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]
Tag Archives: Argentina
By Dave Sherwood | Published: April 21, 2010
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. [...]
By Peter Krupa | Published: April 11, 2010
The good folks at George Washington University’s National Security Archive project report that recently-declassified memos show U.S. Secretary of State and Nobel Prize winner Henry Kissinger directly ordering underlings to cancel warnings against launching Operation Condor to military dictatorships in Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay . Four days later, a car bomb killed former Chilean foreign [...]
By Peter Krupa | Published: April 4, 2010
I’ve heard of mining companies doing some brazen, awful things in Latin America, but this might take the cake. The concessions granted to Australian mining company BHP Billiton near the controversial Agua Rica mine in Argentina give it the right to expropriate the town of Andalgalá itself for metal extraction. From the official document, via [...]
By Peter Krupa | Published: March 30, 2010
GlobalPost.com has published a great little video on beef prices in Argentina. The government has regulated prices and exports to keep citizens happy, but that means producers have been pinched. Some are no longer producing, which could result in a beef shortage in the country with the highest per capita beef consumption in the world.
By Peter Krupa | Published: March 20, 2010
It sounded like a straight-forward political scandal. An Argentine judge named María José Sarmiento blocked Kirchner’s controversial attempt to use Central Bank reserves to pay its foreign debt. Yesterday, the government tried to arrest her father. An outrageous example of the executive harassing the judiciary, right? Except the judge’s father is Luis Sarmiento, a retired [...]
By Peter Krupa | Published: March 18, 2010
Just because it’s late, I’m tired, I’m still at work, and every so often you need to look at something beautiful, I give you, the most incredible bookstore in the world, the Librería El Ateneo Grand Splendid in Buenos Aires. More on Buenos Aires from NatGeo.
By Peter Krupa | Published: March 4, 2010
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s ballsy victory on Central Bank reserves is starting to look awfully Pyrrhic. The opposition reacted swiftly. Not only has a judge blocked the use of reserves to pay debt, but the opposition (now with a majority coalition in the Senate) is moving to fire her Central Bank president. Today, in a [...]
By Peter Krupa | Published: February 26, 2010
I have the impression that in Argentina, politics is always something of a circus, and that everyone revels in the madness. The latest uproar started on Wednesday, when the opposition said it was poised to take control of the Senate with a 37-seat coalition (they already have control of the lower chamber). This would have [...]
By Peter Krupa | Published: February 24, 2010
A father and son met each other for the first time after being separated by Argentina’s dirty war for 33 years. In 1977, Abel Madariaga’s pregnant wife was kidnapped by a government death squad and taken to the Campo de Mayo, a military base in the suburbs of Buenos Aires. She gave birth, and was [...]
By Peter Krupa | Published: February 21, 2010
Argentine ranchers are suing fruit farmers over the use of "hail cannons," which shoot booming shock waves straight up into clouds. The farmers say the cannons prevent hail by breaking it up. The ranchers say the cannons are causing a drought. Most experts, meanwhile, doubt the cannons do anything at all.