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April 21, 2006 [LINK]
Garcia likely to reach Round 2
In Peru, 95 percent of the votes have been counted, and Alan Garcia now has a lead of 93,000 votes over Lourdes Flores in the race for second place, more than a full percentage point. Hopes by conservatives for a chance to run in the second round election are dwindling fast. The very real possibility that Ollanta Humala will be elected president next month is causing great anxiety among many Peruvians. In a press conference yesterday, he sought to ally fears by promising to respect freedom of the press. See El Comercio of Peru (in Spanish). Of course, Hugo Chavez has said similar things. Older Peruvians remember what happened the last time a government tried to take over the press and television, under the military dictatorship of Juan Velasco in July 1974: violent protests and intensified repression of dissent, undermining stability and respect for authority.
Coincidentally or not, a volcano erupted in southern Peru today, spewing huge clouds of ash. See CNN.com.
Hostage crisis in Bolivia
On Wednesday, three Bolivian cabinet ministers were rescued by police and set free after being taken hostage by protesters a day earlier. They were on a visit to the town of Puerto Suarez in the eastern part of the country, trying to explain to local residents why a proposed steel mill to be built by a Brazilian firm would violate regulations prohibiting foreign ownership of property within 30 miles of the border. There are also environmental concerns, because the steel mill would use charcoal as fuel. See BBC. Mineral coal is very scarce in South America, and large-scale production of charcoal would intensify the problem of deforestation in the Amazon basin. This bizarre incident illustrates the fragile hold on power by the new government of President Evo Morales, and the underlying resentment by the economically progressive province of Santa Cruz, which is culturally distinct from the rest of Bolivia and which has considerable sentiment in favor of secession.
Brutality, hypocrisy in Mexico
As the national elections approach, there are a variety of disturbing signs that something has gone terribly awry in Mexican society. The decapitated heads of two police officers were left in front of a government building in Acapulco (CNN.com), police seem unable to control the exploitive "coyotes" who smuggle people across the U.S. border (CNN.com), and a priest confessed to murdering and dismembering his pregnant girlfriend after she confronted him following mass on Easter Day (CNN.com). Respect for the basic norms of civilization is in rapid decline. And we want them to lecture us on how to treat human beings?
The mainstream media is starting to pick up on the Mexican government's hypocritical attitude regarding immigration. It demands unfettered access to the United States for its people, but refuses to accommodate economic refugees from Central American. See CNN.com.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 21 Apr 2006, 11: 27 AM
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This (or that) year's
January 7, 2006 ~ DeLay gives up majority leader post
January 12, 2006 ~ Alito withstands Dems' "torture"
January 16, 2006 ~ Michelle Bachelet wins in Chile
January 19, 2006 ~ Views on Iran's nuclear ambitions
January 24, 2006 ~ Fallout from Canada's election
January 31, 2006 ~ Second (& third) thoughts on Iran
February 1, 2006 ~ The State of the Union, 2006
February 8, 2006 ~ D.C. Council votes "yes," but...
February 18, 2006 ~ Checks and balances in wartime
February 22, 2006 ~
Neocons & Neolibs: chastened alike
February 28, 2006 ~
The Dubai Ports World uproar
March 14, 2006 ~ New D.C. baseball stadium unveiled
March 24, 2006 ~ In the footsteps of France?
April 7, 2006 ~ Immigration compromise fails
May 16, 2006 ~ Bush militarizes Mexican border
June 6, 2006 ~ Alan Garcia triumphs, once again
June 9, 2006 ~
Zarqawi: The death of a terrorist
July 3, 2006 ~
Election in Mexico: too close to call
July 5, 2006 ~ North Korea goes ballistic
July 28, 2006 ~ Garcia prepares to lead Peru, again
August 4, 2006 ~ Israel invades Hezbolland
September 6, 2006 ~ "Crunchy conservatives": for real?
September 25, 2006 ~ Nationalists thwart conservation
October 3, 2006 ~ Nationals: Year in review
October 29, 2006 ~ Virginia's marriage amendment
November 7, 2006 ~ The people render their verdict
November 8, 2006 ~ Republicans lose big time
November 9, 2006 ~ Allen concedes / Election post-mortem
November 13, 2006 ~ Toward consensus on Iraq?
December 1, 2006 ~ Realism and our goals in Iraq
December 6, 2006 ~ Latin America & U.S. trade policy
December 8, 2006 ~ Iraq Study Group reports
December 22, 2006 ~ Yuletide political roundup
Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.
The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:
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