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COMO MIRA EL MUNDO A ARGENTINA (13 de Febrero de 2015)

 
 
 
By Aditya Tejas
February 13 2015
 
 
The ex-wife of Alberto Nisman, the Argentine prosecutor who died under mysterious circumstances after accusing President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of covering up a 1994 bombing, voiced criticism of the probe on Thursday. Nisman was found dead in his apartment in what was ruled a suicide.
 
Sandra Arroyo Salgado, the prosecutor’s former wife, speaking at a congressional session organized by opposition groups, said the probe had become too politicized and is leaking too much information, calling for the case to be referred to an international commission, Deutsche Welle reported.
 
“Let’s let justice take its course, don’t continue politicizing a case in which so much is still unresolved,” she said. “In my own name and that of my daughters, I ask the national public defenders’ office to consider … the possibility of taking the case to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.”
 
Nisman, who was investigating Argentina’s response to the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center, was probing whether Iran’s alleged involvement in the deal was covered up in exchange for favorable oil deals. He died one day before he was due to testify on the matter.
 
Argentine investigators say they’ve unearthed a draft of a warrant seeking the president’s arrest.
 
Investigators initially said the death was a suicide, before announcing later they were considering the possibility of a homicide. Nisman was reportedly found shot in the head with a pistol in his hand. Authorities say there was no sign of a struggle or intruders, ProPublica reported.
 
After Nisman’s death, Kirchner disbanded the intelligence service and announced plans to reform it with a new agency. She also said she was certain Nisman’s death was not a suicide, but that he was murdered by a conspiracy of former intelligence agents in order to discredit her, Reuters reported.
 
The other official implicated by the warrant is Foreign Minister Hector Timerman, who denied allegations that he discussed the possibility of absolving suspects in talks with Tehran. “I don’t have to prove my history. It is there for you to look at. I don’t need to prove that I support the defense of human rights. The same with my government. So it is ridiculous to think I put forward a deal, an economic deal, to forget about the case,” he told The Washington Post in an interview on Tuesday.
 
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is a human rights monitoring and advocacy group. It has previously investigated several high-profile incidents in the area, including a series of murders in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico and the suppression of democracy in Venezuela.
 
 
 
By Hugh Bronstein
12 February 2015
 
 
BUENOS AIRES, Feb 12 (Reuters) – A former inmate of the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay traveled from his new home in Uruguay to neighboring Argentina in recent days on a mission to lobby the government to provide refuge to inmates still imprisoned in Cuba.
 
Jihad Diyab, one of six detainees released in December and resettled in the tiny South American country of Uruguay, told Argentine radio and other media he had come on behalf of prisoners who remain at the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
 
“I will never forget my friends who are still there, and that’s why I’ve come here, to struggle for justice,” Diyab said on Argentine station Radio Madre.
 
“The government of Argentina could accept prisoners from Guantanamo for humanitarian reasons,” the Syrian national added.
 
He did not say how long he would be in the country or who he would be meeting with. Argentina’s interior and foreign ministries declined comment. Diyab’s lawyer, Cori Crider of international rights group Reprieve, had no immediate comment.
 
While jailed, Diyab mounted a legal challenge against the U.S. military’s force-feeding of hunger strikers at Guantanamo.
 
He and five other former Guantanamo prisoners were flown to Uruguay in early December. The Uruguayan government said the six would be treated as “totally free men.”
 
Uruguayan President Jose Mujica said at the time the men – four Syrians, a Tunisian and a Palestinian – could leave whenever they wanted or stay as long as they pleased.
 
President Barack Obama’s administration has sped up transfer of Guantanamo detainees in recent months but its efforts to shut the prison have been blocked by lawmakers who think the inmates pose a threat.
 
Obama promised to shut the detention facility, used to imprison people captured after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, when he first took office six years ago.
 
 
By Larry Rohter
15 February 2015
 
As the Argentine film director and screenwriter Damián Szifrón sees it, “what separates civilization from barbarism” is “a complex battery of social inhibitors” that prevent us from retaliating with violence to the many slights and aggravations of daily life. But that’s definitely not the case with the characters he created for his dark and sometimes surrealistic comedy “Wild Tales,” which has been nominated for the Oscar for best foreign-language film and opens Feb. 20.
 
“Wild Tales” — the Spanish-language title is closer to “Savage Tales,” and the opening credits unfurl against a backdrop of tigers, sharks, wolves and other predators in their habitats — consists of six episodes, each with a different cast but all about revenge for offenses real or imagined: Two men on a deserted highway, one in an Audi, the other in a jalopy, are gripped by a bout of what Mr. Szifrón described as “road rage to the fifth degree.” A bride realizes at her wedding that her new husband has been cheating on her. On a stormy night, a waitress at a diner recognizes a customer as the sleazy developer who foreclosed on her family’s home.
 
“What differentiates us from animals is our capacity to restrain ourselves,” Mr. Szifrón, 39, said in an interview last month while on the Oscar campaign trail in New York. “An animal can’t, and is condemned to its instincts. In contrast, we have a fight or flee mechanism, but it comes with a very high cost. Most of us live with the frustration of having to repress oneself, but some people explode. This is a movie about those who explode, and we can all understand why they do. Any time I read about someone who has committed a supposedly irrational or barbarous act, that person doesn’t feel foreign to me.”
 
Indeed, Mr. Szifrón said that the writing of the script, which came in short bursts as he was working on other projects he still intends to film, offered a “cathartic release” for incidents in which he felt aggrieved. And when the script was sent to the actor Ricardo Darín and others who eventually signed on, they felt the same.
 
Mr. Darín, who played the lead in “The Secret in Their Eyes,” which won the foreign-language Oscar in 2010, is probably Argentina’s most popular actor. He was offered a choice of roles but opted for that of Simón Fischer, a demolitions engineer who finds his car towed from an unmarked parking spot in front of the bakery where he has just bought a cake for his daughter’s birthday party.
 
What especially attracted him, Mr. Darín said with a chuckle during a telephone interview from Argentina, was a sentence, “sensible but naïve,” that Mr. Szifrón had written for his character: “Where is the office where they offer an apology after they make a mistake?” That lament comes after the engineer’s proclamations of innocence are mockingly rebuffed by a city employee, a response that precipitates an eruption of anger.
 
“This was my chance to show my disagreement with the bureaucratic labyrinth that tramples on citizens’ rights,” Mr. Darín added. “I’ve been in similar situations myself two or three times, and they always want you to pay first and ask questions later, when I think it should be the other way around.” Though he understands his character’s need to take a stand, “I disapprove of Simón Fischer’s actions.”
 
The six stories vary in style and build in intensity, but “they are vital organs of the same body” Mr. Szifrón said, and “to sustain itself, the movie needed all of them.” Thus the episode featuring Mr. Darín is followed by one in which a rich family tries to cover up a fatal hit-and-run accident with the help of their lawyer and corrupt authorities, and that in turn gives way to a final story in which, Mr. Szifrón said, “we go to the most ancestral and basic conflict there is, the relationship between a man and a woman” and witness a wedding reception that turns into a catastrophe.
 
“When I first read the script, I thought, What a delight it is going to be to play this,” said Érica Rivas, who was cast as the hapless bride, Romina. “I’m not the jealous type the way Romina is, so that was a challenge. But to be able to wreck a wedding, that’s a feat, and something really fun to do, something I’ve wanted to do many times in real life.”
 
In fact, Romina goes on an epic rampage. Agustín Almodóvar, a producer of the movie along with his brother, the Oscar-winning director Pedro Almodóvar, described Ms. Rivas’s volcanic performance as “a revelation,” sure to open doors for her internationally.
 
“We hadn’t seen any of her work before, but she is an actress very much in the Almodóvar style,” he said. “She somehow manages to combine tragedy with a subtext of comedy and irony, transmitting sentiments that are incompatible, and Pedro and I adore that.” He added, “You see her and the other characters acting unconstrainedly, without the slightest social or cultural shackles on their behavior, and it all makes for a great spectacle.”
 
In Latin America and Europe, numerous critics have described “Wild Tales” as a kind of “Characters on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,” playing off the title of Pedro Almodóvar’s breakout 1988 hit. Agustín Almodóvar said that he and his brother felt the comparison was apt.
 
“We know that Damián wrote his script not thinking that we would be producers, but when we read it, we immediately saw the linkages,” he said. “It was a script right on the edge, very daring, transgressive, and with a fragmented narrative. So of course it appealed to us.”
 
In Argentina, “Wild Tales” has become both the country’s all-time box office champion and a genuine social phenomenon that has made folk heroes of some characters. Several lines, including the one that captivated Mr. Darín and some spoken by Ms. Rivas, have become catchphrases: To say “I am Bombita,” Simón’s nickname, has acquired a meaning similar to “going postal” in the United States.
 
Ms. Rivas, who was already known to Argentine audiences from her role in a local version of “Married with Children,” said that “people come and embrace me on the street, or beep their car horns at me.” Pulling out their smartphones, “some of them even ask me to recite specific lines of dialogue from the film,” including one spoken to the wedding’s videographer as Romina surveys the havoc she has wrought: “Film this for me, Nestor!”
 
Born in the suburbs of Buenos Aires into a Jewish immigrant family with roots in Poland and Russia, Mr. Szifrón was a cinephile as a boy. His father dealt in electronic equipment, and his son early on acquired a VHS player and a digital camera. As a result, Mr. Szifrón said, “I saw all the classics at a very early age.” He began making his own shorts at the age of 9, and before “Wild Tales,” he had written and directed two movies and a pair of television series that were hits in Latin America.
 
“Wild Tales” contains echoes of some of his childhood favorites, among them Woody Allen, Steven Spielberg and Brian De Palma, as well as “The Twilight Zone” and “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.” But in the end, the movie is a very personal distillation of “themes that are in the collective unconscious,” Mr. Szifrón said.
 
“There are a lot of different things from daily life being processed and given free rein in ‘Wild Tales,’ violence and vengeance among them,” he continued. “But at its core, what stands out is this pleasure of losing control and the desire for liberation. This is a movie about the desire for freedom, and how this lack of freedom, and the rage and anguish it produces, can cause us to run off the rails.”
 
 
 
February 13, 2015
 
 
Ten-year-old Cloe Barrios spent a year saving for an iPod, a struggle shared by many Argentine youth scrambling to keep up with technology despite economic woes that make such gadgets exorbitantly pricey.
 
The third-largest economy in Latin America, Argentina was one of the most plugged-in countries in the 1990s.
 
But its high inflation, devalued currency and exchange controls have produced infrastructure failures and a dearth of technological gadgetry today.
 
Cloe, who bought her iPod with help from her mother and an aunt in France, is one of her generation’s lucky ones, possessing a “toy” with the coveted Apple label.
 
“There are only four of us in the class who have iPods,” she told AFP. “Six have cell phones and one has an iPhone but only because their mom lends it,” she said of her class of 28.
 
Her particular iPod came from Chile, the Latin American country where technology is most readily available today.
 
Workers in Argentina, which still has no 4G network, must earn far more than people in the region’s other countries—except for Venezuela—to be able to buy the same technological products, according to Marco Marketing Consultants.
 
A notebook computer costs 2.2 times the average monthly salary in Argentina, while in Chile it costs 0.96 times below the average.
 
The consulting firm’s report, published at the end of 2014, argued that “the difference between the average wages needed in Argentina and Chile to buy an average notebook computer is 129 percent. But if high-end notebooks are compared, the gap rises to 166 percent.”
 
“This means that for mid-range products, the comparative situation in Argentina is better, if still poor.”
 
‘Everyone reads newspapers’
 
While Cloe attends public school, Candelaria Zapata lives in the upper-middle-class Buenos Aires neighborhood of Palermo and goes to private school.
 
She loves her cell phone: “It’s my best chum, it takes my selfies, supplies my music videos and connects me,” the 11-year-old said.
 
Although Argentina’s middle and upper classes often complain that it’s “a shame” that there is not a larger supply of Apple products, a fetish among the country’s youth, Candelaria does not stress.
 
She boasts of having a Samsung “that was made in Tierra del Fuego,” the archipelago at the southern tip of South America, where the South Korean tech giant was drawn by generous tax breaks.
 
iPhones are not sold in Argentina.
 
Stores authorized by Apple can sell other products from the company at prices tied to the dollar, with an exchange rate of 8.60 Argentine pesos to the dollar—or anywhere from 12-13.60 pesos per greenback on the black market.
 
That makes Apple products an expensive purchase even for a middle-class American.
 
An iPad is 12,599 pesos or $1,465, compared to $499 in New York or Miami.
 
The most basic MacBook Air—which costs $999 in Chile, Mexico and the United States—costs $2,813 (24,199 pesos) in Buenos Aires.
 
“This explains why everyone reads printed newspapers, that’s what impressed me the most when I came to Argentina,” Mike Snow, an American who arrived in the country last April, told AFP.
 
‘Connect Equality’
 
Since 2010, the government has delivered 4.7 million netbooks under its Connect Equality plan, which made the country the leader in computer distribution in public schools.
 
But a lack of teacher training and the technological smartphone gap are still big issues.
 
Argentine technology analyst Enrique Carrier told AFP the plan was “very valuable at a national level, because in some ways it’s giving a first tool that will help people understand network access, especially in distant areas.”
 
But he acknowledged that smartphones are the tool to bridge the digital divide.
 
In Argentina, a country of 42 million people where 47.5 percent of households have Internet access, “everyone buys a multifunctional cell phone, and most have access to social networks,” according to consulting firm Infolatam, using data from the World Bank.
 
As Candelaria’s mother put it: “Here we are like Cubans. We may lack things, but we always manage.”
 
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