You wouldn't know it from the mainstream media, but there is an alternative to the economic forum taking place in Davos, Switzerland right now. The alternative event is the World Social Forum which started yesterday in Belem, Brasil. Comprised of indigenous groups and international activists, the World Social Forum is focusing on peace and justice issues, the impact of the global economic crisis on the poor, and environmental problems such as deforestation in the Amazon. Several Latin American heads of state are expected to attend, including Brasil's president Lula da Silva.
Other links include: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2009/01/200912814011816387.html
Alas, the conference in Belem ends February 1 and I am arriving in the region February 4. Alas.