Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Despite blanket bans on abortion with few exceptions, Latin American countries have the highest rate of abortions per captia in the entire world. Could the contradiction between policy and practice reflect a simultaneous drop in public deference to and a sustained political influence from the Catholic Church?
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Up for auction until last Thursday, when it was sold to the only guy who bid on it, was a lock of Che's hair and pictures of his dead body. A bookstore owner bought them for $100,000 (the minimum bid) to display in his store.
The, uh, memorabilia was owned by Gustavo Villoldo, a Cuban CIA opperative who aided in Che's capture and cut the hair just before Che was buried. He took the hair out of spite, thinking it was symbolic of cutting off the revolution. Villoldo decided to sell the pictures and hair at the auction house that sold Anna Nicole Smith's diaries.
The son of Gen. Barrientos, the Bolivian president who probably ordered Che's death, commented on the auction saying:
“Why anyone would want to buy this kind of stuff, I don’t know. I would find better uses for my money.”
Friday, October 26, 2007
First of all, Bariloche is absolutely beautiful. I was there in July, perfect time for skiing. The snow and the mountain are ok, especially for those who have been to the western U.S. but combined with the town nightlife, chocolate, natural parks, and lake(s) its really an idyllic place. For those on the younger side and not in need of absolute privacy this hostel is at the top of the tallest building and the staff are awesome.
She is the wife of President Kirchner. Also, she is a senator. Still, she doesn't like being compared to Hillary Clinton.
The election is Sunday the 28th of October, so we'll see what happens!
Associated Press article "Campaigning Closes in Argentina Election"
Thursday, October 25, 2007
"The danger of a massive world famine is aggravated by Mr. Bush's recent initiative to transform foods into fuel," referring to his support for biofuel projects that convert foodstuffs like corn into fuel.
I consider myself pretty pro-environment, but that's a way of looking at it I hadn't thought of before.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
This is the website of a private reserve in Costa Rica across the lake from the Arenal volcano in the vecinity of Monteverde. I stayed there for 4 days doing trail work and stuff. The guest house has a stunning view of the volcano when its not cloudy and you can hear it erupt almost every day. This is just another example of how Costa Ricans are preserving they're land even without the government. The preservation instinct has caught on in the culture as well. Its also a wonderful place to stay (for easy camping, no electricity but cold water).
Despite having drastically different ideologies, Álvaro Uribe of Colombia and Hugo Chávez of Venezuela are apparently trying to form a positve relationship between their countries. The two men come from vastly differnt backgrounds, and while Chavez and the US don't generally get along, the article states that Bush has " no closer friend in South America" than Uribe. The two countries haven't been too friendly lately (several Colombians mysteriously dissappeared in Venezuela not too long ago for instance.) And political leaders don't say many nice things abou teach other, but recently the 2 presidents got together to inaugerate a pipeline that is shared by both countries. Politcal instability and war are stereotypes of Latin America, so its good to read that things are changing in that regard.
click here to sign the petition
Thursday, October 18, 2007
It's interesting to see how global commerce affects different countries to different degrees. This is one more illustration of the way the Latin America is at a disadvantage in international commerce. Here's the link: http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=39080
Monday, October 15, 2007
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: October 12, 2007
Venezuela’s government has blocked the Spanish pop singer Alejandro Sanz from using Poliedro Stadium in Caracas for a scheduled Nov. 1 concert because he criticized President Hugo Chávez three years ago. Responding to questions about Mr. Chávez before a 2004 recall referendum, Mr. Sanz said: “I don’t like your president. I don’t like those from other places, either.” Higher Education Minister Luis Acuña, who disclosed the stadium ban, did not explain why the government had initially agreed to the concert.
This article was in the NYT Americas section. I found it really sad that even in musical and artistic expression as we have been discussing in class couldn't be a proper outlet because of a singer's outdated comments. Even if the government feared what he stated, his music wasnt directly offensive and they are taking away his personal expression, and because he's a popular artist, odds are other people related to it as well. I guess this is an indicator of the state of Venezuela's political situation currently.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
This article is really interesting- it gives the story of Sandra Ávila Beltrán, arrested last month in Mexico, who is a big player in Mexico's cocaine trafficing world. She's been known as the Queen of the Pacific since she was in charge of shipping cocaine between different Mexican port cities. She has led a very interesting life; sleeping with men to climb higher in the world, and marrying the director of an anti-drug campaign. When she was arrested, she asked to be allowed to freshen her makeup for her mug shot. And she thinks its against her rights not to be allowed to have restaurant food in jail. Crazy.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Monday, October 08, 2007
Sunday, October 07, 2007
I found this article in the NYT americas section
Saturday, October 06, 2007
I'm glad to see that indigenous groups are being given power to make decisions about their homelands--it's just sad that it's such a rare occasion that it makes international news (and that it hasn't happened much in the past 600 years).
Friday, October 05, 2007
In the past, Mexico has not had a huge drug problem- drugs on their way to the US from other Latin American countries would pass through, but Mexico itself didn't have a large number of users. In the past few years however, the situation has changed. The above article, from the New York Times, has stories of towns in Mexico where crack houses are operating alongside small grocery stores and the like and people sell drugs on every corner. There are rehab centers everywhere- and usually they're small houses with one bathroom that about 30 users are locked into for 3 or so months.
I also read that Colombia's drug use has gone down (a country stereotyped by its drug use). Will Mexico take over that stereotype and become "the new Colombia" in the years to come? Hopefully not....
Thursday, October 04, 2007