Brazilian Politician Guns Down Man Who Complains To Him About Unfulfilled Election Promise

A politician in northeastern Brazil has been arrested for shooting and killing a man on Monday after the victim approached him at a club to complain about his unfulfilled election promise. José Alberto Carvalho Pereira, the city counselor of Campo Formoso in the state of Bahia, was reportedly arrested as he was attempting to enter Bonfim, Roraima state, after fleeing the crime scene. Carvalho Pereira, 35, is a member of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (SDP). He was reportedly re-elected into office this year. According to local reports, the victim named André Luiz de Olivera approached Carvalho Pereira at a club in Campo Formoso to complain to the counselor that he had not lived up to his word that he would provide water and build a sewer system in the city. According to Police Commissioner Felipe Neri, Olivera’s decision to confront Carvalho Pereira resulted in an argument between the two. The politician, who was apparently deeply offended by the exchange, left the bar to his home to get a gun. He then returned to the club and shot Oliver nine times, the Express reported. Olivera reportedly died on the scene. It is unclear what got Carvalho Pereira angry during his conversation with the victim. Police said the politician claims that he was “attacked” first. The police are reportedly still investigating the case, and Carvalho Pereira is yet to be formally charged. While Campo Formoso is known to be a source of rare gems, it is described as an impoverished city. An alleged drug trafficker who identified himself as “Jogador” poses for a photo with a weapon in a slum alley in western Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. [Image by Felipe Dana/ AP Image] There is an alarmingly high rate of gun violence in Brazil. Brazil has one of the highest murder rates in the world, and guns account for a majority of deaths in the country. In 2014, about 60,000 deaths were recorded in the country, according to NPR. There have been several cases of politicians, police, and even civilians getting involved in shootouts in the country. [Image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images] In September, a disgruntled 53-year-old driver opened fire on the motorcade of the deputy governor of Goiás during an election campaign rally ahead of municipal polls. Three people were killed in the incident, including the gunman and a city councilor candidate, Reuters reported. Goiás Vice Governor José Eliton survived the incident as his bodyguards were able to shoot down the gunman. However, he sustained gunshot wound in his stomach and had to undergo surgery. In yet another disturbing incident involving guns, a man shot and killed a robber in Rio de Janiero in August after the thief attacked his car in traffic. The man identified as Marcus Cezar Feres Braga had presented a fake identification card showing that he was a Russian consul. However, an investigation revealed that he was a Brazilian lawyer, according to the Sun. Braga was reportedly driving with his wife and daughter when he was attacked by the robber on a motorbike. The robber allegedly smashed the window of Braga’s car with his gun and demanded that the lawyer remove his watch and hand it over. Instead, Braga, who is allegedly skilled in jiu-jitsu, pulled the robber closer, took his gun, and shot him dead. In an even more bizarre incident of gun violence in Brazil, two cops sustained serious injuries after gunning down each other in a case of mistaken identity, the Inquisitr reported. The incident in Fortaleza occurred after a police investigator spotted a man in a pharmacy with a gun acting suspiciously. The man, who he thought was going to rob the store, was a military officer. As the police investigator approached the military officer with his gun drawn, the other also pulled his gun, and a shootout ensued, leaving both men writhing in a pool of blood. [Featured Image by AlexRaths/iStock Photo]

Brazil Coup: Dilma Rousseff Ouster Called 'Farce'

In what has been described as a “serious blow to democracy” and a Brazil “coup,” President Dilma Rousseff has been suspended for 180 days amid what was described as a “corruption scandal” and a vote by the South American country’s Senate, on Thursday, to replace her with Vice President Michel Temer, as reported by The Young Turks. Brasil's new president #Temer was an embassy informant for US intelligence, military — WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) May 13, 2016 Michel Temer has been described as a U.S. embassy informant by WikiLeaks. Cables purported to have been produced by the U.S. Embassy in Brazil in 2006 appear to have included Temer’s remarks with regard to the Brazilian political landscape, on more than one occasion. One of Temer’s meetings with U.S. officials came just before the 2006 Brazilian general election where Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a close ally and mentor of Dilma Rousseff, was reelected. “They have taken by force what they could not conquer at the ballot box,” Dilma Rousseff was quoted by The Globe and Mail with regard to the Brazil coup. “What hurts the most in this moment is the injustice. It’s the realization that I’m the victim of a judicial and political farce. But I do not falter. I look back and I see everything we have done. I look onwards and I see everything we need to do.” Cenk Uyger with The Young Turks reported on a discrepancy in the alleged corruption Dilma Rousseff has taken part in, noting a Reuters article stating that Rousseff had broken “budget rules” and offering that “every Republican” and “most of the Democrats” in the United States would need to be arrested if breaking budget rules deserved impeachment. Suspended Brazilian president, Dilma Rousseff. [Photo by Igo Estrela/Getty Images]On Thursday, is was reported that the new president, Michel Temer, who only holds 1 percent of support among Brazilians, would introduce a series of “austerity measures” including rewriting labor, tax, and pension laws. Telesur has reported that Dilma Rousseff was elected on a platform of “social investment and wealth redistribution” and that Michel Temer has faced criticism for his “pro-business, neoliberal” agenda. The Brazilian media and business community are reported to have “campaigned vigorously” for Rousseff’s impeachment. Brazil’s gross domestic product fell by 3.8 percent in 2015 and unemployment and inflation are both measured north of 10 percent, seemingly underlining true underlying economic uncertainty. Michel Temer’s plans include trimming the number of cabinet appointments from 31 to 21, as a symbol of his commitment to shrinking the size of Brazil’s government. For the first time since 1979, Brazil will have no female ministers and no black ministers. Fifty-three percent of Brazilians are reported to be black or of mixed-raced. Brazil’s ousted president, Dilma Rousseff. [Photo by Igo Estrela/Getty Images]Temer was reported to have named Ricardo Barros of the Progressive Party to the Health Ministry. It has been noted that Brazil’s Progressive Party has more politicians connected to the Lava Jato corruption scandal than any other. Alexandre de Moraes was appointed to head up the Justice Ministry by Michel Temer. Moraes served as a lawyer for Edward Cunha, who served as the speaker of the lower house of Brazil’s Congress and was deposed after it was alleged that he hid millions of dollars of bribes in Swiss bank accounts and then lied about their existence, under oath. It has been noted that Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment proceedings over what appears to amount to her breaking “budget rules,” is viewed as absurd when compared with the scale of corruption reported to exist among the Progressive Party and Edward Cunha, prompting observers, as well as the former president herself, to describe the transfer of power as a Brazilian coup. Michel Temer faces accusations that he has taken part in an “illegal ethanol-purchasing scheme” as well as election-spending allegations and an 8-year ban on running for elected office. [Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images]

Argentine President Mauricio Macri And Donald Trump's History Goes Way Beyond Tower Permit Scandal

Many Argentines saw visions of Mauricio Macri in the rise of Donald Trump. As a rich boy-prince touting his lack of political establishment ties, screaming corruption at the party in power — it’s easy to see how an outsider could get that view. After all, even Eric Trump compared Mauricio to his father while opening a hotel property in neighboring Uruguay earlier this year. Both Macri and his dad, he said, share the quality of being “successful businessmen,” reported El Destape. Macri busca otro cambio. Afianzar su relación con Trump. — Infonews (@INFOnews) November 13, 2016 It was fascinating comparison that was seized upon by local media, especially those critical of Mauricio’s return-to-neoliberalism model. As Trump’s global popularity sunk further and further, associating him with Macri suddenly became an internationally effective way of taking a stab at his image. Little help was needed to secure such a link. Both of the political figures’ most prominent biographies, The Art of the Deal and El Pibe, recount how their relationship began in the early 1980s when the wealthy Argentine family had plans to enter the New York City real estate market. The relationship between Donald and Mauricio remained strong for years to come. In 1984, when Trump visited Argentina, Mauricio acted as his personal tour guide, even holding a family asado — barbecue — in his honor. It was a tradition that held strong in the following decades: Macri once commented on an Argentine TV program that he often got together with his “close friend” when he traveled to New York. Diario Registrado, a vehemently anti-government publication, even edited together highlights from the two men’s relationship. Yet Trump’s anti-establishment ties took on a different rhetorical flavor. While Mauricio Macri promised — and has largely delivered on — a return to the traditional neoliberal model, Trump’s purported economic policy often echoed that of ex-president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. So much so, in fact, that the Peronista who ruled Argentina for eight years came forward after his surprise win to characterize the American president-elect’s triumph as “not a racist vote” but rather a move toward protectionist economic policies, away from the globalization that has characterized the recent era of world history. Just like elsewhere, Trump’s win arrived as a shock to Mauricio in Argentina. After tenuously extending his support to Hillary Clinton, the final weeks before the U.S. presidential elections saw some members of Macri’s government outright condemning his candidacy. Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra called his rise “worrying.” Both later backtracked on their negative comments, reported local English paper The Argentina Independent. This position was marked contrast to when Mauricio ran, unsuccessfully, for Mayor of the city of Buenos Aires in 2003. Trump effusively praised Macri as a “great guy” who everybody should vote for. Despite ostensibly diverging on economic policy in their campaigns, it should come as no surprise that Mauricio was among those who received a call during the president-elect’s round of victory-dialing this week. Yet two things about that communication indicate it may have been something other than politics as usual. For one, Trump’s daughter Ivanka — who is likely to head his business empire — was on the line. Secondly, several media outlets reported that the president-elect asked that a permit to construct a Trump Tower in Buenos Aires be pushed forward — a theory based on conjecture from a local TV journalist with a reputation for hyperbole. The second charge has been denied by both Macri and Trump, but Ivanka’s involvement was proudly spoken about by the Argentine president in an interview released on Monday, reported The Hill. “In the call, I also talked with his daughter. I have known her since her infant days.” While no official permit has been handed down, it’s worth noting that plans for the Buenos Aires Trump Tower have faced a renewed push after years of stagnation. Whether that’s related to the phone call in question or simply a strengthened faith in the Trump brand across the world is unlikely to be revealed anytime soon, if ever. Still, Mauricio and Trump have agreed that they will bring the “best bilateral relationship ever” between the two countries, a promise that would likely face troubled waters if Macri were to confirm that the Buenos Aires Trump Tower permit was under discussion in their phone call. Trump, a Macri: “Espero que Argentina y EEUU tengan la mejor relación de su historia” — infobae (@infobae) November 14, 2016 Either way, Mauricio isn’t really in a position where he can just ignore Trump’s demands. A renewed relationship with the United States and Europe has been central to his government’s plan. Argentina has issued billions in dollar-denominated bonds since his rise to the presidency — meant to prop up dwindling Central Bank reserves, cover a massive budget deficit and prompt industrial development. As Trump promises regulation cuts and a more business friendly environment than his predecessor, interest in emerging market bonds, like those of Argentina, has dwindled, reported The New York Times. Do you think Mauricio Macri is covering the Argentina Trump Tower permit outrage for his old friend? [Image via Etienne Oliveau and Drew Angerer/Getty Images]

Ousted By Honduran Military Coup, Manuel Zelaya Considers Running For President Again

Former Honduran president Manuel Zelaya, who was ousted by a military coup in 2009, says he’s thinking about running for president in the next election. Zelaya says the decision would depend on whether he could get the support of his party to take back the country’s top office. The announcement has breathed new life into the debate around presidential term limits, a highly contentious in the Central American nation. Currently, serving more than one four-year presidential term is illegal in Honduras, as TelsurvTV reported on Wednesday. “Zelaya announced that the left-wing Libre party, founded in the wake of the 2009 coup, has given the green light to asking members at the party’s internal elections whether they support the ousted president’s bid for another term if the right-wing National Party puts President Juan Orlando Hernandez forward as its candidate.” After Honduras Military Coup, Manuel Zelaya Considers Running For President Again #military — WW3 BREAKING NEWS (@WW3breakingnews) May 26, 2016 The internal debates of choosing the party’s leadership is scheduled to take place October 30, just over a year before the presidential elections in 2017. A Hernandez re-election bid has not been officially confirmed, though the ruling National Party suggested in March that Hernandez would likely be their choice for the next election. The irony was not lost on Honduras observers who knew that a sitting president proposing running for a second term was the original rationale for removing Zelaya from office. Manuel Zelaya was elected President of Honduras in 2006. Originally elected as a Liberal Party candidate with centre-right credentials, the former logging and ranching businessman moved to the left during his presidency, moving Hinduras away from alliance with the United States and forging close ties with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and other left-wing Latin American leaders. In 2009, a political dispute erupted when Zelaya scheduled a non-binding poll on whether to hold a referendum on on organizing the constituent assembly to change the Honduran constitution to allow presidential re-elections. President Zelaya was ousted in June of 2009 when the Honduran Army, on orders from the Honduran Supreme Court, seized him and sent him on a plane to Costa Rica in what was widely condemned by the international community as a military coup. The coup’s backers, including the U.S., argued that Zelaya was attempting to manipulate the constitution to extend his presidency. Since that time, conditions in Honduras have rapidly deteriorated, as the International Business Times noted. “The situation in Honduras hasn’t exactly been rosy in the interim. The country has one of the highest homicide rates in the world. The violence has been carried out primarily by rampant gangs throughout the country that have consistently given Honduras the title of ‘murder capital of the world.’ In the first half of 2015, for instance, there were 2,720 murders in the country, a 16 percent drop from the same period a year before. There are just over 8 million people in Honduras. In contrast, New York City, which has slightly more people, had fewer than 400 reported homicides for all of 2015.” #Honduras Esta sería la consulta popular que Mel Zelaya haría sobre tema de la reelección► — Diario El Heraldo (@diarioelheraldo) May 24, 2016 Notably, the Honduran Supreme Court overturned the ban on re-elections last year in a highly controversial decision without consulting voters at all, theoretically leaving the door wide open for both Zelaya and Hernandez to run again, though Zelaya and his Liberal Party slammed the court’s move as illegal and undemocratic. In the 2013 presidential race – which was heavily criticized for electoral fraud, corruption, and political repression – Zelaya’s wife Xiomara Castro ran for president for his old party, but was defeated by Hernandez. Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has come under fire during her campaign for supporting the Honduran coup in 2009 during her time in office, and the subsequent poor situation of human rights in the country. Repression and assassination of political leaders, journalists, and activists remains rampant, epitomized for many by the recent murder of Indigenous leader Berta Caceres. [Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images]

Player's Lost Video Game Caused Plane Crash That Killed Colombian Soccer Team, Missed Fuel Stop

It has been revealed that the crew of the doomed LaMia Flight 2933 was late for their departure due to time spent looking for a lost video game. The delay was cited as a potential reason that the plane arrived too late to its refueling point. The plane would subsequently run out of gas and crash into remote mountains near the Colombian city of Medellin. In total, 71 people would perish in the plane crash, wiping out nearly the entire Chapecoense Real soccer team. CNN reports that the plane was filled with nearly the entire Brazilian football team Chapecoense Real. Along with the team members, numerous sports journalists were also on the flight as the team made their way to the final of the Copa Sudamericana. However, the plane would reportedly run out of fuel while waiting for a runway to open at the Medellin airport causing them crash into the mountains. Only six people would survive the horrific plane crash, three players, one journalist and one crew member. Family members of the Chapecoense Real players grieve their loss at a memorial service in Brazil. (Image by Andre Penner/ AP Images) The Daily Mail reports that the reason for the lack of fuel may be as startling as the accident itself. It is being reported that a player’s lost video game may have resulted in the aircraft missing its refueling point and ultimately running out of fuel just five miles short of its destination. An injured player who was not on the flight says that in the soccer team’s WhatsApp group, the coach had laughed that the plane was delayed due to a player’s missing video game. The message indicated that the player had requested the flight crew go look for his bag which contained the video game so that he could play it in-flight. It would take the crew 20 minutes to find the game resulting in a flight delay. As an unforeseen result of the video game mishap, LaMia Flight 2933 would miss its refueling point. The flight was allegedly scheduled to refuel at an airport on the border between Brazil and Bolivia. However, due to the flight delay, the plane would not make it before the airport closed at midnight. The captain of the aircraft Miguel Quiroga reportedly then made the call that the plane had enough fuel to make it to its destination, a call that LaMia says cost the passengers their lives. The San Vicente funeral home in Medellin, Colombia, prepares the bodies of the soccer team to be returned to Columbia. Because of the large number of casualties, the funeral home had to place the coffins in its parking garage. (Image by Fernando Vergara/ Ap Images) Gustavo Vargas, a LaMia director, told journalists that Captain Quiroga made the determination that the plane had enough fuel after missing their refueling time. The statement came after the Bolivian airline’s operating certificate was suspended. “The pilot was the one who made the decision. He thought the fuel would last.” Chapecoense Real defender Demerson Costa was just one of seven players not on the doomed LaMia flight but says that he was involved in the group’s WhatsApp messages that were sent just prior to the plane’s departure. Costa notes that Chapecoense’s director of football, Chinho Di Domenico, was the last to send a message on the app to the group. In the message, Domenico reportedly revealed the surprising reason for the flight’s delay. Chapecoense soccer players who did not travel with their team on a flight to Colombia that crashed, mourn during a tribute with fans to their late teammates at Arena Condado stadium in Chapeco, Brazil. (Image by Andre Penner/AP Images) Domenico allegedly was using the team’s WhatsApp group to make fun of one of the players on the flight who was holding up the flight in a bid to find a missing video game. “The last message that was sent on the group was from Chinho, making fun of the fact one of the players was holding up the flight from Boliva because he had forgotten to take his video game out of his bags before it had been dispatched. He said the flight had been delayed as they tried to retrieve it.” At the time of the message, there was no way for Domenico to know that the missing video game would start a chain of events that would end in his own loss of life and that of almost his entire team. What do you think about the revelations that the plane crash was the result of the aircraft running out of fuel? [Featured Image by Luis Benavides/AP Images]

Biggest Latin American Airline Becomes Latest To Suspend Flights To Venezuela As Crisis Worsens

Latam Airlines Group SA, Latin America’s largest carrier, said Monday that it will become the latest airline to cut all flights to Venezuela beginning in August. A day earlier, Deutsche Lufthansa AG says its three weekly flights to Caracas will be halted in June “until further notice.” The Chile-based LATAM Airlines says it had already suspended flights from Sao Paulo, Brazil and would suspend flights from Lima, Peru, Guayaquil, Ecuador, and Santiago, Chile by the end of July. Lufthansa, one of Europe’s largest airlines, is set to stop all flights to the country beginning on June 17. Andreas Bartles, the German airline’s spokesman, said there were two major reasons for the decision. Namely, repatriating revenue from the South American country due to currency controls, and a sharp drop in ticket demand, particularly among business travelers. Latam Airlines anuncia al suspensión indefinida de sus vuelos a Venezuela — Radio ADN (@adnradiochile) May 30, 2016 Because of the troubled conditions in the country, it is increasingly difficult to fill flights. Airlines have also struggled for years to transfer profits out of Venezuela, where billions of dollars are reportedly trapped in the local currency of bolivars. The currency is difficult to convert, as it uses a complicated multi-tiered exchange rate. LATAM highlighted the dire economic conditions in the country as their major reason for cutting flights, but expressed hope that they could resume once the situation improves. “The companies of the Latam group consider Venezuela to be a relevant market and will work to reestablish operations as soon as global conditions permit,” the company said in a statement, according to Bloomberg. The news comes at a time of severe economic and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, now in its third year of deep recession. The economy of Venezuela is heavily dependent on its massive oil reserves, and years of low oil prices have wreaked havoc on the economy, according to CNN Money. “And fewer flights on Venezuelan runways is far from the country’s only problem. The economic crisis has spurred food rationing, medicine shortages, and mass unemployment. The International Monetary Fund expects unemployment to hit a staggering 21% next year. The government has ordered rolling blackouts to conserve power, and employees in the public sector are working only two days a week.” LATAM Airlines suspende indefinidamente sus vuelos a Venezuela — Diario Pulso (@pulso_tw) May 30, 2016 Lufthansa and LATAM are not the only airlines to cancel flights to the country. American Airlines Group Inc announced in March that it was cancelling its weekly flight from Caracas to New York just three weeks after reinstating it. The flight was originally cancelled due to low demand. The U.S.-based Delta, as well as Air Canada and Alitalia, have also made plans to suspend, or at least reduce, flights to Venezuela. Companies seem to be leaving Venezuela at a rapid pace. Coca-Cola recently announced that they were stopping production of their famed beverages in the country due to a shortage of refined sugar. Grim things may be on the horizon if something isn’t done to stabilize the economy, as Bloomberg noted. “Lufthansa hopes to restart the routes pending improved conditions in the country but is skeptical flights will return soon, Bartels said. The company is owed more than $100 million from Venezuela, Reuters reported on Monday. Venezuela’s economy is projected by the International Monetary Fund to contract by 8 percent in 2016, with the average rate of inflation expected to surge to almost 500 percent.” Lufthansa’s flight was the last remaining flight between Germany and Venezuela. U.S. intelligence has warned of a possible “palace coup” or even military uprising against the government of President Nicolas Maduro. The country is struggling to avoid a default on its debt, and said that it would cut imports to $20 billion this year, down from $37 billion in 2015, to free up funds to continue paying off its debt. [Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images]

The Food Crisis In Venezuela Has Taken A Turn For The Worst

Venezuela Food Crisis: The Downward Spiral The current Venezuela food crisis can be attributed to the country’s dependency on its oil reserves over the last thirty to forty years at least, for which the price fluctuated dramatically in the 90’s making the government believe they could continue to sell it at a premium. This led to the souring of trade relationships with Venezuela, which might have led to product shortages for which the government under Chavez tried to compensate by a drastic devaluation of their Bolivar currency as reported by The Wall Street Journal, which created a chain reaction to inflation which is currently at 700 percent resulting in what now reported as the Venezuela food crisis. As the video shows, the Associated Press has reported that the government of Venezuela — which has been under Nicolás Maduro since the death of Chavez in 2013 — agreed to open border crossings for one day into the city of Cucuta, Colombia, which caused a flood of 35,000 Venezuelans to rush into the city in just 12-hours. The video also refers to when hundreds of women broke through the border with Colombia to purchase products, which is also verified by The PanAm Post, which resulted in the agreement. “In Venezuela you can’t get anything, there’s nothing to eat. We’re starving, we’re desperate!” The border had been closed by the government in August of last year. Food Management Now Under Military Control Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro, right and new Defense Minister Gen. Vladimir Padrino, stand next to each other during the new military chief’s swearing-in ceremony at the Fort Tiuna military base in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, Oct. 27, 2014. [Image by Ariana Cubillos/AP Photo]The Associated Press is now reporting that the President of Venezuela has put the country’s armed forces in charge of handling the new food supply. Venezuela’s military has already been given a lot of power in handling other services such as banking and imports. The head of the armed forced is Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino. In order to try to better maintain the food crisis, and reduce the long lines, those forces will be transporting and distributing products, stimulating production, controlling prices and purging out corruption at the ports, which was originally run by civilians.

The average wait time for people standing in the long lines over the food crisis shortage is said to be an average of eight hours. The armed forces have already repressed opposition rallies and riots inflamed over the food crisis. The response from opposition deputy Julio Borges was not optimistic about the new initiative. “Maduro is giving the keys to Miraflores (which is Venezuela’s presidential palace) over to a military leader who is unable to confront the economic crisis. What this means is more roadblocks, more corruption and less production.” In January 2015, Reuters also reported on the long lines and much like other reports; many people in Venezuela have found ways to make a living off of those lines, which is an example of the kind of desperate acts the people have resulted to in order to capitalize from the food crisis which could be the corruption Maduro is referring to. The ‘Other’ Venezuelans A woman holds her dogs while attending a catholic mass in honor of Saint Francis of Assis, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013. Venezuelan devotees bring their pets for a catholic blessing to commemorate Saint Francis of Assis. [Image by Ariana Cubillos/AP Photo]Venezuela’s food crisis is not just impacting the people there, it’s also their claiming pets. According to USA Today more abandoned pets are being seen along side the roads as people are no longer able to afford to care for them. The source writes about a non-profit animal rescue organization called Fundanimalia, whose leader Angela Exposito says that originally mixed breeds and mutts were seen on the roads. But over the last three months, she’s seen more abandoned purebreds. Meet June – victim of the crisis in #Venezuela. We need your help to help animals like her: — Red de Apoyo Canino (@apoyocanino) July 10, 2016 The article also says that Ramon Muchacho the mayor of a suburb in Caracas the capital of Venezuela called Chacao, claimed in May that people were hunting stray dogs and cats to eat. One investigative report by TeleSUR describes the options one has when they’re looking for specific products such as cooking oil or flour while hinting at the politics of whom to blame for the Venezuela food crisis. At times it points to the private sector who the government accuses of stealing from the country’s coffers. Judging from the report by TeleSUR, these shortages appear to have become common before they escalated to this point. Venezuela president Maduro has often accused the opposition of trying to unseat him and has pushed back against their ‘propaganda’ which he says tries is designed to make it appear as if socialism is causing the Venezuela food crisis. [Image by Ariana Cubillos/AP Photo]

Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman Is Losing His Mind, His Hair And His Cartel

El Chapo Awaits Extradition Since billionaire drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was captured a third time in January of this year, the United States has been adamant about having Mexico extradite him to the states, in order to prevent him from escaping again.

However, El Chapo’s lawyers have been just as determined to try to prevent his extradition from happening, one of them being Jose Refugio Rodriguez, who offered the world an update on the status of the infamous kingpin, after visiting him for the first time in months, in a Juárez prison. The lawyer told Radio Formula that El Chapo is being subjected to “physical torture” and “psychological hell” and quoted his client. “They’re making me go crazy, this is psychological torture. I would rather go through physical torture outside where the pain would eventually go away but not this, this is gradually killing me.” El Chapo also tells him that he’s going bald and feels that he’s going to lose it and his mind before they extradite him. Federal Police patrol on the perimeters of the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016, where Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, head of the Sinaloa drug cartel is being held. [Image by Marco Ugarte/AP Photo]The former leader of the Sinaloa cartel has been moved from one prison to another since being captured, and is now reportedly at a federal prison in the city of Juarez near the U.S. border. The Associated Press recently reported on an old cartel member from decades ago named Rafael Caro Quintero who authorities feel might be trying to get back into the drug industry, to try to take over the Sinaloa cartel now that El Chapo is behind bars. Inquisitr reported that a cartel war recently broke out between the Sinaloa and a rival cartel in Tijuana, across the border from San Diego, California. The Other “Chapo” And Power Shift Quién es el otro "Chapo" que gana poder en México: Fausto Isidro Meza Flores, "Chapo Isidro", es un nombre que… — cinefilo_chile (@laraya131) September 16, 2014 The Guardian rounded up reports from Mexican news sources saying that armed men came into La Tuna, into the mountains where El Chapo called home and killed three people in the community, as well as looting and ransacking his mother’s home, stealing 2-3 vehicles. The 86-year old Consuelo Loera de Guzmán was apparently not there, but it’s stated by many that this shows El Chapo no longer has power over his cartel. The gunmen were apparently from the Beltrán Leyva Cartel, and involved an affiliate group formed by Fausto Isidro Meza Flores, aka “Chapo” or “Chapito,” who is also involved with other groups near Baja California which the Inquisitr article referred to, over the conflict against the Sinola cartel. Undated image of Rafael Caro Quintero who is wanted and believed to be trying to take control of the Sinaloa Caretl. [Image by Mexican government via AP/File]The Associated Press report states that El Chapo initially took over his cartel operation — which was then called The Guadalajara Cartel after Rafael Caro Quintero was arrested for the murder of four men, one of them a DEA agent. In the early 90’s the Guadalajara Cartel fell apart, separating into Sinaloa — which El Chapo took over, Tijuana and Juarez cartels But in 2013, Quintero was released under the limits of his charges before the United States put a warrant out for his arrest and he is currently on the run. In both cases, the United States would have Quintero along with El Chapo extradited if they could get him. Increased Security While Fighting Extradition Mexican federal police guard a road leading to the Cefereso No. 9 federal prison in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Other security measures are to rotate El Chapo between prisons. [Image by Raymundo Ruiz/AP Photo]Inquisitr recently wrote about El Chapo unable to survive in a Mexican prison because many prisons are said to have been infiltrated by rival cartel Los Zetas. It would stand to reason that this might have been looked into after his escape last year, where both the Mexican and U.S. authorities make sure he’s convicted and “put away,” leaving nothing to chance. It would appear that the Inquisitr’s article on possible attack from a rival against El Chapo directly, isn’t too far off the mark because in the Guardian article, it refers to a report from early June of a guard for the Juarez prison El Chapo is currently in, who was found dead and had showed signs that he had been tortured. The New York Times writes about a recent effort in late June by El Chapo’s lawyers to file appeals to halt his extradition process, saying the statue of limitations had run out on some of the crimes and/or that there was no evidence to convict him of some crimes. The report also says that Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Relations approved his extradition process in May, cutting a deal with the United States that they would not seek the death penalty, which is a similar negotiation stated for the conditions of the capture of Rafael Caro Quintero. The article makes clear that due to capital punishment being abolished in Mexico, they hold to these conditions during extradition. If there are any concerns that El Chapo could escape again — in light of recent fake news — when the body of the guard was found, the Mexican government deployed 300 of its troops to the prison to stand guard and make sure El Chapo did not escape a third time. [Image by Marco Ugarte/AP Photo]

Venezuela Food Crisis: More Than 123,000 People Cross Into Colombia For Food And Medicine

The Venezuela food crisis is continuing to grow and this weekend the government once again opened the border into Colombia. According to Canadian Business,more than 123,000 people took advantage, stocking up on food and medicine. A photo shows the depths of crisis in Venezuela. Tens of thousands stream across border to buy food. — David Luhnow (@davidluhnow) July 18, 2016 Nicolás Maduro, the Venezuelan President closed the border to Colombia last year in an effort to crack down on smuggling and crime in border towns. Maduro blamed the Venezuelan food crisis on illegal Colombian immigrants and said they were also responsible for the collapse of the country’s currency. According to the Wall Street Journal, in addition to closing the borders last year, Maduro also extended a “stay of exception” which allowed soldiers to raid people’s homes without warrants in an effort to crack down on crime. At the time Maduro also stated that the country would welcome up to 20,000 Syrian refugees, despite the fact that his country is facing a catastrophic shortage of food. #PsuvDesgraciaDeVenezuela Humiliation of food lines as people are marked like cattle. #Venezuela — Michael Welling (@WellingMichael) July 17, 2016 Of the 123,000 people that crossed into Colombia, approximately 35,000 went over on Saturday and more than 88,000 made the trip on Sunday. State television ran interviews with people who were coming back across the border empty handed because of price gouging. Colombia put a mobile pharmacy on the bridge so that Venezuelans could buy desperately needed medicine. #Colombia places mobile pharmacy on bridge so #Venezuela can buy much needed medicine. @oswaldoelares — Michael Welling (@WellingMichael) July 17, 2016 Quartz reports that because of the food crisis in Venezuela more than 10% of the population has had to cut at least one meal a day, and teachers are reporting that students are unable to concentrate at school due to hunger. Some kids are missing school because their parents need them to stand in the long lines at supermarkets or are even fainting due to lack of food. Experts in the country are going so far as to say that the Venezuela food crisis is going to set the country back years or even decades. In some states in the country school is staying open in the summer so that the poorest kids can receive their free lunches. A survey that was conducted in June showed that for more than a quarter of students, the state-sponsored snack was the only thing they had to eat the entire day and 86 percent of students said they would like to stay in school in the summer so that they can eat. Venezuela’s food crisis has reached the country’s classrooms via @qz — Michael Welling (@WellingMichael) July 16, 2016 The socialist government in Venezuela ordered companies to make sure between 30 and 100 percent of their food staples such as milk, pasta, oil and rice were given to state-run grocery stores according to CBS News. Given that there are more than 15 times as many private grocery stores as there are state-run, Chamber President Pablo Baraybar warned the government that this could cause a severe food shortage. The warning fell on deaf ears. Venezuela Protests [Photo by Fernando Llano/AP Images]In addition to the food crisis in Venezuela, triple digit inflation, electricity and water rationing, and a shortage of basic necessities is causing widespread protests and outbursts. The Guardian reports that one store was expecting a delivery of chicken prompting people to line up for hours in the hopes of getting some of the scarce meat. When the truck arrived the national guardsmen told them to drive on and chaos ensued. Hungry people tried to loot stores and protestors shouted “we want food” while they clashed with police. Famine could come to Venezuela as the country’s food crisis grows dire. — WNYC (@WNYC) July 14, 2016 With the lower price of oil and Maduro refusing to take any action, despite the opposition party winning control of the parliament in the last election, the Venezuela food crisis is only going to get worse. It is not known if the border to Colombia will open again but this weekend tens of thousands of people travelled for hours just for the possibility of food and medicine. Zenovia Villegas, a 54-year-old Venezuelan housewife summed up the state of the country saying “we are like a bomb going tick-tock, tick-tock”. [Photo by: Ariana Cubillos/AP Images]

Peru March Against Gender Violence Draws 50,000

In response to recent news of perpetrators committing violent crimes against women and getting lenient sentences, groups of protesters totaling more than 50,000 people gathered in the capital city of Lima and eight other cities in Peru for an unprecedented march. Officials claim this was the largest gathering of protesters in the nation’s history. “Today, the 13th of August, is a historic day for this country because it represents a breaking point and the start of a new culture to eradicate the marginalisation that women have been suffering, especially with violence,” said president of the Peruvian judicial system Victor Ticona to The Guardian. [Photo by Rodrigo Abd/AP Images]Though the event was in response to violent crimes against women in Peru, it was inspired by a chain of mass protests in other Latin American countries, such as Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, and Argentina that have taken place over the past year. These marches have been united under the hashtag #NiUnaMenos, which was taken from the slogan “Ni una mujer menos, ni una muerte más” (Not one less woman, not one more death) coined by Susana Chavez Castillo, the Mexican poet and human rights activist who was found murdered in her home back in 2011. “This march is a cry against impunity, it’s a cry for equality and for the decent treatment of women,” said Peru’s minister for women, Ana María Romero, according to The Guardian. “It will be a milestone, it will mark a before and after. There’s more citizen awareness about women’s rights.” According to Romero, an average of 10 women are murdered per month in Peru, and about 20 more are survivors of murder attempts. “If you add to those 10 who lose their lives to the 20 victims who are saved by the skin of their teeth, then we are practically talking about one [attack] per day,” said Romero. “Of those 10 who are killed around six are under the age of 20.” The Peru march, however, not only was in protest of violence against women, but also failure on the part of Peru’s justice system to punish perpetrators. A recent report by Peru’s ombudsman’s office confirms these allegations against the nation’s law enforcement officials as the study found that in 81 percent of cases examined, no measure was taken by the legal system to protect women who survived murder attempts and reported them to the authorities. As such, 24 percent of the women who made these reports to the police were later murdered in a subsequent attack by the assailant against whom they had filed the reports. According to the World Health Organization, as reported by Yahoo! News, Peru is ranked third-highest in the world for number of women between the ages 15 and 49 who are victims of ual assault, just behind Bangladesh and Ethiopia. [Photo by Rodrigo Abd/AP Images]Peru’s newly elected president, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, participated in the march, which ended in front of the palace of justice, along with his wife, Nancy Lange. Earlier that same day, the president announced plans to create safe facilities for women who are victims of violent attacks to report the incidents in private in hopes to address the issue of violence not being reported or women becoming repeat victims after the assailants get wind of the reports. The new administration, which has not even been in power three weeks, has reportedly been advocating better police training, particularly regarding how to handle domestic violence and ual assault cases, establishing more women’s shelters, and building more emergency crisis centers throughout the country. According to a poll released Saturday, 74 percent of Lima citizens, Peru’s capital city, believe the cultural values of their country have a masculine bias. The judicial and law enforcement system’s tendency toward machismo is believed by some to be reflective of these values. The Peru march of 50,000 people, however, reflects a strong drive to rectify this. [Photo by Rodrigo Abd/AP Images]