newsfrom around argentina
Bermejo in the provinceof Chaco early last week.The area is considered a ‘hotzone’ for drug trafficking byprovincial federals.The drug, which was found hid-den 300m off the highway, wasuncovered during a routine checkof the area. The police believe thebags were left to later be pickedby the buyer, and are still investi-gating the origin of the drugs.
Madres office burgled
An office of the organisationMadres de Plaza de Mayo wereattempted robbed last week.The administrative office, whichis located in the Buenos Airesneighbourhood of Monserrat,only a block from a local policestation, opened the door forthree men dressed as mainte-nance workers; only later to dis-cover they were in fact robbers.Sixteen employees were heldhostage by gunpoint while therobbers looked for a significantsum of money kept in the office.One of the employees managedto alert a friend of the robbery,who then called the police. Upontheir arrival at the scene, thethieves fled through the windows.Two of the robbers managed toescape, but the one carrying thestolen goods was caught.
Change in cabinet
Two high profiled ministers haveresigned from cabinet as thecontroversial tax bill is rejected.After days of speculation, AlbertoFernández officially quit his postas cabinet chief last Wednesday.of four and another relative. Thecar stood no chance against theChevallier coach upon impact.All five passengers died on thescene, along with the bus driver,and the remaining injured passen-gers were taken to a nearby hos-pital. Fortunately, none of themsustained severe injuries.The crash occurred in theearly hours is believed to becaused by constant drizzle,causing poor visibility.
Battling drug traffic
Local police confiscated 122kgof marihuana in Puerto
Six die in Córdoba car crash
Last week a devastating crashbetween a personal car and acoach on Ruta 8 in Córdoba leftsix dead and 16 injured.Organisation Luchemos por laVida announced that with thiscrash, the numbers of trafficdeaths has now reached 4,070 thisyear, which equals 22 deaths daily.The tragic accident took place nearthe town of Arias, south of theprovincial capital Córdoba. Ridingin the small Fiat Siena was a familyThis occurred just says afteragricultural minister Javier deUrquiza submitted his resignation.Fernández was seen as an impor-tant figure in president CristinaFernández de Kirchner’s govern-ment and conducted the talkswith the farmers during the‘campo crisis’. The rejection of thetax bill and now the resignation ofthe two ministers has been a blowto the president, who has onlybeen in office since December.Following Fernández is SergioMassa, while Urquiza’ssuccessor is Calos Cheppi,former economy minister.Many believe more changes willbe made in the coming days dueto the cancellation of the tax hike.
Paedophilia ring in Barrio Norte
Three men was arrested aspolice uncovered a paedophiliaring operating in Barrio Nortein Buenos Aires.The group, directed by presti-gious psychologist Jorge Corsi,‘recruited’ underage youths fromcybercafes in Recoleta andBarrio Norte and invited themto sex parties where they werefilmed. All material was laterpublished on the internet.Corsi is a specialist in domesticviolence and has worked at theUniversity of Buenos Aires since1989. He has run treatment pro-grammes for violent men as wellas having written several books.The police seized computers,magazines and over hundred CDsincluding pornographic material.Working with the group werealso two teenagers aged 18 and19, who run local cybercafes.US dollars despite income beingcapped on domestic fares, havealso contributed. Besides trou-bled finances, the Aerolíneas andAustral airlines have also suf-fered worker strikes.Representatives of Asociacióndel Personal Aeronáutico (APA),Asociación Argentina deAeronavegantes (AAA), andAsociación de Pilotos de LineasAereas (APLA) union signed anagreement with the governmenton 21st July that allowed thetransfer of ownership fromMarsans to the Argentine state.Many union members agreedwith APLA leader, Jorge PérezTamayo, who described thetransfer as ‘a very importantchange.’ APA and APLA, repre-sent pilots, and AAA representscabin crew members.They have also expressed sup-port in the government’sappointment of Julio Alak asmanaging director. Alak is a for-mer mayor of La Plata and willhold his new position for at leastthe 60-day period during whichthe transfer will take place. VilmaCastillo will work alongside Alakas deputy manager.However, not everyone was sup-portive. Claudio Lozano, a nation-al deputy and economist for theCentral de los TrabajadoresArgentinos (CTA) trade union fed-eration, expressed his concernsthat the nationalisation would‘relieve the firm of its debt bur-
aerolíneas argentinasnext to be nationalised
Aerolíneas Argentinas andits sister company Australwill be nationalised by theend of September, pendingthe approval of Congress.
Since its privatization 18 years agoAerolíneas has had several owners,the most current being Spain-based travel company Marsans,which has controlled Aerolíneassince it bought the companywhen it was bankrupt in 2001.Marsans, like other previousowners, was unable to bringthe airlines to profit. The govern-ment’s decision to take overthe airlines came as their com-bined debt soared to US$890mdespite government-subsidisedfuel. The government reportedAerolíneas was losing aroundUS$30m every month.Such extreme debt has beenbrought on by the soaring cost offuel and rising wages. Aircraftleases, which need to be paid inThey were used to monitorchildren surfing for porn tothen invite them back to theirhouse for uncensored pornand build a friendship. Theteenagers were used to ‘supply’the group with youngsters.The investigation began ayear ago when a 14-year-oldboy told his parents aboutthe abuse and the filming.
School overtaken by students
The students at Escuela MarianoAcosta have taken over the schoolinBuenosAiresprovincetodemandgrants to attend the school.The culture of overtaking build-ings or companies is a popularform of protest in Argentina.The
is currentlyon a complete lockdown and noclasses are being taught to the3,000 students.The ‘take’ started on Mondaylast week as the students beganprotesting against the rejectionof more than 30,000 applica-tions for school grants in theprovince and against the deci-sion by the Department ofEducation to reduce their grantallocation by 50%.At Escuela Mariano Acostaonly 48 of 200 applicationshave been granted.The secondary school studentsare supported by their parents,who call the grant allocation a‘selection of poverty.’The Department of Education hasreduced the number of grantsallocated but at the same time,raised the sum of the individualgrant. The department say theyare looking into all cases andreconsidering grant allocations.den in order to later privatiseit once again’.He explained: “We’ll have to see ifwhat’s involved here is a tradition-al ‘stupid state’ operation whichment is working overtime’ to getthe airlines’ flights back up to par,and ‘shortly there will be anothertwo or three aircraft back in serv-ice’ He assured the governmentwould be ‘working to guaranteethat Aerolíneas operates well’.To help achieve operation hesaid the government signed amajor agreement with oil compa-nies to lower the cost of fuel andalso said that more planes will beflying in the near future, accord-ing to Buenos Aires Herald.The two airlines transportaround 80% of Argentina’sdomestic traffic and over halfof international flights fromMinistro Pistarini InternationalAirport. They employ around9,000 people.
BY CAITLYN GREENE
“We’ll have to see if what’s involved here is atraditional ‘stupid state’ operation which haspermitted the firm to be stripped of its assetsbefore taking on its debts and then passing iton to some other private company.”
has permitted the firm to bestripped of its assets before takingon its debts and then passing it onto some other private company.”A few days before the bill was sentto Congress, Transport SecretaryRicardo Jaime said ‘the govern-
newsfrom around latin america
Chávez to hug Spain’s king
VenezuelanpresidentHugoChávezhas said he would like to give KingJuan Carlos of Spain a hug.Chávez was famously told toshut up by the king during aspat last November, and the inci-dent hit headlines before becom-ing fodder for jokes, songs andmobile phone ringtones.The king was provoked byChávez, who labelled formerSpanish prime minister JoseMaria Aznar a ‘fascist’, andinterrupted a speech bycurrent Spanish head JoseLuis Rodriguez Zapatero.But Chávez says he has putthe row behind him.During his weekly TV address hereferred to the king as an ‘oldfriend’, and said the king hadinvited him to stay in his summerhome on the island of Mallorca.
Child exploitationtackled in Paraguay
The fight against child exploita-tion looks set to become oneof the biggest challenges ofParaguay’s new government.
Monkeys invade a Brazilian city
Groups of capuchin monkeyshave started to invade the streetsand houses in the Brazilian city ofRosana in search of food.The apes are intensifying theirurban forages because thedry season has made naturalsupplies scarce.Resident Maria Tereza de Limareported seeing a monkey hangingonherclothesline,beforeitenteredher kitchen, opened the fridge andfledwithapotofyoghurt.According to city council environ-mental specialist Alan Queirozde Lima the monkeys ‘live inpeace’ with humans, and therehave been no reports of attackson either animals or people.Lima says the monkeys havebecome a tourist attraction, andthat they are often fed by house-wives who leave fruit in theirbackyards for the critters to col-lect. Environmental officials saythe group is made up of around30 individuals.The animals live in the threeforests that encircle the city, andmotorists who travel on the high-way entering the area are obligedto reduce their speed to avoidcolliding with the primates.
Stadium collapse in Colombia
A bullfight in Colombia endedin panic and confusion lastmonth (July) when an over-crowded stadium collapsed.At least 80 people were injuredwhenthestandsfell,andsome500spectators ran for safety when thebull charged towards crowds in thesouthern city of Planadas.The bull was distracted by twomen dressed as clowns beforeother bystanders helped try topin the animal down.The events at the annual festivalwere captured on live TV.Witnesses reported that thestadium was packed and overca-pacity, but the organisers contin-ued to allow people to enter.An investigation into thedisaster has been launched.
Mexico link tosalmonella outbreak
Mexican-grown jalapeno peppershave been found to contain astrain of salmonella that hassickened thousands in the US.It is unclear if the contaminationoccurred in Mexico, at the Texasplant, or at some other produc-tion location.Inspectors in Mexico are search-ing for possible sources of thestrain in the peppers, which wereshipped to Texas and Georgia.The Food and Drug Administrationhas issued a nationwide warningfor consumers to avoid fresh jalapeno peppers and foodstuffsthat contain them.Tomatoes are also thought to bethe culprit behind the SalmonellaSaintpaul outbreak, which hasinfected over 1,200 people, hospi-talised 229 and killed two in theUS and Canada since April.
Lesbians lose fight to keep name
Islanders from the Greekisland of Lesbos have lost afight to ban the word ‘lesbian’to describe gay women.Dimitris Lambrou, who led theislander’s fight, claimed theinternational use of the wordviolated the human rights ofthe islanders, who also callthemselves Lesbians, shamingthem around the world.But the court in Athens dis-agreed, saying there was no jus-tification for residents of Lesbosto feel slighted, saying the worddid not define their identity.The word Lesbian was appliedto gay women in recognitionof the female poet Sappho,from Lesbos, who wrote lovepoems about both men andwomen around 600BC.
Nine year old wins fightto change name
A nine-year-old girl has wona court battle in New Zealandto have her name changedfrom Talula Does the HulaFrom Hawaii.The judge criticised her parents,saying the name unnecessarily‘makes a fool of the child andsets her up with a social disabili-ty and handicap’.The girl, who had refused to tellfriends her name and askedthem instead call her ‘K’, was putinto court guardianship whileher name was changed.According to CNN and judge inIllinois approved a bus driver’sapplication to have his namechanged to ‘In God’ (first name)‘We Trust’ (surname).
Indian beggar gets bank account
A bank in Calcutta has openedan account to a beggar whodeposited 91kg of coins at oneof their branches.Laxmi Das, 60, had collected thecoins during 44 years of begging,after a childhood bout of polioleft her disabled.because it would not start.After neighbours reported hear-ing shots, police were called toKeith Waldendowski’s home inWisconsin, where they found asawn-off shotgun, a handgunand a stungun.The 56 year old, who appearedto have been drinking, said: “It’smy lawnmower and my yard, soI can shoot it if I want.”A local retailer said Walendowskimay now have problems gettinghis lawnmower repaired.“Anything not factory-recom-mended would void the warranty,”Dick Wagner, of Wagner’s GardenMart in Milwaukee, told the BBC.She said to the BBC: “I knewone day I would grow old andhave diseases, so I was prudentand saved for my pension.”Das saved the coins in ironbuckets at her home in a shanty-town, but was encouraged todeposit by police who fearedthey would be stolen.It took bank officials more thanthree days to count the coins,some of which dated back to 1961.
Man arrested forshooting lawnmower
A man in the US has been arrest-ed after shooting his lawnmower
Dog saves ownerin kangaroo attack
A woman in Australia wassaved from certain deathby her pet dog after akangaroo attacked her.Rosemary Neal was on herfarm in Mugdee, New SouthWales, when the marsupial jumped up and into her.The family dog heard the65-year-old’s screams andchased the kangaroo off.Neal was taken to hospitalwith cuts to her face and back,suffering from concussion.
Farmer charged for eating eagle
AfarmerinthePhilippinesfacesupto12yearsinjailforkillingandeat-ingoneoftheworld'sraresteagles.TheeaglewasgivenatrackingdeviceafterbeingreintroducedintothewildinMarch,andofficialsnoticedithadnotmovedforsometime.Asearchwaslaunchedanditsskeletonwasfoundunderatree.Brian Balaon, a 22-year-old farmer,cameforwardandsaidheshotitandateitwithfriends,ignorantofthefactthat it was an endangered species.Therearebelievedtobefewerthan250Philippineeaglesleftinthewild.
alternative newsfrom around the world
i l l u s t r a t i o n b y C h r i s M o l o n e y
Plansareunderwaytomodifylegis-lation and to carry out a census tofind out the extent of the problem.An estimated one million youngpeople in Paraguay are employedas minors leading to one in sevenchildren abandoning their studies,according to the OrganizaciónInternacional del Trabajo (OIT).The country’s worst affectedareas are the capital, Asunción,and its surrounding zones. Theproblem is not limited to urbanyouth. Young girls, often fromrural areas, commonly work asmaids in middle class families.Aged between six and 12 yearsold and sent by their familieswith the intention of continuingtheir education, the girls live inprecariously vulnerable situa-tions and are subject to all kindsof abuses, according to humani-tarian organisations.The sexual exploitation of minorsin the area of the triple borderbetween Paraguay, Brazil andArgentina is another concern.Paraguay’s minister of childrenand adolescents Liz Torres saidthere was ‘no effective control’of the problem, even though inter-national agreements are in place.