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September 30th, 2008


A body that is a bastion in the care and protection of the biodiversity Emblematic figures in all the corners of the country, its work is translated in the conservation of the natural resources of Argentina. Every year, thousands of visitors are witnesses of a work that they can be proud of. On the 9th of October of the year 1934, with the sanction of the Law N° 12,103, the Direction of National Parks is created – the present Administration of National Parks (APN by its Spanish acronym) - and from this initial impulse it is decided to form the Corps of Park Guards, so that these are the protectors of the valuable natural and cultural biodiversity of the established national territories like protected areas. Since then the Guardaparque or Park Guard is one of the emblematic figures of the APN, with its permanent presence in the land by means of patrolling, attention to the visitor, patrolling, monitoring, prevention of fire, aid to the settlers, control of campers and concessionaires. Thus, the Park Guard develops a fundamental work for the fulfilment of the institutional objectives, next to the rest of the conservation agents who work in National Parks. The way of the academic qualification of the Park Guards has been ample and diverse, and it began with the creation - the 2nd of July of 1969 - of the first Training Centre " Guardaparque Bernabé Méndez". At the moment, the APN counts on a tertiary level education that allows students to graduate with the title of " University Technician in the Handling of Protected Areas”; and that is developed in the Tourist Unit that the Secretariat of Tourism of the Nation owns in the Locality of Embalse, Province of Cordova.

September 29th, 2008


Two new observatories of birds in the National Park El Palmar have been inaugurated. They will allow appreciating the almost 300 species of birds that are in that protected area. One will be located near the Stream El Palmar, whereas the second is next to the Uruguay River. This way, both ambient habitats that constitute the Park, as much the Pasture Lands as the Gallery Forest will have the necessary infrastructure for an activity that is becoming more and more popular in the world. The National Park El Palmar, in the Province Entre Rios will have as of tomorrow morning, at 10 AM, a new tourist attraction with the inauguration of two bird observatories. Both ambient areas that constitutes that protected area; the Pasture Lands and the Gallery Forest, will count as of that morning with the “Observatory of the Pasture” and the “Observatory of the Forest”, that will allow to appreciate the almost 300 species of birds, of the total of 1000 which Argentina has, in their natural environment. The first of the observatories is located next to the way that leads to the viewpoint of the stream “El Palmar”, in a low zone of flooding and with a panoramic view of the so called yatay palms. In as much, the Observatory of the Forest was constructed close to the Uruguay River, with access from the parking lot that is next to the historical ruins. For the inauguration, a choral encounter will be organized next to the music school Valentin Alarcón, of the City of Colon, and the book “Birds of the Uruguay River” will be presented, edited by Martín de la Peña, Fernando Raffo, Roberto Laene, Gustavo Capuccio and Liliana Bonin, and which has been supported by the Administrator Commission of the Uruguay River (CARU by its Spanish acronym).

The observation of birds is a recreational tool of world-wide importance. In the last years it has been transformed into one of the main attractions within the eco tourist development of the Region. It has become a valuable tool to educate and to sensitize the people on the importance of birds within the ecosystems, by their collaboration with the pollination and dispersion of the seeds of the native trees. The observatories are constructions that usually are located in strategic sites where the birds go to feed or to nest. They are realised generally in wood, and they are painted in colours similar to the landscape that surrounds them. The windows allow that the observer appreciates the birds going about their normal activity trying not altering this. In the National Park El Palmar more than 300 different species of birds have been registered, between which several types of woodpeckers, kingfishers and several species of falcons can be mentioned.

September 26th, 2008

(PART 3 OF 3)

“These numbers show the importance that the forests have in the regulation of the fallen rainwater”, summarized Pensiero. “We cannot know what would have happened in March if there had been more forests in the Province, but we can say that the impact of rains would not had been the same”, the investigator said, in reference to the flooding that struck Santa Fe in the recent month of March. The handling of the forest Although one does not generally see them in this way, the native forests can be a clear alternative of viable use. The low production of which these systems are often accused is disguised by the evil handling: the forests are deteriorated if they are not handled well, and - by the opposite they can be very productive if they are worked suitably. The sustainable handling of the native forest requires the use of different tools, like the advantage of areas of forests that still conserve forest aptitude; the increase of the production, the quality and the lumber and fodder growth of the forests degraded by means of the way forest cultivations are treated; the protection and increase of arboreal natural regeneration; the natural re growth of deforested areas and the agro forestry plantations in disassembled areas with the purpose to improve in the long term the productive capacity of the sectors of lacking tree cover.

September 25th, 2008

(PART 2 OF 3)

According to what Pensiero explained, there are four variables that allow to show to the behaviour differential that exists between a forest and a culture (annual or perennial) in the regulation of the rainwater. These variables are: interception, that measures the percentage of rainwater that is intercepted in the leaves of the trees, trunks or branches; infiltration, that is “the water that arrives and penetrates into the ground”; draining, as it is called the water that drains and “washes” the ground; and consumption, that corresponds to what the plants use to live. ”If we compared these variables between a culture of soybean and a forest the differences are large: of the 100% of the rainwater, an annual crop infiltrates only a 20%, whereas in a forest that value is near 80%”, indicated the investigator. In as much, the draining in an annual crop can be between 25-75% of the rain water and only 10% in a forest. While, the interception in an annual crop is null and in a forest it is located between 15-20%; and the water consumption of a forest can be superior to 1,200 mm per year, whereas in an annual crop this value is near 400 mm annual. In other words: the water that is not retained in the ground, for example, by a crop, slips away until arriving at the water-drainage channels which are finally going to end up in the rivers, causing (among others things) the increase in their levels.

September 24th, 2008

(PART 1 OF 3)

As mentioned in an earlier article more than 50% of the arable land in Argentina is occupied by soy bean plantations. But it doesn’t stop there, recent figures show that they deforest nearly 200 thousand hectares per year and the Province of Santa Fe is no exception. The North of the Province has more and more soybean and fewer forests. The immediate result is the loss of biodiversity, in particular of animal and vegetal species, and other upheavals like a greater impact of rains and the increase of the level of the rivers. In the Department 9 de Julio, to the Northwest of the Province of Santa Fe, the landscape has changed considerably in this part since some time back. Not so many years ago (only in the middle of the past century) there was still available something of the shade that protected the plant and animal species that only live in this region of the country. Today the horizon is flat, but green: it is full of soybeans that grow where before the forests grew. The example of 9 de Julio - where during the last 10 years up to 100,000 hectares of native forests disappeared is but the last one of so many others that are repeated all over Argentina. According to data of the First Forest Census, of 1914, at the colonial time the forests, mountains and tropical areas of Argentina occupied 170 million hectares (61% of the national territory). In 1914 they were approximately 106 million hectares and for 1956 the number already had been reduced to 59 million. Since the decade of the 90s, the boom of the soybean made the problem worse. According to the first national farming census, realised in 1937, the surface occupied by native forests in the country was in the order of 37,535,308 hectares; in 1998 the surface descended to 33,190, 442 hectares. “In 61 years 4,344, 866 hectares of native forests, or 71,228 hectares per year were lost”, said Jose Pensiero, professor and investigator of the Faculty of Ciencias Agrarias (FCA) of the National University of the Coast (UNL).

September 23rd, 2008


They blame Guillermo Moreno, secretary of Commerce of Cristina Kirchner, to have intervened Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas y Censos National Institute od Statistics and Census (Indec by it Spanish acronym) and "to make up" the numbers of the Index of Consumer Prices (IPC by its Spanish acronym). Thanks to him, the Kirchners "solved" the most urgent problem of Argentina: the inflation. The secretary of Commerce, Guillermo Moreno, directly eliminated the hard official statistic of the IPC and brought up another one from his bag of tricks. Instead of a 30% annual increase of prices, gathered by private studies, its index reached only 8,50%. For that reason it is that the British weekly magazine The Economist ironically declares that the Kirchners govern "a Wonderland".

In order to build that "miracle", Moreno intervened in the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (Indec). He left it without a leader and the professionals that used to work there in order to fill it up with own people, who every month "draw" the numbers of the IPC to the taste of the government. Simultaneously, hired bullies arrived at the institute who have attacked and persecuted those who denounce the crude lie. The industrialists also know of the swaggering attitudes of the secretary at the time of negotiating on the commercial policy. According to what executives told the Buenos Aires press anonymously, he had a revolver on his writing-desk when they spoke of prices. Or he sends to fulfil what he commands with an non-presentable argument: "He is thus because mine is bigger and longer". Moreno, of 52 years, works out every day in the gymnasium of the army and goes to mass every Sunday. May God bless Argentina.

September 22nd, 2008


The president Cristina Fernandez designated major general Luis Alberto Pozzi as new head of the Army after passing to retirement the lieutenant general Roberto Bendini, a man of confidence of the Kirchner marriage that was jeopardized in a judicial cause by a supposed embezzlement. "The president has signed the decree 1.535 that designates a new head of the Army staff, that is the present assistant chief major general Luis Alberto Pozzi", said the head of cabinet of ministers, Sergio Massa. Until Pozzi on Friday evolved like the immediate successor of Bendini that Thursday asked for the president to relieve him of the position after being processed by the justice system for presumed corruption. Pozzi, of 60 years, is a specialized military engineer in electronics and satellite technology that between 1998 and 2002 was the director of Systems of Communications and Computer Science of the Army. After passing through other positions, in November of the 2004 he was designated director of Investigation, Development and Production of that force. Bendini had been designated head of the Army in May of the 2003 by the then president Néstor Kirchner - husband of the present chief executive who after assuming the power that year made a purge in the Armed Forces and impelled a policy of human rights that included the derogation of two laws of amnesty, giving passage to several judicial causes against the military accused of crimes during the military dictatorship between 1976 to 1983.

September 19th, 2008


A world-wide conference is realised for the first time outside the European Union. The City of Buenos Aires was chosen so that experts of 100 countries could analyze different solutions to protect more birds in danger of extinction. In Argentina, this situation includes 12 percent of the thousand species that inhabit the national territory. The meeting will count on the presence of Princess Takamado of Japan. The city of Buenos Aires will lodge in the week from the 22nd to the 28th of September, experts of more than 100 countries that will participate in the World-wide Conference of Conservation of Birds, the first that is realised outside the European Union. The meeting, that will be realised in the facilities of the Sheraton hotel, located in the Buenos Aires District of Retiro, will be presided over by the President of the Global Council of the BirdLife International, Princess Takamado of Japan. Under the motto “Reaching the goals of conservation of the bio diversity after 2010 ?, the work agenda will include questions related to the environmental future of the planet, valuable areas for bio diversity, deforestation, climate change, conservation of marine birds, bio fuels, and financing of environmental projects, among others subjects. The experts who will arrive at this city will analyse different solutions to protect the birds in danger of extinction situation that in Argentina includes 12 percent of the thousand species that inhabit the national territory. During the six days that the encounter lasts, there expected a participation of about 600 specialists, conferences, symposiums, workshops, exhibitions and a fair of the participating countries will be realised. In the mornings, there will be trips to the Ecological Reserve South Coast to carry out observation of birds, a well-known activity known internationally as “bird watching” and that is intimately close to tourism. The organizers informed that during the conference, the Ecological Reserve will officially be declared “Important Birds Conservation Area (IBA by its English acronym).
The Program of Important Areas for the Conservation of the Birds of BirdLife International is a global initiative focused at the identification, documentation and conservation of a world network of critical sites for birds. In Argentina a total of 273 IBAs exist and are identified, covering 12 percent of the surface of the country, with a variation that go from 2 in San Juan and San Luis, to 15 in Formosa and Santa Cruz, and 30 in the Province of Salta. Around 36 percent of these areas are included within the national and provincial network of protected areas, private reserves and other forms of protection. About 143 sites are not protected and other 32 are so only partially. “The loss of biological diversity is a worrisome general symptom in the development of the countries. The accelerated transformation of wild habitats in Argentina has increased the number of species in danger”, explained the coordinator of the Argentine partners of Birds, Claudia D´Acunto. In the decade of the 90s, the country had 80 threatened species, whereas at present the number has ascended to 113 species that are in that situation. “The making of conservation plans of action for birds in danger in consensus with different actors who can contribute solutions can help to revert this situation”, she added.
The so Hooded Grebe (Podiceps gallardoi), the Ashy-headed Goose (Anas specularoides), the Blue-billed Black Tyrant (Knipolegus cabanisi), the different Seedeaters (Sporophila spp.), the Yellow-billed Cacique (Sturnella loyca) and the Black-throated Finch (Cyanacompsa brissani) and the Green Macaw (Ara ambiguous) are some of the species that concentrate the efforts of this organization who works since 1916. During the World-wide Conference of Conservation of Birds, it will be possible also to visit the photographic sample “Birds of Argentina”, of Roman the Matías artist, who invites to check through 13 photographs of some of the species that are in extinction danger.
The Exhibition, that will be able to be visited in the Ecological Reserve as long as the conference lasts, between the 9th and the 18th, will be part of the parallel events, amongst which also is emphasised a concert in charge of Paul Winter, who in his music includes the sounds of nature. On the other hand, Claudia D'acunto anticipated that next to the secretariat of Tourism of the Nation, the organization Argentine Birds will develop the seminary: “Birds and Tourism”, destined to tie tourist operators to the observation of birds.

September 18th, 2008


The Association Friends of the Earth also state that the increase of land destined to the production of bio fuels will not only cause more deforestation and destruction of flora and fauna but also the expulsion of local communities from their lands with severe economic, social and cultural consequences. In a report they alert on the increase of its production in Latin America. Europe has already decided to cut their quota of production of these fuels. The celebration of the bio fuels or agro fuels seems to have no boundary, if we rely on the warnings pointed out by the Association Friends of the Earth in its report: " Fomenting the destruction of America Latina" , where an alert signal was given regarding the installation of crops for use of that type of fuels. "No other region has received with as much enthusiasm this idea as Latin America, where the countries already began to extend their production and to install the infrastructure necessary to accede and to supply the markets of Europe and the United States”, it was indicated. According to the signers of the report, “the fast expansion of the bio fuels paints scenery of great enterprise benefits and little benefits for the local population”. Focused on the situation of producing countries located in Central and South America, the study attacked the enthusiasm demonstrated by several nations of Latin America regarding the production of bio fuels. In one of its conclusions, it was pointed out that to increase the amount of land destined to the cultivation of agro fuels “it means to increase to the deforestation and the destruction of the fauna and the flora, leading to land conflicts; expulsion of the rural communities, besides providing precarious conditions of work and environmental contamination. On the other hand, Brazil is indicated as the major promoter of bio fuels. In order to avoid critics, the producing countries assure the North that there is enough land available to extend the production in a sustainable way. “It is in that country - one the major promoters of the development and use of bio fuels-, where in front of the rise of the international demand, agriculture in lands that was not worked before is expanding”, it is stated. "The biodiversity and the habitat are threatened. The studies on the change of the use of the land generated by the expansion of the sugar cane show evidences of a diminution of land now used for other crops, grasslands and fruit trees." has been a fast increase of the conflicts by the use of the ground in the last; it was added. “These monocultures - it added, replace smaller and more productive familiar establishments. The demand of crops for the production of bio fuels has created a boom in the rural land market where groups of foreign investors - led by Soros and the ex- president of the World Bank, Wolfensohn- are buying enormous surfaces for a future expansion of sugar cane, removing from the market the national agriculturists based on the increasing prices of the land”. According to the study, “it is improbable that the expansion of the sugar cane in Brazil benefits the rural communities or the environment”. On the other hand, the Commission of the European Parliament proposed to review the goal of expansion of the use of bio fuels, established last year. The proposal approved by the Committee of Industry of the Parliament, accepted the original goal to have a 10 percent of the transport of the block moved with renewable energies until the 2020. Nevertheless, the Committee wants to trim to only 6% the level of the traditional bio fuels, like ethanol. The remaining 4% come from electricity, hydrogen and second generation agro fuels, like those that are derived from cellulose and its residues. The authors of the report live and work in the countries in which there is that type of production, among them, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala. The report concluded with a “call of attention” to the governments who have the eyes put in the new markets that arise from the increasing demand of bio fuels in the Northern hemisphere. “They have started to take measures the makes the business of bio fuels extremely attractive, including subsidies, exoneration of taxes, budgets for the investigation, land rights, permissions and infrastructure, and levels of ethanol mixture and biodiesel in fuels for transport" , it finalized.

September 17th, 2008

(Adapted from a BBC interview of the Borges widow Maria Kodama)

- Pink Floyd?
- Yes, he loved them. So it is so the hymn for his birthday was not "Happy birthday" but "The wall".
- How did he discover them?
- I do not know. The film wall is terrible and we watched it an infinity of times. After a while I believe that he knew by memory the dialogues. He liked that type of music because he said that it was a thing of enormous force, terrible but full of life.

- And Rolling Stones?
- He loved them, he also said that they had an incredible force. A day we were in the Palace hotel of Madrid, waiting for some people to come and pick us up for dinner and I see that in comes Mick Jagger. He kneels down, takes hold of the hand of Borges and he says to him: "Teacher, I admire you". Borges, a little astonished, did not see him well and said "And you who you are, Sir? ". And he answers "I am Mick Jagger". Borges says: "Ah, one of the Rolling Stones". Mick Jagger almost faints and he asks " How master do you know me? ". And Borges says: "Well, yes, thanks to María". I had told Borges that in a film that is called Performance appears a great photo of Borges and I believe that Mick Jagger is reading to Borges.

- Did Borges listen to music when he wrote?
- No, but he did realise that listening to music without putting it on himself and realizing what it was, it transmitted to him like an energy that helped him to write. However, never even a glass of wine.

- He drank wine?
- He told me that when he was young yes. Until a day, in a meeting, je listened a friend of his father who said: " What pity! If Jorge goes on like this he is going to finish like a lost drunk". From that day on he stopped drinking.

- Never more?
- He never drank again until he began to give lectures. Then he drank or hoisted a small glass of cane liquor to be able to speak, because he was very timid. It distressed me much, but I never said it, because he stuttered and he had learnt how to control it, but when he was tired, he drank a little wine, had like difficulty to start. (...)I remember that one day walking he talked about the conference he \was about to give, and suddenly he stopped and said “but I have just given the conference” ...that means that I can give a conference without having a glass of wine”. And he never drank a glass again.

September 16th, 2008

(Adapted from a BBC interview of the Borges widow Maria Kodama)

Among other tastes, he enjoyed the music of Pink Floyd and the Rolling Stones. The master Jorge Luis Borges, although he was a genius, also had a daily life full of domestic things said his companion Maria Kodama at a photography exhibition in his memory. Jorge Luis Borges listened to Pink Floyd, he had passion for rice with butter and cheese, and when young he stopped drinking wine after hearing a friend of his father foretell that he would become "a lost drunkard".
These are some characteristics of the most personal and less known side of the prestigious Argentine writer who his widow, Maria Kodama, related to BBC World. The dialogue took place with regard to a sample of photographs and texts of trips of Borges and Kodama around the world, called "The atlas of Borges", inaugurated this week in the House of Latin America of the French capital. What follows here are extracts of that conversation.
- A question that arises when seeing the exhibition is if Borges had a routine…
- No, I believe that if Borges had had good eyesight perhaps we would have lost him as a writer. He would have been an adventurer. He was a person who did not have routines, not even to write. He wrote, as he said, when the Muse dictated to him or when his spirit filled him. If he did not have any idea in the head, he just carried on and nothing happened.

-How it was a day in the life of Borges?
- He rose more or less at eight or nine in the morning, had breakfast, and later he received the journalists, the students (...). We went a lot to the movies; he liked that very much.
-Which was its favourite dish?
- Rice with butter and cheese. There is a very funny anecdote, because one day a friend invites him to eat at the Maxim's. The maitre comes, they had explained to him who was Borges, and he says to him: "Master, what we can serve you? ". And he begins to recite a long list of the exquisite menu. Borges listens kindly and ends up saying: "Rice with butter and cheese please". The friend is paralyzed and he says to him: "But maestro, we are in the best restaurant of Paris… ". Then he watches the maitre and he says to him: " For that reason, I want to know how they prepare my preferred plate in the best restaurant of Paris: rice with butter and cheese".

-What music did he listen to?
- He said that he was deaf to music, because he only had ear for the music of the word. And he said things like for example that he did not like Beethoven, which produced the sacred horror of all the people. But for example he liked Brahms, Bach, old medieval music, folkloric music, milonga and "old style tangos" , as he said. He thought that Gardel had ruined the tango.

- Because he had made it into something done it "sentimental and cry babyish". However, he said that "to me; tangos of the oldies" they were like milongas: they had a double meaning in their letters. He liked that also later on funny things like the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd.

September 15th, 2008


Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and the Latin American chief executives who integrate the Unasur initiated the deliberations to analyze the situation of Bolivia. The presidents will listen the Bolivian chief executive, Evo Morales and soon they will present a declaration where their support to the democracy in Bolivia will be ratified. Before the appointment, Cristina spoke several times with her Chilean pair, Michelle Bachelet, and with Morales, in a series of phone calls and high level political consultations that included the Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and the Venezuelan Hugo Chavez. Unasur has a continuity of declarations in favour of the democratic institutionalism of Bolivia. A recent declaration indicated that the regional organism "It laments the prolongation of the actions of civil groups that lead to losses of human lives, hurt people, the destruction of private and public goods and, to the institutional weakening and risk for the democracy that could threaten its territorial unit and integrity ". The past 11 of September the president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, pleaded for a world "without imperialism" and without “impositions of any power" after promulgating the law by which its country adheres to the Union of South American Nations (Unasur). "We speak of the integrity and territorial immunity of the States. Nothing of separatism that divides our countries" , the president maintained in an act celebrated in the Palace of Government of La Paz in the presence of ambassadors of Latin American and European countries. Bolivia, that is lately suffering a serious crisis, is the first country that formally ratifies, through its Legislative and Executive powers, the constituent treaty of the Unasur. In the meanwhile, the passage of Argentine trucks that were stranded more than three weeks ago on the Bolivian Argentine border of Salvador Mazza-Yacuiba resumed this dawn, after negotiations between diplomatic civil servants. In an official notice spread by the Chancellery, it was declared that the passage of drivers with their trucks was returned to normal today at 3:30 of the dawn, after more than three weeks of blockades on the part of “Bolivians so called cívicos". In Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia more than 10 self-appointed teams called “cívicos" that are against the government of Evo Morales, blocked the route that unites both countries. The one that generated the major disadvantages and damages for the Argentineans was the one of Yacuiba, where 40 Argentine vehicles, with and without load were delayed during nearly three weeks on the Bolivian side; whereas more than a hundred of trucks could not cross towards the other side of the border.

September 11st, 2008


The initiative that was accepted by the House of Representatives in the session of yesterday, tries to preserve the biodiversity of the region. Forest companies indicated their preoccupation because the measurement would affect the yield of the sector. A project that forces to add native trees of species in a percentage not inferior to 20 percent of all the replanted forests of the province was accepted by the Misiones House of Representatives. The suggested law counts on the endorsement of the radical deputy Orlando Schuster, as its author, and of the president of the legislative body, Carlos Rovira. In its first article, the law determines that “All forests planted in the province of Missions will have to include a percentage not less than twenty percent, distributed in a uniform way on the surface affected by the implanted forest, for the forestation of native and/or fruit trees”. According to one of its articles, the measure sets out “to preserve the biodiversity of the flora and the fauna of the place”. The law is called to generate a fort economic impact, since it would reduce the capacity to produce wood in a province that makes most of its income in the forest sector and the related industries. The presented initiative took by surprise the industrialists and professionals from the forest sector, who indicated total ignorance with respect to the existence of the project. Before consultations, they preferred to abstain to formulate opinions until having the opportunity to analyze the law in detail. They protested however, that summons them for the debate, when the project is treated in the corresponding commissions. Without advancing their support or rejection, from the industrial sector they expected that, for the law to be applied, it would find ways of not significantly affect the yield of the sector. The professionals also asked that the time necessary is taken to define all the technical questions necessary to go ahead with a measure of that nature. They considered in addition that, if to defend the biodiversity is the idea, other lands destined to monocultures, like yerbales and tea plantations also could contribute to the cause incorporating native trees of species in their extension. It should be pointed out that foresters that plant native species could receive economic compensations within the framework of the National Law of Forests (also known as the Law Bonasso), that still is in a stage of being applied.

September 10th, 2008


About 200 passengers of a train who last night had left from the city of Bahia Blanca for Constitucion were stranded today in the Buenos Aires locality of Olavarría by a technical flaw in the engine. According to the testimony of the passengers the formation had a failure soon after leaving Bahia Blanca, soon to continue its trip until again it registered problems when arriving at Olavarría. Sources of the Station of Trains of Bahia Blanca indicated that "As a result of the technical failure the passengers were transferred this morning in vans to the Federal Capital. In as much, the passenger Néstor Giles indicated that "We left at 19.30 reason why after six hours of delay we arrived at Saavedra because they had to change the engine and after it we arrived at 6 to Olavarría". "They say that they set fire a wagon but the only thing that people did was to block the rails in protest until the vans arrived", he affirmed. According to the passenger "People are indignant and fed up by the situation and when we arrived at Constitution they asked for their fares back".

September 09th, 2008


The National Government arranged to execute works of electrification and infrastructure and improvement of routes and stations to the transport of passengers lines Mitre and Sarmiento, that have been concessioned to Trains of Buenos Aires (TBA). The measurement is part of the decision of the National Government to reclaim railroads (PLANINFER) and the extension of these works was arranged by the Secretariat of Transport of the Nation, through the resolution 695/08 that is published today in the Government Official paper. The sectors to modernize are between Merlo-Marco Paz and Moreno-Luján, of the former Línea Sarmiento, in which the mains will be extended and stations will be modernized; and " Closing and electrification in the Northern circuit" between the stations José León Suarez-Bancalari and Benavidez-Victoria, of the Línea Mitre. The extension of the electrified network for the old Línea Sarmiento will allow the construction of new stations, and so the service will be available for a greater amount of people. On the other hand, the circuit Jose Leon Suarez-Victory will allow to count on appropriate spaces to generate a centre of multimodal transference of transport and to create spaces for the parking of vehicles. Essentially, these works to extend the supply of transport services of passengers by railroad in the North of the Buenos Aires urban space will cause the diminution of the congestion of the transit in the zone. All these improvements are included in the Program of Works, Indispensable Works and Acquisition of Goods, that aims to guarantee the rehabilitation of the interurban services of passengers.

September 08th, 2008


They blame leftists of "sabotage" Government denounced and it identified the attackers, but said nothing of the renovation of the service. The minister of Justice, Security and Human rights, Aníbal Fernandez, said in a press conference that the Government is " very upset" after compiling images and testimonies that "prove" that there was” sabotage" of the cabin that protected the system of brakes of the formation that, after being driven, left thousands of passengers stranded in the morning of yesterday. The minister said that in the stations of the Buenos Aires localities of Castelar and Merlo leftist militants of the Movimiento Socialista de los Trabajadores (MST), Partido Obrero (PO), Proyecto Sur and Quebracho. - of the political forces of left Socialist Movement of Trabajadores were identified in the place of the incidents. "There was a armed, premeditated situation to do boycott", affirmed the minister, who said that youngsters were identified that had in their knapsacks Bengal flares, aerosols and pamphlets in favour of the re nationalisation of the railroads, "elements that are not those like the workers who use the train on a daily basis. The minister explained that after the halting of the railroad, a militant of the PO, identified as Jose Maria Bromero and that has not yet been captured, took off his shirt, put it in a bucket, set fire to it and threw it underneath the line of wagons to initiate the fire of the train. He said that these militants carried out confrontations with the police and robbed the spending ticket machines in one of the two railway stations where the excesses were registered. Fernandez assured that the Government has "a vocation of reverting" the criticism of the railroads in Argentina and clarified that the set afire wagons were new and they cost eight million dollars. The minister said that the objective of the sabotage was to generate the conflict by the conflict itself, with the intention of a destabilization policy.
Precedent. In May of the past year the Buenos Aires train station of of Constitution, the centre of the greatest affluence of passengers of all Argentina, was the scene of serious disturbances carried out by infuriated passengers.
The network.
Argentina today has a railway network of about 7,000 kilometres in length, against the 27,600 kilometres offered in concession in the last decade with the privatization of Argentine Railroads.

September 05th, 2008


The Secretariat of Environment that is presided over by Romina Picolotti, will give to the judge who takes part in the cause of the cleaning of the Riachuelo the details of 4,100 industries that dump their effluents into the river. In addition, according to what the La Nacion newspaper publishes today, Picolotti - in his role as President of the Authority of the River basin will ask the judge of Quilmas, Luis Aramella, to whom the Court gave the cause, to extend search warrants to enter 22 companies that previously denied the entrance to the inspectors of the Government. The report is also going to include a detail with the 1,400 of the Federal Capital, as well as the air monitoring that will begin to work at the end of the year in the zone of influence of the most contaminated river of the country. It should be remembered that the Court had ordered on the last 8th of July the National, Provincial and Federal governments to clean up the Riachuelo with a series of terms.

September 04th, 2008


The decision of the Government to cancel the debt with the Club of Paris obtained an ample endorsement by the public opinion, according to polls known in the last hours by different consultants. On the one hand, Analogies assured that 67.4 percent of the surveyed ones pronounced "their agreement" with the announcement of the Government, against a 31.4% that pronounced “it was not in agreement". In the same in survey, 60.1 percent accompanied the analysis by some economists of which the decision " it is going to give to more security to the foreign". 28.6 percent was in discord with that idea, and a 11.3 percent did not know, according to what was published by the daily Clarin. In as much, according to a study by CEOP, the 70.4 percent it described like " positive" the cancellation of the debt. It was "negative" only for 20.9 percent.
The same investigation shows that 41 percent thinks that the economy "will improve some" after this decision; while 33.4 said that " it will improve a lot"

September 03rd, 2008


The President will head this act in the Ministry of Planning to declare the tunnel of low height for Central the Trasandino Railroad.
The ceremony will take place in the Belgrano Hall (ex- Padilla), located in the fifth floor of the building shared by the ministries of Planning and Economy, and besides Head of State, they will participate the holder of the portfolio of Planning, Julio De Vido, and the secretary of Transport, Ricardo Jaime, among others. The project, also declared of public interest by the Chilean government, will be carried out through a private initiative presented by Corporación América S.A. and Tecnicagua S.A.I.C.A. With the object of reactivating the drawn up one railway in the corridor of the Redeeming Christ between Argentina and Chile, in the 2005, both nations declared of public interest a private initiative that anticipated the development of the mentioned work and bid on the construction, operation and put into operation of the railway service between the localities of Los Andes in Chile and Mendoza in ArgentinaBy the end of the last year, the technical and economic proposals of the only interested party were received, and after the evaluation it was decided to not accept the same, because the presented documentation did not fulfil the exigencies of the general conditions of the offer. Notwithstanding, the 15 of January of 2008, one " new private initiative superior to the previous one" was presented by a partnership of companies of great relevance in the national and international order, with solid economic structure that implies the development of installing a railway between the two mentioned cities. Between the main points of the new project is contemplated the construction of a tunnel of low height of 23 kilometres between the Bridge of the Inca (Argentina) and Juncal (Chile), and the rehabilitation and construction of approximately 200 kilometres of the historical plan of the Trasandino Railroad, outside the tunnel of low height. In addition, one anticipates the complete electrification of the railroad, the wide trail from Mendoza (Argentina) to Los Andes (Chile) and the construction of a hydroelectric dam to allow for the auto generation of 300 MW of energy. The predicted investment will go up to around the 2.810.000.000 dollars, of which almost half will be destined to the double railway tunnel and the considered transport of load will be of 20 million tons for the year 2020 and 70 million tons for the year 2050. The concretion of the project not only will improve "Regional integration, but it will also give an important impulse to the regional economies", considering that the work will delay between 8 and 10 years.

September 02nd, 2008


An ex-army officer viewed by Argentine human rights activists as a prime example of the military's cruel rule in the 1970s and 1980s has gone on trial. Luciano Benjamin Menendez, 80, and seven other former army officers, are accused of kidnapping, torturing and killing four left-wing activists. Prosecutors say the victims were dumped in the street to make it look like they died in a shootout with officials. It is the first big human rights trial to be held in the city of Cordoba. Most human rights cases to date have been tried in Buenos Aires and the surrounding area. Luciano Benjamin Menendez, who reached the rank of general, was one of Argentina's most feared army officers during military rule between 1976 and 1983. He commanded the regional Third Army Corps for five years in the northern city of Cordoba. He, along with seven former colleagues, is accused of the kidnap, torture and killing of four left-wing activists in Cordoba in 1977: Hilda Palacios, Carlos Laja, Ruben Cardozo and Humberto Brandalisi. Prosecutors say the four were taken to a clandestine torture centre, held bound and gagged for a month, then executed. Their bodies were then dumped in the street to make it look like they had died in a battle with the authorities - a common practice at the time. Amnesties and pardons introduced after the return to civilian rule meant that most of those held responsible for the kidnap, torture and killing of tens of thousands of Argentines in the period that became known as the Dirty War escaped prosecution. But three years ago those laws were ruled unconstitutional and the trials started again. This trial is the first major one concerning crimes committed during the Dirty War to be held in Cordoba. Human rights groups and the friends and family of the victims are hoping that their long wait for justice is finally over.

September 01st, 2008


Two of the worst oppressors during Argentina's military rule - known as the Dirty War - have been sentenced to life imprisonment. Antonio Bussi, 82, and Luciano Benjamin Menendez, 81, were sent to prison for the kidnapping and disappearance of a former senator in April 1976. The two generals were senior members of the military government that ruled the country during the 1970s and 1980s. During that time tens of thousands of people were tortured and killed. A court in the Northern Argentine Province of Tucuman sentenced the two men on Thursday. The former provincial governor, Antonio Bussi, and military chief, Luciano Benjamin Menendez, looked on passively as the sentences were read out. Menendez was sentenced to prison earlier this month on another human rights case and there are more charges outstanding against the two men - both now in their eighties. They were found guilty of responsibility for the disappearance in April 1976 of the former senator, Guillermo Vargas Aignasse. Family and friends of other victims were inside and outside the court, holding photographs of their loved ones. Some cheered, while others cried. A short distance away, separated by lines of riot police, were supporters of the two men who earlier had told the court they knew nothing about the disappeared man and defended the military government which they said was fighting to protect Argentina against communism. It took 32 years to bring Bussi and Menendez to trial - the cases against the perpetrators of the darkest period in Argentine history only resumed a couple of years ago. Tens of thousands of people were kidnapped by the authorities and disappeared. It has taken a long time but justice in Argentina is now being seen to be done.

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