Friday, March 21, 2008

Today’s Video: Juanes @ "Peace Without Borders"

We end this week’s slate of posts with Juanes singing at last Sunday’s Paz Sin Fronteras ("Peace Without Borders") concert. The Colombian was the mastermind of the historic concert after tensions flared in the region earlier this month over a Colombian military strike in Ecuadorian territory.

In the clip below, Juanes sings “A Dios le pido” but not before emphasizing that everyone’s there “as one” without differences in ideology, religion, and the like.

(Video link):

Previous videos this week:

More clips from the Paz Sin Fronteras concert can be accessed here.

Sources (English)- The Latin Americanist, International Herald Tribune, YouTube

Sources (Spanish)- vive.in

Bloggers of the World Unite! – Richardson endorses Obama

Earlier today, New Mexico governor Bill Richardson officially endorsed Barack Obama’s bid for the presidency. Richardson called Obama a “once-in-a-lifetime leader [who] understands it clearly that by only bringing people together and by bridging our differences can we succeed together as Americans.”

Numerous bloggers talked about today’s pivotal endorsement; here’s what a few of them had to say:

The Huffington Post

Governor Bill Richardson's endorsement of Barack Obama today is a big boost for the grassroots wing of the Democratic Party. I thought all along that Richardson was just running to be Hillary Clinton's vice presidential candidate, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that Richardson recognizes the historic direction Obama is trying to take the party. (Where is John Edwards?)

Sharoncobb

This is significant for several reasons.
First, Richardson worked in the Bill Clinton administration, and it was widely expected he would endorse Hillary.

Second, Richardson can help Obama with the Hispanic vote, one of the few groups where Obama isn't strong.

Third, Richardson can swing some superdelegates.

Fourth, Richardson can help Obama win the states in the west.

Fifth, this is a big slap in the face to the Clintons. Richardson has been touted as the VEEP for Hillary, and now that's not going to happen if she's the nominee.

VivirLatino

Richardson had been courted aggressively by the Hillary Clinton camp, even using Bill Clinton, Richardson's former boss when he was energy secretary. I can hear the Clinton disappointment now.

Bill Clinton : Bill, amigo. I thought we had a deal? We watched the Superbowl together!
Bill Richardson: Bill, you act like we were watching futbol futbol. It was just American football.

The Swamp

Being a Hispanic American, Richardson said he was especially touched by the speech [given by Obama on race relations and remarks from Reverend Jeremiah Wright].

"He asked every American to see the reality and the pain of other Americans, so that together we can rise above that which has divided us. He appealed to the best in us," he said. "I have been troubled by the demonization of immigrants -- specifically Hispanics -- by too many in this country."

The News Buckit

Like everything Richardson did this campaign season, his timing was predictably inept: after all the states with a big Hispanic population, just as Easter weekend's beginning, and at the cost of his connections to the Clinton campaign, whose family arguably made him what he was.

The White House Intel Report

Clinton’s strong name recognition and Latino support has slowly diminished and now I believe Latinos may start taking a look at Barack Obama more seriously. The alternative might still be mildly appealing to Latinos, as John McCain has been fair and favorable to Mexican American heritage with his policies. Since Clinton doesn’t need the Latino support for the general as much, it’s good to see Barack Obama starting to earn the Latino vote.

Blabbeando

The New York Times might be right. Richardson's endorsements might bring in additional support for Obama from Lati.. - ehem - Hispanic voters in the primaries and caucuses ahead. And that's my hope. But I have a feeling that the impact of the Richardson endorsement will be regional rather than national when it comes to the Latino/Hispanic community, much like his appeal as a presidential candidate to specific Latino communities throughout the United States.

In any case, thank you, Bill Richardson.

Wonkette

The point is, no one cares about Bill Richardson, otherwise they would have voted for him. Barack Obama knows this and probably offered Richardson a traveling press secretary's role with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which only exists in your imagination.

My very brief take on today's endorsement: I'm somewhat giddy at the possibility of an Obama/Richardson ticket.

Image - Associated Press

Sources- The Huffington Post, The Swamp, Sharoncobb, VivirLatino, The White House Intel Report, Blabbeando, The News Buckit, Wonkette, Voice of America, AFP

Texas Border Schools Resisting Border Fence

Many Texas border towns have had mixed results fighting against the U.S./Mexico border fence that runs through their limits. Border schools, however, are remaining firm in creating as many obstacles as possible for the Department of Homeland Security.
Yesterday, the U.S. government dismissed their border fence condemnation lawsuit against the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College (UTB-TSC).
In return, the government is granted access to the campus for six months for surveying purposes but has to promise to explore alternatives "to a physical barrier" with the university and has to get permission from the school before they touch even one blade of grass on the campus.
In another school related intstance, Rio Grande City CISD Superintendent Roel Gonzalez took the witness stand to explain why his school district would not allow border agents on their campus to survey where a fence would go.

Gonzalez told the judge he was protecting his kids. However, the judge shot back that the fence "will make the children more secure."
Speaking to reporters afterwards, Gonzalez said he did not buy that argument.
“We are kids business and if the fence is built I have to explain to the children what that is all about,” Gonzalez said.
“Many of the children come from Mexico and 99 percent are Hispanic. They have brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandmothers and grandfathers, living a mile away on the other side of where that fence will be. I understand the need for border security but it is really hard for me to explain to the children why there families are going to be fenced off."
It's really good to see so many local acts of resistance to the border wall/fence, especially ones that take into account the realities of the immigrants in the area. Hopefully all these small acts of resistance combined with wider condemnation of the border wall will mean something.


Image and Story Source : Latina Lista

Amazing Study Reveals male European settlers mated with native and African women, and slaughtered the men

What is up with all these studies lately that just repeat what Latin American peoples have been saying all along? I guess they serve some purpose, like us being able to say: See, I told you so.

The latest study, published in the Public Library of Science Genetics journal reveals:
European colonisation of South America resulted in a dramatic shift from a native American population to a largely mixed one, a genetic study has shown.The international team of researchers wrote: "The history of Latin America has entailed a complex process of population mixture between natives and recent immigrants across a vast geographic region.
"Few details are known about this process or about how it shaped the genetic make-up of Latin American populations."
While we never understand the genetic processes that caused the mestisaje that forms a huge part of Latino culture, I'm sure a few people could tell you about the historical process (and without using the word "mate" like they did in the BBC article, as if the indigenous and African women were mere animals not victims of rape).

Source : BBC

Daily Headlines: March 21, 2008

* An accused senior member of the Argentine Anticommunist Alliance “death squad” returned to Argentina from Spain to face trial.

* Colombia’s FARC guerillas denied accusations over receiving funds and arms from the governments of Ecuador and Venezuela.

* Starting in April, Chile will begin to receive 117 refugees who fled violence in Iraq.

* Will Cuba relax restrictions for those wishing to travel off the island?

Sources- CNN, The Latin Americanist, Bloomberg, Associated Press, BBC News

Image- BBC Mundo (Rodolfo Eduardo Almirón Sena has been accused of having belonged to the “Triple A”)


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Today’s Video: Juan Luis Guerra @ "Peace Without Borders"

Dominican singer/songwriter Juan Luis Guerra is the focus of tonight’s video with his performance in last Sunday’s Paz Sin Fronteras ("Peace Without Borders") concert. Guerra was invited not only for his musical chops, but also to thank the Dominican Republic for hosting a summit which calmed diplomatic tensions between Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador.

In the clip below, Guerra sings one of his most famous hits – “La Bilirrubina.”

(Video link):

Previous videos this week:

Sources- The Latin Americanist, Wikipedia, YouTube

“Speak English” sign allowed at Philly cheesesteak joint

In a 2-1 vote the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations ruled that a sign at Geno's Steaks encouraging patrons to “speak English” when ordering isn’t discriminatory. The board concluded that the signs- which read “This is America. When ordering ‘speak English’”- do not explicitly deny non-English patrons from ordering food; hence, according to their judgment, the signs aren’t discriminatory.

Critics have claimed that Geno’s owner Joe Vento placed the signs due to concern with the changing face of his neighborhood, not correct grammar:

Critics charged that Vento had put up the signs because an increasing number of Mexicans had moved into the neighborhood around the steak shop.

Vento said that he was disturbed only by "illegals," who were taking jobs from Americans.

Vento acknowledged that his grandparents were Italian immigrants, but said that the family was forced to learn English when they came here.

Since putting the signs up in 2005, Vento has become a cult hero to anti-immigration advocates such as Hazleton, Pennsylvania mayor Lou Barletta. Vento even received a visit last year from then-presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani, whom he called “the right man - he's tough.”

Sources- Associated Press, AFP, philly.com, NPR, The Latin Americanist,

Image- Turkish Press

Lula optimistic over Doha trade talks

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva expressed hope that the Doha round of global trade talks will move forward. As the Associated Press reported:

"Don't be surprised if very shortly we have an agreement on the Doha Round; that would be very good for the world economy," Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said following a meeting with European Commission President Jose Manuel Durao Barroso.

Silva said the current political climate was favorable to an agreement in the trade talks named after the Qatar capital where they were launched in 2001.

Barroso concurred with Lula and added that a conclusion to the Doha round would "be very good news for the world economy."

The Doha round has been hurt by disagreement between developed and developing countries over import tariffs and farm subsides. Brazil- along with countries like Argentina and India-has rejected large cuts in industrial goods tariffs.

Sources- Bloomberg, International Herald Tribune, Guardian UK, The Latin Americanist, Xinhua

Image- BBC News (Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva speaks at the 2007 World Economic Forum)

Report: LatAm losing in “war on drugs”

Latin America is on the losing side in the “war on drugs”, based on a report released by the International Crisis Group (ICG). The ICG study, entitled "Latin American Drugs: Losing the Fight", claimed high supply and demand for illegal narcotics are both high and this has hurt Latin America:

“The threat posed by drug trafficking and organized crime and the failure of counter-drug policies are two sides of the same coin”, says Mauricio Angel, [ICG] Colombia/Andes Senior Analyst. “It is taking a heavy toll on democratic institutions, political systems and societies at large in several Latin American countries, including Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Venezuela and Mexico”.

The ICG’s Senior Vice President also warned that current counternarcotics efforts are useless unless governments tackle rural poverty and law enforcement authorities target the "high end...(of) the drug chain."

Previous studies on the “war on drugs” from U.S. State Department and the U.N. have also been highly critical of the lack of progress in the Americas.

Sources (English)- International Crisis Group, Guardian UK, The Latin Americanist

Sources (Spanish)- Milenio

Image- BBC News

U.S. weighs in on Iranian ties


Iran's overtures to ally more closely with Latin America are garnering some interest in the U.S..

Following Iran's economic alliances with Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, some Americans are speaking out.

Voice of America reports that the deputy director for research at the Washington Institute for near East Policy and a University of Miami professor are weighing in on the potential partnerships.

Meanwhile, President Bush continues to back a free trade agreement with Colombia.

Read more here.

Source and Photo: Voice of America, Chavez and Ahmadinejad

Daily Headlines: March 20, 2008

* Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper blasted Mexican authorities for imprisoning a Canadian woman without trial for over two years.

* “We are going to respond with the full force of the law” declared a Chilean government spokesman after the capital city of Santiago experienced three bomb threats in two days.

* Peruvian police claimed to have captured a pair of Colombian guerillas near the border between both countries.

* A deal between Ireland and Argentina provides young adults an easier chance to work and live in each country.

Sources- Reuters, Bloomberg, Belfast Telegraph, Reuters Canada

Image- Edmonton Journal (“Brenda Martin inside the Puente Grande Women’s Prison in Guadalajara, Mexico”)


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Today’s Video: Miguel Bose @ "Peace Without Borders"

Tonight’s clip from the Paz Sin Fronteras ("Peace Without Borders") concert highlights Miguel Bose singing his signature hit “Amante Bandido”. The Spaniard was one of seven musicians who graced the stage at the Simon Bolívar bridge along the Venezuela/Colombia border.

From a personal standpoint, “Amante Bandido” was one of my favorite songs as a child. Thus, I got quite a kick listening to it on Sunday and it brought up some pretty good memories! (For comparison’s sake, here’s Bose lip-synching the song on Spanish TV in 1985 and looking like a lost member of Spandau Ballet).

(Video link):

Previous videos this week:

  • Carlos Vives – La Hamaca Grande
  • Alejandro Sanz (featuring Juanes, Ricardo Montaner, Juan Luis Guerra, Miguel Bose, Juan Fernando Velasco, and Carlos Vives) - Corazon Partio

Sources- The Latin Americanist, Wikipedia, YouTube, 80smusiclyrics.com


Mexicans divided over future of PEMEX

To privatize or not to privatize? That is the question regarding the future of Mexican state-run oil firm PEMEX.

During a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the nationalization of PEMEX, President Felipe Calderon said that he wanted to “transform Pemex so it becomes a more efficient and stronger company.” Doing so would require a partial privatization that Calderon claims would significantly boost production.

Critics of Calderon’s plan feel that he is using scare tactics to convince people that PEMEX will soon collapse unless it's reformed. One of the most vocal critics has been Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador- who Calderon beat in a highly contentious presidietal election:

Leftist opposition leader and defeated presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said opening the company up to outside investment would threaten national sovereignty.

"We can't permit any kind of foreign entities or economic interests to come before the nation of Mexico," he told a rally in Mexico City.

"The theft of the oil industry would leave open the risk of violent confrontation," Mr. Lopez Obrador said, promising more protests against any proposed reform.

Sources- PRESS TV, BusinessWeek, The Latin Americanist, Houston Chronicle, BBC News

Image- TIME (“A Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, near the shores of the state of Campeche, Mexico.”)

Raid botched Betancourt’s release, says hubby

The husband of Ingrid Betancourt claimed that the recent raid by the Colombian military into Ecuador hampered any chances for her safe liberation from guerilla captors. The March 1st military attack which killed FARC commander Raul Reyes was a mistake since he was one of the main contacts for past and future hostage releases, according to comments made on Monday from Juan Carlos Lecompte:

"If they hadn't killed him, she could have been freed," Juan Carlos Lecompte told reporters in Santiago, a day before meeting with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet.
"Because on March 14 or 15, they would have freed 12 more hostages and my wife would have been among them," he added, without giving a source for the information.
Days after the attack, Ecuador's President Rafael Correa said his government had been close to securing a deal with FARC to free 12 hostages, including Betancourt who has been in captivity for six years.

Lecompte was able to meet with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet on Tuesday; she vowed to “act in an immediate, efficient manner” for Betancourt’s liberation.

Betancourt has spent over six years in captivity in the Colombian jungle allegedly in terrible health.

Sources- Xinhua, The Latin Americanist, Reuters, People’s Daily Online

Image-BBC News (“Ingrid Betancourt before her kidnap (left) and several years later (right)”.)

“Super Mojado” takes the ring for immigrants

Move over Chapulin Colorado. There’s a new sheriff in town, so to speak.

Much like other Mexican wrestlers with a social conscious (example - Fray Tormenta) the Super Mojado introduced himself yesterday as a hero for Southern California’s immigrant community. A local wrestling promoter said that Super Mojado will star in a charity bout this weekend with proceeds going to illegal immigrants who were detained in a recent raid.

Super Mojado ­aims to fight for the rights of all immigrants based on remarks he made:

“What I ask is that [they] should not be unfair, we came to work,” said Super Mojado who added that much like wrestlers immigrants also “fight daily to survive.”

The wrestler also said that he would campaign for an end to immigration raids and a reform that would help undocumented people. – [ed. personal translation]

Sources (English)- internationalhero.co.uk, Slam! Sports

Sources (Spanish)- Hoyinternet.com, Milenio

Image- Excelsior

Japan wants fair trial for Alberto Fujimori

The Japanese government has requested Peruvian officials to ensure that former president Alberto Fujimori is given a fair and just trial. Fujimori- who is of dual Japanese and Peruvian citizenship- is facing murder and kidnapping charges relating to his time in power during the 1990s.

During the trial last week, the former leader of a Peruvian “death squad” testified that Fujimori was well aware of several massacres committed under his regime:

Former president Alberto Fujimori met in 1991 with the head of a military death squad that killed at least 25 people, despite his statements to the contrary, a witness in Fujimori's trial said Wednesday...

The retired head of Peru's military intelligence, Clever Pino Benamu, told the court Wednesday that Fujimori's close aide Vladimiro Montesinos and the country's top generals also attended the 1991 meeting he recalled with Rivas.

Japan's request came while Peruvian President Alan Garcia visited the Asian country (image) in order to strengthen political and economic ties.

Sources- CNN, JURIST, AFP, Bloomberg

Image- PRESS TV

Daily Headlines: March 19, 2008

* The Organization of American States adopted a resolution criticizing Colombia’s recent military incursion into Ecuadorian territory while also recognizing that countries must commit to combating “irregular groups.”

* Russian energy giant Gazprom signed a deal with Bolivia that allows the company to explore for natural gas there.

* Cuban farmers can now buy their own supplies instead of only through the island’s government in a decision aimed at improving agrarian production.

* U.S. anti-drug officials have expressed worry over the recent finding of coca plantations in the Brazilian rainforest.

Sources- BBC News, The Latin Americanist, MercoPress, International Herald Tribune, Bloomberg

Image- BBC News (“Colombia's raid on the Farc camp inside Ecuador raised tensions”)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Today’s Video: Carlos Vives @ "Peace Without Borders"

We continue this week’s video theme of Sunday’s Paz Sin Fronteras ("Peace Without Borders") concert with Carlos Vives. The Colombian singer was the first of the seven “chancellors of peace” to take the stage at the Simon Bolívar bridge along the Venezuela/Colombia border.

Vives’ heyday was in the 1990s when he fused pop and rock sounds to traditional Colombian vallenato music in songs like “La Tierra Del Olvido” and “La Gota Fria.” In the following clip he performs “La Hamaca Grande”, a tune steeped in the accordion sounds indicative of the vallenato.

(Video clip):

Sources- carlosvives.com, The Latin Americanist, Wikipedia, YouTube

U.S. LatAm group asked to register as foreign

President Bush's administration has issued a special focus toward at least one group in the United States using public pressure to end U.S. involvement in Latin America.

This article reports that Bush has assigned special surveillance and repression toward these groups.

Director of one group, Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador, Burke Stansbury, said the U.S. Department of Justice sent a letter to the group asking it to register as an agent of a foreign government. He said the letter included misleading information and mischaracterized the group as one fund raising for the Farabundo Marti Front for National Liberation.

Source; Political Affairs

Mexico meeting promotes Iran alliance


The Tehran Times reports today that a conference of Mexican labor parties met to propose an Iran-Latin America alliance to defend Iran's right to use peaceful nuclear technology.

The Times reports that representatives of 134 leftist parties from 35 countries attended the "Parties and the Modern Society" meeting and expressed disproval for U.N. Security Council resolutions protesting the country's nuclear activities.
A statement from the meeting read, "All attendees at the meeting announce their alliance with the Iranian nation to oppose imperialists' sanctions and they call for the swift abrogation of U.N. Security Council resolutions against Iran."

Iran's ambassador to Mexico, Mohammed-Hossein Qadari Abyanek, spoke at the meeting, criticizing Western pressure on Iran.

Read about it here.

Source: Tehran Times

Photo: Travel Earth, Tehran

Latin America boosts American Airlines


As anyone knows who's seen American Airlines' ads boasting the most flights to Latin America, the region is a boost for the fledgling airline.

Latin America accounted for the highest growth in American's domestic and international flights.

Rising fuel costs remain a top concern for the airline, but American Airlines increased its Latin America revenues by 6.1 percent last year to $4.3 billion. The Latin Business Chronicle reports this was the highest growth anywhere.

Source: Latin Business Chronicle

Photo: Smiliner

Daily Headlines: March 18, 2008

* A British court overturned an earlier decision brought up by ExxonMobil which froze $12 billion in assets held by Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA.

* Aside from being New York’s first black governor, David Paterson has also become the state’s first governor of Caribbean background.

* Authorities claimed that “a tough zero-tolerance policy” at the U.S.-Mexico border near El Paso has lead to a 78% increase in arrests.

* Chiquita Brands may have to return to court after a lawsuit was filed against them by four widows of men "disappeared" by Colombian guerillas.

Sources- Associated Press, CaribbeanWorldNews.com, Christian Science Monitor, The Latin Americanist, Bloomberg, International Herald Tribune

Image- New York Times


Monday, March 17, 2008

Today’s Video: The “chancellors of peace”

An estimated 100,000 jubilant people packed the border area between Cucuta, Colombia and San Antonio, Venezuela for the Paz Sin Fronteras ("Peace Without Borders") concert. The event- masterminded by Colombian rockero Juanes- brought him together with six other musical heavyweights from Latin America. The aim of such a unique event was to promote peace after a recent diplomatic crisis as well as to promote a “citizens’ movement.”

This week’s video theme will feature clips of the four hour plus concert held at the Simón Bolívar bridge. Today we’re showing Spain’s Alejandro Sanz singing Corazon Partio along with his fellow “chancellors of peace”: Juanes, Ricardo Montaner, Juan Luis Guerra, Miguel Bose, Juan Fernando Velasco, and Carlos Vives.

(Video link):

Sources- BBC News, Reuters, The Latin Americanist, Al Jazeera, YouTube

News briefs: Soccer

* Mexico’s under-23 team will not make it to the Olympics this summer after shockingly being eliminated in the group stage of the qualifying tournament held in the U.S. The loss has lead to increased calls for coach Hugo Sanchez to be fired.

* Meanwhile, Cuba lost their final two group qualifying matches and were our of contention after seven of their players defected last week.

* “FIFA are messing with the passion of the people,” declared Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona in response to the proposed ban in playing games at high altitudes.

* Argentine police are offering “a sizable reward” for information relating to the death of a fan before Saturday’s Velez Sarsfield-San Lorenzo match.

* After this weekend’s slate of matches in South America, there are surprise leaders in several countries: La Equidad (along with Santa Fe) in Colombia, River Plate in Uruguay, and Guaratingueta in Brazil’s Paulista state championship.

* Lastly, footage of the U.S. “streaker” during this weekend’s U.S.-Honduras U-23 game. (Link not safe for work!)

Sources- AFP, Reuters UK, The Latin Americanist, Los Angeles Times, International Herald Tribune, ESPN Soccernet, The Offside

Image- FC Dallas (“Members of the Mexico Olympic Qualifying team react to falling short of the next round on goal differential. (AP)”)


Brazilian girl jailed for nearly a week

Brazilian law enforcement authorities are once again under fire after a twelve-year-old girl was held in a police cell near male inmates. A local judge let the girl go free on Monday after she was held for six days for hitting a police officer while being questioned:

According to local media reports, the girl went to the police station, in the town of Sidrolandia in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, to try and ensure that her boyfriend did not face any criminal charges.

However, while she was being questioned by the local police chief, he tried to take away her mobile phone, and she is alleged to have hit him in the eye.

The girl was arrested and placed in a police cell alongside others occupied exclusively by male prisoners.

Unfortunately, there have been other instances of underage girls being held in custody either next to or along with adult males in Brazil.

Sources (English)- BBC News, The Latin Americanist, 570 News

Sources (Portuguese)- JC Online, Mato Grosso Mais

Image- New York Times (“A girl who was abused by inmates at a jail in Brazil was embraced by her stepmother and mother [in November] after being freed.”)

Guatemala: Kidnapped tourists freed

Four Belgian tourists and their two guides were freed after having been kidnapped by protesting farmers in Guatemala. The tourists- aged between 59 and 64 years old- had been captured for nearly two days after they were traveling up the Rio Dulce River with their guides.

The six freed people seemed to be in good condition according to Guatemala's public affairs minister. A member of the farmer’s group which held the hostages claimed that they were “forced” to free the tourists and guides:

The indigenous farmers' group told Guatemalan radio on Saturday that the six hostages would be held until Alvaro Colom, Guatemala's president, agreed to talk to them…

But Luis Chol, a member of the farmers' group, said they were forced to release the Belgians because they were being attacked.

The police "followed us and attacked us and killed one of our comrades", the Associated Press quoted Chol as saying.

The government denies anyone was killed.

Sources- International Herald Tribune, Reuters, AFP, MWC News

Image- Monsters and Critics

Happy St. Pat's!

(Video link):


On a more serious note, please click here to read a detailed article on the history of Irish settlement in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Sources- YouTube, Society for Irish Latin American Studies

Daily Headlines: March 17, 2008

* Rest in peace Rafael Tufiño; one of Puerto Rico’s most well-known artists died last Thursday at the age of 85.

* Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom vetoed a bill that would’ve ended a six-year moratorium on the death penalty.

* Argentina and Brazil will start a new bilateral payment system that would use their own currencies rather than U.S. dollars.

* Former Venezuelan President Jaime Lusinchi was called to court next month to face accusations in the 1986 deaths of nine people.

Sources- New York Daily News, JURIST, The Latin Americanist, Xinhua, Associated Press

Image- prdream.com (“Goyita”, painted in 1953 by Rafael Tufiño)