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: massacre
By Peter Krupa | Published: February 23, 2010
February 18 was the 10th anniversary of the El Salado massacre, in which 400 paramilitary members spent two days brutalizing the small village of El Salado in Bolívar, Colombia. From a Human Rights Watch report describing the massacre: On February 18, 2000, an estimated 400 uniformed and armed paramilitaries arrived in the village of El [...]
By Peter Krupa | Published: February 8, 2010
Two massacres are unsettling a tenuous calm in El Salvador. The first took place about a week ago. A group of gunman wearing black ski masks and armed with an M-16, a 9mm handgun, and a .22 caliber handgun appeared at a swimming hole where about a dozen gang members were bathing. They opened fire, [...]
By Peter Krupa | Published: February 3, 2010
Monday's birthday party massacre in Ciudad Juarez is turning into something of a political emergency for Calderón.
By Peter Krupa | Published: February 2, 2010
An apparently senseless massacre in Ciudad Juarez underscores the fact that sensible gang-on-gang violence can quickly turn senseless. It's not too much of a stretch for bloodthirsty killers to graduate to straight-up terrorism to accomplish political goals.