Category Archives: Colombia

Betancourt’s tin ear

What is wrong with Ingrid Betancourt? The most charitable explanation is that she is absolutely terrible at public relations. Her first act upon being rescued from six years in FARC captivity last year was to leave her faithful, long-suffering husband. Then she moved to France – her other nationality – and now she’s asking the Colombian [...]
Also posted in Human Rights, Politics, War on drugs | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

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 [...]
Also posted in Arts and Culture, Odd | Tagged | Leave a comment

Mockus: Smoked

The count is in for the first round of Colombia’s presidential election, and Mockus didn’t do nearly as well as his earlier popularity might have suggested. Incumbent party candidate Manuel Santos smoked him, hauling in 46% of the vote to Mockus’ 21%. In order to win in a second round on June 20, Mockus will [...]
Also posted in Politics | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Bringing on the nasty

Santos, the heir apparent to Uribe’s throne, is now in the fight of his life (that is, the only fight of his life, since he’s never run for public office before). So what does a former minister of defense do when he’s back on defense? Go on offense, of course. The Colombian media is reporting [...]
Also posted in Politics | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Whales? What Whales?

Congratulations, Colombia, for selecting the single most inappropriate spot in Latin America for an industrial port capable of handling (low-impact?) Post-Panamax ships. Malaga Bay, on the country’s Pacific coast, is the most important whale breeding ground in the entire world, one of the most biodiverse places on the planet and home to 148 species of fish, [...]
Also posted in Environment | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Economist on Mockus

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]
Also posted in Politics, Side notes | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Mockus running away with it

This is almost ridiculous. According to the latest polls, Mockus leads Santos 38% to 29%, and in a runoff he would absolutely dominate, with 50% to Santos’ 37%. I think it might be time for Chávez to start squabbling with someone else, and for the rest of us to start wondering what a Mockus presidency [...]
Also posted in Politics | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Santos and Mockus tied

Folks, we have a race. According to the latest poll results, Santos and Mockus are technically tied for first place, polling with 35% and 34% of the vote. Also? If the second round of the presidential election were between Santos and Mockus, the former mayor of Bogotá would win the election with 50%, over the [...]
Also posted in Politics | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Pecados de mi Padre

This looks like a fascinating movie: Pecados de mi Padre – Sins of my Father – purports to be a documentary on the life of Pablo Escobar’s son, Sebastián, but it also appears to have a healthy bit of good clean footage and storytelling about Pablo himself. However, I have to say that having read [...]
Also posted in Arts and Culture, History, War on drugs | 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 [...]
Also posted in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Economy, El Salvador, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela | Tagged | 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]