Saturday, January 16, 2010

Today's Video: Reaching through the rubble

We'll be posting tomorrow on several news and notes throughout the Americas.

In the meantime, the following is a brief update on the situation days after the massive tremors in Haiti:

Online Source - YouTube

Weekend World Watch: Freeze frame

* U.S.: The F.B.I. has egg on their face after Spanish legislator Gaspar Llamazares discovered that part of his image was used in a mock photo image of how Osama bin Laden could look like.

* Guinea: The country is one step closer to transitioning into civilian rule roughly four months after 150 anti-military junta demonstrators were massacred.

* Iran: Diplomats from six countries including the five permanent members of the UN Security Council met behind closed doors today in order to discuss possible sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program.

* Japan: The man described as “Japan’s most influential politician” has come under fire over his alleged role in a fundraising scandal.

Image – Guardian UK (“Digitally enhanced photo of Osama bin-Laden released by the US Department of Defense and Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI] which shows an age-progression image of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin-Laden.”)
Online Sources- The Telegraph, The Latin Americanist, New York Times, Xinhua, BBC News

Weekend Headlines: January 16-17, 2010

* Argentina: A former Argentine Navy lieutenant is close to being extradited from Spain in order to stand trial for allegedly involvement “death flights” during the Dirty War.

* Latin America: At least 26 patients of Cuba’s largest psychiatric hospital died due to a cold snap while the freezing weather has claimed the lives of about 22 people in Mexico.

* Brazil: State-run oil firm Petrobras rejected rumors that they will buy a stake in Portugal's Galp Energia.

* Venezuela: President Hugo Chavez declared a 25% hike to the minimum wage and defied his opponents during the annual state-of-the-nation speech yesterday.

Image – EFE (Julio Alberto Poch was arrested last September and has been accused of participating in the “death flights” of Argentine dissidents).
Online Sources- AFP, Xinhua, Washington Post, Bloomberg, Guardian UK

Friday, January 15, 2010

World Watch: Beauty is more than skin deep

* China: What would have been China’s first gay pageant was shutdown at the last minute by authorities who said that the event was not “properly licensed.”

* Ukraine: Eighteen candidates are contesting Ukraine’s presidential election this weekend; the first since the 2004 “Orange Revolution.”

* Russia: The country’s legislature backtracked from its strong opposition to the European Court of Human Rights.

* U.S.: According to government data up to 80 million people in the U.S. received the swine flu vaccine though that only represents roughly one of every five in the total population.

Image – BBC News
Online Sources- Guardiann UK, Xinhua, New York Times, Reuters

Quake hits Venezuela

As if the massive 7.0-magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti this week wasn’t enough, another tremor struck in the Americas today:
A 5.6 magnitude earthquake hit Venezuela near the small Caribbean coastal town of Carupano, the United States Geological Survey said on Friday.

The quake, at a relatively shallow depth of 7.3 miles (12 km), was centered about 24 miles (39 km) southwest of Carupano and was felt in Puerto La Cruz, where state oil company PDVSA has a refinery.

PDVSA said it had no immediate reports of damage.
The epicenter of the earthquake was about 235 miles away from the Venezuelan capital of Caracas. Furthermore, the country’s head of seismology reported that the tremor was felt in several eastern provinces.

Online Sources- Canadian Press, Reuters, The Latin Americanist, CNN

Today's Video: The science behind a tragedy

How could such a strong earthquake hit the Caribbean nation of Haiti? Here's how:

Online Sources - YouTube, BBC News

Massive economic loss for quake-hit Haiti

In the aftermath of the massive loss of life Haiti it is difficult to discuss issues relating to dollars and cents. Yet the earthquake that has shattered Haiti came at a time when the country’s impoverished economy was slowly bouncing back from previous natural disasters and the global economic crisis. According to the World Bank, the economic loss caused by the earthquake could be pretty hefty:
The earthquake in Haiti will cost the nation’s economy at least 15 percent of its gross domestic product, said Pamela Cox, the World Bank’s vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Jan. 12 quake is a “much bigger tragedy” than the four tropical storms or hurricanes that struck the nation in 2008, Cox said in an interview today with Bloomberg Television. Reconstruction efforts will take years and require help from the private sector, she said.
Image- The Telegraph
Online Sources- Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, Guardian UK

Drug War Continues with Mexico on Front Lines

A new timeline on Reuters encouraged us to check in on the drug war.

Yesterday, the news company issued a new timeline of key points in the U.S.-Latin America drug war, including President Nixon setting up the Drug Enforcement Administration in 1973 and President Clinton gifting Colombia with $1.3 billion in aid under Plan Colombia.

In other drug news:

Mexico plans to send 2,000 more elite police toward the United States border.

A big drug bust in South Carolina was tipped off by a traffic stop. They connected the traffickers to marijuana shipped from Mexico.

And the Christian Science Monitor has a story on the three stages of corruption with a few suggestions of how Mexico can follow Colombia's lead. In Mexico, 27 percent of the Congressional members who were elected in 2006 are under suspicion of "colluding with paramilitaries," according to the article.

Sources: Reuters, WSPA, CSM

Photo: Mexico, from AP

France, Canada enacts Haiti immigration changes

Yesterday we mentioned how the U.S. temporarily suspended the deportations of Haitian migrants in light of Tuesday’s earthquake. At least two other industrialized nations have also enacted immigration changes of their own.

French officials have also placed a hold on deportations to Haiti in light of the tremors. According to a statement from French immigration minister Eric Besson, his country will only temporarily permit “earthquake victims who need medical assistance into the country.” (One estimate claimed that at least 38,000 Haitians have been repatriated “over the last couple of years.”)

In Canada, meanwhile, authorities have been examining whether to relax immigration measures for Haitian migrants. Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that options to “fast-tracking” Haitians into Canada could include waiving fees and making it easy for families to reunify. According to one analyst, however, those options would be insufficient compared to a more in-depth system reform:
But simply speeding up the application process does not necessarily mean more Haitians will qualify to come to Canada, warned Audrey Macklin, law professor at the University of Toronto.

"Our immigration system makes it extremely difficult for people to come from poor countries," she said. "You're up against a whole bureaucracy set up to prevent them from coming."

In order to make sure Haitians benefit from the changes Ottawa makes, officials should also relax their demands for proof of family ties and good health, she said, especially if the applicants have links to Canadians who have said they will take care of them.
Image- Canadian Press
Online Sources- Canadian Press, AFP, The Latin Americanist, Huffington Post

Daily Headlines: January 15, 2010

* Venezuela: Citing the need for his government to “rectify” mistakes, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez ordered an indefinite suspension of rolling blackouts in Caracas.

* Argentina: Coming soon to a TV near you – a channel dedicated to Argentine soccer legend/coaching joke Diego Maradona.

* Mexico: If you’re planning to nosh on chicharrones while crossing the Mexican border into the U.S. you may want to think again.

* Panama: Ex-president Ernesto Perez Balladares was placed under house arrest after being accused of money laundering.

Image – Guardian UK (“Police officers control traffic during a partial blackout in Caracas, Venezuela.”)
Online Sources- Bloomberg, ABC News, USA TODAY, MSNBC

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Today's Video: Caetano's call

With our thoughts and prayers focused on the victims of Tuesday's earthquake in Haiti, we wish to feature Caetano Veloso's song of social awareness on that Caribbean country:

Don't forget that there are many ways to help Haiti whether it be via text messaging, major aid groups, or local organizations. Every little bit of help counts so please give what you can.

Online Sources - YouTube, The Latin Americanist

World Watch: Nap Time

* World: According to a study carried out by U.S. researchers chronic sleep deprivation cannot be resolved by a night or two of very good sleeping.

* Iraq: A court sentenced eleven suspects to death over their role in a series of 2008 bombings that killed over 100 people.

* Sudan: Tensions have escalated ahead of national elections after the military and rebels clashed in the region of Darfur.

* Iran: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has blamed the U.S. and Israel in the recent death of a prominent Iranian scientist and professor.

Image – CBC
Online Sources- UPI, BBC News, Voice of America, Reuters

Dominican Republic key in Haiti relief

The Dominican Republic was spared much of the death and destruction of its earthquake-damaged neighbor Haiti and, thus, has served as a key conduit for relief efforts. Indeed, the country on the eastern half of the island of Hispaniola was amongst the first to send aid including “10 mobile cafeterias capable of serving 100,000 meals a day, heavy debris-removing equipment, and medicine.” Furthermore, some reporters from around the world that have converged in Haiti have resorted to traveling via unsafe and iffy means from the Dominican Republic.

Though the aid to Haiti from its neighbor has reportedly eased tensions between both countries, a source of friction may arise with the hundreds of displaced Haitians seeking to cross the border. Before the tremors Dominican authorities said that they would strengthen their efforts to prevent Haitians from illegally crossing. Clashes in the border area occur occasionally and there’s the worry that it could escalate in the aftermath of the earthquake:
Media sources in the Dominican Republic are reporting that thousands of Haitians are trying to cross into the Dominican Republic, the Spanish-speaking nation that shares the island of Hispaniola with its sister republic. Haitians are trying to cross the frontier into the Dominican Republic to purchase food, fuel, water, and candles. The electric system in Haiti has collapsed and Haitians are contending with pitch black darkness, along with the lack of adequate medical care.

Dominican military stationed along the border are allowing only those Haitians in possession of passports and valid Dominican visas to cross into Dominican territory. The Dominican military has reinforced its presence all along the border, reportedly so as to prevent a deluge of immigrants – according to Dominican media.
Image- AFP ("People walk past dead bodies in the center of Port-au-Prince.")
Online Sources- TVNZ, Christian Science Monitor, CNN, LAHT, Spero News

Clinton, Bush to help Obama for Haiti relief

President Barack Obama has sought help from his predecessor- George W. Bush- to help in the relief efforts for Haiti.

According to AFP, an anonymous White House official claimed that Bush "will join (ex-president Bill) Clinton in helping with disaster relief" for the country still reeling from Tuesday's massive earthquake. Furthermore, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said today that Obama spoke with Bush last night to create an alliance similar to one made by Clinton and George H.W. Bush in the aftermath of 2005’s deadly tsunami in the Pacific.

Earlier today Obama announced that at least $100 million would be allocated in humanitarian and rescue aid to Haiti where the Haitian Red Cross estimated the death toll between 45,000 and 50,000 people.

Clinton already has ties to Haiti after being named U.N. special envoy to Haiti in 2008, and he recently called on all Americans to help in the relief efforts. Meanwhile, the alliance with Obama comes as the White House has tried to avoid the mistakes made by the Bush administration after other natural disasters:
The administration urgently sought to show it had learned from the mistakes of Obama's predecessor, who was criticized for the initial U.S. response to a tsunami disaster in south Asia in 2004 and for his handling of Hurricane Katrina's onslaught on the U.S. Gulf Coast in 2005.

The White House also took pains to show Obama was staying on top of events, in contrast to Bush, widely seen as detached as Katrina battered New Orleans for days more than five years ago…

That attitude could boost Obama's earlier promise to devote more attention to Latin America and the Caribbean, a region that felt neglected under the Bush administration and had not been high on the current president's policy agenda either.
Image- ABC News (January 2009 image of Barack Obama and George W. Bush).
Online Sources- FOX News, New York Times, AFP, ABC News

Could Haitian migrants receive TPS?

It is very difficult (and in some cases grossly insensitive) to bring politics into the aftermath of Tuesday’s massive earthquake in Haiti. Yet in the few days since the tragedy there has been at least one major change to U.S.-Haiti policy.

Hours after the quake struck the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) decided to temporarily suspend the deportations of detained Haitian migrants. According to a DHS spokesman, U.S. immigration officials continue “to closely monitor the situation" in the impoverished Caribbean nation as the fate of an estimated 30,000 undocumented Haitians in the U.S. is in limbo.

The move opens the door for the possible granting of temporary protected status (TPS) to Haitians illegally residing in the U.S. Migrants from El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras have previously received the TPS privilege that is given when countries fall victims to severe natural disasters. According to, an unnamed DHS official told them that TPS remains “within the range of consideration."

Haitian expats and immigration advocates have long clamored for TPS for Haitians, especially in light of numerous hurricanes and major storms over the past decade. Though their pleas had fallen on deaf ears by both the Bush and Obama administrations, support for Haitian TPS has gained backing from key lawmakers:
Among those calling on Wednesday for the Obama administration to reconsider were Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, both Democrats, and Representatives Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart of south Florida, both Republicans, as well as the Roman Catholic Bishops.

“If this is not a slam-dunk case for temporary protected status, I don’t know what is,” said Kevin Appleby, a spokesman for the bishops. He said the status would allow Haitian immigrants here to work here and send money back to relatives in Haiti trying to recover from the quake.
Image- BBC News (Some Haitians residing in Miami have clamored to the heavens in the aftermath of Tuesday’s deadly earthquake).
Online Sources- The Latin Americanist, Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor,, New York Times

Daily Headlines: January 14, 2010

* Colombia: The country’s Inspector General has shamelessly urged the Constitutional Court to back a referendum that could permit President Alvaro Uribe to run for a third consecutive term.

* Latin America: “The intersection of water and climate could serve to reconcile the conflicting priorities that hobbled negotiations in Copenhagen,” mentioned Inter-American Development Bank head Luis Alberto Moreno in an Los Angeles Times op/ed piece yesterday.

* Mexico: Dutch brewer Heineken agreed to take up the multibillion-dollar debt of Mexican firm FEMSA.

* Bolivia: Is President Evo Morales the biggest fan of the blockbuster film, “Avatar”?

Image – CNN
Online Sources- Reuters, Los Angeles Times, Latina, AFP

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Please help Haiti! – Local groups

Aside from text messaging and major charities seeking donations for Haiti, local groups in North America have also mobilized in areas like:
  • Rhode Island – The Providence Haiti Outreach organization will be accepting donations at Providence’s St. Pius the Tenth Church tonight from 4pm to 7pm.
  • Miami - The Archdiocese of Miami are accepting online donations in English and en Espanol.
  • Boston – “Activists and elected officials have scheduled a meeting Wednesday evening at Cathedral of the Holy Cross in the Boston’s South End neighborhood to update family members and spread information about relief efforts.”
  • New York – A “Haitian Earthquake Benefit” will be held tonight at Manhattan’s Lolita bar and a future benefit will be held later this month at Brooklyn’s Bell House.
  • Chicago – The Haitian Congress to Fortify Haiti met in the Chicago suburb of Evanston and will work out a plan of action.
  • Canada – “Canadians seeking information on relatives in Haiti can contact the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) emergency operations centre at 1-800-387-3124 or send an email to”

Image- Guardian UK (“A Haitian woman is helped after being trapped in rubble following the earthquake.”)
Online Sources- Too many to individually list

And Maradona Returns

After being banned from playing by FIFA for an outburst in November, Maradona is free to lead his national futbol team for Argentina in the World Cup in South Africa this June.

His national team is very talented individually for their club teams, but Maradona's challenge now is to find a sense of cohesion or harmony amongst his unique players. With only 5 months before the games begin, Maradona has to prove that his volatile nature is under control in order to lead his team to the win.

Not to mention, he also has the wary eyes of the bosses on him at all times. Maradona needs to prove to them, to the team, and to himself that he can pull it all together.

Source: NYT

Foreign Minister of Ecuador Resigns

Foreign Minister, Fander FalconĂ­, resigned after receiving criticism from President Rafael Correa. Correa disagreed with the foreign minister's handling of negotiations in connection with a forest-protection project.

In recent times, Ecuador has sought the financial aid of rich, industrialized countries in exchange for limiting carbon emissions by preventing oil exploration in the forested area.

According to New York Times:

Mr. Correa had recently said that donor countries in Europe had acted “shamefully” by seeking to impose some conditions in relation to projects funded by their aid.

Source: New York Times Brief

Please help Haiti! - Text Messaging

Aside from donating to major charity groups you can also send text messages in order to help Haitian earthquake relief efforts:
  • U.S. State Department - Texting "HAITI" to "90999" and a $10 donation will be made to the Red Cross.
  • Yele Haiti - Texting "YELE" to "501501" and a $5 donation will be made.
Please note that your cell phone bill will be automatically billed if you make a text message donation and that it may not be possible to make a donation outside of the U.S. Still, we beg of you to help our Haitian brothers and sisters in need, and if you have any tips please let us know via e-mail at

Image- New York Daily News
Online Sources- The Latin Americanist, U.S. State Department, Yele Haiti, CBC

Pat Robertson is a fool (Updated)

Throughout the day we’ll be asking you to please help the victims of yesterday’s terrible earthquake in Haiti. Show your love and support to those in need and please ignore the cold-hearted buffoonery expressed by Pat Robertson:

Robertson’s reprehensible view of history should not obscure the relief efforts of religious organizations such as the Baptist Haiti Mission, Catholic Relief Services and the American Jewish World Service. “Something good may come” from the tragedy as Robertson, said at the end of the above video but it would only be through compassion and charity not via his warped look at reality.

(Hat tip: Politico).

Update: A spokesman for Robertson issued a statement that was almost as bad as Robertson's silly remarks. Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh also verbalized several asinine views of his own.

Online Sources- Politico, Baptist Haiti Mission, Catholic Relief Services, YouTube, American Jewish World Service

Please help Haiti! - Charities

The Caribbean nation of Haiti has been devastated after a series of major earthquakes yesterday. Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive estimated that at least 100,000 people have died, thousands of victims are missing, and the Red Cross estimated that as many as three million people “have been affected.” Haiti's most powerful earthquake in 240 years has hit the most impoverished nation in the Americas at a time when the country had been gradually improving economically.

Numerous countries including throughout the world have mobilized their efforts to help victims of yesterday’s tremors. You too can help with the Haitian relief efforts; here are some charities and other groups that are accepting online donations:
We'll have more info throughout the day on other ways you can help Haiti. If you have any tips please let us know via e-mail at

Image- New Zealand Herald
Online Sources- Too many to list

Daily Headlines: January 13, 2010

* Guatemala: A UN investigator cleared president Alvaro Colom in the unusual murder case of lawyer Rodrigo Rosenberg and claimed that Rosenberg himself ordered his own assassination.

* Ecuador: Was the disagreement with president Rafael Correa over an Amazon rain forest protection project the reason behind Foreign Minister Fander Falconi’s abrupt resignation?

* Cuba: Spanish officials claimed that they worked out a deal in order to receive a pair of Guantanamo detainees.

* Peru: Yale University wants to dismiss a lawsuit accusing them of stealing thousands of artifacts from Machu Picchu.

Image – CNN (“Rodrigo Rosenberg left a video blaming Guatemala's president after his death last year.”)
Online Sources- The Latin Americanist, BBC News, Voice of America, Xinhua, Science Magazine

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Major earthquake shakes Haiti (Updated)

Update (10:45pm):

Footage of the aftermath of today's earthquake has just emerged and shows the death and destruction caused by the tremor in Port-au-Prince. (The following video contains graphic scenes and is Not Safe For Work):

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

In the meantime we ask that you please open your hearts and wallets in order to help the victims of Tuesday's tremors. Please click here to find links to AmeriCares, Yele Haiti and other organizations establishing relief efforts for the Caribbean country.

As we mentioned previously, governments throughout the Americas have mobilized to send relief efforts to Haiti. Furthermore, the U.S. State Department has set up a hotline for those interested in info on family or friends in Haiti:
The toll-free number to call for information about family members in Haiti is 1-888-407-4747. The State Department advises that some callers may receive a recording because of heavy volume of calls.

Officials say the U.S. Embassy in the capital of Port-au-Prince is still in the early stages of contacting American citizens and notes that communications are difficult within Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake.
Update (9:00pm):
Additional information has been slow to emerge since the tremor hit off the Haitian coast several hours ago. Nonetheless, here is some of what's being reported:

  • It is feared that thousands may be dead in Haiti and possibly neighboring Dominican Republic. The original quake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale was followed by a pair of aftershocks measuring 5.9 and 5.5, respectively.
  • The tsunami watch that was initially issued for parts of the Caribbean was subsequently lifted. Nonetheless, the tremor was felt as far away as the eastern part of Cuba though without major damage reported.
  • According to Haitian television many buildings have been seriously damaged including the presidential palace in Port-au-Prince. CNN en Espanol claimed that eyewitness accounts said that the Haitian headquarters of Citibank may have fallen and that the housing for United Nations peacekeepers is in ruins.
  • Several governments in the Americas are scrambling to provide urgent relief assistance for what appears to be a major catastrophe. The American Red Cross is also asking for donations as well as musician Wyclef Jean via his Twitter page.
  • Some reports of the casualties and damage have gradually filtered via users on Twitter. Via is this Twitter feed from a man in Port-au-Prince named Richard Morse.
  • Haitian expats in the U.S. have desperately tried to reach loved ones back in their homeland. One of them living in Florida told the Miami Herald that "land lines, cell phones and Internet connections are all down."
We'll try to report more on this story tonight. If you have any information please mention it in the comments to this post.

Original Post:
In a developing news story, an earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale shook off the coast of Haiti this afternoon. The epicenter was fourteen miles west of the capital city of Port-au-Prince and a tsunami alert has been issued for Haiti, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Barbados.

According to the AP, a hospital collapsed in Petionville as people screamed for help. But Reuters reported that so far there has been "no immediate report of damage or casualties."

We'll have more on this breaking (and likely tragic) news story as more details become known.

Online Sources - Reuters, MSNBC, AFP
Image Source - Lonely Planet

2 million jobs lost in LatAm: ILO

The economic state of Latin America has not fared well in the almost two weeks of 2010. From the sharp devaluation of the Venezuelan Bolivar to the central bank controversy in Argentina, the region has started the year on the financial wrong foot.

Whether Latin America’s economy rebounds soon remains to be seen yet there will be undoubtedly by a rough road ahead:
The economic crisis eliminated 2.2 million jobs last year in Latin America and the Caribbean, a figure that boosted the rate of unemployment from 7.5 percent to 8.4 percent, according to a report by the International Labor Organization released here Monday…

The U.N. body said that the unemployment rate increased in 2009 in 12 of the 14 countries studied. Only Peru and Uruguay escaped…

ILO regional director Jean Maninat said that what did increase in the region was informal employment, “which continues to be a kind of refuge from unemployment.”

“Of every 10 jobs created, six were in the informal sector,” Maninat said.
The increase in unemployment last year put a halt to six years of regional job growth. Though the ILO study did point out that unemployment was expected to decline slightly by 0.2% this year, the report found that the change would do very little to alleviate the region’s crushing poverty. “The invisible hand of the market is not strong or efficient enough to develop sustainable businesses or to create the employment levels we need," he observed while calling on governments to be more active in creating jobs.

Image- New York Times (“In Santiago, (Chile) graffiti says “unemployment is humiliation.”)
Online Sources- CNN, Bloomberg, LAHT, Reuters BusninessWeek, The Latin Americanist

Today's Video: Behold the mighty "completo"

Last night marked the season debut of "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations" with a visit by the globetrotting chef-turned-author to Panama. The episode highlighted the delicious food of Panama (naturally) but also included Bourdain helping torch several tons of cocaine confiscated by authorities. It was a great start to a season that is expected to also feature Ecuador and (possibly) Cuba.

While we await the posting of food-based clips on YouTube of Bourdain's trip to Panama, the following video comes from his previous jaunt in Chile. It was there where he enjoyed the artery-clogging goodness that was a completo; a massive hot dog packed with enough extras to bring shame upon the "sewer dogs" of his (and my) native New York City:

Online Sources - Travel Channel, YouTube

Daily Headlines: January 12, 2010

* Guatemala: DNA samples and text messaging are the latest tools being used to identify the remains of thousands of Guatemalans “disappeared” during last century’s bloody civil war.

* Mexico: Saturday was a very gruesome day of violence in Mexico, while the country’s National Human Rights Commission blasted authorities for not doing more to protect journalists.

* Chile: On Monday, Chile became the second Latin America country to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

* Brazil: Conservative sectors such as the military and Catholic Church are peeved at a government-backed plan to establish a truth commission.

Image – (“A man looks at pictures of people disappeared during Guatemala’s internal conflict (1960-96) in the National Congress in Guatemala City, on July 09, 2008.”)
Online Sources- BBC News, MSNBC, Xinhua, IPS, New York Times

Monday, January 11, 2010

Micheletti Declared "Hero of the 21st Century"

Honduras' "National Association of Industrialists" awarded de facto government head Roberto Micheletti the title of "Hero of the 21st Century."

The business association said it gave Micheletti the unique award for his "bravery, support of democracy...and love for Honduras."

No word on whether future heroes in this, the 21st century, will be considered for the same title in the coming years.

Also, in case you were wondering, this is completely true.

Online Source: Hondudiario

Today's Video: The victims speak

I don't wish to be a downer to begin the week but it's worth watching the following advert produced for Amnesty International. Made by the Leo Burnett agency in Venezuela, the sixty-second spot highlights multiple human rights abuses from the victims' perspectives. It's a moving and arresting look at the numerous types of violations against human dignity that sadly continue to occur in our modern society:

(Hat tip: AdFreak).

Online Sources - AdFreak, YouTube

Daily Headlines: January 11, 2010

Note: Over the weekend I returned from a family vacation to Colombia and I’m eager to resume regular blogging. Many thanks to my fellow contributors for their help during my three-week absence but also in the past few months. This blog would’ve been much worse off without their efforts. Also thanks to all of you who I hope will keep reading this blog as we strive to report and inform every day. We hope to keep moving forward in 2010!

* Cuba: Promising Cuban pitching prospect Aroldis Chapman has reportedly signed a multimillion-dollar contract with the Cincinnati Reds.

* Honduras: Is there really a Venezuelan-led plot to assassinate interim leader Roberto Micheletti or has he been hallucinating?

* Puerto Rico: Over 2000 public employees received an unwanted Three Kings Day gift from Gov. Luis Fortuño – they were laid off from their posts.

* Paraguay: President Fernando Lugo is recovering in hospital after undergoing prostate surgery on Friday.

Image – CBC
Online Sources- The Latin Americanist, UPI, Xinhua, ABC News, CNN