Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (C) addresses the
audience during a meeting of the annual Mercosur trade bloc presidential
summit in Mendoza June 29, 2012. (Credit: Reuters/Enrique Marcarian)

Chinese leader woos Latin America with deals

Chinese leader woos Latin America with deals
Chinese President Xi Jinping (4-L, first row) poses with leaders of the CELAC group of Latin American and Caribbean states, in Brasilia, on July 17, 2014 (AFP Photo/Nelson Almeida)
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)

Map of Latin America showing countries where major protests have occurred in recent months (AFP Photo)
A student holds a sign reading "Don't shoot, listen!!!" during a protest
on June 17, 2013 in Brasilia (AFP, Evaristo)

Paraguay police search S. American football HQ

Paraguay police search S. American football HQ
The Conmebol headquarters in Luque, Paraguay, is seen on January 7, 2016, during a raid within the framework of the FIFA corruption scandal (AFP Photo/Norberto Duarte)

'Panama Papers' law firm under the media's lenses

'Panama Papers' law firm under the media's lenses
The Panama Papers: key facts on the huge journalists' investigation into tax evasion (AFP Photo/Thomas Saint-Cricq, Philippe Mouche)

Mossack Fonseca

Mossack Fonseca


"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Former Argentine Gen Eduardo Cabanillas jailed

BBC News, 1 April 2011

Related Stories

Former Argentine Gen Eduardo Cabanillas has been sentenced to life in prison for running a notorious detention centre during military rule in 1976-83.

The four men denied the charges
Three former intelligence officers were also convicted of murder, torture and illegal imprisonment.

Around 200 left-wing activists were kidnapped and taken to the Automotores Orletti secret prison in Buenos Aires.

Most of the victims were Uruguayan, but there were also Chileans, Bolivians, Peruvians and Cubans.

Thousands of Argentines were tortured and murdered in other centres run by the armed forces.

The crimes were part of Operation Condor, a coordinated campaign by South American military rulers to crush opposition movements.

Former intelligence agents Honorio Martinez and Eduardo Ruffo were sentenced to 25 years each, and former military intelligence officer Raul Guglielminetti was given 20 years.

Stolen baby

The sentences were welcomed by Macarena Gelman, whose parents were detained in the secret prison and torture centre, which was disguised as a mechanical workshop.

"It is a little bit of justice when we need so much," she said from Uruguay.

Her father Marcelo Gelman was killed after being taken to Automotores Orletti, and his body dumped in a river in a cement-filled drum.

Her mother Maria Claudia Garcia, who was pregnant when she was abducted, was later taken to Uruguay and made to disappear.

Macarena Gelman was born in captivity and raised by a Uruguayan policeman, discovering her true identity only in 2000.

Operation Condor was devised in 1975 by military officials from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Its aim was to silence the opposition by sending teams into other countries to track, monitor and kill dissidents.

Around 30,000 people were killed or made to disappear by the armed forces during military rule in Argentina, a period known as the "Dirty War."

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dutchman arrested for double homicide in Bolivia

RNW, 29 March 2011

International police organisation Interpol has arrested a Dutch citizen in Peru on suspicion of committing a double homicide in neighbouring Bolivia.

The Peruvian newspaper El Comercio reports that Patrick van der Berg from the town of Leiderdorp allegedly killed his 29-year-old wife Lucy Luisa Molina Gonzalez and their six-month-old son in Bolivia. he was arrested in a shopping mall in Miraflores, a district in the Peruvian capital Lima.

Patrick van der Berg was reportedly also responsible for the killing of a female friend in Chile and later fled to Bolivia, which has filed an extradition request with the Peruvian authorities.

Related Article:

RI sends military personnel to Haiti

Antara News, Tue, March 29 2011

"The personnel consisting of construction and medical units whose main duties will be connected to the post-disaster recovery mission for Haiti, and not necessarily related to the impacts of the conflicts in the country."

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian government is sending military personnel for humanitarian assistance under the United Nations mission to Haiti to assist in the country efforts to recover from the impacts of the earthquake last year.

"(The dispatch) is shortly and the departure may be just within days," Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro told newsmen in the Presidential Palace, here, on Tuesday.

Yusgiantoro added that a representative of the United Nations has come to Indonesia and ensured the participation of Indonesia in the recovery operation in Haiti and the personnel is already prepared and is waiting for the order to depart.

He said that the personnel consisting of construction and medical units whose main duties will be connected to the post-disaster recovery mission for Haiti, and not necessarily related to the impacts of the conflicts in the country.

Backing up the statement of the Defense Minister, the commander of the Indonesian Defense Force (TNI) Admiral Agus Suhartono said that he was waiting for the confirmation on the needs for the mission before giving order for the personnel to leave for Haiti.

Speaking to journalists after an international defense dialogue event held recently in Jakarta, Admiral Suhartono said that the preparation for the sending of the TNI construction and medical units to Haiti had been done since last January.

An earthquake of 7-magnitude hit Haiti on January 12, 2010 and left 316,000 people killed in the disaster, 300,000 others sustained injuries and made more than a million people homeless.

Editor: Heru

Monday, March 28, 2011

Jim Carter visits Cuba amid tensions over Alan Gross

BBC News, 28 March 2011

Related Stories

US former President Jimmy Carter is in Cuba for a three-day visit that comes at a time of strained relations between the two countries.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez
greeted Jimmy Carter on his arrival
Mr Carter has been invited by the Cuban government on what has been billed as a private trip.

But correspondents say he is widely expected to try to help secure the release of imprisoned US government contractor Alan Gross.

Washington and Havana have fallen out over the case.

Mr Gross was sentenced earlier this month to 15 years in jail for providing satellite communications equipment to Jewish groups in Cuba, under a programme funded by the US State Department.

The Cuban authorities say the equipment was intended to provide dissidents with access to the internet as part of efforts to destabilise the island.

On Friday, a US official in the Cuban capital told the AFP news agency it would welcome any intervention on his behalf by Mr Carter.

"We're hoping that he will talk with the Cuban government to ask for a humanitarian release," said Molly Koscina, a spokeswoman for the US diplomatic mission in Havana.

The US administration has said there can be no further major US initiatives to ease relations with Cuba while Mr Gross remains in jail.

Carter, who is 86, will meet Cuban President Raul Castro on Tuesday.

Mr Carter is the only sitting - or former- US president to have visited the Communist state since Fidel Castro took power in 1959.

He has visited the island before, in 2002, when he urged the US to lift its trade embargo against Cuba. He also called on the Cuban authorities to introduce democracy and improve human rights.

James Cameron plans Avatar 2 training trip to Brazilian rainforest

Canadian director says he wants cast to learn about 'the natives and what real life in the jungle is like', Ben Child, Monday 28 March 2011

Avatar 2 director James Cameron in Brazil with Caiapo chief Raoni and
Arnold Schwarzenegger. Photograph: Antonio Bonsorte/AFP/Getty Images

It may not be Pandora, the lush moon of his blockbuster film Avatar, but according to James Cameron, the Brazilian rainforest is the next best thing. Speaking at a sustainability forum last week, the Canadian director said he wanted to bring the cast of the film's forthcoming sequels to south America to learn about "the natives and what real life in the jungle is like".

Cameron added: "Avatar is a film about the rainforest and its indigenous people. Before I start to shoot the two films I want to bring my actors here, so I can better tell this story."

The film-maker was in Manaus, Brazil for the second International Forum on Sustainability, which also played host to Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bill Clinton. The ex-California governor and his former Terminator director introduced a number of debates on sustainability.

On Wednesday, Cameron reportedly took Schwarzenegger to the Xingu River, a region previously threatened by the planned construction of the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam in nearby Brasilia. Cameron has spoken out in the past against the project, which is on hold after being blocked by a Brazilian judge last month on the grounds that it had failed to meet environmental requirements. "I introduced [Schwarzenegger] to some of the indigenous leaders whom I met last year," said the director.

On Thursday, Cameron met five members of the Amazonian Caiapo tribe, including chief Raoni, at a restaurant with a small group of journalists. Raoni had earlier baptised him with the name Krapremp-ti, meaning "man who is friend of the jungle". Cameron said: "If I had met the Caiapos before making Avatar, I would certainly have made a better film." He plans to shoot a 3D "experiential" documentary about the plight of the region's people and their battle against Belo Monte.

The film-maker revealed in January that Avatar parts two and three would be shot back to back and released in December 2014 and 2015. He said a certain amount of the profits from the series would go to environmental causes.

Related Article:

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Origami cranes in Mexico to grant wish for Japanese quake victims 2011-03-27

A helper lays paper cranes on a table during a origami session called
Senbazuru (A thousand cranes) in favour of disaster victims in Japan in
the Ahondiga cultural centre in Bilbao, Mexico, March 26, 2011. An
ancient Japanese legend states that a crane will grant a wish to the maker
of a thousand origami cranes. The Japanese government on Wednesday
estimated the direct damage from a deadly earthquake and tsunami that
struck the country's northeast this month at as much as 310 billion U.S.
dollars, making it the world's

Related Articles:

An Indonesian Muslim woman puts her hand print inside a circle
to form a Japanese flag during a solidarity act for earthquake and
tsunami-affected people in Japan outside the Japanese Embassy in
Jakarta, Indonesia, Sunday, March 27, 2011.
(AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

IMF warns of Latin American overheating and credit bubble risks

Reuters, CALGARY, Alberta, Sat Mar 26, 2011

(Reuters) - The head of the International Monetary Fund warned on Saturday that many Latin American economies showed signs of overheating and that the region was at risk of credit bubbles.

"Growth in most Latin American economies is now back at potential or above -- and in many of them there are worrisome signs of overheating," IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said in a blog that coincided with his visit to Calgary in Canada, where policymakers from the Americas were meeting during the weekend.

"Financial deepening (in Latin America), though welcome, can bring its own challenges, for example, the risk of credit bubbles," Strauss-Kahn said.

(Reporting by Jason Lange and Louise Egan; Editing by Bill Trott)

Colombian military kills 15 rebels, president says

CNN News, By The CNN Wire Staff, March 26, 2011

  • Colombian armed forces have killed 15 FARC guerrillas
  • The president calls the operation a "decisive blow"

Bogota, Colombia (CNN) -- Colombian armed forces have killed 15 guerrillas in the western province of Cauca, President Juan Manuel Santos said Saturday.

Santos described the military operation against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, commonly known as FARC, as a "decisive blow," after recent police assassinations in the western town of Calota.

The raid spanned Friday night into Saturday morning. It took place less than two weeks after the military led an assault that killed a rebel leader near Colombia's border with Ecuador in Putumayo province.

Known as Oliver Solarte, the rebel leader had been linked to Mexican drug cartels, Santos said.

Solarte was sought for extradition to the United States for drug trafficking and was wanted in Colombia for terrorism, kidnapping, rebellion and murder.

By contrast, Colombian military officials says only lower-ranking FARC combatants were killed in Friday's assault.

The FARC is a leftist rebel army that claims to work as a bulwark against Colombia's elite ruling class, and has traditionally funded operations by way of narcotics sales and kidnappings.

RNW honoured for commitment to human rights

RNW, 25 March 2011, by RNW News Desk

(Photo: RNW)

José Zepeda of Radio Netherlands Worldwide (RNW) is to be awarded an honorary doctorate from the Autonomous University of Encarnación in Paraguay in recognition of his commitment to human rights in Latin America.

According to the university, Mr Zepeda, head of the Latin American department at RNW, has played an important role in the spread of free speech. "His work has made him a unique personality. He has paid great attention to events in our country and contributed to the strengthening of our democracy."

In the 1960s the young José Zepeda fled from the junta of Augusto Pinochet in Chile. He arrived in the Netherlands and joined the Latin American department of RNW. He subsequently became head of that department, a role he has held for many years.


RNW gives a lot of attention in its broadcasts to human rights, freedom of expression and press freedom. In the past, that has led to sharp criticism from the dictatorial regimes that used to call the shots in Latin America. RNW has always allowed the opposition in those countries to express their opinions, something that was often denied in their own countries. For this work RNW has received various prizes and awards down the years.

José Zepeda has succeeded in getting important political leaders in front of the RNW microphone, such as President Rafael Correa of Ecuador and Evo Morales of Bolivia. Mr Zepeda also gives lectures at universities and training centres.

RNW Editor-in-Chief Rik Rensen recalls: "We were once at a conference in Bogota with sixty partners. An elderly woman came over to embrace Mr Zepeda and said: "This is the voice that connects my village with the rest of the world.”

Jose Zepeda says he’s delighted to receive this honorary doctorate. Since he came to the Netherlands a lot has changed in Latin America. The dictatorial regimes of yesteryear have given way to democracies. But according to Mr Zepeda, RNW still plays an important role in the region: "The Latin American democracies are fragile. Some of the neo-populist governments have authoritarian tendencies. In some countries, press freedom remains weak. In Mexico it’s disturbing how many journalists are murdered by organized criminals because they’re investigating corruption or the murder of women. "

Plans for the future

In the near future, RNW will be turning its attention to the drugs problem in Latin America. A Spanish version of our site about sex education, Love Matters, will be launched under the title 'Hablemos de Amor'. RNW, in partnership with other Dutch and international organisations, is also holding a special event in The Hague on 3 May to mark World Press Freedom Day.

Mr Zepeda says “the 86-year-old Cuban poetess Ilse Bullit sent us a New Year greeting with the words: ‘I listen to you every day. You are my eyes to the world.’ That’s a heavy responsibility."

The honorary doctorate will be presented on 30 May in Paraguay.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Argentina 'Dirty War' general gets life sentence

RNW, 24 March 2011, by Thijs Bouwknegt         

A retired Argentine general nicknamed "The Hyena," active during the 1976-1983 military junta period, was sentenced to life in prison for crimes against humanity on Wednesday.

Retired Argentine general Luciano Menendez,
nicknamed "The Hyena
It was the sixth life sentence for Luciano Menendez, 83, who was head of the army's Third Corps during the dictatorship period and was responsible for 11 provinces in central and northern Argentina.

On May 20, 1976, soldiers and provincial police under Menendez's command broke into a home in the northern city of Tucuman and killed five alleged members of the leftist Montonero guerrilla group. The bodies were then buried in a common grave.

Menendez was found guilty of twice-aggravated homicide and unlawful entry in the case, according to the verdict released by Argentina's judiciary branch.

Also guilty on the same charges and in the same case was former Tucuman province police intelligence chief Roberto Albornoz, the verdict read.

Both Menendez and Albornoz were ordered to serve their time in a prison for common criminals.

A broad amnesty approved after democracy was restored in Argentina was annulled during the 2003-2007 presidency of the late Nestor Kirchner, paving the way for a series of recent trials.

In all, some 30,000 people were killed under the dictatorship, according to rights groups.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mexico economy unharmed by violence - finance minister

BBC News, 22 March 2011

Related Stories

Mexico's problem of drug violence is serious but there is no evidence investors are being put off, Mexico's finance minister has said.

Mexico needs to find more markets for
its goods, Mr Cordero said
Ernesto Cordero told the BBC that the tourism sector also seemed unaffected by concerns over violence.

Mr Cordero, speaking in London, said that Mexico was set to continue its strong economic performance, with growth this year set for 4% to 5%.

The effect of rising oil prices on the US recovery is a key concern, he said.

The minister said that Mexico was facing and solving the problem of criminality, a reference to the drug-related violence that has seen high murder rates in some regions of the country.

"There is no evidence investment is not coming to Mexico or that investors are being put off because of violence," he said.

Key customer

Mr Cordero said that within this positive picture, it was clear some cities were suffering and missing out on investment which tended to relocate to other parts of Mexico.

Mr Cordero believes the rest of Latin America
is potentially a huge market for Mexico
"We are trying to help local governments, municipalities and state governments to solve the problem and also retain and attract investment," he said.

As for tourism, "we have very high rates of occupancy, so it doesn't seem affected," Mr Cordero said, adding that the focal points for violence were not areas usually visited by tourists.

Mexico's economy grew by 5.5% last year, its fastest annual rate in 10 years, according to official figures published in February.

Unlike many emerging market economies, Mexico is not suffering high inflation, running at 3.6%, down from 4.5% in 2010.

Mr Cordero said the economic growth meant Mexico had been able to recover strongly and quickly from the global economic crisis.

He admitted that the government needed to do more to broadcast Mexico's economic success.

"We lack a good strategy to communicate our achievements in the policy field. People are surprised to learn that living conditions here are better than in Brazil, for example."

Figures from the International Monetary Fund show that Mexico's GDP per capita is $14,300 (£8,700), while Brazil's is $11,300.

Rising oil prices are a concern for Mexico given the potential effects on the world economy, above all in the US.

"We need to have economic recovery in the US," Mr Cordero said.

Some 80% of Mexican exports are to the US market, down from 90% a few years ago, but Mexico's markets are still not diversified enough, Mr Cordero said.

He added that his country needed to look more to Asia and Latin America.

"Mexico is not the only Latin American country that is consolidating its middle class and creating a large market," the minister told the BBC.

Mr Cordero is a strong contender to be the presidential candidate for the National Action Party (Pan) in next year's election, according to several Mexican political analysts.

Related Article:

Monday, March 21, 2011

Looters strip Latin America of archaelogical heritage

A century after Machu Picchu's rediscovery, ancient Mayan and Moche sites are being ransacked for tourist baubles, Rory Carroll, Latin America correspondent, and Matthew Barker in Galindo, Monday 21 March 2011

The 100th anniversay of the rediscovery of Machu Picchu will highlight
the current ransacking of the area's archaeological treasures. Photograph: Alamy

Etched into the surviving art of the Moche, one of South America's most ancient and mysterious civilisations, is a fearsome creature dubbed the Decapitator. Also known as Ai Apaec, the octopus-type figure holds a knife in one hand and a severed head in the other in a graphic rendition of the human sacrifices the Moche practiced in northern Peru 1,500 years ago.

For archaeologists, the horror here is not in Moche iconography, which you see in pottery and mural fragments, but in the hundreds of thousands of trenches scarring the landscape: a warren of man-made pillage. Gangs of looters, known as huaqueros, are ransacking Peru's heritage to illegally sell artefacts to collectors and tourists.

"They come at night to explore the ruins and dig the holes," said Cuba Cruz de Metro, 58, a shopkeeper in the farming village of Galindo. "They don't know the history, they're just looking for bodies and for tombs. They're just looking for things to sell."

A looting epidemic in Peru and other Latin American countries, notably Guatemala, has sounded alarm bells about the region's vanishing heritage.

The issue is to come under renewed scrutiny in the run-up to July's 100th anniversary of the rediscovery of Machu Picchu, the Inca citadel in southern Peru, by US historian Hiram Bingham. He gave many artefacts to Yale university, prompting an acrimonious row with Peru's government which ended only this year when both sides agreed to establish a joint exhibition centre.

A recent report, Saving our Vanishing Heritage, by the Global Heritage Fund in San Francisco, identified nearly 200 "at risk" sites in developing nations, with South and Central America prominent.

Mirador, the cradle of Mayan civilisation in Guatemala, was being devastated, it said. "The entire Peten region has been sacked in the past 20 years and every year hundreds of archaeological sites are being destroyed by organised looting crews seeking Maya antiquities for sale on the international market."

Northern Peru, home to the Moche civilisation which flourished from AD100-800, had been reduced to a "lunar landscape" by looter trenches across hundreds of miles. "An estimated 100,000 tombs – over half the country's known sites – have been looted," the report said.

The sight breaks the heart of archaeologists and historians piecing together the story of a society which built canals and monumental pyramid-type structures, called huacas, and made intricate ceramics and jewellery.

The Moche, who pre-dated the Incas by 1,000 years, also painted murals and friezes depicting warfare, ritual beheading, blood drinking and deities such as the Decapitator, who has bulging eyes and sharp teeth. Analysis of human remains confirmed that throat-cutting was all too real but, in the absence of written records, archaeology must shed light on what happened.

In villages such as Galindo that is becoming all but impossible. Crude tunnels and caves make Moche ruins resemble rabbit warrens. Deep gashes cut into walls expose the brickwork below. Millennia-old adobe bricks are torn from the ground and scattered as though in a builder's yard.

Most huaqueros are farmers supplementing meagre incomes. Montes de Oca, one of three police officers tasked with environmental protection in a region of a million people, said he was overwhelmed. "I've been doing this for 28 years. There are three of us and one truck. It's insufficient but we do everything possible."

Ten miles away Huaca del Sol, one of the largest pyramids in pre-Columbus America, is an eroded, plundered shell. Here the culprits were not impoverished farmers but Spanish colonial authorities who authorised companies to mine for treasure, said Ricardo Gamarra, director of a 20-year-old conservation project.

"They diverted the river to wash away two-thirds of the huaca and reveal its insides," he said. "They mined through the walls and caused it to collapse in various places. It's impossible to guess how much was taken because we don't know how much was there."

Donations from businesses and foundations have helped Gamarra's team protect what is left, drawing 120,000 visitors each year, but of 250 other sites in the region just five have been protected. "In the mountains it's the same. It is full with archaeological sites, almost all of them have been destroyed," said Gamarra.

There has been good news from Chotuna, also in northern Peru, where archaeologists found frescoes in a 1,100-year-old temple of the Lambayeque civilisation, which flourished around the same time as the Incas.

Jeff Morgan, executive director of the Global Heritage Fund, urged Peru to funnel tourists away from Machu Picchu, overrun by two million visitors a year, to lesser known sites which could then earn revenue to protect their heritage.

The government should resist the temptation to pocket the money. "One of the biggest problems is the disconnect between local communities and management of the sites. We think locals should get at least 30% of revenues." Only then, said Morgan, would cultural treasures fom the Moche and other civilisations be saved.

Obama to Praise Chile as Democratic Transition Model

VOA News March 21, 2011

President Barack Obama, left, and his wife first lady Michelle Obama wave
aboard Air Force One as they prepare to leave Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,
and fly to Santiago, Chile, March 21, 2011. (Photo: AP)

Related Articles

U.S. President Barack Obama has ended his visit to Brazil and is traveling to Chile, where he will meet with Chilean President Sebastian Piñera.

In the Chilean capital Santiago, he is expected to discuss economic and energy cooperation, as well as disaster response. Chile was hit by a deadly earthquake a year ago. The two leaders are scheduled to hold a joint press conference.

Later Monday, Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are scheduled to attend an official dinner hosted by Piñera at La Moneda Palace.

Obama is expected to praise Chile's transition from military rule to democracy as a model for other countries around the world.

He made similar comments Sunday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he pointed to that country as an example of how a dictatorship can become a thriving democracy.

Rio was the site of a 1984 street protest that led to the downfall of Brazil's 20-year military dictatorship. Obama said Brazil showed the Arab world and others that a popular uprising that started in the streets can transform a country and the world.

Brazil was one of five countries that abstained in last week's U.N. Security Council vote authorizing military action in Libya.

Brazil's unwillingness to endorse the action did not dampen Obama's expression of warm feelings towards the South American ally. He described Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff as "wonderful" and said the United States wants to strengthen its friendship and partnership with Brazil.

Related Articles:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

US ambassador to Mexico resigns over WikiLeaks embassy cables

Carlos Pascual became embroiled in row with Mexican president, Felipe Calderón, over cables criticising drug war, Associated Press, Sunday 20 March 2011 04.17 GMT

Carlos Pascual, the US ambassador to Mexico, has resigned over a row
with the Mexican president, Felipe Calderón, over the WikiLeaks cables.
Photograph: Daniel Aguilar/Reuters

The US ambassador to Mexico has resigned amid a furore over a leaked diplomatic cable in which he complained about inefficiency and infighting among Mexican security forces in the campaign against drug cartels.

Hillary Clinton said Carlos Pascual's decision to step down was "based upon his personal desire to ensure the strong relationship between our two countries and to avert issues" raised by the Mexican president, Felipe Calderón.

The US secretary of state was not specific, but a furious Calderón has publicly criticised Pascual's criticisms, divulged as part of the US embassy cables by WikiLeaks.

Pascual's resignation appears to be the biggest fallout yet from the release of thousands of sensitive US diplomatic cables from around the world. It is the first such public departure by a US ambassador during the Obama administration.

Clinton went to lengths to praise Pascual's work in Mexico and said the Obama administration never lost confidence in him. Clinton said Pascual's work with Mexico to build institutions capable of fighting drug traffickers "will serve both our nations for decades".

She was "particularly grateful to Carlos for his efforts to sustain the morale and security of American personnel after tragic shootings in Mexico" that killed a US employee and three other people tied to the consulate in the border city of Ciudad Juarez last year.

"It is with great reluctance that President Obama and I have acceded to Carlos's request" to step down, Clinton said in a statement.

The ambassador's resignation laid bare how difficult relations between the US embassy and the Mexican government had become since the release of the cable in December. Calderón has made no secret of his personal anger at Pascual.

"I will not accept or tolerate any type of intervention," Calderón said in an interview with the newspaper El Universal in late February. "But that man's ignorance translates into a distortion of what is happening in Mexico and affects things and creates ill feeling within our own team."

There was no immediate reaction from the Mexican government, although an official from Calderón's office said it was preparing a response.

Pascual may have ruffled feathers in the Mexican government and Calderón's National Action party by dating the daughter of Francisco Rojas, the congressional leader of the former longtime ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party. Mexican officials and the U.S. Embassy have declined to comment on that matter.

One of the leaked diplomatic cables that most angered Calderón referred to friction between Mexico's army and navy while detailing an operation that led to the death of drug lord Arturo Beltran Leyva.

Pascual said the US, which had information locating Beltran Leyva, originally took it to the army, which refused to move quickly. Beltran Leyva was eventually brought down in a shootout with Mexican marines, who have since taken the lead in other operations against cartel capos.

Other cables reported jealousies and a lack of co-ordination between various Mexican security forces.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Barack Obama arrives in Brazil on Latin America trip

BBC News, 19 March 2011

Related Stories

US President Barack Obama has begun a five-day trip to Latin America aimed at building markets for US exports and extending US influence.

Barack Obama stopped short of fully endorsing
a permanent UN Security Council seat for Brazil
Mr Obama has started his tour in Brazil, a major market for US goods, where he hopes to bolster ties with new Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

He later travels to Chile and El Salvador.

The White House bills the trip as a way to create US jobs by deepening economic ties with Latin American countries.

Brazilian authorities have raised security for Mr Obama's visit and police in Rio closed a number of streets in preparation.

Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to break up a demonstration of about 300 anti-US protesters at the American consulate in Rio on Friday.

'Historic opportunity'

In a joint news conference, both leaders flagged up Brazil's rising economic power.

And Ms Rousseff promised that there would be opportunities for the US and Brazil to work together in areas such as genetics, biotechnology, finding renewable energy sources and deep-sea oil exploration.

Not everyone has welcomed
Barack Obama's visit to Brazil
"Combining our most advanced capabilities in the fields of research and innovation will certainly bear the best fruits for both our societies," she said.

Mr Obama said that both he and the Brazilian leader regarded the trip as a "historic opportunity" to put the two nations on a path toward even greater co-operation.

One of Mr Obama's aims was to increase energy trade between the two countries, and he has previously noted that Brazil's newly discovered oil reserves could be even larger than America's.

"Brazil is becoming a key actor in global energy markets with its recent deepwater oil discoveries," senior Obama adviser Mike Froman told BBC Brasil before the trip.

Another key issue discussed by the two leaders was Brazil's desire to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

They released a joint statement calling for "modest expansion" of the council.

The statement said Mr Obama "expressed appreciation for Brazil's aspiration to become a permanent member of the Security Council".

The wording appears to fall short of a full endorsement, and analysts say Ms Rousseff was clearly frustrated at the lack of stronger support.

'Critical partner'
Mr Obama was due to travel on to Rio de Janeiro, to visit the Christ the Redeemer statue and to make a speech aimed at describing to Brazilians the values the two countries share.

Brazil is the eighth largest importer of US goods, and the amount it buys from the US is growing rapidly, White House aides say.

"As a part of the president's continued effort to deepen our ties with emerging markets around the world, Brazil is a critical partner and critical stop on this trip," Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said this week.

In Chile, Mr Obama will make a speech laying out goals on energy co-operation, security, economic growth and development, and democracy and human rights, White House aides said.

El Salvador is home to one of America's largest Hispanic populations. But its murder rate has been climbing, as have cocaine seizures in the country and what is perceived by some as growing insecurity is concerning US officials.

Mr Obama will have talks with left-wing El Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes.

Related Article:

Friday, March 18, 2011

US and Chile sign nuclear deal amid Japan fears

BBC News, 18 March 2011

Related Stories

The United States has signed a long-awaited nuclear accord with Chile despite growing misgivings about the safety of nuclear power in Chile.

Sebastian Pinera is to welcome Barack Obama
to Chile early next week
The Chilean Government has stressed the deal was about training nuclear engineers and not building a reactor.

But it comes amid fears over a radiation leak at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan following last week's huge earthquake.

Chile suffered its own devastating earthquake last year.

Many environmental groups in Chile have criticised the decision to invest more in nuclear energy as other countries are scaling back their nuclear plans.

'Closed doors'

The deal was due to be signed by President Barack Obama in a high profile ceremony with his Chilean counterpart, Sebastian Pinera, on his visit to Chile early next week.

But the agreement was signed behind closed doors by Chilean Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno and US ambassador to Chile Alejandro Wolff.

Mr Moreno reiterated that Chile is not able to produce nuclear energy.

"Chile is not in a condition to have nuclear energy and what has happened in Japan has done nothing more than underline that situation," he said.

But it comes after Chile signed a similar nuclear agreement with France last month.

Environmental groups in Chile are concerned that the government appears to be pursuing a nuclear agenda despite moves elsewhere in the world to review nuclear plans.

Earlier this week, Germany ordered its oldest nuclear plants to be shut down for urgent safety checks.

The Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, also announced he was suspending a nuclear deal with Russia following the disaster in Japan.

Related Articles: