Venezuela Blacklisted?!

As multiple Latin American countries continue to deal with the growing stigma of operating under a corrupt government, The U.S Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, just added Venezuela to the list of “blacklisted” countries for “disregarding the will of its people. Going even further to state that the US “would not stand by while the administration of President Nicolas Maduro destroyed democratic order,” as President Maduro’s chief of staff and two ministers have been targeted under such “allegations” of corruption, the US have already imposed another 10 sanctions on Venezuelan officials as it accuses it of undermining democracy, corruption and censoring the press. Bringing a total number of Venezuelans sanctioned to 40 by the US, the Trump Administration isn’t taking such assumptions of corruption lightly. Seeing the U.S Treasury department act so quickly in after only receiving information that the assembly had sworn in the winners of the October regional election after the supposed vote being “marked by numerous irregularities that strongly suggest fraud” is what in actuality, helped Mr. Maduro’s ruling win the majority party of governorships. But with the U.S acting so quickly, when no “hard” facts have been proving to be true, may actually hurt the relationship between the U.S and Venezuela, when numerous Latin American countries are already starting to hold grudges against America. With America acting so quickly to disregard the Latin American country, could actually be hurting itself in the long run, as pressures will continue to grow, with the US discussing a possibly oil ban, which would strongly penalize the oil-rich Venezuela, but as local analysts have stated, this could hurt American refineries and worsen conditions for Venezuelan citizens. Thus if America is truly trying to stick up for the Venezuelan citizens, its actions need to be more thought out.  These sanctions however, are unlikely to deter President Maduro and his administration from continue their day-to-day government operations, mocking earlier sanctions imposed on his government and administration in previous months.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-41936661

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Argentina Abandons Rescue Mission for Crew of Missing Submarine

“Despite the magnitude of our search it has not been possible to find the submarine,” states navy spokesman Enrique Balbi. A navy submarine went missing on November 15 and the government stated that they would not be continuing the search on December to the pointlessness of it because, at that point, there would be no survivors. There were 44 crew members on board. On November 15, the crew reported that there were 7 days of air worth in the submarine and that water had come in from its snorkel. The water that entered the submarine caused it to shortcircuit. Some families of the crew that went missing are resisting the government statements and continue holding out hope and even going so far as to create prayer groups.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/01/argentina-abandons-rescue-mission-for-crew-of-missing-submarine.html

It Takes More Than Two to Tango in Argentina

On Saturday, December 2, a massive amount of Argentines took to the streets to participate in a mass tango dance to celebrate the dance in “milonga.” Milonga is the more commonly used name for the Great National Milonga, which is an annual event. December 2 is National Tango Day in Argentina. Argentines celebrate this famous dance, even memorializing it with a national holiday because the dance originated in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, in the early 19th century by the working class. The Argentines are celebrating their culture and their history through their celebration of this holiday each year.

https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20171203/arts-entertainment/it-takes-more-than-two-to-tango-in-argentina.664806

How Latin America Is Responding to Venezuelan Refugees

Latin America’s solidarity and protection of migrants and refugees have been put to the test after Venezuela’s fast growing socio-political and humanitarian crisis.

Venezuela border

Since 2014, Venezuela has had an economic crisis and been in political unrest causing Venezuelans to see no end to food and medicine shortages, opposition protests, and government crackdowns throughout the country. Over 100,000 Venezuelans have claimed asylum since 2014, according to the U.N refugee agency, as well as 190,000 who have found alternative means. Peru and Brazil have made large efforts to help those fleeing from the country, however the policies have been poorly communicated to the Venezuelan refugees.

 “Latin America’s warm welcome doesn’t ring true if people fleeing Venezuela can’t realize their right to asylum and a dignified life.”

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Miss Universe Hopefuls in Peru Cite Violence Against Women Stats Instead of Body Measurements

During this year’s Miss Universe qualifying round in Peru, more than 20 women hoping to be Peru’s representative for Miss Universe in Las Vegas recited statistics about trafficking, victimization and harassment of women in the country of Peru.

Traditionally, the contestants are required to give their physical measurements during the pageant, however, this year the contestants decided to bring awareness to a problem that lies not only in their home country but across the world as well.

“My name is Camila Canicoba and I represent the department of Lima. My measurements are: 2,202 cases of femicide reported in the last nine years in my country.”

The organizers of the pageant flashed newspaper clippings of coinciding stories about violence against women during the swimwear portion of the competition.

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Ancient Peruvian Mural at Ventarrón Destroyed in Fire

13 November 2017

A fire at the Ventarrón archaeological complex in northern Peru destroyed a a mural dating back to 2000BC. The fire is said to have been caused by farm workers at a nearby burning sugar cane field. The mural is one of the oldest documented in the Americas and it suffered smoke damage.

The mural shows a deer caught in a net and was discovered in 2007. The mural adorns the wall of a temple in the Lambayeque region of Peru. Reports say that 95% of the archaeological complex was damaged in the fire which spread rapidly across the site.

Local residents attempted to extinguish the firs but could not save the artifacts, some of which were damaged by melting plastic. Archaeologists believe that the temple complex predated that of pre-colombian cultures who lived on the northern coast lands of Peru from the first to the seventh century.

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Peru Prosecutors Probe Ex-President Toledo in New Bribe Case

Peru’s attorney general’s office is investigating former President Alejandro Toledo for allegedly taking millions of dollars in bribes from the Brazilian company Camargo Correa for a highway construction contract.

Toledo was President from 2001 to 2006 and is already wanted in Peru for taking $20 million in bribes from another Brazilian construction company. Investigators have detected a payment of at least $3.9 million that Camargo Correa gave to Toledo through an offshore account with the money ending up with a former friend of the President. Peru is seeking extradition of ex-President Toledo from the United States.

Authorities throughout Latin America have taken quick action in order to charge accused officials of taking some $800 million from a Brazilian company named Odebrcht. The company acknowledged said bribes in a plea agreement with the US Justice Department. It spread throughout 12 countries with $29 million paid in Peru for projects built during the Toledo administration. Three officials have been arrested so far.

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Honduras Still Waiting on Votes to be Counted

Currently, supporters from both sides of the election have strong hopes that their candidate will win the presidency. After Mondays release of partial votes, it was revealed that Salvador Nasralla has a five-point lead over the Incumbent, current President Juan Orlando Hernández. However, there are strong opinions that once all the votes have come in Hernández will take the lead. The final votes should come in Thursday, and the next president of Honduras will be announced.

Here are a few facts about both candidates:

Salvador Nasralla is a 64-year-old former TV presenter and sports journalist, he opposes dictatorships and is head of the Opposition Alliance Against the Dictatorship. He previously ran in 2013 but lost against the current president.

Juan Orlando Hernández is the current President of Honduras and is 49-years-old. He is head of the right-wing alliance and comes from a family of politicians. Previously, there was a ban in Honduras on re-election that was recently lifted by the Supreme Court making Hernández the first person to run for reelection.

The votes are not said to be fully counted until mid-day Thursday. While many are critical of this delay which apparently has not previously happened, it is being done to make sure that votes even from the most remote areas are being counted and those voices are being heard.

2,000 Year Old Killer Whale Geo-glyph Found in Peru Desert

Archaeologists have re-discovered a giant geo-glyph on a desert hillside in Palpa region of Southern Peru after it had been lost for over 50 years. It is a 230 foot long glyph of an Orca which is considered a powerful, semi-mythical creature ancient Peruvian lore which may be well over 2000 years old. It is believed that it may be one of the oldest glyphs within the region and older than those of the Nazca region, which is famous for its extensive collection of ancient ground markings.

The photograph was in a catalog from the 1970s however the caption did not include a well described location. As a result, the location of the glyph was unknown by the archaeological community as well as locals within the area.

It was re-discovered in 2015 by an archaeologist who went looking for it after seeing it in the catalog. After documenting the re-discovery, a team of six specialists went to restore the Orca Glyph. Before restoration, the glyph was beginning to disaper due to erosion.

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Peru to Withdraw Its ‘Gender Ideology’ School Curriculum

The Peruvian government will be withdrawing a national school curriculum that has been highly criticized for its “gender ideology”.

In November, Peru’s department of education announced that it will be re implementing a 2009 version of the national curriculum but it will not include gender ideology concepts addressed in a 2016 version. This announcement sparked a celebration by parents that started a hashtag called “#ConMisHijosNoTeMetas” (Don’t Mess With My Children). The group organized marches in Peru to demonstrate against a progressive gender ideology.

The 2017 National curriculum was approved by the department of education regardless of the protest from parents, teachers, the Catholic Church and several christian groups within the country.

The Peruvian bishops’ conference had criticized the Department of Education for including in the new curriculum “concepts which do not proceed from the Constitution, but rather are taken from so-called gender ideology.”

In august, Peru’s supreme court justices ruled in favor of a lawsuit filed against the department of education. It argument was that the curriculum was an attempt to indoctrinate schoolchildren.

The fight for family goes on.

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Ruins at Risk

Archaeologists and officials are banding together in order to save Peru’s 46,000 pre-colonial sites from the threat of urban development. Lima, Peru is home to 400 of these sites making it the city with the biggest number of pre-colonial sites in South America.

 

Until recently, nothing has been done to protect these sites. Walls of a temple were destroyed in the 80s in order to build housing developments. There hasn’t been a relationship between the people and the historical sites of Peru other than viewing them as mounds of dirt or places to search for treasure. a new antiquities law is claiming to offer ancient sites better protection, however, the people are worried about this only pertaining to those deemed “historically significant” by the heritage minister.

 

Locals are getting involved with saving their historical sites but it is not without its challenges. By trying to save a historical site, one could face land traffickers, thieves and bad people.

 

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