Stuff

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P o p p i n g

Progress on Salcajá

A lot of crime goes by in Guatemala unpunished. Heck, if you know the right people in the right places you can pretty much get away with ripping the whole country off for millions of dollars. Alternatively one can just obtain their get-out-of-jail-free card by getting elected as president… Having said that, storming a police station in broad daylight and shooting dead 8 police officers is not an act that is taken lightly, no matter how dirty said police officers were. And to give the current administration credit – they have certainly pursued this particular incident with vigor. Six men have already been arrested in association with the crime and the police have identified the criminal syndicate that  they believe was responsible for executing the raid. They are currently offering a whopping Q100,000 for information leading to the arrest of the elusive “Guayo”, the leader of the group.

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F lo p p i n g

Noise Brigades Return

Ahhh… there’s just nothing like that feeling of waking up at 7am to the sound of thumping drum beats, crashing symbols and wailing trumpets. It can only mean that time of year has arrived upon us once again – marching band season where the local school bands endlessly practice their marching routines at all hours of the day in preparation for the celebrations on September 15. To be fair, the bands certainly need their practice – some poor music teacher is set the daunting task of putting together a band that anyone in the school is allowed to join (regardless of music ability or knowledge of the songs) and getting them to perform something that at least remotely sounds like a song… in time with each other. Good luck to them.

LATIN AMERICA & THE SNOWDEN SAGA

Following the Edward Snowden saga this month has been like watching a satirical spy-movie cross 1984-style nightmarish dystopia unfold  right before one’s  eyes. The United States has increasingly been looking like one of those famed dictators gone insane, frantically trying every avenue to apprehend Snowden on charges of “espionage”… for revealing their own outrageously extensive espionage programs. You just couldn’t make this stuff up.

But if anything, Latin America has come out on top of the crazy situation. Out of the 27 countries that Snowden applied to for asylum only 3 were brave enough to accept his request, despite a barrage of ludicrous threats from the U.S. to any country that accepted, and all three were in Latin America (Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua for those that haven’t been reading the news… at all). “We have decided to offer humanitarian asylum to the American Edward Snowden to protect him from the persecution being unleashed by the world’s most powerful empire… He is a young man who has told the truth, in the spirit of rebellion, about the United States spying on the whole world,” said Venezuela’s Maduro.

Events like this feeds one’s ever growing confidence that long-gone are the days of Latin American countries simply acting like the lap dogs of the United States. Whilst politicians in the U.S. are already attempting to put through measures in Congress to sanction any country that gives Snowden asylum, one gets the impression that neither Venezuela, Bolivia nor Nicaragua could give a shit.

 

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