Posts Tagged ‘Chilean miners’

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.


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.

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

‘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.

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 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.

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

Prisons in Honduras are ‘in control of inmates’

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

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.

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

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.

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.

Politics in Trinidad and Tobago

Drug legalisation in Uruguay
The experiment
Another blow against prohibition

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

The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, November 21st, 2011

LatinAmerThe week’s must-read article: Jaime Darenblum’s Four Things You Need to Know about Venezuela
The Chávez regime is increasingly sustained by China, Cuba, drug-trafficking generals, and a paramilitary militia.

(1). The regime is financially dependent on China.
(2). The regime is run partly by Cubans.
(3). The regime’s senior military allies are complicit in the drug trade.
(4). The regime has trained thousands of pro-government paramilitary fighters, who represent a serious long-term threat to domestic peace and stability.

Darenblum also touches on the Iranian and Hezbollah presence, and the increasingly violent Venezuelan society. Go read every word.

Tests Mount for Argentine Economy

Bolivian migrants ride out hard times

Chevron Mea Culpa in Spill
Oil Company Underestimated Pressure in Well Off of Brazil

A Path to Victory in the Drug War
Brazil’s Fernando Henrique Cardoso on why legalization of marijuana will reduce the cartels’ threat to Latin democracies.

A Year Out of the Dark in Chile, but Still Trapped

“Pedro Pan” is 50: The story of how 14,000 Cuban children were sent to the US!

The Relajo of the Obama administration’s Cuba travel policy

Stratfor report:
The Mexican Drug Cartel Threat in Central America

Ecuador loses a great statesman

Edgar Terán: R.I.P.

Weapons, weapons, who’s got the weapons? More here.

The return of Amlo: Mexican politics
Left in the lurch
Mexico’s divided leftist party has chosen a veteran radical as its presidential candidate. Will he pull it out of its hole, or dig it in deeper?

Apocalypto for Bondholders?
A Mexican bankruptcy ambushes U.S. investors

A Rags-to-Riches Career Highlights Latin Resurgence

Protests in Peru
Honeymoon over
Ollanta Humala struggles to contain opposition to mining projects

Puerto Rico Allocates Millions More to Cops as Drug Killings Soar

Chavez’s secret fight against cancer

Congressman Carlos Ramos questions Williams F1

Nationals catcher’s kidnapping just one of many in Venezuela

Even driving you cannot reach the boundaries of Venezuelan corruption

The week’s posts:
Dominican-born Muslim convert arrested on plot to bomb NYC
Cuba: Lie down with dogs…
Herman Cain flunks the Versailles test
Costa Risa: A tax increase Costa Ricans are not happy about
LIVECAST The Unwritten Story: How the Media and the Obama Administration Overlook Cuba’s Wave of Repression


The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, September 19th, 2011

India Eyes Latin America
The South Asian giant’s burgeoning presence in the Western Hemisphere is unambiguously good for both Latin America and the United States.

Cristina, Guevara, la patria liberada

Big Fears on Big Food Prices

Evo Morales llegará a Cuba el domingo para reunirse con Raúl Castro
El presidente de Bolivia, Evo Morales, llegará el domingo a Cuba para una visita de trabajo de dos días durante la que se reunirá con el gobernante Raúl Castro, informó este sábado un comunicado oficial.

Bush, Bismarck and Brazil

Brazilian politics
A packed chessboard

The Road to Rio is America’s Road to Ruin

Rescued Chilean miner in rehab

New Chilean telescopes push the boundaries of astronomy
With two gigantic telescopes coming in the next decade, Chile is gaining a reputation as one of the best places in the world for stargazers.

Libyan rebels execute 10 Colombians thought to be FARC mercenaries

Paramilitaries and Colombia’s government
The biggest fish so far
: Jorge Noguera

Six Months for Letting Grandma Do His Laundry

Colombian mountain cyclists try to pedal out of poverty toward glory in Europe

Bill Richardson went to Cuba to intercede on Alan Gross’ behalf and was resoundedly turned down: Alberto de la Cruz writes on how the Obama State Dept. authorized Richardson to offer concessions in exchange for Gross

Taxes in Cuba
Get used to it
The Castros’ subjects get acquainted with that other sure thing

Trips Back to Cuba Draw Fire

Big Labor’s Yanqui Imperialism
The U.S. trade representative is trying to deny due process to Guatemala in defiance of free-trade agreement rules.

Good news: ATF’s Gunwalker may have helped Mexican cartels buy rocket launchers

Cloward-Piven: The Ultimate Goal of Gunwalker?
It’s hard to think of a more logical reason for Gunwalker to exist.

Free speech in Mexico
Be careful what you Tweet

Time for Another Reminder

Panamanian politics
With friends like these

Masked intruders rob casino in Puerto Rico

Officials: Teen goes on rampage at Puerto Rico school, stabbing 37 classmates with needle

Venezuelan government providing support to terrorist Carlos the Jackal

Human Rights Court rules in favor of Leopoldo Lopez, slaps Chavez tactic of illegally disqualifying opposition

Chavez is in Cuba for a 5th round of chemo, instead of going to the UN this week. He claims it’s “the last round.” Evo Morales stopped in Caracas and they both flew together.

Since Chavez is not going to NY, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will visit him in Caracas on his way back from the UN Assembly.

Smoke and Mirrors in the Chavez Revolution: Oil and Research

This is the lawyer of Chavez defending what cannot be defended

The week’s posts:
The AFL-CIO vs. Guatemala
Mexico’s cartels vs bloggers, part 3
Mexican cartels now going after bloggers, part 2
Venezuela to withdraw from the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes

At The Green Room,
Mexican cartels now going after bloggers


The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Argentine top court justice rented out brothels

Argentina Increases Pensions Ahead of Vote

The Quiet Revolution: Latin America Moving Away from Washington’s Influence

Sao Paulo council calls for Heterosexual Pride Day, via GoV.

Chilean miners live in poverty a year after rescue

Politics and business in Chile
A stubbornly persistent old boys’ network

Corruption in Colombia
Closer and closer to the top

Better Lives for Mexicans Cut Allure of Going North
Economic, demographic and social changes in Mexico are suppressing illegal immigration as much as the poor economy or legal crackdowns in the United States.

Lawyer: France to extradite Noriega to Panama

21 Years Later, Noriega to Be Returned to Panama

Chavez’ New Look: More Than Just a Bald Head

Venezuela’s Docs Flee – So Does Chávez

Venezuela to Compensate American Oil Companies for Nationalization?


The Bolivian miners Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

LatinAmerSure, everybody’s heard about the Chilean miners, but this week’s Carnival is dedicated to the unionized Bolivian miners who stopped nationalization plans,

But last week, the Federated Syndicate of Bolivian Mine Workers, which represents miners employed in the private sector, threatened to strike. “We are not going to permit the state to take control of those mines”, said union leader Cesar Lugo.

“The government is an inept administrator,” said Sergio Vacarreza Salazar, leader of a growing movement of independent mining cooperatives that is looking to foreign sources for investment.

We want to form our own ventures with private investors to develop our mines. The government just does not have the money or access to technology,” he added, following a deal signed last week between his independent workers’ cooperative and a U.S.-based miner, Franklin Mining, to develop a gold mine.

Argentina Aims to Tighten Farm-Land Ownership Rules

Bolivian Miners Stop Nationalization Plans

Brazil Will Hand Over Five Airports To Private Sector

Price of Success in Brazil: $15 Movies

Chile’s Private Social Security System Turns 30 (emphasis added)

Instead of paying a 12.4% Social Security tax as we do here, Chilean workers must pay in 10% of their wages (they can send up to 20%) to one of several conservatively managed and regulated pension funds. From the accumulated savings, they get a life annuity or make programmed withdrawals (inheriting any funds left over).

Over the last three decades these accounts have averaged annual returns of 9.23% above inflation. By contrast, U.S. Social Security pays a 1% to 2% (theoretical) return, and even less for new workers.

May Day in Chile

Former Agent for Pinochet Is Found Slain in Argentina

U.S. Millionaire Cultivates South American Park Plan

Meet the ‘New Cuba,’ Same as the Old Cuba
Take a bow for the new revolution: for all the naive optimism of some foreign observers, Cuba hasn’t really changed

No More Petro-Dictators

Cuba’s cigar industry
Smoked out
Rolling up under-the-counter trading in an emblematic product
(by subscription only)

POLL NUMBERS!!! Correa leads Ecuador referendum 60-40

Don’t reward Ecuador with a new U.S. ambassador

What is clear is that, according to the full batch of leaked cables, tensions between the U.S. embassy and the Correa government had been building for months, with the Correa government looking for any and all opportunities to criticize U.S. actions. The cables further reveal the U.S. embassy’s profound lack of trust in President Correa and their continuing frustration trying to establish a working relationship with his government. (Were these cables being read in Washington?)

They report that Correa has surrounded himself with a claque of inveterate anti-Americanists dedicated to damaging bilateral relations and the U.S. image in Ecuador. They have interfered in the work of U.S.-sponsored and trained special police units that combat trafficking in drugs and persons. A disturbing number — including the foreign minister — have close ties to Cuba, Hugo Chavez, and Colombian narco-terrorists.

Against this backdrop, it is beyond comprehension why there would be any U.S. haste in restoring ambassadors in both capitals. Correa is already under fire by Ecuadorean exporters concerned that his rash action will deprive Ecuador of trade benefits under the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act, which is subject to congressional approval. Beyond that, it is unclear what tangible benefits have accrued for U.S. interests from a “make nice” policy with Correa to date.

Guatemalan kingpin, wanted in U.S., captured

More Whoa! in Haiti: Did the Ruling Party Manipulate Election Results?

Mexico stiffens penalties for monopolistic practices

Charging minors

Can security reform save Mexico?

6.1-magnitude quake shakes southern Panama

Presidents from Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile gather in Lima to sign accord, the Pacific Agreement.

Mario Vargas Llosa under fire for Peru election endorsement
Revered author says he will vote for leftwing Ollanta Humala ‘unhappily and with fear’ as the lesser of two evils

Naive, irresponsible and deranged are among the kinder epitaphs raining down on the author. Jaime Bayly, a leading commentator, accused Vargas Llosa of hypocrisy and forgetfulness on the grounds that he sold the film rights of a novel, Captain Pantoja and the Special Service, to an Alberto Fujimori crony.

Dripping sarcasm, Bayly said Vargas Llosa, 75, had reached an age at which he “deserved to be happy and without fear”, and so for his own sake should abstain from voting.

Bayly’s own article, in Spanish, Los golpes de Humala.

A Candidate in Peru Tacks Toward Brazil’s Course

No electricity? No problem! Have a free day, but dress in red!


Capitalism saved the #ChileanMiners…

Friday, October 15th, 2010

…with help from entrepeneurial ingenuity, at that:
Capitalism Saved the Miners
The profit = innovation dynamic was everywhere at the mine rescue site.

That’s right. In an open economy, you will never know what is out there on the leading developmental edge of this or that industry. But the reality behind the miracles is the same: Someone innovates something useful, makes money from it, and re-innovates, or someone else trumps their innovation. Most of the time, no one notices. All it does is create jobs, wealth and well-being. But without this system running in the background, without the year-over-year progress embedded in these capitalist innovations, those trapped miners would be dead.

Some will recoil at these triumphalist claims for free-market capitalism. Why make them now?

Here’s why. When a catastrophe like this occurs—others that come to mind are the BP well blowout, Hurricane Katrina, various disasters in China—a government has all its chips pushed to the center of the table. Chile succeeds (it rebuilt after the February earthquake with phenomenal speed). China flounders. Two American administrations left the public agog as they stumbled through the mess.

Private sector ingenuity and innovation, combined with the leadership needed (from the president of Chile, the miners themselves, the men who did the actual work – including Jeff Hart, the American who operated the drill for 33 days straight, the owners of the private companies who contacted the Chilean government to offer supplies and labor) is what turned this story into a gigantic success.

And UPS delivered the drill.

More from Daniel Henninger:

Contrast that with a liberal’s point of view.


Chile’s humanitarian miracle: 15 Minutes on Latin America UPDATED with VIDEO

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Today’s podcast at 11AM Eastern will be on Chile’s Humanitarian Triumph


U.S. rises to the occasion in Chile

But even as we wait to see if all men make it safely to the top, it is not too early to salute the Americans who pitched in to help as well with the U.S. technology that proved so vital. After a long dry spell, it is so refreshing to see us at our best again.

The U.S.-Chilean company Geotec Boyles Bros., which operated the first drill to reach the miners, assembled help and materials from across the globe.

In Western Pennsylvania, two companies long-trained by mine collapses in that region rushed to action. They had UPS ship south a specialty drill, capable of creating shafts large enough to fit the men without collapsing, within 48 hours. And UPS did it for free.

Then, working with Chilean crews, Geotec’s Kansas-based partner came up with the plan to get the miners to the surface almost two months earlier than the Christmastime date originally projected.

Expert driller Jeff Hart, a contractor from Denver, Colorado, was called from Afghanistan, where he was helping American forces find water, to man the machine. The 40-year-old drilled for 33 days straight, through tough mineral ore, to reach the men trapped more than 2,000 feet below.

His comment after breaking through last week? “We got the job done.”

Three NASA doctors have provided advice on how to keep the miners healthy, both physically and mentally. And the design of the rescue pod is the brainchild of NASA engineer Clinton Cragg. Cragg drew on his experience as a former submarine captain in the Navy and directed a team of 20 to conceive of a small 13- foot-long tube to carry the miners one at a time to the surface.

All told, about a dozen Americans decamped to the desert, and many more labored from home, to rescue the miners.

The 33 Men
Last of Chilean miners is rescued, as families and nation celebrate. In addition to the miners, six rescue workers who had descended into the mine to help with the rescue effort were returned to the surface.

Meanwhile, NPR is posting on Why Obama Needs A Chilean Mine Rescue

(Post re-edited to add information that I omitted on the first draft.)



BREAKING: All 33 #ChileanMiners saved

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Rescuers Pull All 33 Miners to Safety


BREAKING NEWS: Chile’s miners’ rescue livefeed

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

You can watch the CNN Livefeed of the Chilean miners here

Also on USTREAM:
(below the fold because the sound starts right away)


Drill breaks through to Chile’s 33 trapped miners VIDEO

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

A way out, at last, for Chile’s 33 trapped miners

Chilean rescue workers on Saturday morning completed a rescue tunnel 640 meters deep into a collapsed mine where 33 miners have spent the past two months trapped underground.

The 33 miners, all of whom had spent the last 12 hours in anxious vigil gathered at the section of the tunnel where the drill bit entered, celebrated with glee. Ten minutes after the drill reached the men, they sent messages topside that no one had been injured and they celebrated their ever closer escape from freedom was near.

The slightly angled hole into the San Jose copper and gold mine will now be used to haul out the miners one by one in a specially designed rescue capsule. That operation is expected to begin with seven days, but first Chilean officials must inspect the camera and decide whether to line section with metal tubing.

This PBS report talks about some of the problems surrounding the rescue:

Latin American media calls the news “A miracle”:
Un milagro a punto de consumarse: la perforadora llega a los mineros. Pasos que seguirán ahora.

The Wall Street Journal makes a rather idiotic remark:

If Saturday’s close video examination persuades engineers that the shaft is smooth, strong and uniform enough to let the capsule pass without significant obstacles, then rescuers plan to start pulling the men out one by one as early as Tuesday, in a made-for-TV spectacle that has captivated the world.

It’s not a made-for-TV spectacle: It’s real life.

Let’s hold the miners in our prayers.