Archive for the ‘Honduras’ Category

The lions’ Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, November 18th, 2013

LatinAmerAn American crew rescued twenty five African Lions from Bolivia and now there’s a documentary about it, Lion Ark; this Carnival is dedicated to them.

ARGENTINA
Argentina’s Cristina Fernandez Kirchner to return to work next week
President has been on leave for six weeks after surgery following a head injury

Bieber’s concert gear impounded in Argentina

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):

BRAZIL
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).

CHILE
The calm in Chile

COLOMBIA
Colombia and the FARC
Not out of the woods yet
Just as an agreement is reached, news of an assassination plot highlights the risks to the peace negotiations

CUBA
Chasing the Ghost of Castro’s Oil

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
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.

ECUADOR
Oil in Ecuador
The last word, with more to follow

HONDURAS
Criminal Violence and Displacement: Notes from Honduras

Will Honduras Become a Failed State?

Corte Suprema hondureña acusa a Lula da Silva de intromisión

JAMAICA
Jamaica failed drug tests ‘tip of iceberg’
Jamaica’s most senior drug tester says the country’s recent rash of failed tests might be the “tip of an iceberg”.

LATIN AMERICA
Shampoo, rinse, repeat: Time Warp Monday

MEXICO
Forcibly Displaced Persons now a Formidable Concern in Mexico

Farmers against Templars:

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.

NICARAGUA
Power grab in Nicaragua
The comandante’s commandments
The Sandinistas propose re-election without end for Daniel Ortega

PANAMA
Update on the Chong Chon Gang: Panama extends North Koreans visas to get ship, crew

Mexican Trafficker With Ties To Sinaloa Cartel Extradited To U.S. From Panama

Biden to visit Panama for trade talks, disposal of chemical weapons

PERU
AP PHOTOS: A tough life on Lima’s rough edges

PUERTO RICO
How Wall Street Has Profited From Puerto Rico’s Misery

VENEZUELA
Who is Tareck el Aissami?

The criminalization of dissidence and opposition: CHÁVEZ’S SUCCESSOR SEES A TRILOGY OF EVIL

Venezuela jails 100 ‘bourgeois’ businessmen in crackdown

Venezuela’s President Maduro moves nearer to decree powers

The week’s posts and podcast
Venezuela: The start of the really bad news

Colombia: FARC plot to murder Uribe

Venezuela: Jim Wyss recounts his 48 hours in Venezuelan custody

Brazil: “Mensalão”s must serve their sentences

Ecuador: Court halves Chevron judgement

En español: Terapia intensiva y el avión quemado

The UN Human Rights Council beclowns itself, again.

Venezuela: Price controls, profit caps UPDATED

At Da Tech Guy: Attention Christmas shoppers! Che on aisle nine!

Podcast:
US-Latin America stories of the week


The day-before-election-day Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, November 4th, 2013

LatinAmerTomorrow is election day; if you live in Princeton, NJ, please vote for me.

ARGENTINA
Argentina opposition gains ground in vote
President Kirchner’s party loses seats in four largest districts with 72 percent of votes counted in mid-term elections.

Argentina’s mid-term election
Cristina’s come-uppance
President Fernández should build bridges to her opponents—or risk leaving office early

Argentina’s wealth gap
Barbarians at the gate
The capital’s exclusive closed neighbourhoods face a heavy new tax
Related: Visits to MIAMI Properties Soar in September, Venezuela Tops Lists of Countries Searching Miami Properties

Following Venezuela were Canada, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Lithuania, France, Italy, Spain and the Philippines, eight of which also made the top ten list last year.

BRAZIL
The second beheading this year: Former Brazilian footballer’s head left on his doorstep

Beheadings raise concerns of violence in Brazil

CHILE
Tortured Chilean wins compensation
An 80-year-old exile wins compensation from the Chilean state over torture he suffered 40 years ago under General Pinochet, in a landmark legal battle.

Is This The End Of The Chilean Economic Miracle?

COLOMBIA
How are those negotiations with the FARC going? Rebels in Colombia Hit Energy Sector Hard in ‘Black October’
Colombia’s energy sector, the main driver of its economy, is limping away from “Black October,” a term coined by Marxist rebels who set forth on a month-long blitzkrieg, attacking oil pipelines, coal trains, electricity plants and transmission towers.

Colombian rebel group FARC free US hostage
Kevin Scott Sutay, the former US soldier who wandered in to territory of Colombian rebels, turned over to Cuban and Norwegian officials four months after being taken hostage

Probably the only time I’ll post on Mr. Bieber: Justin Bieber shows Colombia´s police force is for rich and famous?

No zombies allowed: Colombian University Bars Halloween Celebrations (video in Spanish)

COSTA RICA
Condé Nast Traveler ranks 9 Costa Rican resorts in top 15 in all of Central and South America

Four Rising Global Art Collectors Discuss Their Collections
Top buyers from Italy, Thailand, France and Costa Rica are part of a new emerging class of collectors

CUBA
Cuba shuts down private cinemas
Cuban authorities order the immediate closure of privately-run cinemas and video-game salons, saying they were never authorised.

Over 900 Political Arrests in October

ECUADOR
Chevron Vindicated As Evidence Points To ‘Green Fraud’ By Environmentalists

Chevron v. Donziger: The Lawyer Who Walked Away

The Cubanization of Ecuador

GUATEMALA
Day of the dead celebrated with giant kites in Guatemala – video

HONDURAS
Honduras General Denies Involvement In Brutal Death Squads

JAMAICA
Police: Operation Resilience seizes record number of illegal firearms

MEXICO
Mexico’s Theology of Oil

PERU
How Gold Is Destroying Peru’s Rainforests

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico Economy Forecast to Shrink 0.8% in Fiscal 2014

URUGUAY
Biden Meets with President Mujica of Uruguay, but, did the get the munchies?

VENEZUELA
U.S.-Owned Oil Rigs Seized By Venezuelan Government

Maduro still trying to turn Chavez into Christ

Venezuela Unveils Orwellian Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness
Venezuela’s president, Nicolas Maduro, just unveiled the country’s euphemistically-named Deputy Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness—to mockery on Latin America’s blogosphere.

What will Mercosur do about Venezuela’s delayed payments?

The week’s posts:
Brazil: Why bug Dilma?

Brazil: The highflying tastemaker

Mexico: Enrique Krauze on oil reform

Mexico: Tax my chocolate!

Venezuela: The marauding motorcyclists

Argentina: The end for Clarín

Colombia: “Peace is not in Havana”

Mexico: The cartel-induced blackout

The Uruguayan doobie Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, October 28th, 2013

LatinAmerTop news of the week: Even when president Jose Mujica insists it won’t all be party-time, Uruguay is now the first country to legalize the production and mass distribution of marijuana.

ARGENTINA
Argentina Captures One of its Leading Homegrown Narcos

Argentina appeals New York Judge Griesa’s order regarding banks’ disclosures
The Argentine government yesterday appealed an order by US Judge Thomas Griesa who asked some private banks to turn over information about Argentina’s assets abroad. The case had been started by hedge fund Elliott Management Corp’s NML Capital Ltd which is demanding in court full 100% payment of Argentine sovereign bonds face value.

Argentina Rivals Square Off
The important question isn’t whether the ruling Peronist movement will win, but which of its dueling factions will gain the upper hand in the run-up to presidential elections in 2015.

Flashback: Hillary Clinton questions Cristina Kirchner’s mental health
Secret cable sent to US embassy in Argentina asks diplomats to find out how president handles stress

BOLIVIA
Bolivian Police Arrest 15 for Anti-Drug Agents’ Murders

BRAZIL
Brazil’s main city again rocked by riots and vandalism over transport facilities and costs

CHILE
Chile soldiers’ widows want Communist leader jailed
The widows of three Chilean soldiers have launched legal action against the country’s Communist Party leader.

COLOMBIA
Rights Activist Slain in Colombia

CUBA
Cuba’s currency
Double trouble

The Cuban Missile Crisis: Kennedy’s “Victory”?

Imprisoned couple Sonia Garro and Ramón Muñoz to stand ‘trial’ Nov. 1

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominicans of Haitian Descent Cast Into Legal Limbo by Court

ECUADOR
Ecuador’s Worn-Out War on Chevron

Racketeering aside, the case also looks rather weak on its own merits. For starters, Texaco operated as a minority partner under state-owned Petroecuador when the pollution occurred, so it is difficult to argue the damage is all its doing. Through agreements in 1995 and 1998, the Ecuadorian government also freed the company of further liability following a $40 million cleanup. An arbitration panel in The Hague cited the government’s sign-off when it ruled last month that Ecuador’s lawsuit should have never proceeded in the first place.

Oil, Ecuador and The Economist
A volcano erupts
Rafael Correa lambasts us and “the empire of capital”

Ecuador Judge Says He Inflated Bribery Claims to Chevron

Ecuador vs Chevron:
Donziger: from Hans Solo to Darth Vader

HAITI
Arrest of Haiti government critic triggers protests

HONDURAS
POLL NUMBERS!!! Economic problems in Honduras

JAMAICA
‘Cool Runnings’ 2? Jamaican bobsled team aims for Sochi Olympics

MEXICO
How Mexico’s EPR Insurgents Have Changed Course
Government sources have linked one of Mexico’s most prominent guerrilla organizations to a series of recent social protests

Paco Almaraz is having Obama burnout (in Spanish),

PANAMA
Panama Says It Will Release Most From Ship to North Korea

PARAGUAY
Paraguay leader’s son arrested [in Miami] after Bal Harbour party guest is punched

PUERTO RICO
Are There Puerto Rico Bonds in Your Muni Fund?
You may own Puerto Rico’s troubled bonds, popular for their high yields and special tax benefits, without even knowing it.

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
Gangs Are the New Law in Urban Trinidad & Tobago

VENEZUELA
Chavista Freddy Bernal calls for investigation of Derwick Associates

The week’s posts and podcast:
Bolivia: What the “Bolivarian revolution” means, in practice

Venezuela: The ministry of Supreme Happiness

Is Brazil ready for the World Cup?

Remembering the invasion of Grenada

Mexico: Clown union disavows killing

Ecuador: Chevron racketeering trial roundup – the corrupt judge

Uruguay: The dollar doobie

Mexico: Don’t write off the Zetas

Ecuador: Who’s Financing the Pollution-Liability Suit Against Chevron?

Nicaragua: What it was like to be on the receiving end of the sandinistas

Mexico: Is Peña Nieto backtracking?

Celia Google day

Podcast:
Venezuela & US-Latin America stories of the week

Special thanks to the Rotary Club of Princeton:

Honduras: Zelaya’s baaaack

Friday, October 18th, 2013

The return of Manuel Zelaya to a wary Honduras
Deposed president seeks return through wife’s ‘candidacy’
(emphasis added)

When the world last heard from Honduras in 2009, the country had sparked a regional crisis after deposing its president, Manuel Zelaya, for his repeated illegal attempts to rewrite the Honduran Constitution as his amigo, the now-deceased autocrat Hugo Chavez, had done in Venezuela. Despite the fact that the Law Library of the U.S. Congress later found the process to be constitutional, theObama administration joined Chavez and other radical regimes in branding Mr. Zelaya’s removal a “military coup” and unleashed punitive sanctions on one of the region’s poorest countries.

Honduras survived that assault, but not before enduring such affronts to its sovereignty as Mr. Zelaya buzzing the airport in Tegucigalpa on a plane with Organization of American States Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza after being denied landing rights, and then Mr. Zelaya sneaking back into the country and finding refuge in the Brazilian Embassy, where he lined his room with tinfoil because he said Israeli agents were beaming microwaves at him.

Incredibly, Mr. Zelaya is poised to return to power in Honduras next month in the person of his wife, Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, a candidate in presidential elections to be held Nov. 24. Ms. Castro, who has never held elected office, currently leads the polls in a three-way race, although with just under 30 percent support.

The drug lords are going to like it.

The Brazil downgrade Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, October 7th, 2013

LatinAmerThe big news this week: After a few years on the upswing, Latin America’s largest country and biggest economy has been downgraded from positive, to stable.

ARGENTINA
Argentina’s president Cristina Fernandez suffers brain haematoma
Fernandez in hospital and has been told by doctors to take a month off, forcing her to quit congressional election campaign

Argentina’s Fernández told to rest for a month after head injury

Railways in Buenos Aires
Not driving but sleeping
The government decides it is time to shake things up

Schools in Argentina
To the barricades

Argentina seeks jail for de la Rua
Prosecutors in Argentina request a six-year prison term for former President Fernando de la Rua over a bribery scandal
.

Mexico’s Grupo Elektra to Exit Argentina
Mexican retail and banking company Grupo Elektra said it is leaving Argentina after six years in the country because of government restrictions on business and high inflation.

Andres Oppenheimer: Miami officials should thank Argentine president
Miami officials should erect a statue to Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Thanks to her disastrous economic policies, Argentines are flocking to invest here and Argentine developers are building some of the city’s most spectacular real estate projects.

BOLIVIA
Calling Jesse Pinkman: More than $1 million tossed from a plane in Bolivia

BRAZIL:
Brazil property rights: Tribes and farmers battle to the death
Brazil’s agricultural boom, led by exports to China, has made the problem worse, indigenous groups say

Smart Diplomacy: Brazilian President complains to Obama about “a grave violation of human rights” and “especially of disrespect to national sovereignty”

CARIBBEAN
Caribbean states seek slavery reparations from Europe, but apparently not from Spain, which is broke (h/t Gates of Vienna)

CHILE
“Missing”: Ex-US Navy Officer Wanted for Murder Dies in Chile

COLOMBIA
Jesse Jackson Should Stay Out of Colombia

Colombia’s Risky Peace Gambit

CUBA
”Cheap Flesh Of The Revolution” – Cuban Women Recount A Grim Reality

678 cases & counting: Cholera (and Castro’s Cover-Up) on the Rise

Cuban human rights groups report big spikes in political repression in September

ECUADOR
Ecuador’s Correa: Obama’s exceptionalism talk reminiscent of Nazi rhetoric before WWII

GUATEMALA
Mexico arrests Guatemala ‘drug lord’
Police in Mexico arrest one of Guatemala’s most wanted men – a drug lord suspected of masterminding the killing of eight policemen in June

HAITI
Haiti’s garment industry: a lost cause, or ready to change?
Factory co-founded by Matt Damon and promising minimum wage, hopes to bring responsible production of high-end apparel to the country

HONDURAS
POLL NUMBERS: Honduras moving to a two way race

LATIN AMERICA
Latin American cinema
Coming of age

Trade overrides ideology: Latin America’s Anti-Americanism Is All Talk

Anti-American rhetoric in ALBA countries has not prevented them from listing the US among their main trade partners. As of 2012, the US was the main import source for Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Honduras. Particularly striking is that 31.2 percent of Venezuela’s imports and 28 percent of Ecuador’s come from the United States. Adding to this list, the US is Bolivia’s fourth largest source of imports, producing up to 10 percent of its imports, and Argentina‘s second source after Brazil.

The United States receives the largest percentage of Latin American exports from Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Honduras. In the case of Bolivia, it drops to second place after Brazil. Such significant flows of merchandise and capital will not stop overnight, no matter how many countries forced the Bolivian presidential plane to land for a few hours.

MEXICO
Mexico police clash with protesters
Riot police clash with protesters in Mexico City during a demonstration commemorating the 45th anniversary of the Tlatelolco massacre.

Armed Housewives In The Hills Of Southern Mexico Fight Back Against Organized Crime
Women in the Mexican town of Xaltianguis, an hour away from Acapulco, have joined the men in patrolling their streets and have managed to significantly reduce a local crime wave.

At the beginning of the year, town leaders reached out to the Union of Peoples and Organizations of Guerrero State (UPOEG), an established statewide network of community police. Guerrero, one of Mexico’s poorest states, has a long-time tradition of sending waves of immigrants north to the U.S. in search of work. The state also has long history of guerrilla activity.

Historically, towns in Guerrero have had rather tenuous ties to the federal government. Many have taken advantage of provisions in Mexico’s constitution that grant indigenous groups the right to enforce their own “customs and practices,” and maintain their own semi-autonomous police and justice systems.

PANAMA
Maritime execs debate Panama Canal expansion at Miami conference

PERU
Pal of Peru cocaine mules Melissa Reid and Michaella McCollum arrested in major drugs bust on party island Ibiza
CHELSEA Greaves, 20, her dad and uncle were among 15 people held in dawn raids last weekend. Cops seized more than 2000 meth pills as well as cocaine and ecstasy.

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico Record Yields Luring Buyers of Distress: Muni Credit

URUGUAY
Uruguay: the world’s laboratory for marijuana legalisation
Uruguay’s president, José Mujica, wants to make pot legal. The idea is getting a lot of praise abroad, but criticism at home

Mujica, an ex guerrilla fighter, and Hungarian-American magnate George Soros, believe that legalizing the drug would be a strike against drug trafficking, a better way to control drug consumption and an opportunity to help those who suffer any drug disorder or addiction.

While it makes them money, too.

VENEZUELA:
It’s Time To Teach Venezuela A Lesson

The Venezuelan State’s Occupy “Movement”: The Victory of Socialism!

The week’s posts and podcast:
Nicaragua: Bill de Blasio ignores the truth.

Nicaragua canal: Plan, nothing more

Troubled currencies: Argentina & Venezuela

Brazil: Unions to challenge use of Cuban doctors

Venezuela: Swarm loots a truck after an accident

Corruption in Venezuela’s Cuban medical missions

Brazil: Moody’s lowers outlook

Venezuela: A voice from the grave? UPDATED

Argentina: SCOTUS didn’t take the case . . . yet

Jessie Jackson heads to Colombia anyway

Podcast:
Colombia and other US-Latin America stories

The Renault 4 Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, September 16th, 2013

LatinAmerToday’s Carnival is dedicated to the Argentina Renault 4 Motor Club, which granted Pope Francis a lifetime membership, for his fondness for the “roadrunners”, as the fans call their little cars.

Over in Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro fell off his bike. The clueless anchorwoman went on reading the scripted propaganda as if nothing had happened. She probably didn’t even have a livefeed for the event, demonstrating it’s all about the narrative,

For more serious news,

BELIZE
See the Cathedral of Human Sacrifices in the Cave of the Crystal Maiden

BRAZIL
Reporter Glenn Greenwald to testify at Brazil spy probe
A parliamentary commission in Brazil investigating spying allegations says the journalist Glenn Greenwald will be invited to testify next week.

CHILE
David and Daniel (h/t American Digest)

Forty years after the coup and the IACHR

COLOMBIA
Colombia Implements Hotel Guest Immigration Tracking Program

Woman arrested with ‘cocaine bump’
A Canadian national is arrested in Bogota trying to board a flight to Toronto with a phony pregnant belly filled with cocaine, Colombian police say.

The US Embassy tweeted on its campaign to save endangered species,

CUBA
Makes you wonder what kinds of strings Vlad attached to his $800 million offer: Concrete Crypt for Communist Dreams: Cuba’s Unfinished Nuclear Power Plant

Lacking nuclear fuel and without the primary components installed, the plant sat in limbo until December 2000, when Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a visit to Cuba. Putin offered Fidel Castro a belated $800 million to finish the first reactor. Despite Cuba’s reliance on imported oil for power, Castro declined. Project status: officially abandoned.

Amnesty International calls on Castro Kingdom to free Ivan Fernandez Depestre

ECUADOR
Chocolates From Ecuador
Until recently, Ecuadorean cacao growers had been cultivating low-grade cacao beans and selling them to foreign chocolate makers to process. The past few years have seen the emergence of local producers. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the process.

EL SALVADOR
A U.S. Reward for Misrule in El Salvador The FMLN has made the country poorer and less free. Yet $227 million in American aid is coming.

GUATEMALA
Guatemalan bar attack leaves 11 people dead

HONDURAS
Honduras, A Bottomless Pit

MEXICO
Mexico captures third man linked to killing of U.S. border agent

MEXICAN SMUGGLER’S WILD RIDE: DRAGGED PASSENGER, RAMMED BORDER PATROL, CRASHED IN DITCH

NICARAGUA
Territorial disputes
A sea of troubles

NOTHING brings together domestic foes like an external enemy. So when President Juan Manuel Santos announced that Colombia would not heed a ruling last November by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague that granted 70,000 sq km (27,000 square miles) of the Caribbean Sea that Colombians have considered their own since 1928 to Nicaragua, even his harshest critics applauded.

PERU
Drug labs on Brazil-Peru border targeted in joint operation

PUERTO RICO
Analysis: Puerto Rico’s population drops as economy wobbles

The 4.9 million Puerto Ricans living in the continental United States as of 2011 outnumbered those on the island by more than 1 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

VENEZUELA
“New Conferry” Chronicles (Corrected)

Venezuela: From crazy to insane

The week’s posts and podcast:
Argentina: Pope Francis, Renault 4 Club’s lifetime member

En español: El primer podcast de HACER

New book: Latin America in the Post-Chávez Era: The Security Threat to the United States

Colombia: Alvaro Uribe at the House Committee on Foreign Affairs

Argentina: SCOTUS to hear defaulted bonds case

Mexico: #EstamosHartosCNTE Fed up with the teachers’ union

Mexico: Bloomberg wants “sugary drinks” taxed

Venezuela: Can Chavismo last long?

Mexico: How the teachers’ union became so unpopular

Podcast:
Syria and Latin America reaction


The Labor Day Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

LatinAmerARGENTINA
Not Crying for Argentina but Fearful of a Ruling
The U. S. and the International Monetary Fund are concerned about a decision that would force Argentina to pay all its creditors equally and hold processing banks responsible if the country did not.

COLOMBIA
Colombia Deploys Military After Protest
President Juan Manuel Santos ordered 50,000 troops into Bogotá after violent protests in support of striking farmers left two dead.

CUBA
Cuban General Dead, North Korean General Purged — Coincidence?

Full Disclosure: Contents of North Korean Smuggling Ship Revealed

Dissidents: Cuban political prisoner Ivan Fernandez is near death because of hunger strike

HONDURAS
POLL NUMBERS!!! Honduras election campaign waiting for movement

LATIN AMERICA
Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile Agree to Remove All Trade Tariffs

MEXICO
Covert U.S. operation sends manned aircraft to help Mexican police

Editorial: Deafening silence from Mexico journalists (H/T Gates of Vienna)

NICARAGUA
Well, I told you so: Chinese executive who wants to build Nicaraguan trans-ocean canal has spotty global record

PERU
South American countries gripped by snow

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico Poised for Worst Year Since ’00 on ‘Spooked’ Buyers

Troubling Winds
Puerto Rico’s heavy debt load and weak economy make its bonds a risky bet — and your municipal-bond fund investments may be more vulnerable than you think. Barron’s looks at the territory’s financial troubles — and which funds might be most exposed.
By subscription only: Puerto Rico Responds to Barron’s Story

SURINAME
UNASUR Summit in Suriname Welcomes Back Paraguay

VENEZUELA
Venezuelan high-rank officials in US drug-trafficking watch list
Most of the sanctions from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) were imposed on Venezuelan military men and government officials

Who protects reputation for the Bolibourgeoisie?

We Interrupt Maduro’s Enabling Bill In Order To Defend Syria

The week’s posts and podcast:
Nicaragua’s canal: “Dubious Plans and Abundant Unknowns”

Bahamas: Cuban arrivals from Bahamas allege beatings and sexual abuses

En español: Bayly entrevista al Padre Conrado

Cuba: A cargo container full of [counterfit?] euros and dollars

Panama: Cuban weapons “in mint condition”

En español: Como en Venezuela no hay panes, Maduro va a tener que multiplicar penes ACTUALIZADO

Puerto Rico: Throw the lawyer in the clink

Colombia: Farmers and students protest

The 2013 Tango Salon World Champions: Tuesday night tango: Maximiliano Cristiani and Jesica Arfenoni

Argentina: Cristina gives US bondholders a raspberry

Brazil: Dilma fires foreign minister

Venezuela: No bread, but they’ll build a circus

Podcast:
US-Latin America stories of the week


The free homemade Viagra Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, August 12th, 2013

LatinAmerThe Argentinian government produced its first drug: a generic version of Viagra. Good thing no one in Argentina needs aspirin.

ARGENTINA
Argentina: revés para el neopopulismo

Indigenous peoples in Argentina: “We are strangers in our own country”

BOLIVIA
A report on the Mennonite colony of Manitoba, Bolivia: THE GHOST RAPES OF BOLIVIA
THE PERPETRATORS WERE CAUGHT, BUT THE CRIMES CONTINUE

BRAZIL:
Glenn Greenwald offered Brazilian protection from U.S.
Greenwald tells Salon he intends to visit the U.S. soon — but says the risk of prosecution against him is real

CHILE
Endesa Chile Appeals Ruling Against Thermoelectric Project

COLOMBIA:
Talking to Colombian Guerrillas Doesn’t Make You Popular

Colombia coca area down by 25% – UN
The area of land planted with coca – the raw ingredient for cocaine – in Colombia has fallen by 25%, a UN report has said.

3 years with Colombia`s President Juan Manuel Santos

CUBA
Missile Crisis Wasn’t End of Cuba’s Missiles
The U.S. government has had evidence of missiles in Cuba—particularly North Korean—for at least two decades.

ECUADOR
Ecuadorean soldier killed on border
An army officer from Ecuador and five Colombian rebels have died in clashes near Colombian border, local media reports say.

GUATEMALA
Mayan frieze discovered in Guatemala
Archaeologists discover a richly decorated Mayan frieze which had been buried in an ancient pyramid in northern Guatemala.

HONDURAS
Attorney Who Revealed Death Threats Murdered in Honduras

LATIN AMERICA
Opinión: 101 años de Milton Friedman y su legado para la libertad del mundo de hoy

MEXICO
Kingpin Behind Killing of DEA Agent Released from Mexican Prison
Rafael Caro Quintero left the penitentiary in the western state of Jalisco several hours before the court decision was made public, the source said

PANAMA
U.N. probes Cuban arms shipment bound for N. Korea

36 Hours in Panama City, Panama

PARAGUAY
Paraguay Rebuffs Mercosur’s Rapprochement

PUERTO RICO:
Puerto Rico Utility Pays a Premium to Borrow
Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority Sold $673.1 Million in Bonds

VENEZUELA:
Corruption in Venezuela
The billion-dollar fraud
Evidence of huge rip-offs at the heart of the “Bolivarian revolution” has unleashed political infighting
, Unsurprisingly,

Claims of corruption involve some of the most senior figures in Mr Chávez’s “Bolivarian revolution” (named for Simón Bolívar, Venezuela’s independence hero). In an audio tape leaked in May, Mario Silva, a presenter on state television and (it now appears) a Cuban agent, enumerated to his handler the sources of illicit finance he said were available to Diosdado Cabello, speaker of parliament and leader of the ruling socialist party, who is a potential rival to Mr Maduro. They included the tax authority, headed by Mr Cabello’s brother, and Cadivi. Mr Cabello dismissed the audio tape as a fake, the public prosecutor has yet to investigate and Mr Silva lost his job.

Instead, Mr Cabello has gone after the opposition.

Apotheosis of Chavez proclaimed by Maduro: Christ became incarnate in Hugo

A heavy fine for El Nacional to attack freedom of expression

The week’s posts and podcast:
Argentina: Free (homemade) Viagra

Venezuela: More repression

Venezuela: Supreme court dismisses the Capriles election appeal

Cuba: 100 political arrests in 5 days

Argentina: Back to the UN

Mexico: Pemex to allow foreign investment?

Cuba: The Russia, Iran, & North Korea trifecta

Colombia: The FARC negotiations

Podcast:
The latest from Venezuela with Comandante Cazorla

The everybody-wants-a-canal Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, August 5th, 2013

LatinAmerPanama has shown that having a Canal is cool, so now everybody wants one. This Carnival is dedicated to their pipe dreams.

ARGENTINA
The ANSES-PDVSA link 

As the Economist reported in February, ANSES is already under fire in Argentina for failing to index pension funds to inflation, meaning that many of Argentina’s seniors are receiving far less money than they put in the system. More generally, CFK has turned the agency into a large slush fund for social programs that go to political supporters. Argentina’s opposition hopes to make an issue over why ANSES can find over a billion and a half dollars to pay Venezuelan debt when Argentina’s seniors can barely get by on their pensions and the average Argentine citizen must fight for every peso-to-dollar conversion they need to do international business.

Shocking video of train drivers sleeping and reading a book
CCTV is released of train drivers in Buenos Aires, sleeping, reading a book and checking their emails while behind the controls.

BRAZIL
Religion in Brazil
Earthly concerns
The promise and peril of a papal visit

Brazil jail massacre police guilty
Twenty-five Brazilian police are given life sentences for their part in the 1992 Carandiru jail massacre in Sao Paulo that left 111 prisoners dead.

Samples of Sales Taxes on Products in Brazil

CHILE
‘I want to dig a deep hole and bury myself again’: Chilean miners stunned by decision not to prosecute over accident
The decision that no one will face charges over the mining accident in Chile that left 33 men underground for 69 days has left many speechless

UN official tells Chile to stop using anti-terrorism law against Mapuche in land dispute
A United Nations investigator has urged Chile’s government to stop using an anti-terrorism law against Mapuche Indians who are fighting to recover their ancestral land.

COLOMBIA
Army blame leftist guerrillas as Colombia’s largest oil pipeline is attacked
Colombia’s largest oil pipeline was hit by an explosion causing a significant oil spill in an attack blamed on leftist guerrillas, according to the army.

COSTA RICA
Costa Rica tops list for women’s rights in the Americas, but report warns of ‘troubles’ ahead
Costa Rica leads its Latin American neighbors in women’s and civil rights but trails in government responsiveness and civil society participation.

CUBA
Cubans killed activist: Spanish politician
Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya did not die in a car crash last year but was instead “assassinated” by Cuban secret services, a Spanish politician who was at the wheel of the car said in an interview published on Monday.
(h/t Babalu)

The Cuban Sugar Missile Crisis: ‘Obsolete’ live munitions and grenade launchers found on N. Korean ship

HONDURAS
Prisons in Honduras are ‘in control of inmates’

JAMAICA
As Cost of Importing Food Soars, Jamaica Turns to the Earth

MEXICO
Mexico blast blamed on explosive mix
An official inquest says an explosion that killed 37 people in January at Mexican state oil firm Pemex was caused by a mix of methane gas and solvent vapours.

PANAMA
Live ammunition found on North Korean ship held in Panama
Sniffer dogs found ammunition for grenade launchers and other munitions aboard the Chong Chon Gang

PERU
Humala humbled
A lonelier president faces protests

British climber feared dead after scaling 19,000ft mountain in Peru alone
A British climber is feared dead after failing to return from a solo ascent of a 19,000ft mountain in Peru.

PUERTO RICO
84 Haitians abandoned off Puerto Rico

People smugglers have abandoned 84 men and women from Haiti on a deserted island off the west coast of Puerto Rico.

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
Politics in Trinidad and Tobago
Own-goal

URUGUAY
Drug legalisation in Uruguay
The experiment
Another blow against prohibition

VENEZUELA
Groll: Meet the NSA’s new data centers: Russia, China and Venezuela

Otto Reich sues Derwick Associates

Bronze medal in prison overcrowding

PDVSA Creates Privatization-Like Program To Increase Oil Production

Chavez’s heirs in full psychotic dissociation

The week’s posts:
Good news: Colombia eradicates “river blindness”

Colombia: WSJ reviews 2 novels

Venezuela imports US$3 billion worth of Cuban surveillance equipment

Among the Snowden headlines,

Argentina: Wall-to-wall Papal photo up

Panama: More Cuban weapons in the N. Korean freighter

High intensity drug trafficking areas: Caribbean security threats

Brazil: Santos Basin/Libra field among top 6 key oil & gas discoveries of 2013

Central America: Everybody wants a canal


Central America: Everybody wants a canal

Monday, July 29th, 2013

and I have a bridge to sell you,

Two, Three, Many Canals in Central America (emphasis added):

Besides, the Panama Canal is already undergoing an expansion of its capacity to accommodate the latest class of super tankers through the isthmus. But everywhere you go in Central America today there is talk of new canals and of China’s willingness to pay for them.

Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Honduras, too. And there’s even a dry canal, “high-speed rail system powered by a hydro-generated plant in the Gulf of Fonseca.”

The whole thing sounds very pie-in-the-sky to me. As I mentioned last month, the Nicaragua Canal is not underwritten by the Chinese government, but instead by some guy with experience only in the telecommunications industry who’s not even started the feasibility studies – but has a track record of floating stocks, and who was awarded a $300 million telecommunications contract in Nicaragua by Daniel Ortega.

The Chinese government apparently has nothing to do with it. More to the point, why would the Chinese government involve itself with such high-cost, high-risk projects when the Panama Canal expansion is going well?

Could it be that the next Chinese stock market bubble will feature Central American canal stocks?

Somewhere in a jail cell, Bernie Madoff is asking himself, “why didn’t I think of that?”