Archive for the ‘El Salvador’ Category

The Memorial Day 2015 Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, May 25th, 2015

LatinAmerToday we commemorate those who died for our great nation.

ARGENTINA
Argentinian Falklands veterans take ‘torture’ case to international arenaVeterans of the 1982 conflict recount their ordeal and the anti-Semitic abuse they faced in a press conference, including instances of beatings and sexual violence

Do orang-utans have human rights?Argentinian court hears arguments on whether keeping Sandra the orang-utan in a zoo is a human rights violation, but the Nisman case got dismissed.

BOLIVIA
NARCORREVOLUCIÓNEl negocio cocalero de Evo Morales y Nicolás Maduro

Almost 500 Students, Teachers Poisoned in Northern Bolivia

No marraqueta for you! Bakers Stop Baking Traditional Bolivian Bread in La Paz

The bakers of La Paz will not bake ‘marraqueta’, a traditional Bolivian bread symbolic of the city, as a part of a strike in opposition to the Bolivian government’s removal of a flour subsidy, a trade-union source told Efe.

BRAZIL
Unlike my former neighbors in Princeton, I don’t share their fascination with Albert Einstein, but here it is anyway: A 65-year-old letter written by Albert Einstein found in Brazil schoolThe letter was reportedly discovered in a safe at a school in Porto Alegre in the south of the country

CHILE
Clashes as Chile’s Bachelet seeks to regain popularityPresident looks to get reform agenda back on track in annual address to Congress as protesters and police clash outside.

COLOMBIA
Colombia Rebels Suspend Unilateral Cease-Fire after Army Operation

Farc rebels killed in new air strikeColombia’s security forces kill at least five rebels from the Farc a day after the left-wing rebel group suspended its unilateral ceasefire.

CUBA
Cuban torturers sent to Vietnam to ‘extract’ information from American prisoners

Syrian Regime Officials Visit Cuba, Learn From Castro’s Outmaneuvering of Obama

Trafficking With the Enemy, American Taxpayers Deserve BetterDo Your Due Diligence Before Engaging in Authorized Transactions in Cuba, Especially When it Comes to the Confiscated Lands Issue

The Pope, Liberation Theology, Palestine and Castro…One by one, the great Western institutions have fallen to the infection of the left. Have they now captured the Church of Rome? Yes.

ECUADOR
Chevron Update

EL SALVADOR
Msgr. Romero Beatified in El Salvador Before Crowd of 300,000

Crowds greet Romero beatification
Huge crowd attends Romero's beatification ceremony

Huge crowds in El Salvador attend the beatification of Oscar Romero – the Roman Catholic archbishop murdered during the 1980-92 civil war.

Division remain over ‘martyr’

El Salvador Needs Economic Development, Rule of Law

GUATEMALA
MOB BURNS GIRL ALIVE IN CENTRAL AMERICA **GRAPHIC VIDEO**

Guatemalan Central Bank Chief Arrested on Corruption Charges

GUYANA
Guyana’s electionA time to healThe new government could narrow the racial divide

IMMIGRATION
Telemundo Ignores Conservative Immigration Initiative. The Spanish-language networks are so awful at news, 80% of so-called Hispanics in the U.S. get their news elsewhere.

JAMAICA
Jamaica rejects buggery law repeal, same-sex marriage

MEXICO
Mexico investigates new Guerrero disappearances

AT LEAST 42 GUNMEN AND ONE COP KILLED IN MEXICAN CARTEL FIREFIGHT

Gulf Cartel Had Camera Surveillance System Across Mexican Border City

PANAMA
‘No peace dividend’ for Panama border force

“Peace is not a bad thing, but it’s unlikely to solve our problems,” says Director of Panama’s Border Police, Frank Abrego.
He is referring to the prospect of a peace deal between the Colombian government and left-wing rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc).

Follow Panama: Dollarize

PARAGUAY
Counterfeit goods are big business in Paraguay

PERU
Peru declares state of emergency over mining violence

PUERTO RICO
Final Section of Modern, Regional Undersea Cable Comes Ashore in Puerto Rico

URUGUAY
Matías Campiani Private Equity Executive to Be Released From Uruguay Prison

VENEZUELA
Will the Venezuelan State Fail?

NYC’s most legendary prosecutor sees a darker threat in Venezuela’s alleged global cocaine hub

 Morgethau believed, and still does, that Chavez’s regime was allowing Iran to use the country’s banking system, and that former Venezeulan Interior Minister Tarek El Aissami specifically helped Iran’s agents obtain Venezuelan passports so they could travel freely around the world.

The week’s posts and podcast:
Memorial Day Commemoration Ceremonies

37 MS-13 indicted in Charlotte

VDH’s Pathei Mathos

Argentina: Veterans take torture case to inter-American court of human rights

Cuba and terrorism

Brazil: Up next, China’s 3,000mile railroad?

Communism: When the only way out is death

Mexico: Human rights division head resigns over Iguala case

Venezuela: Diosdado and drugs – whose powerplay?

Ecuador: Brazilian prosecutor sides with Chevron



37 MS-13 indicted in Charlotte

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Expect more of this,

37 MS-13 GANG MEMBERS INDICTED IN CHARLOTTE, NC

Thirty-seven MS-13 gang members have been indicted in Charlotte, North Carolina on numerous offenses including murder and attempted murder, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina announced Wednesday.

Wednesday morning, a law enforcement dragnet rounded up 16 of the alleged gang members. While five remain “at large” the remaining 16 are in state custody.
. . .

Gang activity in Charlotte made national headlines in recent weeks as the Obama administration admitted it improperly granted an illegal immigrant with known gang-ties executive amnesty.

You may recall this headline from last year, Feds: 12 ‘top-ranking’ MS-13 members charged in N.J.

The Ricky Ricardo Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, May 11th, 2015

Today’s Carnival is dedicated to Desi Arnaz, who raked in the bucks by creating a TV character that interviewers can’t seem to forget.

ARGENTINA
This week could be decisive for Nisman probeBoard of coroners will issue final report to prosecutor Fein that could answer key questions

No. Is Argentina’s economy pulling a tango turnaround?

Argentinean University: Austrian Economists Need Not Apply
Slighted Professor Claims Ideology Trumps 20 Years Experience at Comahue

BELIZE
Belize offshore oil proposal has environmentalists worried about reefs, fisheries, tourism

BOLIVIA
Militar boliviano diz que Podemos seria braço do tráfico venezuelano
Relatório afirma que partido de esquerda foi financiado por Hugo Chávez e seus aliados bolivarianos para transformar a Espanha em porta de entrada de cocaína na Europa
[Bolivian serviceman claims Podemos will be an arm of Venezuelan drug traffic
He says the Leftist party was bankrolled by Hugo Chávez and his Bolivarian associates to transform Spain into a port of entrance for Europe’s cocaine]

Bolivia’s access to the sea
Beaches of the future?
A South American border dispute has implications for international law

Both countries are parties to the Pact of Bogotá, which obliges signatories to submit disputes to international tribunals. But the pact excludes conflicts that were settled before 1948.

BRAZIL
Brazil football fan club deaths lead to police arrests

British lawyer killed in Amazon fell victim to boat captains’ ‘game of dare’Husband of Gillian Metcalf says neither of the two drivers took action to prevent tragedy in high-speed collision

CHILE
Crisis socialista: Bachelet despide a todo su gabinete

COLOMBIA
Colombia ELN rebels ‘displayed solider’s leg as trophy’

Samuel Angel: “Santos y Petro han sido los peores administradores que hemos tenido”

CUBA
Ca$tro r€gim€ $€nd$ m€dica£ a$$i$tanc€ to N€pa£

EconomyGeeks Radio: Entrevista a Yusnaby Perez

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominican Republic stunned by two weeks of forest fires

ECUADOR
Ecuadorian State Workers Forced to March for Correa
Sign the Roll or Suffer the Consequences

Ecuador’s president demands respect from his constituentsRafael Correa attacks the press for reporting a presidential run-in with a young protestor who gave him the finger. He could start by staying off Twitter.

EL SALVADOR
Fear, uncertainty prevail on San Salvador’s increasingly violent streetsAs homicides soar after failed truce, El Salvador could surpass Honduras as most murderous peacetime country

GUATEMALA
Guatemala vice-president steps down amid customs corruption scandalPresident announces deputy has vacated her offices as ex-aide stands accused of orchestrating fraud worth million

HONDURAS
Death valley: the land war gripping Honduras
With a murder rate 65 times higher than Ireland’s, Honduras is one of the world’s most violent countries. And few parts are more dangerous than the Lower Aguán Valley, where local farmers claim that big business has illegally taken over their land

MEXICO
Mexican police capture one of the masterminds behind Iguala massacreThe suspect, a former deputy police chief, was arrested at an exclusive country club

Mexico rescues more than 100 kidnapped migrants

Police in Mexico have rescued more than 100 migrants kidnapped by a human trafficking gang near the capital.
Reports said some of the migrants had been held hostage for five weeks in a house in Mexico State.
Most of the victims were Central Americans, but they also included people from India and Sri Lanka.

Los Cuinis: The Wealthiest Narcos You Never Heard OfJalisco Battle Brings Mexico’s Top Dogs Out of the Shadows

NICARAGUA
Nicaragua Canal: A Giant Project With Huge Environmental Costs, if it happens.

PANAMA
Panama Finds Collecting Venezuelan Debt Harder than Pulling TeethNew President Still Hopes to Bring $1 Billion Owed into Port – good luck with that.

Panama Supreme Court Judge Faces Charges of Pederasty, CorruptionCongressman Mario Miller Claims Accusations Have “No Legal Foundation”

PARAGUAY
Ten-year-old’s pregnancy sparks Paraguay abortion debate

PERU
Drug trade’s lowest rung: Peru’s expendable cocaine couriers

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico may run out of cash by Sept: Gov. bank

VENEZUELA
Mass grave found on the Venezuela-Colombia border

The week’s posts and podcast:
Identity politics: Halperin interviews Ted Cruz, expects Ricky Ricardo

Haiti: Clinton’s crony gets the contract

Today’s “WTH Moment” brought to you by Jorge Ramos

Book review: Carly Fiorina’s Rising to the Challenge

John Oliver riffs Latin America

“You will not like Cuba”

Chile: Bachelet ditches entire Cabinet

“Terrorism is most definitely not a weapon of the weak”

Just what we need: Ferries to Cuba! UPDATED

This is what free speech is all about

Mexico: Jalisco’s new generation of crime

Puerto Rico: The great debt scam

It’s that time of year,

Cuba: Fidel, druglord

Podcast:



Coming up next: State Dept. To Fly Central American Children Into US

Saturday, April 4th, 2015

I first found this at the Daily Caller,

Any permanent resident, parolee or illegal immigrant granted or in the process of being granted a work permit under President Barack Obama’s recent executive order or his deferred action policy, who has children under 21 living in Honduras, Guatemala or El Salvador can apply for the program.

Ponder that for a moment: Hondurans, Guatemalans and Salvadorans are to be granted exceptional privileges above all other immigrants into the U.S., and the State Department and Department of Homeland Security will administer the program.

Immigration and State Department officials explained how the program will work on an invite-only teleconference call Tuesday that was not open to the press and was mostly attended by groups known to advocate for illegal immigrants

They’ll get free DNA tests, one-way tickets to the U.S., and, once here, they are allowed refugee status, and will be provided free education, medical care, living expenses and food stamps.

Judicial Watch reports:
DHS Launches “Family Reunification,” Refugee Program for Central Americans (emphasis added),

A U.S.-based parent will initiate the application to bring his or her child in from any of the three Central American countries. To qualify they must be a permanent resident, a parolee or a beneficiary of Obama’s recent amnesty or deferred action. Many have probably lived illegally in the U.S. for years. The only out-of-pocket cost is for a DNA test to assure the child belongs to the applicant but Uncle Sam will reimburse the money if the result is positive. A U.S. official will interview the child, then a medical exam and “cultural orientation” will be conducted before the minor flies to the U.S. Once in the U.S. the illegal alien will get “resettlement assistance,” the State Department official confirmed during the teleconference.

If the applicant doesn’t qualify for the more desirable refugee status he or she can be considered for parole, a USCIS official explained in the teleconference, which was attended mostly by immigrant rights groups known for advocating on behalf of illegal aliens. Refugee status is a form of protection offered to those who are deemed of special humanitarian concern to the United States. Parole allows individuals who may be otherwise inadmissible to come to the U.S. on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. The State Department official assured that applicants need not express or document a credible fear to qualify under CAM because “we want to make sure this program is open to as many people as possible.”

Notice how the age limit is 21, while voting age is 18.

Rule of law (the restriction of the arbitrary exercise of power by subordinating it to well-defined and established laws) goes out the window.

I want to know, when did Congress fund this?

Meanwhile, God help you if you were adopted and your parents didn’t apply for your citizenship.

The dismissed Nisman case Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, March 30th, 2015

LatinAmerArgentina’s Federal Criminal Appeals Court refused to open an investigation into the complaint filed in January by former AMIA special prosecutor Alberto Nisman four days before he was found dead

Federal prosecutor Germán Moldes will try to reactivate the investigation against President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner next week

Accusations fly that

Prosecutor Viviana Fein is conducting the investigation into the death of Alberto Nisman “with an evident interest” of only showing that the AMIA special prosecutor committed “suicide.”

Meanwhile, Venezuelan defectors from Hugo Chavez inner circle are talking.

ARGENTINA
Falklands defence: Why is Argentina considering an aircraft deal with the Russians?
Russia’s potential deal to lease 12 long-range bombers to Argentina is causing Britain to rethink its protection of the Falklands. Why is Cristina Kirchner cosying up to Moscow?

BOLIVIA
Bolivian Mob Tries to Bury Alive Teacher Accused of Raping Girl

BRAZIL
Brazil Economy to Shrink, Joblessness Rises
The Brazilian central bank’s view of the economy is getting worse, with the official unemployment rate rising in February, as Latin America’s largest economy continues to struggle.

After Ratings Reprieve, Brazil Faces Tough News
President Dilma Rousseff got a big break when Standard & Poor’s maintained Brazil’s investment-grade credit rating, but Friday’s coming report on economic growth is expected to bring the embattled president bad news.

CHILE
Flood torrents devastate Peru and Chile

Two dead as flash flooding hits Chile Atacama desert region

COLOMBIA
Colombian Government, FARC Agree to Begin Land-Mine Removal

New IG Report: DEA Agents in Columbia Partied With Hookers Hired By the Drug Cartels

CUBA
Obama’s Cuba Folly Unfolds

ECUADOR

EL SALVADOR
Half Million People March Against Violence in El Salvador

FALKLAND ISLANDS
Britain to boost Falklands Islands defences

JAMAICA
Jamaican Prime Minister Rebukes Gay-Rights Protestors At New York Townhall

MEXICO
39 Central American Migrants Rescued in Mexico from Human Traffickers

PANAMA
Panama Canal sets sights on new $17 billion expansion project

As it enters the final stretch of a massive expansion, the Panama Canal Authority is setting its sights on an even more ambitious project worth up to $17 billion that would allow it to handle the world’s biggest ships.

Workers are now installing giant, 22-story lock gates to accommodate larger “Post-Panamax” ships through the Canal, one of the world’s busiest maritime routes.

The project involves building a third set of locks on the Canal. It is being headed by Italy’s Salini Impregilo and Spain’s Sacyr, and should open on April 1, 2016.

PARAGUAY
Paraguay Farmers March in Asuncion to Demand President’s Resignation

PERU
Floods in Chile and landslides in Peru after heaviest rain in 80 years

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico Prepares for Luxury Shopping Amid Recession

Puerto Rico Mayor Gets 5 Years for Bribery

URUGUAY
Uruguay will no longer grant asylum to Guantanamo prisoners

The new Uruguayan government says it will no longer grant asylum to prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay detention centre.

In December, Uruguay gave sanctuary to six Arab men who had been held at the US base in Cuba for 12 years.

Opinion polls said most Uruguayans rejected the decision taken by outgoing President Jose Mujica.

Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa also said Uruguay would stop taking refugees from the Syrian conflict.

Does that mean they’ll kick Syrians Jihad Abu Wael Dhiab, Ali Husain Shaaban, Ahmed Adnan Ajuri, and Abdelhadi Faraj, Palestinian Mohammed Abdullah Taha Mattan, and Tunisian Adel bin Muhammad El Ouerghi out of the country?

VENEZUELA
“Normalization” update: Venezuelan Castro puppet seeks to humiliate U.S. at the Summit of the Americas but Maduro Says “Venezuela Is Ready” for Dialogue with U.S. Of course. In his spare time, he indulged in vandalism,

Alicia Bárcena’s blinders

The week’s posts and podcast:
Cuba {heart} Iran: Love-terror

Words, words, words

How a German trial relates to the #Nisman case

Ecuador: Chinese loans, social media censorship

Today’s Colombian hookers update

Venezuela-Iran’s Aeroterror: Airplanes full of drugs & money

Podcast: US-Latin America: Cuba-Venezuela, elections in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina & more

Barrio 18 in El Salvador: A View from the Inside

The #Nisman Case and the Whitewashing of Iran

About that “Cuban side or the white side”

Thank you, Newsmax

Argentina: Beef for bombers

Today’s WSV* moment: Now Snowden wants to come back

Today’s immigration headlines

Ted throws his hat in the ring

Barrio 18 in El Salvador: A View from the Inside

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Read Steve Dudley’s report at In Sight Crime, Barrio 18 in El Salvador: A View from the Inside

Barrio 18 is one of the two largest gangs in El Salvador. The other, the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13), is thought to be slightly larger in membership than the Barrio 18. The Barrio 18 is known as the more violent and less sophisticated of the two.

Barrio 18 Gang Hierarchy

  1. “Palabreros” in the prison system: coordinate all criminal activities. One palabrero keeps a notebook that keeps track of all finances, homicides, drugs, and weapons.
  2. “Palabreros” outside the prison system, aka, “en la libre.”
  3. Leaders of the “canchas.” A cancha is a territorial division that isn’t necessarily based on municipal delineations. Each cancha has several “tribus,” or tribes.
  4. Leaders of the “tribus.” There are thought to be 28 Barrio 18 “tribus” in El Salvador, according to one study. Each tribu leader may be responsible for dozens and perhaps hundreds of members. In rival gang theMS13, these are known as “clicas,” and there are thought to be far more — an estimated 246.
  5. Collaborators: those who are not quite or never will be gang members. They help the gang with small jobs, like gathering intelligence, and moving or holding illicit goods.

El Salvador: Two American detainees, zero evidence

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Remember these two names: Miguel Lacayo and Tom Hawk. They are the Americans the Salvadorian government is preventing from leaving the country. Mary O’Grady has the story:
Bankrolling Attacks on U.S. Citizens
El Salvador won’t let two Americans leave the country, but the U.S. keeps the aid flowing.

No evidence of a crime has been presented. None of the accused—now nine, down from 20—has been brought to trial. But the ruling left-wing FMLN government and the ostensibly independent attorney general have libeled them in the press with allegations of squandering the national patrimony. The state has put a lien against their assets. They may not leave the country. Their legal bills are mounting. They face up to 10 years in jail.

One would expect the U.S. to raise a stink over the targeting of American citizens in what looks to be, at best, a witch hunt designed to criminalize privatization. But the Obama administration has not. Instead, the witch hunters are on the U.S. payroll.

To the tune of $700 million,

Over the past seven years the U.S.’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has approved some $700 million in grants to El Salvador despite the trampling of the rule of law by former president Tony Saca of the center-right Arena Party (2004-09) and by the pro-Castro FMLN governments of President Mauricio Funes (2009-14) and current President Salvador Sánchez Cerén. The MCC describes itself as an “independent U.S. foreign aid agency,” but today Secretary of State John Kerry is chairman of the board and Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew is vice chairman.

Capt. Louis Renault is working overtime thanks to the current U.S, administration’s foreign policy.

Meanwhile, as Hawk and Lacayo are held against their will in El Salvador, last Wednesday Joe Biden was touting

El Salvador passed a law providing new protections for investors

so the U.S. would nearly triple the money “we generally have provided to Central America.” Back to Mary O’Grady,

If that doesn’t make sense, don’t worry. It’s not supposed to. This is about intimidating and ruining political enemies and consolidating economic power—with financial reinforcements courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer.

The easement Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, January 19th, 2015

LatinAmerThis Carnival is dedicated to the new meaning of the word easement, which, following last Friday’s U.S. Department Of Commerce and U.S Department Of The Treasury Announcement Of Regulatory Amendments To The Cuba Sanctions now includes “making a deal where one gets nothing in return.”

However, the big news of the day is Alberto Nisman’s death by a gunshot wound in his home while his bodyguards were absent. Go to this morning’s post for more.

ARGENTINA
THE LONESOME DEATH OF ALBERTO NISMAN

Oil and trouble
A prosecutor accuses the president of obstructing justice in the country’s biggest terror case

In 2013, Argentina announced that it would collaborate with Iran in a joint commission “to advance knowledge of the truth about the attack,” as Ms Fernández wrote on Twitter at the time. The country’s Jewish population, the world’s seventh largest, was puzzled and angry about the accord. Now the prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, alleges that the controversial deal was reached in back-channel negotiations that Ms Fernández initiated with Iran. He claims that she offered to cover up the involvement of any Iranian officials in exchange for increased trade. Argentina would export grain to Iran, while Iran would sell oil to Argentina to ease its severe energy deficit.

In the end, for reasons that are still unclear, the negotiations failed and the deal fell apart. But Mr Nisman has marshalled evidence of the talks in a 300-page document that he filed in a Buenos Aires court. “They decided, negotiated, and assured the impunity of the fugitive Iranians in the AMIA case with the aim of faking Iran’s innocence to serve geopolitical and commercial interests,” Mr Nisman declared. The allegations against Ms Fernández, her foreign minister, Héctor Timerman, and others are based on “irrefutable proof” from two years of investigations and myriad wiretaps, Mr Nisman claims.

Kirchner Accused of Covering Up 1994 Terrorist Bombing
Prosecutor: President Made Secret Deal with Iran for Cheap Oil

Fernandez Graft Cases Multiply in Argentine Electoral Year

Argentina’s Jews Reel From New Twist in Terror Probe
Prosecutor Accuses President Christina Kirchner of Conspiring to Cover Up a Probe Into a 1994 Terrorist Attack on a Jewish Center

Argentina’s Kirchner Named in Criminal Complaint
An Argentine prosecutor filed a complaint against President Cristina Kirchner, her foreign minister and others for allegedly conspiring to cover up a probe into Iran’s alleged involvement in the bombing of a Jewish community center.

A federal prosecutor in Argentina has filed a criminal complaint against President Cristina Kirchner , her foreign minister and others, accusing them of conspiring to cover up an investigation into Iran’s alleged involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in this capital city.

The prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, said on Wednesday that Mrs. Kirchner had ordered Foreign Minister Hector Timerman and others to negotiate immunity for Iranian suspects in hopes this would reestablish trade ties and allow Argentina to import Iranian oil to ease a domestic energy crisis. The alleged plan didn’t come to fruition, however.

Prosecutor: Argentinian President Plotted to Cover Up Iranian Role in AMIA Bombing

ARUBA
Aruba Tops 1 Million Visitors for First Time

It also makes Aruba one of just five Caribbean destinations above the 1 million mark, along with the Bahamas, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Puerto Rico.

Cuba’s 1 million visitors sure made a difference so far, or haven’t they?

BOLIVIA
Bolivian Peasants Urged On by Drug Traffickers Hold Hostage, Beat 4 Police

BRAZIL
Petrobras’s Lesson for Latin America
We Ignore Cronyism at Our Peril

Codenamed Lava Jato, or “car wash,” the investigation into Petrobras operations by police and public prosecutors revealed a colossal corruption scheme involving former top executives, construction companies, and prominent politicians from the governing coalition dominated by the Workers’ Party (PT). Evidence uncovered so far suggests the privileged club of racketeers pocketed billions of dollars under the cover of public contracts.

CHILE
Chile’s Penta Case Pulls Dozens Into Corruption Scandal
Officials Took Cash for Influence, Allege Prosecutors

Chile’s Landmark Electoral Reform Passes Senate Hurdle
Binomial System on the Way Out, Gender Quota on the Way In

After a marathon 20-hour session on Wednesday, January 14, the Chilean Senate approved reform to an electoral system that dates back to the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. The objective is to increase the number of deputies and senators, and change the voting mechanism from binomial to proportional.

COLOMBIA
Why is Colombia Smuggling Coca Base to Honduras?

Colombia’s Santos Orders Discussion of Bilateral Cease-Fire with FARC

COSTA RICA
Costa Rica’s Quakers dodged US draft, now face perils of changing world
After leaving Alabama in 1951, small group of American pacifists maintains community in Central American highlands

CUBA
U.S. eases Cuba embargo

Breaking News from the Rumor Desk: Fidel gravely ill due to “embolia” (embolism)

Via Babalu,
* Obama will allow Americans to use credit cards in Cuba
* Castro will continue to prohibit private businesses from accepting credit card payments

ECUADOR
Ecuador targets cartoonist as world rejects Paris attacks

EL SALVADOR
U.N.’s Ban Ki-Moon Worried by El Salvador Violence as Murders Soar

FALKLAND ISLANDS
Bronze bust of Margaret Thatcher unveiled in Port Stanley
A statue honouring former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who lead Britain to victory in the 1982 conflict to defend the islands the Falkland Islands, has been unveiled in Port Stanley.

HONDURAS
U.S. Seeks to Seize Properties Bought by Corrupt Honduran Officials

IMMIGRATION
CBO: ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS GRANTED EXECUTIVE AMNESTY WOULD BE ELIGIBLE FOR CERTAIN FEDERAL BENEFITS

México: las rutas de los migrantes que no pueden viajar en La Bestia

MEXICO
DECOMPOSING BODY OF MURDERED MEXICAN ACTRESS FOUND IN WATER TANK

Mexico’s Unemployment Drop Points to Labor Market Recovery
Unemployment In Mexico Last Month Was 3.8%

MEXICO PROVIDING BIRTH CERTIFICATES TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS IN U.S.

Losing marijuana business, Mexican cartels push heroin and meth

PANAMA
Obama to Meet With Cuban Dictator Raul Castro in Panama

PERU
Peru’s Entire Economy Is Threatened By Anchovies

Peru Currency Drops to Lowest Since 2009 After Surprise Rate Cut

PUERTO RICO
Google to Launch ‘Modular’ Smartphone
Google plans to launch a ‘modular’ smartphone in Puerto Rico, part of an audacious and risky effort by the Internet giant to upend the way mobile devices are designed, built and sold.

Sony to Withdraw from Puerto Rico after 25 Years, Web Site Says

URUGUAY
Uruguay Offshore Bidding Plans Hinge on Oil Recovery

VENEZUELA
Venezuelan Bishops Get Religion

Venezuela’s Bishops Have A Message For Pope Francis on Communism

Wow! Venezuela bishops tell Pope Francis the downside of socialism and communism

Report: Coup Plot Possible Against Socialist Venezuelan President. Not quite yet.

Venezuelan oil basket down to USD 39.19 per barrel

The week’s posts and podcast:
Argentina: Cristina’s corrupt deals with the Ayatollahs

Starting the day with Smart Diplomacy

Cuba: Effective Friday UPDATED

Charlie Hebdo: 5 million

Venezuela: Qatar gives a band-aid

Who’s publishing the new Charlie Hebdo cartoon? UPDATED

Cuba: Finally, the list of the 53 UPDATED

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
Film: Boyhood

Cuba’s outdated Cold War mentality

Podcast



The last 2014 Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, December 29th, 2014

LatinAmerARGENTINA
Argentineans Hoard Disappearing Tampons
Fixed Exchange Rate Constrains Import Dollars, Pharmacies Lack Essentials

Argentine president hospitalized for sprained ankle. Not sprained, fractured.

Not sure if this was before, or after she broke her ankle, but it’s the weird photo-op of the week: Argentina president adopts young Jewish boy as godson to prevent him from turning into werewolf
President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchhner adopted Yair Tawil as her godson, due to an Argentine folktale that says the seventh born son in a family will turn into a werewolf, and eat unbaptized babies.

BOLIVIA
Venezuela and Bolivia Challenge OAS on Supporting U.S. and Cuba
The OAS permanent council convened to support the rapprochement between the two countries began five hours late due to disagreements over the draft declaration, distorting the image of unity that the majority of the member states wanted to promote

Spanish Tourists Spend the Most in Bolivia

BRAZIL
Providence, Rhode Island is suing the Brazilian state-run oil company Petrobras over investor losses due to a corruption scandal.

Unlike other class actions, some of the company’s senior executives have also been named as defendants.

Dilma Rousseff’s Christmas may not be so merry
Humiliation at the World Cup, a flailing economy and an oil scandal made 2014 a tough year for Brazil.

CHILE
Red Alert Due to Forest Fires Still in Effect for Chile’s Valparaiso Region

COLOMBIA
Colombia to Grow Faster Than Peers Even as Oil Tumbles

CUBA
The Geopolitics of U.S.-Cuba Relations

US to pay freed Cuba prisoner $3.2m
American Alan Gross, freed last week after five years in a Cuban jail, is to receive $3.2m (£2m) from the US government.

Americans back normalizing relations with Cuba, but has anyone examined the costs?

Obama, Cuba, and Iran

Cuban dissident voices & Pope Francis’ deaf ears
The wives of imprisoned critics of the Castro regime deserved better

Exiles, U.S. betrayed

The Cuban Archipelago

U.S. ending Cuban sanctions more proof of weakness, say Iranian media

TOP 10 LIES IN OBAMA’S CUBA SPEECH

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominican Charged in Scheme to Sell Massachusetts’ Driver Licenses to Illegal Aliens

ECUADOR
Boston Investment Company Sues Ecuador Over Bond Default

EL SALVADOR
Salvadorian Who Went Missing in War Reunites with Family 32 Years Later

GUATEMALA
The One Latin America Winner From U.S. Economic Boom: Currencies

LATIN AMERICA
Latin America in 2014: elections, football and environmental conflict
US-Cuba relations dominated the news in December, but elsewhere voters seemed resigned to the status quo

MEXICO
Abducted Mexican priest found deadThe coffin with Father Gregorio Lopez’s body is loaded into a hearse
[Father Gregorio Lopez] A Mexican priest who was kidnapped earlier this week is found shot dead in the south-western state of Guerrero.

Merry Christmas but Lest We Forget, MEXICO STILL MOURNS

NICARAGUA
I’m not the only skeptic: Doubts deepen over Chinese-backed Nicaragua canal as work starts

So far the company, the HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Co Ltd, or HKND Group, of telecoms entrepreneur Wang Jing, has identified only $200 million in funding.
. . .
Supporters point to Monday’s start as evidence that the plan is on schedule. But key feasibility studies on the canal have been pushed back to next April, and excavation work is not due to begin until the second half of next year.

PANAMA
Panama Buys More Time for “Temporary” Price Controls
Sunset Provision Extended, Expanded Product List in the Offing

PERU
Peru evacuates Amazon village after raid by indigenous tribe
At least 39 people taken to Puerto Maldonado as officials search for motive behind latest bow-and-arrow attack by members of Mashco-Piro tribe

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rican Economic Activity Index Drops 2.1%

VENEZUELA
Diosdado’s Crocodile Tears
New York Times Op-Ed Scapegoats United States for Venezuela’s Ruin

Why checks and balances? Check out Venezuela today.

The week’s posts and podcast:
Venezuela: Leopoldo’s letter

Argentina: Top Gear hot water

Merry Christmas!

Confirmed: US Sperm For Spies program

Nicaragua: Where’s the Canal money coming from?

Did Obama give in on Cuba so Uruguay would take 6 Gitmo alumni?

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
The Interview. Yes, The Interview

Last-minute shopping: The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels

Podcast:
The Opening to Cuba: What do Cuban Americans Think?

The criminal #Greenpeace Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, December 15th, 2014

Before Greenpeace:

After Greenpeace:

It’s time to put the Greenpeace vandals out of business

ARGENTINA
Why Argentina Must Learn the Virtues of Economic Orthodoxy
Ignore Basic Economic Lessons, Bring on More Crises

BOLIVIA
Bolivia’s YPFB Hit by Corruption, Sexual-Harassment Scandal

BRAZIL
Survivors Recall Genocide of Amazon Tribe in Brazil, the Waimiri-Atroari.

Brazil killer alleges 42 victims
Brazilian police arrest a man who says he killed 42 people in the last decade, which would make him one of the country’s most prolific serial killers

CHILE
Chile Not Facing an Economic Crisis, Bachelet Says

Construction in Chile of world’s largest telescope approved

COLOMBIA
Colombian Government, Rebels Resume Peace Talks

COSTA RICA
Take a Ride on Costa Rica’s Fiscal Train Wreck
Executive Ignores Credit Risk, Overrules Congress for 19 Percent Spending Increase

CUBA
Cuban Regime Arrests Over 100 Activists on Human Rights Day
Police Target Dissident Ladies in White, Independent Journalists

‘Al Capone’ Justice for Fidel Castro

The AP’s Latest Attack: On Cuba’s Independent Rappers

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Abortion stalls Dominican Republic Penal Code vote

ECUADOR
Ecuador Moves to Block Disclosure of U.S. Propaganda Activities
Government attempts to prevent court discovery of documents at its U.S.-based PR firm

EL SALVADOR
El Salvador President to Cuba for Checkup after Falling Ill in Mexico, since that worked so well for Hugo Chávez.

GUATEMALA
Guatemala: Breaking the silence
How do a country and its people come to terms with the atrocities committed during a decades-long, bloody civil war? Dialogue is key here, and that’s a focus of DW Akademie projects in Guatemala.

HAITI
Haitian President May Drop His Premier
To end an impasse and allow for elections, President Michel Martelly said that he would accept the recommendations of a commission that has called for the prime minister to resign.

IMMIGRATION
Adding Insult to Injury: Obama Paying for Illegal Amnesty with Fees Paid by Legal Immigrants

Sheriffs: Obama’s Amnesty Creates ‘Insurgence of Heroin,’ ‘Saloon-Door’ Border Mentality

JAMAICA
Jamaica Approached To Sell PetroCaribe Debt

LATIN AMERICA
Neocolonialism update: Iran expanding its presence in Latrine America

MEXICO
Mexico minister denies home scandal
Mexico’s finance minister defends his purchase of a luxury home, amid reports he bought it from a firm whose parent company won public contracts.

PANAMA
Panama: Cuba to Attend First-ever Americas Summit

PERU
Frantic efforts to save Lima climate change talks
Main talks suspended as delegates from 190 countries admit there is ‘no consensus’, while frantic efforts have begun to reach some token agreement, but few are optimistic of a quick resolution, if any

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico tops list of 25 best Caribbean islands list

URUGUAY
Former Guantanamo Prisoners Leave Hospital in Uruguay

VENEZUELA
The Precise Instant Everything Went to Hell

The Phantom of Miraflores

UK: Journalist’s flat burgled, family threatened

VenEconomy: Drug Trafficking – The Other Pest of the Venezuelan Revolution

Mother of slain beauty queen seeks asylum in the US
María Eugenia Tovar, mother of beauty queen Génesis Carmona, killed during an anti-government protest in February, would not explain the reasons for her decision

US Congress passes sanctions against Venezuelan human rights abusers

The week’s posts:
White privilege, indeed

Mexico: Gulf Cartel run from Texas

Venezuela: Default by September 2015?

Peru: Greenpeace vandalism

Colombia: FARC using al-Qaeda for European drug trade

Uruguay: Gitmo alumni go free

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
U.S. releases 6 al-Qaeda detainees to Uruguay

Time to put Greenpeace vandals out of business