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Category Archives: South America

Operation Car Wash: The biggest corruption scandal ever? 

On 14 January 2015, police agent Newton Ishii was waiting in Rio de Janeiro’s Galeão airport to meet the midnight flight from London. His mission was simple. A former executive of Brazil’s national oil company, Petrobras, was on the plane. Ishii was to arrest him as soon as he set foot in Brazil and take him for questioning by detectives.

No big deal, the veteran cop thought as he ticked off the hours in the shabby Terminal One lounge. This was just one of many anti-bribery operations he had worked on. Usually they made a few headlines, then faded away, leaving the perpetrators to carry on as if nothing had happened. There was a popular expression for this: acabou em pizza (to end up with pizza), which suggested that there was no political row that could not be settled over a meal and a few beers.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/01/brazil-operation-car-wash-is-this-the-biggest-corruption-scandal-in-history

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2017 in South America

 

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Manuel Noriega, a thug of a different era

In an era that surges with new monsters and tyrants, the former Panamanian strongman Manuel Antonio Noriega, who died in a hospital on Monday, at the age of eighty-three, seemed an almost quaint throwback to another time. Noriega had been all but forgotten by the world since his precipitous fall from grace, in 1989, when U.S. military forces invaded Panama to remove him from power. While the world moved on and changed, Noriega spent the past twenty-seven years in prison, most of it in a U.S. federal penitentiary, after being convicted on drug-trafficking and money-laundering charges, then briefly in France, for money laundering, and finally, since 2011, back home in Panama, for murder.
http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/manuel-noriega-a-thug-of-a-different-era/amp

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2017 in South America

 

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The Genocide of Brazil’s Indians 

On April 30, a group of ranchers armed with rifles and machetes attacked a settlement of about 400 families from the Gamela tribe, in the state of Maranhão, in northeastern Brazil. According to the Indigenous Missionary Council, an advocacy group, 22 Indians were wounded, including three children. Many were shot in the back or had their wrists chopped.Soon after the attack, the Ministry of Justice announced on its website that it would investigate “the incident between small farmers and alleged indigenous people.” (Minutes later, the word “alleged” was removed.)

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2017 in South America

 

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Editorial: El terrorismo mapuche 

La discusión sobre si se debe aplicar o no la ley antiterrorista en ciertos casos de violencia acontecidos en La Araucanía es más lo que oculta que lo que esclarece. ¿Es un acto terrorista la quema de camiones madereros? Depende: si se descubre que el móvil es cobrar seguros comprometidos o generar algún tipo de privilegio o ganancia económica, es obvio que no sería un acto terrorista, sino una infracción común con rasgos de estafa. Y para ese tipo de delitos existen las leyes comunes. Si el objetivo, en cambio, es causar terror y alarma pública en la zona para llamar la atención respecto de la causa de un grupo cualquiera, es evidente que estaríamos ante un delito de tipo terrorista, y es de suponer que si el delito es ése, la ley que corresponde aplicar es aquella confeccionada especialmente para tales circunstancias.

Source: Editorial: El terrorismo mapuche – The Clinic Online

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2017 in South America

 

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El zapatismo impulsa a los indígenas a las elecciones 

Magdalena García se veía y decía ya grande, cansada. Se apena porque dice que su mensaje no es claro cuando de sus palabras salen dardos cargados de realidad apabullante. “Nadie nos quiere ver, nadie quiere escuchar de nosotros”, lanza esta indígena mazahua de 59 años, seis hijos, año y medio encarcelada. “Ni modo”, se repetía, pues si en México ya de por sí es complicado imaginarse una mujer presidenta, qué va a poder hacer en unas elecciones si encima es indígena: “Nunca pensé que íbamos a ver esta semilla”.

Source: El zapatismo impulsa a los indígenas a las elecciones | Internacional | EL PAÍS

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2017 in South America

 

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Uruguayan pharmacies will start selling cannabis

ON THE outskirts of Libertad, a small town an hour’s drive from Montevideo, barbed wire and guard towers surround a ten-hectare plot of state-owned land. Inside, greenhouses shelter thousands of marijuana plants. These belong to ICC and Simbiosys, the two firms licensed by Uruguay’s government to grow cannabis for recreational use. Uruguayans will soon be able to sample their product. Since May 2nd they have been able to register at the post office as prospective customers for the corporate weed, which will be sold through pharmacies from July.
http://www.economist.com/news/americas/21721662-will-they-drive-street-dealers-out-business-uruguayan-pharmacies-will-start-selling-cannabis

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2017 in South America

 

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Chi paga il conto per le banane equosolidali

Il terreno è piccolo, non supera l’ettaro e mezzo. Gli alti fusti, ognuno con il suo casco di frutti avvolto in una sacca di plastica, proteggono dal sole battente. Gustavo Gandini affonda le mani nel terreno e mostra il brulicare della vita nei suoi dettagli più piccoli e meno attraenti: “Guardate questo lombrico, questo lungo verme peloso!”.Una gallina razzola a poca distanza, colibrì becchettano tra le foglie. “In un campo coltivato convenzionalmente, vedreste solo morte e desolazione. Con il biologico, invece, la natura vive e si riproduce in un ciclo integrato”. Siamo in una piantagione di banani vicino a Mao, nel nord della Repubblica Dominicana. Sono venuto qui insieme a una piccola delegazione di giornalisti europei per vedere l’origine della filiera della banana. Gandini, agronomo colombiano di remote origini italiane, è il direttore tecnico di Banelino, un consorzio di 140 piccoli produttori che in quest’area controllano 1.500 ettari. Tutti rigorosamente biologici e parte del commercio equo e solidale.La Repubblica Dominicana si è specializzata negli ultimi anni in questo settore: il 70 per cento delle banane prodotte qui è biologico, circa il 40 per cento è inserito nei circuiti del fair trade. Un terzo delle banane del circuito fair trade consumate in Italia arriva da qui. Una nicchia di mercato che ha permesso al piccolo stato caraibico di ritagliarsi un ruolo accanto ai grandi esportatori mondiali: l’Ecuador, la Colombia, la Costa Rica e le varie altre “repubbliche delle banane” dell’America Centrale.

Source: Chi paga il conto per le banane equosolidali – Stefano Liberti – Internazionale

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2017 in South America

 

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Colombia’s Guerrillas Come Out of the Jungle

Last September, Carlos Antonio Lozada, a commander of Colombia’s FARC guerrillas, returned home to a jungle encampment in the vast wetland region called Yarí. He had spent the past two years in Havana, staying in a villa near Fidel Castro’s home, while working with other guerrilla leaders and Colombian diplomats on a peace agreement to end the FARC’s fifty-two-year insurgency—the longest in the Western Hemisphere. His time there had been gruelling: an endless succession of arguments, proposals, and counterproposals, with painful testimony from victims of both sides. “It was non-stop,” Lozada told me. At last, though, on August 24th, the two sides reached an agreement. When Lozada’s plane touched down, los camaradas—his fifty-odd personal bodyguards, young men and women who had been with him since they were little more than children—greeted him on the airstrip with a song that they had composed. “They made me cry,” he told me. “Toward the end of my time in Havana, all I could think about was being back here. The FARC is my family.”As Lozada told me this, he was sitting in a thatched hut in Yarí, which has long been dominated by the FARC, sipping Old Parr Scotch. Communist guerrillas are not known for their fashion sense, but Lozada, a limber man with a shaved head and a small paunch, has a dandyish streak. In Havana, he wore loud tropical shirts and suède loafers. In Yarí, he favored T-shirts in hot pink, canary yellow, sky blue. With such bourgeois tastes, Lozada is an unlikely seeming Marxist revolutionary. But, at fifty-six, he is the youngest member of the seven-man secretariat that governs the FARC.

Source: Colombia’s Guerrillas Come Out of the Jungle – The New Yorker

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2017 in South America

 

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El sonido del mundo 

¿Los zapatistas han desaparecido? Los medios, alguna vez ávidos de noticias con pasamontañas, los tratan como si hubieran vuelto a la noche de los tiempos.Pero existen, dedicados a la transformación de la vida diaria en sus caracoles y Juntas de Buen Gobierno, y no dejan de plantear iniciativas. Contra la “haraganería del pensamiento”, han organizado estimulantes seminarios internacionales, que prefieren llamar “semilleros”.

Source: El sonido del mundo | Internacional | EL PAÍS

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2017 in South America

 

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Will Brazilians Cancel Carnival? 

As many as 70 towns and cities around Brazil are reported to have canceled Carnival festivities this year because they are suffering from the worst recession in the country’s recent history.

The mayor of Taquari, in Rio Grande do Sul, has decided to use the money that would have gone to the celebrations to speed up the waiting line for health exams in public hospitals, as well as to fund a project for children with special needs. Last year, the city of Guaraí, in Tocantins, canceled New Year festivities to renovate two public schools, while in Porto Ferreira, a small town in São Paulo State, the local assembly voted to call off Carnival and use the money to buy a new ambulance.

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/02/19/opinion/will-brazilians-cancel-carnival.html

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2017 in South America

 

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