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, July 31, 2014

Isolated Amazonian tribe makes contact with outside

Yahoo – AFP, 31 July 2014

Picture released on July 30, 2014 by Brazil's Fundacao Nacional do Indio
 (FUNAI) indigenous affaires department shows a group of isolated Amazonian
natives on the banks of the Envira River, Acre state, Brazil (AFP Photo)

Rio de Janeiro (AFP) - Members of an isolated tribe have emerged from the Amazon rainforest and made contact with the outside world in a video released by Brazil's indigenous authority.

The video shows indigenous people from the Panoan linguistic group carrying bows and wearing loin clothes making contact with the Ashaninka native people of northern Brazil along the banks of the Envira River, near the Peruvian border.

In one scene, an ethnic Ashaninka in athletic shorts gives bananas to two loincloth-clad natives who appear wary of approaching, quickly grabbing the fruit and then retreating out of arm's reach.

Picture released on July 30, 2014 by
Brazil's Fundacao Nacional do Indio
(FUNAI) indigenous affaires department
shows a group of isolated Amazonian
natives on the banks of the Envira
River, Acre state, Brazil (AFP Photo)
Brazilian experts said the indigenous people likely crossed the border from Peru facing pressure from illegal logging and drug trafficking at home.

After the native people made initial contact with the Ashaninka on June 26, a team from Brazil's National Indian Foundation (FUNAI) traveled to the area and filmed a second encounter on June 30, according to news portal G1, which posted the .

The people, identified as members of a group known as the Rio Xinane, at first emerged only briefly and then returned to the forest, said FUNAI official Carlos Travassos.

"They were whistling and making animal sounds," he said.

Two Panoan indigenous interpreters were then called in to speak with them on their next visit.

"They speak our language. I was so happy we could talk to each other," said one of the interpreters, Jaminawa Jose Correia.

He said the natives had come in search of weapons and allies.

"They described being attacked by non-native people and many died after coming down with the flu and diphtheria," he told G1.

Anthropologist Terri Aquino said the group had probably come in search of axes, knives and pots.

"This is a people looking for technology. It's important in their lives because there's an internal war among them and because of contact with non-indigenous groups," he said.

Picture released on July 30, 2014 by Brazil's Fundacao Nacional do Indio
 (FUNAI) indigenous affaires department shows a group of isolated Amazonian
natives on the banks of the Envira River, Acre state, Brazil (AFP Photo)

Another scene in the video shows the natives taking axes from the ethnic Ashaninka village of Simpatia.

FUNAI said the group had returned from the forest after their initial visit because they had contracted the flu. A government medical team was sent to treat seven from the group.

Rights group Survival International said the episode was extremely worrying, since influenza epidemics have wiped out entire tribes in the past.

The Brazilian Amazon has the largest number of uncontacted tribes in the world at 77, FUNAI estimates.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Obama wants cooperation from Central America over immigrants

Tens of thousands of teenagers from Central America are illegally crossing the US border. President Obama has now pressed for cooperation during new talks with the region's presidents.

Deutsche Welle, 26 July 2014

"Parents need to know this is an incredibly dangerous situation," US President Barack Obama warned a few weeks ago, in light of the surge of minor migrants - more than 50,000 this year alone, attempting to cross the Mexican border. Now the presidents of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador their counterpart at the White House to discuss the problem, which has sparked an intense debate in the US.

The meeting had an important function, Dan Restrepo of explained: it was an urgently needed signal for some intensive crisis management. "It is not a problem you can switch on and off," he told DW. "And you can't solve it quickly either - you have to work permanently on the dynamic and complex circumstances."

Obama is under pressure due to the
increasing number of teenage refugees
Carl Meacham of the think tank thinks there is much lost ground to make up: "US policy in this area has been inconsistent - there hasn't been much engagement," he said. But it is doubtful if the summit, which had few tangible results, will relieve Obama in the domestic debate.

There has been a continuous barrage of criticism from the Republican Party, which makes Obama responsible for the humanitarian crisis at the border. How intense the debate is was demonstrated by the deployment of Texan Guards at the Mexican border and the assessment of the deployment of the National Guard by Obama himself.

Scaring people off

Charlie Dent, Republican representative from Pennsylvania, in whose constituency emergency shelters for children have been built, told DW what the Republican majority in the House of Representatives wanted from the meeting: "President Obama has to make it very clear that these children will be sent back," he said. In fact, Obama did threaten fast deportations, and he claimed that the latest decrease in migrant numbers was a sign of success.

But another demand is much more difficult for him to act on. Dent says Obama should "also tell the presidents of these countries that the US will change its laws" to be able to send back the children immediately. To do that Obama would have to change a law signed by George W. Bush that grants minor migrants a court hearing, and the Democrat Party will be unlikely to accept that.

US complicity

The Democrats triggered problems in Washington even before Obama met the presidents from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Some argued that the US is complicit in the current exodus of unaccompanied minors smuggled across the border by criminal organizations.

"I think we have a shared responsibility," Meacham agreed. "It is true that the United States is a major customer of drugs. On the other hand it is the responsibility [of the Central American governments] to create the necessary security."

Congress is refusing to grant an emergency
program to ease the refugee crisis
At the moment these three countries are seen as strongholds for criminality that force the children to leave. "I talked to a five-year-old girl who came unaccompanied to the US from Central America," said Dent. "She didn't know how to swim, but she crossed dangerous rivers and travelled on the roof of a train to get from Mexico to the US."

No emergency program

So far Dent's Republican Party has refused to grant the $3.7-billion (2.75-billion-euro) emergency program that Obama wants to enable better emergency housing, more immigration judges, and increased border security. They also opposed another one of Obama's pilot projects: to grant refugee status to the children in their countries of origin and therefore spare them from the dangerous voyage to the US.

The Republicans' attitude of total opposition is one of the biggest challenges, says Meacham. "The malfunction of the political system is the other big hurdle beside the crisis at the border," he said. "If we can't act in consensus, not only will the situation at the border get worse, but so will the chaos in the Central American countries."

The White House summit is just the prelude to more talks at the highest diplomatic levels between the US and the three affected states - and Restrepo is expecting Vice President Joe Biden, who attended the meeting, to weigh in regularly.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Venezuela ex-intelligence boss arrested in Aruba

A former high-ranking Venezuelan official under late President Hugo Chavez has been arrested on the Caribbean island of Aruba. Hugo Carvajal is accused of ties to drug trafficking by the United States.

Deutsche Welle, 25 July 2014

Hugo Carvajal, a retired general who served as military intelligence chief under late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez from 2004-2011, was arrested at the request of US prosecutors in Aruba, which forms part of the Netherlands.

He is expected to appear in a court in Aruba on Friday. The US wants to prosecute him over alleged drug crimes and helping Colombia's Marxist FARC guerrillas.

In 2008, the US Treasury Department accused Carvajal of arming the FARC rebels, protecting the drug shipments the group sent through Venezuela, giving them official government identity papers and allowing them to maintain a stronghold along the Venezuelan-Colombian border. He was one of a number of high-ranking Venezuelan military officials blacklisted by the US at the time.

Venezuela has condemned the arrest, calling it a "grave violation" of international law. It said that Carvajal was appointed Venezuela's consul general to Aruba in January, but that Dutch authorities had rejected his claim to diplomatic immunity.

"Venezuela emphatically rejects the illegal and arbitrary detention of a Venezuelan diplomatic official bearing a passport that accredits him as such," the foreign ministry said in a statement.
Officials in Aruba said there was confusion about whether Carvajal held immunity because of his diplomatic passport. However, his detention went ahead anyway because he had yet to receive his accreditation.

"Immunity is always linked to a function," prosecutors' spokeswoman Ann Angela told news agency AP.

"And he has does not have any function here in Aruba. He is not the consul general; therefore he has no immunity."

Angela said US prosecutors had 60 days to formalize their extradition request.

jr/jm (AP, Reuters, AFP)

Hugo Carvajal arrives at the airport in Oranjestad, Aruba, 
after his release. Photograph: Noel Werleman/EPA

Related Article:

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

US should rethink Cuba policy as ties with China improve: Xinhua

Want China Times, Xinhua and Staff Reporter 2014-07-23

The presidents of China and Cuba shake hands after the sign ceremony
of cooperation, July 23. (Photo/Xinhua)

China and Cuba, two traditional friends in vision and ideology, are seeking closer ties as Havana moves to update its economy under the shadow of a half-century-old US embargo.

President Xi Jinping of China will hold talks with his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro during his ongoing visit to Cuba, the last stop of his four-nation Latin America tour, with a goal to translate the bilateral high-level political relations into rich results of practical cooperation.

In 1960, Cuba took the lead among countries in the Western Hemisphere to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China, opening a new chapter of China's relations with Cuba and with Latin America. The relationship has since withstood the test of a constantly changing international landscape.

Also in the 1960s, the United States imposed economic sanctions on Cuba to punish its leadership's intention to align itself with the Soviet Union, putting the island nation in a sensitive geopolitical position.

As the world becomes more multipolarized, and peace and development have become more important factors in governing country-to-country relations, China-Cuba cooperation has shifted from politics to economy and has been on a fast track.

China has been a rising key foreign investor in Cuba especially after 2012 when world countries, developed and developing countries alike, were battered by a devastating financial crisis. China granted free assistance and interest-free loans to Cuba to promote bilateral economic and technological cooperation, and undertook several large-scale infrastructure projects in Cuba.

For years, China has been Cuba's second-largest trading partner, while Cuba is China's largest partner in the Caribbean, with bilateral annual trade standing at a little less than US$2 billion.

While China, now the world's second-largest economy, has never been a back-seat driver for Cuba's development, the island nation still faces tough economic and social challenges largely due to Washington's unwillingness to lift its decades-old embargo despite criticism from even its allies.

Though the US sanctions have evolved in various ways, they are outdated and irrational, bringing nothing but sufferings to Cuba's 11 million people.

Against all the odds, the Cuban government has been phasing in a series of economic reforms in recent years to revitalize its stagnant economy, encouraging enterprises and lifting restrictions on such fields as property use, travel and farming.

Havana's reform drive creates new opportunities for deepening its cooperation with China, and the world's other major economies, especially the United States, also need to seriously consider the new developments and rethink their policy toward Cuba.

For Washington, the first step should be lifting its sanctions. Instead of being an obstacle on Cuba's path of development, the United States should join China and other countries to become Cuba's constructive partners in efforts to achieve prosperity, which will benefit not only the Caribbean country, but also the United States itself.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Colombian drug lord El Ratón arrested in Spain

Hernán Alonso Villa, aka The Mouse, is linked to 400 murders and faces smuggling, extortion and people trafficking charges

The Guardian, Stephen Burgen in Barcelona,  Sunday 20 July 2014

'El Raton' head of the military wing of Oficina de Envigad', a Colombian criminal
 gang, is escorted by police after his arrest in Alicante, Spain. Photograph: Spanish
national police/EFE

Spanish police have arrested one of Colombia's most wanted drug cartel enforcers who is linked to 400 murders.

Hernán Alonso Villa, better known as El Ratón (The Mouse), was stopped en route to one of his safe houses in the south-eastern province of Alicante carrying €40,000 (£31,660) in cash which, according to police, came from drug running and assassinations. He was later transferred to Madrid pending extradition to Colombia.

Police said the 40-year-old heads a network of around 200 drug traffickers and hitmen responsible for importing cocaine into Spain, the Netherland and the US.

In spite of the elaborate precautions he took to evade arrest, such as constantly changing his address, phone number and identity, close cooperation between the Spanish and Colombian authorities led to his detention. A member of the Colombian police intelligence unit took part in the arrest.

Rodolfo Palomino, the Colombian chief of police, said: "El Ratón was arrested thanks to the work of our people and the Spanish authorities. Along with Carlos Esneider Quintero, alias Gomelo, Villa committed serious crimes in Medellín, in particular murders, disappearances, extortions and kidnappings. He then went to Europe seeking to continue his activities in drug dealing and coordinating trafficking routes."

The authorities believe El Ratón is the head of the military wing of the Oficina de Envigado – a much-feared criminal gang that takes its name from a small Colombian town. It grew out of the Medellín drug cartel led by the late Pablo Escobar.

As well as 400 counts of murder, Villa faces charges of drug smuggling, extortion and people trafficking.

The Oficina was established in the 1980s by Diego Murillo Berajano, or Don Berna – a former leftwing guerrilla – primarily to act as Escobar's muscle and to meet his growing need for paid assassins. When Escobar was killed in 1993 the Oficina took over much of his empire.

It is now a loose-knit patchwork of autonomous units that team up with local gangs but also get well-trained recruits from the police and former paramilitary groups.

Don Berna later fell out with Escobar and after the latter's assassination, emerged as his successor.

He then became involved with the rightwing, anti-guerrilla paramilitaries of the United Self Defense Forces of Colombia, which battled Farc guerrillas for control of Medellín's poorest neighbourhoods. A period of relative peace followed with a drop in the murder rate until Den Berna was extradited to the US in 2008, when murders and kidnapping increased dramatically.

According to the independent website Insight Crime, the Oficina generates $31m (£18.1m) a year just through money laundering.

UN studies show that Spain is Europe's largest consumer of cocaine and has long served as the European gateway for South American drug traffickers, although increasingly the drugs' first port of call is north Africa, before being shipped to Spain.

According to the interior ministry, in 2013 Spanish customs and police seized 26.5 tonnes of cocaine, 27% of that in the entire EU and 27% more than the preceding year, indicating that the volume of trade is continuing to increase.

Europe has become increasingly attractive to drug traffickers, with demand for cocaine doubling in recent years while demand in the US has fallen by 33%. Europe consumes 25% of world cocaine production.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

BRICS calls for “objective probe” into MH17 crash

The Brics Post, July 19, 2014

Thomas Greminger (C), Swiss ambassador to the Organization for Security
 and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and chairman of the OSCE Permanent
 Council during Switzerland Chairmanship, speaks to journalists at Vienna’s OSCE
 headquarters in Vienna, Austria, on July 18, 2014. The OSCE on Friday called for
 an independent international investigation to the Malaysia Airlines plane crash in
eastern Ukraine [Xinhua]

BRICS leaders have called for a fair and objective probe into the crash of a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region.

“I was shocked,” said Chinese President Xi Jinping at a joint press conference with Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of the Thursday tragedy, which killed all the 298 people aboard the ill-fated Flight MH17.

The Boeing 777-200 airliner was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it suddenly vanished from radar. The Ukrainian government and pro-Russia rebels in eastern Ukraine have traded charges of shooting down the plane.

The Chinese president conveyed his deep condolences on the massive loss of lives and sympathies with the families of the victims.

“I hope that a fair and objective probe will be carried out to establish the truth as early as possible,” said Xi.

In a separate statement, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “he hopes the circumstances of the disaster are established quickly”.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has also urged a speedy investigation into the terrible tragedy.

“First, it should be established what really happened. The Brazilian government will give no assessments until the circumstances are clear,” said Rousseff.

Rousseff was echoed by South African President Jacob Zuma, who stressed on a transparent probe into the incident.

“We also extend our sympathies to the Government and the people of Malaysia, as well as all countries that have lost their citizens in the tragic crash. South Africa calls for a thorough, transparent and independent investigation to determine the cause of the incident,” said Zuma.

Meanwhile, US Ambassador Samantha Power told an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Friday that Washington cannot rule out that Russia aided in the launch of the surface-to-air missile that shot down the plane.

A 25-member team of international observers from the OSCE has been to the crash site, but details are yet to emerge on the formation of the probe body.

TBP and Agencies
Related Articles:

China to lend Argentina billions for power and rail projects

The Chinese premier has signed landmark finance and loan deals while on a two-day visit to Argentina. The agreements offer the South American country some stability for its troubled financial status.

Deutsche Welle, 19 July 2014

Making the first visit by a Chinese premier to Argentina in ten years, President Xi Jinping and Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez signed multi-billion dollar deals in Buenos Aires on Friday at a time when Argentina is unable to raise funds on capital markets due to disputes over unpaid debt.

"It's a day we can define as foundational in the relations between our two countries," Fernandez said. The two leaders signed a three-year agreement for an $11 billion (8.13 billion-euro) swap operation between the two countries' central banks, allowing Argentina to pay for Chinese imports with the yuan unit of currency. The deal is similar to one signed between China and Argentina in 2009.

Fernandez said the deal between the two central banks could offer "stability in exchange rates at the moment. We are, as a country, suffering speculative attacks by vulture funds." Argentina has been unable to access international capital markets since a default in 2002 and its currency reserves are at their lowest since November 2006, at $30 billion.

Among nineteen agreements being signed during the Chinese premier's two day visit, Argentina is to borrow $4.7 billion from the China Development Bank for the construction of two hydroelectric dams in Patagonia. A $2.1 billion loan will help finance a long-delayed railway project to transport grains from Argentine farms to ports. Argentina is the third-largest exporter of soy and corn in the world. China is the main buyer of its soybeans.

China is Argentina's second-largest trading partner after Brazil. Bilateral trade rose to $17.3 billion last year. Argentina's trade deficit with China widened 9 percent from the previous year to $5.4 billion in 2013.

jm/mz (Reuters, dpa)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Chinese leader woos Latin America with deals

Yahoo - AFP,  Laurent Thomet

China's President Xi Jinping (L) is welcomed by his Brazilian counterpart Dilma
Rousseff at Planalto Palace on July 17, 2014 in Brasilia (AFP Photo/Nelson Almeida)

Brasilia (Brazil) (AFP) - China's president pressed a charm offensive with Latin America on Thursday, signing deals with Brazil, meeting regional leaders and proposing a $20 billion infrastructure fund that highlights Beijing's growing interests in the region.

President Xi Jinping was greeted with a military honor guard in Brasilia by President Dilma Rousseff before overseeing the signing of a raft of agreements during a state visit.

Xi then met behind-closed doors with a dozen Latin American and Caribbean leaders, including Cuba's communist President Raul Castro.

China's President Xi Jinping (L) chats
 with Cuba's President Raul Castro at
 Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia, on July 17,
2014 (AFP Photo/Evaristo Sa)
After the summit, Rousseff said China proposed the creation of a $20 billion fund to finance infrastructure projects in Latin America and the Caribbean.

He also offered a credit line of up to $10 billion to nations of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

In addition, a Chinese-Latin American cooperation fund of $5 billion would be set up for investments.

Brazil-China deals

Earlier, Rousseff and Xi oversaw the signing of several agreements between the two emerging powers.

Chinese companies agreed to buy 60 Brazilian Embraer E190 passenger airplanes worth a total of $3.2 billion.

The two countries also reached agreements to cooperate in railway projects and shipping that could facilitate Brazilian exports to resource-hungry China.

The Asian giant's import-export bank will loan $5 billion over three years to Brazilian mining powerhouse Vale so that the company, which ships iron ore to China, can buy or rent vessels.

The two nations signed a cooperation agreement for railway projects, with Brazil hoping China will help build tracks linking the continent-sized South American country to Peru's Pacific coast.

Xi and Rousseff, whose nations marked 40 years of diplomatic relations, also launched the Portuguese-language version of China's Baidu Internet search engine.

"Our relations, which represent a truly strategic partnership, are developing at an unprecedented speed in diverse areas of cooperation," Rousseff said.

Xi said China aims to "strengthen our strategy to create an even more prosperous future for our nations."

 Alternative to US

Xi arrived in Brazil this week for a summit of the BRICS group of emerging powers -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- and South American presidents.

The visit is Xi's second to Latin America since taking office last year, when he toured Mexico, Costa Rica and Trinidad and Tobago.

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)

This week, the BRICS agreed to launch a New Development Bank to fund infrastructure projects in developing nations and an emergency reserve, drawing praise from Latin American presidents who see them as alternatives to Western-dominated financial institutions.

"We welcome this commitment to a new international order that is just and equitable," Castro said in written remarks.

Venezuela's leftist President Nicolas Maduro hailed the "relations of mutual respect between a world giant like China and Latin America."

With the visit, Xi is presenting China as an alternative to the United States in the region, analysts say.

"China is an option that matches with the leftist political sympathy that it has with some countries in the region," said Rubens Figueiredo, foreign relations professor at Sao Paulo University.

China's massive purchases of commodities and exports of manufactured goods to the region have boosted its two-way trade with Latin America to a total of $261.6 billion last year, according to official figures.

After Brazil, Xi will head to Argentina, a key source of soybeans for China, before visiting oil-supplier Venezuela and communist ally Cuba.

Despite China's growing investments in the region, it will be hard for Beijing to dislodge the United States in Latin America, said Yun Sun, East Asia expert at the Washington-based Stimson Center think-tank.

"US-Latin America long-standing, traditional ties will not be easily affected by the Chinese political and economic engagements, which are more recent and less comprehensive than US-Latin American relations," she told AFP.

A meeting held by Chinese President Xi Jinping with Brazilian President
 Dilma Rousseff and other leaders of the CELAC group of Latin American
and Caribbean states in Brasilia, on July 17, 2014 (AFP Photo/Nelson Almeida)

Related Article:

Bolivia lowers working age to 10 years

Bolivia has lowered the age limit to work to 10 years – the lowest in the world. The measure is intended to help combat extreme poverty in the South American country, but it also violates international treaties.

Deutsche Welle, 18 July 2014

Bolivia's Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera signed the law into effect which had been passed by parliament earlier this month.

Garcia Linera said that lowering the working age from 14 was necessary despite international agreements on childrens' rights. He said it was important to find a balance between Bolivia's reality and international treaties.

The text of the law says children between 10 and 14 years of age may work on their own, under supervision of their parents, "provided that the activity does not affect their education."

Children age 12 to 14 may also work for people outside the family, but only for six hours a day instead of the previous eight-hour-day.

The bill's sponsors argued that lowering the minimum working age simply acknowledged the reality that many poor families in Bolivia had no alternative than sending their children to work.

"Child labor already exists in Bolivia and it's difficult to fight it. Rather than persecute it, we want to protect the rights and guarantee the labor security of children," said Adolfo Mendoza, one of the bill's sponsors. .

Unionized young workers marched on Congress to prevent it from ratifying a bottom-end work age of 14 in December 2013.

"The president gave us his support. He also worked as a boy, herding llamas," Rodrigo Medrano, head of the Union of Boy, Girl and Adolescent Workers, told The Associated Press, saying there was no alternative in a society where half the population is poor.

A study conducted in 2008 by the ILO, the Bolivian government and the United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF), found that 850,000 children between the ages of five and 17 were working. That was one in four.

The jobs included working in textile factories, street vending, sugar cane harvesting and underground mining.

More recent estimates children say children make up 15 percent of the country's workforce.
One in three doesn't attend school.

The New York-based rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) criticized the legislation.

"We think this is a terrible move," HRW's children's rights expert Jo Becker told the German news agency dpa. "All research shows child labor doesn't solve poverty, it perpetuates it."

The organization said such a young working age meant children were even less likely to finish school, then less likely to be able to earn a good living as adults, and then less likely to send their own children to school.

The law will go into force a year from now, to give time for municipalities and provinces to enact new rules.

Bolivia is going against a regional trend: Mexico has set age 15 as the minimum and Chile age 16.

The International Labor Organization, which reported that Latin American and Caribbean together accounted now for 13 million of the planet's estimated 168 million working children, said it would investigate the law.

It sees a breach of global rules, with the UN having designated 14 as the minimum work age.

The UN reported that child labor had gone down by one third globally since 2000.

rg/av (AFP, AP, dpa)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Mexican police find hundreds, mainly children, living in squalor

Yahoo – AFP, 16 July 2014

Mexican federal police stand guard in Michoacan State, Mexico, on January 14,
 2014, where authorities have found nearly 600 people, most of them children, living
 in squalid conditions amid rats and insects in a residential facility (AFP Photo/
Hector Guerrero)

Mexican federal police stand guard in Michoacan State, Mexico, on January 14, 2014, where authorities have found nearly 600 people, most of them children, living in squalid conditions amid rats and insects in a residential facility (AFP Photo/Hector Guerrero)

Mexico City (AFP) - Mexican authorities Tuesday found nearly 600 people, most of them children, living in squalid conditions amid rats and insects in a residential facility.

Police raided the home, known as "La Gran Familia", which has operated for more than 40 years in the town of Zamora in western Michoacan state, amid reports that five kidnapped children were being held there, prosecutors said.

They found those five children and much more: a total of 450 minors and 138 adults, living against their will, said Tomas Zeron, an investigator with the attorney general's office.

He did not detail how these people were held their against their will or for what purpose.

The adults ranged in age from 18 to 40, while the children included six babies or toddlers.

Early reports are that the director and founder of the facility, identified as Carmen Verduzco, forced children to beg for money and sleep on the floor with rats and insects, and endure sexual abuse. They were fed sub-standard food, Zeron said.

Children born in the facility were registered as offspring of Verduzco, and their parents were denied the right to raise them, officials said.

One victim said that when she turned 18 she asked Verduzco for permission to leave but the answer was no and she stayed another 13 years, Zeron said.

That woman had two daughters at the residence and they were not registered as hers, he said.

Verduzco and eight people who worked for her were arrested, said Rodrigo Archundia, a prosecutor specializing in organized crime.

Michoacan governor Salvador Jara said the report on the five kidnapped children, which prompted the raid, was filed more than a year ago.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

BRICS create development bank, based in Shanghai

Yahoo – AFP, 15 July 2014

The BRICS group of emerging powers launched a $50 billion development bank Tuesday to be based in Shanghai and a $100 billion crisis contingency fund, according to a joint declaration.

The New Development Bank's first president will be from India while the board's chairman will be Brazilian, according to the declaration released at a summit in Fortaleza, Brazil.

The bank will have an initial subscribed capital of $50 billion followed by an authorized capital of $100 billion, equally shared among Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa.

The Contingency Reserve Arrangement will have an initial size of $100 billion and will help countries avoid "short-term liquidity pressures, promote further BRICS cooperation, strengthen the global financial safety net and complement existing international arrangements."

Xi and Putin look to bolster influence in Latin America

Want China Times, Staff Reporter 2014-07-15

Xi Jinping shakes hands with Vladimir Putin in Fortaleza, Brazil, on July 14,
2014. (Photo/Xinhua)

Chinese president Xi Jinping and Russian president Vladimir Putin are looking to bolster their countries' influence in Latin America amid rising anti-US sentiment in the region, reports Duowei News, an outlet run by overseas Chinese.

Washington has long viewed Latin America as its "backyard," Duowei said, dating back 200 years to the Monroe Doctrine, a US foreign policy stating that further efforts by European nations to interfere with states in North or South America would be viewed as acts of aggression requiring US intervention.

The doctrine, along with the related Roosevelt Corollary from the early 20th century–which states that the US will intervene in European-Latin American conflicts to enforce legitimate European claims on their behalf, rather than having Europeans press their claims directly–have allowed the US to keep its hold on Latin America, treating it as a testing ground for US hegemony and power politics, Duowei said.

According to Duowei, US control of the region began to slip from the 1970s as Latin America began to resent Washington's influence, sparking a "de-Americanization" movement. After the end of the Cold War, Washington tried to increase its economic influence in Latin America by pushing liberal reforms, but the strategy has depreciated Latin American currencies and failed to bring the economic prosperity originally envisioned, leading to an even stronger backlash, Duowei said.

This eventually led to the establishment of regional economic and political blocs, starting with the signing of an economic integration agreement between Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia in the Cuban capital of Havana on April 29, 2006. The Union of South American Nations formed in May 2008, while the Bank of the South was established in September 2009 by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Ecuador, Bolivia and Venezuela. From October 2008, Brazil and Argentina also declared that they would gradually abandon the US dollar in bilateral trade.

The global financial crisis in 2008 also hit the US hard and greatly diminished its international influence, including in Latin America, paving the way for traditional rivals such as China and Russia to make inroads into the region. Latin America, for its part, has been welcoming toward Chinese and Russian investment as a means to speed up the de-Americanization trend, Duowei added.

Venezuela, for example, has welcomed China as an export destination for its oil so that it can lessen its reliance on the US market. China's imports of Venezuelan oil have been rising steadily to the point where China is now Venezuela's fourth largest oil export destination. In June 2013, Nicaragua also approved a bill to grant a 50-year concession to the Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Company to build the landmark waterway.

Last year, US Secretary of State John Kerry declared that the Monroe Doctrine is "over," but that has done little to win back trust from Latin America, Duowei said, especially when former CIA staffer and whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the US National Security Agency spied on phone conversations, emails and voice-over-IP services in Brazil and 13 other Latin American countries, including Columbia and Mexico. This led to Bolivia, Nicaragua and Venezuela offering Snowden political asylum, while Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff canceled her scheduled trip to the US.

Chinese president Xi Jinping raised eyebrows last year when he made a trip to Central and North America as one of his first official state visits and signed deals that showed off China's economic prowess, Duowei said. He will soon be visiting Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and Cuba between July 17 and July 23. His Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, in an effort to find new economic partners after being isolated by the West due to the Crimea crisis earlier this year, will visit Cuba, Argentina and Brazil between July 17 and July 23. Both leaders will appear at the sixth BRICS Summit in Brazil on July 15 and July 16.

Washington does not appear ready to give up its "backyard," Duowei says, which is why US vice president Joe Biden made a trip to Latin America between June 16 and June 19 ahead of Xi and Putin's visits, but given the rising tide of anti-US sentiment and the desire to de-Americanize, it appears Chinese and Russian presence in Latin America will only keep growing stronger, Duowei said. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Fifa partner boss Ray Whelan surrenders in Brazil

BBC News, 14 July 2014

Ray Whelan, director of Match Hospitality, denies any wrongdoing

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The British boss of a Fifa partner firm being investigated over alleged illegal World Cup ticket sales has surrendered to a judge in Brazil.

Police had tried to arrest Ray Whelan four days ago but he was not at his exclusive Rio de Janeiro hotel.

Mr Whelan, director of Match Hospitality, denies any wrongdoing.

An international gang is suspected of acting at as many as four World Cups, earning about $90m (£52m) per tournament.

The gang is believed to have made money by acquiring and illegally selling on VIP tickets and hospitality packages.

Match held the rights to sell hospitality tickets for the World Cup.

'No fugitive'

Mr Whelan turned himself in to judge Rosita Maria de Oliveira Netto. He has been rearrested by police and is expected to be taken to a detention facility.

According to a spokesperson for Mr Whelan's lawyer, Fernando Fernandes, Mr Whelan said: "I can finally start my criminal defence."

Mr Whelan had left Rio's Copacabana Palace by the time police called
four days ago

Mr Whelan has been indicted with 11 other people.

He was briefly arrested on 7 July but was released after questioning.

Then last Thursday, police said they went to Mr Whelan's room in Rio's Copacabana Palace hotel but he was no longer there and they were told he had left an hour earlier.

In a statement, Match said Mr Whelan had simply left the hotel with Mr Fernandes before police arrived.

It said: "We do not believe that the term 'fugitive' is appropriate under the circumstances as he is presently with his lawyer."

Hundreds of tickets and large amounts of cash have been recovered during the police operation, which gathered evidence via phone taps.

Based in Zurich and in Cheadle, Cheshire, Match Hospitality describes itself as "the professional services company appointed by Fifa to provide ticketing, accommodation and event information technology services to Fifa".

Its packages for games at Brazil 2014 ranged from $700 (£410) up to more than $100,000.

Of some roughly 3 million tickets available at the 2014 event, it was given about 450,000 to sell to hospitality clients.

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