Archive for the ‘Argentina’ Category

Argentina’s president just gave her most delusional speech yet

| March 3rd, 2015 | No Comments »
Business Insider

BY LINETTE LOPEZ

The president of Argentina is living in an alternate reality, one that once seemed to bear some resemblance to the world we live in but no longer does.

In a speech on Sunday, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner completely detached from reality in two ways. First, she speculated wildly about Israel’s connection to terrorist attacks in Argentina. Second, she claimed the economy was on the upswing — something one Financial Times journalist was only too happy to call her out on.

In her speech, Fernandez said a prosecutor who died under mysterious circumstances had actually complimented her in documents found in a safety box in his apartment. That prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, was found dead just before he was to testify that the Argentine government had helped to cover up Iran’s involvement in a decades-old terrorist attack in Buenos Aires.

She also asked Israel to ... Read More

Argentina president criticises Alberto Nisman and Israel over 1994 bombing

| March 2nd, 2015 | No Comments »
The Guardian UK

Argentinian president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner said on Sunday the prosecutor who had accused her of a criminal cover-up had also praised her, characterizing the late Alberto Nisman’s actions as contradictory in a sharply worded speech that included a rebuke of Israel over the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community centre.

Fernández said documents had been found in Nisman’s safe, one written in December and the other in January. She said in both he spoke favourably of the president’s speeches to the United Nations aimed at getting justice for the attack on the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association, which killed 85 people.

She said that was contradictory to his allegations that she and other top officials in her administration had orchestrated a cover-up with Iran to shield officials allegedly responsible in a grain-for-oil deal. Fernández has rejected the allegations and Iran has long denied involvement in the bombing.

“Which Nisman do I go with?” she said. “With the ... Read More

Plan to Sell Argentine Debt Collapses

| February 27th, 2015 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01

BY MATT WIRZ AND CHRISTOPHER WHITTALL

A bid by two global banks to sell bonds for Argentina in London collapsed, delivering a fresh setback to the cash-strapped South American nation amid a long-running feud with creditors.

Deutsche Bank AG and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. approached bond fund managers on Wednesday to gauge interest in an auction of the country’s debt in London, people familiar with the matter said. The banks believed they had found a way to sell Argentine bonds without running afoul of a U.S. court ruling last year, the people said.

The banks suspended the plans Thursday after legal action taken by a group of creditors who have been battling with Argentina for payment on defaulted bonds. Late Wednesday, the U.S. District Judge in the case, Thomas Griesa, ordered an emergency hearing to discuss the proposed London sale.

The sale would have been the first of its kind outside Argentina since the country defaulted in 2001, and ... Read More

Argentina OKs revamp of spy service after Alberto Nisman’s death

| February 26th, 2015 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in Reuters

Argentina lawmakers passed a bill Thursday to revamp the country’s intelligence service, parts of which President Cristina Fernandez has portrayed as sinister, accountable to no one and possibly responsible for the death of a star prosecutor.

Fernandez’s leftist government submitted the bill after state investigator Alberto Nisman was found dead on Jan. 18, a few days after he accused Fernandez of trying to cover up Iran’s alleged role in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center. She rejected the accusation as “absurd.”

Fernandez says the new state security body established under the legislation will be more accountable. But government opponents say the legislation does little more than change the name of the spy agency and had been rushed through Congress. The opposition boycotted some of the debate.

It is still not known if Nisman shot himself in the head or was murdered. Fernandez’s government has said rogue agents tricked Nisman into making ... Read More

Migrants’ remittances to Latin America grew 4 pct. in 2014

| February 24th, 2015 | No Comments »
From Fox News Latino

Expatriates’ remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean increased 4 percent in 2014 to $62.3 billion, the biggest jump since the global economic crisis in 2009, the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington think-tank, said Tuesday.

The largest gains went to Mexico and Central America, while several South American countries saw a decrease in remittances, due largely to the persistent economic crisis in Spain.

The overall advance in remittances to Latin America reflects improvements in the U.S. labor market, new migration patterns and the proliferation of new ways to transfer money, according to the report.

Remittances to Mexico increased 8.8 percent over 2013, while funds sent to Honduras increased 12.5 percent, and to Guatemala, 9 percent.

The Spanish economic crisis, with high levels of unemployment and falling pay, is largely responsible for decreases in remittances to Bolivia, 2.4 percent; Peru, 2.3 percent, and Colombia, which saw ... Read More

Self-Inflicted Misery and Tyranny among Latin America’s Left

| February 24th, 2015 | No Comments »
Mexi Data

By Jerry Brewer

It is astonishing that with so much focus and dialogue on demands for world freedom, self-expression and human rights, many tend to ignore or simply fail to do their homework on repressive dictatorial-like regimes floundering throughout Latin America and oppressing their citizens.

It was certainly no secret that the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s 14 years in office was a tired precursor to a near failed state in Venezuela today. Chavez spent his entire rule in office working to recruit and support leftist presidential candidates throughout the hemisphere, touting his Bolivarian Revolution – that is quite simply the more exhausted Cuban Revolution that remains in Venezuelan to this very day.

Chavez demolished independence in Venezuela’s institutions, seized control of the economy, militarized the government, and virtually destroyed private enterprise. Death, destruction and insufficiencies in Venezuela remain rampant.

If there was even a modicum of value to add to the history of Venezuela from ... Read More

NY Lawyer: Argentina Not Responding to Negotiation Requests

| February 20th, 2015 | No Comments »
ABC News

By LARRY NEUMEISTER

A lawyer appointed to lead negotiations between U.S. bondholders and Argentina over unpaid debts said Thursday the South American nation is not responding to requests to negotiate.

Special Master Daniel A. Pollack released a statement saying Argentina’s lawyers have failed to respond to calls over the past two weeks to meet to discuss a proposal from U.S. bondholders, led by billionaire hedge fund investor Paul Singer’s NML Capital Ltd.

The offer, Pollack said, came without pre-conditions and offered the possibility that Argentina could settle without being required to immediately pay cash, with details to be negotiated.

U.S. District Judge Thomas P. Griesa has issued rulings saying Argentina must pay U.S. bondholders the roughly $1.5 billion they are owed if it makes payments to more than 90 percent of its bondholders who swapped their bonds for ones of lesser value in 2005 and 2010.

The swaps occurred after Argentina defaulted in 2001 on $100 billion ... Read More

Argentina’s Kirchner reeling from scandal

| February 19th, 2015 | No Comments »
AEI

BY ROGER F. NORIEGA AND FELIPE TRIGOS

Hundreds of thousands rallied yesterday in Buenos Aires demanding justice in the suspicious death of Alberto Nisman, the lead investigator in a 10-year-long inquiry into the 1994 bombing of the Argentine-Jewish Mutual Association (AMIA) in Buenos Aires, which left 85 people murdered. Nisman was found dead in his home on January 18, hours before he was expected to accuse President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of obstructing the investigation into Iran’s culpability. Protesters demanded “justice” and “truth” and denounced the Kirchner government. Such popular unrest, the ongoing inquiry into Nisman’s death, and the discovery of a draft warrant for Kirchner’s arrest have triggered a crisis for Argentina’s government.

This week, Kirchner accused the United States and Israel of meddling in Argentina’s internal affairs. She did not give evidence to support this claim but appears to be resorting to a familiar appeal to nationalism in a desperate attempt to ... Read More

Thousands Protest In Argentina Demanding Answers In Prosecutor Alberto Nisman’s Death

| February 19th, 2015 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

By DEBORA REY and PETER PRENGAMAN

BUENOS AIRES (AP) — Thousands of Argentines marched in the capital Wednesday demanding answers in the mysterious death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman exactly one month after he was found in his bathroom with a bullet in his right temple.

Protesters waved Argentine flags and carried white signs with black letters that read “Justice!” and “Truth!” Many also carried umbrellas to repel a burst of summer rain.

Blanca Perez, 81, said she believed Nisman had been murdered and the government needed to account.

“If we don’t have justice, we won’t have liberty,” she said. “The government has lost control of the situation.”

Organized by several prosecutors, protesters planned to walk from Congress to the iconic Plaza de Mayo in downtown Buenos Aires. While police declined to provide estimates, the 10-block stretch, plus many surrounding streets, burst with people, suggesting it was one of the biggest of several marches since Nisman’s ... Read More

Fallout Over Argentine Prosecutor’s Death Draws International Tensions

| February 18th, 2015 | No Comments »
The New York Times

By JONATHAN GILBERT

INTENDENTE ALVEAR, Argentina — Fallout from the mysterious death of a federal prosecutor raised diplomatic tensions between Argentina and the United States on Tuesday, on the eve of a controversial march in the prosecutor’s honor that has fueled unease between the government and parts of the judiciary.

In a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, Héctor Timerman, Argentina’s foreign minister, said the country should not tolerate being a “theater for operations of politics, intelligence or, even worse, more serious actions, because of conflicts that are completely unconnected with its history,” adding that Argentina had no strategic interests in the Middle East.

Days before his death on Jan. 18, the prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, had accused Mr. Timerman and President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of trying to derail his investigation into the fatal bombing in 1994 of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires ... Read More

China’s Sale Of Fighter Jets To Argentina Raises Tensions Over Falkland Islands

| February 17th, 2015 | No Comments »
china-topix_157x100

China sold some of its fighter jets to Argentina, causing existing tensions in the South Atlantic to rise because of concerns that Argentina would attempt to reclaim the Falkland Islands.

The sale of the military jets came after Argentine President Kristina de Kirchner visited Beijing last week for a three-day appointment to seal 15 economic deals with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The deals aimed to strengthen the partnership between the two countries.

Beijing is reportedly helping Argentina in terms of financial investment in order to reinforce the already failing economy of the country.

The Falkland Islands has been one of the main concerns of Kirchner as she has always appealed to the international community for support in having the islands returned to Argentina. The procurement of the 20 fighter jets from China will hopefully help them regain control over the said islands.

The fighter jets, FC-1/JF-17 models, were produced by the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation. The features are high-end, with a top speed of Mach ... Read More

Latin America 2015 outlook darkens as commodities sink: poll

| February 13th, 2015 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in Reuters

BY SILVIO CASCIONE

(Reuters) – Latin America has embarked on a painfully long period of greater austerity, and lower commodity prices and economic growth will barely pick up speed this year, a Reuters poll found Thursday.

With nose-diving oil and metal prices weighing on government finances and jeopardizing investments, economists in the quarterly poll chopped 2015 growth forecasts again for the region’s seven largest countries, from Mexico to Argentina.

Brazil is now expected to grow a meager 0.5 percent in 2015, down from an estimate of 1.1 percent in the prior survey and barely up from an expected 0.2 percent growth in 2014.

Mexico will probably expand by 3.4 percent, compared to 3.7 percent in the last poll, while oil producer Venezuela, flirting with a debt default, will probably contract 2.0 percent, according to the poll of about 50 economists.

Growth would probably improve somewhat in 2016, but would still fall short of the ... Read More

Alberto Nisman’s Death Underscores Argentina’s Legacy Of Mysterious Violence

| February 12th, 2015 | No Comments »
The Huffington Post

By Sebastian Rotella 

A year and a half ago, I talked to Alberto Nisman, the Argentine special prosecutor whose mysterious death has made international headlines.

I didn’t know Nisman, but I knew the case he was investigating: the terrorist bombing that killed 85 people at a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in 1994.

As a foreign correspondent, I had done a lot of reporting on the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in the history of the hemisphere. I interviewed survivors, investigators, diplomats, spies and shady characters from Latin America, the U.S. and the Middle East about an investigation plagued by corruption and cover-ups. Years later, I had watched from afar when Nisman succeeded in indicting Iranian officials and Hezbollah terrorists and securing Interpol warrants for them.

Nisman’s startling death last month left Argentina, a country for which I have great fondness, in turmoil. Sadly, that’s not unusual. The history of Argentina, and much of Latin ... Read More

Argentina’s president asked to testify about mysterious death of prosecutor

| February 5th, 2015 | No Comments »
The Guardian UK

Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has been asked to testify in court on the death of Alberto Nisman, the crusading prosecutor who had accused her of conspiring to cover up Iranian involvement in the country’s worst terror attack four days before he died. A lawyer representing Diego Lagomarsino – the computer technician who gave Nisman the gun which killed him – said that the president may be able to shed light on the mysterious death, which has shocked Argentina.

Last week the president spoke at length about Lagomarsino in a televised speech, suggesting he and Nisman had an “intimate” relationship and that he may have been an agent for Argentina’s secret service, rogue elements of which Fernández suspects murdered Nisman. On Wednesday, Lagomarsino’s lawyer Maximiliano Rusconi, who denies his client was a spy, presented a writ at court asking for the testimony of Fernández and Oscar Parrilli, the head of the country’s main intelligence organisation “seeing as they ... Read More

Iran’s Man In Argentina Speaks On Prosecutor’s Mystery Death

| February 4th, 2015 | No Comments »
The Daily Beast

BUENOS AIRES — Confusion reigns two weeks after the death of Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman. The judicial authorities still claim all indications lead to suicide, but it appears no one in Argentina believes this, not even President Cristina Kirchner herself, who flip-flopped between calling the death a suicide and a homicide in the first two days following his demise.

On Sunday, Viviana Fein, the prosecutor investigating Nisman’s “unnatural death,” announced that no documents had been found in his residence. On Monday, she was forced to backtrack, humiliatingly, in front of the media, when the Argentine broadsheet Clarín published images not only of documents, but of an arrest warrant Nisman had drafted that called for the detention of President Cristina Kirchner and Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman, both of whom he accused of participating in a massive cover-up regarding Iran’s role in two terror attacks that rocked Buenos Aires ... Read More

Judge turns away Alberto Nisman’s case against president of Argentina

| February 3rd, 2015 | No Comments »
The Guardian UK

By Jonathan Watts

An Argentinian judge has refused to pursue allegations that president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner conspired with Iran to cover up the nation’s deadliest terrorist attack – raising the prospect of the case dying along with the prosecutor who presented it.

The accusation was made in January by Alberto Nisman, who less than a week after presenting the indictment was found dead with a bullet in his head.

In a nearly 300-page legal document he had claimed that the president, her foreign minister Hector Timmerman and other aides plotted to shift the blame for the 1994 bombing of the Amia Jewish community centre so that Argentina could secure access to Iranian oil.

The allegations shocked Argentina, which has already seen one former president, Carlos Menem, indicted for trying to subvert the course of justice regarding the attack, which killed 85 people.

But many analysts said Nisman’s case was flawed because it relied too heavily on ... Read More

Here’s Where Brazil & Argentina Are The Same, And It’s Nothing To Brag About

| February 2nd, 2015 | 1 Comment »
Forbes

By Kenneth Rapoza

Brazil and Argentina, long rivals on the soccer field, are now ranked No. 1 and No. 2 most complicated places in the world to do business. They’re neck and neck yet again!

As they say in Brazil, “parabens.”

London based regulatory services firm, TMF Group, said Friday that the neighboring South American economies are the worst out of 81 countries ranked from a regulatory and compliance basis.

This marks the second year in a row that Argentina takes the prize as the most difficult place to do business.  But Brazil really went the extra mile in order to catch up. To get to the number two slot, Brazil had to suddenly become worse than 15 other countries from last year’s ranking. They beat out Bolivia this year. Bolivia is now in the third hole.

Half of the top 20 countries listed on the TMF ... Read More

Cristina Fernandez’s misguided response to a national tragedy

| January 30th, 2015 | No Comments »
The Economist

Few Argentines doubt that the country’s intelligence services needed a shakeup. But the way it happened satisfied almost nobody. On January 26th the president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, wheelchair-bound from an ankle injury, appeared on television to announce that she would propose a law to scrap the main intelligence agency, the Intelligence Secretariat (SI), and replace it with a new body whose directors would be named by her and approved by the Senate.

This happened while the SI is at the centre of a furore set off by the death from a gunshot of Alberto Nisman, a prosecutor who had accused Ms Fernández and other senior officials of trying to thwart his investigation into the 1994 bombing of a Jewish centre in Buenos Aires, Argentina’s worst terrorist attack. The president, who denies the allegations, quickly pronounced his death a suicide, then hinted that he was murdered by ... Read More

Cry for Argentina as terrorists and gangsters get away with murder

| January 30th, 2015 | No Comments »
Article Appeared in The Washington Times

By Clifford D. May

“When heads of state become gangsters, something has to be done.” Winston Churchill said that. It’s a proposition not many people nowadays endorse. Fewer still take it upon themselves to stand up to the thugs-cum-statesmen.

Alberto Nisman was an exception — right up until last week when he was found dead, a .22-caliber bullet in his brain. Shocking? Yes. Surprising? Hardly. He and those who knew him (myself included) were always keenly aware that this was possible — perhaps likely. To say he was courageous would be a gross understatement.

A little background: Mr. Nisman, 51, was an Argentine federal prosecutor, chief investigator of the 1994 bombing of AMIA, a Jewish cultural center, in Buenos Aires. Eighty-five people were killed in that terrorist attack.

In 2006, Mr. Nisman formally accused the rulers of the Islamic Republic of Iran of directing the bombing, and of deploying Hezbollah, Tehran’s terrorist foreign legion, to carry ... Read More

Dead Argentine prosecutor wary even of his guards

| January 29th, 2015 | No Comments »
From AFP

By Josefa Suarez

Buenos Aires (AFP) – The prosecutor whose suspicious death set off a crisis for Argentina President Cristina Kirchner no longer trusted even his bodyguards at the violent end of his life, an assistant said Wednesday.

A tense Diego Lagomarsino, his voice breaking at times, recounted at a news conference in Buenos Aires how Alberto Nisman had pleaded to be given the .22-caliber revolver that was used to put a bullet through his head. Who pulled the trigger is not clear.

Nisman’s security chief has been suspended and is under investigation along with two other members of his guard detail, a court source said.

The 51-year-old special prosecutor was found dead at his home January 18, a day before he was to go before a congressional committee to make a bombshell accusation: that Kirchner shielded Iranian officials implicated in the 1994 bombing of a ... Read More

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