Tuesday, January 20, 2009

El Gaviero

Heads up, folks! Things are changing around here. This blog is KAPUT! I've got a new one over at gaverio.net. I'll probably have at least one more post on this blog, but set your browser over to the new (hopefully improved) blog that's following Bolivian politics and nuttiness. One more time: El Gaviero. See you there!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Inca Kola News

I've linked to Otto many times, particularly because he's an astute analyst of South American politics. And he's a smarty-pants, indeed. Not only does he stay on top of the latest political news, but he's an avid market man (specializing in minerals, natch).
I'd like to ask all my readers to click on over to Otto's Inca Kola News and give it a read. Then, if you are so inclined, head on over to the 2008 Weblog Awards and vote for him. It's easy, it's free, and it means a lot to a blogger to get some recognition (not to mention possible revenue). Even better: bookmark him and read him. He knows what's going on.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Ann Rynd Shrugged

From Forbes:

A construction official billed the government for supplies that were never delivered for the cleanup of a toxic ground zero skyscraper in exchange for cash, clothes and trips to the Caribbean, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Robert Chiarappa, 45, of Brooklyn, was charged with grand larceny in the theft of $1.2 million in fake invoices for work on the former Deutsche Bank tower across the street from the World Trade Center site.

Chiarappa was the purchasing agent for the John Galt Corp., a contractor fired from the job and later indicted on manslaughter charges for a 2007 fire that killed two firefighters at the toxic skyscraper. The criminal investigation of the fire uncovered evidence of the theft, according to the Manhattan district attorney's office.

Cambas Attack

Santa Cruz does itself proud: Watch white people attack indigenous folk because . . . well, their skin is brown, same color as the president's. Inka Kola News has the video. And while you're there, vote for Otto in the 2008 Weblog Awards.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Branko Arrested?

Has Branko Marinkovic been arrested in Santa Cruz and spirited away to La Paz? La Razón reported just that last week. But commenter Franco at the Blog From Bolivia questions that report, as Marinkovic still appears to be speaking to reporters from his native Santa Cruz. And the picture from La Razón just doesn't look right. Anybody know what's going on?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

Life's been exciting in the U.S.A. for the past few weeks. I spent a great Christmas in Seattle and Minneapolis, ate well and drank good wine. Maybe a little too much, because I spent a couple of days in the klink, getting out in enough time to catch a flight back to New York City and celebrate at midnight on the subway platform at J.F.K. airport. I'll be explaining all later, for what is likely to be my last post on this blog. Fear not, though: I'm currently designing a new blog that'll detail my return to Bolivia later this month. Check back and I'll let you all know when it is up.

What's my New Year's resolution this year? I'm going to stop lipping off to cops!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Unasur Report Questioned

From La Razón comes word that Colombia, Peru, Uruguay, and Paraguay have registered objections to Unasur investigator Radolfo Matarollo's report on the Sept. 11 massacre in Pando, Bolivia, in which at least 16 people died, according to Brazilian newspaper O Estado de São Paulo:
The report "was considered hasty and partial by Peru, Colombia, Uruguay and Paraguay," the newspaper said, adding that sources in Brazil "admitted that there was an incident in which 16 people died, but described the action of the UNASUR commission as rubber-stamped and partial."
Besides these flaws, there are three omissions: "The first two victims of the 'slaughter' were opposition activists. The second was that the Minister of the Presidency ... was in Porvenir before the confrontation to mobilize pro-government demonstrators ... Another omission was that many rural supporters of Evo were armed at the time of shock."

I do not see how any of these three "omissions" (if they are in fact omitted from the final report--which we have not seen yet) change the fact that Morales' supporters were gunned down. There are people from the opposition that insist that Presidential Minister Juan Ramon Quintana had a hand in the attacks, claims which I find absurd. That opposition people were also killed--if true--is immaterial to the case (if they were, though, justice demands accountability from their assailants). Which leaves the claim that Morales' supporters were armed before the attack. I bet they were--with stones, clubs, and machetes, which any peasant in Bolivia usually carries when there might be a confrontation with the opposition, which is known for being extremely violent.