Betancourt’s tin ear

What is wrong with Ingrid Betancourt?Ai??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 government – the government that mounted a hugely complicated, daring operation to rescue her – for US$6.8mn in damages for the kidnapping ordeal.

There are plenty of people who robaxin for sale no. would be within their rights to demand monetary compensation from the Colombian military, but Betancourt? And really, is this the best she’s got?

A smart person and a good politician would have been able to leverage her kidnapping experience into a few speaking engagements, a visiting professorship, several seats on the boards of NGOs, and buy diazepam 10mg online uk. a profitable book about a humbling journey that made one spiritually stronger, etc.

And then, who knows? Public office? A UN Rapporteurship? A lobbying position?

But when Betancourt stepped off that helicopter and onto the public stage, she spontaneously combusted, and she’s been burning ever since. La Silla Vacia tries to argue that this latest tone-deaf move is part of her history of chasing after money.Ai??But as I just noted, there are all sorts of ways Betancourt could have turned her ordeal into money had she been so inclined. Sell the movie rights, for Christ’s sake.

Only someone who feels both completely indifferent to the opinions of average people and totally entitled to special treatment from authority could do something this boneheaded. This isn’t Betancourt the almost-martyr presidential candidate, Colombia’s angel of suffering before FARC sex tablet name for men. brutality and the gaze of all the world.

This is Betancourt the aristocrat, and it makes one think that maybe the gringos were right.

(Original image courtesy Fabio Gismondi, via Wikimedia Commons.)

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Acid-throwers linked to contest opponent

MarAi??a Fernanda NA?Ai??ez is a Colombian model who was poised to win the title to represent North articulo 139. 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 is FabiA?n SA?ez IbA?Ai??ez, a young man who identified himself with his ID card on June 10 in the chemical store where he bought the bottles of acid. SA?ez is the boyfriend of Yesid RamA?n GA?mez, who is himself the cousin of Carolina GA?mez GA?mez, one of the eight candidates who were competing against ‘Mafe’ for the will alli be available again soon. title of Miss North Santander and to represent the region in [the Miss Colombia competition] in Cartegena. Carolina GA?mez [is] a favorite together with the candidate who was attacked.

Buying acid with your ID card on the day you plan to attack someone with said acid does not strike me as a brilliant move. Anyway, Caracol is reporting that the suspects, whoever they are, have fled, which is a bit smarter.

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The Semana article seems to indicate that MarAi??a Fernanda is recovering well, and she appeared on CNN the other night. Here’s a video of her from 2009. Get well soon.

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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 have to capture i want to purchase some stomectin pills. basically everyone who didn’t vote for either candidate, which is, to say the least, unlikely.

The take-away from the voting is either that electoral opinion polling in Colombia doesn’t work or cialis tadalafil 20mg sale. that about 40% of Colombian voters changed their minds roughly three times over two months. Or that someone was buying votes.

Anyway, the analysts who warned that Mockus’ Green Party does not have the necessary infrastructure to win anything on a national level seem to have been right.

It’s certainly an accomplishment to make it to the second round, but cialis mail order canada. unless something extraordinary happens, I have to think the well-oiled Partido de la U machinery is going to finish Mockus off next month.

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Bringing on the nasty

But he looks so harmless.

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 that Santos has brought into his campaign a character variously known as Rasputin, a master of “dirty war,” and someone who I’ll go ahead and characterize as the Karl Rove of Latin America.

Juan JosAi?? “J.J.” RendA?n is supposedly a master of the whisper campaign. A Venezuelan who worked kamagra jelly uk. for the opposition in 2004 during the recall referendum, he was involved in the latest presidential campaign of Honduras’ Porfirio Lobo, as well as other shenanigans in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. He’s also had business in Colombia, working on behalf of Uribe’s party and helping it take the legislature in 2006.

Apparently he plays dirty. Once he threatened to destroy the career of a rebel Colombian senator by linking him to prostitution. Another time he allegedly smeared a Mexican politician by spreading pamphlets claiming the man was a pederast.

He says he’s won all but two of the 22 campaigns he’s been involved in. From a 2007 Semana article:

Political circles accuse J.J. RendA?n of having been behind the defamatory campaigns against former candidates for president Rafael purchase voltran pills. Pardo Rueda (liberal) and Carlos Gaviria (Polo DemocrA?tico). He denies the reports and says that he’s always acted within the law. In an interview with MarAi??a Isabel Rueda he said, “If it’s within the law, then I don’t have any misgivings.”

Spoken like a true sociopath. Really, though, the media reports seem a little overblown, buy nolvadex online indian pharmacy. as if we’re supposed to believe that in Latin American politics, you have to bring in an evil wizard from abroad to play dirty. More like an evil wizard you can throw under the bus if the plan backfires.

Anyway, the report in La Silla Vacia cites an unnamed source claiming that Jota Jota has been in Santos’ campaign for awhile now, which might explain the rumors that circulated about Mockus’ Parkinson’s before he admitted publicly to having the condition. I hope he’s watching his back.

Also posted in Politics | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Whales? What Whales?

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Humpback whales are big.

Congratulations, Colombia, for selecting the single most inappropriate spot in Latin America for an industrial port capable of handling (low-impact?)Ai??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, 114 species of reptiles, and atorvastatin buy india. 400 species of trees.

Never mind that endangeredAi??humpback whales, the largest of marine mammals, travel up to 8,000 kilometers (from the Antarctic!) just to give birth here, or that the people who live in the communities along Malaga Bay have fought tooth and nail for almost a decade to protect them and make these waters a park.

But Post-Panamax ships are bigger.

A heartfelt congratulations, too, to the good folks at the AsociaciA?n Nacional de Industriales del Valle (ANDI), who apparently did the impossible, convincing the Environment Minister Carlos Costa to hold off on signing the park’s declaratory papers. Back in September, National Park Director Julia Miranda declaredAi??“The Minister has decided…it would take a presidential counter-order to stop this from becoming a park.”

We here at Lat/Am Daily checked for the counter order but didn’t find it.

Fortunately for the whales, the Colombians have hired a group of trustworthy SpaniardsAi??from the University of Cadiz to do the environmental impact study.

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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.” [ synthroid with no rx. link]

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Mockus running away with it

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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 ChA?vez to start squabbling with someone else, and for the rest of us to start wondering what a Mockus presidency would actually look like.

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Santos and Mockus tied

Folks, we have a race. According to the latest poll results alli buy in us. , 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 BogotA? would win the election with 50%, over the former metformin er 500mg tab amn. defense minister’s 44%.

And that’s from flagyl without prescription overnight. El Tiempo, which is owned by Santos’ family. Hot damn.

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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, SebastiA?n, 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 Killing Pablo the whole thing seems a little weird. According to my foggy recollection, during Pablo’s final days, 16-year-old SebastiA?n was Pablo’s communication link to the world and to his troops, such as they were by that point.

And he took to the job pretty full sail university scam hong kong online pharmacy. . heartily.

That would make SebastiA?n a little more than just the innocent bystander he appears to be portraying himself as. Of course, many of us at 16 would have done something similarly craven if given the chance, but I still wonder if this documentary buy advair online without prescription. is an attempt at laundering the past.

Anyway, lots of questions. Hope I can find this somewhere other than HBO.

(Thanks to AnahAi?? for the tip on this one.)

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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 analysis of the region’s sovereign debt prospects (PDF), Fitch Ratings divides the region’s economies into three “camps.” One camp includes countries like Venezuela, Argentina, and Ecuador, whose recovery will be slower than that of the rest of the world for reasons that should surprise no one (high inflation, weak institutions, poor fiscal discipline, if you must know).

In a second camp are countries like Chile, Peru, and Brazil, whose good fiscal discipline, low political risk, and safe investment environments mean their economies will be growing like soloxine without prescription. weeds this year and next.

Then we have the middle camp, which is basically countries that cast their development lot with the United States: Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador. And here’s the interesting part. Fitch projects this group will see only a moderately-paced recovery specifically because they’re tied to the US.

Meanwhile, Fitch says the Chile/Peru/Brazil group is wher is tadalafil cheapest. doing particularly well partly because it does more business with China.

So I ask you: At what other point in recent history has easy access and close ties to the US economy been seen as a best place to buy viagra professional. disadvantage?

(Original image courtesy H. Langos via Wikimedia Commons.)

Also posted in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Economy, El Salvador, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela | Tagged | Leave a comment

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    • 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." [ synthroid with no rx. link]

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