordinated a volunteer effort to develop the resources at this site and encourage its use for dissemination and research. Abya Yala Net offers server space free of charge to indigenous organizations, and several Latin American groups have websites hosted here. In a fashion similar to NativeWeb, the information at this site is arranged in several broad categories: Geographic Regions, Nations/Peoples, Subjects, Declarations and Organizations. These categories allow access to the site's archive of documents and to related sites. Sub-categories, under each Region or Nation, offer additional links to related remote sites. The subcategories on a given page may include up to twenty-three topics such as Anthropology and Archaeology, Books and Articles, Indigenous Cultures, News and Media, Newsletters, Travel and Tourism, or there may be only one subcategory. In some cases the "level" of subcategory seems unnecessary given the small number of resources linked to several of the subcategory pages and the time it takes to link to each page. The coverage in the Geographic Regions index is most in-depth for Central American topics. The index of Nations/Peoples, strongest on the Maya and Quechua peoples, also includes coverage of Aymara, Aztec (Nauhua), Garifuna, Guarani, Kawésqar, Kuna, Lenca, Mapuche, Quechua, Taino, Tarahumara (Raramuri), U'wa, and Yanomami. The coverage of Nations/Peoples is uneven (some Nations have as many as 12 subcategories with many links; others have only one or two subcategories and few links). The Subject Index contains 15 categories (Arts & Humanities, Business, Computers & Internet, Education, Historical Material, Information Sites, Languages & Linguistics, Law & Legal Issues, Libraries & Collections, News & Media, Organizations, Reference Materials, Science, Society & Culture). The Declarations section contains 12 documents, consisting primarily of manifestos on national and international events and statements of unity and solidarity with indigenous organizing and activism. A strong part of the site, the Organizations section, contains 28 links to related organizations, four of which are sponsored by Abya Yala Net. One amply developed portion of the site is the section on the Abya Yala Fund, an organization devoted to helping indigenous groups with fundraising for development projects in Latin America. *The Abya Yala Fund materials in this section of the site explain the funded projects and selected activities of the organization in support of indigenous groups. There are descriptions of the governing board, ongoing projects, funding, proposal guidelines and application procedures, and there are lists of related links. Any category or subcategory, or the entire site and the affiliated NativeWeb can be searched with a form that searches keywords in documents at the two sites. The search results are weighted and displayed with a description of the matching sites, which is a nice feature of the site. Designed with consistency and simplicity, this site has a running left-side bar (frame) with the table of contents. The frame is consistently displayed and allows navigation to all sections at any time. To facilitate searching, the search form is available on all index pages. This site is published in English with a Spanish version in development. Contacts: Abya Yala Net,; Marc Becker, (Webmaster); Gilles Combrisson, (Webmaster); SAIIC at (Sponsor).

4. NativeNet( NativeNet was established in 1989 by Gary Trujillo following a Tribal Lands conference that discussed ways of utilizing new technologies in support of linking native peoples and developing resources related to their lives. Its purpose is two-fold: to utilize electronic media to develop connections between people and organizations working on indigenous issues by distributing information and analysis from the indigenous point of view, and to promote active interchange and conversation among and between Native people, activists and other interested parties. The resources and discussion are primarily about U.S./North American native peoples, with some limited coverage of Latin America and the rest of the world. The e-mail lists (listservs) are very active and contain engaging discussion of Native American struggles, rights, and organizational philosophies. The core resources at this site are the specialized discussion groups (and archives of those discussions) which contain some discussion and news about Latin American indigenous peoples. NativeNet started with one electronic mailing list in 1989 and now hosts six specialized mailing lists/discussion groups and their associated archives: NATIVE-L (news and information); NATCHAT (discussion); NAT-LANG (language); NAT-HLTH (health); NAT-EDU (education); NAT-1492 (Columbus Quincentenary). The archives are also maintained online at ( and contain several years worth of exchanges between subscribers to these specialized "mailing list" forums. An important section of the site contains links to background articles, papers and other relevant indigenous information on the web. The coverage of Latin America is sparse, with only five links in the Central America section (two of which didn't connect) primarily on the Aztec, Maya, and Mapuche. The server for this site is provided by Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. Contact: Gary Trujillo, (Webmaster).

5. Zapatistas in Cyberspace, a guide to analysis and resources Written and published by Harry M. Cleaver, associate professor of economics at the University of Texas at Austin, this document is an excellent annotated guide to 64 Zapatista related resources. It includes links to articles, Internet lists and newsgroups, WWW sites, and archives. Published on the Internet since fall 1996, the guide links to many important and very active groups and websites in support of indigenous movements in Mexico, and contains descriptions of the related resources on one continuous-page. This guide, issued as a report for Accion Zapatista de Austin, an active solidarity committee in Austin, Texas, is intended to facilitate gathering and disseminating information about the Zapatistas and democratic movements in Mexico, and is an superb pathfinder for the tremendous amount of current information (news releases, communiques, action alerts, mobilization notices, discussion lists) available in support of the indigenous social struggles in Chiapas. Accion Zapatista also sponsors two very active mailing lists, Chiapas95, which distributes news and communiques about Chiapas and Mexico culled from other lists on the Internet (and is not a discussion group), and Zapatismo, which promotes discussion and analysis about Zapatista revolutionary organizing and its application to other countries/circumstances (and is a discussion group). Contact Harry M. Cleaver, hmcleave@eco.utexas; and Accion Zapatista (

The above column was originally published in the SALALM Newsletter, vol. 25, no. 4 (Feb. 1998): 96-99.

E-Resources for Latin American Studies
Latin American Library Collections Websites

By Rhonda L. Neugebauer

This column brings together fifty-one U.S library sponsored websites that support research on Latin America. These websites or homepages, created primarily by Latin Americanist librarians, provide convenient access points to many specialized Latin American resources, guide users to local as well as remote library holdings, and present a myriad of information options to facilitate study and research on Latin American topics. This new electronic medium has enabled librarians to disseminate information about collections, holdings and services that might not otherwise be easily obtained by users, and has compelled us to compile and organized information in unique ways to reach new audiences and fulfill new expectations about our services.

Through the development of these websites and the creation of access to many types of electronic files, guides, catalogs, indexes, lists of links, and databases, librarians and other Latin Americanist specialists have contributed greatly to the quality of Latin American-related resources on the Internet and to the interconnectedness of its massive physical and intellectual resources. Many of us have successfully applied our creative genius, instructional prowess, specialized subject and language expertise, and design talents to the development of these sites. And, the result is that there are many forms and types of original and creative work on these sites. There are online versions of guides, finding aids, bibliographies, exhibits, syllabi, collection descriptions and policy statements. There is an exciting new project, the LA Government Documents Project, which supports research by linking directly to governmental resources in Latin American countries. Several pages provide lists of sites that further sort, categorize and evaluate Latin American content sites on the Internet. In all, our web presence showcases some of our new products and skills, and gives increased visibility to our resources and services. The professional contribution of SALALM librarians and other specialists in the development, as well as the evaluation of new information products and services, has the potential to have a great impact on academic research in our field.

Note about the annotations: It was difficult, at times, to attribute authorship definitively and/or to distinguish between authorship of the content and authorship of the website HTML code. Moreover, several of the publications that are offered on the Internet sites listed here, are online versions of handouts, guides, and finding aids that probably were utilized long before the introduction of the institution's Latin American website. And, as with many library publications, the page or online file may be an amalgam of the work of current and former librarians at the institution, or may represent some type of inter-institutional collaboration. In the annotations of the websites, I identify the names of authors, compilers and webmasters-if they are known to me, or if their names are listed on the website (of course space considerations prohibit listing the address and author of each page at all the sites). While I strove for accuracy, the errors that may exist are unintentional and will be corrected with any future version of this list (including an HTML version in preparation).

The list of websites is roughly alphabetical by name of the library or institution:

1. University of Arizona Libraries, "Latin America, Spain and Portugal: Library and Internet Resources"( This page contains a brief profile of the LA collections, and offers several categories of links: major websites, Chicano/Hispano Studies, Civilizations, Economic Development, Government and Political Science, History, Language, Miscellanea, and information on Spain and Portugal.

2. Arizona State University Libraries, "Latin American-Related Resources on the Internet" (

3. Brigham Young University, Library Information Network, "Latin American Studies" (

4. Brown University, John Carter Brown Library. ( The John Carter Brown Library is an advanced center for research in history and the humanities, with an extensive collection of rare books (45,000), reference works (20,000), and primary historical materials that document European discovery, exploration, travel, settlement and colonization in the Western Hemisphere. The Library's website provides descriptions of the collection, the library programs and operations, the fellowship competition, the publication program, the JCB Associates group, and the governance of the Library. There is a link to an announcement of their new publication, European Americana : a chronological guide to works printed in Europe relating to the Americas, 1493-1750, a six-volume bibliographic guide to the printed record of European publishing about the Americas (

5. University of California, Berkeley, "UCB Library Collections in Latin American Studies" ( This website is accented with attractive Mexican designs and offers several categories of information: Collections and staff (including Carlos Delgado's dissertation proposal "Cooperative Exchange of Digital Documents Among Electronic Libraries: the case of Latin America"), Electronic Resources (LADB and LAS/NISC), Indexes (ARL), Internet Resources (LANIC), Publications (a Selected New Acquisitions List organized by month called "Biblio al Dia"), and Videography (Media Resources Center's selected list of Latin American related videos).

6. "Bancroft Collection, Latin Americana: Mexican and Central American Collections" ( The main page of this site describes the collections, services, and access to the Bancroft Library. The main page has a brief biographical sketch of Hubert Howe Bancroft (1832-1918), who, as a vendor, publisher, and historian, exhaustively collected printed and manuscript works about western North America (from Alaska to Panama). There is also information about consultation with Bancroft Library staff; library instruction sessions; online access; published guides, catalogs and special index files of holdings; and a bibliography of works about the library. The "Latin Americana" page contains a statement that describes the general characteristics and principles of the collection, the current collecting emphases as well as subject and format exclusions.

7. University of California, Berkeley, "Chicano Studies Library" ( The CLNET was created by Richard Chabran for the entire University of California system. Its pages interlink with some resources and files from other UC Chicano studies sites, and provide access to sections on Collections, Publications, Services, Access and Internet Resources.>

8. University of California, Los Angeles, "UCLA Library Collections and Internet Resources in: Latin American Studies" ( This site consists of 37 links to gateways, guides, indexes, websites, journals, newspapers, libraries, institutions/organizations and other UCLA sites.

9. University of California, Los Angeles, "Chicano Studies Research Library" ( This library, founded in 1969, is a special unit of the Chicano Studies Research Center and focuses on the Chicano/Mexican community in the U.S. Its website, developed by Richard Chabran (now at UC-Riverside), provides information on Library Services, the Collection (including its Collection Development Policy and statement about its relation to other UCLA libraries), the Reference Collection, Links to other Latino Research Collections, Access, and Internet Resources. There is some sharing of resources and web information with the UC-Berkeley, Chicano Studies Library and CLNET (see UC Berkeley, Chicano Studies Library).

10. University of California, San Diego, International Relations and Pacific Studies Library, "Latin America" ( The three categories of links at this site, developed by Harold Colson, Head, International Relations and Pacific Studies Library, contain 16 links to academic sites, commercial sites and government/multilateral organizations. In this well-developed electronic library, there are Latin America-related resources in other sections, including Databases, Global News and IR/PS WWW Subject Links.

11. University of California, San Diego, Social Sciences and Humanities Library, "Spanish and Portuguese Page at UCSD" ( and "Languages and Literature Resources" (

12. University of California, Santa Barbara, "Information Resources on Latin American and Iberian Studies" ( This site, written by Patrick Dawson, contains links to Gateways, Newspapers, Bibliographies, Miscelleanea, and UCSB Resources. In another page, "Literary Criticism: Latin American and Spanish Literature, Reference Guide" he lists beginning research tools as well as databases, dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks and bibliographies, and provides links to two catalogs ( Nerea A. Llamas contributes two reciprocally linked pages to this site: "Information Resources for Spanish and Portuguese" and "Information Resources for Graduate Students in Spanish and Portuguese" (

13. University of California, Santa Cruz, "Information Resources on Latin American & Iberian Studies" (

14. Columbia University Libraries, "Area Studies--Latin American Studies" ( This site contains many sections to assist users of the complex CU library website, including a search engine that quickly identified 1,338 matches on my "Latin America" search. While many of the hits were not library-related, the major library resources on Latin America consist of an About page, a page describing the Collections, a guide called "Current Information Sources in Lehman Library: Latin America," a class handout ("Latin American Studies and the Internet"), and a guide to Latin American History (

15. University of Connecticut Libraries, "Resources for Latin American Studies" ( This page is one of several pages compiled and written by Darlene Waller, Reference Librarian and Curator of Hispanic History and Culture, at the University of Connecticut Libraries. Her page provides links to several original and useful pages: a Guide to Library Reference Sources, LAS current journals, LAS microform sets, and LAS videotapes (pdf). At this site there is also information about the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center and its Archives and Special Collections, including the Hispanic History and Culture Collections page, the Mexican Broadsides Collection page, and the Spanish Periodicals and Newspapers page. On another page, "Resources for Spanish and Portuguese Studies" (, there are links to major sources as well as a list of current journals at UC. Several in-house research guides are available: Latin American and Caribbean Studies, LAS Microform Serials and Collections, LAS Videotapes, and Latino/Latina Studies. Another unique addition to resources at this site is the online version of an exhibit entitled "Paseo por el Periodismo: A history of Journalism in Latin America and Spain" which is located in Archives and Special Collect(icons section An excellent regional library resource is located at this site, the page devoted to the Latin American Studies Consortium of New England ( It contains information about the four library members' memberships, journal and microform holdings, public services and policies and procedures in the respective member libraries (Brown University., UConn, UMass/Amherst, Yale). A contact page and photo of Darlene are at

16. Cornell University, "Latin American Government Documents Project" ( This project is a very important resource. Developed by David Block, Ibero-American Bibliographer, this set of pages is a creative and singular effort to classify and organize electronic links to LA governmental information resources. It is organized by country and has become spectacularly useful judging by the fact that most other LAS resource pages provide a link to this page. Categories included are Statistical Sources, Executive and Ministerial Documents, National Legislative Documents, National Judicial Documents, Subnational Documents. And, as with other LANE libraries, there are pages of LA newspaper and newsmagazine holdings at Cornell ( as well as LA microform holdings (, and the Latin American collection policy (

17. Dartmouth College Library, "Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz Project" ( The Sor Juana project, developed by former Dartmouth bibliographer Luis Villar (now at University of Wisconsin) and sponsored by the Dept. of Spanish and Portuguese, is an ambitious undertaking designed to provide electronic versions of the complete works and a comprehensive bibliography of this seventeenth century writer and nun: plays, poetry and prose. Also at the Dartmouth College site are collection development policies and collecting intensity statements for Spanish Language and Literature and Portuguese Language and Literature areas. A magnificent online exhibit of Jose Clemente Orozco frescoes, painted in 1932-34 in the Baker Library while Orozco was a visiting lecturer, is located here. The exhibit includes Images of the frescoes, photos, an interpretation and a bibliography (

18. Duke University Libraries, International and Area Studies in Perkins Library, "Latin America, Spain and Portugal" ( This page provides links for the Latin American Studies pages at Duke and was compiled by Deborah Jakubs and Hortensia Calvo, Ibero-American Bibliographers and Peter Frykholm, Asst., International and Area Studies Dept. The categories of resources provided at this page are: Description of the Latin American Collection, Duke Library Guides and Information, and Internet Resources (with links to gateways, library collections, international organizations, and book sellers). The Guide and Information section is a substantial compilation of local information and holdings, finding aids and in-depth research guides on many subjects, including the Social Sciences, Literature, and other Specialized Subjects. The "Caribbean Studies" page, developed by Hortensia Calvo, Pamela Graham and Peter Frykholm, contains a list of programs at Duke, guides and resources, and Internet resources (

19. Dumbarton Oaks ( A library of Harvard University with significant "holdings on the pre-Columbian periods," this site contains pages on Conferences, Pre-Columbian Collection (including a photo of the Pre-Columbian Museum Gallery of photos of the art collection), Fellowships, Publications (dozens of titles are currently offered), and the Library. The Library page describes the library of 20,000 volumes plus articles, journals, microforms, newsletters, magazines and other materials and files, but provides no link to its own catalog, nor links to any other Harvard libraries or catalogs.

20. University of Florida Libraries, "UF Libraries Latin American Collection" ( This is a single page document with brief descriptions of the collections (at Smathers, Maps and Special Collections), services and hours.

21. University of Georgia, "Humanities Dept. Subject Resources" ( The General Library site is very attractive in its design with a fine "About the Libraries" page, which serves as a guide to librarians as well as e-resources, services and collections. Gayle Williams, Bibliographer for Latin America, Spain and Portugal, is web editor for the Humanities Dept. Subject Resources section of the site (under the Collection Services section of the "Homepages of Individual Units of the Libraries") and creator of the unique resource, "Latin America Cinema Home Page." The cinema page contains 64 links to information about film, biographical works, filmographies and catalogs, and research institutions, film archives and associations (

22. Harvard University Library, "Harvard University Library Resources on Latin America" ( This page briefly describes Harvard's library system and commitment to Latin American collecting, electronic access, and preservation, and offers several links to "Fundamental Resources" for Latin American research.

23. Hoover Institution, "Americas Collection" ( The Americas portion of the Hoover Institution website contains four sections: an introduction to the collection, history of the collection, description of the collection and a list of guides to the collection.

24. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, "Latin American Library Services Homepage" (

25. Indiana University Library, "Latin American Resources" (

26. University of Kansas Libraries, "Department for Spain, Portugal and Latin America" ( Written by Jana Krentz, Ibero-American bibliographer, this site very conventiently is the primary site for LAS resources at KU. It provides brief descriptions of the general LA collection as well as special research collections. It contains links to Collection Development Policies for Spanish Language and Literature, Portuguese Language and Literature, and for Caribbean and Haitian Creole. In addition to links to principal Internet resources, there are links organized by gateways, organizations, journals/newspapers, literature and reference. Original resources include a syllabus for the "Latin American Library Resources" class, a local CD-ROM resources list, and a soon-to-be-released "Bibliographies" page with finding aids on 19 topics (under construction).

27. Kellogg Institute for International Studies, University of Notre Dame, "Kellogg Information Center" ( This homepage, written by Iberian and Latin American Studies Librarian Scott Van Jacob, provides information on services, staff and resources available in the Information Center, and also provides links to Latin American related websites, including several original pages of links for current news, scholarly sources, newspapers, magazines, statistics and history. Other LAS-related pages include an subject section on the main library electronic resources page (, a >A HREF=""> "Library Guide to Specialized Sources in Latin American Studies," a finding aid aimed at supporting undergraduate level research (, a current acquisitions list, a list of working papers received, an online Exhibt about the "McDevitt Collection on the Spanish Inquisition" (, and information about the Corson Family donation of the library of Jose Durand (

28. Library of Congress, "Hispanic Reading Room,"<'A> ( This website contains resources essential to Latin American studies, including the important electronic indexes and abstracts of "HLAS Online" (Handbook of Latin American Studies) (, reviewed in an earlier E-Resources column).

29. University of Miami, Otto G. Richter Library ( The main library site offers links to several Latin American content pages, including informative descriptions of the unique archival and special collections on Cuba. There also are pages/guides to online information, including the "Latin American Resources" page (, which links to pages on "Caribbean Resources" and "International Resources." The three Library Research Guides at this site are about books, periodicals and Caribbean writers. The staff homepages section contains a welcome from Sara Sanchez and her photo.

30. University of Michigan Library, "Latin American Studies Sources" ( This page, written by Rita Wilson (former UMich Reference Librarian), is a guide to the University of Michigan LA collections and resources, including standard LA reference tools on 19 topics. A prolific webpage developer, Wilson has written a number of other useful pages that are offered from Michigan (although she is currently at University of Texas at San Antonio). Her major pages are: LA Subject Resources, Mexico, Caribbean and Central America, South America, Online Publications from LA, Mexican Newspapers Online, Latin American Embassies/Embassies in LA with Webpages, and Pedro Infante, Mexican Music and Film. Other brief guides at the UMich site are: "Selected Latin American Resources" (now maintained by Bryan Skib, Selector for Latin America, French, Religion), which links primarily to other Wilson pages (, and "Selected Resources in the Romance Languages," developed by Romance Languages Selector Tom Burnett (

31. Michigan State University Libraries, "Electronic Resources in Latin American & Caribbean Studies" (

32. University of Minnesota, University Libraries--Twin Cities, "Iberia and Ibero-American Studies at the University of Minnesota: A Pathfinder" ( Compiled by Rafael Tarrago, Librarian for Iberian, Ibero-American and Chicano Studies, this page and its companion page, Iberia and Ibero-America on the Internet: a Selected List," ( constitute the Latin American finding aids for electronic and other reference information at UMN. The Internet list is categorized by databases, discussion groups, e-journals, Internet sites and newspapers. Each entry has a brief annotation and the contact address or URL.

33. University of New Mexico, General Library, "Iberian Studies and Library Materials at the UNM" ( This page contains a description of the significant holdings and specialized collections on Latin America and Iberian studies at UNM. A "New Acquisitions List" is at Another page outlines the library catalog access and document delivery programs of the "Ibero-American Science and Technology Education Consortium Library Linkages Program" (

34. New Mexico State University Library, "Internet Resources for Latin America" ( Molly Molloy, Latin American Specialist, has compiled and published a tremendous number of e-resources relevant to Latin American Studies. Her guide, "Internet Resources for Latin America" (reviewed in an earlier E-Resources column), is an unequalled contribution as an electronic pathfinder and guide, and is offered as a link on nearly every LA library collection site. Other notable resources at the New Mexico State University Library site ( include several unique and useful resources: Andanzas al Web Latino (also described in an earlier column), Languages and Linguistics: Library and Internet Resources, Mexico News Archives, Best of Mexico, Border and Latin American Information, Las Cruces Press Women Association, and teaching information (files/sites developed for courses she taught at the NMSU Library, on "Information Literacy," and at the Institute for Technology Assisted Learning, on "Electronic Library Resources for Distance Education," and "Connectivity Issues."

35. New York Public Library, Science, Industry and Business Library, "Worldwide Business Directories: Latin America and the Caribbean" ( and "International Trade Brief: Mexico" ( These pages are comprised of lists of business directories with some subject and contact points. Two other pages are sponsored by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture: "Selected Internet Sources of Information on Africa and the African Diaspora: Caribbean; Central and Latin America. " One is organized by subject, and one by country (, ( In addition to the Business and Schomburg sites, Denise Hibay, Librarian, General Research Division, reports that two new sites are under construction. One site will be about the Exhibit on the Spanish-American War, with an accompanying Research Guide (March 1998), and the other will be dedicated to Latin American Resources at NYPL (Sept. 1998).

36. New York University, Bobst Library, "Latin American Studies Resources" ( This page, compiled by Angela Carreno, Bibliographer for LAS, brings together information about Latin American-related Internet sites and about the Bobst Library, including the collection development policy, lists of microform set and video holdings, a SALALM committee-sponsored guide by Carreno and Ramon Abad, "Resources for Locating and Evaluating Latin American Videos," and two in-depth research guides, the "Latin American Studies Research Guide" ( and the "Spanish and Portuguese Literature Research Guide," ( Also available at this site is the "Spanish and Portuguese Studies Resources" page ( Carreno's set of Latin American pages serve as convenient locators and guides for Latin American Studies. In addition to these pages, Carreno maintains the General Bobst Library homepage for Current News Sources (including newspapers in all formats), and oversees the development of the Newberry Library, "Edward E. Ayer Collection" and "William B. Greenlee Collection" ( This site contains brief descriptions of the unique holdings of the Ayer and Greenlee collections, noted for their holdings in Brazilian and Portuguese history, literature, travel, exploration, discovery, colonization and bibliography.

38. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Libraries, "History and Area Studies: the Americas" (

39. Ohio State University Libraries, "Latin American Studies Reading Room" ( This page, written by Edward Anthony Riedinger, Bibliographer for Latin America, Spanish and Portuguese, is an "electronic extension" of the OSU LAS Reading Room and provides sections on Research Aids, News, Libraries, Organizations, Research Projects and New Book lists.

40. University of Pennsylvania, "Areas of the World-Mexico, Central and South America: Latin American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania" <( This page, developed by Joseph C. Holub, Ibero-American Bibliographer, contains 43 links to local and remote resources and websites. Unique materials include a "Guide to Latin American Materials at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries," the Collection Development Policy for LAS, Organizations at Penn, and Resources by Subject (which links to dozens of other pages), and Resources by Type (Booksellers, Countries, Databases, Electronic Journals, Government Resources, Guides, Libraries, Maps, News, Organizations and Statistical Sources).

41. University of Pittsburgh, Center for Latin American Studies, "Eduardo Lozano Latin American Collection" ( This page and its linked resources offer in-depth descriptions of library collection strengths (Cuba, Bolivia) and services. There is also a list of newspapers received, a list of 547 Cuban periodicals held in the Library, and an overview of LA Literatures and Languages Materials at Pittsburgh.

42. Princeton University Library, "Doing Research at Princeton: Latin America, Spain and Portugal" literary papers and manuscript collections held in the Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections (

43. San Diego State University, "Latin America and the U.S. Border Region at the SDSU Library" ( and "Mexican Americans and Latinos on the Internet" (

44. University of Southern California, "Boeckmann Center for Iberian & Latin American Studies," ( Developed in collaboration with Barbara Robinson, Curator, Boeckmann Center, this site contains several sections of useful and/or unique resources under the "More Information" section: Information Services (includes a list of 255 websites on diverse topics); Electronic Resources (includes "Latin American Literary Authors," a fantastic page developed by Ivan Calimano and Jean Luc Estrella with extensive listings of authors organized by country and by LC classification number,; Collections; Specialized Topics (includes "Dia de los Muertos" page Events, Gifts, Faculty, Related University Resources, and a glossary of computer terms for Latin Americanists. Future developments are to include a Spanish American literary manuscripts page.

45. Stanford University, "Latin American and Iberian Collections" ( This multi-layered site, with beautiful "graphics based on anonymous art from 'papel amatl'", contains sections dedicated to General Information (with an introduction to the collections at Green Library and contact names); Specialized Non-Print Collections (lists of microfiche sets, film titles, CD-ROM titles, and videos); Department, Program and Research Center Links; Important Acquisitions in Latin American and Iberian Materials (describes seven special collections of books, papers and videos); Computer-Based Resources (a page of 60 links covering servers, newspapers and journals, national libraries, and bibliographies); and Other Latin American and Iberian Collections (links to 15 LA library and related sites such as SALALM and LAMP).

46. University of Texas at Austin, "Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection," ( This website contains a description of this leading Latin American collection, and offers links to sections on Electronic Resources, Selections from the Benson Latin American Collection (including Biblionoticias, 1990-present; finding aids to the archival collections of LULAC, Mexican Archives, and the Collection of Dr. Robert J. Mullen; Online Exhibits such as Border Cultures, Relaciones Geograficas, and the Eleuterio Escobar Collection); and to other Latin America-related sites at UT.

47. Tulane University, "Latin American Library," ( This excellent and voluminous site, created and maintained by Reference and Electronic Services Librarian Paul Bary, has several sections highlighting the unique collections and resources of Tulane University: Reference Services and Resources, Treasures of the Collection, Exhibits, Staff, Rare Books, Manuscript Collections, Photographic Archive, and LA Collections in the Southeast [U.S.]. There is a tremendous amount of original information at this site, and a large number of links to valuable research information, guides, lists of resources and bibliographies to support research in Latin American studies.

48. Vanderbilt University Libraries, "Resources for Latin American Studies" ( This list, compiled by Bibliographer Paula Covington, contains 47 links: to the description of the LA collection and collecting levels, and to sections covering Reference Sources, Country Links, Sites by Subject, Libraries and Archives, Journals/newspapers/magazines, Discussion Lists and Organizations. There are two literature pages, "Resources for Spanish Language and Literature" ( and "Resources for Portuguese Language and Literature" ( These pages also have collection descriptions, and links to general as well as specific language, culture and travel sites.

49. University of Virginia, "Dept. of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese," ( This page, maintained by Librarian for Spanish, Italian & Portuguese C. Jared Loewenstein, contains links to University of Virginia library resources as well as links to several major LAS sites. The Special Collections Dept. page links to a description and several digitized manuscript pages from the Jorge Luis Borges Collection (

50. University of Wisconsin, "Land Tenure Center Library" (

51. Yale University, "Yale University Library Research Guide: Latin American Studies," ( This is the main page for a set of well-developed and detailed LAS pages at Yale, developed by Cesar Rodriguez, Curator of the Latin American Collection. Contained in the guide are links to pages with further finding aids, collection descriptions, indexes to holdings and collections, catalog links and two very useful Internet Resources pages: "Humanities: Languages and literatures: Iberian Languages and Literatures (Peninsular)" ( and "Humanities: History & Area Studies: Latin American Studies" ( Another nice page (for onsite researchers) is the list of available of print versions of the Yale Library Research Guides (

The above column was originally published in the SALALM Newsletter, vol. 25, no. 5 (April 1998): 119-125.

E-Resources for Latin American Studies
Economic Information

By Rhonda L. Neugebauer

Economic activities drive virtually every aspect of our lives and have powerful repercussions on the world's political, financial, social, cultural and physical organization. Through the economy, the world's resources are apportioned, administered, and utilized according to prevailing political and economic doctrine, with seemingly little regard for equity or need. The economies of Latin America were integrated into the world economy with the role of providing raw materials and agricultural products for growing overseas markets. This particular process of integration influenced the development of the political systems and socio-economic structures in each country and, in the region, produced a historical legacy of underdevelopment, poverty, and political instability.

In the last two decades, a new approach to world economic growth has prevailed to result in more changes to the Latin American economic landscape. In the wake of the 1980s debt crisis, neo-liberalism rapidly gained ground as the predominant solution for Latin America's economic problems. Its proponents argued for increasing integration of markets, labor and capital, and instituted political agendas to expand free trade agreements with industrial nations. Those agreements sought to reduce protectionism and government intervention in the region's economies and to re-focus the countries of Latin America on the needs of the world market. These changes have had enormous impacts on Latin American business, trade, financing, investments, productive capacity and development options. And, the resulting structural adjustment programs imposed by international financing agencies like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, have effected large numbers of people, some of whom are the least involved in economic decision-making and who have endured the most hardship.

The Internet has improved access to documentation and analysis of the economic activities of the world. In this column, I provide reviews of several noteworthy Internet resources that facilitate and influence the study of current Latin American economic and social conditions. Several of the agencies listed in this column-World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Inter-American Development Bank-are major providers of statistical data and economic analyses of the region. They are also involved with promoting and implementing the structural adjustment programs of Latin America's economies. Recently, these agencies have developed encyclopedic websites with an immense amount of information, including statistical data, research and working papers, publications, online catalogs of library holdings, and collections of research documents. In addition to collecting and distributing massive amounts of statistical data on each Latin American country, the agencies have begun to use their websites, albeit unevenly, to promote their documentation, research and publishing efforts.

Scholarly accounts regularly utilize information that has been collected, compiled and/or published by these agencies. And, since research sponsored by such agencies frequently contains important primary data for analysis of the region or country and the economic and social conditions, the papers and documents produced by researchers at these agencies can enable and/or effect further analysis of the situation. Moreover (and of vital interest to Latin Americans), the information collected and published by these agencies is used to make critical decisions about whether to finance infrastructure projects, industrial growth, economic reforms, or other developments, which in turn may have their own impact on the economic environment of the country.

By mounting statistical and other data on the Internet, the information is made available much sooner and to more distant audiences. Indeed, the web has provided a useful forum for the intersection of readily-available current information with the new technology that enables its ready, quick and profuse distribution. Thus, there is increased information flow not only to and from the decision-making agencies and world economic actors (banks, companies, trade partners), but the information also flows more readily to and within the academic discipline of economics.

There are several interconnected and prodigious websites that seek to organize the intellectual and informational infrastructure of the field of economics. Included in this column are reviews of several impressive acquisition and access efforts by academics in the discipline of economics and international business. Their efforts to organize and offer access to research and other papers needed for academic analysis of the economies in Latin America are impressive administrative efforts that have greatly improved the intellectual and informational infrastructure of the field.

In the first eight reviews, I describe the collaborative efforts of several of these projects. The sites hosted by NetEc, RePEc, IDEAS, and EconWPA form the core of a coordinated effort to provide bibliographic control, on-demand availability, and easy access to the type of material known as working papers or research papers published by funding agencies, universities, banking institutions, academic departments and faculty members. Their respective data sets of papers and metadata (data about the papers) contain thousands of working and research papers, journal articles and software components, and bring together the resources of several important players in the field of Latin American economic development. Some of the working papers have never been published in print format; others are publications of organizations and agencies that have been contributed to the archive in order to facilitate wider distribution. The field of economics has long utilized working papers as an established method of documenting current research findings (often before formal publication), yet the dissemination of these documents is commonly limited, making acquisition by libraries problematic, and making systematic study of these documents difficult. The Internet access and archiving provides many administrative functions to support scholarly research, including a central repository, bibliographic control, database maintenance, searching and retrieval (of local as well as remote information); and these functions virtually eliminate many of the problems of distribution.

In my search for relevant economics information on the Internet, I was especially impressed with the elaborate online projects directed by some very creative academicians in the field of economics. The NetEc group sites, especially, were built with the intention of shifting the focus of publishing from journals to the scholarly world itself. Scholars are encouraged to utilize the Internet as a tool to promote this shift and, in effect, to become publishers and/or distributors. They envision making certain types of research free, accessible, and competitive with the other actors on the field, namely journal publishers and other providers of information. While these academicians are working to improve the pace of academic interchange and exchange among scholars, they also have impacted the exchange itself, the routing process and the distribution process.

The NetEc group and other affiliated projects that work to create and maintain working papers archives offer exemplary models of collaboration among academics, professional associations, educational institutions, multi-lateral organizations and dedicated individuals. By working together to provide bibliographic access, organization, cataloging and/or delivery of hard-to-locate publications and many unpublished works and by involving major information providers such as the World Bank and Federal Reserve in their efforts, they have influenced information flow within their discipline and ensured wider access to and utilization of these documents.

1. NetEc ( NetEc, started in 1993 by a group of technologically savvy academic economists, coordinated by Thomas Krichel at the University of Surrey,UK. It is an umbrella group for several ambitious international collecting and access projects that offer free access to economics information on the Internet through its affiliated websites (BibEc, WoPEc, CodEc, WebEc, HoPEc and JokEc). Through these projects, NetEc delivers a tremendous amount of economics information into the non-commercial domain, and organizes it for easy searching, archiving and sharing. The websites can be searched globally or separately. There is a significant amount of material on Latin America at the sites sponsored by NetEc. My search on the term Latin America resulted in 120 hits, representing dozens of contributed papers and journal articles. The welcome page lists the scope of the various projects and describes NetEc as "an international effort to improve the communication of Economics information via electronic media." In fact, NetEc's various projects provide free access, innovative bibliographic control, and efficient searching of thousands of research reports, working papers, software, articles, and other documents relevant to the discipline of economics. A major goal of the project has been "to improve the scholarly communication in Economics via electronic media," which it has no doubt accomplished. It has very high use statistics, has forged creative relationships with major information providers of economics information (some of them being "the world's leading working paper publishers"), and has vowed to work "towards a future with exchange of academic ideas between those who generate them, rather than through commercial publishers." In sum, the activist efforts of NetEc illustrate innovative collaboration between researchers and information providers using new Internet technology. The sections of NetEc are listed here and several are described more fully later in this column: BibEc is a collection of bibliographic information about printed working papers; WoPEc is an archive of electronic working papers and/or links to working papers; CodEc contains codes for economics and econometrics; WebEc is a compilation of web based resources for economists, with especially good coverage of journals; HoPEc is a site that links to personal home pages with economics papers; and JokEc is a list of jokes about economics and economists. Two additional projects sponsored by NetEc are Research Papers in Economics (RePEc) and New Economic Papers (NEP), both of which are described below. Also mentioned on the welcome page and affiliated with NetEc, are the excellent searchable websites, "Resources for Economists on the Internet," by William L. Goffe (also described below), and "Economics Departments, Institutes and Research Centres in the World," a list of compiled by Christian Zimmermann. [Site viewed Sept. 9, 1998]

2. RePEc, Research Papers in Economics ( Maintained by Thomas Krichel (University of Surrey, UK), RePEc is sponsored by NetEc and brings together a diverse group of individuals and organizations working to coordinate the archiving, access to and delivery of the electronic research and working papers of its contributing organizations. It contains economics research documents (working papers, journal articles) and data about those documents (metadata). Many organizations with prolific publishing programs contribute archives or sets of documents, including many universities and economics departments, the National Bureau of Economic Research (Cambridge, Mass.), the U.S. Federal Reserve, and the Centre for Economic Policy Research (London). Given that some of these organizations publish a large amount of research on Latin America, the data organized by RePEc has significant research potential for a wide range of Latin American economic issues (including banking, finance, statistical information and analysis). RePEc functions as a repository for the papers of the numerous contributing entities, and now includes over 7,000 papers in electronic format and over 60,000 papers in printed form. Although working papers have been its primary concern, other types of publications are also listed (series publications, articles, software components, and books). The definition of "working paper" or "research paper" utilized by most of the affiliated archives is defined by RePEc as "documents that are either printed or available on the Internet as electronic files that are suitable for printing." Underlying this definition is the assumption that "papers" (whether electronic or printed documents) will continue to serve as a "predominant vehicle for research communication for a long time, despite all the hypermedia hype." While RePEc functions to collect and organize entire archive sets, it has no user interface. It can be searched, however, through its affiliated service providers (BibEc, WoPEc, IDEAS, and NEP). The RePEc group invites all parties interested in distributing free data through the Internet to join its efforts. Not all papers that are included here, however, are free. Because RePEc concepts (organization, archiving, etc.) can be extended to a variety of data collections on research papers, there are help files, templates, archive identifiers, step-by-step guides to building an archive, and installation instructions available at this site for those interested in setting up similar archives for working paper datasets. There are mirror sites in the US ( [the Washington University site was not accessible on Sept. 14] and Japan. [Site viewed August 31, 1998]

3. NEP, New Economics Papers ( NEP is a free current awareness e-mail service sponsored by the RePEc group. It distributes edited reports about additions to the RePEc archive via 26 subject-specific e-mail lists. Subscription instructions are at the address above (the lists are not for discussion). [Site viewed Sept. 6, 1998]

4. IDEAS, Internet Documents in Economics Access Service ( IDEAS is an end user search service that uses the Excite search engine to search the bibliographic information of the archives affiliated with the RePEc project (over 60,000 working papers, 8000 articles, 177 software components, and 820 series, with 8579 downloadable files). It was established in Sept. 1997 and is maintained by Christian Zimmermann at the Universite du Quebec a Montreal. IDEAS searches the combined database of all the electronic and hard-copy working paper titles and abstracts that are coordinated through RePEc (including BibEc, WoPEc, Fed in Print, NBER, and CEPR); and by arrangement with EconWPA, IDEAS also searches the bibliographic information of papers in EconWPA. This is THE place to search the series of various sites sponsored by NetEc. [Site viewed Sept. 7, 1998]

5. BibEc, Printed Papers in Economics ( This service, also part of NetEc, is operated by Fethy Mill, Universite de Montreal, and provides information on print copies of working papers. The bibliographic information of these same papers is included in the RePEc archives, which can be searched to identify papers on topics of interest. The owners of this site are working to add ordering information for these papers. BibEc's sister project is WoPEc, a database of electronic format papers that can be downloaded (some have fees). [Site viewed Sept. 7, 1998]

6. WoPEc, Electronic Working Papers in Economics ( WoPEc, managed by Jose Manuel Barrueco Cruz and moderated by Thomas Krichel, began in early 1993 as an effort to collect bibliographic information about online working papers, but soon shifted its efforts to collecting information about the "electronic manifestations" of remote working papers and creating a mechanism for searching and linking to them. Searching can be done within the database or through IDEAS. The database contains over 8000 papers and hundreds of journal articles, and continues to develop as an important archive. My search retrieved 40 hits on Latin America, 3 on El Salvador, and 22 on Argentina with many documents originating from the World Bank. Involving the growing number of departmental and institutional online archives of working papers (over 200 in 1997, according to Krichel) in this innovative and decentralized method of publishing and distributing papers, is a primary focus of WoPEc's undaunted creators as they continue their struggle to offer their own version of an alternative publishing mechanism for the current journal system. [Site viewed Sept. 7, 1998]

7. WebEc-World Wide Web Resources in Economics ( WebEc, part of NetEc, is maintained by Lauri Saarinen of the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration and updated quarterly. This site provides broad, comprehensive coverage of economics including general resources as well as web resources. The main page is organized into thirty categories with dozens of subcategories. Each subcategory has its own page of links that further break down the topic. There is some coverage of Latin America, primarily within the international section. The news section identified two important Latin American economics newspapers (Primer Impacto and Gazeta Mercantil On-line), and the international economics sections includes several headings that contain links to organizations and other sites that include information on Latin American international trade, business, finance, development, organizations and treaties. An important part of this site is its extensive listings of print and online journals, with links to a few journals about Latin America and links to many more general journals with coverage of Latin American topics. The list is at "Economic Journals on the Internet" ( [Site viewed Sept. 10, 1998]

8. EconWPA ( EconWPA is primarily managed by Bob Parks, Economics Dept. faculty member at Washington University in St. Louis with assistance from Larry Blume, Cornell University. This electronic archive of economics working papers is the largest collection of such papers, is organized by 22 subjects, and is searchable by subject, abstract text, author, title or contents. This site, begun in June 1993 and modeled after a fully automated archives in physics for TeX documents ( ), allows users to submit their own papers in TeX, PDF and/or Postscript format. My search on Latin America identified several papers unique to this database, but some search results sets contained duplicate hits, even when different country names were searched. The results were: 35 hits on the term Latin America, 27 on Argentina, 45 on Mexico and 16 on El Salvador. EconWPA has close working relations with other working papers archives projects, including NetEc and IDEAS. Information on papers collected in EconWPA is automatically included in WoPEc and in RePEc, and therefore is searchable through IDEAS. The Excite search engine at the site can exclusively search the locally-held working papers at EconWPA. And, on a separate page (, there is search engine that will search the contents of the papers (not just the bibliographic information, as with IDEAS). The site owner reports that he has plans to extend this improved search strategy to other online papers. Site owners encourage individual submission of papers through the automated services via e-mail or a web form. [Site viewed Sept. 10, 1998]

9. Resources for Economists on the Internet, RFE, ( or This well-designed, topically organized, expansive guide (complete with ISSN) was compiled and written by Bill Goffe, Associate Professor of Economics and International Business at the University of Southern Mississippi. Its purpose is to organize and describe Internet resources for economists, academics and others with an interest in economics. Developed over the last five years, this guide is a remarkable resource with extensive coverage of economic information on the Internet with links to several dozen important international websites and resources that cover Latin America. The site lists over 700 resources, including a dozen specifically on Latin America, and provides descriptions for most of the resources as well as links to the remote sites mentioned. Most of the coverage of Latin America is found in the links to sites with broad coverage of international business, trade, and finance, such as the IMF, World Bank, IADB, and others. The site is easy to navigate, and has a title/main page with broad subject headings that link to different sections of the site. There is also a comprehensive table of contents page with headings that link to subcategories and reviews of the resources listed. Very valuable features of the site are the reviews and/or descriptions of Internet resources linked to the RFE site. Goffe's insightful explanations of these resources showcase his personal familiarity and involvement with many websites developed to organize, present and deliver electronic economic information via the Internet. The entire site is searchable with Excite. The use statistics provide some indication of how popular this site has become with the main page counter noting 106,074 visitors since April 16, 1998. Clearly, this site has been recognized as a substantial and beneficial contribution to the organization of economic information on the web. There are several mirror sites (UK, Australia, Japan). The site even offers bookmark files for downloading, making the links within this site easy to organize on a desktop computer. Bill Goffe reports that he recently received support from the American Economic Association and plans expansion of this site in a several of key areas. This site is worth using and linking to for broad, extensive coverage of economics issues. [Site viewed Aug. 31, 1998]

10. International Monetary Fund ( There is a wide variety of information about Latin America at this well-organized and eminently searchable site. The main page links to eight major sections: About the IMF, News Releases, IMF Publications, Fund Rates, Data Standards, Index, Map and Featured Topics (meetings, comments, information about IMF positions on a variety of topics). The IMF Publications page contains a sophisticated search feature, capable of browsing and/or searching the publications database by author and title, subject, date, language and series. The database contains numerous publications and reports in full-text that are valuable to the study of Latin America, including the IMF Publications Available in Full Text (; IMF Working Papers in Full Text ( and IMF Staff Country Reports in Full Text ( [Viewed Sept. 14, 1998]

11. World Bank Group ( This site contains a large amount of key economic and financial information on Latin America, including World Bank project documents, regional operations, country studies, research reports, journals, and other publications. Some of the most important sections of the site, however, are hidden under layers of links, and are not obvious when viewing the first page. This may be because the site presents such a large amount of information, has a complicated layout, and has been developed by distinct entities within the organization. The main page provides access to the activities of the World Bank Group and the five organizations that comprise it: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Development Association, the International Finance Corporation, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (all of these organizations have their own websites, linked to the main WB homepage). Other links on the main page include News, Publications, Topics in Development, Countries and Regions, Doing Business with the Bank, and About the World Bank. In addition, there are several "Special Interest" sections linked to the main homepage: 1998 Annual Meetings, the Year 2000 Problem, World Development Indicators, and World Bank Partnerships. The site is searchable with Excite. However, some searches produced hits on irrelevant documents and several website and navigational links were not active. The link to the Countries and Regional page contains a section, "Latin America and the Caribbean," with links to many resources, including a "Regional Brief" on LA, information on conferences and meetings, pertinent portions of the WB Annual Report, press information and speeches, an Environmental Overview, Poverty Assessments by Country, Publications (including the Catalogue, Project Documents and Assessments) and links to IFC Activities in Latin America and the Caribbean and to the Caribbean Group for Cooperation in Economic Development. Other very useful resources containing information on Latin America are found under Publications. The Periodicals heading links to a searchable list of World Bank Periodicals ( The Publications Catalog links to a page of "Other Resources;" this is where the World Development Series is found. Extraordinarily useful, the WDS contains the full text and images of over 6000 operational reports (produced since 1994), including Staff Appraisal Reports, Economic and Sector Work, Evaluation Reports and Studies and GEF & Montreal Protocol Project Documents ( The International Trade Division's Policy Research Working Papers are found here (, and are not available from other World Bank sources. Finally, a useful related site contains the IBRD's Social Indicators of Development dataset, allowing interactive queries of the World Bank's dataset, which is comprised of 125 socioeconomic variables from more than 170 economies for the period 1965-1993 ( In all, this site has the capacity to generate a myriad of Latin American related information and documents on a variety of economic topics. [Sites viewed Sept. 13, 1998]

12. Joint Bank-Fund Library Network ( This is the official public website of the World Bank and IMF Libraries Online, a network of 14 libraries that "provide information services and resources to World Bank and IMF staff." The Joint Libraries Information System (JOLIS) Library Catalog contains materials from all the network libraries and uses SIRSI software (Unicorn) for searching. The catalog contains records for books, journal titles, journal articles, working papers, conference proceedings, technical reports, videos, software, and is hyperlinked to electronic resources. The holdings are extensive in the areas of economics, development, trade, public policy, government statistics, international and government finance, and economic conditions of the countries of the world; they also reflect the very active fifty year history of collecting from every member country of the World Bank and IMF (in 35 languages). The Joint Library has over 250,000 volumes, 6700 serial titles, more than 800 research working paper series, microforms and information in electronic format. Search results can be e-mailed to remote locations and several of the member Network Libraries participate in ILL. [Site viewed Sept. 14, 1998]

13. Federal Reserve Banks ( This site provides links to the 12 Federal Reserve Banks site and some branches as well as to the Board of Governors site. The Federal Reserve sites provide a variety of economic data, statistics, publications and other information primarily about the federal reserve banking system, community development, industry and business, and economic education resources. While the focus of these sites is U.S. banking, some of the Federal Reserve branches provide easily accessible information about Latin America through search forms at the homepage. My searches identified a fair number of hits (primarily articles and abstracts) on Latin American banking and economic information. For example, a search engine at the Atlanta Bank's Miami Branch identified 27 files on Latin America, 33 files on Mexico, 7 files on Argentina and 26 on Brazil. Surprisingly, I could find no mention of the fact that dozens of national and regional Federal Reserve Bank publications (journal articles, series, and research papers) are available through the Resources for Papers in Economics (RePEc) dataset, searchable through IDEAS. [Site viewed Aug. 24, 1998]

14. Center for Latin American Economics ( Established by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in 1992, the Center for Latin American Economics serves "as a clearinghouse for information about the region" by promoting public education of issues on economic policy, publishing abstracts of research papers on Latin American economies and banking, and organizing conferences on topics relevant to the region. This site's primary offering is the latest issue of the publication, Research Abstracts, with 601 abstracts of papers about Latin America economies and banking. The abstracts describe works by economists and other researchers from Latin America, and provide important exposure to Latin American perspectives and scholarship in the field of banking. However, the publication has several limitations: the six earlier volumes of this publication are not available at this site; the current issue does not contain a publication date, volume number or frequency statement; the scope of the publication is not stated; and information about the availability of the papers is not included. Consequently, the comprehensiveness of the publication cannot be assessed. The abstracts are available for viewing (as a text file) or downloading (as a PDF file). [Site viewed Aug. 24, 1998]

The following sites also contain abundant economic information on Latin America and provide good potential for research on Latin American economic issues:

15. Inter-American Development Bank ( and its Sustainable Development Department (

16. Social Science Research Network ( and its Latin American Network (

17. U.S. Agency for International Development ( and its Latin American and the Caribbean Selected Economic and Social Data (

18. Economies of Latin America, a Project of the Latin American Database, University of New Mexico (

19. U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean/Comision Economica para America Latina y el Caribe, CEPAL (, and (

20. Organization of American States ( website contains its publications, documents, resolutions, treaties, conventions, as well as the OAS Trade Unit's important "Foreign Trade Information System/Sistem de Informacion al Comercio Exterior, SICE (

The above column was originally published in the SALALM Newsletter, vol. 26, no. 2 (Oct. 1998): 55-60.

E-Resources for Latin American Studies
Trade Resources

By Rhonda L. Neugebauer

Dedicated to resources on trade with Latin America, this column complements the previous column on Economic Information and is intended to be used in combination with the next few columns which will cover business, NAFTA and fair trade issues. The topics of economics, trade, and business are inter-related to such an extent that an obvious distinction between the topics sometimes does not exist. Hence, the four columns used together, will provide a fairly comprehensive list of the core sources for the disciplines of economics and business and the related topics of international trade, commerce and development of Latin America (space permitting). For that matter, there are many related issues especially effected by business operations and trade relations in Latin America. In an effort to provide some diversity of sources as well as perspectives, future columns will focus on some of those related issues as well, including sustainable development, maquiladoras and free trade zones, immigration, social movements, labor and political rights, and human rights concerns in Latin America.

This particular column relies heavily on U.S. sources, simply because the federal government collects, publishes and distributes massive amounts of information on Latin American trade, business opportunities, investments, and markets. As a matter of policy, it also provides extensive assistance and support to businesses interested in Latin American markets and investments. As an extension of that policy, the U.S. government now offers much of this information through its various websites, servers and databases. Aside from ensuring that U.S. businesses can take quick advantage of new commercial opportunities, the information offered on the government websites greatly facilitates research and analysis of trade and related activities. Scholars can review, manipulate and download a myriad of current statistics as well as the latest analyses by government trade specialists and economists. Researchers also can take advantage of the availability of trade and business experts and specialists identified at these sites, and can use the information at the sites to scrutinize the efforts of businesses and government as they expand their influence, market share, competitiveness, and regional integration with Latin America.

In addition to federal government sites, this column includes several authoritative e-resources on Latin American trade that are produced by nongovernmental organizations. The website of the Latin American Trade Council of Oregon, a membership organization, provides an impressive array of business and trade tools (directories, events, news), and it exemplifies what good programming and promotion can do to increase the interest, knowledge and professional networking of its members. The Consortium for the Study of Western Hemispheric Trade, a joint educational-governmental consortium, with its International Trade Information System (IT-IS) and "Tracking U.S. Trade" databases, provides great volumes of information on trade and business activities in this hemisphere as a service to the research and business communities. The Organization of American States, which produces the Sistema de Informacion al Comercio Exterior (SICE) site, deserves special acclaim for its attractive and easy-to-use website and for its web developers' unmistakable mastery of web formatting and design that delivers vast amounts of economic and trade data to the public, scholarly and business arenas. Included also, is the World Trade Organization-a powerful new organization that oversees trade rule negotiations and agreements. Its site offers high volume documentation and reporting on inter-governmental affairs. Finally, the Latin American Network Information Center (LANIC) pages on trade, business, and economics provide a great number of useful links to diverse groups of resources, businesses, educational institutions and international organizations. Due to space limitations, regrettably, there were several commercial sites, business e-journals, and numerous sites of international organizations, such as the elaborate network of United Nations' sites, that were not annotated here, but will be included in future columns. At the end of the column, I include a review of an excellent new book that has brief descriptions of over 2500 sites on international business.

1. LATCO Home Page ( This site has been developed since 1994 by the Latin American Trade Council of Oregon, a non-profit association that promotes trade between Oregon and Latin America, Spain and Portugal. Founded in 1975, LATCO has members with business, consulting, personal or research interests in Latin America. LATCO member forums also include monthly discussion roundtables, conferences, workshops, a bimonthly newsletter, a listserv on Latin American business, online BBS forums, and a membership directory. The organization's website provides a unique forum for members to exchange information about their businesses, travel and/or relations with Latin American countries, and it contains links to hundreds of websites useful for international trade with Latin America. The main page links to information about LATCO and Oregon: Introduction to LATCO, Oregon Export Calendar (this is actually a link to Oregon's International Trade Center, of which LATCO is a sponsor), Events and Publications, LATIS or Latin Trade Information Service (a service providing "Business Backgrounders" under the auspices of Rebecca Reynolds Bannister, Director of the Latin American Data Base at the University of New Mexico), Jobs and People Available, and LATCO Tools of the Trade. The main page also has links organized into subject categories that include: New Information, Import/Export Trade Consultants, Professionals and Services, Agencies, Affiliates, Transportation, Research and Education, as well as links to business specialties like Automotive, Forestry, Food and Agriculture, Software, Language and Translation. LATCO also sponsors a listserv on Latin American business (subscribe to; and see the archives at A particularly substantial page, the LATCO Tools of the Trade page, contains over 200 links organized by topic and by country that provide links to sites focused on the business and trade environment in Latin America including news, cultural issues, events, conferences, environment resources (Exploring the Environet), trade shows, trade centers, and a variety of general trade and information resources for Latin America. There are also links to e-journals, company directories, online shopping guides, and to other major international trade sites such as the International Trade Web Resources Page; Serra International Import-Export Directory, TradeNet, Trade Point USA, and Trade Compass. According to Tom Miles, Chair of the Board of Directors of LATCO, this site helps members connect with others interested in Latin American business ventures and generates several inquiries per week for the organization. In the Spring of 1999, the site will be updated and expanded to add "more original content from the LATCO newsletter, including LATCO company profiles, market reports, and essays on intercultural communications, travel and trade." LATCO's links to international trade sites and to country-specific business and commercial sites, make this website a practical and effective tool for supporting professional and business networking, and a substantial resource for information about trade with Latin American countries. [Site viewed Dec. 23, 1998]

2. U.S. Dept of Commerce ( This official U.S. government Department of Commerce site is primarily concerned with promoting U.S. business, trade and commercial activities within the U.S. and with foreign countries. However, the scope of this very broad site includes several useful resources on international trade with Latin America (some are described below). A very nice feature of this site allows global searching of all Commerce Dept. websites. The search on "Latin America" produced an impressive 3000+ hits. [Site viewed Dec. 28, 1998]

3. International Trade Administration ( The website of the International Trade Administration, although "dedicated to helping U.S. businesses compete in the global marketplace," contains detailed information on Latin American trade and commerce. The major sections of the site, accessible from the homepage, are: Regions and Countries, Industries, Cost Cutting Programs, Trade Statistics, the Trade Information Center, the Export Assistance Centers, the Trade Compliance Center, and the Import Administration. Most of these sections seem to be developed by separate entities within the Dept. of Commerce, do not have uniform appearance, and somewhat indiscriminately link to each other's sections and subsections (which is confusing for the user). The Regions and Countries page contains a Western Hemisphere section with links to NAFTA/Mexico/Canada (, to the Free Trade Area of the Americas-2005 (, and to several Latin American sites, including the Trade Information Center's Latin America and Caribbean site, a distinct section of the ITA site. The ITA main page has a simple design, with links to the eight major sections (this can actually be deceiving since there is so much here). This site and its offshoots would benefit from a more cohesive overall layout that would bring visual uniformity to the homepage and to all of its sections. Right now it looks like the distinct departments hired website developers to produce digital information and access without planning for a carefully thought out, homogeneous and professional look. [Site viewed Dec. 28, 1998]

The Trade Statistics section of ITA ( is a link to the Office of Trade and Economic Analysis, an office which focuses on "data development, dissemination, research and analysis on international and domestic trade and investment issues to support trade promotion and trade policy responsibilities of Trade Development, ITA, DOC and U.S. government organizations and officials." This site contains many links to trade resources, data, analysis, and includes several notable sections with information on trade with Latin America: the Global Data Links (organized by country with links to reports and also to Latin American statistical gathering agencies), U.S. Foreign Trade Highlights (over 100 tables of goods and services trade by country and region), U.S. Foreign Trade Update (monthly analysis of U.S. trade balances with tables on goods trades), and the Foreign Trade Reference Room (resources available to the public for onsite research on aspects of foreign trade and exports market). [Site viewed Dec. 28, 1998]

Trade Development section of ITA ( This office is primarily involved in advocacy, analysis and support for U.S. businesses, but it also contains some interesting angles on trade with Latin America. The website design is simple with mostly text, and is very much like a promotional brochure for the office. It contains summaries of the activities and involvement of the office's information experts in monitoring, analyzing, and providing information on hundreds of industries and industry trends (such as big emerging markets), along with contact names and invitations to call on the office's Trade Development experts. Besides the links to other ITA offices and the Department of Commerce sites, there is a long list of links to industries that the Office monitors and analyzes (aerospace, automotive, telecommunications, etc.). Under the link to the "Medical and Dental Equipment Industry," I found a Dec. 17, 1998 announcement from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Microelectronics, Medical Equipment and Instrumentation, about several new medical sector market research reports, written by the Commerce Dept.'s medical sector staff overseas, that were added to the site, covering markets in Ecuador, Brazil, Chile, as well as several other countries. These three reports offered very detailed information on upcoming trade events and business developments in Latin American markets, such as an invitation to bid on supplying a new 90-bed hospital being built in Ecuador. Searching this site and finding such detailed, almost "insider" business information surprised me, but it is a remarkable path to useful information about commerce with and among Latin American businesses. [Site viewed Dec. 31, 1998]

The Trade Information Center of ITA ( is a voluminous site with comprehensive information on U.S. government export assistance programs, market research, trade contacts, regulations, standards and export financing. The site also contains a section called "Country and Regional Market Information," which links to a section called "Latin America and the Caribbean" and a section on "NAFTA (Canada and Mexico)." TIC listings under Latin America include Hot News and Events; Customs and Import Documentation; General Marketing Information; Sectoral and Product Specific Information; Laws and Procedures for Licensing and Investing; U.S. Government Regulations, Restrictions and Embargoes (of course, Cuba is mentioned here); Financing Regulations and Contacts; General Economic Information; Business Travel and Etiquette; and Key Contacts and Websites. For most Latin American countries, there are Country Commercial Guides (a kind of Price Waterhouse-type brief on cultural and business decorum), travel information and requirements, and information on in-country contacts and assistance (which in many cases is the U.S. Embassy). While this business-related information probably does assist companies involved in exports, the website is cumbersome to navigate because of the many layers of links and country indexes, the unpredictable display of indexes when one expects an actual document, slow loading of graphics and long files, the complicated interconnections with other DOC sites, and the fact that much of the information mentioned at the site (and some of the information produced as search results) is not mounted on the website at all, but rather is available on the free "Fax Retrieval System," grouped by number. [Site viewed Dec. 28, 1998]

4. United States Trade Representative's Homepage ( The Office of the United States Trade Representative is under the Executive Office of the President and is a Cabinet-level agency which sets, administers and coordinates overall trade policy. It is also designated as the chief trade negotiator and as the representative of the U.S. in the major international trade organizations. For that reason, the agency's testimony, media releases, negotiations and opinions are of great interest to business, trade and commercial interchange worldwide. The USTR website has several sections with information about the agency and its activities: What's New, Electronic Reading Room, Mission, Reports, Speeches, Employment, Press Releases, People, History, Agreements, Testimony, and Contacts. The most important sections related to Latin American trade, however, are the links to major trade agreements that have a significant effect on Latin America like NAFTA (maintained by MIT, link was inactive on 1-1-99), GATT (maintained online by the World Trade Organization in English, Spanish and French), MAI (maintained by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), and others like the Santiago Summit of the Americas and the Summit of the Americas Trade Ministerial Conference. Unique to this site are agency speeches, officials' testimony before Congress, and agency press releases that offer descriptions and analysis of trade issues, many of which involve and effect Latin America. For example, speeches given by USTR officials in 1998 include the "Free Trade Area of the Americas and the Rule of Law" and "Remarks prepared for delivery at the Central Bank of Argentina." Relevant press releases issued in 1998 about Latin America include disputes related to banana trade (Banana Import Regime), investments ("United States and Andean Community Create New Trade and Investment Partnership,") and intellectual property ("Intellectual Property Agreement With The Republic of Paraguay"). The original content at this site is worth viewing to understand and evaluate the U.S. position on many trade issues involving Latin America. [Site viewed Jan. 1, 1999]

5. U.S. Census Bureau ( This sizable website, designed with attractive, uniform pages and simple, "intuitive" navigational devices, covers much more than U.S. demographic, social, housing, and economic data for states. It has a tremendous amount of trade data by country and commodity, including trade reports and statistics on international trade. The Foreign Trade statistics page has ample information on trade balances and country trade data. For example, I found monthly statistics on U.S. trade with Brazil and other Latin American countries, organized by nine major commodities ( This section also contains a outstanding list of Other Trade Web Pages ( On the page called " Statistical Agencies (International), there were links to 16 Latin American countries' statistical-gathering agencies ( Finally, in addition to the trade information, this site contains the International Data Base (IDB), a database containing statistical tables of demographic and socio-economic data for 227 countries and areas of the world, including, of course, Latin America ( [Site viewed Jan. 1, 1999]

6. U.S. International Trade Commission ( This award-winning site is operated by the U.S. International Trade Commission, an "independent, quasi-judicial federal agency that provides objective trade expertise to both the legislative and executive branches of government, determines the impact of imports on U.S. industries, and directs actions against certain unfair trade practices, such as patent, trademark, and copyright infringement." The Commission publishes reports on U.S. industries and global trends as well as numerous publications on agency activities (hearings, complaints, petitions, investigations, calendars, tariff schedules, rules of origin), and on trade issues (e.g. bibliography of law articles on trade, links to trade resources and international organizations). There is coverage of Latin American on the Trade Resources page, including several short but useful lists of Internet resources on countries and trade-related information ( The unique information at this site relates to the work of the agency itself. [Site viewed Jan. 6, 1999]

7. World Trade Organization ( The WTO, located in Geneva, Switzerland, was created in 1995 by the "contracting parties" (i.e. nations, countries or customs territories) of the Uruguay Round of the inter-governmental trade negotiations known as GATT. The organization is responsible for administering WTO trade agreements and overseeing the rules of international trade, i.e. providing a forum for negotiations, handling trade disputes, monitoring national trade policies, providing technical assistance and training for developing countries, and cooperating with other international organizations. The website consists of three main sections: General Information (About WTO), Trade Topics, and Resources. The Trade Topics section includes separate pages on Goods, Services, Intellectual Property, the Environment, Development, Trade Reviews, Dispute Settlement, Government Procurement, and Research and Analysis. The Resources section includes separate pages featuring: the Online Bookstore, Documents Online, Legal Texts (Uruguay Round agreements), News Releases (current releases), Media Newsroom (this is a secure page exclusively for authorized journalists), International Trade (an article), and several well-done, annotated pages of Links to other authoritative trade and economics sites (this page is well worth using to identify other sites with research potential on trade), Archives (past press releases, 1995-1997), FAQs, and Download Files. Email registration at the site allows WTO to send periodic news updates. [Site viewed Jan. 2, 1999]

8. SICE: Sistema de Informacion al Comercio Exterior/Foreign Trade Information System of the Organization of American States ( The SICE site is known as the "information technology arm of the Trade Unit of the Organization of American States," and its ambitious goal is to provide comprehensive information and resources on trade in the Western Hemisphere. And, this enormous site, with its attractive design and professional presentation, is extraordinarily successful at doing so. Its welcome page explains the site's purpose, provides an organizational overview of the site with annotations of its distinct sections, and acquaints the user with the site update schedule and settings configuration recommendations (which many websites don't provide). The Index page can be used like a site map because it arranges all the main pages by theme and by country to achieve a virtual (linked) cross-reference function, AND it is a great example of how the developers of this site deliberately planned the structure and augmented the information at this site to be user friendly and to promote serendipitous exploration of its contents. The immense content of the site does not overwhelm the user because most of the links to the site sections are annotated and because there is usually more than one way to display and/or seek the information needed. As displayed on the main page, the major sections of the site are: Trade Agreements (full text of trade agreements between countries of the Western Hemisphere); FTAA Process (information on the Free Trade Area of the Americas; Investment Treaties (full text of bilateral investment treaties between countries of the Western Hemisphere-"the heart of our information"); Official Sources (links to official sources of trade and investment information-possibly the most complete list of multinational, global, regional and national trade resource links); Trade Forum (articles, opinions and a calendar of events on trade in the Western Hemisphere); Quantitative Data (quantitative data from countries of the Western Hemisphere); Trade in Action (private sector information and opportunities; Summaries (short summaries of trade agreements); Dispute Settlement (information on dispute settlement procedures and mechanisms included in agreements, treaties and arrangements of integration). Aside from the gargantuan task of providing the full-text of trade agreements, investment treaties, summaries and dispute settlement information in four languages (which I have not seen elsewhere), the site provides several notable distinctive features. The search engine can be queried in the four official languages of the OAS, and it has some Boolean operators (and, or, not) and a wild card truncation device (*). The Glossary page provides enlightening definitions of economics and trade-related terms. The Trade Forum page offers opinions and information about the dynamics of trade in the Latin American region. This site, part of a constellation of OAS sites with an immense amount of original content information, can be recommended without reservation for research on a number of trade and international relations topics. Actually, there is enough original content and information culled from important related sources that an entire column could be devoted to descriptions of the OAS sites. [Site viewed Jan. 3, 1999]

9. Center for the Study of Western Hemispheric Trade ( The Center for the Study of Western Hemispheric Trade is a research consortium of four Texas universities, in collaboration with the U.S. Dept. of the Treasury, Customs Service. The consortium's main page explains that "Center publications and statistical databases help businesses and other institutions meet challenges and seize opportunities in the Western Hemisphere economic arena." The website has a simple, unpretentious design with links to sponsoring agencies and institutions, the About page, to an essay on MERCOSUR, the UT-Austin Mexican Center, and to its premier regional trade flows tracking service ("Tracking U.S. Trade" page). It also has links to eleven topical pages, containing primarily external links to trade information, and to economics and news sites. The topical pages are: Publications, Trade and Environment, Economic Resources, Commercial Services and Products, Legislation, New Services, Border Resources, The NAFTA, Upcoming Conferences, Trade Statistics, and the Directory of Trade Experts. The eleven topical pages have very few links, several of which do not work. The Trade Statistics page also appears to be somewhat out-of-date (containing 5 unusable/dead links out of 11), yet it also hosts one of the site's chief information sources: the International Trade Information System (IT-IS), developed by the Center for International Business Education and Research at the University of Texas at Austin. Through an underwriting arrangement with CSWHT, the IT-IS trade data related to the Western Hemisphere are made available for public access and can be searched by connecting via telnet through this site. The data consists of trade flows of the hemisphere's largest nations, including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, Uruguay, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. This site hosts two very valuable and unique resources on trade. Nevertheless, the website would be easier to use if descriptions of the site resources and background information on the trade data resources were added. Also, the IT-IS system searching, retrieval and report functions, if explained more fully, could help users better understand its scope and operation, and hence, how it may be useful to research on regional trade. [Site viewed Jan. 5, 1999]

10. Latin America Information Network ( These three excellent pages, published on the University of Texas LANIC site, contain links to many noteworthy trade, business and economics resources.

Trade page ( This superb LANIC page contains almost 200 links to sites that have significant research potential on trade with Latin American countries (and based on what I've uncovered while doing research for this column, this number could easily be expanded). In addition to several dozen sites listed by country, there are also links to specific trade agreements and negotiations (ALADI, Andean Pact, FTAA/ALCA, CARICOM, GATT/WTO, MERCOSUR/MERCOSUL, NAFTA), and also to Fair Trade and Non-Profit Organizations, Publications (Practical Information and Research; Trade News), Other Western Hemispheric Resources and International Resources. A unique aspect of this page is its inclusion of Fair Trade organizations, which offer a critical but not much publicized perspective on regional hemispheric integration. [Viewed Jan. 8, 1999]

Business page ( This LANIC page is primarily concerned with businesses in Latin America. It has 102 links to businesses, directories, and information and organizations supportive of commerce and/or trade. There is some overlap with the contents of the Trade Page (there are 10 sites listed on both pages). The sites are grouped by country and topics, including Periodicals and News Sources, Regional Chambers of Commerce, Regional Business Resources, and International Business. Because of the overlap in the pages (and because of the difficulty of separating trade from business itself), these two pages should be consulted in conjunction with each other. [Viewed Jan. 8, 1999]

Economy ( This substantial LANIC page contains 250 links to sites useful for academic research, including links to university economics departments, research institutes, business schools and sites with unique resources (including NetEc, SELA, SSRN, and to working paper archives). Other subject categories are: Macroeconomic Information and Analysis (a great many links to banks, statistics centers, trade bureaus, and development foundations); Regional Macro Economic Data Resources (IDB, CEPAL, Penn World Tables, USAID, World Bank); and News and Magazines (a great list of financial, business trade and newspaper business sections). [Site viewed Jan. 8, 1999]

Other notable Trade Resources with substantial information on trade with Latin America:

11. FEDSTATS: One stop shopping for Federal Statistics ( Maintained by the Federal Interagency Council on Statistical Policy, this site provides access to a wide range of statistics and information from over 70 agencies in the government which produce statistics of interest to the public. [Site viewed Jan. 6, 1999]

12. National Trade Data Bank ( This site, a service of the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, covers a variety of information sources from several dozen U.S. government agencies (more than 130 trade and business-related databases). There is substantial coverage of Latin America, however, most of the information is available only by subscription (with the exception of depository libraries where access is provided free of charge). [Site viewed Jan. 8, 1999]

13. Latin America and Caribbean. Canada. Dept. of Foreign Affairs and International Trade ( This attractive site has sections with information on trade with each Latin American country, reports on regions (Caribbean, Central America), a map, and market and travel reports. [Site viewed Jan. 7, 1999]

Additional source:

Liu, Lewis-Guodo. Internet Resources and Services for International Business. Phoenix: Oryx Press. 1998. 389p.

This book is an excellent resource for identifying websites and other Internet resources that relate to international business, trade, commerce and economics. The coverage includes 175 countries and regions, and contains over 2,500 URL addresses for sites with content on international business and are primarily in the English language (but may also be bilingual). The sites included in this work were selected by several criteria, including relevance to international business, accessibility, and development by institutions or agencies such as government agencies, business establishments and educational institutions. Sites developed by individuals were not included. The introduction describes current trends in the global economy and in international trade, and also discusses some of the impact of the Internet and e-commerce on international business. The first chapter provides information on sources with worldwide coverage of international business, including sites developed by international organizations (OECD, WTO,IMF, etc); other chapters cover different continents. Because this book is organized by continent, Latin American sites are grouped under North America (23 listings) and South America (11 listings). Within each country, the listings are divided into five categories: General Information, Economy, Business and Trade, Business Travel, and Contact Information.

The above column was originally published in the SALALM Newsletter, vol. 26, no. 4 (Feb. 1999): 102-107.

E-Resources for Latin American Studies
Trade and Business Resources

By Rhonda L. Neugebauer

This column emphasizes resources that describe or promote trade and business relations with Latin America, and it continues and expands the previous columns on Economic Resources and Trade Resources. There is a tremendous amount of trade and business information about Latin America available on the Internet, and it increases everyday. Because of this, it is difficult to create an exhaustive list of important sources in this column. However, the resources reviewed here provide excellent starting points for research on business in Latin America as well as for research on the ways that businesses, traders and others with economic interests (including governments and international organizations) have begun to utilize and exploit Internet resources and electronic interactivity to enhance commercial, financial and trade-related objectives.

In just a few years the Internet has become one of the most far-reaching and timely information resources available, not only for the study of Latin American economics, trade, and international commerce, but also for the study of business operations, market expansion and growth, marketing and promotion, sales, client recruitment, and international trading activities. Internet resources are used to quickly and widely disseminate analyses of countries, markets, products and services by the diverse communities of businesses, governments, researchers, and investors. And, while government-sponsored and international organizations' websites disseminate information to fulfill their institutional obligations, many business websites disseminate information and provide trade leads and other supports in order to fulfill the ultimate business function, that of making a profit. This is apparent in several of the business websites included in this column, especially when Latin American countries are referred to simply as "markets."

There are primarily three types of website publishers included in this column-business enterprises, nongovernmental agencies, and individuals associated with universities (primarily library professionals). The businesses are interested in utilizing their websites to provide information that is linked to a wide range of commercial services. The websites of the nongovernmental agencies included here, such as the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the International Trade Centre websites, were developed to showcase the UN's massive data collection efforts, to facilitate access to the organization's unique information holdings, and to provide support for trade and development in member countries.*

The university affiliated authors of the subject guides to business-related resources created their websites in order to facilitate access to the tremendous number of resources already mounted on the Internet. Their websites or metapages organize information by topic, country and/or type of information. "VIBES" is a fantastic example of a subject guide to international business resources providing access by broad topic, region and country. And, the "International Affairs Resources" page is another superb effort to broadly classify and categorize Internet resources, and includes business and economics as part of its coverage.

The business websites included here provide examples of how businesses utilize and exploit the web for commercial purposes, and how the Internet itself has become one more avenue for promotion, sales and market expansion. As we study the ways businesses use the network to sell products and services, we get a handy snapshot of the newly emerging online business, trade and economic environment.

In sum, the sites reviewed in this column serve several distinct but complementary purposes. They facilitate and simplify research on business and international trade; they enhance services for library patrons, students, enterprising individuals and businesses; and they organize the voluminous amounts of information on the web into useful pages and guides that facilitate access, professional networking, and service to all types of users.

*The UN has so many websites that they have a special website, the Official Website Locator for the United Nations System (ISCC), to help users find data and globally search many of their websites. It is very useful because it displays search results and also lists which sites it searched. The address is noted below.

1. Latin Trade Magazine ( This is an exceptional, current and detailed resource for understanding and analyzing business, trade, privatization, investment in Latin America and all the concomitant political activities and interests of the state, foreign investors, and other private sector players. The journal and website are developed by Latin Trade Magazine; and it is published by Freedom Magazines International, Inc., based in Miami. The editorial line is strongly supportive of free trade, and there is an entire section dedicated to the latest bids and privatizations in Latin America. It is bilingual. [Site viewed March 8, 1999]

2. Global Trade Center ( The Global Trade Center is a website produced by the Mellinger Co. in Valencia, California to sell the Mellinger World Trade/Mail Order Plan and to support their plan's membership organization, International Traders. The company's welcome page displays the headline: "world trade...gateway to understanding, pathway to peace." And, while the welcome banner may overstate a connection between commerce and peace and promises users a lot, this website at least does deliver visibility and promotional opportunities to import/export companies as well as provide a variety of information on international trade, trader contacts, business opportunities, and some unique import/export leads. The company sells the World Trade Plan/Mail Order Plan to help people start their own Import/Export mail order business (which consists of membership in International Traders, consulting services, a magazine, and web advertising). And, although I cannot vouch for their subscription Plan services, the free, original content features of this site, such as the databases of traders and trade leads, the trade bulletin board, chatrooms, database listings, website hosting for companies, and the metapage links to trade resources are handy starting points to identify Latin American traders and trading events. One metapage, the Trade Zone (, provides the site's most comprehensive page of links to banks, directories, business and government sites and some internet tools that are useful to people and businesses involved in international trade. An especially convenient section of this page has a subscription form for several listservs on trade. Another nice feature is the "Trade Lead Data Base," which can be queried for manufacturers, exporters, importers, buyers and trade services. Most of the database seems to be comprised of small companies (for example, Mimbrecitos Nicaraguan Exports) and these companies probably benefit from the visibility and networking function that this database provides (although it is difficult to tell how much). This site also has a very interesting "free for all" page (Links to Traders' Websites) with 1212 links to companies looking to increase their international contact and commerce. The self-reported links on this page are primarily from Asian countries, but several are from Latin America. This page contains an interesting array of companies offering products and services ranging from furniture, computers, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, to food, apparel, jewelry, and livestock ( [Site viewed March 8, 1999]

3. VIBES, Virtual International Business and Economic Sources ( This award-winning website was written and is maintained by Jeanie M. Welch, Business Librarian and Assistant Coordinator of Reference Services, University of North Carolina, Charlotte. The author, a specialist in international business, originally developed the site in Dec. 1994, primarily to help students research and analyze international business and marketing information. It is now well-known among business librarians as an important international business research site (and is linked to by over 100 websites). VIBES provides over 1300 links and is organized into three main sections: Comprehensive Sites, Regional Sites and National Sites (dedicated to one country). The Comprehensive section includes major online trade resources with global coverage, and is categorized into 15 broad trade and commerce topics, such as Agricultural and Forest Products, Banking and Finance, Business and Marketing, Periodicals, Country Information, International Trade Law, and Trade Issues and Statistics. The Regional Sites page includes a section with 26 links to Latin American sources and a section with 11 links to sources about NAFTA. The National section consists of an alphabetical list of countries with relevant sites grouped under each country. Almost every Latin American country has a few links (the highest number of links are for Brazil and Mexico, with 20 each). Most of the lists of country links are very brief, however, and several Latin American countries are not mentioned (Panama, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras). Finally, there is surprisingly little overlap between this site and the LANIC pages on Trade, Business, and Economics-reviews of these pages were published in the previous column on Trade Resources. Note: According to the author, the URL for this site will change in May 1999 because of the installation of a new library web server. The address will become and, the site will continue to be maintained. [Site viewed March 8, 1999]

4. Trade Compass: Gateway to International Commerce ( This elaborate commercial site has been produced since 1995 by TradeCompass, a Washington, D.C.-based consulting business specializing in "electronic products and services that facilitate international commerce over the Internet." The site is a massive (15 gigabytes) compilation of business related tips, reports, directories, country information, business tools and databases developed specifically to help companies operate effectively in the world of international trade (including the areas of importing, exporting, sales, marketing, logistics, research and e-business). It professes to be the largest site of its kind on the Internet, offering subscriber services in categories such as: World InfoDesk; International Business Centre; Trade Leads; Strategic Analysis; Virtual Campus; E-Commerce; Cargo Tracking and Logistics; Regulation; and Compliance. There are several levels of subscriber plans, and a 7-day trial offer. Several of the free features contain information on Latin America, one of which is the Trade Library ( On this page there is plenty of reformatted information, including reports by the U.S. Dept. of State on the economic and trade practices of several Latin American countries. TradeCompass also is the organizer and administrator of the Global Information Network, a "cluster of business-to-business websites worldwide organized in a search-engine format." The GIN claims to be the most comprehensive search engine and data source for world trade professionals and company executives on the Internet ( Whatever the claims, both of these websites pull together very current information from several disparate sources, and offer a range and magnitude of impressive trade-related resources. And, while the resources might be worth the money ($25-$400 per month) for a trader, company, or researcher, some of the information is available elsewhere for free. [Site viewed March 8,1999]

5. Center for Global Trade Development ( The Center for Global Trade Development is a commercial operation based in Arizona and California. It offers consulting, research, and information services for economic development policy makers and the international trade community. The website touts their services and enthusiasm for the "revolutionary integration process of all countries into a new global economy," and invites business people to subscribe to their databases, directories and reports services, and also invites specialists to participate in their projects by writing, publishing, or researching in their chosen field. For Latin Americanist researchers, this site has limited appeal (especially if not studying business practices), although there are country links with brief reports on economics and trade statistics. The Center offers several free trade digests, including one in Spanish via subscription, Mercado-Mundial (subscribe to; type "subscribe mercado-mundial-digest"). They also have a Latin-business discussion group (subscribe to; type "subscribe Latin-business"). They also sell their own regional and industry specific business directories. [Site viewed March 8, 1999]

6. United Nations Conference on Trade And Development (UNCTAD) ( UNCTAD is a 188-member permanent intergovernmental body, established in 1964, to be the principal organ of the United Nations General Assembly in the field of trade and development. Its responsibilities include maximizing trade, investment and development opportunities, and helping member countries "face challenges arising from globalization and integration into the world economy, on an equitable basis." The activities of UNCTAD include "research and policy analysis, intergovernmental deliberations, technical cooperation, and interaction with civil society and the business sector." The tri-lingual UNCTAD website offers detailed information on the agency's goals, activities, membership, meetings, programs, research strategies, policy reviews, training, and other cooperative efforts with many multilateral organizations, regional integration groupings, other UN agencies, and affiliated organizations. The Work Programme section of the page is under construction and recently its contents were moved to the Press and Reference section. The Events and Meetings page contains calendars for 1996-1999. The Technical Cooperation page provides a summary of UNCTAD's technical cooperation activities in five broad areas: International Trade; Sustainable Development; Financial Resources; Investment, Technology and Enterprise Development; and Transport. The Press Releases and Reference Service page has a substantial Reference Section, including UNCTAD newsletters, publications, the basic UNCTAD documents, program-related material and a new endeavor, the Research Links Programme, a long-term effort to establish relationships and to initiate document/information exchanges between the Secretariat and the faculty at universities, research centers, policy analysis departments and training centers, with the goal of developing a database of specialists that would participate in research, analysis, documentation exchange, and training supportive of UNCTAD priorities (I hope Latin American researchers will take note of this). The Related WWW Sites page contains links to other UN websites, and to bodies that link reciprocally with the UN, like the World Bank, the International Sugar Organization, and the Rainforest Medical Foundation (Netherlands).

Two other important sites at the United Nations that contain information about international trade with Latin American and that offer technical assistance to developing countries and regions are: the United Nations Trade Point Development Center (UNTPDC) ( and the Electronic Trading Opportunities page ( Both of these programs bring together providers of services involved in commercial transactions, connecting countries and enterprises. The UN hopes these efforts, under the auspices of the Global Trade Point Network, will emerge as "one of the main worldwide networks for trade related information flows" by improving access to and delivery of business and trade information over the Internet, especially for those countries that do not have access to their own servers, website development teams and other technology. [Sites viewed March 8, 1999]

Official Website Locator for the United Nations System (ISCC) ( This site provides convenient assistance for searching the wide array of U.N. sites. It provides system-wide searching as well as FAQs, lists of U.N. websites organized by topic and the U.N. classification system, publications, other international organizations, and links to U.N.-related information. [Site viewed March 11, 1999]

7. International Trade Centre, UNCTAD/WTO ( The ITC was created by GATT in 1964, and since 1968 has been operated jointly by the United Nations (through UNCTAD) and GATT, which is now the World Trade Organization (WTO). It is charged with providing technical assistance to developing countries for the promotion of business enterprises and international trade, especially the expansion of exports and the improvement of import operations, with the ultimate goal of achieving sustainable development. The ITC website has a tremendous amount of useful information and statistics about trade, business support, imports, and exports. The website is divided into several sections, including information about the organization, Services, Products (publications and statistical CD-ROM products), Infobases and News. The Services page is geared toward assisting and training businesses, and provides 13 categories of information on services, such as advisory services, enterprise competitiveness, export packaging, purchasing and supply, research and analysis, and export services. The Products page provides a long list of ITC publications and a page about PC-TAS, the Trade Analysis System on CD-ROM, a database which contains information (on imports, exports, partner trading countries, products, and minimum value) for 1992-1996, with five-year time-series and trend analyses for 57 reporting countries and territories (PC-TAS is a subset of the COMTRADE database of the United Nations Statistics Division). The Infobases page contains bibliographies, statistics, trade contacts, and services including legal data, financing agencies, and export quality management services by region and country. It is difficult to judge the success of the ITC programs based on this website, but the traffic on this website is very high; for example, in November 1998, there were over 91,000 visits to pages at this site. [Site viewed March 8, 1999]

8. Business Pages ( This section of LANIC (not to be confused with the "Business" page listed under "Subjects") contains 143 links to businesses, directories, and commercial and educational enterprises in Latin America. This page provides an open forum for businesses to report their website addresses to the LANIC site. The URLs listed on this page are organized into 14 categories and include: Business Directories, Communications, Consulting, Education, Entertainment, Financial, Internet Directories, Internet Services, Language Study, Legal, Miscellaneous, Publications & Media, Trade, and Travel. [Site viewed March 5, 1999]

9. The WWW Virtual Library: International Affairs Resources ( Compiled and maintained by Wayne A. Selcher, Professor of International Studies (Dept. of Political Science) at Elizabethtown College, this website provides links to over 1000 websites and contains brief but very useful annotations. This site gained the status of "WWW Virtual Library: International Affairs Resources" on Feb. 8, 1999 (a different site with the same name was formerly located at the International Affairs Network of the University of Pittsburgh, but is now defunct). The website is classified into Resource Categories (Getting Started, Media Sources, Organizations, Regions and Countries, and Topics), several of which provide an impressive number and array of links on the selected subject. In addition to providing annotated links to introductory material on the Internet and on searching, Selcher provides a fantastic guide to business research on the International Business and Economics page. This excellent section is organized into four categories: Academic and Research Institutes, Business and Commercial, U.S. Government, and International Organizations. In addition to general sources on international affairs, many of which are relevant to Latin American Studies, the "Resources for Selected Countries" page provides eleven links to Mexican and eight links to Brazilian sources. There is also a separate page dedicated to Latin America (61 additional links) and one to Spanish Language sources (15 additional links). There is so much here that an entire column could be written just describing these sites and their usefulness to research topics on Latin America. [Site viewed March 5, 1999]

10. International Business Resources on the WWW, MSU-CIBER, ( This highly recognized and well-organized website is sponsored by the Michigan State University Center for International Business Education and Research, one of 26 national resource CIBER centers funded by the U.S. Dept. of Education and created under the 1988 U.S. Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act. The Center's programs and activities are designed to enhance management education and research, to assist businesses compete in the global marketplace, and to facilitate interdisciplinary and foreign language study. The International Business Resources of the WWW page is a section of the Center's website, which was set up in 1995. It contains a very useful index of resources linking to separate pages on 19 subjects/formats, including periodicals, newspapers, journals, government sources, mailing lists, trade/business topics, and regional or country specific information. Several of these subject pages provide extensive coverage of international trade and related economic and business topics. The individual sections are fully and concisely annotated. The page on Central and South America has 20 links; the North America page has several important sources on Mexico; the Europe page covers Spain and Portugal; and the Government Resources page, while linking to primarily U.S. and Canadian databases and websites, also contains links to 5 Latin American sources. This website is attractive with a professional look, easy navigation, and focused coverage of country specific sources as well as general sources for international business and trade. Its Latin American coverage is excellent and worth investigating for research on business, trade and economics topics. Internal search results display the complete annotation of the source which makes for easy selection of pertinent resources. There is also a CyberWeb service where users (of any of the CIBER sites) can register for free notification of new international business information (sign up at http://ciber.centers.purdue/edu/). [Site viewed March 5, 1999]

11. Alta Plana International Economics Gateway ( Developed by Seth Grimes (data systems architect and designer) while a consultant to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, this simple website has a variety of links to international resources, some of which contain extensive data on Latin America. While many of the sources tend to be the principal websites routinely listed on other economics sites (including those reviewed in this column and the previous columns on Trade and Economics), the collection of business sources (Corporate Services) is unique to this site. None of the resources are annotated, but with four main categories and clear subject divisions, this site is easy to use. The main pages are: Resource Pages and Data Archives; International Organization Pages; National Government Pages; and Corporate Servers. Many of the general sources cover Latin American countries to some degree. The National Government page contains links to one or two sites (either statistical agencies or central banks) for nine Latin American countries. [Site viewed March 5, 1999]

12. Business and Economy links in Yahoo ( The Business and Economy section of the Yahoo directory is a massive compilation of economic and business-related information. The main index of this section has 40 topical subcategories, including business opportunities (1334 links), international economy (200 links), economic indicators (27 links), finance and investment (1412 links), trade (370 links), companies (332,629 links) and hundreds of other related websites. The sheer volume of information at this site is impressive, but Yahoo search results are displayed in such a cumbersome hierarchy with numerous subcategories that it is difficult to establish relevance and/or to see all the information on Latin America. Even browsing the subcategories was easier than reviewing the numerous category and site hits. Within the Business and Economy section, the search on "Latin America" produced 21 category matches and 871 site matches. [Site viewed March 6, 1999]

13. Virtual Library: Subject Guides ( Built as a virtual library subject guide and sponsored by the Nanyang Technological University Library (Singapore), this website offers several fully annotated and quite detailed guides to Internet resources on economics, business and trade-related topics. This site is most comprehensive on Singapore and other Asian countries, but several sections offer lists of links to important international resources covering Latin America. The Financial Data Locators section and the Statistical Data Locators section are impressive efforts to organize and categorize Internet information by subject, and both pages contain several dozen links to Latin American sources as well as to sources on NAFTA. [Site viewed March 6, 1999]

14. SME Forum/Foro Pyme, ( This website was developed by LANIC for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Its purpose is to facilitate the Regional Management Training Project, a joint undertaking of the Multilateral Investment Fund and the Integration and Regional Programs Department of the IDB. The site was established to promote the exchange of information on the small- and medium-enterprise (SME) sector in Latin America by disseminating information on its management training demonstration projects at six Latin American institutions; by sponsoring a directory of institutions working with and within the SME sector; by maintaining an e-mail announcement and discussion list, pymenet; by publishing a quarterly newsletter in Spanish, InfoPYME, both in print and online; by hosting a calendar page of seminars, events, and conferences (with papers from recent meetings) related to SME activities; and by providing a "Links" page of resources related to the SME sector. Indeed, a substantial portion of the site is devoted to the Links section, which contains a large number of links intended to familiarize business leaders with information sources that facilitate development, investment and management proficiency in the SME sector of Latin American economies. The resources at this site are suitable for researching the somewhat neglected and underdeveloped small and medium enterprise sector of the Latin American economy. The resources also serve to document the efforts that selected institutions are making to expand the supply of management training in this sector and to improve participants' understanding of financial, business and international trade issues, all of which have an enormous impact on the operations of small and medium-size businesses in Latin America. [Site viewed March 5, 1999]

15. IPL Trade Directory ( This site's premier database, the IPL Trade Directory, claims 40,000 business listings from Mexico, Central America, Cuba, Spain, the United States and several other countries. This database of business listings is guaranteed to be complete and accurate, with all information verified by telephone calls. Completeness claims aside, this database is not browseable, making it difficult to establish coverage and scope. It is searchable by keyword, company name, product, activity, and SIC and Harmonized Codes. In addition to the Trade Directory, this site also hosts the IPL Trade Connection page, a page of business contacts organized into 25 categories of businesses (however, there are only 1-2 contacts in each category); the IPL Resources page, which covers several topics but provides few sources under each topic; and the IPL Trade Forum/Newsgroup, the link for which did not work when I checked. [Site viewed March 9, 1999]

Other sites with trade and business information on Latin America:

16. Trade and Investment ( This Canadian government website contains a significant amount of trade information on Latin American countries, including International Market Research Reports and Country Commercial Guides/Commercial Overviews, and Trade Resources by Region: Latin and South America ( [Site viewed March 10, 1999]

17. Trade Data Online This website provides very current trade data from Statistics Canada, the U.S. Department of Commerce and Eurostat/COMEXT. [Site viewed March 10, 1999]

18. Trade Point USA ( This site offers excellent resources, with an enormous amount of trade information, some of which are available only by subscription. [Site viewed March 10,1999]

19. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) ( This site contains information on the OECD and its 20 member countries, as well as its projects and activities, research and analysis, and news and publications. Although only Mexico, Spain and Portugal are members of the OECD (among Latin American and Iberian nations), the searches on each of these countries all produced over 1800 hits. [Site viewed March 13, 1999]

The above column was originally published in the SALALM Newsletter, vol. 26, no. 5 (April 1999): 133-137.
[Title incorrectly listed as "Trade Resources."]

E-Resources for Latin American Studies
Free Trade and NAFTA Resources

By Rhonda L. Neugebauer

This column on Free Trade and NAFTA identifies resources that are useful for research on U.S.-Latin American free trade issues. It also supplements and expands the three previous columns on trade and business (Economic Information, Oct. 1998; Trade Resources, February 1999; and Trade and Business Resources, April 1999). Several websites in this column provide information about the free trade negotiations, the process of economic integration, the implementation of the free trade agreements, and other business and trade related activities. Additional websites provide criticism of free trade, arguing that it does not promote balanced development, and cannot adequately safeguard the rights of working and poor people, small and medium-sized businesses, or provide for sustainable use of the environment. These two opposing perspectives on free trade are the focus of this column.

Negotiations to facilitate and enhance the process of hemispheric economic integration and free trade/NAFTA have taken place since the early 1990s, and have necessitated access to information about trade, economic aspects of international relations, and all kinds of data that further commercial relations and the international flow of capital, goods and services. Many institutional and governmental representatives and proponents of free trade compile, organize and disseminate great volumes of information about trade and related activities through their websites, catalogs and databases. The first six websites reviewed in this column provide "official" NAFTA materials intended to document and facilitate implementation of the NAFTA agreements on trade and tariffs. The official NAFTA websites, which provide the full-text of NAFTA and many other documents (i.e. rules of procedure, schedules, annexes and appendices), are crucial to the implementation and advancement of the agreements between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Several of these sites are impressive efforts designed to assist businesses and policy makers with regard to NAFTA agreements, ongoing negotiations and the expansion of free trade arrangements.

Also included in this column are websites that disseminate NAFTA-related information with their own special value-added services such as coverage of conferences, meetings and trade negotiations, on-demand translations of legal materials, document delivery, provision of telecommunication and consulting services for businesses, and research/analysis of business and political environments that may facilitate commercial expansion into NAFTA countries and markets.

Websites developed by organizations critical of NAFTA and free trade are also reviewed in this column. Several labor unions, and a citizen action group, Public Citizen, provide studies and reporting that illustrate their views of the negative consequences of free trade for labor, the environment, small and medium sized businesses, and even national autonomous policy making and regulation. Labor unions in many parts of the world have issued severe critiques of the objectives of free trade as well as the negotiation process of NAFTA and the Free Trade Area of the Americas. And, although NAFTA was passed 5 years ago and has legal status in the U.S., Mexico and Canada, trade unions and other opposition groups continue to mount public education and lobbying campaigns to impose standards and regulations with the goal of modifying and/or overturning the agreements that they claim do not protect their interests. Given the importance of the arguments and viewpoints that conflict with NAFTA and free trade objectives, the next column will emphasize equal exchange and fair trade resources, which are published primarily by organizations that promote commerce with a social agenda, and that utilize "fairly traded" standards and practices to encourage local development, advocate sustainable use of natural resources and ensure living wages for the producers. Another subsequent column will highlight additional labor and trade union resources.

Official NAFTA Information:

1. NAFTA Secretariat ( This site is produced by the NAFTA Secretariat, which was established by the Free Trade Commission and is composed up of the U.S., Canadian and Mexican sections. The Secretariat's most important function is the administration of the dispute settlement provisions of NAFTA, but it also provides support to the Commission and several non-dispute-related committees and working groups. The opening page of this website advises users that "the materials on this site are made available solely to facilitate the study of public documents provided by the NAFTA Secretariat," and that "the NAFTA Secretariat assumes no responsability [sic] for their accuracy or reliability." Given that statement, one would be wise to consult the sites listed in the "Links" section, which provide access to each individual country's trade agencies. After choosing the English, Spanish or French version of the site, the user accesses the General Information page, under which there is an introduction to NAFTA and links to the three National Sections (Canada is the only one with some content at this time, i.e. one of the documents is the full-text of the Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement). At the top of each page, there are links to the full-text of NAFTA, Rules, Decisions, Status Reports on dispute settlement proceedings, Rosters (members on the NAFTA Dispute Settlement Panels and Committees), and a page of Links to related governmental sites with authority on NAFTA issues, like the U.S. ITA, ITC, USTR; the Mexican Secretaría de Comercio y Fomento Industrial (SECOFI); and the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and Revenue Canada. Since this page has a disclaimer about its currency and comprehensiveness, research at this site should be supplemented with additional sources. Nevertheless, it describes the NAFTA agreement, conflict resolution procedures and issues, and provides contact information. [Site viewed April. 27, 1999]

2. North American Development Bank (NADBank) ( Created by the North American Development Bank to provide public access to banking resources/services, this bilingual site is stunningly beautiful with attractive colors and design, and easy access through navigation tabs on a left sidebar. Each individual section loads its various pages in the shape of folders that stack one after the other across the page. Overall, this cohesive well-thought-out design is user oriented, and the web developers have even included temporary "information notes" that display while the user waits for each page to load. The main page contains full descriptions of the bank's mission and provides a description of the content of each distinct set of sub-pages. The content of this site is useful for Latin American studies because of the bank's official place in the NAFTA institutional line-up, its role in financing bilateral projects, programs and services related to regional integration activities, and its interdependent relationship with its sister institution, the Border Environment Cooperation Commission, which regulates and finances environmental projects along the U.S.-Mexican border (the BECC is reviewed below). The NADB is located in San Antonio, Texas, and has a branch in Los Angeles with its own website ( On the main NADBank website, there is a description of the Bank, its origin, and its mission in the About the Bank section; the News and Current Events page has press releases, procurement notices, and a site update page; the Programs and Services section has information about environmental projects and operations; the Infrastructure Projects page contains descriptions of projects with significant NADB financing or assistance; the Technical Assistance section describes non-infrastructure programs and services, such as the Institutional Development Cooperation Program; the Procurement pages carries announcements for supplies, contractors, consultants, prospective employees as well as current and past issues of the Bank's electronic newsletter, NADBank News; the File Library page has an array of Bank policies and procedures, which can be purchased or downloaded; and, the Other Links page lists agencies and institutions that are related to the work of the NADB. Finally, the Search page allows exact-match and keyword queries of the website's programs, projects, and policies. [Site viewed April 29, 1999]

3. Border Environment Cooperation Commission/Comisión de Cooperación Ecológica Fronteriza ( The BECC and the NADB (see review above) were created by NAFTA side agreements to function as a team, with the BECC developing and initiating projects along the U.S.-Mexico border, and the NADB providing financing, "execution and operation of environmental infrastructure projects that have been certified by the BECC." Initial joint projects have concentrated on the development of wastewater treatment, water contamination projects and municipal solid waste projects. This bilingual website, operational since 1996, contains approximately 4000 pages of information and is frequently updated and augmented by BECC staff to keep the public current about environmental and sustainable development issues along the border. Components of the website include background on the Commission, rules and procedures, minutes and annual reports, press releases, legal status and funding, and a unique Project Information Search Page. There are also sections with detailed information about proposed and certified projects, a discussion group, an email alert service for frequent users (BECCNet), and a monthly newsletter (BECCNews). There is also a section called the Virtual Library, which is an excellent but slow loading resource. The main Library Page contains the BECC Library Catalog (book, vertical file, and newsletter holdings) as well as links to other libraries, environmental programs, agencies, news and general reference sources, to information on environmental health, legal resources, borderlands issues, and to a page, "Other Web Directories of Interest," which is an exceptional list of 60 links to websites including pertinent Mexican government agencies, U.S. government agencies, and environmental groups and information. [Note: This site is listed with an incorrect web address on several pages that are reviewed in this column, including at the sister NADB site.] [Site viewed May 2, 1999]

4. North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation ( This tri-lingual website was developed by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, an organization with three member nations (Canada, Mexico and the U.S.). It was created under the North American Agreement for Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC), an agreement "complementary" to the environmental provisions of NAFTA. The Commission fosters conservation protection through cooperation and public participation, "helps prevent potential trade and environmental conflicts," and promotes enforcement of environmental law. The CEC site contains a tremendous amount of information on the activities and operations of the organization, including Council resolutions and sessions, Secretariat contacts, the Joint Public Advisory Committee, Contracts/Jobs, Work Program 1999-2001, and the annual program and budget. A pilot section of the site is dedicated to North American Linkages to Global Environmental Strategies (NALGES), which is a database listing projects, programs, and conventions from various organizations that are relevant to CEC projects and that could benefit from closer links and contacts. [Site viewed April 27, 1999]

5. North American Commission for Labor Cooperation ( Created under the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC), the Commission for Labor Cooperation is a tri-national organization that links labor rights and labor standards to the NAFTA framework of tri-national agreements between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The U.S. section of the NAALC website provides information about the Commission and describes the Agreement. There is a link to selected text of the Agreement, but it is located at the Dept. of Labor page ( The NAALC site also includes several press releases about official activities and meetings, describes the rights and freedoms for workers agreed to by NAALC countries, specifies the rules of procedure, and disseminates several NAALC-sponsored reports (there is one about Plant Closings and Labor Rights). There is also a public communications chart showing areas of concern that have been raised by the "public" (unions, lawyer's and human rights groups) and providing information about how those issues have been addressed by Ministerial Consultations or by other means. Also listed at this site is the Library Referral Service, which is actually a list of links to official bodies, government offices, labor departments, international organizations, sites related to industrial relations legislation, official statistical sources, and NAFTA-related sites (most of the sites listed on this page are reviewed in this column). Finally, there are links to the Highlights of the Cooperative Work Program, to the NAALC annual reports from 1995-1997, and to Bulletins produced by NAALC. [Site viewed April 30, 1999]

6. NAFTA Text The Sistema de Información al Comercio Exterior/Foreign Trade Information System (SICE), developed by the Trade Unit of the Organization of American States, maintains a set of pages with the full-text of NAFTA documents (many sites link to this set of full-text NAFTA pages, including the U.S. Dept. of Commerce website). The Trade Unit is also involved in developing documentation to support the Free Trade Area of the Americas initiatives, and there are many links and reports related to the FTAA-2005 initiative here. A review of the excellent resources available on the SICE website was included in a previous column, Trade Resources, published in vol. 26, no. 4 (Feb. 1999) of the Newsletter. [Site viewed May 3, 1999]

Other sites with information on NAFTA:

7. AmericasNet ( This very attractive site was initiated by the Summit of the Americas Center (located in the Latin American and Caribbean Center at Florida International University). It now has several additional sponsors, including FLACSO (Chile), Universidad Diego Portales (Chile), Hewlett-Packard, Bell South and Microsoft, and has become the official repository of the Summit-related material. This website was launched "to promote and contribute to the successful completion of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) by the year 2005," and to that end, provides access to an immense amount of very current information about the Summit of the Americas (SOA), including its calendar of events, communiques and statements, position papers, fact sheets, and the official documents used in the Dec. 1994 Summit of the Americas in Miami and the April 1998 Summit of the Americas in Santiago, Chile. It also contains updates, commentary and analysis on the Summit process and provides thousands of pages of background information about the free trade negotiations, country profiles, leader profiles, and issues related to economic integration and free trade (banking, education, democracy and human rights, poverty and discrimination, and sustainable development). In the "Government Links" section, there are important critical pages with unique information and access. There is the Official SOA Implementation page, which is maintained by the U.S. Dept. of State Summit Coordinating Office, and contains relevant documents, analysis and reports used (since December 1994) by the Summit governments "in carrying out the Miami Plan of Action." The other link under the "Government Links" page is dedicated to the Second Summit of the Americas, held in Santiago Chile in 1998, and contains another set of documents relevant to the discussions held in Chile in 1998. The AmericasNet site also contains selections of two news publications WorldTrade\FAX, a "compilation of key government actions and international trade news, current importing/exporting issues, and analyses of proposed, pending and passed legislation" and AmericasTrade (formerly Inside NAFTA), which reports on the FTAA and trade policy. The SOAC also sponsors a listserv discussion on Hemispheric Trade (subscribe at; post at [Site viewed April 27, 1999]

8. National Law Center for Inter-American Free Trade ( Located in Tucson, Arizona, the Law Center was founded by Dr. Boris Kozolchyk (University of Arizona Law Professor and consultant) in 1992 as a non-profit research and educational institution to "develop the legal infrastructure necessary to facilitate the movement of goods, services and investment capital in the Western Hemisphere." The Center has developed a reputation for its efforts on legal reform, harmonization and uniformity, and now works cooperatively with the OAS in these areas. There is a great amount of legal information as well as information about the Center's activities available on the website, which was created in July 1995. A unique subscription feature of the website is the legal database, InterAm Database (, which provides on-demand access, translations, and document delivery service for Latin American legislation and secondary materials (including 5000 laws, regulations, decrees and other texts from several Latin American countries, and the full text of each day's Diario Oficial from Mexico). The Center also publishes the Inter-American Trade Report, a biweekly newsletter which covers trade, commerce, legislation, regulations, and relevant court decisions from Latin America (a sample issue is online). The Center also hosts a listserv, Lat-Law, on related topics (subscribe at; post at With over 5,000 hits weekly, this website provides current and effective access to legal information on trade, investment, and related topics, and is an important and vital partner on the NAFTA implementation scene. The Center has cooperative agreements with organizations in Argentina, Brazil and Chile "that allow the Center to search for legislation and legal documents in those countries," and the Center hopes to obtain the legal gazettes for those countries in the future. [Site viewed April 27, 1999]

9. NAFTA Resource Center ( This LANIC page covers a variety of resources on NAFTA, including 23 links to sites covering many aspects of NAFTA activities, promotion and opinion. There are links to Academic Resources, like the Border Trade Institute, The North American Institute, and the North American Integration Center. There are also links to NAFTA documents, publications, including links to the full-text of NAFTA in Spanish and French [actually external links], to news sources, and to a few non-governmental organizations that have a critical perspective on NAFTA, like the AFL-CIO, the U.S. Teamsters, and Public Citizen. [Viewed April 27, 1999]

10. NAFTAnet—Electronic Commerce Port-of Trade for Small Business ( NAFTAnet Inc., founded in 1994 in Austin, Texas, facilitates small business' expansion into electronic commerce and international trade by providing news, information, telecommunications, and consulting services for NAFTA countries. The website of this business contains many links to relevant trade and business resources, and describes their services, which are primarily web development and consulting. An important resource residing on this website is Mexico Business: the Magazine of the NAFTA Marketplace, published by the Mexico Business Publishing Group ( The Spanish version of this website is at [Site viewed April 27, 1999]

11. North American Integration and Development Center, University of California, Los Angeles ( The North American Integration and Development (NAID) Center, directed by social demographer and Professor of Urban Planning Dr. Leo F. Estrada and based at the UCLA School of Public Policy and Social Research, conducts and provides access to research on NAFTA and other phenomenon related to multi-lateral integration. In addition, the Center works to assist communities and governments to promote equitable policies, sustainable development, and transborder linkages between institutions and organizations located in the three countries of North America (Mexico, U.S., and Canada), and offers technical assistance, and Internet training and development to communities and organizations. The NAID website contains pages dedicated to Center publications, staff, seminars and classes, technical assistance projects and sponsored websites, related links, and a searchable database of NAFTA-TAA and Unemployment Data. Among NAID projects, is the NAFTA Tracking Data Engine, which has the "capacity to monitor and model the impacts of North American integration and the adjustment process." In 1993, NAID was a founding member of the NADBank Community Adjustment and Investment Technical Assistance Consortium, and has created partnerships with universities, non-governmental organizations, business, labor and governments to help communities that suffer NAFTA-related job loss to develop community based projects for environmentally sustainable economic development in Southern California and on the U.S.-Mexico border. With consortium members like the Southwest Voter Research Institute and the National Council of La Raza, the research and assistance work of the NAID Center plays a significant role in documenting the needs and viewpoints of the U.S. Latino communities and offers resources to facilitate solutions to identified problems or difficulties. [Site viewed April 23, 1999]

12. Free Trade Area of the Americas/Area de Libre Comercio de las Americas, Secretariat, Miami, Florida ( This site, set up following the 1994 Summit of the Americas in Miami, is the official homepage of the Free Trade Area of the Americas process (FTAA), which has as its objective to integrate the economies of the Western Hemisphere (34 countries, excluding Cuba) into a single free trade bloc by the year 2005. The website is sponsored by the Tripartite Committee, consisting of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Organization of American States (OAS), and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and represents the member governments of the countries participating in the Free Trade Area of the Americas. The resources at this website provide information on the history of the negotiations, the structure and work of the FTAA, (its Ministerials, Trade Negotiations Committee, Trade Negotiating Groups, Special Committees, and Work Groups), the FTAA process and negotiations as well as the agreements and records of official meetings and publications, which are the result of studies and reports commissioned by or submitted to FTAA work groups or committees. This site offers outstanding in-depth coverage of the FTAA and the hemispheric movement toward economic integration. [Site viewed April 30, 1999]

13. North American Institute ( Founded in 1988, the North American Institute (NAMI), seeks to examine and report on trade, environmental, institutional and social concerns from a North American regional perspective. With its secretariat in Santa Fe, New Mexico and offices in Vancouver and Mexico City, a tri-national executive committee and a board of directors govern the Institute. Its founders include Maurice Strong, Bruce Babbitt and Jesus Silva Herzog. The Institute engages in research, teaching, organization of conferences, and publishing and dissemination activities as part of its efforts to influence public policy and facilitate networking among academia, business, non-profit institutions, government, labor, and the media. Their research, education and programming promote a paradigmatic shift in thinking and analysis, and urge a fresh, transborder articulation of "North America's value structures, social groupings, and institutions." Several of their publications are online, including the report and recommendations from an early workshop on "The North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation: Early Implementation," held in 1994 ( [Site viewed April 22, 1999]

14. Global Trade Watch/NAFTA, Public Citizen ( The NAFTA pages at this site provide several resources that are critical of NAFTA policies and the impact of those policies. The Public Citizen organization, as part of its effort to oppose NAFTA, provides ample information on this website to describe and illustrate its perspective of the negative impact of NAFTA on labor, the environment, public health, as well as the rights of nations to protect their sovereign interests. A studiously researched and referenced section of this site, the NAFTA Index, provides 75 indicators of NAFTA's impact--from the "Minimum number of factories GM has built in Mexico since 1978" to the "Estimated number of American jobs lost since NAFTA's passage." This index is an important list of raw "facts" about NAFTA and its relationship to U.S. and Mexican business operations and labor relations (full citations to each source are included). [Site viewed April 29, 1999]

15. NAFTA Home Page, U.S. Dept. of Commerce, International Trade Administration ( The NAFTA Home Page is sponsored by the Office of NAFTA and Inter-American Affairs (ONIA), Market Access and Compliance section of the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, International Trade Administration. The ONIA primarily serves the business community of U.S. exporters by providing information about commercial and economic conditions in Mexico and Canada, and assists exporters to "overcome market access barriers." In addition to providing a tremendous array of links to "NAFTA Facts," including tariff schedules, rules of origin, industry reports and customs information, this page also links to resources for NAFTA implementation, marketing, shipping, tax and legal affairs, and to information about sales to Mexico and Canada. This page takes great pains to explain the "significant benefits" of NAFTA for U.S. consumers, businesses and workers (i.e. increased jobs in higher paying sectors of the economy), and certain industries (agriculture, automotive, textiles and apparel), and for the environment. Aside from towing the company line, this site also provides an important page of links to "Additional Trade Related Resources," which contains detailed listings of pertinent NAFTA-related U.S., Canadian and Mexican government websites as well as websites sponsored by trade associations and international organizations. As might be expected, none of the links are to sites even remotely critical of NAFTA and/or free trade arguments. There is an alternative address for this site at [Note: Several sections of the Dept. of Commerce, International Trade Administration sites were reviewed in the previous column, Trade Resources, published in vol. 26, no. 4 (Feb. 1999) of the Newsletter.] [Sites viewed April 29, 1999]

16. Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) 2005 ( This page, entitled "Initiative to Create a Western Hemisphere Free Trade Area by the Year 2005," is a portion of the massive website published by the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Dept. of Commerce (other portions of ITA sites were reviewed in the "Trade Resources" column in Feb. 1999). On the main page, information is provided about the FTAA itself and the movement toward regional economic integration of the Americas and the role of governments and businesses involved the FTAA process. There are also links to the Official FTAA-2005 site, the Summit of the Americas site, to a selected Bibliography on Western Hemisphere Economic Integration (with coverage to Jan. 1997) compiled by the ITA Office of Inter-American Affairs, and to a few key U.S. government agencies involved in the Free Trade process. There is an alternative address for this site at [Site viewed May 3, 1999]

17. Border Trade Institute ( This website is sponsored by the College of Business Administration and the Graduate School of International Trade and Business Administration (COBA) at Texas A&M International University in Laredo, Texas. A very useful resource at this site is the U.S.-Mexico Border Ports Trade Data information, which is a compilation of the monthly flow of U.S.-Mexico goods by U.S. Customs border ports. This database can be searched by state, district, pedestrian crossing, vehicle crossing, truck crossing, and rail crossing. The Institute provides other specialized research information, primarily on maquilas, Mexican exports' destinations, imports to Mexico, and Mexican electoral data. COBA and its affiliates also compile and disseminate other border statistics and data on international trade and NAFTA. Some of this information is made available by the Office for the Study of U.S.-Mexico Trade Relations, North American Free Trade Agreement Information Center, publisher of NAFTA Digest (; and the Texas Center for Border Economic and Enterprise Development (, publisher of the Border Business Indicators, a technical reports series, and a tremendous amount of demographic information about Mexico. [Sites viewed April 22, 1999]

18. Stop Fast Track Action Site, American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrialist Organization ( The Stop Fast Track Action Site, part of the AFL-CIO's National Issues Mobilization Program, is devoted to a discussion of free trade issues and its effects on labor. The website provides advocacy materials (statements, position papers) and makes strong arguments against negotiations that do not involve Congress or other sectors of society, such as the executive "fast track" approach with NAFTA. Other sections of this nice-looking site are: "Get The Facts," which has a statement explaining how the fast track hurts working people; "Tell Congress," which provides electronic forms to contact Congressional representatives with a "not so fast" message on fast track; "Spread The Word," which contains flyers about NAFTA that can be downloaded from the online tool kit; the "See What's New" page, which contains a few dated "news bulletins for trade activists"; "Stay In Touch," a sign-up page for email updates; and "Browse," or "other sources of info and ammo," a page of 8 links to other union, environmental and anti-NAFTA websites. [Site viewed May 5, 1999]

19. International Brotherhood of Teamsters, No More NAFTAs, No Fast Track ( This "No More NAFTAs" section of the Teamsters website is dedicated to materials and statements that advocate stopping fast track and derailing the NAFTA negotiations. The site seems to be well developed yet many of the materials are dated from 1997. The first statement is an editorial by Teamsters President James P. Hoffa. Other links are to bulletins (from 1997), to 10 news releases and press statements on NAFTA (from 1997 and 1998), to a section called "Facts about NAFTA" that includes two articles ("NAFTA and Drugs" and "NAFTA and Trucking"), and to leaflets prepared on topics that promote the Teamsters' positions on NAFTA—again, lacking publication dates ("Fast Track to Unsafe Highways;" "Fast Track to Unsafe Foods," "Fast Track to More Drugs in Our Schools," and "Fast Track to a Pink Slip"). [Site viewed May 5, 1999]

20. International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers ( There are several pages of reporting and advocacy related to NAFTA on this impressively designed site of the IAMAW, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO/Canadian Labour Congress. A search on the term NAFTA netted 20 hits, consisting primarily of statements by the Political and Legislative Activity Department, and analysis of international trade agreements such as NAFTA, FTAA and the MAI by the International Affairs Department. The primary interest of the AIMAW concerning NAFTA and FTAA is to "fight for inclusion of meaningful standards to protect workers' rights and the communities they live in." [Site viewed May 5, 1999]

21. UE International Labor Information and Action Site ( Created by Dan La Botz for the United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE), several sections of the UE website have consistent and solid reporting on Mexican labor and maquiladora issues. The UE (which includes librarians among its 40,000 members) has forged a "strategic alliance" with the Frente Auténtico del Trabajo (FAT), an independent federation of Mexican labor unions and cooperatives and active opponent of NAFTA. The full text issues of the bimonthly, Mexico Labor News and Analysis, are online from vol. 1, no. 1 (Jan. 1, 1996) to the present. The site also provides an "Alerts" section with passionate coverage of emergency labor problems from around the world. [Site viewed May 4, 1999]

22. Fair Trade Watch/NAFTA, United Steelworkers of America ( This site, developed by the United Steelworkers of America (, contains information on global economic and trade issues "from a worker perspective." The NAFTA section is a set of 8 well-developed thematic pages on NAFTA's impact on families and communities, jobs, public safety, the environment, living conditions in maquiladora areas, and other NAFTA issues, such as fast track authority. Types of information included are speeches, a series of "NAFTA Fax Facts" (including many from 1999), press releases, polling information, and a list of companies classified as "NAFTA abusers." There is also current information about the USWA lawsuit against the constitutionality of NAFTA, filed July 13, 1998, and to be heard in District Court on May 17, 1999. Another set of pages, most of which are not fully developed yet, cover related issues: World Trade Organization, Multilateral Agreement on Investments, International Monetary Fund, Most Favored Nation issues, and Statistics related to global trade and production. [Site viewed May 5, 1999]

23. SECOFI-NAFTA Home Page ( Developed by the Secretaría de Comercio y Fomento Industrial/Ministry of Commerce and Industrial Development at the Mexican Embassy in the U.S., this impressively designed website promotes trade, investment and exports to Mexico. It contains news and information on trade and NAFTA agreements, a newsletter (Nafta Works), and links and background information on Mexican infrastructure, manufacturing facilities, investment markets, and prospects for growth. There is also an excellent page of Related Links to Mexican government and trade related sites making this site worth a visit to identify Mexican sources for trade and NAFTA information (a perspective which deserves more coverage than this column allows). [Site viewed May 14, 1999]

Additional Sites:

24. Maquila Solidarity Network

25. NAFTAWatch (

26. Resource Center of the Americas (

27. NAFTA and Inter-American Trade Monitor (gopher:// Earlier issues and publications in Spanish of the NAFTA Monitor are also posted. Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.

The above column was originally published in the SALALM Newsletter, vol. 26, no. 6 (June 1999): 160-165.
[Title incorrectly listed as "Trade Resources."]

E-Resources for Latin American Studies
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By Rhonda L. Neugebauer

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