Archive for the ‘Colombia’ Category

Colombia: Was military intelligence hacked?

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Latest headlines in Colombia,
Detained Colombia hacker outlines alleged political plot against peace process
Andrés Sepúlveda, an alleged computer hacker who was detained in May, says political rivals of President Santos were using classified information to derail Colombia’s peace process.

The FARC certainly has been doing enough derailing on its part, but here’s the story at hand: President Santos ordered authorities to conduct a thorough investigation

The reaction comes after Andrés Sepúlveda, an alleged hacker who has been in custody since May, told Semana in a jailhouse interview that he had been hired by Uribe’s Centro Democrático party to help undermine the talks and support the presidential bid of the party’s candidate Oscar Iván Zuluaga.

In the interview, Sepúlveda said he was ordered to use his skills to turn the armed forces and public opinion against the peace process with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas in Havana. To do that, he said he purchased classified information from military intelligence and other groups that he fed to party officials.

So what was it? Did Sepúlveda actually hacked, or was he buying information? If he was buying information “from military intelligence,” why the need to turn the armed forces against the FARC negotiations?

Here comes the more interesting part,

Sepúlveda said that he provided members of Zuluaga’s campaign information about the FARC’s negotiating team, including private emails. But he said the Centro Democrático party was also receiving classified information gleaned from the hacked communications of government negotiators in Cuba.

Considering how Santos has thrown the towel and wants the FARC in congress without being elected, that information should be released to the public.

Indeed,

The discovery of Sepulveda’s spy operation came three months after Semana exposed a covert military intelligence scheme to monitor both government and FARC representatives to the peace talks in Havana as well as journalists covering the negotiations.

However, Sepúlveda alleges that he hacked the military, a whole different thing altogether.

Other reports say that

Sepulveda claims to have bought information from the military’s “Andromeda” intelligence program, a CIA-funded covert wiretapping operation exposed earlier this year and also accused of spying on the peace talks.

Buying information is the old-fashioned George Smiley way; not hacking.

Now

Sepulveda’s brother has testified that the alleged hacker is “receiving pressure” from “high officials” of the Prosecutor General’s Office to speak out against “certain individuals,” a claim that has also been issued publicly by Sepulveda’s wife.

To answer the question, was Colombian military intelligence hacked?, Sean Mullholand, Brigadier General of the US Southern Command, has asserted a definite no, insisting that there is no chance it was hacked.

On his part, Santos claims, “what existed and exists is a criminal enterprise,” which really leaves no room for the benefit of the doubt.

Álvaro Uribe is striking back, and hard,

Santo’s hacker advisor always: in campaigns, in infamies, and in smokescreen to hide the drug traffic campaign money

Santos also has released his agenda for the day he allegedly met the hacker,

 

Let’s not forget that Uribe accused Santos Santos of electoral fraud, buying votes, and allowing the FARC to intimidate voters to obtain re-election.

As Drudge says, developing.

The prehistoric seals Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, August 25th, 2014

LatinAmerThere you have it: Seals helped Europeans wipe out Native Americans
Europeans have long been blamed for wiping out 95 per cent of Native Americans by bringing foreign diseases to the New World. But a new study suggests seals could be partly to blame

The research shows that tuberculosis is likely to have spread from humans in Africa to seals and sea lions, who then carried the disease to South America and transmitted it to Native populations long before Europeans landed on the continent.

ARGENTINA
Argentina Presents Plan to Bypass U.S. Courts, Pay Creditors; later, Argentina debt plan ruled ‘illegal’
Argentina’s plan to ask investors holding defaulted bonds to swap them for new locally issued debt is ruled “illegal” by a US court.

Companies fear radical turn in Argentina

The government’s unorthodox economic management came under further scrutiny on Thursday when beef exports were suspended to combat inflation, despite dollar shortages.

BOLIVIA
Bolivia Exports More Than 20,000 Metric Tons of LPG in 1H 2014

BRAZIL
Brazilian Police Officers Acquitted of Murder Charges
A jury has acquitted four police officers of murder charges in the 2012 shooting death of a suspected car thief, a case that attracted attention to the lethality of Brazilian police.

CHILE
Rerun time: Peru in Diplomatic Squabble With Chile
Map Shows Triangle of Land as Belonging to Peru

COLOMBIA
Rebel Attacks in 2014 on Colombia Oil Infrastructure Cause $531 Million in Losses

[The president of the Colombian Petroleum Association, Francisco Jose Lloreda] called on the government to provide security guarantees irrespective of whether a peace deal is reached with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla group in talks in Havana dating back to 2012.
. . .
The FARC and ELN have carried out numerous attacks in recent months on oil infrastructure, particularly pipelines and tanker trucks in the northern provinces of Arauca and Norte de Santander, which border Venezuela, and in Putumayo, which borders Ecuador

CUBA
Moringapalooza Cretin Summit 2014: Caracastan’s Maduro visits his master Nosferatu in Havana

Must-Read: Cuban Catholic Youth Activists Write Pope Francis

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Miley Cyrus Banned from Performing in Dominican Republic on ‘Morality Grounds’

ECUADOR
Ecuador President Rafael Correa Seeks Law Allowing Perpetual Re-Election
Popular Leader Setting Stage for Expected Fourth Run in 2017

Top-Down Digital Currency Coming to Ecuador, with Ban on Competition
Imminent Prohibition Covers All Unofficial Physical, Digital Currencies

EL SALVADOR
Saving El Salvador: Why The Vatican Needs To Make Archbishop Romero A Saint; I disagree.

GUATEMALA
General Dies in Crash
A top Guatemalan general and four other officers were killed on Wednesday when the helicopter they were in crashed near the country’s northern border with Mexico, Guatemala’s government said.

“Meet the Press” covered Rand Paul’s pro bono eye surgery in Guatemala and larded it with impugnment of his motives. Paul has been doing pro bono work for decades.

HONDURAS
In Honduras, U.S. deportees seek to journey north again

LATIN AMERICA
ALBA Meets UN Security Council Over Gaza

Why the Pacific Alliance Puts Mercosur to Shame
Protectionist Panderers No Match for Liberal, Free-Market Integration

Build the Border Fence Already!

MEXICO
Mexico Unveils New Police Force
President Enrique Peña Nieto inaugurated a 5,000-strong unit of the federal police that is tasked with protecting key parts of Mexico’s economy from violent drug gangs.

Are we supposed to believe that Mexican authorities are keeping track of who’s crossing? Mexico Dismisses Perry Claim Islamic State Could Have Crossed U.S. Border
The Mexican embassy in Washington Friday dismissed Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s claim that “there’s a very real possibility” extremists from the Islamic State have already snuck into the U.S. over the southern border.

NICARAGUA
Nicaraguans, safe at home, feel little reason to flee to U.S.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/08/18/4296029/nicaraguans-safe-at-home-feel.html#storylink=cpy

PANAMA
New Challenges for Panama Canal at 100

PARAGUAY
Paraguay seizes nearly one ton of cocaine in DR Congo-bound rice

PERU
Peru’s Congress Rejects Prime Minister’s Cabinet for Second Time
Various Lawmakers Demand Changes to President Ollanta Humala’s Administration

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico to Use Old Traffic Network to Lay Fiber-Optic Cables

URUGUAY
The Rights Abuses Uruguay Doesn’t Want You to Know About
A small South American country has been making big strides in human rights. But it’s still got some work to do.

VENEZUELA
VenEconomy: Venezuelan Government Goes for More Censorship, Barbarism

Got Shortages? Chavistas Sic “Operation Queue Killer” on Cash Registers
Pricing Superintendent Rebukes Defective Checkouts, Announces Biometric Rationing

The week’s posts and podcast:
Ecuador’s new fake currency

Good luck with that!

TSA: Illegals without ID can fly with ‘Notice to Appear’

Argentina’s shell game

Colombia: Luis Carlos Cervantes murdered

Is Populism beatable?

Would “gender mainstreaming” fix the border crisis?

Argentina: “Qui cum canibus concumbunt cum pulicibus surgent”

Briefly interrupted

The Panama Canal Centennial roundup

At Da Tech Guy Blog
Biometrics and the police state

Podcast
Panama Canal, Argentina, Mexico & US-Latin America stories of the week


Colombia: Luis Carlos Cervantes murdered

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

A classic mob hit: The Colombian journalist’s car was stopped on the road, and Cervantes was shot dead . . . three weeks after he was denied protection by the authorities, who now claim that “according to the information obtained from a risk assessment, there weren’t any links between the threats Cervantes received, and his work as a journalist.”

Marcela Estrada has the story:

 Four years ago, Cervantes served as a correspondent for news channelTeleantioquia. His problems started in 2010, when he covered the collusion between government employees from the Bajo Cauca region and the paramilitary and drug trafficking group, Los Urabeños. This occurred most heavily in Tarazá and Caucasia, both cities in the department of Antioquia,

In April 2010, Cervantes was attacked by a policeman while he was reporting on the capture of another police officer in Tarazá, who was accused of handling war munitions for paramilitary groups. Three years later, a grenade exploded just a few meters away the radio station where he worked.

In October 2013, Cervantes asserted to the authorities that the local leader ofLos Urabeños, Germer Andrés Rebolledo, also known as “El Escamoso,” was the instigator behind the threats. That same year, Rebolledo was detained by the police, for allegedly killing another journalist, Luis Eduardo Gómez.

After filing several complaints, Colombia’s National Agency for Protection assigned Cervantes around-the-clock state protection. From then on, the journalist was always escorted by two bodyguards and a police car.

Nonetheless, on July 20, the agency determined that the journalist was no longer at risk, and took away his protection program.

Four days after he was off the protection program, a stranger shows up, a text tells him to get out of town, ten days later he was executed, but the National Agency for Protection claims Cervantes’s murder had nothing to do with his profession? The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is not buying it.

In response to the clamor generated by the assassination, the Colombian government’s Procuraduría General (prosecutor’s office, the equivalent of the U.S. Attorney General) is creating a “special agency” to work with the Medellín prosecutor’s office’s current investigation (link in Spanish).

As Drudge says, “developing.”


The Venezuelan show trial Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, August 18th, 2014

LatinAmerWhy is the Venezuelan regime so intent in making the trial of Leopoldo Lopez such a travesty?

Let me make that clear for the reader: the defense will not be allowed to present its evidence nor its witnesses. The only evidence and witnesses that will be allowed in court are the ones from the prosecution. The defense, we hope, will be only able to cross examine that evidence. Since we know that Venezuelan judges under chavismo can silence cross examination as they want, there you have it. Of course, I am sure that as the trial moves on the judge may allow the defense an item here, an item there, just to pretend that a trial did take place, but is not going to fool anyone. It is also true that in any serious trial the judges can dismiss useless evidence such as the nephew of the accused selling boy scout cookies as a character reference, but this is not the case here. What is going on here is outright denial of justice, it is a show trial, a kangaroo court, a pre-ordained execution.

Why is the regime taking such an international risk with a figure that has already won in international courts sentences establishing that the regime was unfair towards him?

One word: force.

ARGENTINA
Argentina’s Financial Troubles Pile Up
Creditor Plays Down Hopes of Deal to Bring Nation Out of Default; Peso Tumbles on Rate Cut

What could possibly go wrong? Argentinean Senate Introduces Sweeping Soviet-Style Economic Plan
Dictatorship-Era Law of Supply Not Interventionist Enough for Kirchner

Bat-shit crazy: Argentina says will use anti-terror law against U.S. printing firm

Fernandez said the printing firm had ties to foreign investors whose decade-long debt battle against Argentina in the U.S. courts led Argentina to default on its debt last month for the second time in 12 years.

BOLIVIA
With Subway in the Sky, Valley Meets Plateau

BRAZIL
Silva ‘to run’ for Brazil president
Former Brazilian Environment Minister Marina Silva agrees to run as the Socialist Party’s presidential candidate after Eduardo Campos’s sudden death, an adviser says.

Brazil’s Economic Activity Index Down 1.2% in Q2

‘Water war’ in Brazil as Rio’s supply threatened
São Paulo and Rio authorities battle over scarce water resources as reservoirs run dry

CHILE
Airport heist in Chile sees gunmen escape with £4m
Largest robbery in country’s history as trucks transporting cash targeted in audacious raid in Santiago

Chilean Police Defuse Bomb Planted at Bank

COLOMBIA
Odebrecht-Led Consortium Awarded Colombian River Contract

Colombian Journalist Denied State Protection, Murdered Three Weeks Later
Press Associations, Human-Rights Groups Demand Justice for Luis Carlos Cervantes

Santos and the Company He Keeps: Populist Progressives Encircle Colombia
New Allies Threaten to Reverse Liberalization, Development Process

Colombia victims join peace talksRepresentatives of the victims join the talks in Cuba for the first time, 16 Aug 14
A group of victims of five decades of conflict in Colombia for the first time join government negotiators and Farc rebel leaders at peace talks.

COSTA RICA
Transplant Brokers in Israel Lure Desperate Kidney Patients to Costa Rica

CUBA
Castro’s WTO Blackmail

Cuba: A country where toilet paper is rarer than partridge

Photo essay of the day: The glorious legacy of the so-called Revolution

ECUADOR
Pie in the sky: Ecuador Seeks To Build A Silicon Valley Of Its Own

GUATEMALA
A Reminisce: Grand Theft Auto Murder

RAND PAUL HEADS TO GUATEMALA TO CONDUCT CHARITY EYE SURGERIES

Baja California and Guatemala sign Accord in re Migrants

HAITI
UN troops disperse Haiti protesters supporting Aristide

JAMAICA
Goldeneye: Where Bond Was Born review – a persuasive account of Ian Fleming’s Jamaica
Matthew Parker brings the outpost of empire where the 007 novels were written to vivid life

MEXICO
Kidnappings in Mexico surge to the highest number on record

Mexico’s kidnappers used to target the rich. Now even shopkeepers and taco vendors are victims.

PANAMA
At 100, Panama Canal looks to the future
Panamanians reflecting on the past 100 years say the biggest legacy of the canal is its contribution to the economy. ‘Without the canal, we wouldn’t have half the things we have now,’ says one shopkeeper.

100 Years of the Panama Canal
One of the supreme engineering feats of the early 20th century, the canal has been an immense boon to shipping and of major geopolitical benefit to the United States.

PERU
Gold, Peru’s New Cocaine

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico Power Bonds Rally on Loan-Delay Deal
Utility to Delay Loan Payments and Work on a Business-Revamp Plan

URUGUAY
Not The Onion: Migrant Thinks He’s Arrived To U.S., Actually In Uruguay

VENEZUELA
Ten years of funk
Today marks the tenth anniversary of the day the opposition lost its groove.

Venezuela Oil Price Falls to Lowest Since 2012 Even as Mid-East and Ukraine Simmer

What Government Control Of The Media Means In Venezuela

The week’s posts and podcast:
Mexico: The dancing ‘dipu-tables’

Coming soon to a school near you, 37,477 illiterate students

Brazil: Socialist Party candidate dies in plane crash

En español: Barbara Padilla

Socialism: making it harder to get a drink since 1848*

Brazil: Hacking the reporters

Cuba: The end of the deepwater oil lie

Brazil: Opposition now has Arminio Fraga

Venezuela: El Pollo as big fish

At Da tech Guy blog:
The Economist lowers the bar on low expectations

The Pontifical Council denounces ISIS

Podcast:
US-Latin America stories of the week


The wine squeeze Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Producers of cheap Malbec are getting squeezed by inflation, according to the WSJ,

Wine has been hit harder than agricultural products like soy because picking the grapes is so labor intensive. Analysts say producers’ costs have risen at least 100% in the past four years.

That means fewer bottles of cheap Argentine wine are making it to the shelves of restaurants and liquor stores in the U.S. and Europe.

As if things weren’t tough enough already.

ARGENTINA
Judge Threatens Argentina With Contempt Over Its Statements

Argentina seeks legal case against U.S. in The Hague

Argentine grandmother leading search for stolen children reunited with own grandson after 36 years
Country celebrates as Estela Carlotto, head of the renowned Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, finds the grandchild taken from her daughter by the military regime almost four decades ago

BOLIVIA
‘King Midas’ Bat From Bolivia Identified As A News Species

BRAZIL
Brazil anger over gynaecological tests for teachers
Brazilian women’s rights advocates denounce Sao Paulo state’s requirement for prospective female teachers to undergo gynaecological test

Women’s rights advocates in Brazil have denounced requirements by the country’s most populous state for prospective female teachers to submit to gynaecological exams or prove their virginity in order to work.

The education department of Sao Paulo state requires female prospective teachers to undergo a Pap smear in order to prove they are free of a variety of cancers, or to present a doctor’s statement verifying they have not been sexually active.

Until recently, it also required women to have a colposcopy, a type of visual examination used to detect disease.

CHILE
Chile youth leader freed in Venezuela, going to Santiago

COLOMBIA
Colombian rebels attack oil field
Colombian rebels attack an oil field in the north-west of the country although no-one is hurt, the state-owned company Ecopetrol says.

CUBA
Cy Tokmakjian – Imprisoned in Cuba No Charges. No Justice

Cuba and the outside world
Rekindling old friendships
Cuba is once again resorting to geopolitics to support a failing economy

Museum enshrines the history of Cuba according to “The Godfather II”

ECUADOR
Ecuador to open embassy in ‘Palestine’, president cancels visit to Israel

What Can Tens of Millions of Dollars Buy Ecuador in the ‘Empire’?

GUATEMALA
Guatemala Receives Deported Children from U.S.

IMMIGRATION
BORDER PATROL AGENT: CARTELS USING CHILDREN AS ‘SHIELDS’

JAMAICA
Jamaica: The good, the bad and the ugly

LATIN AMERICA
Why is Latin America Coddling Hamas?

The Spin of Things to Come

Russia Slaps Embargo on Western Food Imports and Looks to Latin America

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO CYNTHIA MCKINNEY? She’s at TeleSur, which is

funded by the governments of Argentina, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Uruguay and Venezuela.

MEXICO
Mexico Gains Winning Edge By Opening Energy Market

Mexico Mulls Over Raising It’s Shockingly Low Minimum Wage

NICARAGUA
Costa Rica seeks investigation of immigrant bribes to Nicaraguan military

PANAMA
Has Panama weaned itself off drugs and cleaned up?

PARAGUAY
Pope Benedict XVI OK’d abusive priest in Paraguay, local bishop says

PERU
PERU HAS REOPENED ITS OFFICE OF UFO INVESTIGATIONS

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Ricans Are Fleeing the Economic Disaster That Is Their Home Island

VENEZUELA
Venezuelan weather vanes

Evil in the Bayou

The week’s posts and podcast:
Venezuela: Derwick in the news

Today’s illegal invasion headlines

Nicaragua: A reminder on the sandinistas

Venezuela: What a show trial looks like

“once every 5 years”

Ecuador: Like bitcoin, but not as solid

Need a coyote? Check Facebook!

Mexico: Knights Templar chief La Tuta’s on YouTube

Illegal immigration: Just who is getting in?

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
Pope Francis reinstates Marxist to the priesthood (update DTG)

And now, for a “train deal” with Mexico

The week’s podcast, with Silvio Canto.


The Argentinian default Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, August 4th, 2014

LatinAmerYes, Argentina defaulted, as predicted, which made Cristina bellyache some more, as U.S. judge scolds Argentina over debt remarks.

ARGENTINA
Argentina debt default: frustration on the streets
Bloomberg’s Willem Marx reports from Buenos Aires on what Standard & Poor’s is calling a default by the Argentine government

A Lesson in Economics for Argentina

Carlos Tevez’s father freed after kidnapping in Argentina
Juventus striker’s family reportedly paid a £28,000 ransom for his safe return

ARUBA
VenEconomy: The Absurdities of the Carvajal Case

BRAZIL
Brazil Secures $700 Million in Loans During Japanese PM’s Visit

CHILE
Chile under International Orders to Compensate Mapuche
Anti-Terrorist Law Proves Unenforceable, Pending Reform

COLOMBIA
Colombia’s Buenaventura on alert after ‘rebel’ attack
Authorities in the Colombian city of Buenaventura, on the Pacific coast, have temporarily banned the sale of alcohol and the carrying of arms.

Why Starbucks in Colombia is a good thing

CUBA
Reconciling

Cuban Political Prisoner of the Day, Alcibiades Guerra Marin, Aug. 2, 2014

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Puerto Rico, Dominican brace for Tropical Storm Bertha

ECUADOR
La DEA incauta aviones de empresa que tendría nexos con el gobierno ecuatoriano

EL SALVADOR
Salvadoran Authorities Charge Spanish Priest with Aiding Gangs

HONDURAS
Hope Dwindles for Hondurans Living in Peril

IMMIGRATION
SIGNS POSTED FOR ILLEGALS INCREASINGLY WRITTEN IN CHINESE
Illegals from China and over 70% of the world’s nations are flooding into America as its border collapses

MEXICO
Deal to stop migrants from boarding La Bestia train
Guatemala, Mexico and the United States have reached a deal to try to prevent migrants from jumping onto a freight train in an attempt to reach the US, according to Guatemalan officials.

Mexican Drug Lord Taunts the Authorities With Videos
In a line of work that usually operates out of the limelight, Servando Gómez has put himself — often with prominent people — in front of the camera
.

Mexican media denounces ‘gag law’
Mexican journalists denounce a new law that introduces a number of restrictions on crime reporting in north-eastern Sinaloa state.

Mexican Fracking Opponents Lose a Big Round in the Senate

PANAMA
Panama, Canal Contractors Finalize Accord

PERU
Peru’s first-ever high-resolution carbon map could help the world breathe easier

Peru court order US mining firm to pay $163 million

PUERTO RICO
Minimum-Wage Hike Threatens 200,000 Puerto Rican Jobs
Half of Workforce Caught in Cross Hairs of Class-Warfare Folly

VENEZUELA
Did Nicolas Maduro Coerce Senator Landrieu?

“Anti-Imperialists” Mortgage Venezuela’s Future Abroad
China Preys on Incompetence, Ideological Naivity of Chavismo

The New Wave Of Elected Dictatorships Around The World

In Venezuela, imprisoned opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez’s trial for inciting violence during riots has just begun while the country ranks among the world’s top in corruption and crime. If you believe Chavista state propaganda, the country’s problems wouldn’t exist if the US didn’t exist. In Iran, forget about a free press while the supreme leader effectively determines who can run for political office. As in Venezuela, Turkey, Egypt etc Iran’s judiciary is a power-arm of the regime. Need we mention symbiosis between mosque and state? In Turkey, the state is mandating several hours a week of religious indoctrination in schools while sponsoring widespread housing with no units for single living as high-ranking politicians polemically bully women into staying at home and having families. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Erdogan blames all manner of outside forces for his problems, America, Israel, Syria, US-based Gulenist Muslims and others. One more thing: since Vladimir Putin was the first to make this system respectable, the reader can just say ‘ditto Russia’ where Russia isn’t mentioned above.

The week’s posts and podcasts:
Colombia’s narco-subs

Argentina: Cristina gives bondholders the raspberry

Today’s illegal alien invasion update

Argentina defaults

Behold, the Hugo Chavez font

Is North Korea Selling (Cuban) Arms to Hamas?

El Pollo and Venezuela’s game of chicken: Venezuela exerted military pressure on Aruba

And now, MS-13 news

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
The US’s toothless sanctions against Venezuelans

Chicken run: The curious case of Venezuela’s Pollo Carvajal

At BlogHer:
Feels like 100

The week’s podcast:
Memories of old Havana PLUS US-Latin America stories of the week


Colombia’s narco-subs

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

Prensa Libre reports that a gang that manufactures and operates submarines has been nabbed. They worked for the Úsuga clan. The subs are used for transporting cocaine to Honduras, the U.S., and Europe.

It’ll be interesting to see what information comes about from the seizure of the shipyard; their subs could carry a crew of four, and seven tons of drugs.

Certainly, the technology has evolved immensely since the days of Pablo Escobar.

The Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC) reports on narco-subs:
CAPABILITY ANALYSIS, SOUTH AMERICA
NARCO-SUBMARINES: DRUG CARTELS’ INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY
(emphasis added):

In fact, as of June 2012, maritime drug smuggling accounts for 80% of the total illicit flow from the Andean region into Honduras, Mexico and other mid-way transportation regions prior to entry into the U.S. About 30% of the maritime flow is estimated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to utilize narco submarines. Overall, however, maritime interdiction rates are very low.

The numbers of these vessels which now exist is also highly debatable with potentially dozens of them being produced every year by criminal organizations in Colombia such as the FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia), Rastrojos, and Urabeños. One point greatly influencing the numbers of these vessels which exist at any specific time is if they are utilized once and then scuttled after their delivery (the traditional U.S. military viewpoint) or if they are utilized multiple times (the traditional Colombian military viewpoint). Depending on the perspective held, greater or lesser numbers of narco subs would be required to be produced each year to replenish the vessels lost due to capture, accidental sinking, intentional-scuttling to avoid capture, and, potentially most importantly, at the end of a delivery run.

The CIMSEC will be releasing a paper,

Narco-Submarines – Specially Fabricated Vessels Used For Drug Smuggling Purposes”, soon to be released by the Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO) and intended to be an initial primer on the subject of narco-submarines.
. . .
Finally, it is important that we collectively consider the potential of these types of vessels to transport more than just narcotics: the movement of cash, weapons, violent extremists, or, at the darkest end of the spectrum, weapons of mass destruction.

The study will appear on the FMSO website. I’ll link to it when it does.

UPDATE:
Linked to by Silvio Canto. Thank you!


The ongoing illegal alien border surge Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, July 28th, 2014

LatinAmerARGENTINA
Argentina debt: Judge orders non-stop negotiations
A US judge has ordered Argentina and its creditors to meet “continuously” to avoid the nation defaulting on its debts.

“Malvinas banner” display costs Argentina 30.000 Swiss francs fine
FIFA has fined the Argentine Football Association 30,000 Swiss francs (£19,540) as punishment for the displaying of a provocative banner relating to the Falkland Islands.

Pope sends message demanding justice on 20th anniversary of AMIA bombing
On the 20th anniversary of the AMIA Jewish community center bombing, the Argentine pontiff sent a message for “justice” to Argentina’s Israeli community and relatives of the 85 victims that resulted dead in the attack.

BOLIVIA
Russia Offers to Assist Bolivia with Nuclear Energy Program

BRAZIL
Temple in Brazil Appeals to a Surge in Evangelicals

Brazil frees up $13bn for economy
In a bid to stimulate the sluggish economy, the Brazilian central bank announces plans to reduce the amount commercial banks have to keep in reserve.

CHILE
Senator urges Chile to take ‘active’ role in Israel-Palestine conflict
Campaigners from the large Palestinian community calls for greater action in conflict while DC deputy warns against ‘bringing the conflict to Chile.’

COLOMBIA
Court tosses out cases against Chiquita over Colombia killings
Lawsuits accused Chiquita of assisting in killing of plaintiffs’ relatives by paying $1.7 million to paramilitary group

CUBA
Another Unsuccessful Negotiation for Alan Gross’ Release

“Migrants” from Castrogonia returned to their generous and benevolent slaveowners

ECUADOR
No Tweets for You: Correa’s Opponents Censored
Twitter Suspends Accounts of Known Ecuadorian Critics

HONDURAS
Why Not Set Up Refugee Kiosks in Honduras? Can We Consider Any Idea from Obama, McCain?

IMMIGRATION
Obama’s Border Summit Theater

JAMAICA
Chris Blackwell says ganja can turn Jamaica around
Entrepreneur urges protection of small farmer

LATIN AMERICA
Crime in Latin America
A broken system
Citizens’ security is the region’s biggest problem. Time to improve criminal justice

MEXICO
In disappearing Mexican jungle, it’s tribes vs. biologists

Rate of Girls Crossing U.S.-Mexico Border Alone Outpaces Boys, Study Finds
The number of unaccompanied girls caught crossing into the U.S. at the border with Mexico has grown far more quickly this year than the number of boys, according to a Pew Research Center report.

PANAMA
Panama’s biggest tourist draw turns 100

PERU
State-Run Petroperu Gets Its Hands Dirty, Hires Kids to Clean Oil Spill
Company Faced with Undeniable Evidence, Announces Immediate “Restructuring”

Previously uncontacted Peruvian Indians ‘could carry flu back to tribe’
Activists fear that virus contracted by Amazonian tribe members fleeing violent attacks could spread through vulnerable and isolated communities

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico Grants Driver’s Licenses to Undocumented Migrants

Looming Puerto Rico debt deadlines have investors nervous

URUGUAY
Mercosur is ‘not working’ because of protectionism and lack of arbitration
Mercosur is “not working” and is “stalled” admitted Uruguayan president Jose Mujica and blamed the situation on different visions of the block’s functioning, according to an interview with Folha de Sao Paulo.

VENEZUELA
The Hijacking of a Venezuelan Newspaper

Hugo Carvajal, a perspective

The week’s posts & podcast:
Aruba: Venezuelan consul detained on drug charges

The latest from the O administration: Let’s make it easier for the Hondurans!

Ecuador and the ‘straitjacket’

Venezuela: Lopez on trial, Tower of David evacuation

En español: Dilma llega a la Unidad de Quemados

Immigration: The coyotes’ job, in dollars

Cuba-North Korea: Another weapons cargo?

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
Case study in “smart diplomacy”: Bolivia

Communism at work: Give up your car

The week’s podcast:
US-Latin America stories of the week


The semifinals Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, July 7th, 2014

LatinAmerArgentina and Brazil go to the World Cup semifinals, and that has been the top story all over the hemisphere.

ARGENTINA
Argentina running out of options in lose-lose debt battle with ‘vultures’

Murder verdict over Argentina bishop
Two former senior military officers in Argentina have been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Bishop Enrique Angelelli in 1976 during military rule.

World Cup police cooperation leads to arrest of fugitive from Argentina’s ‘dirty war’
Salvador Siciliano, a leading member of the notorious Triple A anti-communist death squad in the 1970s, captured in Brazil thanks to heightened communications between international forces around the tournament

BOLIVIA
Bolivia sanctions child labour as young as 10
Bolivian congress passes laws that allow 12-year-old children to be employed in full-time work for others, with 10-year-olds permitted to work if self-employed

Bolivian Cops Occupy Command Centers to Demand Pay Hike

BRAZIL
Brazilian police link Fifa official to World Cup ticket gang

Brazil Tragedy Raises Doubts on Building Rush
Grief Descended on Belo Horizonte, a World Cup Host City, Following the Collapse of a Highway Overpass
Video here.

CHILE
Chile’s Bachelet Introduces $27 Billion Infrastructure Program

COLOMBIA
Colombia Taps World Cup Fever to Urge Guerrilla Defections

CUBA
Putin to visit Cuba and other LatAm nations

Media bias reaches new depths in reports on Castrogonian vehicle sales
Four motorcycles sold in Cuba, in addition to those fifty cars.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominican Authorities Arrest 137 Haitian Migrants

ECUADOR
NYT editorializes with this headline, Government of Ecuador Can Sue Fugitive Bankers in U.S.

GUATEMALA
Four Guatemalan Cops Accused of Extorting Olympic Athlete

HONDURAS
Honduras: Search for Miners Continues

HUMOR

JAMAICA
Jamaica selling out its paradise

MEXICO
New Telecom Rules in Mexico Clear Senate Hurdle
Mexico is near to completing its biggest overhaul of the telecommunications sector in more than two decades.

The telecom bill is a tough blow for Mr. [Carlos] Slim. It forces mobile unit Telcel to complete calls from competing networks without charge, and establishes that domestic long-distance charges made by Telmex will be phased out starting next year. The bill also gives powers to the new enhanced regulator to set some phone rates of dominant players.

Mexico’s reforms
The power and the glory
Foreigners enthuse over Enrique Peña Nieto’s reforms. Mexicans are warier

PANAMA
Venezuela restores ties with Panama
Relations were broke off after President Maduro accused Panama of joining the US in an “open conspiracy” against him.

PARAGUAY
Animals Take to Rooftops to Survive Floods in Paraguay

PERU
Hero of Peru’s Battle with Shining Path Arrested

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico: The New Detroit
Puerto Rico is moving to restructure a large slice of its debt. More trouble could be on the way. And, Mercado Libre is the eBay of Latin America. But it has a new competitor: eBay itself.

VENEZUELA
Spain’s €3,500 Epalisticia buys El Universal for €90 million

Che’s Battle Comrade Becomes Maduro’s New Economic Adviser
Cuba’s Dominance over Venezuela Out in the Open for All to See

The week’s posts and podcast:
Guatemala: When The Mountains Tremble to be corrected

Venezuela: Bye-bye, El Universal UPDATED

ISIS’s Chilean spokesman

Argentina: Pay up, Cristina

Invasion update: No visitors allowed on federal facilities, CDC opens Emergency Operations Center

Today’s update on the immigrant invasion

Venezuelan army protection racket at Guyana border

Obama to heal illegals with $2billion

Tinker, hacker, Snowden spy

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
Bean-counting Catholic justices

Podcast:
Are Liberals Patriotic?


The yet-more-World-Cup Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, June 30th, 2014

For us not-fans, the World Cup drags on forever, but it’s only on its third week. The half-time verdict Expectations were low. They have been exceeded

They installed a huge stage right in the middle of Copacabana beach to watch #CHI beat #BRA Is it possible..? Yes we can !!

ARGENTINA
Ruling Risks New Argentine Default as Monday Deadline Approaches

Bank of New York Mellon Corp. must return a $539 million deposit from Argentina intended for restructured bondholders, a U.S. judge ruled, calling the transfer an “explosive action” that disrupted potential settlement talks with holders of defaulted debt.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa in New York has ruled that Argentina can’t pay holders of its restructured debt without also paying more than $1.5 billion to a group of defaulted bondholders, raising the possibility of a new default as the South American nation approaches a June 30 payment deadline.

Robert Cohen, a lawyer for hedge funds holding the defaulted debt, told Griesa that Argentina “defiantly and contemptuously” violated his court orders.

BRAZIL
Prince Harry thanks Brazilians in first ever royal video message
Prince Harry thanks the people of Brazil for their hospitality in the first ever video message to be recorded by a member of the Royal family

The World Cup of Dirty Dreams: Inside Brazil’s Most Infamous Brothel
Full of beautiful women and XXX behavior, Rio de Janeiro’s Centaurus has enticed celebrities, soccer stars and anyone else willing to pay a fee and go inside. We go behind the doors of a scandalous sin palace

CENTRAL AMERICA
Central America Border Rush Fueled By Remittances

CHILE
Chile Falls from Investment Grace, Out of World’s Top 10
South America Drags the Regional Chain in Foreign Direct Investment Ranking

COLOMBIA
Pablo Escobar’s hippos: A growing problem. Jaime Bayly interviewed his former girlfriend. They did not talk about hippos:

COSTA RICA
StarTek leaves: Another US company closes operations in Costa Rica; 550 workers to lose jobs

CUBA
Amnesty International DOCUMENT – CUBA: FURTHER INFORMATION: PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE AWAIT SENTENCING

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Vatican Defrocks Ambassador in Abuse Inquiry

The Vatican has defrocked its former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, an archbishop from Poland who was accused of sexually abusing boys while he served as the pope’s representative in the Caribbean nation.

The former archbishop, Jozef Wesolowski, 65, is the first papal nuncio known to have been removed from the priesthood because of accusations of child sexual abuse.

IMMIGRATION
Blame Comprehensive Immigration Reform Advocates for the Border Meltdown

FALKLAND ISLANDS
Falkland Islands UN resolution siding with Argentina ‘outdated’ and ‘not relevant’, says Britain
United Nations committee resolution calling on Britain and Argentina to negotiate a Falkland Islands solution – essentially favouring Argentina’s stance – dismissed by Foreign Office

IMMIGRATION
Top Border Control Official: The US Is Now Part of the Smuggling Business

MEXICO
CARTEL MEMBERS AMBUSH FEDERAL POLICEMEN IN MEXICAN BORDER STATE

Mexico vigilante leader arrested
Jose Manuel Mireles, one of Mexico’s main vigilante leaders battling drug cartels, is arrested for carrying unauthorised weapons, officials say.

PANAMA
Panama pulls a Pontius Pilate move on Chong Chon Gang

PARAGUAY
Paraguay floods lead to evacuation of thousands

PERU
Peru’s Pay-to-Commit-Crime Politics: Presidential Corruption under Investigation
No More “Get Out of Jail Free” Cards, Says Peruvian Congress

Rare Incan ‘Calculators’ Found in Peru

PUERTO RICO
A Band-Aid for Puerto Rico
Legislation was passed to provide a mechanism to restructure the debts of Puerto Rico’s so-called public corporations.

URUGUAY
Take a bite out of crime? Mujica strongly supports Suárez and blasts FIFA: “they went too far”
Uruguay’s president Jose Mujica blasted FIFA’s Thursday decision to fine and suspend the country’s main scorer Luis Suarez from any football activity for four months arguing the association that rules world football measures things with different rods, and since Uruguay “is a small country, it’s cheap for them”.

VENEZUELA
Let’s wiki-audit PDVSA

Venezuela blackout interrupts live-television broadcast from President Maduro
A blackout cut electricity in various parts of Venezuela on Friday and twice interrupted the live television broadcast of a speech by President Nicolas Maduro, who said authorities were seeking more information about the outage.

Venezuela seeks support for a seat at the UN Security Council
Over 40 countries backed Venezuela’s nomination to the UN Security Council in 2013

The week’s posts and podcast:
Argentina: Boudou’s voodoo may land him in the hoosgow

Immigration headlines today

Venezuela: North Korea to open embassy in Caracas

En español: Terapia intensiva #213

Did you know the IRS employees are unionized?

Ecuador whines at the UN Human Rights Council

Bolivia reduces coca production

Brazil’s Odebrecht accused of slave labor

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
O’s foreign policy, Northern Triangle edition

Podcast:
US-Latin America stories of the week