Monthly Archives: June 2010

Money laundering (get it?)

If you read one story today, let it be Michael Smith’s very long and very interesting story in Bloomberg on how Mexican drug traffickers launder money through US banks like Wachovia (now owned by Wells Fargo) and Bank of America. The piece is long and excellent enough to defy excerpting, but let’s give it a [...]
Posted in Economy, Mexico, War on drugs | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Uruguay fuels up

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 [...]
Posted in Odd, Side notes, Uruguay | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Know your nominees

Obama’s nomination to head USAID’s programs in Latin America is Mark Feierstein, who, according to the Andean Information Network, is a pollster who works for right-wing political candidates in Latin America, including ones who’ve presided over massacres: Feierstein, of the firm Greenberg, Quinlan and Rosner, served as a political adviser to former Bolivian president Gonzalo [...]
Posted in Bolivia, Politics | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Gubernatorial candidate assassinated

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]
Posted in Mexico, Politics, Side notes, War on drugs | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Kick some ass

Peru’s El Comercio is reporting that a reservoir holding chemical left-overs from a mining operation collapsed, contaminating the Opamayo River, killing a bunch of fish, and polluting god knows what else. According to MineralMundi, the Caudalosa Chica mine is used for extracting silver, copper, lead, and Zinc. Government sources are estimating that 21,400 cubic meters of toxic material [...]
Posted in Environment, Peru, Politics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Acid-throwers linked to contest opponent

María Fernanda Núñez is a Colombian model who was poised to win the title to represent North Santander in the Miss Colombia competition. Then someone threw acid in her face. Now the Colombian authorities say they know who did it, and the suspect is linked to another participant in the competition. From Semana: The suspect [...]
Posted in Arts and Culture, Colombia, Odd | Tagged | Leave a comment

‘ta barrato, dame 600k toneladas

An article in El Nacional puts a nice little bow on Venezuela’s ongoing rotting food scandal, in which a government importer left about 122,000 tons of foodstuffs to spoil in containers at Puerto Cabello. From the article: The Productora y Distribuidora Venezolana de Alimentos, Pdval, imported 597,000 tons of foodstuffs in 2008. The amount is [...]
Posted in Economy, Politics, Venezuela | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Back in the saddle

Unsurprisingly enough, a new job, a new baby, and a move to a new country recently proved devastating to my blogging capacity. However, I am now back, juggling fatherhood and full-time employment, and typing away from Santiago, Chile.
Posted in Housekeeping | 2 Comments
  • 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]