Stories from Quick Reads and Latin America
Residents of the city of Medellín, Colombia, are asking themselves if the metro is the place to talk about abortion, stemming from an ad by the #ladecisiónestuya (the decision is yours) campaign that's running in the public transit system's cars, as shared by user Jaime Andrés (@JAIM3_ANDR3S):
— Jaime Andrés (@JAIM3_ANDR3S) May 26, 2015
The Decision Is Yours pic.twitter.com/Nbaq2zJHXn
— Jaime Andrés (@JAIM3_ANDR3S) May 26, 2015
The campaign is being spearheaded by a non-profit organization offering sexual and reproductive healthcare services, carrying the message: “398,000 abortions should not be illegal.”
Under the hashtag #Abortonoesculturametro (Abortion Is Not Metro Culture) referring to the set of rules governing Medellín's Metro called “Cultura Metro” (Metro Culture), people have been sharing their opinions for and against abortion, in the same way that the mass transit system installations’ cars are used on a daily basis to post messages using other graphic material.
— Periódico La Tribuna (@PLaTribunaFunza) May 8, 2015
Pregnant 11-year-old who refused to abort creates controversy.
We wrote recently about about a 10-year-old pregnant girl from Paraguay who was allegedly raped by her stepfather and who was unable to have an abortion because of legal limitations in the country. Now, in Uruguay, where abortion is legal in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, the case of a pregnant 11-year-old who refused to have one has shocked the country.
This girl, who has been said to have an intellectual disability, was raped by the 41-year-old grandfather of her half-sister. This man is now in custody and will be prosecuted for rape, Uruguayan officials told Agence France-Presse.
Family members, doctors, social organizations, and the media have encouraged the girl to terminate the pregnancy. They have even pressured the government to try and force her to go through with it, according to Pangea Today. The response was, however, not favorable to them:
“There is no risk for the life of the child or baby, so we cannot force her to have an abortion,” the director of INAU, Monica Silva, said.
For over 50 years, it was thought that the Lima orchid was an extinct species; but, good news comes from a team from the National Forest and Wildlife Service, which is also part of the Peruvian Ministry of Agriculture:
Los especialistas encontraron ejemplares de dicha orquídea, típica de las lomas de la cuenca del río Rímac, en las cercanías de dicho cuerpo de agua. Pronto corrió el rumor sobre la mítica flor, que se creía desaparecida desde hace más de cincuenta años.
The team of specialists found some specimens of this orchid, typical of the hills in the Rimac river basin, near that body of water. The rumor about the mythical flower was soon well known, a flower believed to be extinct for over 50 years.
The news was echoed on Twitter:
Orquídea de Lima “Chloraea undulata” reaparece, aunque se creía extinta. Disfrutadla. http://t.co/zSEVKd2E8S
— Alicante Forestal (@alic_forestal) May 21, 2015
Orchid of Lima “Chloraea undulata” reappears, although it was believed extinct. Enjoy it.
Now it's up for the authorities and the population to take care of it and preserve it.
— Iván Hernández (@DrIvanHdez) May 12, 2015
I Fell Asleep Too. Sincerely: @kellypeto
It's a trending topic under the hashtag #YoTambienMeDormi (#IFellAsleepToo). In one week, there have been 17,500 comments on Twitter. The stories of tens of thousands of doctors in Mexico and Latin America who are sharing pictures of them sleeping during their long hospital shifts have gone viral.
It all started when a blogger criticized a physician whose photo showed him sleeping, according to the BBC.
“We know this work is tiring, but they have the duty to fulfill their responsibilities while there are dozens of sick people who need their attention at any moment,” Noti-blog site reports, showing the photo of a medical resident at General Hospital 33 in Monterrey, México, who fell asleep at 3 am while filling out the records of that night's patient number 18.
— Sabiel Ramirez (@SabielRamirez) May 9, 2015
I Fell Asleep Too, because we are not machines but human beings like everyone else
In addition to showing solidarity, the spontaneous campaign has also been a way to put a face the sacrifices people in the profession must make, including long meal-less, sleepless shifts, which are not always financially compensated nor always provide the necessary basics for the job.
The Chilean Police campaign against grooming, in which adults earn the trust of minors online to later abuse them, has already reached more than 5 million views. It has become a success going way beyond the borders of the South American country, according to Verne website.
The video was published on Facebook to raise awareness among young people. It tells the story of a teenage girl who sets up a date with a guy she met on a social network. The man, who has been asking her for “sexy” pictures is older than she imagined. The video leads to think the girl was abused.
Augusto Schuster, a very popular Chilean teen actor and singer with a base of 270,000 Twitter followers, was part of the campaign. At the end of the video, which is also available on YouTube, Schuster questions kids: “How many of your social network friends do you really know? Grooming is not a game. It is abuse. Remember that on Internet, the pictures are not only yours, they belong to everyone.”
Groomers pretend to be teenagers to take advantage of minors on social networks, wining their trust little by little, then asking them for intimate images, or setting up meetings that can end up in sexual abuse. Besides the video, the Chilean campaign offers tips — and even a test — to help kids recognize dangerous behavior. Verne adds that the police are promoting the hashtag #todoscontraelgrooming (everyone against grooming).
Self-evaluation: Am I exposed to grooming?
1. I have a profile in more than one social network.
2. I have more than 250 friends on Facebook.
3. I have accepted friendships requests from people I don't know.
4. I have established strong ties with people I never met in person.
5. I have dated people I have never met on real life.
6. Have spoken on a webcam with strangers.
7. I have set up dates with people I met online.
8. I have taken pictures of myself on my underwear.
9. I have taken pictures of intimate parts of my body.
10. I have been asked to strip infront of a webcam or send intimate pictures.
11. I have been forced to send intimate pictures.
If you have answered YES to the questions:
1-5 You are vulnerable to be contacted by a groomer
6-8 You have probably been contacted by a groomer and you are at risk.
9-11 You have been a grooming victim.
May 21 marks the National Day of Cultural and Linguistic Diverisity, and to commemorate the occasion, the Peruvian National Registrar of Identification and Civil Status (Reniec) launched the Awajun-Spanish bilingual civil registrar:
Las actas generadas de esta manera tendrán el mismo valor oficial que las actas tradicionales en castellano, y sus copias certificadas podrán obtenerse en cualquier agencia o Plataforma Virtual Multiservicios (PVM) del Reniec.
The documents thus generated will have the same official validity as the documents in Spanish, and the authenticated copies will be available in any agency or at the Virtual Multiservices Platform of Reniec.
The Awajún are an ethnic group from the Peruvian Amazon region. Their language has 70,000 Peruvian speakers in the departments of Amazonas, Cajamarca, Loreto and San Martín.
On Twitter, users shared remarks and pictures of this new registrar:
— RENIEC PERU (@reniecdigital) Mayo 20, 2015
RENIEC set up the online first bilingual civil registrar (Spanish – Awajun) in America.
Tengo clases de Awajún. Lo había olvidado. https://t.co/NlFQBYxXo0
— Vanessa (@LastSpica) Mayo 22, 2015
I have Awajun lessons. I had forgotten.
Nuevo Registro Civil Bilingüe Awajún tiene la innovación que sus registros, además de manuales, se realizarán en… http://t.co/5JXCOvHV2N
— Carlo Magno Salcedo (@carlomagno21) Mayo 22, 2015
New Awajun bilingual civil registrar has something new: its registers, besides being manual, will be…
At least 48 people were killed and an unknown number of people are missing after a landslide caused by heavy rains that hit the community of Salgar, in the Colombian department of Antioquia, in the early hours of May 18, 2015.
The secretary of government of Salgar, Zulma Osorio, declared that the “tragedy has had an overwhelmingly big magnitude (…), there are many fatalities, the community has completely collapsed.”
The president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, expressed this on Twitter:
En Salgar decretamos calamidad pública para atender emergencia.Desde GobNal y con GobAntioquia @sergio_fajardo todo nuestro apoyo a víctimas
— Juan Manuel Santos (@JuanManSantos) Mayo 18, 2015
We've declared a state of public disaster in Salgar to respond to the emergency. From the national government and with the governor of Antioquia, Sergio Fajardo, all our support goes to the victims.
The Red Cross of Antioquia used the microblogging network to ask for donations:
Huge tragedy in Salgar, if you can help with blankets and non-perishable food at the logistics center in Medellin.
Other users said:
Más socorristas y menos oportunistas es los que se necesita en Salgar a esta hora.
— Felix de Bedout (@fdbedout) Mayo 18, 2015
More rescuers and less opportunistic people is what it needed in Salgar right now.
Ahora los políticos aprovechando tragedia de Salgar a favor y en contra! MISERABLES — MONICA RODRIGUEZ (@MONYDIAADIA) Mayo 18, 2015
Now the politicians pro and against are taking advantage of the tragedy in Salgar! MISERABLE PEOPLE.
Government responds to the emergency in Salgar, Antioquia, which has left more than 30 dead.
Under the hashtag #NiUnaMenos (Not One Less), Argentina is mounting a campaign against the alarming increase in the number of femicides, which shows no signs of going down. Many of the country's public personalities have joined the campaign, like cartoonist Liniers, who used one of his best known characters to participate in the movement.
— Liniers (@porliniers) May 12, 2015
3 June. Plaza Congreso. No more femicides.
Femicide, understood as a hate crime against women, poses a serious problem in Argentina. Despite the passage of laws that deal with and criminalize violence against women, these crimes continue to be numerous. The protest will take place on 3 June in the Plaza del Congreso.
The movement gained momentum following the murder of 14-year-old Chiara Paéz. She was allegedly killed at the hands of her boyfriend and had been expecting a child at the time of her death.
The NGO La Casa Del Encuentro, which runs support groups for victims of domestic violence, reported that since 2008 in Argentina 1,808 women were killed by domestic violence, 261 of these girls between 13 and 21 years old. Last year alone, 277 femicides were documented in Argentina, according to Buenos Aires Herald.
Over 20 members of three Venezuelan media groups, El Nacional and Tal Cual, as well as news site La Patilla, are now prohibited from leaving the country. Caracas judge María Eugenia Núñez ordered the restriction on the opposition media figures, who are “accused of ‘continuing aggravated defamation'”, according to broadcaster NTN24.
Venezuela places travel ban on opposition media execs – VideoNewsUs http://t.co/ZAvKZNM7k9
— Democracy News Ven (@DemNewsVen) May 13, 2015
The court order was requested on April 28 by the National Assembly president, Diosdado Cabello, seen as one of president Nicolás Maduro’s closest allies in government and member of the ruling PSUV party. It was stated that these media organizations had affected the government's reputation by featuring “unscrupulous” publications from ABC, a Spanish daily newspaper.
The reports published in January alleged that Cabello was connected to drug trafficking in Venezuela.
As a result, Cabello sued for defamation everyone of importance at newspapers El Nacional, La Patilla and Tal Cual; as well as 22 members of the respective boards, including Miguel Henrique Otero, editor-in-chief of El Nacional, Teodoro Petkoff, from Tal Cual, and Alberto Ravell from La Patilla.
Alberto Ravell and Miguel Henrique Otero found out about the court rulling while travelling outside the country. They declared, respectively, that they will return to Venezuela in a few days to face the charges, and that their editorial lines will not change.
Despite what it seems like a violation of freedom of speech, even international treaties exempt such reproductions of news items from legal liability, except for the source.
Teodoro Petkoff, director of TalCual, and one of Venezuela’s most outspoken government critics, has already been banned from leaving the country because of another defamation lawsuit filed by Cabello last year. Petkoff recently received a prestigious journalism award in Spain, but was unable to collect it in person. The award was instead received on his behalf by former Spanish president Felipe Gonzalez, who spoke about attacks to freedom against expression in Venezuela.
According to Venezuelan law, the Court needs to notify each of the defendants, something that has yet to be done. Also, under no circumstance can a judge rule this prohibition without having talked to them first.
This defamation case had a very timely consideration and resolution, something noticeable in a country where the average prisoner has not seen a Judge in the first few months after its detention, or has spent around two years in prison without sentence, something analyzed in the blog The Devil's Excrement.
Media Factory, a startup accelerator which focuses on the business of online news and journalism, announced the second class of its news acceleration program, seeking to support new digital-only media ventures in Latin America during 2015.
Teams should be based anywhere in the region and have a strong professional network, successful experience generating impact (building audience, having political influence, or creating revenue), experience in journalism and digital content, capacity to produce summaries and to cover breaking news, and a fluid understanding of new technologies related to media. The initial goals will be to work on audience generation, community engagement and defining a business model.
Media Factory invests USD 75,000 in each company and works with founders on editorial efficiency, audience growth, and revenue generation. The second class will be held over three months in Buenos Aires, beginning Sept. 1st, 2015, after the Media Party conference.
After the acceleration period, the teams will return to their countries of origin where they’ll receive the mentoring of Media Factory to scale and achieve new rounds of investment. Furthermore, as part of the acceleration process, the startups will build strong sales and marketing departments so they can monetize their platforms.
For the first class in 2014, Media Factory reviewed 115 entries, interviewed 58 teams and selected 18 finalists, to choose three teams to its first class of entrepreneurs. ElMeme.me from Argentina, El Cambur from Venezuela, and GKillCity from Ecuador spent around 100 days in Buenos Aires, received investment and mentorship from disruptive digital media worldwide like Mic.com, Vox Media and the Knight Lab at Northwestern University.