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.)

Posted in Colombia, Human Rights, Politics, War on drugs | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Bank tweeters arrested

In an interesting development in Venezuela, the CICPC (equivalent, I think, to the FBI) has made its first arrest of Twitter users: Two people who accutanedelyveri. the agency says tweeted rumors with the intent to destabilize the banking sector by causing a run on banks.

According to a press release, CICPC director Wilmer Flores said:

False rumors on social networks are clearly punished in Article 448 of the banking law. This means that clalis. anyone who spreads malevolent rumors via any means, e-mail, text messages from cellular phones, through Twitter, Facebook, or any other technological tool, with their own voice or through any other means of communication is committing a crime and must answer to the relevant authorities.

Noticias24 ran down one of the allegedlyAi??felonious tweets, from one Luis Enrique Acosta Oxford, which said, “People, so you can’t say I didn’t warn you, pull your money out of BANESCO today, there aren’t many days left.”

I know, rumors cyproheptadine recreational. on Twitter. Can you believe it?

This tweet was from June 30, a couple weeks after the government took over (deservedly) Banco Federal, intensifying an already tense situation after the take-over of about a dozen other small and medium-sized banks late last year.

Malicious speech isn’t protected anywhere in the world, and people should learn that applies to Twitter as well. But if you need a special law to protect your banking system’s solvency from the effects of rumors, perhaps the real problem lies elsewhere.

Posted in Economy, Venezuela | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Guinea pig bets on Uruguay

The Germans may have Paul the Psychic Octopus, but the Peruvians have Jimmy the Frightened Guinea Pig, whose terrified skittering apparently means Uruguay and Germany will face off in the World Cup final.
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Not sure if having the support of a guinea pig will do anything to encourage the sildenafil citrate 100mg buy online usa. Uruguayan squad today as they stare down almost certain destruction at the hands of the Dutch.

Posted in Odd, Peru, Uruguay | 1 Comment

US warships headed to Costa Rica

Southward bound.

Militaryless, democratic, non-conflict-having Costa Rica is the new front in the United States’ War on Inanimate Objects.Ai??The country’s Ai??national assembly has given the OK for a veritable US invasion force to enter Costa Rican territory: 7,000 marines on 46 warships, including the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship the USS Makin Island, pictured.

La NaciA?n quotes a document from the US Embassy that states that, “The US personnel in Costa Rica will be able to enjoy freedom of movement and the right to carry out the activities that they consider necessary to complete their mission.”

Well isn’t that just vigora medicine information in hindi. permissively vague.

The legislation says the mission has to do with fighting drug traffickers, as well as a few humanitarian goals, though the humanitarian use of a Harrier jet is still somewhat unclear.

On a casual note, I would point out again that for all the Costa RicanAi??smugnessAi??about not having an army, they do a pretty good job of borrowing one when they need it.Ai??On a more serious note, because this is bound to be extremely politically unpopular domestically, the government must have a damn good reason for inviting all this firepower in from up north.

My guess is that the government is secretly terrified generic finasteride 1 mg. it is losing control of the security situation. They probably should be.

A proportionally very large amount of cocaine is busted in Costa Rica every year, and the country has become something of a bodega for Mexican and Colombian drug smugglers, what with its good infrastructure, weak judicial system, ill-equipped police force, long coastlines, remote beaches, terrible immigration enforcement, and ample opportunities for laundering money through real estate transactions and layers of shell corporations.

I’m not sure how well-armed helicopters will change any of those factors, unless you could make the National Registry more transparent by slipping a few Hellfire missiles through the front door . Probably wouldn’t hurt.

Anyway, keep ironing around that wrinkle infatrim adalah obat. fellas. You’ll win the war on drugs any day now.

Posted in Costa Rica, Politics, War on drugs | Tagged , , , | 27 Comments

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 shot:

For years, federal authorities watched as the wife and daughter of where to buy diflucan over the counter. Oscar Oropeza, a drug smuggler working for the Matamoros-based Gulf Cartel, deposited stacks of cash at a Bank of America branch on Boca Chica Boulevard in Brownsville, Texas, less than 3 miles from the border.

The Oropeza case gives a new, literal meaning to the term money laundering. Oropezaai??i??s wife, Tina Marie, and daughter Paulina Marie deposited stashes of $20 bills several times a day into Bank of America accounts, Salazar says. Bank employees got to know the Oropezas by the smell of their money.

ai???I asked the tellers what they were talking about, and they said the money had this sweet smell like Bounce, those sheets you throw into the dryer,ai??? Salazar says. ai???They told me that when they opened the vault, the smell of Bounce just poured out.ai???

Yes, they were literally laundering money. I suppose kamagra thailand. to wash off the cocaine, or something.

The drug traffickers appear to be onto something obvious: In my personal,Ai??anecdotal, totally non-peer-reviewed experience, it is a hell of a lot easier to open bank accounts and move money in the United States than in Latin America.

Maybe someday soon, the war on drugs will also make it impossible to open a bank buy online drug with paypal. account in the US without presenting a copy of a university diploma.

Posted in Economy, Mexico, War on drugs | 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 lasix amazon. , 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 SA?nchez de Lozada during his 2002 Presidential campaign.Ai?? SA?nchez de Lozada resigned and fled to Chevy Chase, Maryland in 2003 to escape prosecution for the massacre of 60 protesters by troops operating under augmentin no prescription. his orders.Ai?? Last year Feierstein and his colleagues again conducted polling in Bolivia to assist the campaign of right wing candidate Manfred Reyes Villa, who lost by a landslide to President Evo Morales.[1]Ai?? The appointment of the political pollster has increased apprehension in the region that aid programs will continue to be used to support U.S.-favored political actors within the regionai??i??s democracies.

The AIN takes generic viagra pay for by e check. the eminently reasonable position that if Obama wants Latin Americans to see USAID as something more than a shady political operation, he should not appoint shady political operatives to run it.

(Disclaimer: I don’t know much about the AIN, only that I heard an excellent interview with head Kathryn Ledebur on the Just the Facts podcast, and she impressed me very much as a thoughtful person who knows what’s up.)

Posted in Bolivia, Politics | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Kick some ass

Peru’sAi?? cheapest viagra 100mg. El Comercio is reporting that aAi??reservoirAi??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 escaped the reservoir, though the article doesn’t specify what kind of toxic material is involved.

When an open-pit goldmine in Costa Rica was shut down in 2007 on fears that something similar was about to happen, the chemical causing concern was cyanide. Not sure if that’s the case here.

Supposedly the Caudalosa Chica mine has polluted things before.

It would be easy to jump all amoxicillin with no prescription. over whatever mining company is at fault, but let’s be honest, mining companies and any other profit-motivated corporations will go as far as you let them. We know this for a fact. It’s what they’re designed to do: pursue profit where they can get it.

At the heart of the matter, therefore, these environmental catastrophes are the government’s fault, for not requiring strict enough safety procedures, for not funding the institutions charged with enforcing those safety buy kamagra next day delivery paypal. procedures, and for not having strong enoughAi??punitiveAi??measures in place to punish companies who dodge the rules and to make damn sure any clean-ups are well funded.

Post-disaster, the government usually attempts a neat responsibility dodge, a la Barack Obama’s declared desire to kick BP executive ass. But really, the Ai??asses that deserve kicking are seated in nice leather chairs located in a statehouse somewhere.

Posted in Environment, Peru, Politics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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.

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 bar santissimo poa. foodstuffs in 2008. The amount is triple its distribution capacity (191,000) and almost quadruple the sales made that year (122,000 tons) according to a management report from the company dated June 2010.

Importing three times as muchAi??perishableAi??inventory retin a canada over the counter. as you have the capacity to distribute does indeed have a predictable, stinky outcome.

I’m not sure why the report examines numbers from the end of 2008, but it’s probably still a decent illustration of how the government was doing business, which is not unlike the legendary way Venezuelans have always done business when possessed of a huge pile of oil cash: ‘ta barrato. Dame dos.

I suppose I don’t need to mention that you won’t have any food rotting in any ports united pharmacies zopiclone. if you produce it locally, but there, I just did.

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 canadian pharmacy 24h contact. 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.

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Posted in Housekeeping | 2 Comments
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