Archive for the ‘Argentina’ Category
POLL NUMBERS!!! Three way race in Costa Rica
At the burned-out unit (in Spanish): former governor of Tamaulipas Tomás Yarrington, who not only is being accused of money laundering and fraud by both the Mexican and US governments, he allegedly played the Gulf Cartel, the Zetas and the Beltrán Leyva cartel against each other.
Is Puerto Rico Too Big To Fail?
Electoral coverage by VN&V
The week’s posts:
Venezuela municipal elections results
Extortion from the state and from the cartels: Mexico: The border-crossing “tax”
Argentina: #Córdoba police strike linked to prostitution; 140 brothels’ worth.
At Da Tech Guy Blog: Cuba’s foreign prisoners
This week’s podcast: Medical tourism in Latin America plus other issues this week
— RT en Español (@ActualidadRT) December 4, 2013
Translation: URGENT: The citizens of #Cordoba defending their city during the police protests.
A police strike for higher pay — which the governor blamed on his closure of brothels that provide a money stream to corrupt officers — has prompted waves of looting and robberies in Argentina’s second largest city.
The violence in Cordoba began Tuesday night and continued Wednesday morning, with storefronts being shattered, mobs stealing merchandise, robbers attacking people in the streets and vigilantes arming themselves to protect their homes. More supermarkets and a mobile television van recording the violence were attacked this morning, even as officers and provincial authorities began negotiations to end the strike.
Hospital authorities reported one shooting death and more than 100 injuries, mostly from shattered glass.
[Gov. Jose Manuel] de la Sota also described the strike as a police response to his decision to close 140 brothels that provide income to corrupt officers. “We know that this, which is a terrible business, horrible, is linked to drug trafficking and that it would bring us problems sooner or later,” the governor said.
The new police salaries are the equivalent of about US$1,400/month at the black market rate. This is a 52% increase over their prior salary.
RT reports that the police union has agreed on the new salary,
— RT en Español (@ActualidadRT) December 4, 2013
Translation: [Breaking] #Córdoba’s governor: “There’s an agreement. The police will start chasing the looters.”
Following Justin Bieber’s acts of vandalism, Colombian and Brazilian authorities are having to deal with an outburst of graffiti. Maybe they ought to ban the little twerp from coming back, or better yet, make him clean it up with his own two hands.
Authorities have focused on seizing drugs, not dismantling the organisations that peddle them. “This strategy is futile,” says former under-secretary of security for Buenos Aires province, Diego Gorgal. “It doesn’t change the supply, demand, or price of drugs.” It is also poorly executed. According to the latest International Narcotics Control Strategy Report produced by the US State Department, Argentine security forces seized 12 tonnes of cocaine in 2010; in the first six months of 2012 they confiscated only 3.4 tonnes. Operation Northern Shield, an initiative to improve Argentina’s border security through the installation of seven radars in the north, has flopped. Only three have been activated. Their backup? Forty-year-old aircraft.
Fire ravages Oscar Niemeyer building
Authorities in Brazil’s largest city, Sao Paulo, fight a major blaze at a landmark building designed by modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer, The Latin America Memorial.
D.C. Jews press Obama to secure subcontractor’s release from Cuban jail Alan Gross was arrested in 2009 while on a mission to hook up Cuba’s small Jewish community to the Internet; a rally planned for Dec. 3 is meant to raise awareness for his cause.
Gay U.S. ambassador faces backlash in Dominican Republic
U.S. trial ends over Ecuador pollution judgment against Chevron: The case is Chevron Corp v. Steven Donziger et al, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 11-0691.
Uncovering Jamaica’s Jewish Past In the great Caribbean melting pot, one group is largely overlooked: Jewish refugees who settled centuries ago. Their descendants are unearthing graveyards to reclaim a piece of history.
EPN’s first year
Update on the Chong Chon Gang: Panama Reverses: North Korean Crew Not Freed
Organized crime prosecutor Nahaniel Murgas first said only the ship’s captain, first mate and a Korean official who watched the crew would continue to be detained and face charges of arms trafficking. He appeared later in the afternoon at the base where the crew members were being held and changed his version, saying only the ship was legally free to go. He left without further comment.
Mientras dice que “no defiende la marihuana”, Mujica pide que ‘el mundo ayude a Uruguay’ en su ‘experimento’ con marihuana.
Maduro’s government uses ambulances for posting flyers while hospitals lack ambulance service:
— German (@GerCortez) November 27, 2013
Venezuela elections: Empty shelves and a skyscraper squat
Venezuelans go to the polls in local and regional elections on 8 December that are being widely seen as a referendum on the six-month presidency of Nicolas Maduro. Opponents accuse him of leading the country to economic ruin, but he insists his reforms are essential and popular.
It’s [sic] means this entire thing, the whole of the macroeconomic mess, all the crazy dislocations of the last few years, the raspaíto, the impossible-to-find milk, the shoving matches for perniles, the cars that suddenly jump up in price as they roll out of the showroom, all of it (and, much worse, all of what’s to come) all of it is – to a much greater extent than almost anyone realizes – just a knock-on effect from the financial chasm left in PDVSA’s finances by the gasoline subsidy!
China + oil = deal CITIC Mining Survey Agreement With Venezuela: Another Boondoggle?
The week’s posts:
Venezuela: “21st Century socialism” = same old Communism
At Da Tech Guy’s Blog: Colombia: The controversy started by . . . Justin Bieber?
Linked to by Devil’s Excrement. Thank you!
Cristina’s hitting the same old,
The Foreign Office added that hydrocarbons activities by companies operating on the continental shelf of the Falkland Islands are regulated by legislation of the Falkland Islands government, and in accordance with the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea.
Cristina will resort to any distraction from her chaotic fiscal problems and deals with Iran.
I suggest she focus on this bit of old news instead, World’s oldest prehistoric toilet unearthed in Argentina.
Update on Honduras’s election: What next?
Argentina to slap steep taxes on luxury imports; Cristina buys hers in Paris anyway.
This may be about to change: Why does Chile prosper while neighbouring Argentina flounders?
Chile has usually followed economically sensible policies, inflation is low and the budget is almost balanced – by contrast Argentina engages in repeated self-inflicted economic upheaval
Colombia’s Wayward Search for Peace (emphasis added):
One should therefore be skeptical of rosy reports from Havana about agreements being made on this point or that. All agreements to date are worthless until the guerrillas turn in their weapons and human rights violators surrender to the authorities.
Secondly, the Obama administration must clearly and loudly annunciate U.S. interests in the matter. After all, U.S. taxpayers have a $10 billion investment in Colombia, used to train and equip Colombian security forces and have as much a stake as anyone in any final agreement with the FARC. That the U.S. has relegated itself to the closet while the likes of Cuba and Venezuela flaunt their participation in negotiations is absurd — and no doubt has contributed to the Colombian people’s doubts about the outcome.
Deportation fears on rise in Dominican Republic
The New Sandinista Autocracy
In his 1986 State of the Union Address, President Reagan declared: “Surely no issue is more important for peace in our own hemisphere, for the security of our frontiers, for the protection of our vital interests, than to achieve democracy in Nicaragua and to protect Nicaragua’s democratic neighbors.” The region and the world obviously look much different today than they did in 1986: The Soviet Union and the Cold War are long gone, and Nicaragua no longer poses the same geopolitical threat to U.S. interests. Yet the Sandinistas are once again attempting to create a dictatorship, and Nicaragua’s neighbors are once again struggling with rampant violence. Large portions of Guatemalan territory are effectively controlled by the Zetas Cartel, and Honduras is now the global murder capital. (Honduran human-rights commissioner Ramón Custodio Lopez has expressed fears that his nation is becoming a failed state.) And while a March 2012 gang truce between MS-13 and Barrio 18 has significantly reduced homicides in El Salvador, the gangs have continued to extort and terrorize the Salvadoran people, and their truce appears to be unraveling.
Another update: Visiting royals? Those regrettable moments
The week’s posts:
Ecuador: Promises, promises
Bachelet wants to increase taxes, put private colleges out of business, and rewrite the Constitution. What could possibly go wrong? Chile: A step to the left
As expected in Colombia: Santos to run for 2d term
At Da Tech Guy’s: How things can get worse in Venezuela
The Second Circuit Court in New York denied Argentina an en banc rehearing on the $1.4 billion bonds. Of course, it didn’t help to tell the judge that Argentina would not obey any order other than what they wanted, as in, heads, I win, tails, you lose,
Argentina, which has already filed one unsuccessful certiorari petition on this matter, will surely seek Supreme Court review again. For reasons spelled out in the bondholders’ brief in opposition to the first petition, that second petition should also fail.
Let’s hope so.
Cristina Fernandez is baaaack. . .
the dog came from Venezuela, a gift from one of Hugo Chavez’s brothers, and apparently Simon Bolivar had one like him, Cristina named him Simon. It was a matter of minutes for Simon to get twittering @SimonCFK: “Woof”
— Simón Nac & Dog (@SimonCFK) November 18, 2013
It was a slow news day in Buenos Aires, so Cristina’s shirt made the news.
Between dog treats, Kichner Remakes Her Argentine Cabinet
Argentine President Cristina Kirchner named new officials to fill the positions of economy minister, central bank president and cabinet chief.
No word as to whether the facelift was “refreshed” during her time off.
Judge Maria Giraudi ordered that the singer’s belongings be held after photographer Diego Pesoa filed suit for damages, alleging that Bieber’s bodyguards hit him and damaged his equipment as the singer was leaving a nightclub.
Pesoa’s lawyer, Matias Morla, said Bieber “gave the order to beat him and then got back in his van.”
Paco Almaraz takes care of the little burned-out twerp (in Spanish):
Dirceu is now in the clink: Brazil Mensalao jailings begin
Brazil starts jailing high-profile politicians convicted last year in the country’s biggest corruption trial, the “Mensalao” (big monthly allowance).
The calm in Chile
Senate Unanimously Confirms Gay Ambassador to Dominican Republic
In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Senate has confirmed James “Wally” Brewster as the ambassador to the Dominican Republic, despite recent protests from antigay groups in the Caribbean nation.
Shampoo, rinse, repeat: Time Warp Monday
Mexican Farmers Confront Drug Cartels
Farmers in the rich agricultural heartland of Mexico’s Michoacán state, fed up with a reign of terror and extortion by a drug cartel, have organized community police forces and driven out the cartel.
Update on the Chong Chon Gang: Panama extends North Koreans visas to get ship, crew
How Wall Street Has Profited From Puerto Rico’s Misery
Who is Tareck el Aissami?
The criminalization of dissidence and opposition: CHÁVEZ’S SUCCESSOR SEES A TRILOGY OF EVIL
The week’s posts and podcast
Venezuela: The start of the really bad news
At Da Tech Guy: Attention Christmas shoppers! Che on aisle nine!
US-Latin America stories of the week
The week’s must-read? This: Documents show depth of U.S. concern over Mexico violence. As I’ve been saying for nearly a decade, border security is national security.
Argentina’s Fading Diva
“You can see light at the end of the tunnel,” Mr. Mariscal said, “but you don’t know if it’s the train coming towards you.”
Before Global Games, Rio Is Fighting to Dim Red Light. Good luck with that.
Michael Totten is Home From Cuba,
That is one truly strange place. It’s right there alongside Libya under Moammar Qaddafi in the bizarro department. I’m glad I went, but I’m even more glad to be out of there.
Chevron’s lead lawyer, Randy Mastro, had some success this week showing that [Ecuadorian judge Nicolas] Zambrano doesn’t seem to know very much about the record-breaking decision he supposedly rendered. When asked, the former Ecuadorian judge couldn’t name key elements of the ruling, such as the most powerful carcinogenic substance it cited or a crucial scientific study purporting to link oil contamination to human illnesses. He also struggled to explain how he was able to deploy French, American, and Australian case law in the ruling, since, as he conceded, he does not speak or read French or English.
From Brookings: The Upcoming Electoral Cycle in Latin America in the Midst of Social Unrest: What Lies Ahead?
Tunnel for Smuggling Found Under U.S.-Mexico Border; Tons of Drugs Seized
The sophisticated underground passageway featured electricity, ventilation and an electronic rail system and took about a year to build, officials said.
- Increases government control over radio, television, telephone and internet services, including requirements for local control and data storage.
- Institutionalizes various FSLN organizations into the government and constitution, further merging the government and party (which would have serious repercussions if the FSLN did lose an election some day in the future, in that the party would still retain control over aspects of government).
LNG carriers will cross the 48-mile waterway 350 times a year, and voyages to Asia from the U.S. will cost 24 percent less than longer routes, according to calculations from the canal authority. The expected 12 million tons, assuming half the transits are hauling cargoes, would be equal to about 5 percent of the world’s trade in 2012, Fearnley Consultants AS estimates.
The U.S., now the world’s largest producer of natural gas because of the extraction of fuel from shale rocks, will account for much of that traffic as it becomes the third-largest exporter of LNG by 2020, Morgan Stanley estimates. With American energy independence now at a 27-year high of 86 percent, the route will boost exports to Japan, offsetting nuclear-power generation lost after the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.
Paraguay says can be launch pad for Israeli technology in Latin America
With a favorable tax system, stable business environment, Paraguay could be key to providing Israeli innovators with access to broader Latin markets, says Paraguayan minister.
La Mallorquina, open since 1848, closed:
My grandparents used to take the family (of 12!) to eat there in the 1920s and ’30s.
Desperation News and Views
Miami Herald reporter held for second night in Venezuela while covering economic crisis; he was released on Saturday and is back in the USA.
John Hinderaker watches the pageants and posts lots of pictures: MISS UNIVERSE: A FINAL PREVIEW [UPDATED WITH RESULTS]
The week’s posts and podcast:
Chile: Left turn coming up
With Jerry Brewer on Silvio Canto’s podcast