Archived for your listening pleasure,
— Fausta (@Fausta) September 6, 2016
The big news of the week: The announcement that the FARC and the Colombian government had finalized a peace agreement, which, from the looks of it, will not be signed by the president of Colombia or the FARC’s top leader.
Almost unnoticed: Iran’s LatAm tour.
— Damian Pachter (@damianpachter) August 21, 2016
How USA Today unraveled Ryan Lochte’s Rio drama; US swimmer Lochte ‘won’t respond’ to Brazil false claim charge. Cynics would say that Lochte provides a useful distraction.
Colombia’s opposition paints apocalyptic picture of post-conflict, for good reason.
When Clinton was secretary of state, donations from foreign governments to the Clinton Foundation correlated to large increases in weapons exports from the U.S. to the countries which donated. With Clinton’s help, Clinton Foundation donor Claudio Osorio won a $10 million loan in 2010 from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation meant to be used to build houses in Haiti. Corrupt Venezuelan banker Gonzalo Tirado hired Jonathan Mantz, a Clinton fundraiser, and made a donation to the Clinton Foundation in order to avoid being extradited to Venezuela.
Of the 117 bodies found, 17 could not be identified as they were either too badly decomposed or because they had been decapitated or were missing other body parts. Four of the 84 showing signs of having suffered violent deaths had bullet holes in their skulls.
According to an investigation by Univision, Rivera asked Pierdant to pay her taxes on the property as “a favor between friends.”
An information request to the Miami-Dade County Tax Office revealed the actress actually hired two law firms to cover those taxes, including during the years of 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015.
The Lost Girls of Panama: The Full Story. The mysterious deaths of two young tourists in Panama puzzled examiners and shocked nations on both sides of the Atlantic; now secretly leaked documents reveal what happened.
Ayahuasca: a brain-altering chemical, rife with dangerous side-effects, taken in an isolated locations, what could possibly go wrong? Filipino tourist dies in hallucinogenic ritual in Peru.
Last person out, please turn off the lights: Puerto Rico: An island’s exodus
Not only were taxpayers on the hook for the costs of bringing the government-funded nanny—even though she didn’t appear on one version of the flight manifest—but also thousands of dollars for Trudeau’s tour manager to tag along, even though it wasn’t an official trip of any kind.
Not very high times: Weeks From Selling Pot, Uruguay Producer Sees Future in Hemp
Weeks before selling its first ounce of pot at pharmacies, International Cannabis Corp. is already betting that hemp – a variety of cannabis – will be a much bigger market than selling the psychoactive part of the plant, according to Chief Executive Officer Guillermo Delmonte. Hemp and its extracts can be used in food, cosmetics and medicine
The $99,999,999.99 x 13 is in, and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is touring Latin America, with an entourage of 120 “politico-economic” delegates.
First, Cuba and Nicaragua.
While in Quito, Zarif is scheduled to attend a joint economic commission with his Ecuadorian counterpart Guillaume Long to be held later today. Separate meetings with President Rafael Correa, Speaker of Parliament and Foreign Minister are also on Zarif’s agenda on this one-day official visit. The two sides are also slated to sign a memorandum of understanding for economic cooperation.
Chile, Bolivia and Venezuela are next on the schedule.
At The Economist, they’re not into records:
Why few records will be broken in Rio: The human body may have reached its limits
The factors fuelling America’s dominance of gymnastics
Why Pacific-island nations are so good at rugby
Olympians have discovered new fads and superstitions
Good luck with that: Colombia wants involvement of pope and UN in post-conflict courts.
The fruits of “smart diplomacy”: Fidel Castro Lambasts US And Obama On 90th Birthday. The veteran Communist firebrand mocks attempts by America to kill him during Havana’s long Cold War stand-off with Washington.
Jorge Ramos Moves Towards Hitting Campaign Trail for Hillary. He will continue to call himself a “journalist,” which brings to mind this,
Mexico’s President Faces New Scrutiny. President Enrique Peña Nieto, whose past two years in office have been shadowed by a conflict-of-interest scandal linked to a Mexico City mansion, is facing new scrutiny linked to the first family’s use of a luxury apartment in Miami.
Ricardo Pierdant, a Miami-based businessman, in 2013 paid close to $30,000 in property taxes on behalf of first lady Angélica Rivera for an apartment she owns in Miami, according to tax records seen by The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Pierdant is a close friend of Mexico´s first family, according to Mr. Peña Nieto´s office.
The first lady purchased her apartment in the wealthy island enclave of Key Biscayne in 2005.
Mr. Pierdant subsequently purchased another apartment directly above Ms. Rivera’s, according to Miami property records.
Earlier this week, socialist Maduro accused Paraguay of being part of “an extreme right wing alliance” aimed at blocking Venezuela from assuming its role as head of Mercosur as scheduled during the second half of the year.
PPK works out: Peru’s 77-year-old new president isn’t acting his age. And Peruvians love it.
Montevideo Is Considering Joining The Pacific Alliance Trade Bloc, since Peru and Colombia issued an invitation.
Again, Venezuelans cross into Colombia after border is reopened
Invictus, via Miguel Octavio,
The RNC and the DNC had their conventions in two consecutive weeks, and after their monopolizing media attention, we’re glad they are over.
Almost unnoticed, however, was the story of the Syrian terrorist released from Guantanamo to Uruguay, who supposedly needs crutches to get around, was missing for several weeks, to eventually turn up some 4,600 miles away from Montevideo (a little under the distance from New York to Moscow), in Venezuela, of all places, just so he can petition the Uruguayan consulate – which he could do in Montevideo – to “ask for assistance to fly to Turkey or some other country to be reunited with his family.” Which gave him plenty of time to do all sorts of things.
Stelberto Soares, a municipal engineer who has worked on Rio sanitation issues for decades, said that the government’s efforts to clean the waters were superficial at best.
“They can try to block big items like sofas and dead bodies, but these rivers are pure sludge,” he said, “so the bacteria and viruses are going to just pass through.”
Headlines from Drudge:
The FARC made them an offer they couldn’t refuse: Colombia Indian Community Made Peace with FARC 20 Years before the Government
— Actuall (@actuallcom) July 28, 2016
Rafael Caro Quintero, Fugitive godfather of Mexico’s drug trade speaks out from hiding to deny he is back in business
Nicaragua’s top electoral authority decimated the country’s political opposition on Friday by unseating practically all of its remaining lawmakers in congress as President Daniel Ortega prepares to seek a third term.
The Supreme Electoral Council ousted 16 opposition legislators from the Liberal Independent Party and its ally the Sandinista Renovation Movement Friday for not recognizing their officially sanctioned leader. That leader, Pedro Reyes, had recently been given that authority by the Supreme Court, which removed the opposition party’s previous leader following a long-running political dispute. Reyes is seen by some within his own party as a tool of Ortega.
More Defaults Likely to Come: What Puerto Rico Owes on Aug. 1
– Sales-tax payment of $256 million expected to be made
– Island owes $1.3 million of interest on general obligations
The commonwealth and its agencies owe about $346 million in bond payments on Aug. 1, most of which goes toward repaying sales-tax supported debt. The deadline follows the island’s July 1 default on nearly $1 billion of principal and interest, the largest such payment failure in the history of the $3.7 trillion municipal bond market.
Argentina judge orders cash seized from Fernandez’s daughter, Florencia Kirchner.
Good question: In Age Of Terror, Why Is Obama Rushing to Open Daily Flights With Cuba?
Must-read report by InSight Crime Co-Director Steven Dudley for the US Congress’ Central America Caucus:
How Drug Trafficking Operates, Corrupts in Central America
Some of the transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) have familiar names: the Sinaloa Cartel, the Gulf Cartel, the Zetas, and the Urabeños all have operatives in Central America. They purchase cocaine or coca base from producer nations like Colombia and Peru. And they oversee the movement of that product from production point to market.
In Central America, they oversee the second tier criminal organizations in these countries that provide the transportation for the illicit drugs. These so-called “transportistas” are often family-based groups with long criminal histories in contraband, human smuggling and other criminal activities, which give them a strong foundation to jump into narcotics trafficking.
Examples include the Cachiros, a Honduran-based organization that once controlled a prominent route through northern Honduras, betweenNicaragua and Guatemala. The Cachiros started as cattle rustlers who sold their stolen cattle to one of the country’s most prominent elite families. Over the years, their land titles grew as did their role in illicit trafficking. By September 2013, the year the United States Treasury Departmentplaced them on its “Kingpin” list, the Cachiros had accumulated anywhere between $500 million and $800 million in assets, much of which they had put into African Palm plantations, mining licenses, hotels, a prominent zoo-resort, and a local soccer team.
Read the whole thing.