Wednesday, April 28, 2010

criticism of chávez stifled by arrests

Published: April 3, 2010

“I’ve received threats from inmates telling me they will burn me alive because they see me as a symbol of the system that put them in prison,” said Judge Afiuni, 46, in her prison cell. “I’m in this hell because I had the temerity to do my job as a judge in a way that didn’t please Chávez.” CONTINUE READING

tim & paige

villa lorena in cali, colombia

Published: March 30, 2010
CALI, Colombia — Of all the animals that come to die under Ana Julia Torres’s samán trees, the ocelots are among the most numerous. There are eight of them here, seized from the estate of a murdered cocaine trafficker, who apparently collected them in the belief that any self-respecting drug lord should always have eight ocelots in his dominion.

Ms. Torres’s sanctuary houses hundreds of animals rescued largely from drug traffickers and paramilitary warlords, as well as from circuses and animal-smuggling rings, offering a strange window into the excesses and brutalities carried out in this country’s endless drug wars. CONTINUE READING

full NYT slideshow here: "A Rescued Menagerie"

extended edit on Villa Lorena-Cali, Colombia

El Chigüire Bipolar

Published: March 20, 2010

CARACAS, Venezuela — This may be a perilous time to operate a Web site focused on politics here, given President Hugo Chávez’s recent push for new controls of Internet content. But one plucky Venezuelan satirical site is emerging as a runaway success in Latin America as it repeatedly skewers Mr. Chávez and a host of other leaders.

Named in honor of the capybara, the Labrador retriever-sized rodent that Venezuelans are fond of hunting and eating, the 2-year-old Web site, El Chigüire Bipolar, or Bipolar Capybara, is rivaling or surpassing in page views leading Venezuelan newspapers like the Caracas daily El Nacional.

The rise of Chigüire Bipolar, which has already drawn the wrath of state-controlled media here, and a handful of other popular Venezuelan sites focused on politics is taking place within a journalistic atmosphere here that international press groups say is marked increasingly by fear, intimidation and self-censorship. CONTINUE READING