In the News

 

BBC News: Zika-linked condition: WHO declares global emergency

A disease linked to the Zika virus in Latin America poses a global public health emergency requiring a united response, says the World Health Organization.

Experts are worried that the virus is spreading far and fast, with devastating consequences.

The infection has been linked to cases of microcephaly, in which babies are born with underdeveloped brains. Read more of the BBC News story.

 

 

 

Traditional cacallito de totora fisherman, Huanchaco

Traditional cacallito de totora fisherman, Huanchaco

ABC News: El Nino: Separated by the Pacific, Australia gripped by drought while Peru prepares for devastating rain

Reporter: me

On one side of the Pacific, large tracts of Australia are gripped by drought triggered by the phenomenon. On the opposite side, the desert coastline of Peru is preparing for devastating rain.

Scientists warn Peru faces one of the strongest El Ninos on record.

In the next few months it could deliver a multi-billion-dollar damages bill from landslides, floods, failed crops and the collapse of the world’s largest anchovy fishery. Read the full story via ABC News

 

 

The turquoise lake of Laguna 69 in Huascarán National Park

Laguna 69, Huascaràn National Park, Cordillera Blanca

World’s highest glaciers, in Peruvian Andes, may disappear within 40 years

Reporter: me

It’s the world’s highest tropical glacial field and scientists predict it will be gone within 40 years. In the process, it is likely to deliver water shortages and catastrophic floods to towns in the Peruvian Andes.

More than 2,500 glaciers slice through the mountain peaks of Peru. Around 660 of them lie in the country’s highest mountain range, the UNESCO listed Cordillera Blanca.

The United Nations body warns the glacial retreat threatens the livelihoods of 2 million people, living in the valleys below and the desert coastal cities that rely on the glaciers’ water. Read more of the ABC News story.

 

Alpaca on Machu Picchu

Taking in the views, a resident Alpaca at Machu Picchu

Hundreds stranded by Machu Picchu protests

Reporter: me

Australians are among more than 1,000 people stranded at the base of Peru’s famous Machu Picchu site as protesters block the only transport link, a rail line.

The protests are in response to a new Peruvian government law privatising many of the country’s archaeological sites. There have also been recent protests over the lack of infrastructure in the region. Read more of the ABC Story. 

 

 

 

 

An Inca Mummy discovered in Peru

An Inca mummy discovered at Laguna de Los Condores in Chachapoya

Mummy’s been the word for 500 years: Peru’s Kuelap is ‘Machu Picchu of the north’

22 Sept, 2015

Author: Me

A remote northern Peruvian region famed for its Inca mummies and home to one of South America’s most important ancient cities is on a fast track to becoming a tourism hot spot.

The mummies — Peru’s largest undisturbed collection of the preserved bodies of the Inca civilisation’s elite — were discovered in 1997 south of the walled city of Kuelap in the Laguna de Los Condores area. Read more of the ABC World News story.

 

Cotopaxi Glacier

Erupting Cotopaxi and its dangerous glacier

ABC News: Cotopaxi Roars Back into Life

22 August, 2015

Author: Me

Ecuador’s Cotopaxi volcano has this week roared back into life, delivering its first significant eruption in more than 70 years and raining ash down on the capital Quito, 50 kilometres away.

Now there are fears that pyroclastic rock and gas flows could melt the ice on the glacier-capped peak and flood nearby towns with volcanic mud. Read More of the ABC World News story.

 

Search for missing Mexican students turns up 129 bodies unrelated to case

The search for 43 missing college students in the southern state of Guerrero has turned up at least 60 clandestine graves and 129 bodies over the last 10 months, Mexico’s attorney general’s office says.

None of the remains has been connected to the youths who disappeared after a clash with police in the city of Iguala on 26 September, and authorities do not believe any will be. Prosecutors say the students were turned over to a drug gang that killed them and incinerated their bodies in a case that has put attention on the huge number of people who have gone missing in Guerrero and other Mexican states where drug violence is widespread. Read more of the Guardian story. 

 

 

Peru mass grave contains bodies of 17 ‘killed in 1980s’

24 June, 2015

Prosecutors in Peru say they have found a mass grave containing 17 bodies high in the Andes, in the Ayacucho region. The bodies are believed to be those of local farmers kidnapped by the Shining Path rebel group in the 1980s. Almost 70,000 people were killed in the two-decades-long conflict between the Peruvian government and the Maoist rebels, according to figures by Peru’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Read More of the BBC Story. 

 

Chile’s largest city temporarily shut down due to smog ’emergency’

22 June, 2015

Authorities in Chile’s capital shut down hundreds of businesses and ordered hundreds of thousands of cars off the streets on Monday as a grey carpet of smog caused an environmental emergency in the city hosting the Copa America soccer tournament. read more. Read more of The Guardian story.

 

Wolf volcano erupts on Galapagos island

26 May, 2015

A volcanic eruption on the Galapagos Islands has raised fears that the ecosystem that inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution may be under threat. On Monday, the Wolf volcano on Isabela Island erupted for the first time in 33 years, spewing fire, smoke and lava. The island holds the world’s only population of pink iguanas but they are not in immediate danger, officials say. Read more of the BBC News story.

 

Colombian Farc rebels push ahead with peace talks

25 May, 2015

Negotiators for Colombia’s Farc left-wing rebel group say they want to push ahead with peace talks. The announcement came just days after dozens of Farc rebels were killed in an air force bombing raid in south-western Cauca province. Read more

 

China, Peru and Brazil mull Amazon railway

23 May, 2015

A Chinese scheme to build an east-west railway across South America, cutting across parts of the Amazon rain forest, has moved a step closer after Peru agreed to study the proposal. The scheme would link Peru’s Pacific coast with Brazil’s Atlantic shores. Read more 

 

MEXICO: ‘They want to erase journalists in Mexico

10 April, 2015

According to a report by Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission in January, 97 reporters have been killed over the past four years for doing their job. There have been 22 disappearances of reporters and 433 registered attacks since 2005, when the current drug cartel war began in earnest. Mexican journalist, author and campaigner Lydia Cacho is in London this week to rally support for those who risk their lives to expose corruption. Read More of The Guardian story.  

 

New York Times: What to do in Antigua, Guatemala

Less than an hour away from the concrete sprawl of Guatemala City, Antigua feels like a portal to another century. The nearly 500-year-old city is cradled by three volcanoes and filled with colonial-era mansions, churches and convents, many with orange and yellow facades. Read More

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The beautiful Cuban capital is finally coming in from the cold as relations with the US thaw, state controls loosen and a wave of optimism and creativity is unleashed. Read The Guardian
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The brutal murder of Jairo Mora, who was trying to protect endangered turtle eggs, was the latest in a string of crimes against environmentalists in the country. Many worry activists will stay away if poachers continue to go unpunished. Mora was murdered at Moín on the Caribbean coast where the turtle laying season is about to begin. Read The Guardian story 
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For the first time in more than one hundred years, researchers have found a newborn baby tortoises on the tiny Galapagos island of Pinzón. It’s a major win for a population that has struggled after being nearly decimated by human impact. Read The Huffington Post story.

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URUGUAY bids farewell to Jose Mujica, its pauper president

February 2015

Whatever your own particular “shade” of politics, it’s impossible not to be impressed or beguiled by Jose “Pepe” Mujica.

There are idealistic, hard-working and honest politicians the world over – although cynics might argue they’re a small minority – but none of them surely comes anywhere close to the outgoing Uruguayan president when it comes to living by one’s principles.

It’s not just for show. Mujica’s beat-up old VW Beetle is probably one of the most famous cars in the world and his decision to forego the luxury of the Presidential Palace is not unique – his successor, Tabare Vasquez, will also probably elect to live at home. Read the BBC story.   

 

COLUMBIA: Cano Cristales is the world’s most beautiful river

February, 2015

LYING high up in the Colombian mountain range runs a river system unlike any you’ve ever seen before.

Cano Cristales runs through the Serrania de la Macarena mountains of Colombia and has been dubbed the “river of five colours” and the “liquid rainbow” thanks to its incredible display of yellows, greens, blues and reds. Read the News Limited story.

 

 

Volcano Fuego Erupting near Antigua, Guatemala

Erupting Volcán Fuego, near Antigua, Guatemala

GUATEMALA: Guatemala volcano Fuego: Australian hiker says explosive eruption sounded like ‘huge bomb’

9 February, 2015

Author: Me!

An Australian hiker has told how he and his group were forced to flee down a mountain in Guatemala after a volcano sent cloud of ash raining down upon them.  Read the ABC News story.

Also published on Nine News Australia

 

MEXICO: Families of Mexico’s missing students refuse to give up

4 February, 2015

It has been more than four months since 43 students from a rural teaching school in Ayotzinapa, in Mexico’s south-western state of Guerrero disappeared.  They were last seen alive during a protest in the town of Iguala.

Police fired on them and rounded them up, eventually handing them over to members of the Guerreros Unidos drug gang, who are widely thought to have killed them. Read the BBC story.

 

CHILE: Stargazing in Chile’s Atacama desert

5 February, 2015

Midnight in the desert. With a group of eight, I am huddled around a telescope 150 times stronger than the naked eye, staring at the night sky. From a dazzling mass of stars, we zoom in on individual pricks of light: a single star, a double, a nebula, a cluster, even a galaxy. Heading outside and looking up, constellations emerge from the crowded heavens, sketched out to us by a powerful laser. Read The Guardian story.

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