Monthly Archives: April 2010

Mexico creates space agency

Mexico’s congress has passed a bill creating Agencias Especiales de Mexico, the Mexican Space Agency, or AEXA. The agency will be in charge of developing space exploration initiatives, as well as building a space base on the Yucatan Peninsula. [link]
Posted in Mexico, Odd, Side notes | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Untethering

Everyone seems to agree that the economies of Latin America are experiencing a nice little recovery. The IMF, for example, just raised its forecasts for the region and is now projecting 4.1% GDP growth for the region, with 4.2% growth for Mexico and 5.5% for Brazil. Oh boy, numbers. But here’s something interesting. In an [...]
Posted in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Economy, El Salvador, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela | Tagged | Leave a comment

Evo has a theory

Evo Morales has figured out where homosexuals and baldness come from: The “female” growth hormones used to make poultry freakishly gigantic: The chicken we eat is full of female hormones. That’s why when men eat these chickens, they experience deviations in their behavior as men. And for good measure: Baldness, which seems normal, is a [...]
Posted in Bolivia, Odd | Tagged , | 3 Comments

New kind of NIMBY

Mining is a nasty activity, one that inevitably preys on countries with weak institutions and desperate populations, and with predictable results: environmental devastation, child labor, corruption, increased crime and prostitution, etc. This advertisement, aired in Argentina, sums it up nicely. Problem is, by my count, about half the people in this video are wearing jewelry. [...]
Posted in Argentina, Economy | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Another Google product still in beta

Google appears to be rather proud of its new-found freedom of expression spine. It just released a snazzy new product mapping out the countries in the world whose governments have requested information be removed from one of the company’s products (Blogger, YouTube, etc.). Unfortunately, in order for numbers to be useful, you need some sort [...]
Posted in Argentina, Brazil, Human Rights | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Alamar

Alamar, a Mexican film about a father and son that is supposedly some kind of documentary/feature film hybrid, won best picture at the Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente. What a pretty-looking movie.
Posted in Arts and Culture, Mexico | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Women prisoners trafficked for prostitution

Guards, legal personnel, secretaries, and prisoners all allegedly participated in a prostitution ring in the Mexico City penal system that trafficked women prisoners from the female prisons to the male prisons for the enjoyment of “padrino” – or wealthy – prisoners there. [link]
Posted in Human Rights, Mexico, Side notes | Tagged , | Leave a comment

And still they won’t shut up

In addition to being placed on the IACHR’s blacklist of the region’s worst human rights violators (a nice ideologically-diverse group that also includes Venezuela, Honduras, Haiti, and Cuba), Colombia is a place where “you can barely say that there is freedom of expression,” according to the IACHR’s free speech rapporteur, Catalina Botero: It is difficult [...]
Posted in Colombia, Human Rights | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Crucitas: Loss or opportunity?

Crucitas, a controversial gold mine proposed for a desperately poor region of Costa Rica that is also home to the critically endangered green macaw (why does that always happen?), has hopped the obligatory Supreme Court hurdle. So what’s next? The environmental lobby will keep pushing back, as it should, but it must be careful not to [...]
Posted in Costa Rica, Environment | Tagged , | 3 Comments

The new guy

David Sherwood is an environmental journalist, fishing enthusiast, photographer, boat captain, and a pretty damn good shot. He’s traveled throughout Latin America and currently lives in Costa Rica. He’s joining Lat/Am Daily to write about environmental issues and whatever else crosses his mind. His excellent photography can be enjoyed at his web site, and his [...]
Posted in Housekeeping | Leave a comment
  • DAILY LINKS

    • 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]