Thursday, January 12, 2012

Daily Headlines: January 12, 2012

* Cuba: Hundreds of demonstrators marched in front of the White House yesterday in one of several protests held worldwide on the tenth anniversary of the first detainees being brought to the military prison at Guantanamo.

* Venezuela: Livia Acosta Noguera, Venezuela’s consul general in Miami, reportedly returned to her homeland this week after U.S. officials expelled her.

* Brazil: Authorities introduced policy changes designed to control the growing influx of Haitian migrants.

* Honduras: Eight people, including four children, were murdered in an area on Honduras' Atlantic coast known for its dispute between workers and landowners.

Video Source – YouTube via euronews

Online Sources- CNN, Washington Post, BBC News, ABC News

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Today’s Video: Injustice in Chile

The Chilean government and indigenous Mapuche activists have had an uneasy relationship in recent years. Tensions worsened over the past week after authorities accused the Mapuche of setting off major wildfires followed by the suspected arson of an indigenous leader's house over the weekend.

In the latest incident a magistrate on Wednesday ordered an investigation into a suspected case of brutality by the military police (or Carabineros) against a Mapuche woman and her one-year-old son. Judge Federico Gutiérrez also called on the Carabineros to "respect the law through their actions" after permitting as evidence amateur video showing the alleged aggression by police.

Gutiérrez ordered the release of two women from custody who where arrested yesterday after being accused of disturbing the peace by supposedly participating in an attempted highway blockade.

Gen. Iván Bezmalinovic, the Carabineros chief in the region where the occurrence took place, claimed that one of the Mapuche apparently lunged at the officers but he also admitted that he will examine the video "frame by frame" to see if there was abuse by the police. See for yourself the video of the incident that took place in the presence of several seemingly traumatized children:

Online Sources -, La Tercera, NPR, BBC News,The Latin Americanist

Video Source - YouTube via ELHERALDOINTERNET

Daily Headlines: January 11, 2012

Malvinas (Falklands) Memorial
* South America: British Foreign Secretary William Hague issued a stern warning to South American states backing Argentina’s attempt to claim the Falkland Islands.

* Mexico: According to a recent poll, popularity for front running presidential candidate Enrique Pena Nieto dropped slightly while rivals gained support.

* U.S.: Over 200,000 undocumented Salvadoran immigrants could avoid deportation due to the extension of temporary protected status benefits until September 2013.

* Colombia: President Juan Manuel Santos said that the FARC rebels “can forget” any possibility of resuming peace talks that were broken off ten years ago.

Image Source – Flickr via wallygrom (Falklands War memorial in Ushuaia, Argentina.) (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Online Sources- PRESS TV, Reuters, Hispanically Speaking News

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Nicaraguan president to be sworn in for a third time

This afternoon Daniel Ortega will be sworn in for a third term as president of Nicaragua.

Several thousand people are expected to attend the ceremony including leaders from the Americas and, most controversially, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Yet it's worth noting that members of Nicaragua's second-biggest political party and representatives of the U.S. government will skip the event.

Ortega easily won reelection to the presidency last year amidst controversial circumstances. Detractors to the former Sandinista leader claimed that his bid to remain in the presidency was unconstitutional and a sham. In the following video via teleSUR, hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Managua last month to reject Ortega and call for new elections to take place:

Ortega reportedly pledged that he will be a "profile of moderation" and will not push for constitutional reforms that would consolidate his power. It remains to be seen if he goes through with his promises during his third term in the presidency.

Online Sources - CBS News, Mercopress, BBC News

Video Source - YouTube via teleSUR

Daily Headlines: January 10, 2012

Militares paraguayos en Haití
* Haiti: Uruguayan prosecutors might drop the case against six U.N. troops accused of raping a young man in Haiti last year.

* Colombia: The chief of the FARC rebels, known by the alias of “Timochenko”, said that he would be willing to reopen negotiations with the government.

* U.S.: The ABC television network is facing heat from Puerto Ricans a character on the debut episode of “Work It” said "I'm Puerto Rican... I'd be great at selling drugs."

* Brazil: At least eight people died in Rio de Janeiro state as a result of a landslide caused by torrential rain.

Image Source – Flickr via Embajada de EEUU en Paraguay. (CC BY 2.0)

Online Sources- CNN, BBC News, MSNBC, Huffington Post

Monday, January 9, 2012

Today’s Video: Avoiding Dengue

We'll return tomorrow with analysis of news stories from around the Americas. In the meantime we leave you with the below video via teleSUR on actions being taken in order to avoid a dengue outbreak. (Though it's a little too late for retired Brazilian soccer star Ronaldo).

Video Source - YouTube via teleSUR

Online Source - The Guardian


@twitter fail whale
Politicians have increasingly turned to social networking sites in order to advice their agendas or to reach out to prospective voters during the election season. At times, however, sites like Twitter and Facebook have hurt politicos such as the cases of the following four Latin American figures:
  • Andrés Chadwick
The Chilean government spokesman adamantly denied that one of his daughters used her Facebook account to insult student protest leaders. He claimed that none of his daughters has the name of Ignacia Carolina Chadwick after a recent post under that account referred to protesters as “filthy shits.”

Giorgio Jackson, the head of the student protest movement, Tweeted in response to the Facebook message that “it seems like the majority in Chile are #MugrientosDeMierda due to our concern over education or not?” Meanwhile, the ex-senator was very upset in a TV interview this morning when he was asked about the allegedly false Facebook account.
  • Gustavo Petro
Police have offered to provide additional protection to the recently inaugurated mayor of Bogota after he received numerous threats via Twitter. “We completely guarantee the security” of Petro, declared Bogota police chief Luis Eduardo Martinez.

“You will not live past this year guerilla” and “your actions reflect the passion…of a guerilla” were just two of the Tweets sent to Petro’s Twitter account. “Your words reflect the quality of your mind and heart,” replied Petro who used to be a member of the M-19 rebel army before laying down his arms and entering politics.
  • Fidel Castro
The former Cuban leader published a lengthy column on nuclear war and climate change days after rumors of his death spread across the web. The 3,121-word piece entitled “The march toward the abyss,” was published in Cuban media outlets last Thursday and reportedly took almost thirty minutes by a TV news anchor.

Cuban state media blamed Twitter users for spreading the hoax of Castro’s death including “necrophilia counter-revolutionaries, aided by some media, (who) immediately started to party”. Yet the Spanish Twitter user who was accused of starting the death rumor rejected that claim and said that the Cuban press “should double-check their 'information' before blaming someone for no reason.”
  • Carlos Talavera Leal
The ex-official at Mexico’s social development agency was let go from his post after making a series of offensive comments last month on his Facebook page. “Wow they stink,” said Talavera in reference to a meeting he previously had with a group of indigenous women. After several commenters disagreed with him Talavera added, “The poor things smell shockingly bad. Theirs is not a case of hygiene.”

Talavera took to Twitter and gave his “deepest apologies” though that will not prevent Mexico’s National Council Against Discrimination from opening an investigation against him.

Image Source – Flickr via michperu

Online Sources – Milenio, Univision, CNN, Sydney Morning Herald, Miami Herald, RCN Radio, El Espectador, CBS News, Terra Chile, La Nacion

Daily Headlines: January 9, 2012 (Updated)

* Haiti: A bipartisan Congressional coalition called for the White House to “fast-track” thousands of visas for the relatives of Haitian-Americans seeking to legally immigrate to the U.S.

* Argentina: Lionel Messi could be awarded later today with the Ballon d’Or trophy as the world’s top soccer player. (Update:Messi won his third consecutive Ballon d'Or and thus becomes the first South American player to win the honor three times).

* Guatemala: At least 19 people were murdered during a 24 hour-period over the weekend according to the authorities.

* Mexico: Former men’s national soccer team goalkeeper Omar Ortiz was arrested and accused of planning the kidnappings of two individuals.

Video Source – YouTube via (“It's two years since a 7.0-magnitude earthquake leveled Haiti's capital, leaving more than 300,000 dead and many more injured and homeless.”)

Online Sources- CBC News, Sydney Morning Herald, LAHT, The Telegraph