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ARGENTINA TRAVEL NEWS

July 31st, 2008


HUNGARIAN FINANCIER GEORGE SOROS PART OF A SCHEME TO DAM A RIVER IN ARGENTINA FLOODING 8 THOUSAND HECTARES IN ORDER TO PRODUCE RICE
The planned work threatens to flood 8 thousand hectares in the Iberá. It aims to increase the surface of culture of rice. According to the industrialists, an annual 120 thousand tons of grains would be able to be harvested. The construction would be carried out on the Ayui River, in the locality of Mercedes in the Province of Corrientes. The artificial lake will water 18 thousand hectares of plantations. The financiers consider the work to be the "most important rice project in all of Mercosur." Nevertheless, the environmentalists think another thing: that the work at issue supposes capital damage for an ecosystem of the characteristics of the Iberá and that is "illegal" that a private group “appropriates itself a river to make it disappear together with its forests and their animal and vegetal species". "The project will primarily have a capacity of elaboration of 120,000 tons annual of rice, but it will include other grains, like maize, soybean, sorghum and wheat”, according to the entrepreneurs. The project contemplates to an investment of 55 million dollars and the construction of a dam on the Ayui River, with which they will create an artificial lake destined to water the 18 thousand hectares of plantations. According to a note of the Foundation PROTEGER or TO PROTECT, the main questionings in environment came from ecological specialists and organizations of the region. "They want to create an artificial lake 12 times greater than the City of Mercedes, crossing with a wall the Ayuí river and flooding its banks for a section of 30 kilometres", explained the biologist Aníbal Parera, ex- holder of the Foundation Wild Life. Two of the four species declared "Provincial Natural Monuments of the Province of Corrientes” live in the area that would be affected: the River Otter and the Marsh Deer. For the experts, the dam - that will be located to 47 kilometres from the Natural Reserve Esteros in Iberá- can bring about damages that surpass the borders of the Corrientes Province. "This artificial lake will receive the chemical effluents of the giant planted surface and the destination of the river basin of the Miriñay River - that empties in Uruguay could be jeopardized, not only from the environmental point of view, but also from the productive, because the amount and quality of waters available downstream the river basin would not be the same". A private enterprise, with lucrative aims, cannot appropriate something as public as a river to make it disappear next to its forests and animal and vegetal species", added.



July 30th, 2008


AGENTINEAN NAVY VESSELS GROUNDED TO PROTECT WHALES

The Minister of National Defence, Nilda Garré, subscribed an administrative resolution by which all naval military activity of the Argentina Navy is restricted to the possible minimum in waters of the Nuevo and San Jose Gulfs, during the seasonal period of presence of the Southern Right Whales. The measure was prepared as a result of the accident that took place last Sunday, when one of the cetaceans died in Madryn Port after being hit by the propeller blades of the Destroyer ARA Heróina that had weighed anchor from the Piedrabuena Wharf. Present at the signature of the new order were the Head of the General Staff of the Navy, Jorge Godoy, together with the Secretary of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Romina Picolotti, and the President of the Board of the Administration of National Parks, Héctor Espina. The administrative act was dictated at the request of the Environmental Portfolio and National Parks, by virtue of which, by National Law 23,094, the Southern Right Whale opportunely was declared “Natural Monument". I dragged had asked for the opinion of the secretariat of Atmosphere and National Parks about "the potential affectation of the natural resources by the military activity in the area", within the framework of the competitions that derive from National Laws 22,351 of National Parks, Natural Monuments and National Reserves, and 25,675, the General denominated one of the Atmosphere. The resolution 577, orders "to restrict the military naval activity at the minimum level possible in accordance to the requirements of the National Defence in the Nuevo and San Jose Gulfs", Madryn Port, in the Province of the Chubut, during the months of "June to December of every year, to contribute to the protection of the Southern Right Whale".



July 22nd, 2008


IN HER FIRST NEWS CONFERENCE EVER ARGENTINE PRESIDENT CRISTINA FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER SAYS SHE HAS NO REGRETS.

Ms Fernandez, who was forced to abandon tax increases on farm exports, said she would not change any of her decisions. Her only mistake was to underestimate the power of the opposition, she said. She added that she would make no further changes to her cabinet, which was reshuffled after the reforms were defeated in the Senate last month. The left-wing Argentine president also dismissed claims that her husband, former President Nestor Kirchner, was running her admnistration. "Comments of that nature come from a biased reading of reality," she said. "We're simply a political team that has worked for a long time with the same vision and common ideas about the society we want." About her defeated plan to increase taxes on agricultural exports, she said she had no regrets. She added that high agricultural profits in the face of soaring world food prices "should be taken up as an instrument of economic policy". The proposals provoked months of protest by farmers. Farmers said the taxes would be crippling, but the government said they were needed to fight poverty.



July 21st, 2008


THE CREATION OF AN INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT IN THE GORGE OF HUMAHUACA IS PROMOTED

To do so, the Provincial Government of Jujuy sent a law project that impels the creation of an Institute of Management of the Gorge of Humahuaca "World-wide Patrimony of Humanity" to the House of Representatives. The proposal maintains that the future institute will have legal function and position of agent and a seat in the historical Town of Humahuaca, at 126 kilometres to the North of Jujuy. The president of the commission of Finances of the Legislature, Alfonso La Rioja, emphasized the importance of approving the law in order “to equip the Gorge and its surroundings with an organism that will have ability to act in all aspects regarding this objective". The Gorge of Humahuaca was designated Patrimony of the Humanity by UNESCO in 2003, considering that there was a human settlement in the area 10,000 years ago. What is now procured is to continue with the preservation of the old forms of farmings, the breeding of animals and tilling of fields for the community considering the old past of the zone.



July 18th, 2008


AN ETHANOL REFINERY IS INAUGURATED IN THE PROVINCE OF SALTA

The governor Juan Manuel Urtubey next to Authorities of the Sugar Cane processing plant San Martin del Tabacal placed the foundation stone to initiate the construction of a plant of electrical power generation. The final installations will allow to process 300,000 liters daily of alcohol. "It is an undertaking that we projected approximately for five years, with important investments for the zone and the company" , expressed Guillermo Jakúlica, the general manager of the sugar cane processor San Martin del Tabacal, located in the Municipality of Hipólito Yrigoyen, in Oran. The works inaugurated this Wednesday include a sugar cane press that was totally rejuvenated and modernized, with an investment of 5.400.000 of dollars; and a distillery that allows to process 300,000 liters daily of alcohol, that demanded an investment of 8.000.000 dollars. In addition, the authorities of the sugar plant - located at 260 kilometres to the North of Salta Capital and the governor of Salta, Juan Manuel Urtubey, placed the foundation stone to initiate the construction of a plant for the generation of electrical energy. This industry will be ready in approximately two years, and will cost around 35 million dollars. Jakúlica emphasized that during the past year the sugar production of the sugar plant was 209,000 metric tonnes, whereas this year they hope to reach 230,000 tonnes, which "Also will be a help to the strong period of investments that have been undertaken", after which he detailed that these works will demand 150 permanent new employees.



July 17th, 2008


AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRALISTS ARE INTERESTED IN AGRICULTURAL MACHINERY MANUFACTURED IN THE ROSARIO PROVINCE OF ARGENTINA.

An Australian delegation is travelling around and visiting factories in different cities in Southern Santa Fe. The objective is to explore "The biological methods of agriculture that are applied in Argentina".
The delegation, originating from the county of Buloke, State of Victory, has the aim of "meeting with local counterparts".
The foreign industrialists are interested in exploring "the biological methods of agriculture that are applied in Argentina, the fertilizers and the machinery used for the application of several sizes of grains of fertilizers". The agenda of visits includes the cities of Santa Fe, Las Parejas, Armstrong, Firmat, Fuentes and Arequito, where they will take direct contacts with the local counterparts, and "to set up business meetings with different firms. "It is about a commercial mission, to gather knowledge and make a first contact with the cluster of agricultural machinery manufaturers, from which a very interesting agenda has arosen in accordance with the profile that these businessman have been looking for. In order to add that the expectations that are generated from the effort of the province and the intermediate institutions, "are very good, because it is a nontraditional market where it is feasible to apply the Argentinean technological package".



July 16th, 2008


THE WORLD BANK WILL DISBURSE 30 MILLION DOLLARS TO RECONDITION OLD URANIUM MINES IN ARGENTINA

It was today approved by the executive board of that organisation reunited in the seat of the organism, in Washington. It is in support of a programme of environmental restructuring for “helping the Argentine government, specifically the National Commission of Energy Atomics, to legally carry out its duties to recondition closed uranium mines and milling facilities, according to international standards for the exhausted and manipulation of dangerous materials” as stated in a communication from the press office of the Bank.
The mentioned programme will finance the investment to recondition the old site of uranium processing in Malargüe, Mendoza, where they are 700 thousand tons of tails, besides providing technical attendance for the design with planning and engineering of other seven additional places. According to the information provided by the press office of the organisation, “the World Bank is pleased of being able to contribute to that Argentina fortifies its capacity of handling of environmental risks in the mining sector”. The loan to fixed rate by 30 million dollars of the Bank the International of Reconstruction and Fomento (BIRF), has a maturity date of 30 years, including a period of grace of five years.



July 15th, 2008


THE AIRLINE AEROLINEAS ARGENTINAS TO BE NATIONALISED BY ARGENTINEAN GOVERNMENT.

Three unions will explain their endorsement of the nationalisation of the airline Aerolineas Argentinas. With their common association the Asociacion Agentina de Aeronavegantes (AAA), the Association of Aeronautical Personnel and Union of Superior Personell of Aeronavigators, will today explain their position regarding the nationalisation of the company. In the meanwhile, the work meetings began in Deputies to treat the project of law sent by the Executive. The presentation of the three unions will take place at 11 o’clock in the seat of the AAA, Bartholomew Mitre 1906, City of Buenos Aires. According to the spokesman of AAA, Ricardo Frecia, in the conference the leaders will give voice to “Their support to the nationalisation of the airline" while the work meetings began in Deputies to treat the project of law sent by the Executive authority.



July 14th, 2008


BOLIVIAN CITIZENS LIVING IN ARGENTINA WILL BE GIVEN SPECIAL HOLIDAY IN ORDER TO VOTE IN BOLIVIA REFERENDUM

The Argentinean government has granted Bolivian citizens, residents of Argentina the right to a four day holiday in August in order to allow them to travel to Bolivia and vote in the Referendum to be held in that country on August 10th and which will decide the future, both of the left wing President Evo Morales and of the future of the resource rich Bolivian low land jungle departments, which have threatened to break away from the rest of the country, if President Morales insists on his left wing policies and close relationship to the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Argentina’s present ruler, the left wing Cristina Elisabet Fernandez de Kirchner, wife of the previous former President has shown a willingness to follow the drumbeat of Chavez Pan American Bolivarian Homeland dreams, but has had scant success on the home front where she was just defeated by a long strike of cattle breeders and their transport and export syndicates, closing down highways and blocking export ports, protesting against a pretended additional export tax that Cristina wante to impose with no success.



July 11st, 2008


HEAVY SNOWS EXPECTED IN THE ANDEAN CORDILLERA MOUNTAIN RANGE

The meteorological alert is valid for the Northwest of Chubut, the centre and the West of the Rio Negro River, and the Cordillera areas Neuquén and Mendoza. The State Meteorological Centre added that “in the high Mountain range of Mendoza and Neuquén, the snows will be accompanied by intense winds in the western sector that could reach speeds of 70 to 90 kilometres per hour". The state organism estimated that " in the centre and the West of the Rio Negro River and the Northwest of Chubut the intensity of the snows will tend to decrease towards then night” " In the rest of the zone they will continue until Saturday".



July 10th, 2008


ARGENTINA AUTHORIZES MORE EXPORTS OF WHEAT

The Argentinean National Office of Commercial Farming Control authorized the export of an additional 900,000 tons of wheat. In its Resolution 2404/2008, published in the Government Reporter, the Office accepted to receive orders of export for Bread Wheat by up to 902,608 tons for all destinations. The restriction of exports of Argentine wheat has generated preoccupation mainly in Brazil, strong customer for the grain and main partner of Argentina in the Mercosur. The Argentine grain exports grew 59.3% in value but fell 31.6% in volume last June. According to an analysis of the Institute of Economic Studies of the Cereal Stock-Market of Buenos Aires, 11.2 million metric tonnes of soybean (soya), 5 million tonnes of maize; 4, 5 million tonnes of wheat and 1.78 million of sunflower were the grain existences registered in June. The cost of the maritime freight for Argentinean grains to Brazil augmented by 40.5% in June against May and sea freight for the Netherlands by only 3.9%. However, freight costs to China and Iran went down by 6.6% and to Egypt by 3%.



July 09th, 2008


BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT LULA WILL TRY TO REDUCE TENSIONS DURING HIS VISIT TO ARGENTINA

The President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, will look for to reduce the tension with Argentina as a result of the differences that came to light during the World Trade Organization (OMC by its Spanish acronym), during his official visit to his Argentinean colleague Cristina Elisabet Fernandez de Kirchner, next Sunday and Monday. “We are living at present at a stage where the countries are letting the waters go calm” after the failure of a world-wide commercial agreement, the spokesman of Lula said. He admitted the existence of a conflict between Brazil and Argentina by the action of Brazil in Geneva, Switzerland, during the negotiations of the Doha Rounds by the World Trade Organisation last Tuesday, when the global agreement of commerce was frustrated. The Argentine diplomacy blamed Brazil to have accepted exigencies on industrial tariffs raised by powers like the European Union and the United States of America in order to be able to reach a global agreement.



July 08th, 2008


THE PERITO MORENO GLACIER TO COLLAPSE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN WINTER SEASON

Probably due to global warming the Patagonian Glacier Perito Moreno will see its front wall collapse out of season, in the Southern hemisphere Winter (now) instead of its usual Summer collapse. The phenomena started last Friday according to a spokesman of the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares National Park. Hundreds of tourists are flocking to the area to see the spectacular sight that usually takes place only during the warm season. The last rupture took place in March of 2006.
The process of rupture "is advancing as during other years. The tunnel is being formed and it is only a question of time before it collapses", according to Carlos Corvalán, the Supervisor of the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares National Park, located in the Southern Argentinean Province of Santa Cruz. "It is the first time that the glacier breaks in the Winter season; since 1917, when the first recorded rupture took place, until today, the phenomena has always taken place during the Summer", he added.
Usually the barrier of ice that makes up the glacier in the Magellan’s Peninsula of the Lago Argentino Lake, ruptures every four years only. The Glacier Perito Moreno, with an extension of approximately 200 square kilometres, has a front wall of approximately three kilometres and a height of about 70 metres above the Lake surface.
Check it out live on: www.epatagonia.gov.ar/glaciar



July 07th, 2008


SPECTACULAR HOSTAGE RESCUE BY ELITE COLOMBIAN TROOPS IN JUNGLE AREA IN SOUTHERN PART OF THE COUNTRY (PART 2)

(PART 1) (PART 3)

Aboard the helicopter were a couple of pilots and 9 members of a special elite intelligence team posing as FARC guerrillas, but unarmed as supposedly had been agreed with the fictictious humanitarian NGO, which was touted as the go between for this exchange. Even the helicopter was the type of Russian helicopter painted white that had been used by the Venezuelan negotiators during previous attempts to exchange Mrs Betancourt. The helicopter was allowed to land without incident in FARC territory in a clearing with only stunted coca bushes growing and was received by Commander Cesar and a group of up to 60 armed guerrillas and the hostages. The Colombian army intelligence team wearing a mix of camouflage and Che Guevara T shirts, looking and speaking just like the guerrilla fighters, after being trained for more than three weeks by Colombian actors, jumped off the helicopter to the ground and started to mingling with the guerrillas, even to the point of filming them and the hostages while these last ones were being tied up and made to board the helicopter, manacled with plastic bands. Once aboard, the two local commanders climbed in and the helicopter took off leaving the 60 or so remaining guerrillas on the ground waving goodbye. After a short while in ther air, the two commanders were overpowered and the hostages freed. When the head of the operation to free the hostages told them that they were free, "the helicopter almost fell from the sky because we all jumped, shouted, cried and embraced", Mrs Betancourt said. "We couldn't believe it," she added. There is no precedent for such a perfect operation," she said.



July 02nd, 2008


MERCOSUR SUMMIT HELD IN THE CITY OF TUCUMAN ENDS WITHOUT MAJOR SURPRISES

Seven South American presidents gathered this weekend in the City of Tucuman for the Mercosur Summit, hosted by the Argentinean president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. Although the summit included such controversial figures as the Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, and Evo Morales from Bolivia there were no major surprises during the summit. Other presidents present were Luis Inacio Lula da Silva from Brazil, Tabaré Vázquez from Uruguay, Nicanor Duarte Frutos from Paragua and Michelle Bachelet from Chile. As one of the people present at the meeting said: "South America has common problems and it is our duty to start value them and find solutions to them. South America is a sub continent, which has it all, fresh water, oil, food, industries and people that are prepared for the challenges the future holds".



July 01st, 2008


REMEMBRANCES OF A NATIONAL PARKS PIONEER

Aida Pantin, today an 85 year old woman, has spent all of her life in close relationship with nature and the National Parks system in Argentina. Her husband Pedro Madsen was the first park guard of the Viedma Lake in the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares Glaciers National Park and both the Pantin and the Madsen families are among the first inhabitants in this area of Patagonia. Her family arrived in the area as early as 1913, settling in Calafate, which at that time was but a small hamlet, buffeted by the Patagonian winds and solitude.
In 1923 she married Pedro Cristian Madsen, the brother of Fitz Roy Madsen, who tragically died on December 4th, 1945, as the commemorative plaque at the entrance of the Park signals. These two brothers were the first two Park Guards in the area. "It was a hard life, but it was a work of love, and everything that you do with love is much easier", Aida remembers, while telling about the long horseback rides she took with her husband to check on the forests and to control the immense area. "I have crossed the De la Vueltas River on several occasions, with the water up to my waist and the horse almost afloat. It was a time of great sacrifices, but the National Parks have always left me with positive memories". Before leaving us, Aida has time for a final reflection: "The day that civilisation comes here, it is all over". When we look around at what today is the City of Calafate, we cannot but agree with this Patagonian pioneer woman.
 


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