The cries for justice and accountability echoed loudly in the city of Rosario on the evening of 8th September 2016. Rosario Sangra – ‘Rosario is Bleeding’ – was the cry. This kind of violence is all too routine for the citizens of Argentina’s third largest city, home to around 1.3m people including the greater Rosario area. In recent years the violence plaguing the city has received its fair share of national, and even international media coverage. The streets of Rosario, left once again to the patrol of the provincial police, slowly but surely began to succumb to high levels of violence.
Tuesday, October 11, 2016 CGT escalates ‘strike’ threatUnion and gov’t meet tomorrow to discuss end-of-year bonus, income taxes and other demandsWith the government’s 10-day grace period set to expire tomorrow, the CGT umbrella union warned yesterday that it will mobilize and organize an imminent general strike if it doesn’t receive an adequate response to the demands of its members. If Macri’s Cabinet doesn’t give the union any satisfactory proposals to their demands, the CGT promised to put their words to action and go on strike. “If the response from the government isn’t satisfactory, there will be a strike,” announced Carlos Acuña, who is part of the triumvirate leading the union. CGT finance secretary Abel Frutos also confirmed that a strike would be called, and that they only needed to fix a date. Dissent withinAlthough the CGT leadership almost confirmed yesterday that they would strike, other union leaders have upped the pressure on the triumvirate to take more assertive action or they would leave.
Monday, October 10, 2016 Legendary Polish director Andrzej Wajda diesAndrzej Wajda speaks at the opening of a retrospective of his movies held on the occasion of his birthday in Warsaw, in March, 2016. Wajda had recently been hospitalized and died last night, his colleague, film director Jacek Bromski, told the Associated Press. “In 1945 it experienced an influx of Paris-educated professors, who painted beautifully in the French postimpressionist manner,” Wajda once said. They initiated a new current called the “Polish Film School,” which tells the stories of folk heroes from both during and after the war and challenges the national tradition of martyrdom and romantic heroism in art. In 2011, continuing the mission of the school, Wajda and Marczewski founded a film production studio — The Wajda Studio, which focuses on auteur film projects.
Former Colombian leader calls for detention of rebels, limit to politics Monday, October 10, 2016 Uribe names terms for new FARC peace dealFormer president of Colombia Álvaro Uribe (left) greets President Juan Manuel Santos at Nariño Palace in Bogotá, on Thursday. In a statement posted on Twitter, Uribe, now a senator, stressed the importance that drug-trafficking offences are not regarded as being part of rebellion activities. He promised the residents of Bojayá that he won’t give up on securing peace despite voters’ rejection of the deal. More than 96 percent of residents of Bojayá voted for the peace deal. “The victims have taught me that the capacity to forgive can overcome hatred and rancour.”Of the 81 municipalities nationwide hardest-hit by the internal conflict, 67 voted for the peace deal, according to the Bogotá-based Peace and Reconciliation Foundation.
Monday, October 10, 2016 Clinton, Trump sling mud in ugly debateUS Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton take the stage without shaking hands at their presidential town hall debate at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri, last night. Trump unexpectedly appeared live at a press conference hours before the debate with women who have accused the former president of rape and unwanted advances. The four women were seated with the Trump family in the front row of the audience of the debate hall. The tension between Trump and Clinton was palpable from the start of their 90-minute debate, the second time they have faced off in the presidential campaign. About Sanders, who eventually endorsed Clinton, Trump says, “I was so surprised to see him sign on with the devil.”Trump went on to repeat debunked claims that Clinton started rumours that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States.
But I think the media are going after ratings before going after the news. Macri referred to the “Dirty war” to describe the years of the dictatorship and Esteban Bullrich talks about “a new Conquest of the Desert”? I think that Macri wasn’t thinking about state terrorism in the 1980s or in the 1990s. Macri isn’t a youth, he is 15 years older than Obama when he took office for the first time. Macri is going to turn 60 while he is the president of Argentina.
Following investigation into late la plata judge suspected of graft Saturday, October 8, 2016 Court rules no statute of limitations for corruption casesA court in La Plata, Buenos Aires province took a step towards a possible radical change to Argentina’s laws surrounding graft after approving a request filed by Civic Coalition (CC) lawmaker and government ally Elisa Carrió to remove corruption charges under the current Criminal Code from the statute of limitations. Carrió previously demanded that statute limitations be removed for the criminal investigation into Miralles, who died in 2013 while the case was ongoing, as part of a broader effort to make corruption investigations open-ended and any subsequent prosecutions not restricted by time. PrecedentThe ruling was based on an interpretation of Article 36 of the national Constitution, which says that “corruption offenses punishable under Title XI of the Criminal Code” are not subject to the statute of limitations. Carrió has regularly campaigned for a tougher legal stance to fight corruption and argued with former political allies in 2014 that corruption should not be subjected to the statute of limitations, in the same way that a Supreme Court decision previously ruled that crimes against humanity cases should be exempted from such regulation. The “breakthrough” heralded by the CC leader reportedly made history as it is the first time a court had ruled in favour of removing the statute of limitations in a corruption case.
Friday, October 7, 2016 No Dilma among charges but plenty of accusersBRASILIA — Brazil’s Supreme Court (STF) has accepted a prosecutors request to investigate a swathe of figures from the country’s political elite, nearly doubling the amount of people who were already under investigation. Also implicated are the head of the Lula Institute, Paulo Okamotto, and former personal adviser to Rousseff, Giles de Azevedo. PMDB leadersTop figures from Temer’s PMDB join their collegues under the graft spotlight. Among them Senate President Renan Calheiros, and Senator Romero Jucá, who is the PMDB’s president. From the PP, which supports Temer, former minister Aguinaldo Silva and PP President Ciro Nogueira are being investigated, among others.
Friday, October 7, 2016 UN, airlines agree to cap greenhouse gasesWASHINGTON — The United Nations’ aviation arm overwhelmingly ratified an agreement yesterday to control global warming emissions from international airline flights, the first climate-change pact to set worldwide limits on a single industry. Full compliance with the 15-year agreement would the reduce carbon that would otherwise be emitted by 2.5 billion tons, according to an Environmental Defense Fund calculation. Governments must present national plans to reduce emissions to limit global temperature rise less than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). “This deal was the world’s first opportunity to test whether the new Paris Agreement would change the way we do business and rally the world toward its new goals. Aviation accounts for less than two percent of the world’s carbon emissions.
Key for whitewash programme Friday, October 7, 2016 Tax info exchange with US moves forwardThe negotiation between Argentina and the US to facilitate tax-related information exchanges between both countries began yesterday, with representatives for the AFIP tax bureau and the Finance Ministry travelling to meet authorities in the world’s number one economic powerhouse. The news came a week after United States Treasury Secretary Jack Lew offered Washington’s additional support to President Mauricio Macri’s whitewash tax amnesty plan, announcing a fresh effort and new steps to improve the exchange of tax information between the nations during a brief stopover in Argentina. In May, the government declared its proposals to bring part of the billions worth of undeclared assets that Argentines hold abroad through a sweeping tax amnesty programme that officially opened in August. By the end of March next year, further declared assets will be taxed at a maximum 15 percent rate. The amnesty window is set to close on April 30, 2017.
Friday, October 7, 2016 Policing the police IIIn his successful electoral campaign last year, President Mauricio Macri identified three top priorities — “zero poverty,” the fight against drug-trafficking and national reconciliation. The government remedy continues to be parading numbers but it is quality which needs attention, not size — policy-making is also woefully inconsistent. The new City force only underlines these flaws — paid over twice as much with superior educational requirements and a focus on detective work instead of going on the beat. Elsewhere Buenos Aires province Security Minister Cristian Ritondo praises his hard-line predecessor Alejandro Granados one day and echoes Governor María Eugenia Vidal’s reform intentions the next — in contrast, national Security Minister Patricia Bullrich is not so much inconsistent as permanently disconnected. No more space to list problems but evidently Macri needs to sort out his police ahead of any crime-fighting plans.
Yesterday, Prosecutor Germán Moldes appealed the decision by a separate Appeals court to not re-open the case. Bonadio has also summoned former Foreign ministers and diplomatic officials for testimony and has rejected requests from Timerman’s lawyers to close the case. Bonadio has accepted that Luis Czyzewski and Mario Averbuch, fathers to two of the AMIA victims, be considered as plaintiffs in the case. The complaint carried out by Prosecutor Nisman was dismissed ab initio, without any evidence measures being considered. Defence lawyers for Timerman had argued that no two judges should both rule on the same set of events, recalling language in the appeals court ruling that confirmed Rafecas’ decision not to open the Nisman complaint.
Friday, October 7, 2016 Soy oil sales to China plunge 97%Beijing halts nearly all purchases from Argentina, as domestical processing of crop risesChina has halted its soy oil purchases from Argentina, raising concerns over the future of one of the country’s main exports, soy-based products. According to sources in the sector, exports of soy oil to Beijing have plunged in 2016 so far, though other sales of other soybean products continue. Argentina, on the other hand, saw its soy oil exports plunge from 525 million tons in 2015, when it was the main provider of soy oil to China with 65 percent of the market. Egypt, Peru, Bangladesh, Algeria and Iran have also been buyers of local soy oil this year. Demand for soybean per se would not necessarilly be affected by decisions on soy oil.
This column mentioned before that the Argentine Football Association (AFA) hung onto this money for a time, possibly earning interest on it from banks, and then paid clubs with post-dated cheques which the clubs, needing cash urgently, had to cash at certain places which then a percentage off the top. AFA, then under the control of now deceased president Julio Grondona, lent a lot of money to clubs. Of 170 clubs directly affiliated to AFA only 30 clubs are debt-free. This will mean that clubs will receive even less money, but the old saying that, “A rich AFA and poor clubs,” is no longer true. All lower division clubs have joined them, but then some C Division clubs decided to play.
Investigator points to suicide but neighbours suspect murder Thursday, October 6, 2016 Priest found dead after clashing with local drug traffickersJuan Heraldo Viroche, a priest who led rallies against the advance of drug trafficking in the province of Tucumán, was found hanged yesterday in his home at a small church in La Florida, a village located 70 kilometres away from the provincial capital. Judicial sources disclosed opposite versions regarding hypothesis for the cause of Viroche’s death. But many neighbours disagree, saying that the priest had received threats over the last few days and that murder was likely. The Argentine Episcopal Conference (CEA) also issued a press release expressing “sorrow and dismay” about Viroche’s death, and demanding an investigation. Local press reported that the priest’s neighbors believed that he could have been killed due to his complaints against drug trafficking and insecurity in the village.