Archive for the ‘Latin America’ Category
Yes, Mexican students studying to be teachers are holding hostages in protest against president Peña Nieto’s proposed changes. Mary O”Grady reports on Mexico, Where Teachers Take Hostages
President Enrique Peña Nieto needs to show the country that he will defend the rule of law.
Mexican students studying to be teachers released a hostage on Wednesday—in the municipality of Nahuatzen—due to concerns about his health. But they continue to hold five others. The students are supported by the Michoacán State Teachers Organization, which warned that the remaining captives, who are state policemen, would be freed only when a demand for 1,200 new teaching jobs is met.
Argentina Peso Trades on Black Market Above 10 to USD
Argentina’s currency traded above 10 pesos to the U.S. dollar for the first time on the black market, with Argentines desperate to acquire greenbacks for travel and savings paying a premium of 93% over the official exchange rate.
así estaba el volcán copahue a las 3.30 de la madrugada twitter.com/claucaviahue/s…
— claudiacarrasco (@claucaviahue) May 9, 2013
Thermo Sold Plant Overrun by Drug Cartel, Suit Alleges
Lab-equipment maker Thermo Fisher allegedly hid information that a Mexican facility it sold as part of a broader deal last year was overrun by a drug cartel, according to claims in a lawsuit filed by Opengate Capital.
Proof Of Life
Panama orders power rationing as drought continues
The Panamanian government has ordered schools to close and government offices to reduce their opening hours as the country suffers from a power shortage.
The Father and Son Business Meeting: Plutocrats and their progeny
A secretive fathers-and-sons knees-up for billionaires
The week’s posts and podcast:
Guatemala’s historic decision
Former dictator José Efraín Ríos Montt is now the first person ever to be convicted of genocide in a court of his own country for the murders of Ixl Mayans:
A historic verdict in Guatemala
Amid cheers from the gallery and chaos in the courtroom, the judge, Jazmín Barrios, part of a three-person tribunal, immediately ordered General Ríos Montt to be taken to jail. Until then, he had been under house arrest. His conviction came a day after he broke a silence that he had maintained throughout weeks of testimony. He had hotly declared his innocence, showing particular antipathy to the charge of genocide, saying he had never authorised attacks on any ethnic group,
However, in reaching her verdict, the judge pointed to evidence of a pattern of army massacres that she said appeared to follow plans that were ordered from the top. In proving genocide, she said there was evidence that 5.5% of the Ixil ethnic group had been wiped out by the army, even though she said they were civilian farmers. And she said General Ríos Montt, knew what was going on in the villages where the massacres and bombardments were taking place, and didn’t order a halt to them. However, she acquitted his co-defendant, the general’s former intelligence chief, José Rodríguez Sánchez.
In her remarks the judge dwelt on the brutality that led to the killing of 1,771 Ixils, relayed by almost 100 witnesses during the trial that started on March 19th. She spoke of babies being killed in the womb, of gang rapes by soldiers, and of mass graves showing evidence of violent death. She praised the Ixil witnesses for speaking out about their suffering, noting that the psychological scars still persisted, even among generations who were not alive when the atrocities were committed.
A civil war ravaged Guatemala for 36 years, from 1960 to 1996. PBS Newshour has a timeline of events. Violence and intimidation continue to be a major problem in political and civilian life.
Earlier today I listened to a blogger call on tomorrow’s Center for Security Policy’s conference, Chavismo without Chavez
Frank Gaffney, Michael Braun, Former Assistant Administrator and Chief of Operations, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and Jon Perdue, Director of Latin American Programs at the Fund for American Studies, talked about tomorrow’s topics, particularly the collective threat Venezuela, Hezbollah, the FARC and Iran present to the Western Hemisphere and the US homeland.
I had the opportunity to ask Jon Perdue is it would be correct to assume that Timothy Tracy‘s detention in Venezuela (like Alan Gross‘ in Cuba) on espionage charges is orchestrated by Cuba. Perdue’s reply was yes, and both men are now political pawns of Cuba, which not only controls all of Venezuela’s intelligence services, but also the issuing of passports and ingress and egress into Venezuela.
My other question was to Michael Braun, are the direct flights from Iran to Venezuela still continuing after Hugo Chavez’s death? He replied yes.
After the CSP presentation, the call had Col. Alan West, who talked about tomorrow’s 9:30 AM-11:30 AM press conference by three families of Navy SEAL Team VI special forces servicemen,
The areas of inquiry at the press conference will include but not be limited to:
1. How President Obama and Vice President Biden, having disclosed on May 4, 2011, that Navy Seal Team Six carried out the successful raid on Bin Laden’s compound resulting in the master terrorist’s death, put a retaliatory target on the backs of the fallen heroes.
2. How and why high-level military officials sent these Navy SEAL Team VI heroes into battle without special operations aviation and proper air support.
3. How and why the military brass carries out too many ill-prepared missions to boost their standing with top-level military brass and the Commander-in-Chief in order that they can be promoted.
4. How the military restricts special operations servicemen and others from engaging in timely return fire when fired upon by the Taliban and other terrorist groups and interests, thus jeopardizing the servicemen’s lives.
5. How and why the denial of requested pre-assault fire may have contributed to the shoot down of the Navy SEAL Team VI helicopter and the death of these special operations servicemen.
6. How Afghani forces accompanying the Navy SEAL Team VI servicemen on the helicopter were not properly vetted and how they possibly disclosed classified information to the Taliban about the mission, resulting in the shoot down of the helicopter.
7. How military brass, while prohibiting any mention of a Judeo-Christian God, invited a Muslim cleric to the funeral for the fallen Navy SEAL Team VI heroes who disparaged in Arabic the memory of these servicemen by damning them as infidels to Allah. A video of the Muslim cleric’s “prayer” will be shown with a certified translation.
The press conference will be livestreamed. I’ll post a link on it tomorrow.
The remaining blogger call discussed True The Vote’s settlement agreement
“True the Vote can now begin reconstruction and review of the 18th Congressional District election race between Colonel Allen West and Patrick Murphy,” True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht said. “We must stop this scandalous cycle of ignoring failures in our electoral process when the campaigns and cameras go home. Understanding how failures in administration can effect elections, as we saw in St. Lucie County, will help prevent them from occurring in the future. We cannot allow slipshod standards to become pandemic across our country’s election processes – citizens can and will stand up in defense of election integrity.”
If you can make it to the CSP conference tomorrow, here’s the information.
Talking about Mexico and other US-Latin America issues with Alfredo Corchado of the Dallas Morning News and author of Midnight in Mexico: A Reporter’s Journey Through a Country’s Descent into Darkness, and Michael Prada.
Listen live now, or to the archived podcast at your convenience.
Obama arrived in Costa Rica yesterday from Mexico, where he said the U.S. relationship with Latin America must be focused on fostering economic growth on both sides of the border. He said it was time to set aside stereotypes of the region as a source of illicit drugs and immigrants fleeing to the U.S.
The president’s visit comes as Costa Rica is pressing to join negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade accord that now include the U.S., Mexico and nine other nations.
it remains to be seen as to whether he believes that this fostering of economic growth on both sides of the border should be accomplished through private enterprise or through more government intervention.
Racial slurs, insults, build up to the ambassador’s wife slapping one of the women, and the ambassador, Rodrigo Riofrio Machuca, joining in and kicking the women. The eyewitnesses say that the women fell to the ground and he continued kicking. When the police showed up and refused to arrest him, the women followed him and saw him enter the Ecuadorian embassy.
Video from the security cameras is missing.
Apparently the only people investigating are the journalists. One witness gave them an 8-minute video of the incident.
The Peruvians want their president to expel this ambassador.
As Drudge says, developing . . .
The mother says he called them “ignorant Peruvians” and made a disparaging reference to the country’s large indigenous population.
Ummm… no; the mother in the video asserts that the ambassador made a racial slur against indigenous Peruvians, and then blamed them for the (bad) state of things.
Congressional midterm elections are set for October and the kirchneristas are desperate to win a majority so that they can change the law to allow the president to run for a third term. To reach that goal, the government decided that more cooperation from the courts is in order.
Mrs. Kirchner’s government drafted and Congress has now approved a law that, among other things, does away with existing rules for picking members of the magistrate council, the body that chooses and can impeach federal judges. Those rules ensured that the council would be made up of a politically mixed group of individuals chosen by politicians, judges, lawyers and academics.
In their place, the reform stipulates that the council will be elected by popular vote in the same election that chooses the president—raising the likelihood that the executive will control the judiciary. If 51% of voters want judges who will strip the other 49% of their property, so be it. The reform also limits to six months any injunction against a government policy, conveniently destroying the protection that Clarin now enjoys. There will also be new appellate courts with judges appointed by the council.
US tries new aerial tools in Caribbean drug fight (H/T DP)
The week’s posts and podcast:
Venezuela: Maduro has US citizen arrested
In Silvio Canto’s podcast, talking to Jon Perdue.
Today at 4:30PM EDT Silvio Canto’s guest will be Jon Perdue, author of the must-read book on Latin America, The War of All the People: The Nexus of Latin American Radicalism and Middle Eastern Terrorism.
Jon Perdue is the director of Latin America programs at the Fund for American Studies in Washington, D.C. In this capacity he travels extensively throughout Latin America, lecturing at universities and think tanks (in English and Spanish) and participating in conferences that bring together Latin America scholars and policymakers.
The Amazon page describes The War of All the People: The Nexus of Latin American Radicalism and Middle Eastern Terrorism as
The War of All the People elucidates the ideological and political war against the United States, capitalism, and the widely accepted tenets of modernity. Spearheading this war are Hugo Chávez of Venezuela and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, two “revolutionary” leaders who have forged an active alliance hell-bent on destroying the established order in the developed world.
Adopted as the operative name of his war on U.S. “imperialism,” the “War of All the People” is Hugo Chávez’s plan to supplant U.S. dominance in the hemisphere with “twenty-firstcentury socialism.” Although U.S. presidents and policymakers have treated Chávez’s antics with benign neglect thus far, his 2010 missile accord with a soon-to-be nuclear Iran has escalated the threat to an unavoidable level. Chávez’s ability to thwart sanctions on Iran by providing oil, and possibly uranium, to the corrupt regime makes his bluster more sinister than the simple rant of a third world caudillo.
The War of All the People goes beyond merely pondering the unlikely alliance between seemingly antithetical cultures. Scholars, students, and policymakers will learn about the long history of cooperation between Middle Eastern and Latin American terrorist groups, from the radical mecca of Algiers in the 1960s, where Che Guevara and Amilcar Cabral both resided, to the Tricontinental Conference in Cuba in 1966, which first brought Fidel Castro and Yasser Arafat together.
I have recommended the book in the past, and can not emphasize enough that this is a must-read.
Listen to the podcast live at 4:30PM, or to the archived podcast at your convenience.
In a better world such repression would have provoked objections from the Organization of American States. Its Democratic Charter is a pledge by all members to stand up for democratic principles throughout the hemisphere. Yet since the charter was ratified in 2001, the OAS has done nothing to stop the destruction of institutional checks and balances by left-wing caudillos like Chávez. It has used its power, under the leadership of Secretary-General Miguel Insulza (a Chilean socialist) since 2005, to beat up on countries that push back against what Chávez called “21st century socialism.”
Santos announces stimulus package
Video from HACER: Amigos de la Libertad: Carlos Alberto Montaner (in Spanish)
The week’s posts and podcast,
Fonseca flash mob on Times Square!