Monthly Archives: February 2010

The mayor of Concepción, Chile, the city hardest-hit by yesterday’s earthquake, is asking for the military to help control looting. “Sailors and soldiers are needed in the street, because this is chaos.” [link]
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Two school teachers are suing the Argentine military for burning garbage on a base in Antarctica less than 50 meters away from a major penguin mating and nesting grounds. [link]
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Chile earthquake news roundup

The Photos: The Boston Globe‘s “The Big Picture” feature is characteristically awesome and the best place I’ve found to view the best photos of the Chilean earthquake. The Numbers: The earthquake was 8.8 on the Richter scale, 500 times more powerful than the Haiti quake. The death toll is at 708 and rising. Officials say [...]
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TV Chile was down yesterday, but is up and live streaming on today, with 24-hour coverage of the effects of yesterday’s earthquake. They’ve also got a live Twitter feed up and blazing, which is basically, well, pretty useless. [link]
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Some alternative

Russia’s pretty excited about this new-fangled Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CLACS?) thing. In a “communique” (I guess the Russians still use those), the foreign ministry stated that “The new organization can be an important factor for the formation of a multipolar world order.” And they’re right. Regardless of how successful CLACS is, [...]
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The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would require the U.S. government to release documents related to human rights violations in Argentina during the dictatorship. A similar effort released a trove of information on U.S. involvement in the Pinochet business in Chile. The bill still has to pass the Senate. [link]
Posted in Argentina, History, Human Rights, Politics, Side notes | Leave a comment


A huge earthquake rocked Chile this morning. At 8.8 on the Richter scale, some experts are saying it was a thousand hundred times more powerful than the earthquake in Haiti. Of course, Chile was significantly more prepared than Haiti. Interior Minister Edumndo Pérez Yoma is on TV Chile right now saying 82 people died in [...]
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The era of Uribe is over

The Constitutional Court of Colombia just struck down a referendum on whether Uribe can run for a third term in office. The vote was 7-2. Not much else to say. The era of Uribe is over. As mentioned earlier, former Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos is expected to try to pick up where Uribe left [...]
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Salon has a post up about the Chilean salmon die-off. Quote: _sarcasm_”Who could have predicted that the mass forced farming of an exotic fish to please the Wal-Mart low-price palate would result in a horrific virus-borne plague of anemia?”_/sarcasm_ [link]
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“Chuntaro Style”

Daniel Hernández has had a few great posts recently on his Intersections blog about the urban street dancing culture in Mexico: The style of dancing [below] reflects a style celebrated in the video for “Chuntaro Style” by El Gran Silencio [also below], where norteños in cholo-like outfits, both men and women, dance a poppy, low, [...]
Posted in Arts and Culture, Mexico | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

    • 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]