Sunday, February 10, 2013

Guatemala Happenings

Some Guatemala links. Cascadia Solidaria has a rundown on security gains and privatization initiatives. I am even more disappointed now that Guatemalans didn't have an honest campaign in 2011. Too much was focused on Sandra Torres' attempt at the presidency and a competition between Otto Perez Molina and Manuel Baldizon as to who could be tougher on escalating crimes rates. The media is only now trying to understand levels of violence in the country. But it's not as if the US has rationale campaigns.

Sonia Perez has an AP story on the coffee crisis in Guatemala and Central America. Guatemala recently declared a national emergency. Coffee rust, a fungus, is affecting 70 percent of the country's crop.
"The fungus directly affects coffee leaves, initially with yellow spots that later turn orange and reaches around the foliage of coffee, then makes the leaves fall," he said. "The plant loses its foliage. It's not able to breathe, so it ceases producing and it eventually dies."
Cabrera said climate change has brought a rise in average temperatures of about 2 degrees Celsius in Central American areas where the fungus was present, encouraging its growth and increasing the threat of severe damage.
The president of the National Coffee Growers Association says that coffee is grown in 206 of the country's 333 municipalities and that the industry generates 500,000 direct jobs and 700,000 indirect jobs each year.

Mary Jo McConahay has an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times on Justice for genocide in Guatemala? McConahay reported on the Guatemalan civil war and its aftermath and is the author of "Maya Roads, One Woman's Journey Among the People of the Rainforest."

More attacks against prison guards - two dead.

Too many articles on the dysfunctional congress to keep up with.

Finally, Prensa Libre has an interview with Mayra Palencia of the Rafael Landivar University and Ricardo Barrientos of the Instituto Centroamericano de Estudios Fiscales on the state of corruption in the country.

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