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9/22/14

How Peru politics works

Your humble scribe was reading a minor report on the state of play in the regional election campaign in Cajamarca this morning (Peru chooses its regional and provincial governors, city mayors etc on October 5th in a pretty important election for the country). It's not the type of article that gets mention on these pages normally, more the type that forms the general background reading, but this one suddenly expanded and gave a quote about the wider political scene in Peru that's both succinct and very accurate. Here it is, translated:
"The person who has the most money gets access to be a candidate (for election).... Simply put, politicians are those who have the most money. Businesspeople are welcome and if they're associated with narcotrafficking it's even better, because they handle even more money and one of the ways to legalize it is to go into politics in order to get protection."
And that's exactly right.


Chile: Tax revenues from mining are dropping sharply

According to this report and Álvaro Merino, head of studies and Chile's National Mining Society (Sonami), here's how things look:


In 2012 Chile benefitted from U$8.2Bn in tax revenue from its mining industry. That's set to come in at just U$4.5Bn this year 2014. So now you know.

The other part of the Argentina media BS show: The local media regurgitation

On Saturday this humble corner of cyberspace showed how Bloomberg frames its anti-Argentina/anti-Cristina editorial line by being careful about the facts it chooses to present and preferring not to give context. In this way its biased reporters such as Camila Russo, author of the flimsy and unbalanced hit piece, can scream dire nastiness without bothering about normal journalism ethics. Bless their hearts.

However, there is another part to this media game in LatAm, that's the way in which this biased nonsense itsthen rebounded in the local press. Here for example is the front page of the print edition of Clarin (famously  anti-CFK and Argentina's biggest circulation newspaper) that greeted Argentina on Saturday morning.



Yup, a direct re-hash of the Bloomberg note. And what's more, you read the whole Clarin report and it makes it plain the screaming headline comes directly from the Bloomberg report as paragraph three begins "As reported by the Bloomberg news agency...". But in the very same way as Bloomberg, Clarin's re-hash skips over the facts (not opinion or cherrypicked data, but facts from the very same World Bank from IKN Saturday)...
Argentina has 10.8% in the poor bracket, then 31.4% in the vulnerable column and that's how Bloomberg gets the "quadrupling" word into its headline. But what they don't tell you is...
  • Argentina has the second lowest level of vulnerable in Latin America
  • Argentina has the third lowest level of poor in Latin America
  • Argentina has the second highest level of established middle class in Latin America
And this is how bullshit becomes accepted knowledge among the mouthbreather opposition forces in South America (because sadly, this pattern is all too common in most of the region). It goes

1) English speaking media channel publishes bullshit
2) Country media channel picks up on the bullshit
3) Lies repeated in true strategic Goebbels propaganda style until they're accepted as fact.

A cute little roundabout.

The IKN Weekly, out now



IKN280 has just been sent to subscribers. A 13,000 word incoherent rant that nobody in their right mind would read. Blergh. And argh. 

9/21/14

Dilma Rousseff's Presidential campaign art kicks butt

From one of her official campaign houses, Muda Mais:




Love it, and there are other varieties too. Right here. Via the guy you need to follow for English language coverage of the upcoming election in Brazil , Vincent Bevins of the LA Times and other quality media channels.

Grupo Mexico $GMEXICOB.mx, pollution and that Oscar Wilde quote again

Paraphrased, of course:

"To pollute one river may be regarded as a misfortune; to pollute two looks like carelessness"

News this afternoon is that Grupo Mexico has alerted authorities (at least this time they didn't try a cover-up) that another batch of toxic waste has escaped from its Buenavista copper mine in Sonora State and into water supplies. Yes indeed, this is the very same mine that messed up the local water just a few weeks ago and got the country's politicos baying for its licence to be revoked, well remembered ma'am/sir. This time they're blaming the tail end of the hurricane that came in over the West coast of Mexico last week. Good to have a reason, isn't it?

Thank you, Lady Bracknell. Handbags at dawn.

Alessandro Florenzi's goal celebration

1) Score goal
2) Run across pitch
3) Climb into stands
4) Find grandmother
5) Become IKN's hero of the weekend



The second for Roma in their 2-0 win. Alessandro Florenzi, you win.

Peru: At least 23 anti-drugs police officers re-selling confiscated cocaine

The shock isn't that they've been found doing it, the shock is that this is finally coming to light because everyone knows how corrupt Peru's police force is. You'll note however that it took a years-long investigation by an outside force, namely the US DEA, to shine light on these scumbags. 

Here's the report, here's a translation of how it starts:
"Thousands of recordings made during a DEA bugging program reveal that at least 23 police officers from the National Anti-Drug Directive (Dirandro) have for years been hiding cargos of drugs and stealing drugs of mafia groups in order to re-sell it. Despite the evidence, the national internal investigation by police has moved very slowly and the accused are still working in the units that are supposed to combat narcotrafficking."
Full report here

A final thought: If you think these 23 officers were doing what they were doing without the knowledge of the higher ranks of Peruvian police, I have a bridge you may be interested in purchasing. Easy terms, low downpayment.