The Nation has a long, wonky, wonderful article on Mexican maize cultivation, the effects of NAFTA, and the dangers of genetically-modified seeds. Author Peter Canby backs up his excellent writing with piles and piles of meticulous research. Not to be missed. [link, via SM] (Image from Joel Penner.)
Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas ended his hunger strike yesterday after 134 days. Farinas decided to end his strike after the Cuban government said it would release political prisoners rounded up in the "Black Spring" crackdown of 2003. Get well soon. [link]
The Uruguayan selection, which has made it to the quarter finals of the World Cup, just received a shipment of half a ton of fine cuts of beef for the mother of all asados in preparation for a contest against Ghana on Friday: "450 kilos of lomo, 200 of entrecot, 75 of vacío, 75 of colita de cuadril, 150 of ojo de bife and 50 kg of picaña." [link]
Hitmen have assassinated the PRI candidate for governor of Tamaulipas State, Rodolfo Torre Cantú. Torre was gunned down along with six others at about 10:30 this morning on a highway on the way to a campaign event. Drug mafias are assumed to be responsible. [link]
From the days when coups were something of a regional sport, new documents detail a famous British ballerina's role in a plot to topple the government of Panama. The plan was to use her yacht to gather men and arms, then "land somewhere and collect in the hills." It didn't work. [link]
Mexico's Attorney General's Office has posted on its web site irrefutable evidence that gold-plated AR-15s and diamond-studded pistol grips are not nearly as cool-looking as they sound. The deadly knick-knack collection is said to belong to Valencia Cartel leader El Lobo. [link]
Two Brazilian ranchers were sentenced to 30 years in prison apiece for ordering the killing of an environmentalist nun: "Prosecutors said the pair offered to pay a gunman $25,000 to kill the 73-year-old [Dorothy] Stang because she had prevented them from stealing a piece of land that the government had granted to a group of poor farmers." [link]
This video of a kidnapping and car chase in Mexico is notable mainly for the bad-assitude of the TV journalists who were on this like white on rice. Well done, gentlemen.
The Economist takes a peak at the Mockus phenomenon in Colombia: "His moustacheless beard gives him the air of a Baltic pastor... He is financing his campaign with a bank overdraft. His supporters rely on Facebook and make their own posters; street vendors sell unofficial campaign T-shirts." [link]
Some cruise lines will cease traveling to Antarctica after this cruise season, as a ban on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil goes into effect next year. The ban came after a 2007 incident when a Gap Adventures ship got punctured by ice and sank, causing a mess. [link]
Monthly Archives: January 2010
By Peter Krupa | Published: January 31, 2010
Venezuela just became the proud owner of a Nicaraguan television channel, Telenica (Canal 8). The Venezuelans themselves confirmed to El Nuevo Diario that the money for the purchase of the channel came from ALBA de Nicaragua S.A., a corporation founded to manage incoming Venezuelan petrodollar handouts that is, in point of fact, 51% owned by Venezuela's state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela (PdVSA).
By Peter Krupa | Published: January 30, 2010
Martín Redrado resigned his post as president of Argentina's Central Bank last night. Bloomberg News has a comprehensive round-up.
The political winds are changing in Latin America, and there's a chance they might take Venezuela with them - if, that is, Chávez lets them.
A Mexican congressman and radio host took an early lead for the Asshole of the Year Award when he hated on Haitians for being black.
A Nicaraguan court is re-opening proceedings against ex-President Arnoldo Aleman for corruption.
A mass grave with 2,000 bodies in it was discovered outside a Colombian town, 200km south of Bogotá
Redrado has recognized that he's probably going to get fired from his post as Argentina's Central Bank when a congressional commission releases its decision later today, putting an end to the week-long controversy.
Venezuela riot cops are threatening protesters with iron hooks and chains.
Honduras is, for all intents and purposes, broke. That is, incoming Finance Minister William Chong told the AP that Micheletti left the government with only about $50 million in its coffers
Eight women are being prosecuted for murder in Veracruz after having abortions, according to an NGO called the Veracruz Women's Institute (Instituto Veracruz de la Mujer).