and Nikki Haley put the brakes on that,
— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) April 7, 2017
Miami is unlike any other place in the USA, with stories like this, which go unnoticed by the national media:
Billions in drug dealers’ illegal Amazon gold ‘laundered’ through Miami refinery, feds say.
In brief, a Colombian guy named Juan P. Granda, working as director of operations NTR Metals, allegedly – with two other guys – was buying gold from illegal mines in Peru’s Amazonian rain forest, refining it, selling it, and then wiring the funds back to drug traffickers.
Things get complicated and at least seven countries are involved: Granda was born in Ecuador, is a U.S, citizen, the gold was coming from Peru, but was routed through Bolivia, and
At least one of the companies sending the gold to NTR was financed by a man identified as P.F. in the complaint. According to sources, he is “Peter Ferrari,” whose real name is Pedro Perez Miranda.
Ferrari was acquitted of narcotics money laundering in Peru. But he was later arrested on charges of illegal gold mining and laundering more than $500 million worth of gold.
After the Peruvian crackdown, smuggled gold was transported to Bolivia before it was shipped to NTR in Miami, the complaint said. Last year, Ecuadorean authorities made arrests involving about $400 million in gold from Peru bound for refineries in Miami, including NTR Metals, according to the complaint.
Federal agents said customs records show that NTR also participated in “highly suspicious gold imports” from Colombia, Chile, Guyana and the Caribbean.
Finally some good news from Bolivia: Friar Carmelo the schnauzer hits the news,
Twitter goes dog-crazy,
— ABC7 News (@abc7newsbayarea) March 8, 2017
— Adaptil (@Adaptil) March 7, 2017
— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 9, 2017
— Pet Lover Here (@KatyKaden77) March 9, 2017
— Planet Green (@PlanetGreen) March 9, 2017
Friar Carmelo was not a stray; he was given to the monastery as a puppy.
Morales, 57, went to Cuba for treatment on Wednesday after a sore throat robbed him of his voice, causing him to cancel public appearances.
The government news agency said it was an emergency trip.
While at the hospital, Raúl Castro dropped by for a visit,
— LatinAmericanFreedom (@LatAmFr) March 5, 2017
Reportedly, the FARC’s Timochenko also dropped by.
Evo recovered and landed in Caracas to participate in the latest ALBA summit and commemoration of the fourth anniversary Hugo Chávez’s death.
He was still sounding a little raspy.
The airplane crash that killed all but three of Brazil’s Chapecoense soccer team:
Doomed LaMia Flight’s Engines Began Shutting Down Several Minutes Before Crash. Colombian officials say pilots didn’t warn of total fuel loss until it was too late
Investigators from Colombia’s Civil Aviation Authority said the pilots didn’t report “a total electric failure without fuel” until two minutes before the aircraft collided at 145 miles an hour into a hillside just outside Medellín, Colombia on Nov. 28. While the crew had asked for priority landing, they didn’t indicate imminent danger and investigators said the pilots spoke with controllers “in a completely normal manner.”
Not only that,
The 28-day investigation found that the Avro RJ85 aircraft left Bolivia nearly 1,000 pounds overweight and flew at an altitude above 30,000 feet, even though the plane isn’t designed to travel above 28,000 feet, Mr. Bonilla said.
In addition, the flight’s 1,839-mile trip was near the aircraft’s capacity for a tank of fuel, the Colombian official said. “The flight crew was conscious of the fuel limits and that they did not adequately have what was needed,” Mr. Bonilla said, adding that headwinds may have caused the aircraft to use more fuel.
Another plane was given priority to land due to a fuel leak.
Bolivia’s aviation authority has suspended the operating license of LaMia charter airline, of which pilot Miguel Quiroga, now deceased, was part-owner.
Cross-posted at WoW! Magazine.
Celia Castedo fled Bolivia, alleging she’s being persecuted:
Bolivian authorities accused Ms. Castedo of “failing to carry out her duties as a public official” in not preventing LaMia flight 2933 from leaving the city of Santa Cruz on Nov. 28. The flight subsequently ran out of fuel and crashed near its destination of Medellín, Colombia, killing 71 people including most members of the Brazilian professional soccer team Chapecoense.
The airline’s final flight plan was in violation of international aviation safety standards, as it didn’t include a refueling stop despite the 4 ½ hour trip stretching the Avro RJ85 aircraft’s flight range.
However (emphasis added),
Ms. Castedo had requested the plan be changed, according to a transcript of a conversation with the plane’s onboard dispatcher that she wrote up after the crash. She said the dispatcher, Alex Quispe, who was among those killed in the crash, dismissed her concerns.
Her employer, Aasana, claims that investigators need to look at DGAC, another of Bolivia’s regulatory agencies, to understand why the flight plan was approved.
Castedo was granted temporary asylum allowing her to live and work in Brazil while the Justice Ministry analyzes her case.
Cross-posted at WoW! Magazine.
It was LaMia’s only operational plane, and had been part-owned by the pilot.
The aircraft carrying Brazil’s Chapecoense football team went down near Medellin, Colombia. There were only six survivors.
According to O Globo, a Brazilian news outlet, the first leg of the journey from São Paulo to Santa Cruz de la Sierra was delayed by around one hour. That meant that the refuelling stop in Cobija was not possible, as the airport there shuts down at night. So, the pilot opted to fly directly from Santa Cruz de la Sierra to Medellín.
That decision has become the subject of tremendous scrutiny. The range of the plane model, a British AVRO RJ-85 jet, is 2,965km with a full tank of fuel, according to JACDEC, an air-safety website. That is less than the distance between the two airports. Global civil-aviation regulations state that any plane flying internationally must carry enough fuel to make it to an alternate airport, and enough to fly for 30 minutes after that. And yet somehow, the plane was on course to arrive safely. Mr Quiroga had requested for priority to land with air-traffic control, but he was rebuffed: another plane had a fuel leak and needed to land first. Only after that, when the jet had already begun to descend, did he declare an emergency.
It is not clear how or why the last-minute change in flight plan was approved. According to El Deber, a Bolivian newspaper, airport officials in Santa Cruz de la Sierra raised several questions about it. Mr Quiroga reportedly made various verbal guarantees that the plane had enough fuel for the trip.
Then there’s Occam’s razor: the owner was cutting corners.
The Vatican and Argentina’s bishops have finished cataloguing their archives from the country’s “dirty war” and will soon make them available to victims and their relatives who have long accused church members of complicity with the military dictatorship. The 3,000 files being released, though, are a fraction of the documentation believed to be in the possession of the Argentine church.
A joint statement Tuesday by the Vatican and the Argentine bishops’ conference said the process of digitizing the archives had been completed and that procedures to access the information would be forthcoming. No date was set, and the opening for now is restricted to victims, detainees, their relatives and the religious superiors of victims who were priests or nuns.
Gold Rush in Bolivia sparks conflict between miners and the community. Community members and miners are clashing north of Bolivia’s La Paz. Meanwhile, Bolivian Amazon rivers are being affected by the excessive dumping of mercury.
Even as President Michel Temer struggles to assure investors that Brazil is politically stable, this month’s municipal elections show restless voters fed up with Brazil’s ruling class and willing to gamble on unconventional newcomers
What could possibly go wrong? Congress: Cuba to Share Critical U.S. Intel With Iranian Spies. Intel sharing with Cuba endangers America, lawmakers warn
He said that the action-oriented outcome document, known as the New Urban Agenda, enshrined now in the ‘Quito Declaration on Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements for All,’ should be seen as an extension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, agreed by 193 Member States of the UN in September 2015.
Following a report in the Washington Post that the foundation raked in millions from foreign governments while Clinton was at the State Department, Clinton’s team discussed over email how to address questions about the Algeria donation from other outlets.
Government has announced plans to augment the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) in western Jamaica in an effort to have speedier and more effective response to any violent upsurge in that section of the island
COPA Launches New Low Cost Carrier to Colombia and More (H/T JC)
Panama’s Copa Holdings has unveiled a new low-cost carrier, Wingo, as it aims to turn its loss-making Colombian operations around.
Bogota-based Wingo will operate its first flight on 1 December, and will take over all of Copa Colombia’s routes except its flights to and from Panama City.
Possible new home for Gitmo ex-detainee unhappy in Uruguay, but Lord knows where,
The group did not say which country made the offer and it was unclear if Dhiab has travel documents. Uruguayan officials did not respond to requests for comment on Saturday.