Saturday, December 20, 2008

Remember to vote in our poll!

Hi everyone!

We'll return on Sunday with a few news and notes. In the meantime, we would like to remind you to please vote in our top news stories of 2008 poll. The poll closes on the 28th, but don't hesitate to participate as soon as possible.

Let your voice be heard!

Daily Headlines: December 20, 2008

* Ecuador: The body of Jose Sucuzhanay was returned to his native Ecuador from New York nearly two weeks after he was targeted in an anti-Latino, homophobic attack.

* Mexico: Mexico joined Canada in an official World Trade Organization complaint against the U.S.

* Cuba: Pentagon officials said that they are pursuing the death penalty against an accused defendant of the USS Cole bombing who is detained at the Guantanamo Bay prison.

* Haiti: First lady of France Carla Bruni-Sarkozy will donate about $330,000 in sales of her latest album to Haitian children's charities.

Image- AFP (“Airport workers unload a box containing the body of slain Jose Osvaldo Sucuzhanay which arrived from New York at the Mariscal Sucre airport in Quito, Friday, Dec. 19, 2008.”)
Online Sources-,, AFP, AP, The Latin Americanist

Friday, December 19, 2008

Today’s Video: Bye bye birdie

Note: In order to make up for the lack of blogging on Thursday we’ll publish several posts over the weekend.

The highlight of Wednesday’s Argentine soccer playoff game between San Lorenzo and Tigre does not correspond to any of the goals or great saves. Rather, it has to do with a pigeon that was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

(Video not safe for animal lovers):

The player who inadvertently killed the bird- San Lorenzo defender Gaston Aguirre- was remorseful and confessed that he “will be remembered as the pigeon killer.” Perhaps that won’t be the case on Saturday.

(Hat tip: The Offside.)

Sources- The Latin Americanist, The Offside,, Fox Sports, YouTube

Venezuelan MPs okay term-limit vote

Venezuela’s congress gave their initial approval to a referendum that could scrap presidential term limits.

"President Chavez' leadership is needed for much longer, until ... the revolution is consolidated," declared National Assembly president Cilia Flores yesterday after legislators debated the constitutional amendment. Electoral officials said that the referendum could take place as early as March depending on the legislature’s actions. If approved, the measure could permit President Hugo Chavez to run indefinitely for reelection starting in 2012.

Earlier this month, Chavez called on his supporters to back his push for being reelected “until 2019 or 2021.” Thus far, Chavez’ backers have heeded his call:
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s party members turned in 4.76 million signatures to the National Assembly to show support for the socialist leader’s proposal to run for another term.

Thousands of Venezuelan United Socialist Party members gathered in downtown Caracas…forming a human chain to pass boxes full of signatures, according to images broadcast by state television…

“The Venezuelan people have responded as we expected,” said Jorge Rodriguez, the mayor of a municipality in Caracas and socialist party leader, according to an e-mailed statement from the government’s Information and Communications Ministry.
Image- AFP
Sources- The Latin Americanist, Bloomberg, AP, Voice of America

Report: Grand jury probes Bill Richardson

Bill Richardson’s nomination to be the next Commerce Secretary will likely face scrutiny during congressional hearings in February. But surprisingly it could be more than just the Wen Ho Lee affair.

A grand jury in Albuquerque is looking into the New Mexico governor’s dealings with a California firm that received several lucratrive contracts. That in itself is not illegal, yet eyebrows have been raised since the head of CDR Financial Products contributed heavily to Richardson’s political activities. One of these “activities” allegedly includes a Latino registration campaign.

According to the AP:
A person familiar with the proceedings told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the panel is looking into possible "pay-to-play" dealings between CDR Financial Products and someone in a position to push the contract through with the state of New Mexico. The person asked not to be named because the proceedings are secret…

Richardson served as chairman of the Boston convention, and the committee, Si Se Puede! Boston 2004 Inc., helped pay convention expenses for Richardson's staff and supporters. The contribution was reported by the committee as coming from Chambers, Dunhill, Rubin and Co., a former name for CDR.
Richardson may not be the only Obama nominee likely to face criticism by Congress; prospective Attorney General Eric Holder may be grilled over his role in the Elian Gonzalez case.

Image- UPI
Sources- The Latin Americanist, MSNBC, New York Times, AsianWeek, Bloomberg, Guanabee

Colombia: Indigenous murder heightens tensions

Relations between Colombian president Alvaro Uribe (image) and the country’s indigenous community have been uneasy for quite a while now. Unfortunately, things have worsened with an eye-raising murder several days ago.

On Tuesday the husband of a prominent indigenous leader was killed by the army. Edwin Legarda died hours after his vehicle was fired upon by soldiers near an indigenous reservation. (Legarda was the husband of Ayda Quilcué, a leader of the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca or CRIC).

Authorities alleged that Legarda was fired upon after ignoring orders to stop at a military checkpoint, a claim supported by Uribe. Yet several eyewitnesses denied the existence of the roadblock and accused the army of premeditated murder:
One of the groups affiliated with the CRIC said Tuesday that a total of 17 shots were fired and that they entered through the windshield and the sides of the vehicle.

It was "a criminal attack against (Quilcue's) vehicle," the group said in a statement, citing witnesses who said there was no checkpoint on the road and no order to stop was issued by the troops…

Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos earlier Wednesday had denied allegations that the killing was premeditated, saying that soldiers committed a mistake when they fired the gunshots.
The incident has been condemned by several international groups including the U.N. and Amnesty International.

Image- BBC News
Sources- The Latin Americanist, IPS,, ReliefWeb, Colombia Reports, IAHT, CNN, AP

Pentagon drafts plan for Guantanamo jail closing

Pentagon officials admitted that plans are being drawn up for the closing of the Guantanamo Bay prison.

According to Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gate has ordered aides to create a plan to close the controversial facility. Morell noted that the preparations were being made in anticipation of president-elect Barack Obama’s possible changes for the prison:
US President-elect Barack Obama says closing the camp "in a responsible way" is one of his top priorities.

Mr. Obama, who takes office on 20 January, said earlier this week he aimed to close the facility within two years.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said Mr. Gates - who is to retain his position in the new administration - had wanted to be prepared in case Mr. Obama wished to tackle the issue "early in his tenure".

"He has asked his team for a proposal on how to shut it down, what will be required specifically to close it and move the detainees from that facility, and at the same time protect the American people from dangerous terrorists," he said.
The possible closing of the Guantanamo prison and what legal changes may have to be done is one of Obama’s main challenges upon entering office on January 20th.

According to the Washington Post, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs Charles D. Stimson drew up classified plans in 2006 for how to close the jail.

Image- Al Jazeera English
Sources- The Latin Americanist, Washington Post, Reuters, The Telegraph, BBC News

Daily Headlines: December 19, 2008

* Spain: The last statue on the Spanish mainland of ex-dictator Francisco Franco was pulled down over thirty-three years after his death.

* Argentina: Outrage in Argentina after a local court ordered the release from prison of fourteen former officers accused of “Dirty War” abuses.

* Uruguay: The country’s legislature approved a measure that expands rights for transgendered citizens.

* Mexico: Police claim that “drug traffickers” were behind the abduction last week of an anti-kidnapping expert.

Image- AFP
Sources- Reuters, The Latin Americanist, Guardian UK, BBC News, People’s Daily Online

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Report: Hilda Solis named to Obama cabinet

According to the AP (and picked up by various other sources) Rep. Hilda Solis of California will be Barack Obama's pick for labor secretary. Solis would thus become the third Latino to be chosen for the president-elect’s cabinet behind Bill Richardson and Senator Ken Salazar.

Solis recently won her fifth consecutive term in Congress and is of Honduran and Mexican background. She was the first Latina to serve in California’s legislature and has always been a strong labor advocate:
Solis, in 1994, was the first Latina elected to the California Senate, where she led the battle to increase the state's minimum wage from $4.25 to $5.75 an hour in 1996.

In Congress, she wrote a measure that authorized $125 million for work force training programs in areas such as energy efficiency retrofitting and "green building" construction.

Andy Stern, president of the 1.9-million member Service Employees International Union, the 51-year-old praised Solis for her deep roots in the union movement. He recalled marching with her in Los Angeles — well before she was elected to Congress — to seek higher wages and benefits for janitors.

"We were with her fighting for the rights of people who work from the beginning and we're so proud that she's been chosen to be the labor secretary," Stern said.
Image- Los Angeles Times
Sources- The Latin Americanist, AP,, CBS News, ABC News, MarketWatch

Argentines seize Iranian property

The property of an ex-Iranian diplomat was seized as part of the Argentine government’s investigation into a deadly 1994 bombing.

The judicial order by an Argentine magistrate allows the government to seize and auction off the property to pay for victims of the 1994 attack of a Buenos Aires Jewish center. According to the judge’s order, the seized property was owned by fugitive Mosehn Rabbani, the former Iranian cultural attaché to Argentina.

The argentine government has accused Iran’s government of masterminding the bombing (image) which killed 85 people. Interpol has warrants out for six Iranians and several intelligence agencies believe that Hezbollah carried out the attack.

During her September appearance at the U.N. General Assembly, Argentine president Cristina Kirchner called for Iran to extradite five Iranians wanted in connection with the bombing:
``I ask Iran to please allow Argentine justice to judge, in public and transparent trials with all the guarantees of a democratic system, those citizens who stand accused,'' Fernandez said during a speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Image- BBC News
Sources- BBC News, New York Times, Xinhua, Reuters, Bloomberg

Castro to U.S.: Let’s make a deal

Earlier today Cuban president Raul Castro offered to release political prisoners as a “gesture” to ease relations with the U.S. In remarks made during his visit to Brazil’s capital, Castro made his offer…with a catch:
"These prisoners you talk about -- they want us to let them go? They should tell us tomorrow. We'll send them with their families and everything. Give us back our five heroes. That is a gesture on both parts," he said, referring to five convicted Cuban spies in U.S. prison…

A U.S. court in June upheld the convictions of the so-called "Cuban Five," who are serving long prison sentences for spying and conspiracy to commit murder but opened the door to new and possibly lighter sentences for three of the men.
Castro’s stop in Brasilia comes in the aftermath of his attending the Rio Group summit; it was there that the Cuba officially became a member of the bloc and the Group emitted a declaration calling for the end of the U.S. embargo against the island.

Image- AP (“Cuba's President Raul Castro puts on the hat of Honduras's President Manuel Zelaya, unseen, during a summit of Latin American and Caribbean leaders in Costa do Sauipe, Brazil, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008.”)
Sources- IOL, IHT, AFP

Today’s Video: A cuchi-cuchi Christmas

Christmas is a week away but let’s celebrate a little early with Charo:

Eat your heart out, Burl Ives.

(Hat tip: The Daily Dish).

Sources- The Daily Dish, YouTube

Lula's funny!

Amidst a sometimes tense meeting this week in Costa do Sauipe, where presidents grappled with global financial collapse, and aimed much of their ire at the US, the president of Brazil showed his prowess at defusion (and that he has a lighter side)...

From the Wash. Post:

Lula jokingly threatened to throw a shoe at Chavez if the long-winded socialist leader spoke beyond his allotted time.... And at a news conference later, Lula quipped to reporters: "Please, nobody take off your shoes."

Well played, sir.

Daily Headlines: December 18, 2008

* Latin America: The Rio Group summit ended with a declaration calling for the end of the U.S. embargo on Cuba and "a change in US policy towards Latin America and the Caribbean".

* U.S: A funeral mass was held in New York for Jose Sucuzhañay, the slain Ecuadorian migrant who was recently killed in a despicable attack.

* El Salvador: Free trade and counternarcotics efforts were two of the main topics discussed during Salvadoran president Tony Saca’s visit to the White House on Tuesday.

* Venezuela: An Uruguayan defendant was sentenced to nearly three years in jail for his role in the “Maletagate” incident.

Image- Voice of America (“Some of the Latin American summit participants at the Costa do Sauipe resort, 16 Dec 2008.”)
Sources- Reuters, The Latin Americanist, AFP, BBC News, NY1, Voice of America, El Universal

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Regular blogging returns on Thursday

Hi everyone.

As you may have noticed posting was very light today. It was my task to post today but I've been AWOL due to a nasty cold and the taking of several heavy narcotics to treat the cold. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it!)

Regular posting will resume on Thursday.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

--Erwin C.

Daily Headlines: December 17, 2008

* U.S: Rep. Xavier Becerra respectfully refused the possibility of becoming chief trade negotiator under incoming President Barack Obama.

* Chile: One of the country’s main conservative groups will campaign against a non-discrimination bill as a result of misguided worries over gay rights.

* Argentina: Executives of the Argentine and Venezuelan subsidiaries of German firm Siemens admitted to paying millions of dollars in bribes.

* Peru: Peruvian immigration authorities are placing “increased scrutiny” on Mexican travelers due to drug trafficking.

Image- Los Angeles Times
Sources- Reuters, Monsters & Critics, MSNBC, Voice of America

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Today’s Video: Shoe-gazing

Remember the impromptu shoe-throwing attack at President George W. Bush during his weekend visit to Iraq?

According to the AP, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez couldn’t help but publicly joke about the incident:
Chavez laughed heartily when asked about the incident on state television and called the incident "funny." Referring to the shoe-tosser, he said, "What courage!"
The leftist Venezuelan leader hedged those remarks, however, adding: "At least it didn't hit him, and it's not that one goes around supporting shoe-throwing or anything."
Sources- IHT, Reuters Video

General Assembly president received death threats

Authorities are examining supposed death threats made against the president of the U.N. General Assembly.

Former Nicaraguan foreign minister and Roman Catholic priest Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann claimed that he was the target of “death threats posted on the Internet.” "This matter is being looked into by the pertinent authorities," U.N. spokesman Enrique Yeves said yesterday though he did not provide details as to what was mentioned or what sites the threats came from.

Meanwhile, d'Escoto finds himself on one side of a diplomatic quarrel with Israel:
The statement also reacted to Israeli press reports that D'Escoto tried to prevent (Israel's UN ambassador Gabriela Shalev) from speaking last week at a plenary session to mark the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

"This is a malicious and absolute lie that could best be characterized as 'slander'," D'Escoto said through his spokesman. "Information from the media attributes senior diplomatic officials in the Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations as the source for this irresponsible accusation."

D'Escoto also slammed Israel's "arbitrary detention" and denial of entry to Richard Falk, the UN's special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories.
D'Escoto and his outspoken nature have led him to be the center of controversy several times; in October, for instance, he claimed that “there are members of the Security Council right now who have done things infinitely worse than Iran could ever do.”

Image- CBC
Sources- The Latin Americanist, AFP, Times of India, IHT

Louima cop wants sentence commuted

One of the former New York policemen convicted in the infamous Abner Louima (image) sodomy case is seeking a reduced sentence.

Justin Volpe was convicted of torturing the Haitian immigrant in 1997 and was sentenced to thirty years in prison. He has spent nearly 12 years in jail without parole and recently petitioned the Justice Department for a reduced sentence.

Along with Volpe’s petition were notes sent by family and friends on his behalf. Yet his crime outraged New Yorkers and shined a light on police abuse during the Giuliani administration:
One officer, Justin A. Volpe, admitted in court in May 1999 that he had rammed a broken broomstick into Mr. Louima’s rectum and then thrust it in his face. He said he had mistakenly believed that Mr. Louima had punched him in the head during a street brawl outside a nightclub in Flatbush, but he acknowledged that he had also intended to humiliate the handcuffed immigrant. He left the force and was later sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Image- CNN
Sources- Gothamist, NY1,, City Room

GM’s LatAm woes continue

Auto giant General Motors has seen better days as the firm is close to collapsing. In recent years the company was able to rely on record sales in Latin America yet as we recently noted that trend has sharply reversed.

Yesterday GM’s regional woes continued:
General Motors Corp. (GM) will idle three plants in Mexico in coming weeks and will suspend production of two assembly lines until February, the company's Mexican unit said Monday…

"These idles allow for preventive maintenance on equipment and a more adequate balance of production," GM de Mexico said, adding that the company will continue reviewing its production levels in light of changing market conditions.
The work stoppages will affect over 10,000 employees whose jobs may be lost if the economic situation worsens.

Mexico was the world's 10th-biggest car producer last year and “is heavily dependent on the U.S. economy.”

Image- ABC News
Sources- The Latin Americanist, Reuters, AP,

Region grapples with Ecuador's default decision

President Rafael Correa's surprise decision last week to default on Ecuador's foreign debt for the second time in a decade is still being puzzled at by economists and analysts.

I have found it difficult (as a non-economist) to hash through the finance-speak and to understand the economic implications, but have been impressed with a few stories that have been able to relate sharp analyses of the issues at stake in a digestible way; if you're at all like me, you'll appreciate these:

Latin Business Chronicle gives an overview of the decision's likely affects on the region's economy (summary: not good, thanks in part to the "Financial Times effect.") Seeking Alpha blog offers an objective summary of the ideology behind the decision. Bloggings by Boz offers meaty analysis with embedded updates in the post, including a compelling potential scenarios breakdown.

In sum, many have (rightly)
cast the default as a politically motivated, ideological decision. There are already clear winners (the Ecuadoran government) and losers (investors) to see, but it seems like we will only understand the foresight - or lack thereof - of this decision after a number of other scenarios play out.

Sources: Latin Business Chronicle, AlphaNet, Investors Daily, Bloggings by Boz

Daily Headlines: December 16, 2008

* U.S: The U.S. Supreme Court has ordered a lower court to reconsider its decision against four British detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison who claimed that they were tortured.

* Uruguay: The country’s ruling party has backed a former leader of the Tupamaros guerillas to run for the presidency.

* Bolivia: One dead and at least five injured was the result of clashes between police and protestors demonstrating against a ban on imported cars.

* Mexico: Four police officers in Ciudad Juarez were murdered during a thirty-minute spurt of violence.

Image- AFP (“A bird flying above the razorwire-topped fence of the "Camp Five" detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.”)
Sources- Reuters, Monsters & Critics, MSNBC, Voice of America

Monday, December 15, 2008

Today’s Video: Pablo the Drug Mule Dog

Pop quiz time, ladies and jellyspoons!

Is the following British anti-drug PSA:

a. Convincing

b. Ineffective

c. Cute

d. Lame

e. (Somehow) all of the above?

Perhaps next time Pablo will let us meet Gustavo the guerilla or the corpse of Doris the (human) drug mule.

(Hat tip: Metafilter).

Sources- Metafilter, YouTube

Anti-kidnapping expert gets kidnapped in Mexico

How bad is crime in Mexico? This bad:
A U.S. anti-kidnapping expert was abducted by gunmen in northern Mexico last week, a sign of just how bold this nation's kidnapping gangs have become.

U.S. security consultant Felix Batista was in Saltillo in Coahuila state to offer advice on how to confront abductions for ransom when he was snatched by unknown assailants on Dec. 10, said Charlie LeBlanc, the president of the Houston, Texas-based security firm ASI Global LLC., where Batista is a consultant.

"We have notified the FBI and Mexican authorities, and they are working on the case," LeBlanc said Monday. "What we are doing is we're offering our support to the family and hoping for the best."
Kidnappings in Mexico, especially in northern border states, have skyrocketed as part of increased drug-related violence. Last week authorities found the remains of Silvia Vargas; her kidnapping galvanized Mexicans beset by violence.

(Hat tip:

Image- BBC News (Millions of Mexicans marched in September to protest the nationwide rash of kidnappings).
Sources- The Latin Americanist, AP,,

IDB’s early holiday gift to Haiti

As we’ve noted before, Haiti’s citizens have been going through some very rough times over the past several months. (Worse than usual for the Western Hemisphere’s most impoverished country.)

Therefore, any assistance for the Caribbean country is more than welcome:
The Inter-American Development Bank will double its aid to Haiti next year to help the impoverished nation upgrade its crumbling infrastructure and broaden social programs, the bank's chief announced Sunday.

IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno, in comments at the National Palace in Port-au-Prince, said the bank will double its grants to Haiti to US$100 million for 2009 to help the country's government with a raft of vital investments.

"Haiti is the most fragile of our member countries. No other nation in Latin America and the Caribbean is as vulnerable to economic shocks and natural disasters," Moreno said. "It requires extraordinary assistance from the international community."
The additional $50 million from the IDB will help fund several projects including the establishing of a social development fund and a potable water project for several cities.

Image- Al Jazeera English (Tropical storms swept through Hispaniola during the summer).
Sources- The Latin Americanist,, AP

Chavez to Obama: Extradite Posada Carriles

According to the Cuban press Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has urged U.S. president-elect Barack Obama to extradite Luis Posada Carriles (image) to Venezuela. "President Obama, send us the terrorist,” declared Chavez during an event in the presence of visiting Cuban President Raul Castro.

Posada Carriles is wanted in both Cuba and Venezuela for several incidents including the 1976 bombing of a Cuban passenger plane. In 2005, the former CA operative was arrested for immigration fraud in the U.S. yet a federal judge tossed out the indictment last year. He is currently living somewhere in the U.S. and is forbidden from being extradited.

Chavez also mentioned that he would like to calm diplomatic tensions between the U.S. and Venezuela after Obama is inaugurated:
President Hugo Chavez says relations between Venezuela and the United States, now at their lowest point in years, can only improve after President George W. Bush leaves the White House…

During a televised interview broadcast Sunday, Chavez said efforts to improve relations between Caracas and Washington will require "patience" and "good faith."

It was not clear when the interview was recorded.
Image- BBC News
Sources- The Latin Americanist, BBC News,, Granma, El Universal, Wikipedia, IHT

Russia sends ships to Havana

Russia's interest in Latin America does not seem to be ceasing.

The country's military previously entertained the idea of practicing near Venezuela. Now, Russian warships plan to travel to a Havana port Friday in a show of strength closer to U.S. borders.

The ships' five-day stay will also highlight a Latin American tour by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

Read the story here.

Source: AP

U.S. ignored at LatAm conference

The United States will not be represented at an Americas regional summit that begins tomorrow in Brazil.

Bloomberg reports that the gathering of the Latin American and Caribbean Summit on Integration and Development at a beach resort in Brazil's Bahia state will instead include nations that are not friendly toward the States, like Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela.

It is the first annual gathering on this topic but high-profile diplomats say the Unitd States exclusion is symbolic.

Read more here on each of the ways the U.S. role is waning in Latin America.

Source: Bloomberg

P.S. Sorry about the lack of photos, folks, my computer browser also is unfriendly right now.

Paraguay: “Tracterazo” protests commence

Several business and private sector groups in Paraguay are participating in nationwide protests this morning. The rallies are deemed by the local press as the “Tracterazo” protests since tractors and other farm equipment will be driven through urban areas like the capital, Asuncion.

Organizers of the protests claim that the “Tracterazo” events aren’t anti-government per se, but are designed to “demand increased security, better work conditions, and…social peace.”

Paraguayan president Fernando Lugo’s election win helped end sixty years of one-party rule yet his first four months in office have been a mixed bag. On the one hand, Lugo has gradually tackled the need for land reform and has made progress in implementing social programs. On the other hand, tensions have risen with neighboring Brazil and economic problems have led to some unique protests:
Two women let themselves be crucified on wooden crosses and carried around Paraguay's capital…as part of citywide protests demanding President Fernando Lugo grant funds for low-income housing.

Members of various homeless organizations nailed the women's hands and bound their feet to crosses in a plaza to pressure the Social Action Secretariat to give them $1 million to purchase land and build homes.
Image- Guardian UK (Fernando Lugo on the campaign trail earlier this year).
Sources (English)- The Latin Americanist, USA TODAY, IPS, Xinhua
Sources (Spanish)- Ultima Hora, ABC Digital,

Daily Headlines: December 15, 2008

* Brazil: A silent yet stunning protest against violence took place on Saturday as 16,000 coconuts covered sections of Rio de Janeiro's famous Copacabana beach.

* Venezuela: Director Oliver Stone reportedly announced plans to make a documentary focusing on Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.

* Central America: The Los Angeles Times looks at the plight of Central American migrants who cross into Mexico.

* Colombia: According to a prominent NGO, despite advances in Colombia’s armed conflict the federal government grossly exaggerates the number of slain guerillas.

Image- Reuters
Sources- Los Angeles Times, Guardian UK, CNN, BBC News

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Poll: What are the top stories of 2008?

We’re approximately fifteen days way from the end of the year and so many events have occurred over the past eleven-and-a-half months. Thus, we’re issuing our poll of the main headlines of 2008. Nearly one hundred votes were made in our first year-end poll last December though we hope more will be entered for this year’s poll.
  • This year’s poll contains 25 stories and moments that have caught our attention over the past year including several based on your suggestions.
  • The poll is multiple choice so you can choose more than one answer if you wish. You can also write-in your own entry under the “other” option.
  • The poll will stay open until Sunday December 28 and we will post the top 10 news stories according to your votes between December 29 and December 31.

Please feel free to participate and vote for what you feel are the top headlines from this year. Let your opinions be heard!

Sources- The Latin Americanist