Tag Archives: freedom of expression

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 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 [...]
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Another Google product still in beta

Google appears to be rather proud of its new-found freedom of expression spine. It just released a snazzy new product mapping out the countries in the world whose governments have requested information be removed from one of the company’s products (Blogger, YouTube, etc.). Unfortunately, in order for numbers to be useful, you need some sort [...]
Posted in Argentina, Brazil, Human Rights | Also tagged | Leave a comment

And still they won’t shut up

In addition to being placed on the IACHR’s blacklist of the region’s worst human rights violators (a nice ideologically-diverse group that also includes Venezuela, Honduras, Haiti, and Cuba), Colombia is a place where “you can barely say that there is freedom of expression,” according to the IACHR’s free speech rapporteur, Catalina Botero: It is difficult [...]
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Crackdown

A few months out from legislative elections, the Chávez administration today intensified its crackdown on opposition media by arresting Guillermo Zuloaga, the owner of Venezuela’s only remaining opposition television station, Globovisión. He was arrested by military intelligence police. Supposedly he is being investigated for criticizing the Chávez administration’s record of attacks on freedom of speech. [...]
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The chilling effect

It started with a rumor posted on popular anti-Chávez site NoticieroDigital.com that several government ministers had been murdered. Now there is talk in Venezuela of “regulating the internet,” whatever that might mean. I’ll believe it when I see it (and when I do see it, I’m going into the web proxy business). Frankly, the rumors [...]
Posted in Human Rights, Politics, Venezuela | Also tagged , , | 1 Comment

A little help from Ortega’s friends

Venezuela just became the proud owner of a Nicaraguan television channel, Telenica (Canal 8). The Venezuelans themselves confirmed to El Nuevo Diario that the money for the purchase of the channel came from ALBA de Nicaragua S.A., a corporation founded to manage incoming Venezuelan petrodollar handouts that is, in point of fact, 51% owned by Venezuela's state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela (PdVSA).
Posted in Nicaragua, Politics, Venezuela | Also tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Venezuela: Still on the brink

The world is condemning Venezuela for shutting down more media outlets. But international finger-wagging and domestic rioting have happened before, with no effect.
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  • 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]