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Bulletin 1 february 2010


 Mexico: Mass murder in Ciudad Juárez

altA group of armed men killed 13 people in Ciudad Juárez, most of them teenagers, when they were celebrating a sporting event in a house shared by students.

Around 20 gunmen arrived in seven cars and took the men to the patio of the house where they were executed. Two adults and 11 youngsters were killed and at least 17 were wounded, some of them seriously. The youngest was 14 years old.

This was one of the most violent episodes ever in Ciudad Juárez, where more than 2,000 people met a violent death in 2009, despite the fact that soldiers and policemen patrol this city, which is located on the border with the US.

La Jornada (Mexico, Spanish)

El Pais (Spanish)

Haiti: Charity may have tried to save “orphans” whose parents are alive

altA charity based in the US state of Idaho may have tried to help Haitian youngsters whose parents are still alive.

A group of ten US citizens, who work for an organisation called New Life Children’s Refuge, were arrested, when they tried to take more than 30 children to the US. According to another organisation, SOS Children’s Villages, at least one of the children denied that his parents were dead.

When they were arrested on a bus going to the Dominican Republic, the memebrs of New Life Children’s Refuge denied that they tried to smuggle the children out of the country. They appeared before before a magistrate in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince.

Haitian Social Affairs Minister, Yves Christallin, accused the detained charity workers of “abduction” but they deny the charges and say that their only mistake was to misunderstand Haitian red tape.

BBC News

Peru: Thousands lose their homes because of rain and landslides

altThe tourists who were trapped near the famous ruins of Machu Picchu may be safe and on their way home after a massive rescue operation, but those who live in and around Cuzco will suffer the consequences of the heavy rains for months to come.

At least 7,800 people have lost their home as a result of the landslides caused by the rain. Water supplies have collapsed, 13 bridges have been destroyed and 4,590 hectares of crops have been lost.

Machu Picchu itself has not suffered as a result of the bad weather, but the government believes that tourists may stay away from the area for fear of being trapped on the slopes of the Inca citadel.

El Comercio (Peru, Spanish)

Argentina: Author of Santa Evita dies

altArgentinean award-wining journalist and writer Tomás Eloy Martínez (pictured), the author of the novel Santa Evita, has died at the age of 75 after a long fight against cancer.

Martínez wrote several novels and worked as a journalist, but he will be best remembered for his novel about the wife of General Juan Domingo Perón, a book that mixes historical events with fiction, and the most translated novel in the history of Argentinean literature.

In 1975, he went into exile when the so-called triple A, a neo-fascist organisation, threatened to kill him. He lived in Venezuela and the US, where he taught Latin American studies.

La Nación (Argentina, Spanish)


Argentina: inflation, the danger for 2010

altEconomic analysts in Argentina seem to agree in one thing: that inflation in 2010 will be higher that official forecasts.

They believe that inflation may reach 18%, overtaking government estimates of 6%. The factors feeding inflation, they say, include the low supply of some goods and a high fiscal deficit that may force the government to increase the price of public services.

Last December, Martín Redrado, the former governor of the Central Bank who resigned due to disagreements with the government about the use of monetary reserves to pay Argentina’s public debt, warned that economic growth could spark off inflation..

However, the Central Bank insists that its forecast is correct, pointing to stable foodstuff prices in recent months.

iEco, Clarín (Argentina, Spanish)


Brazil: Minister warns that food security will affect the environment

altAt least one billion people in the world live in subhuman conditions, and they need to be fed; and this will have serious consequences for the environment.

This warning comes from the Brazilian Social Development Minister, Patrus Ananias, who is attending the World Social Forum in the city of Salvador, in the state of Bahia.

Ananias said that it is urgent to reconcile the social needs of those who require food with the protection of the environment. The meeting, part of the World Social Forum, an alternative to the World Economic Forum in Davis, heard the minister talk about the need to create economic solidarity and a reduction of consumption as part of the solution to the problem.

Ananias, who addressed the Forum on behalf of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who is recovering from high blood pressure, said that it is necessary “to produce locally, to strengthen food sovereignty and to relocalise’ the economy”.

Inter Press Service

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