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. …

Monday, August 31, 2015

German gunmaker Sig Sauer faces criminal charges over Mexico drug killings

German weapons maker Sig Sauer is facing a second lawsuit on suspicion of illegally exporting guns to Latin America. A Mexican drug cartel member has confessed to killing 12 people with one of its handguns.

Deutsche Welle, 31 Aug 2015

German anti-weapons campaigner Jürgen Grässlin has filed charges against Sig Sauer after revelations that a Mexican drug cartel member used one of the company's 9mm handguns to kill 12 people - including a prominent human rights campaigner.

The charges - on suspicion of illegal weapons exports - were filed following the release of Chihuahua court documents about the 2010 murder of Marisela Escobedo. The 52-year-old woman became a prominent activist in Chihuahua after a man who confessed to murdering her 16-year-old daughter was acquitted by a Mexican court.

In a short documentary aired on Sunday night, German state TV network ARD showed CCTV footage of the murderer chasing Escobedo across a street in the city of Chihuahua and shooting her in the back of the head.

Sig Sauer's slogan is "When it counts"
"It's a particularly horrifying case, but it's also a special case - it's very rare," said Grässlin. "We have a convicted killer who confessed that he killed at least 12 people, and the gun's serial number - and Sig Sauer themselves say it is one of their guns."

"We don't know where exactly the gun was assembled - but we know it was German expertise, German technology - either separately or in one piece - and it found its way to the perpetrator in Mexico - the fact that he had it was illegal, because there was no export license," he told DW.

Mother and daughter killed

Escobedo's daughter Ruby disappeared in 2008, and her mother, frustrated at the slow police investigation, found out for herself that Ruby had been killed in 2008 by her boyfriend, a member of the Los Zetas drug cartel. He was subsequently arrested, confessed, and led the police to her body - only to be acquitted for lack of evidence. ARD showed Escobedo break out in tears in a courtroom in 2010 as the verdict was read, before screaming at the judge and storming out.

For the next seven months until her murder, Escobedo campaigned against Mexico's judiciary, which has often been accused of corruption, before finally confronting the chief state prosecutor himself. "I am convinced that she signed her own death sentence on that day," lawyer Gabino Gomez, a close associate of Escobedo, told ARD.

Unlike her daughter's boyfriend, Escobedo's killer - another member of Los Zetas - was convicted, and the Sig Sauer gun was identified as the murder weapon (among an arsenal of some 200 firearms found in his possession). "Now we know that it was a 9mm gun, from a German firm," said Gomez. "According to the files, he killed another 11 people with this weapon alone."

No export license

Grässlin has campaigned against
German weapons exports for
more than 20 years
Chihuahua is one of four Mexican states that the German government has declared as too dangerous and corrupt to export weapons to, and the German Economy Ministry has confirmed that Sig Sauer has not been granted an export license to Mexico since 2000.

Sig Sauer did not respond to a request for comment from DW, but according to ARD it has claimed that the murder weapon was produced at its factory in New Hampshire, in the US, and sold, probably in a batch of several hundred, to a legal dealer in Mexico.

"But if they want to pass on deliveries, to Colombia, to Mexico, to Venezuela or wherever, they need another export license," Grässlin told DW. "This definitely didn't happen." According to Germany's Federal Office of Export Control, an export license is still necessary if "technology from Germany has been exported to the subsidiary company in the US in advance," and confirmed that it had not received an application for a license from Sig Sauer.

Sig Sauer, which is based in Eckernförde, northern Germany, is already under significant legal pressure after it was revealed last year that tens of thousands of its handguns, manufactured in Germany, found their way to Colombia via its US subsidiary. Grässlin pressed charges against the firm over the revelations in July 2014, and within days the German government banned the company from exporting any more weapons.

Related Article:

“..  War - Nobody Sees What is Coming

Let's talk about war. Let's discuss something that very few are considering. What you expect next is completely and totally out of perspective of what's actually coming, because you only have one kind of knowledge about war. Your war has advanced over history with bigger explosions, higher yields and weapons that fire faster. Nuclear, laser, sound - all are far more efficient ways to terminate life. That's how war has evolved. However, there hasn't really been anything called anti-war devices, have there?

I'm going to give you an invitation for discovery, and some are already in the postulation stage of this. Multidimensional fields change 3D reality. Period. I've told you that lurking in your future are discoveries that will help you with every aspect of your life, mainly due to the discovery of what makes basic physics do what it does at the atomic level. If you fully understand multidimensionality, you can manipulate the formula for mass and create massless objects. You can even do it with the tools you have right now.

There is physics possible that can create certain kinds of fields - listen to me - certain kinds of heretofore unseen multidimensional fields that are harmless to your biology, but will alter some attributes of 3D. These fields are designer fields, and they are isolated and specifically designed for one purpose. When in the field, conventional explosive reactions can't happen. Can you imagine putting a field within rooms of a building so that no matter what weapon is fired, whether it's a machine gun or a pistol, it simply won't work! What about targeting an airplane when it drops a bomb and it won't explode? This is pure physics. The alteration of 3D reality through multidimensional designer fields, both small and large, is coming. I know you don't believe it, but just wait. As you start to discover multidimensional physics and the ability to control it, you will discover that there is a "benevolent attitude" of this kind of physics. You can't "weaponize it" as easily as you can 3D. It is an entirely different kind of reality.

Again, I tell you that when you understand how mass is created at the atomic level, you'll learn how to create massless objects. By the way, that has another name. You call it anti-gravity, but there is no such thing. It's just the ability to finally control the formula that creates gravity with mass. You understand that this is simple physics, don't you? And it's very easy to manipulate for benevolent uses through other fields that you do know about. Just like you have learned to control certain kinds of physics that are 3D, you can also control multidimensional physics. Imagine a planet where it doesn't matter what war device you had, it wouldn't work anymore! What do you think about that? Imagine physics having the ability to shatter the molecules of a biological weapon. Do you think that would change world politics? It's happening, it's going to happen. It's in the laboratory today. You're broaching the discovery of multidimensional physics. Being able to control that which you don't think is controllable is what you are doing. It's going to make such a difference to the Human race!

You don't believe it, since your knowledge of how things work just doesn't allow for such a thing. This is your filter.  ….”

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Guatemala former VP detained in military barracks on corruption charges

The former vice president of Guatemala has been detained at the Matamoros military barracks in connection with a customs corruption scandal. Prosecutors also want to investigate President Otto Perez.

Deutsche Welle, 22 Aug 2015

Former Guatemalan vice president Roxana Baldetti was in the hospital on Friday when a judge arrived to inform her of the charges against her. She was then transferred to the Matamoros military barracks in Guatemala City.

Prosecutors claim to have enough evidence to presume that Baldetti, who is suspected of illicit association, fraud and graft, took part in a scheme that is believed to have defrauded the government of millions of dollars. Her arrest came a day after her house was searched. Her bank accounts have already been frozen and there are injunctions on eleven properties belonging to Baldetti and her husband.

Baldetti stepped down as vice president in May after the corruption scandal broke. She resigned after one of her top aides, Juan Carlos Monzon, was accused of running the bribery scheme. Monzon is still at large.

Prosecutors and members of the UN commission investigation the fraud later announced they had also found that President Perez Molina was directly involved in a scheme to reduce importers' customs duties in exchange for bribes. Perez was accused of being one of the ringleaders of the bribery scandal.

The arrest and accusation come just two weeks ahead of the September 6 general elections. Perez's term ends in January and he can not run again as Guatemalan presidents are limited to a single four-year term.

Ivan Velasquez of the UN Commission said on the investigation had uncovered evidence of Baldetti and Perez's "very regrettable participation (in the corruption scheme) at every level of the organization."

Line scheme

The UN panel started its investigation in May last year and through 86,000 wire-tapped phone calls uncovered a scheme called "La Linea" (the line), named for the hotline used by businesses to contact the corrupt network of customs officers.

Velasquez said the calls included references to "Number One" and "Number Two," which investigators decided were Perez and Baldetti. He added: "We have evidence that goes beyond the phone calls."

Investigators suspect that in just one week, bribes could have totaled at least $262,000 (230,000 euros).

Both Baldetti and Perez deny the charges.

Perez faces an increasingly vocal protest movement calling for him to resign.

Other corruption investigations have targeted the head of the tax administration, the head of the central bank and the president of the social security administration.

jm/bw (EFE, AFP, AP)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Venezuela declares state of emergency along border with Colombia

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has declared a state of emergency along part of the country's border with Colombia following an attack that wounded three soldiers. The border region is rife with smuggling activity.

Deutsche Welle, 22 Aug 2015

President Maduro used a nationally televised address late on Friday to announce the state of emergency, which is to last for 60 days and apply to several cities in the Venezuelan state of Tachira.

"We've been discovering a frightful reality about how the criminals and paramilitaries operate. I'm under the obligation to free Venezula of all this," Maduro said in the address broadcast on state television.

"This decree provides ample power to civil and military authorities to restore peace," he added.

The move came two days after three Venezuelan soldiers patrolling the largely lawless border region were wounded by gunshots. Regional officials reported that in addition to the three soldiers, a civilian was also wounded in the attack, carried out by two men on motorcycles.

President Maduro also announced that the Simon Bolivar international bridge between the two countries would remain closed until the suspects were apprehended. He also said that if necessary, the current state of emergency could be extended for a further two months.

Opposition criticism

While the president argued that the steps, including the deployment of hundreds of more soldiers to the region, was necessary to restore order, the opposition accused him of seizing the opportunity to try to deflect attention from Venezuela's economic crisis ahead of December's general election.

"The decree of a state of emergency only 109 days before crucial parliamentary elections may be the escape valve used by the government to avoid a defeat that is both imminent and certain," a statement issued by the Democratic Unity Alliance said.

The 2,219-kilometer (1,379 miles) border between the two countries is widely used by drug trafficking gangs and smugglers of cheap goods into Colombia from Venezuela.

The Venezuelan government say the authorities have arrested more than 6,000 people for smuggling over the past year.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

American Airlines to launch charter flights to Cuba from LA

Yahoo – AFP, 18 Aug 2015

American Airlines will begin weekly charter flights between Los Angeles and
Havana, Cuba in December (AFP Photo/Robyn Beck)

Washington (AFP) - American Airlines said Tuesday that it would begin weekly charter flights between Los Angeles and Havana, Cuba in December, as the long freeze between the two countries continues to melt.

American would become the second major US airline to take advantage of loosened restriction on travel between the two longtime enemies, after JetBlue launched direct charter flights between New York and Havana last month.

American has operated charters from Florida to Cuba since 1991 principally serving the large expatriate Cuban community, but the new Los Angeles route recognizes the rapidly expanding market for non-Cuban travelers.

"American is the premier carrier in Los Angeles and throughout the Caribbean, and this new charter flight shows how we continue to expand our reach by offering new routes and services our customers want," said senior vice president Art Torno in a statement.

As with JetBlue, restrictions will still apply to American Airlines' Cuba service: tickets have to be sold through a separate, specially-authorized travel company rather than directly by the carrier; and regularly scheduled service is still prohibited.

American's tickets will be sold through Cuba Travel Services, which has long handled tickets for the carrier's charter flights from Florida.

A five-decade Cold War freeze of relations between the two countries, separated by a bare 90 miles (150 kilometers) of Caribbean waters, began thawing after US President Barack Obama's agreement with Cuban President Raul Castro to restore diplomatic relations last year.

Cuba reopened its embassy in Washington on July 20, and the US embassy reopened in Havana last week.

While travel by Americans to Cuba is still restricted, airlines and cruise ship operators are jockeying for position to what could become a lucrative tourism trade as Cuba opens its economy.

"We stand ready to offer scheduled service as soon as the United States and Cuba allow commercial flights," Torno said.

United Airlines also said earlier this year it wants to begin Houston-Havana and Newark-Havana flights.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Kerry calls for democracy in Cuba as US flag raised

Yahoo – AFP, Nicolas Revise, 14 Aug 2015

US Secretary of State John Kerry (C), stands with other dignitaries as members
 of the US Marines raise the US flag over the newly reopened embassy in Havana,
Cuba on August 14, 2015 (AFP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Havana (AFP) - Secretary of State John Kerry called Friday for "genuine democracy" in Cuba as the American flag was raised over a US embassy in Havana for the first time in 54 years.

Marking a milestone in the United States' historic rapprochement with Cuba, Kerry gave the cue to hoist the Stars and Stripes over the glass-and-concrete building on the Havana waterfront.

Three retired Marines who lowered the flag on January 4, 1961 -- as Washington severed ties with Havana at the height of the Cold War -- were present to hand the new flag to the Marine guard now charged with security at the embassy.

The symbolic moment served as a picture-perfect coda to eight months of quick changes since the December 17 rapprochement announcement by US President Barack Obama and Cuban counterpart Raul Castro, which paved the way for the two countries to reopen their embassies on July 20.

Kerry, the first secretary of state to visit Cuba since 1945, said the shift in US policy did not mean Washington would stop pressing for change on the communist island.

"The leaders in Havana and the Cuban people should also know that the United States will always remain a champion of democratic principles and reforms," he said, in a speech delivered partly in Spanish.

"We remain convinced the people of Cuba would be best served by a genuine democracy where people are free to choose their leaders."

Kerry later shed his jacket and tie to take a stroll around Old Havana, checking out a stand selling Cuban cigars and humidors as he got a tour of the colonial district, surrounded by bodyguards, journalists and curious onlookers.

US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno
 Rodriguez deliver a joint press conference at the National Hotel in Havana, 
on August 14, 2015 (AFP Photo/Adalberto Roque)


Back in the United States, Obama's conservative opponents had harsh words on the thawing of the Cold War conflict.

Republican presidential contender Marco Rubio, a Cuban-American senator from Florida, was among those who slammed the Obama administration for the absence of Cuban dissidents from the flag-raising ceremony.

"All the people in Cuba fighting for democracy -- when they protest, they are rounded up, arrested and beaten. None of them were invited to this event," he told Fox News.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said the country was ready to discuss any issue with the United States, including human rights -- "though we may not always agree," he added, speaking alongside Kerry at a joint press conference.

Since the rapprochement was announced, the two sides have made progress on a number of divisive issues, most notably the removal of Cuba from Washington's list of "state sponsors of terrorism."

But Rodriguez warned that Cuba still has tough demands of its own as the two sides continue talks.

They include the full lifting of the "blockade" -- or economic embargo -- that the US has maintained on Cuba since 1962 and the return of the "usurped" Cuban territory of the American navy base at Guantanamo Bay, he said.

US Secretary of State John Kerry stops at a local vendor during his visit to
 the Plaza de San Francisco in Old Havana, Cuba, on August 14, 2015 (AFP
Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Wary dissidents

Kerry was due to meet privately later with Cuban dissidents, who long counted Washington as their main ally and have voiced concern the new thaw will leave them out in the cold.

Berta Soler, the leader of the Ladies in White -- one of the most high-profile dissident groups -- said she had no plans to attend the event.

"It's a low-profile reception with speeches and that kind of thing. We can't waste our time on that," Soler told AFP.

Kerry will not meet with either Castro or his elder brother Fidel, the icon who led Cuba from its 1959 revolution until his retirement in 2006.

Underlining the sticking points still complicating relations, Fidel Castro said in an essay published in Cuban state media Thursday -- his 89th birthday -- that the United States owes Cuba "many millions of dollars" because of the trade embargo.

Cuba says the embargo has cost it $116 billion.

The United States for its part says Cuba owes $7 billion to American citizens and companies whose property was seized after Castro came to power.

Kerry reiterated that the Obama administration "strongly favors" lifting the embargo.

But Obama faces an uphill battle as he needs approval from Congress, where both houses are currently controlled by his Republican opponents -- many of them deeply hostile to Havana.

US Secretary of State John Kerry (R) and Cuba's Foreign Minister Bruno
Rodriguez shake hands during a press conference at the State Department on
July 20, 2015 in Washington, DC (AFP Photo/Mandel Ngan)

Related Articles:

Emirates airline to launch 'world's longest' non-stop flight

Dubai-based Emirates airline says it will launch the world's longest non-stop flight next year, connecting the Gulf nation with Central America. Dubai-Panama City passengers will be in their seats for over 17 hours.

Deutsche Welle, 14 Aug 2015

Slated to debut in February 2016, the 13,821-kilometer (8,590-mile) stretch between Dubai and Panama City will take approximately 17 hours, 35 minutes - using a Boeing 777-200LR to carry up to 266 passengers and 15 tons of cargo.

"Panama City will be our first destination gateway in Central America, providing a convenient option for our passengers travelling from or through our global hub in Dubai and onward to destinations throughout Central America, the Caribbean and the northern part of South America," the airline's chief executive Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum told the dpa news agency.

Panama to United Arab Emirates

Australia's Qantas currently operates the world's longest flight, from Dallas, Texas to Sydney, Australia, which takes just under 17 hours. The new flight between Dubai and Panama City is longer by just 17 kilometers.

Singapore Airlines had previously operated an even longer flight - nearly 19 hours - that connected Singapore to Newark, New Jersey, but scrapped it two years ago to cut costs.

Emirates is backed by the government of Dubai and has expanded rapidly by routing international transit passengers and cargo through its hub in the Persian Gulf.

jar/jr (dpa, AFP, AP)

Denied abortion, 11-year-old Paraguay rape victim gives birth

Yahoo – AFP,  Hugo Olazar, 13 Aug 2015

The entrance of the Red Cross Hospital where a young girl who was raped and 
became pregnant stayed, in Asuncion on May 8, 2015 (AFP Photo/Norberto Duarte)

Asuncion (AFP) - An 11-year-old Paraguayan girl who was raped by her mother's boyfriend gave birth Thursday, rekindling the uproar over authorities' refusal to let her have an abortion.

The child, who was 10 when she was raped, gave birth by C-section to a girl that weighed 3.5 kilos (eight pounds), said Dolores Castellanos, the doctor that monitored the pregnancy.

The girl has named the baby Milagros, which is Spanish for miracles.

The pregnancy came to light when the girl went to the doctor with stomach pains in April. Doctors initially believed she had parasites, but discovered on examining her that she was five months pregnant.

The authorities' handling of the case sparked outrage in this predominantly Catholic country, where abortion is illegal except when the mother's life is deemed to be at risk.

Officials ruled the pregnancy could proceed.

The girl, who turned 11 in May, was 37 weeks pregnant when she gave birth.

She stands just 1.39 meters (four feet six inches) tall and weighed just 34 kilos before her pregnancy.

She will remain under observation for 72 hours, said Castellanos, head of child and adolescent medicine at the Asuncion hospital where the baby was born.

Mario Villalba, director of the Red Cross hospital, said the delivery "was like any other Cesarean, without complications, the difference being the age."

Asked if the child will be able to nurse the baby, Villalba said, "we'll see how she does as a mother."

The baby's father, Gilberto Martinez Zarate, age 42, was taken into custody in May and is awaiting trial on rape charges. He could get between 12 and 15 years if convicted.

The girl's mother was also arrested for neglect but allowed to visit her daughter during the pregnancy.

The lead prosecutor on the case, Monalisa Munoz, said the girl was systematically abused by her mother's boyfriend.

"She was always at his mercy because the mother worked. The rapist even went to the girl's parent-teacher conferences," she told AFP.

'Extremely risky'

The case reverberated far outside Paraguay, with UN experts criticizing the Paraguayan government for refusing to consider an abortion.

Amnesty International called on Paraguay's government to repeal its strict anti-abortion law, saying the girl was lucky to be alive.

Erika Guevara, the rights group's director for the Americas, said the fact that the child survived "does not excuse the human rights violations she suffered at the hands of the Paraguayan authorities."

Officials in the South American country "decided to gamble with her health, life and integrity despite overwhelming evidence that this pregnancy was extremely risky and despite the fact that she was a rape victim and a child," she said.

Castellanos, the attending physician, insisted the girl's life was never at risk.

UNICEF has accused Paraguay of failing to protect girls from sexual predators.

Every day, two girls aged between 10 and 14 give birth here, it says.

At the hospital where the 11-year-old girl gave birth Thursday, three other girls, all aged 12, are due to give birth in the coming weeks.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Massive mural transforms poor Mexico neighborhood

Yahoo – AFP, Sylvain Estibal, August 8, 2015

Artist nicknamed "Trejo" paints a mural honoring the wisdom of the elders in the
 Palmitas neighborhood of Pachuca, Mexico, as part of a giant mural across the
shantytown's houses (AFP Photo/Omar Torres)

Pachuca (Mexico) (AFP) - Palmitas, a hardscrabble neighborhood in the Mexican city of Pachuca, used to have a reputation as a battleground where gangs fought deadly turf wars.

But recently the bloodshed on the hillside slum's narrow streets has fallen dramatically and it has gained a far more welcome kind of attention.

General view of the giant mural in Palmitas,
Pachuca, which contains still more 
mini-murals that interact playfully with
 the overall design (AFP Photo/Omar
A Mexican artists' collective called German Crew has painted a giant mural across the shantytown's houses, working with residents to transform their crumbling walls into a vibrant artwork.

Viewed at a distance, the entire neighborhood now forms a bright, rainbow-colored wave that has brought new pride for residents and opened new horizons for local youths.

Viewed up close, the giant mural contains still more mini-murals that interact playfully with the overall design.

The artists repainted some 20,000 square meters (215,000 square feet) of gray walls across more than 200 houses to create what the city government bills as the largest mural in Mexico.

The project was launched in 2012 with the goal of using art to repair the neighborhood's tattered social fabric and reduce crime.

Funded by the Mexican government, it cost $310,000 and employed 20 local painters.

"We had to convince residents to let us repaint their houses," said Ana Estefania Garcia, the head of city planning for Pachuca, a two-hour drive northeast of Mexico City.

"First the neighborhood was repainted in white, as if to say, 'We're starting from scratch.' That was a shock for them."

The city meanwhile cleaned the neighborhood's streets, removed the rusted-out remains of junked cars and installed new streetlights and eight security cameras.

Partial view of the giant mural in Palmitas, Pachuca, which contains still 
\more mini-murals that interact playfully with the overall design (AFP
Photo/Omar Torres)

The sprawling artwork was then painted across this new facade, relaunching the tradition of the Mexican mural, brought to world fame by artists such as Diego Rivera (1886-1957).

New beginnings

City officials credit the project with a dramatic drop in crime.

"Crime has gone down by 35 percent since the project was launched in 2012," said Garcia.

"Members of rival gangs worked together on the project. They got to know each other."

The gangs still exist, but today they "eat, paint and get along," she said.

"They're not best friends, but they know they can work together to take care of their community."

That view is echoed by Roberto Robles, a 36-year-old graffiti artist and member of German Crew.

City officials in Pachuca say a project to
 paint the walls of houses with a mural 
has reduced crime by 35 percent since its
launch in 2012 (AFP Photo/Omar Torres)
"Art makes a big difference. Colors change people's mood. Gray immerses them in monotony," he said.

"One boy told me that since we painted his house, he feels like going to school more because he's happier."

Some are skeptical, however, including the lone resident to resist the mural project.

"The cameras are the main thing that reduced the violence. A thug stays a thug, no matter what color the walls are," said Adante Lopez, who initially refused to have his house repainted before finally giving in.

But the mural has not been touched by graffiti or vandalism since its completion.

German Crew is now working on more detailed individual paintings on the walls telling the story of the neighborhood and its residents.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Whale gets close-up of Buenos Aires, delighting onlookers

Yahoo – AFP, 4 Aug 2015

A stranded whale pictured at Puerto Madero harbour in Buenos Aires on
August 3, 2015 (AFP Photo/Juan Mabromata)

Buenos Aires (AFP) - A disoriented whale stunned onlookers and delighted tourists at Buenos Aires' bustling waterfront Monday, swimming alongside boats and periodically surfacing to the perplexed crowds.

The small whale, whose species was not immediately confirmed, turned up well off its healthy course -- near the docks in glitzy Puerto Madero, the capital's upscale neighborhood.

Appearing somewhat distressed, the whale bobbed around a group of yachts docked at the popular residential and nightlife haunt.

A stranded right whale is pictured at 
Puerto Madero harbour in Buenos Aires on
 August 3, 2015 (AFP Photo/Juan
Marine mammal researcher Enrique Crespo said the whale may have lost its way while migrating.

If it is a young adult, it could survive, but if it is a baby separated from its mother the prognosis is grimmer, he said.

Whale Conservation Institute chief Diego Taboada stressed "it is totally outside its habitat, and it has to be put back on course."

"It has serious problems with its vital signs," he warned, noting that contact with fresh water would likely contribute to infection.

Navy officials were trying to help the animal get out of the fresh water and back to salt water.

Southern right whales migrate toward cold waters of the Mar Argentino area every year, about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) south of Buenos Aires.

Spotting them is a big tourist attraction between May and December but they are not often spied in fresh water.

Buenos Aires lies where the fresh water of the Rio de la Plata empties into the South Atlantic Ocean.