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Date: Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 16:16

Argentina is less than nine hours away from defaulting on its debt to foreign creditors unless a deal is reached some time today.

Representatives for the Argentine government and creditors are currently meeting in New York City in the hope of averting what would be the country’s second default in 13 years. The envoys are together with a mediator assigned by Thomas Griesa, a U.S. judge who ordered that the Argentine government pay holdouts some $1.5 billion in unpaid debts including interest.  The purchased Argentine bonds for a low price and rejected the government's restructuring offers after its record $100 billion default in 2001.

Up until today, negotiations between both sides have been sporadic and yielded very little progress. Argentine President Cristina Fernandez is at the Mercosur trading bloc summit in Venezuela trying to gain support against the creditors that she deemed as “vulture funds” for spending years litigating for payment in full.  Fernandez and at least one of the holdouts have separately pushed for a delay on the repayment but Griesa has so far refused.

In what may be an optimistic sign prior to today’s meeting, Griesa permitted the one-time payment of some dollar-denominated bonds since they were issued in a settlement to Spanish oil firm Repsol.  Furthermore, the Argentine Economy Ministry said yesterday that the government had made a $642 million payment on $9.7 billion in debt owed to the Paris Club of creditor nations.

“Argentina will not fall into default and our loans with China will not collapse,” insisted Interior Minister Florencio Randazzo this morning.  Yet worries over a failure to reach an agreement spooked investors and led the Buenos Aires stock exchange index to drop by 1% at the close of trading on Monday.  A possible default could lead to bondholders claiming an amount equal to Argentina’s foreign currency reserves:


If the overdue interest on Argentina’s dollar-denominated securities due 2033 isn’t paid by July 30, provisions in bond indentures known as cross-default clauses would allow the nation’s other debt holders to also demand their money back immediately. The amount ($29 billion) corresponds to Argentina’s debt issued in foreign currencies and governed by international laws…
 
“It would mean that Argentina is in default on most all of its debt and presumably everybody would be in the same boat,” Anna Gelpern, a fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and a law professor at Georgetown University, said in a telephone interview.
According to economist Miguel Ángel Boggiano, Argentina has either defaulted or had its debt restructured on seven occasions in the country’s history. Even if it hits its eighth default tomorrow, its still less than the defaults/debt restructuring of other Latin American states like Venezuela, Ecuador (both with eleven), Brazil (ten) and Mexico (nine).

Though there’s never an ideal time for a debt default, such an event could be costly to a Fernandez administration that has recently come under fire.  Last month, Vice President Amado Boudou was charged with bribery while the Argentine economy officially slid into recession.  The exploits of Los Albicelestes at the World Cup provided what may have been welcome distraction yet the brief kidnapping of the father of soccer star Carlos Tevez today has highlighted Argentina’s crime problems.

Video Source – YouTube user DW (English)

Online Sources – USA TODAY; BBC Mundo; La Nacion; Reuters; Clarin; MercoPress; Bloomberg; BBC News; The Huffington Post
Author: "Erwin C. (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Argentina, Cristina Fernandez, foreign d..."
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Date: Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 09:05

* Brazil: “I don't think it's genocide, but I think it's a massacre,” said Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff regarding the conflict in Gaza and days after an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman deemed the South American country as a “diplomatic dwarf.

* Dominican Republic: Dominican authorities destroyed some 2000 confiscated firearms for use as part of a planned peace memorial.

* Venezuela: Representatives of the International Air Transport Association want to meet with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in order to free up over $4 billion owed to several air carriers.

* Uruguay: A Uruguayan church reportedly dismissed Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity, an Argentine priest who has been accused of sexually abusing young men in the U.S.

Video Source – Reuters via YouTube (Argentine-born “Pope Francis makes an impromptu emotional plea for peace, during his weekly Sunday Angelus prayer at the Vatican.”)

Online Sources – Miami Herald; The Washington Post; ABC News; Reuters; GlobalPost
Author: "Erwin C. (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "abuse, air travel, art, Brazil, Carlos U..."
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Date: Monday, 28 Jul 2014 17:50

Organizers of a telethon held over the weekend for Honduran migrants deported from the U.S. deemed the event as a success.

The telethon, which was transmitted nationwide on TV and radio, was organized in Tegucigalpa under the theme “Open your arms to the returning children and families.” Monetary donations were not accepted; instead, individuals were asked to bring food, clothes and other items to be used in shelters in Honduras for deportees. 

The goal of one month’s worth of donations for hundreds of families was surpassed as people from around Honduras reportedly donated three months worth of supplies. Among the items donated were some 600 bags of clothing, 1200 bags of food, 900 mattresses and even wheelchairs for migrants disabled from riding the Mexican freight train network known as “La Bestia.”

The forty-eight hour event was pushed by first lady Ana García de Hernández along with different entities that received the donations including the Honduran Red Cross, UNICEF and local catholic charities.

“The deported migrants return only with the clothes they have on, many doubts with their communities and a great deal of sadness and pain in their hearts,” said Garcia.

“This is why it’s critical that we unify as a country that knows how to help those that need it” via events like the telethon, added Garcia who in recent weeks has helped welcome back deported children and mothers from the U.S.
   
“Nobody is too poor not to help their brother in their time of need,” said President Juan Orlando Hernández in solidarity with the telethon.

Since October, more than 57,000 migrant minors mostly from Central America have been detained at the U.S.-Mexico border. Numerous suggestions have been made in order to try to control this influx such as the U.S. granting refugee status to Honduran children or creating a “mini-Marshall Plan” to improve Central America’s economy.  The possible amending of a 2008 law aimed at combating sex trafficking in order to expedite the deportations of Central American minors could impact the spike in unaccompanied girls captured at the U.S.-Mexico border.

For Oswaldo Canales, representative of the Evangelical Fellowship of Honduras, there are numerous factors behind migration from Central America including gang violence, gross inequality and a lack of economic opportunities. Hence, while last weekend’s telethon was helpful the solution to these problems will require a very deep and serious effort throughout the Americas:
 “There must be a comprehensive policy where all sectors are involved and do not rely on handouts that are given by other countries. We are the only ones who can change the country where there are those who have everything, others have nothing, while most in extreme poverty.”
The influx of unaccompanied migrant children has resurrected the fractious (and occasionally ugly) debate over immigration in the U.S.  A recent CNN/ORC International poll found “major partisan, geographical, generational, and gender divides” regarding the immigration issue.

Video Source– Associated Press via YouTube (“Migrants deported from the United States, both adults and children, arrived in their home country of Honduras” earlier this month).

Online Sources – El Heraldo; La Tribuna; New York Times; CNN; PolitiFact; USA TODAY
Author: "Erwin C. (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Central America, Honduras, immigration, ..."
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Date: Monday, 28 Jul 2014 12:05

* Chile: A series of “violent attacks” this month in southern Chile have increased tensions between the government and the indigenous Mapuche community.

* Nicaragua: Did a bus driver plan recent deadly attacks against Nicaraguan political activists or is he being used as a “scapegoat”?

* Bolivia: Workers at a construction site in the Bolivian mountain city of Potosi uncovered a mass grave with the remains of some 400 people.

* Mexico: Thirty-two police officers including the former top public safety chief of a town in Michoacán were arrested over alleged ties to drug gangs.

Video Source – YouTube user canaltvu tvu (At least two Chilean police officers were injured during a confrontation with members of the Mapuche community.)

Online Sources – New Zealand Herald; VICE News; NDTV; BBC News
Author: "Erwin C. (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Bolivia, Chile, Daily Headlines, history..."
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Date: Monday, 28 Jul 2014 11:34

* Venezuela: Former Venezuelan military intelligence chief Gen. Hugo Carvajal was arrested in Aruba could soon be extradited to the U.S. where he’s charged with drug trafficking and collaborating with Colombian rebels.

Update: Much to the disappointment of the U.S. State Department, Cavajal was released Sunday and returned to a "hero's welcome" in Caracas.

* Mexico: Rosa del Carmen Verduzco, the owner of a Mexican shelter recently raided by the authorities, denied allegations of sexual abuse against hundreds of residents but admitted to hitting children as a means of “correcting” them.

* Peru: The executive board of state-owned oil company Petroperu was reshuffled after it was revealed that children were employed to clean an oil spill.

* Brazil: Brazil's National Indian Foundation claimed that they made contact with an isolated indigenous group near the border with Peru that has been hurt by disease and violent attacks.

Video Source – CNN en Español via YouTube (The Venezuelan government has accused the U.S. of orchestrating the “kidnapping” of Hugo Carvajal, the head of military intelligence from 2004-2008 during late president Hugo Chavez' rule).
 

Online Sources including Update – Fox News Latino; Los Angeles Times; The Latin Americanist; VOXXI; Reuters; ABC News
Author: "Erwin C. (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "abuse, Brazil, children, Daily Headlines..."
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Date: Saturday, 26 Jul 2014 23:05
“The Weekender” is our new feature where every weekend we hope to highlight a short film, movie or documentary pertaining to the Americas. 

For over a century, the Brazilian metropolis of Sao Paulo has grown and become highly diverse due to its constantly growing immigrant population. South America’s largest city has received traditionally received foreign migrants from countries like Japan and Portugal as well as domestically from around the country.  In recent years Sao Paulo as seen an influx of Chinese, African and Latin American immigrants that have helped gradually revitalize the area’s crime-ridden and largely crime-ridden downtown area.

Produced by Kika Nicolela and Lucas Bambozzi, “Somos São Paulo” (“We Are Sao Paulo”) was featured as part a 2011 exhibition in the Sao Paulo Museum of Art. More than sixty Paulistas of varying racial and ethnic backgrounds were interviewed and provided their experiences living in the city.  Among those featured in the film was a Polish Holocaust survivor, an Argentine escaping the repression of the “Dirty War”, a Bolivian seeking better economic opportunities and a Korean woman in love with a Brazilian.

Below the page break is the entire “Somos São Paulo” where you can view how the metropolis has impacted the lives of the film’s interviewees:

Somos São Paulo [We Are São Paulo]. 6 bilhões de Outros from GoodPlanet on Vimeo.

Video Source – Vimeo user GoodPlanet
 

Online Sources – New York Times; 7billionothers.org
Author: "Erwin C. (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "art, Brazil, film, immigration, Sao Paul..."
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Date: Friday, 25 Jul 2014 11:45

* Mexico: Thousands of peasants and indigenous Mexicans marched in a protest against energy reforms that critics claim would lead to greater economic inequality and environmental damage to farmland.

* Central America: “If we don’t talk about the underlying causes, crises will continue to occur,” said Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina who proposed a greater emphasis on combating the drug trade and boosting economic growth in order to stem the influx of Central American migrants to the U.S.

* Colombia: A U.S. appeals court dismissed all lawsuits against Chiquita that were related to the deaths of Colombian banana plantation workers and activists by right-wing paramilitaries hired by the company.

* Cuba: Mariela Castro, the daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro and a prominent gay rights activist on the island, denied rumors that she died in a plane crash yesterday in Mali.

Video Source – CCTV America via YouTube

Online Sources – LAHT; Businessweek; Reuters; CBS News
Author: "Erwin C. (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "accident, AUC, Central America, Chiquita..."
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Date: Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 10:30

* Venezuela: Proceedings began yesterday in the trial against leading opposition member Leopoldo Lopez who has been accused of inciting violence during anti-government demonstrations earlier this year.

* U.S.: According to a new report from the American Heart Association, the risks of cardiovascular disease vary among the different subpopulations within the Latino community.

* Colombia: Colombian defense officials declared that thirteen guerillas belonging to the ELN were killed in a series of military operations on Tuesday.

* Mexico: According to “preliminary” data, the 22,732 recorded homicides in Mexico last year was less than the peak of 27,213 in 2011 though homicide rates in several states have “increased markedly”.

Video Source – euronews via YouTube (Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez handed himself over to police in February and faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison if convicted).
 

Online Sources – Yahoo News; BBC News; The Latin Americanist; GlobalPost; Newsweek
Author: "Erwin C. (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Colombia, Daily Headlines, ELN, health, ..."
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 15:30

A number of different proposals have been announced by politicos in order to control the recent influx of undocumented minors into the U.S. but are any of these plans effective? Probably not according to one human trafficker. 

“It’s a lie to believe that capturing the ‘coyotes’ will stop immigration” into the U.S., claimed a Honduran migrant smuggler who was recently interviewed in that country’s El Heraldo newspaper.  According to the “coyote”, strengthening border operations in countries such as the U.S. or Mexico wouldn’t work since some migrants allegedly opt to make the trek northward alone or in groups without the help of traffickers like him.

Nevertheless, he admitted that migrants who rely on “coyotes” as part of their journeys benefit from having a guide that knows different routes to take and has contacts who could help them out along the trek from sympathetic motel owners to bribed police officers.  Migrants going alone, according to the interviewee, run the risk of being assaulted by criminals or drug gangs and using unreliable modes of transportation such as riding on the dangerous northbound Mexican freight train network known as “La Bestia.” (The “coyote” instead opts for travelling through Mexico with his clients on the ground via bus).

He also confessed that he and his cohorts sometimes have to abandon adult migrants when, for example, they emerge from hiding in safe houses or are unable to endure the four-day trek through desert conditions. Children are carried in shifts by the group and are not left behind, the “coyote” said, though some of them opt for capture by the Border Patrol and are interrogated.

Nearly 192 “coyotes” and their associates were captured as part of an ongoing U.S. government operation aimed at disrupting smuggling operations in Texas.  Yet the trafficker interviewed in El Heraldo mentioned that there is a better solution to stem the influx of undocumented immigrants from Central America:


 “The only way to minimize the problem for adults and children is to create jobs throughout the (Central American) zone.  For most people and families, they take the risk to migrate because they cannot find any opportunities for employment.  Here they suffer”, he added.
According to a 2010 United Nations report cited by the AP, “coyotes” generate an estimated $6.6 billion yearly as part of their “high-risk, often high-yield business.”  The huge drop in Mexicans crossing the border in recent years has led “coyotes” to seek more business from Central America.  This could account for the estimated 57,000 unaccompanied minors mostly from that region captured by the Border Patrol between October 2013 and June 2014.

Video Source – YouTube user GUARDIAN World

Online Sources – Washington Post; KYTX; The Huffington Post; El Heraldo; pressherald.com; NBC News
Author: "Erwin C. (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Central America, Honduras, human smuggli..."
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 13:13

* Haiti: A "grand, dreamlike" rebuilding of areas of Port-au-Prince still in ruins from a 2010 earthquake has run into stiff opposition from survivors forced to relocate to tent camps.

* Argentina: "Life goes on for Argentina", claimed Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich hours after a U.S. court ordered the Argentine government to negotiate with holdout hedge funds and prevent a massive debt default.

* U.S.: A recent poll of 500 Latino voters found that most respondents are worried about the economy and this could factor into the upcoming midterm elections.

* Brazil: Heavy rains in southeastern Brazil could diminish the quality and reduce the quantity of the country's vital sugar and coffee harvests.

Online Sources - Businessweek; Reuters; Buenos Aires Herald; Business Insider; Latin Post 

Video Source - The Guardian via YouTube (Video recorded days after a major earthquake hit Haiti and caused the deaths of at least 100,000 people).
Author: "Erwin C. (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Argentina, Brazil, coffee, Daily Headlin..."
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Date: Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 11:45

* Venezuela: Authorities today started to peacefully evict thousands of squatters residing in the "Tower of David", a Caracas skyscraper abandoned in 1994, to instead live in a publicly-funded housing project.

* Colombia: James Rodriguez, the Colombian player who was the top scorer in the recently finished World Cup, will reportedly join Spanish giants Real Madrid for about $100 million.

* Honduras: Police found the body of Honduran TV reporter Herlyn Espinal who was apparently kidnapped and subsequently murdered.

* Argentina: “Terrorism only knows to kill, it does not know how to build. It destroys,” said Pope Francis in a message last week commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the AMIA center bombing.
 
Video Source – YouTube user Vocativ

Online Sources – Reuters; Buenos Aires Herald; CBSSports.com; ABC News
Author: "Erwin C. (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "AMIA bombing, Argentina, Colombia, Daily..."
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Date: Monday, 21 Jul 2014 23:03

* Uruguay: Officials in Uruguay claimed that the country’s harsh anti-tobacco laws, which includes banning smoking in all public enclosed spaces and prohibiting all tobacco advertising, has led to a 22% drop in the number of heart attacks nationwide.
 
* Mexico: A Mexican judge freed Rosa del Carmen Verduzco, the founder of a shelter where residents were reportedly abused and kept in squalid conditions, after a preliminary probe cleared her of any wrongdoing.

* Latin America: Chinese President Xi Jinping signed several economic agreements with Venezuela and Argentina as he enters the tail end of his official visit to Latin America.

* Colombia: Spanish police captured Hernán Alonso Villa, the main “enforcer” of Colombia’s Office of Envigado drug gang, who will likely be extradited to face trial on some 400 counts of murder.

Video Source – YouTube user insidermedicine

Online Sources – InSerbia News; Reuters The Latin Americanist; The Guardian; DW.de
Author: "Erwin C. (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "China, Colombia, Daily Headlines, drugs,..."
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Date: Friday, 18 Jul 2014 11:00

* Central America: Can animated shorts, TV ads and cumbia music help deter Central American youth from joining the recent influx of undocumented minors migrating to the U.S.?

* Argentina: Argentina could fall into a massive debt default in less than two weeks unless the government can hammer out a deal with holdout capital funds.

* Brazil: According to a new poll, support for Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has dropped and she’s in a near tie in a hypothetical runoff against opposition candidate Aécio Neves.

* Uruguay: U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel sent a letter to congressional leaders confirming that six detainees from the Guantanamo Bay military prison will be transferred to Uruguay.

Video Source – El Salvador Foreign Ministry via YouTube

Online Sources – Voice of America; Bloomberg; NBC News; Christian Science Monitor
Author: "Erwin C. (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Argentina, Aécio Neves, Brazil, Central..."
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Date: Thursday, 17 Jul 2014 15:51

Mexican officials this week raided a shelter in Michoacán and rescued nearly 600 people including 458 children who received all sorts of abuse, resided in squalid conditions and were obligated to eat spoiled food.  For families of some of the residents of the “La Gran Famila” (“The Great Family”), the liberation of their loved ones couldn’t have come soon enough.

In the case of twenty-eight-year-old Veronica Gamiña, she claimed that she left her nine-year-old child at the residence four years ago but her subsequent attempts to reclaim her child were made nearly impossible by shelter founder Rosa del Carmen Verduzco.

“First they told me that I had to fill out documents explaining why I wanted to take my child back then they asked me to pay 37,000 pesos (roughly $2800).  I only earn 800 pesos a week and I cannot save enough money,” said the restaurant worker to the press outside of the raided shelter on Wednesday.

Another parent alleged that she gave birth to two kids while she was at the shelter that had been functioning for forty years.  She was permitted by to leave the compound but forced to leave her children behind where “Mama Rosa” claimed the minors as her own according to Tomas Zeron, federal chief of criminal investigations.

"Victim No. 4 said she had been held in the group home against her will since she was 18," said Zeron about another supposed case of abuse at “La Gran Famila”. "She was sexually abused by one of the administrators, and got pregnant as a result of the abuse. The same person beat her to cause an abortion, beating her in the stomach on several occasions."

Michoacán Gov. Salvador Jara told the press that he was in the dark about the supposed horrors in the shelter until he became governor last month.  Yet that cannot excuse the apparent incompetence of local and federal authorities that may have been aware of the problems for years.  As reported in SDPnoticias.com, an August 2010 investigation by one of Mexico’s most important newspapers described the abuses at the shelter and possibly why “Mama Rosa” may have gotten away with her actions for decades:


At the time, the reporters (for “El Universal”) referred to “La Gran Famila” as a “shelter that is in reality a detention center for children where once inside they cannot leave until they reach adulthood even if their parents try to take them out”…

“The accusations against the shelter are not recent and have been made over the past twenty years but they have never been properly investigated since (Verdusco) apparently is politically well connected,” said in 2010 the former director of the Infants Rights Network (Gerardo Sauri).
Sauri’s assertion may help explain why ex-Mexican President Vicente Fox publicly defended her in a message via Twitter.

“In solidarity with Mama Rosa, I know you’re strong and that you’ve done plenty of good for thousands of children and young people,” tweeted Fox.  (It's worth noting that Fox signed an agreement with the shelter when he was governor of Guanajuato and prior to his presidency.)

Another high-profile defender of Verdusco was historian Enrique Krauze who blamed “the parents who abandoned their children” at the shelter and urged officials to prevent the “public lynching” of the 67-year-old.  For Berta Saucedo, a former resident of the shelter, Verdusco kept her unfairly separated from her family during many years.

“I went there to study and in the end she wouldn’t let me see my family and she told them that I had run away,” explained Saucedo who was not allowed to regain custody of the child she gave birth to thirteen years ago.
 
Video Source – Associated Press via YouTube  

Online Sources – Twitter; NBC News; ABC.es; Noticieros Televisa; The Guardian; SDPnoticias.com; 20minutos.es; El Universal
Author: "Erwin C. (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "abuse, children, Mexico, Rosa del Carmen..."
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Date: Thursday, 17 Jul 2014 11:30

* Latin America: According to the U.N., the Caribbean has seen the biggest decline in new HIV infections while every hour ten people in Latin America are infected with the disease.

* Costa Rica: Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas, whose superb play helped guide Los Ticos to the World Cup quarterfinals, could be headed to one of soccer’s most prestigious clubs.

* Panama: imprisoned former Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega is none too pleased over his depiction in the “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” video game.

* Mexico: The government of Mexico City enacted legislation approved last month banning the use of animals in circuses.

Video Source – YouTube user David Mercer (“Originally Published by Al Jazeera English on May 16, 2014.”)

Online Sources – euronews; MARCA.com; The Latin Americanist; The Guardian; LAHT
Author: "Erwin C. (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "animal rights, Caribbean, circus, Costa ..."
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Date: Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014 20:14

Peru officially added femicides to the country's penal code in 2011.

Ciudad Juarez in Mexico is usually associated with the gender-based murders of women yet femicides are a problem throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.  Such is the case of Peru where the government revealed alarming data on violence against women.

According to Peru’s Minister of Women and Vulnerable Populations, Carmen Omonte, at least fifty-six confirmed femicides took place during the first six months of this year.  At his pace, the number of confirmed femicides would be less than the 131 detected in 2013.  Nevertheless, the eighty-eight suspected femicides cases between January and June of this year could outpace the 151 possible instances believed to have occurred last year.

In light of theses statistics, Omonte said that her ministry was working on a protocol “across multiple sectors” to better address the “serious problem” of violence against women and femicides.  Yet the minister, who admitted last month to have been the target of sexual harassment, urged female victims of violence to speak up and not live in fear.

“It’s still an uphill battle in getting women to report that they’ve been assaulted, and to stop [women] from assuming it’s a natural thing to just suffer in silence… However, I believe that little by little, society and the government, working together, are helping more women to take heart and go to the authorities,” Omonte said.

Earlier this month, Omonte joined former Olympian and revered figure Natalia Malaga in launching a public campaign aimed at encouraging women to stand up for their rights.  The program could help combat feelings of machismo still prevalent in Peru:


“In many homes in Peru and other countries, girls are still brought up to assume a role in society that is secondary to a man, accepting whatever he has in mind,” said Angelica Fuentes, the Mexican director of a foundation aimed at empowering Latin American women.
“As women, we need to understand that all change starts with education. In many cases, we generate machismo ourselves through the differences between our children at home.”
Machismo runs strong in Peru, where 65 percent of men think that if women wear provocative clothing they open themselves up to disrespect, according to a June survey by polling firm Ipsos.
The data on femicides comes following two high-profile cases of violence and intolerance against women in Peru.  Last March, popular cumbia musician Edita Guerrero died of an aneurism that may have been caused when her husband assaulted her.  Magaly Solier, the actress best known for starring in the film “The Milk of Sorrow” (“La Teta Asustada”), alleged nearly two months ago that a man rubbed up against her and masturbated on a public bus Lima.

“It’s shameful and disgusting to have to face these actions. It’s horrible,” said Solier after she formally denounced the incident took place in front of dozens of passengers who did nothing to defend her.

“There are is too much violence, too much harassment, too many rapes in Peru. This has got to stop,” an angry Solier added.

Video Sources – YouTube users MIMP TV, 24HorasPTV and teleSUR

Online Sources – CIP Americas Program; The Latin Americanist; Peru.com; Peru This Week; BBC Mundo; The Raw Story
Author: "Erwin C. (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "femicides, Peru, violence against women"
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Date: Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014 12:02

* Argentina: “Lobbyists” acting on behalf of investment funds seeking repayment of debts from Argentina paid for a newspaper ad today claiming “Time is running out for Argentina.”

* Venezuela: President Nicolás Maduro announced that he would soon provide details of a “fiscal revolution” though it remains to be seen if that will fix problems like Venezuela’s high inflation, overvalued currency and food shortages.

* Haiti: U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon met with Haitian victims of a cholera outbreak that may have been caused by visiting peacekeepers.

* Central America: Costa Rica’s government has urged neighboring Nicaragua to conduct environmental impact studies on a planned interoceanic canal project.

Video Source – euronews via YouTube
 

Online Sources – Tico Times; Reuters; ABC News; Miami Herald
Author: "Erwin C. (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Argentina, canal, cholera, Costa Rica, D..."
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Date: Tuesday, 15 Jul 2014 12:21

* Cuba: Cuban authorities arrested at least ninety members of the Ladies in White protest movement over the weekend who were commemorating the deaths of thirty-seven migrants who died a sea in 1994.
 
* U.S.: Germany’s World Cup final win over Argentina was the most watched soccer match in U.S. television history with an estimated 26.5 million people viewing ABC and Univision.

* Mexico: President Enrique Peña Nieto signed into law a major telecommunications reform that he claimed, “will promote greater competition, more and better conditions, better coverage and service quality, as well as lower prices and costs.”

* Argentina: Argentine companies and provinces are reportedly hopeful that an agreement can be reached between debtors and the government before the end of the month.

Video Source – Reuters via YouTube (Cuba’s Ladies in White protesters participating in a 2010 march).

Online Sources – UPI; Fox News Latino; The Latin Americanist; Businessweek; Reuters
Author: "Erwin C. (noreply@blogger.com)"
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Date: Monday, 14 Jul 2014 21:48
The German men’s national team steamrolled past host country Brazil en route to the fourth World Cup title in the squad’s history.  Their next matchup in Brazil might not be against Neymar and company but could be against a side with plenty of heart and determination.

The TECHO Latin American nongovernment organization has organized a social media campaign seeking a match between the World Cup champions and a team from Sao Paulo’s Anita Garibaldi slum.

The goal behind supporting a match between the Anita Fútbol Club and this year's World Cup titleholder is to call attention to the extreme poverty experienced by millions of people throughout Latin America. As a result, the organization has allegedly sent a letter to the head of the German soccer federation inviting Die Mannschaft to play against the Anita favela side.

“(Germany) was the team that played the best in the World Cup and they helped Brazil by building their own training center,” said Anita player and community leader Elvis Vieira.

It’s unknown of Germany will accept the invitation but Vieira and his teammates have undergone extra workouts with the hope that they could perhaps lineup against the likes of Thomas Müller, Manuel Neuer and Philipp Lahm.

“We used to train only on Saturdays and Sundays.  The community has always supported us and now even more so,” added Vieira.

In the following video via TECHO, sixteen-year-old Anita player Lucas observes how soccer serves as a welcome diversion from the difficulties he faces residing in the favela:


Some 3000 families reside in Anita Garibaldi, which is located close to Sao Paulo's international airport.  They have reportedly survived around half a dozen attempts by the authorities to remove them from land that Vieira claimed was “dotted with eucalyptus trees” before the first residents move there in 2001.

(Hat tip: Global Voices Online).

Video Source – YouTube user TECHO

Online Sources – enca.com; Twitter; El País – Brasil; The Latin Americanist; Global Voices Online
Author: "Erwin C. (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Brazil, favelas, Sao Paulo, World Cup"
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Date: Monday, 14 Jul 2014 12:12

* Colombia: Colombian James Rodriguez became the third South American player since 1978 to win the Golden Boot Award as top scorer at the World Cup.

* Argentina: Visiting Russian president Vladimir Putin backed Argentina’s claim to the Falklands and also signed a nuclear energy cooperation pact with his counterpart, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.
 
* Peru: Peruvian officials claimed that their country could double their copper production by 2016 and surpass China as the world’s second-largest producer of the metal.

* Brazil: The BRICS group of developing countries that includes Brazil will reportedly launch its own development bank that could curb the influence of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Video Source – Richard Swarbrick via YouTube
 

Online Sources – USA TODAY; euronews; The West Australian; mining.com
Author: "Erwin C. (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Argentina, Brazil, BRIC, China, Colombia..."
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