Welcome to the Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean. This week’s top stories are the two released FARC hostages, and the increasing anti-Semitism in Venezuela, but don’t miss the Strategy Page article on submarines and the drug trade in Colombia.
If you would like your post(s) to be included in the Monday Carnivals, please email me by Sunday morning at faustaw “at” yahoo “dot” com. As you can see, I don’t have a limit on the number of countries or the subject of the posts, as long as the posts are informative and well written on the subject of Latin America.
SPANISH-LANGUAGE WEBSITE OF THE WEEK
Martha Beatriz Roque Info
The LatinAmericanist has an excellent daily roundup of headlines from Latin American countries.
Suitcase of Cash Tangles U.S. and 2 Latin Nations in Intrigue
Italian Immigration to Argentina
Bolivia: Energy profile
Drug Sub War Intensifies
The subs, made of fiberglass, are constructed by the drug gangs, using technicians and materials brought in for the purpose. This costs several hundred thousand dollars per boat. Which is not so bad when you consider that each voyage moves a cargo worth $100 million or more. The craft are from 50-80 feet in length, have a crew of three or four, and carry 3-10 tons of cocaine up the coast to Central America, or farther north.
These are not submarines in the true sense of the word, but “semi-submersibles”. The fiberglass boats, powered by a diesel engine, have a small “conning tower” above the water, providing the crew, and engine, with fresh air, and permitting the crew to navigate the boat. A boat of this type is the only practical kind of “submarine” for drug smuggling. A real submarine would be much more difficult to build, although you can buy commercial subs for a million dollars or so. These, however, can carry only a few hundred pounds of cargo, and not for long distances.
The main problem with real subs is that they are not much more effective than the “semi-submersibles” that are coming out of Colombia (and even Europe). Submarines can only travel underwater, on battery power, for a short time. Otherwise, they are on the surface, or in a “semi-submersible” state, running on diesel power.
So the drug gangs had the right idea, but their “sub” was not stealthy enough to avoid detection all the time. However, it appears that these “semi-submersibles” do work, because the drug gangs keep using them. Most of them are apparently getting through. Delivery by sea is now the favored method for cocaine smugglers, because the United States has deployed military grade aircraft detection systems, and caught too many of the airborne drug shipments. The smugglers did their math, and realized that improvised “submarines” were a more cost-effective way to go.
The Iguana Tease
purification installation at Cure Hospital in Santo Domingo
From last month: 12-6-7
Merida Initiative NOT Plan Mexico
Trinidad’s music pirates of the Caribbean
Whale watching in Los Cabos, Mexico
Not related to Latin America, but sent in for the Carnival Hillary Clinton denies steroid use. Please note that from now on I’ll only post Latin America-related posts in the Carnival.
For more Carnival fun, visit SheBlogs Carnival hosted by Sex and the South.