The Qhapaq Nan roads go through six South American countries
It covers some 30,000 km (18,600 miles), from modern-day Colombia in the north to Argentina and Chile in the south, via Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia.
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:
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.
Argentina’s government intensified a campaign to wrest control of the country’s largest newsprint-paper provider on Tuesday, a move top local newspapers called a brazen attack on press freedom.
President Cristina Kirchner said her government will turn to the courts in an effort to manage Papel Prensa SA and investigate human-rights violations, arguing the sale of the company to a group of Argentine newspapers in the mid-1970s was coerced by the then-military dictatorship. Ms. Kirchner said she will also ask Congress to declare the company a “national interest” to guarantee all media access to paper at the same price. In addition, Ms. Kirchner called for a Congressional committee to oversee Papel Prensa and take seats on the company’s board.
“Whoever controls Papel Prensa, controls the printed word,” Ms. Kirchner said, accusing the papers of maintaining a vertical monopoly.
Media companies, however, say the moves are the latest in a growing offensive by Ms. Kirchner to gag the media. Last week, the government revoked the Internet service license for Grupo Clarin SA, the country’s largest media group.
Cristina is following Hugo Chavez’s Marxist rulebook
The moves are similar to actions by populist governments elsewhere in the region, including Ecuador, Bolivia and Venezuela, which have passed laws that critics say are aimed at muffling an independent media.
In Venezuela, it is illegal to publish news accounts that might be deemed to “denigrate” President Hugo Chávez. While independent newspapers still operate there, Mr. Chávez has effectively silenced or closed nearly all major independent television stations.
Clarin has a video (in Spanish) addressing the accusations: the newspapers editors point out that the move is in anticipation of the next elections so the Kirchners will have no media opposition. Their front page articles are covering the story in detail.
In a two-hour presentation before the permanent council at the Organization of American States, Colombian OAS ambassador Luis Alfonso Hoyos laid out a series of photos, videos, maps, satellite images and computer documents that Colombia claims show the rebels using Venezuela as a safe haven much the same way they were using Ecuador.
Mr. Hoyos also charged that Venezuela knows about the guerrilla camps—some of which have been there for a long time—and has done nothing about them. Indeed, the Venezuelan National Guard sometimes consorts with the rebels, Mr. Hoyos said.
Given this new information, Mr. Chávez’s reaction to Colombia’s 2008 incursion into Ecuador now looks logical. Bogotá justified that raid on the grounds that its appeals to Quito to go after FARC taking rest and relaxation in its territory had gone nowhere. Now we know that Mr. Chávez had reason to believe he would be next.
But Mr. Uribe launched a different sort of offensive on Thursday. Instead of a military operation, he bundled new intelligence on the FARC’s Venezuelan outposts and dropped it like a bomb on the OAS permanent council.
The facts were no surprise. For years, Bogotá has been complaining—with no shortage of proof—about the friendly treatment Venezuela gives the guerrillas. But by packaging and delivering the new evidence as he did, Mr. Uribe put Mr. Chávez, very publicly, on the spot. More importantly, he has forced the issue with his hemispheric counterparts.
Mr. Hoyos told the OAS that there are some 1,500 rebels across the border in more than 75 camps. There they regroup, organize, train and prepare explosives. This safe-haven status, he explained, produces more kidnapping and drug trafficking on both sides of the border. And more carnage in Colombia: Graphic photos of rebel victims flashed on a screen while he spoke.
Mr. Hoyos did not call for sanctions against Venezuela. Instead he asked for an international commission to verify Colombia’s claims. He promised that his government could provide the “precise coordinates” of farms and haciendas where the rebels are ensconced. “If what is there is only a little school and humble peasants, there would be no problem with an international commission to verify if Colombia’s accusation is not true,” Mr. Hoyos argued.
The gang at Gomez Palacio were responsible for 33 murders in three incidents, including the massacre of 17 people at a rented hall filled mainly with young adults. They fired more than 120 rounds into the crowd; it was the bullet casings that led investigators back to Gomez Palacio. The prison director and three of his henchmen have been placed under house arrest, although considering this story, that may wind up being more secure than prison anyway.
This should impress the truth on people, which is that the problem in Mexico isn’t American guns, or any kind of guns at all. The problem in Mexico is corruption.
The director, who recently met with Iranian President Ahmadinejad, also slammed the U.S. policy toward Iran as “horrible.”
“Iran isn’t necessarily the good guy,” said Stone. “[B]ut we don’t know the full story!”
The Scarface screenwriter had even more encouraging words for socialist Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, who Stone called “a brave, blunt, earthy” man. The director has recently been promoting his Chavez-praising documentary called “South of the Border.”
When the interviewer pointed out that Chavez has had a less-than-stellar record on human rights, Stone immediately dismissed the criticism.
“The internet’s fully free [in Venezuela],” said Stone. “You can say what the hell you like. Compare it with all the other countries: Mexico, Guatemala, above all Colombia, which is a joke.”
While Stone has not been as blunt about his views on Jews and the Holocaust in the past, he has been outspoken in his fondness for Chavez and his disagreements with the U.S.’s policy on Iran.
On ABC’s Good Morning America on July 28, the director told anchor George Stephanopoulos that he “absolutely” believes Chavez is a good person, and claimed that there was “there’s no pattern of censorship in this country [Venezuela].”