Tuesday, 25 December 2007


Deep in the Peruvian Jungle an unreported struggle intensifies, as globalisation, under its many guises, threatens the very survival of the tribe of the Asháninkas.

From semi-nomadic habits they saw themselves obliged to be completely sedentary. There are no longer the conditions to hunt, to fish and grow crops like their forfathers. The Asháninkas live in their aloted land, richly proud of their own cultural identity, and willing to fight for it.

When the Spanish conquistadors came they were unable to outdo the tribe. Even to much more recent times, the Asháninkas held off the terrorist group Sendero Luminoso, losing 5,000 their population, displacing another 10,000. Only 4,000 were left.

The violence is still present by the insurgence of Sendero or because of the development of a form of ‘narcoterrorism’ not easily identifiable as Sendero anymore. Those Asháninkas that left and then in the hope of returning to their communities came, found their lands invaded coca plant growers.

The menace that faces the tribe today comes in different forms. The heavy demand for cocaine has meant that low density farmers emigrating from the Andes; have begun to clear land for exclusive coca growth. Illegal loggers also continue stripping the rain forest. A further obstacle now are the Spanish and Peruvian petroleum companies encroaching on what little is left of their ancestral land.

Spanish petroleum company, Repsol, has given them only broken promises. In saying they would assist with medical care and improve sanitation it has only expanded into lands not corresponding to them.

“The government does not consult, it only informs the community” says Ruth Buendía, president of CARE (Community of Asháninka of the River Ene) in response to the expansions in the jungle area of the river Ene. Buendia, 32, is fighting so that the land, which she says was entitled to them, is not vanquished. “Investment must be consulted with the people living here to see whether it is favourable or not.”

The population is composed mainly of women and children, widows and orphans. There is a huge deficit of men and of the young of both sexes, because so many have died at the hands of subversives or are controlled by them.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Fascists and Indians

Fascists and Indians

Ponchos Rojos

Nazis in Santa Cruz

Fascists and Indians

Things have reached a new climate in Bolivia from where extremist factions are on the rise. On the one side a group called the ‘Ponchos Rojos’ seeking Indian insurrection, were recently seen on TV decapitating the heads of dogs as warning to the opposition. To the other, rekindled Fascists, using Nazi symbolism, have begun firing arms at manifestations. As steps towards a newly-thought indigenous constitution are realized, up to what point will talk of ‘imminent civil war’ come to, as the country divides even further?

Evo Morales, Bolivia's first Indian president, says that the changes in the country’s constitution will redress centuries of discrimination by a political class dominated by a European-descended elite. Proposals there range from rechristening Bolivia with an indigenous name, Qollasuyo, to that of land reform and allowing Morales consecutive presidential terms.

The country is at an unstable situation, in which poor and well-organized sectors of society have managed to take control of the government, but have not actually taken control of power. The power, as such, still resides with the government’s main political enemies based in Santa Cruz, Sucre and Cochabamba, the country’s economical bastions.

The leaders of opposition say they want greater autonomy from the capitol La Paz. Some, a radical minority, want full independence. They complain that they generate Bolivia's wealth and do not see why they should subsidize the poor in the mountains. Many wealthy landowners also oppose government measures to redistribute land to peasant farmers and limit the size of properties.

The story is of a disillusioned people who, with the great responsibility of constructing Bolivia for the new century, remain divided, in conflict, without a firm ideology of unity and of constructing a more just social order. As such the youth and the poor become the ‘cannon fodder’ for extremists capitalizing on the disarray.

One such group is the Falange Socialista Boliviana, a far right movement founded in the late thirties, whose voice, though silenced for the past thirty years, now regathers emphasis. Their talk of arms and radical change is seen by some in the East and South as the only firm solution. Curiously they are seen bearing Nazi symbols which leads one to think their rhetoric is openly racist.

Strongly affiliated are the ‘juventudes cruceñas’, young demonstrators from Santa Cruz said to now be arming themselves under slogans of “defending the patria”. They have already attacked shop keepers and vandilised in and around districts where there are MAS supporters (Movement Toward Socialism – Evo Morales’ party).

A counterpart on the left is the Ponchos Rojos, indigenous activists from the high plains who recently slit the throats of two dogs before television cameras shouting the names of the two leading opposition leaders, Branko Marinkovic and Rubén Costas. An Ayamara ancestral organization, composed of men over 50, it assures 100,000 members in their files. It has also converted itself in one of Morales’ main strike forces. Their leader Ruperto Quispe now threatens to take the lands of Santa Cruz “immediately” if the Constitution fails. They are also allied to hardened miners loyal to Morales, who explode small dynamite charges occasionally to intimidate any potential anti-assembly protesters.

All of the pieces seem to be in place for a civil war – a general climate of discontent and resentment after a long history of colonial oppression; a concentrated campaign aimed at stirring up fear, hatred, and racial/ethnic and regional divisions; the aggressive use of the media in promulgating violent conflict; the near-total silence of international observers regarding these same trends. Bolivia has always been an unstable pocket within the southern continent. But the intensity of the present cloud of instability could bring it closer than ever to a full eruption.

Saturday, 15 December 2007


At first instances Father Marco Arana, 43, comes across as a mild mannered man. It’s hard to picture him as the outspoken figure he is associated with. He is courteous and open about all the contentious events surrounding mining company Newmont/Buenventura, and of the stories which inadvertently involve him and of the NGO he founded GRUFIDES.

Concerning Newmont/Buenaventura, owners Yanacocha and of many other mining ventures across Cajamarca, he directly implicated them on several wrongdoings of which the most violent are three murders:

1. Lingal Edmundo, Nov 04, killed in the province of Santa Cruz, a peasant standing up to water contamination caused by the mine La Sanja. Arana asserts he was killed by a group of peasants contracted by Newmont/B. There is apparent proof the rifles were given by the company.
2. Isidro Llanos Chevarria, Aug 06, killed at the manifestations of Combayo, by three contracted police men. Chevaria had been standing up to an expansion of Maqui Maqui Carachugo 2 sought by Newmont/B. The REPUBLICA has investigated this matter.
3. Esmundo Becerra Cotrina, Nov 06, shot 17 times by ‘sicarios’ (assassins) in the area of Yanacanchilla Baja. He had been given several death threats months before, for his stance against the digging of the San Cirilo Hill. It is an area from where several lake pockets would be depleted. Cotrina -a prestigious community leader- was the only one in his community to have gone to university. The project was by Newmont/B.

Arana then went on to add that from November 2006, for four months, there was a whole series of espionage tactics carried out by N/B on his person and of the personnel at GRUFIDES. He says he was followed everywhere, from the country to Lima. Calls were made to female employees threatening rape, as well as death threats to GRUFIDES employees’ family members. LA REPUBLICA has largely investigated this, from where a conclusion was made that a certain figure Aldo Schwarz, an ex Marine Commander, (pseudonym Pato!) was paid by FORZA, the cooperative security firm contracted by N/B.

There are said to 600-700 FORZA security guards at Yanacocha alone. The information is reserved but has been divulged by the guards themselves. In times of civil unrest mine companies are allowed to contract police to defend their interests. Police are gathered from other states which have no involvement with such provinces. Up to 400 policemen can be brought in. Their orders are often to repel -by whatever means- the disturbances which most often are in the form of road blocks. Added to this there are certain laws of impunity where it is hard to accuse a policeman for having carried out an action while on duty.

Arana says many in the community are wary of the press as often it has been through these means that many have been identified and then victimized.

There still has not been a systematic study of the current water contamination taking place in the several provinces of Cajamarca. In 2003 an external body was brought in, STRATUS, paid by N/B to make a study. Not much progress has been made since.
Trout are still dying, the waters are still poisoned. The problems between the mines and the communities are deteriorating.

Friday, 2 November 2007

tape I

I sleep in the maid's quarters. Nothing special about this. I don't even pay a cent. I eat avocado mainly and walk the dog that acompanies my early rises. When we are in the park, other dogs smell him; he attacks the littlest. I meant to swim today but I didn't.

Days scar. Days weigh. I land and think between parrallels. This here now versus that over there. I wonder if my brothers are annihilating themselves? How sweet it would be to feel cohesion. Here I am saying I'm going to write when I am still imprisoned. I nearly broke through that mist at one point. Caught a glimpse. It was me in different forms. Now and again I trawl through like some dazed cow. I can't even deal with synonyms.

There was a bird cage with ten small kittens. Each one a string. Each one over the other. A man brings a chicken head. The blood trickles. He drops it in the cage. A head for ten small mouths. They scratch the shit out of eachother, using their back legs. The sound of little hells under wire.

The kid is a little brat who when seated at the table stands up on his chair and shouts like a small Mussolini. At six he has too much intelligence. He is racist already, disrespects the maid in her outfit. He dares not even look at me though he gets me silenced. I eat quietly, prompting idle conversation. "So do you like computers? What games do you play." He tells me of one where you buy slots at six dollars a pop. They build their own virtual worlds and compare it to others.
Mother's neck is so elegant I flip her hair to view it often. Mother's scent is of rose and milk. She smiles and leaves me displaced for a weekend. Her own mother is a bitch and doesn't want me even in the sitting room. She is Catholic. I speak only when spoken to. When I have the chance to jest I trapeze I say silly things. I imagine Im a medallion borne Venezuelan or a hitman going to Iquitos. She says noone will ever understand another one. I say that makes things better. She has a way of looking into your eyes that feels like every wall you ever made rumbles at the fault lines. Am I to run loose on this or weigh with the weighted.

Tape II

The night is blue.
I cannot sleep.
I enjoy a cigarette on the patio.
The night grows bluer and bluer. It is dawn. Or almost. Most of October has been grey. Now the fogs and sea winds have stopped the glints of sun will arise. The dawn is blue,
like it is when you come out of dodgy dive and walk through Dalston market.

Titman runs naked.

I let the dog sleep on my bed.
Perhaps by dint of dictating onto this machine and repeating what it says aloud, I shall end up articulating my cause. I've cleared my mind. At times some random grime tune comes into my head. No doubt soon I'll make a cup of tea. When I come back I'll be someone else.

I slide between the ditchwater water and the pick-ax. My memory falters in blips, all I ask for is a small bit of your attention, listen her - if the scope, I mean capacity to think is conditioned by a long list of conditions, how am I meant to dismember them? Is but my way of returning to the root but another form of entrapment influenced by my contemporary age? A sort of neo-ruralist endevour with snakes dripping from the 'ether'. And yet here I am impelled to search for root, for a sense of honesty. The same thing as always - to hit the bone. I want to know how far down I can reach, El Man would say. El Man that little lost guy on his bike, a ghost walker in London. Is it a sense of nothing and complete alienation I seek. I know very well that if El Man wasn't the way he is he'd be a Titan. He is a but a little Napolean hidden within. I am also aware that speaking so highly of him, I in turn, become a deciple and perhaps as wretched as he is. How can I define for you the thin line between magnanimaty and putridness.

Tape III

It takes almost a day or two for Synthos to get in sequence. For the escalations to descend. For cognitive switch boards to unhawl. Synthos swears to credence, to Celeste and to the mount of habits he adorns. I speak not from the belly - nor through my teeth - but through my claws. Directly swiggering scopes with cinders on my nose. This table is broken. This table lacks a leg.

We sat in the Chinese. She stayed silent. the words for her difficult. The whole moment pacified by a telenovela in the background - a latin american soap - of hiperboles and idiot tragedies and my own now surrounded by monotony. 'I can't stand this. I've lost my appetite.' When we walk again it was again in silence. 'Why the fuck are you following me? Didn't you tell me it was over.' She backtracks.Ok, she says, and walks away. What I hadn't noticed was that she had left her car infront of where I am staying. She came around the corner. To think there might have been something else to say. Her silence again so loud the neighbours should have seen it.

I beat the dog. You have a bad day, beat the dog. He spends his time whimpering, wishing he could smell bum, a bit of violence won't make a difference.

Turned out she misses some fat guy who illustrates and does well in the Lima circles. Always the same shit in the end. No tormented love blowing up your innards, love from Russia burning to be together thing. Funny thing is, the further the miles the closer we felt. Then I suddenly came, all bare, expecting assistance. Turned out shit's always the same. So what had become of that time when we would go out into the streets and laugh like a couple of kids. Never when I came back did we remake and unmake, just dull love we made. This girl, who became my password on all internet sites.

Titman drew from his pocket a couple of rhymes he had written. One was a finished verse, the other was work in progress. Let me spit you a verse he said. His arms as frantic as they were misplaced. Out of his back pocket he pulls out another scrap instead."Like a twitch in the back of ones head, desperation takes place as theres turbulence on the plane. A full weight of vengeful metal on cement. And to die like little green earthlings half awake".

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Caucato - Re-buidling after the Earthquake

The wall was made of adobe, fifty years old, easily lifted as gratifying as picking black heads. You wouldn't imagine the things that sprang out of the falling wall. Cockroaches, scorpions and mice. The locals stepped on the mice as though they were cockroaches and picked up the scorpions, slitting off their needles from where they became play-things to put on your face. In this small village called Caucato, where 30 families were left unhoused, living in their own ruins, after the 7.9 earthquake.

'Un techo para mi pais'(a roof for my country)serve to help those in need of houses. The foundation started ten years ago, funded by private enterprises and now running in nine latin american countries. The 'voluntarios' are all mainly university students, or anybody between the ages of 18-29.

Caucato, 3km from the port Pisco in the province of Ica, from where the old hacienda of the Montero family stood, whose land was taken away by 1973 reformation of General Velasco. The remains of the hacienda sit on a small hill overlooking the rest of the village from which only rubble and bits of the years-old scratched out graffiti are left. The community there of around 30 families resemble any other possible village, with each character with his/her own role, from the troublesome teenager walking like a badman with his personal stereo to the mad woman most of them ignore. There was even the town's very own historian who elagantly told stories of the past and of its mythology. One of the stories being that the original Montero made a pact with the devil so that his field may reap rewards. He somehow beat the devil at his own game and kept his soul as well becoming the local land owner.

I went along as a journalist/photographer helping a student crew with a documentary. This aided me to momentarily intrude. Half the people we interviewed cried in front of camera. A strange disposition came over them where they all felt they had spill all the evil done onto them. The state does nothing really other than to give them tents. So meanwhile the demagogue president Alan Garcia speaks with oral flowers nothing much is done. It is thanks to these organisations that any sense of normality can arise. After feeling like I was intruding I felt my efforts would of much better use helping with the mass house building. When it came to lunch all the women in the village prepared giant broths, chicken and rice. As moving orchestrated gesture each future-owner would bring the plates of food to their workers.

I can say with all honesty, I don't think I have ever done something as enriching. Laying the beast which is ambition aside and giving for giving sake. What is reciprocated is something money can never emulate. And I don't mean this in any cheesy sense, it truly is something awe inspiring.

In total over 600 people died and 4,000 were seriously injured during the earthquake in Ica that happened in waves from 18:41 on a Sunday. Had it been at night it would have been much worse. There are many stories. The most awful one is of the church in Pisco that sunk in itself and killed 200 worshippers as they ran to the exit. 80% of Pisco's buildings will now have to be demolished as most of the structures are at risk.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Monday, 30 July 2007

Dream - Megolamania

A reunion with hundreds of people in a place much alike Hampton Court. Looking down from where I am I can see a pitch where later in the day a grand football match with hundreds fans will come together. It's a lavish party with champagne fountains and lovely girls. There is royalty around.

I am told its been a long held secret that I am actually a Prince. I take the news without flinching much. I am given a crown, one that I prefer to carry in my hand. I also attain an inner sense that when the football takes place the earth near us will implode. All the people, including myself will die. The earth will invert, eat in itself, slide across creating squares of swimming pools. I take this information without flinching much also. Though I clearly see visions of the impending tragedy and the beautiful shapes it will create.

Suddenly in the corner of my eye I see Sheherezade, who went to my school, with whom at the time I wished I had gone out with but never did. It was always thought we would. I approach her. Just before I give my crown to prince William, and say
" now that we are brothers". The energy is charged as I get to her. I am looking at the full wack. We say a few words. Words are not needed. We make out. To the view of the football pitch below and visions of tectonic plates I fuck her.

Possible Reasons behind the dream - I found Sheherezade in facebook on the weekend, I saw a skit from an apocalyptical film showing London all flooded, football is a constant, I read a few words written by David Lynch, It was my birthday on the weekend

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Ana Maria Celeste


She sat tossing popcorn on to empty beer bottles. Beer drunk, beer to be drank over volcanic rock, the Santo Domingo Bay and the sea in sight, her troubled hands tossing popcorn. She dreamt and balanced out her options. So many other gusanitos, little worms had made it across the other island.

When I met her she had glasses that were so thick it made her eyes seem as though they were looking from the other side of the room. Her face when she laughed made me feel something in between awe and nausea, a melancholy so toy-like I thought I could mend her. I should have jumped out of kitchen at that moment paid the waiter and walked the other direction. Unaware that in an unperceived way her boxer mulatto nose and curves had got me going again, knowing well that from that moment she would siphon and hinder my money and plans. Love is a violent thing, a restricting act of violence from where the forces in the cosmos spiral off to a kettle boiling towards a sink.

She appeared older than she was, though she was just nineteen. She would say excessive thinking brings the end of things. She thought sometimes of blood, of cuts, the thought of it converted her in to a playtime murderer while cadavers would come out of the earth with boiling meat on their lips. Strange having a mind so open to blood with such ill machinations, and yet when I turned the television on she would immediately turn it off.

“The crevice of all damnation,” she would say, “nothing like stasis to rot the nog.” A slap to the pancreas is how she called it.

“Please I must fuck you,” she said, “I haven’t had sex in months.” I let her. First time I didn’t get in though. We went on with the session stroking each other’s bodies, kissing necks, kissing tits, running the finger over every part. After a long while I fucked her. Right in this time. I went for a piss and she tossed me off, the rest of the day resumed in the same way.

“In heaven there are also cockroaches, slugs and maggots,” she said reading Zoe Valdez and Laura Restrepo. I bought her contacts. I would try to write, she spent time on messenger. She wanted me to tell her about the Islamic gardens of Seville. One day she would meet a famous interpreter she met online from Morocco. She missed the places she had been to and the places she had not.

Chica de la Calle

picture taken in Lima Peru

Tuesday, 24 July 2007


I drink a K cider
8.4%vol "The Ultimate in Quality" which apparently contains sulphates, what ever the fuck they are

Upon a mound of rubble
the dog laughed
the roost listened
"chaff we are like
like migratory semaphores making idle signals
worthless like bricks"

worthless chaff

'Worthless chaff, who are you to teach the wind to leap or touch the broken ears of barley?'

John 23:17

My cat leaves the gall bladders of mice in the hall. I just found one then, dried and brittle, green and billeous. It crackled as I picked it up.
I threw it in the toilet, then pissed on it, holding my dick with the same fingers I'd used to hold that other disguarded, shrunken organ.
That kind of thing really doesn't bother me. It floated when I tried to flush. That doesn't bother me either. It'll reabsorb it's weight in moisture and sink, sink, sink.

I agree that we're just gathering stories, have been since we were young, living retrospectively. It's all very un-zen. It's because we hate society and we're cowards. I am going to put my balls on the line and do something brave. Rebel! Canada maybe, turn up, get a job straight away, see what happens if I just throw it all up in the air and let the wind take it, worthless chaff.

"Jook them and blindside them, let the shits fall where they may."
Ken Keasy.

And with that, we made a cup of tea.


Oliver Balch

Behind the waterfalls: human trafficking on the Triple Frontera
written by Oliver Blach, freelance journalist based in Argentina

..Spanning the borders of Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina stretch the awe-inspiring Iguazú falls. Lurking behind this incredible natural wonder, however, is a grisly trade in human trafficking..


Latin America's secret slave trade also O.Balch in the triple frontier

Ciudad del Este

...Where all the components of
transnational lawlessness seem to converge...

Words by Mr.William W.Mendel, Military Review Apr 2002:

Paraguay is landlocked, poor, a long way from everywhere, and seldom appears in the drama of international events but is nevertheless emblematic of our global security challenge. It has suffered crippling wars where governance has always been a challenge and where smuggling and criminal organizing is a tradition. Long disregarded by the great powers' intelligence and diplomatic services, it is now a place where international crimes like money laundering, gunrunning, migration fraud, and drug trafficking recombine and metastasize. In an age of great sovereign competitors, the United States pays attention to nations according to their development-their ability to mobilize as a nation and to make war as a nation. Now we are entering an age of uncivilized behavior in which we must focus on the lost geographies, the fertile ground for piracy and terror. Ciudad del Este, a boomtown on Paraguay's eastern border facing Brazil and Argentina, is an appropriate target for new concerns. Regional security scholars have aptly called it a nest of spies and thieves.

The Larger Context

The turbulent political environment of Paraguay engendered lawlessness in Ciudad del Este. The country has suffered three coup attempts in the past 5 years. Popular army chief, General Lino Oviedo, who mounted a short-lived coup in 1998, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, then ran for president later the same year. While the supreme court declared Oviedo an illegal candidate, his running mate, Raul Cubas Grau, was elected president and quickly pardoned Oviedo. Cubas Grau resigned under pressure after the vice president was assassinated in March1999, leaving the presidency to Luis Angel González Macchi who was next in line as senate president. Adding to the political turbulence, González Macchi fired 18 generals and more than 100 other officers who had supported Oviedo. After a May 2000 coup attempt, González Macchi terminated another 13 officers. Meanwhile, the party of Oviedo-supported Vice President Julio Cesar Franco maneuvered to impeach González Macchi. The political tumult has done little to engender social and economic progress in Paraguay, and only Brazil and Argentina's influence have kept the democratic government afloat.1 Needless to say, the government in Asunción has had little time to concentrate on improving the rule of law in Ciudad del Este.

The population in the triborder area is concentrated in three interacting border cities. Ciudad del Este is the largest city, with a population of 240,000. Across the Bridge of Friendship in Brazil, the city of Foz do Iguaçu (population of 190,000) thrives on tourism and provides secure neighborhoods for foreign nationals who commute to Ciudad del Este from Brazil. Argentina's Puerto Iguazú (population of 28,100) is isolated from Ciudad del Este by the Paraná River but has access to Brazil across the Iguazú River at the Tancredo Neves International Bridge. The Arab community of immigrants that represents a slice of the urban population in the triborder area, mainly Ciudad del Este and Foz do Iguaçu, is estimated to be nearly 30,000.

Illegality of Every Kind

In Ciudad de Este, the absence of government control allows smugglers and money launderers to leverage disparity in the levels of law enforcement, import regulations, exchange rates, and tax rates between Paraguay and its neighbors. European-bound illicit drugs, such as cocaine and marijuana, pass through Foz do Iguaçu for transshipment eastward to Puerto Paranaguá on Brazil's Atlantic coast. Argentina's aggressive border controls and law enforcement, and the impressive Iguazú waterfalls have nurtured a growing international tourism industry in the Argentine state of Misiones. But Argentina's high tax rate and expensive peso have made smuggling cigarettes a profitable, low-risk enterprise. Night flights of cigarettes from Paraguay to Argentina bring sizable profits with little risk. A $1 pack of cigarettes in Paraguay gets $2.50 in Argentina. Even agricultural products, such as soybeans and chickens, are involved. Since Brazil and Argentina are magnets for the marijuana grown in Paraguay, most of the illicit drug trafficking in the triborder area involves marijuana, but cocaine from Bolivia and Peru is sometimes seized at triborder checkpoints. Investment money flows from the Middle East, apparently because profits can be made quickly on illegal merchandise, including purloined intellectual property.

A large Chinese community has developed in Ciudad del Este alongside the established Arab population, adding to the international mix. It is interesting to note that over the past 3 years 30 percent of the false immigration documents seized at the Argentine Iguazu checkpoint were carried by Chinese people who were presumed to be heading to Buenos Aires.6 In September 2001, the Paraguayan consul in Miami was arrested for allegedly selling more than 300 passports, visas, and shipping documents since June 1999. The consul reportedly sold 16 passports to terrorist suspects from Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon who were planning to move to Ciudad del Este.

Illegal weapons merchandising provides another trading advantage for Paraguay. Taurus- and Rossi-produced Brazilian guns are reexported from Paraguay back into Brazil with no documentation and with great profit to gunrunners. Brazilian investigative news sources assess that most of the Brazilian weapons exported to Paraguay end up in Brazil, but there is a significant flow of weapons into Argentina as well. On the Argentine side of the Tancredo Neves International Bridge at Iguazú, the number of judicial actions taken in cases involving firearms and explosives jumped from 1 in 1999 to 51 in 2000. These cases are considered serious enough and supported by enough evidence to be processed successfully through the Argentine courts. Preliminary numbers for the first half of 2001 indicate that gun smuggling continues apace. In contrast to the increase in gunrunning, individuals passing through the Iguazú border checkpoint dropped from 3,413,876 in 1999 to 1,396,733 in 2000 and continued on a similar pace in 2001. Total vehicle passages dropped from 350,751 to 242,669, with the pace seeming to slow more in 2001.

While no one conclusion can be drawn, the dramatic rise in weapon smuggling against a decrease in total cross-border movement at least raises questions concerning regional instability. Likewise, the Ciudad del Este link to Colombia is also important. A guns-for-cocaine connection between Paraguayan gunrunners and the terrorist group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) was uncovered, and one FARC operative was arrested.

HANG ON!!! - Now this is what Mr.William W.Mendel suggest to solve the problem:

What Can be Done

If we believe that the best defense against terrorism is a good offense, perhaps the Ciudad del Este triborder area requires an active presence. At a recent meeting of the OAS International Committee on Terrorism, U.S. State Department Counterter-rorism Coordinator Francis X. Taylor announced that the United States will use all elements of its national power against terrorist groups in the triborder area, and in Colombia, including using military force.21 The smugglers' haven at Ciudad del Este could find itself at the top of the target list.

Since the 11 September 2001 Arab terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the locus of U.S. counteraction has been Southwest Asia and the Middle East. The stunning attack met a prompt response in those regions, but, as U.S. leaders asserted early on, the United States' and worldwide effort to counter terrorism will be protracted, encompassing all regions of the globe, including areas out of the mainstream.

U.S. security strategists are now open to more carefully scrutinizing peripheral geographies and to respecting the dangers that may emanate from them. These are the centers of gravity of the new threat; however, regional states' strategic interests are most immediately implicated. The social and political anomalies associated with the Taliban government in Afghanistan were felt most strongly in Pakistan, a long-time U.S. ally. After Afghanistan fell under the U.S. military loupe, Pakistan's security and stability were directly stressed. While the characterization of governance and the degree of organized criminality is much different in South America, it is similarly true that their Paraguayan neighbors' lack of discipline negatively affects the states of the southern cone. Not only have they suffered more than the United States, but they are also in a far better position to gain intelligence and mount appropriate legal and physical responses. It may be through cooperation with these states that the best U.S. strategy proceeds if the Paraguayan Government proves unable to meet the challenge.

Monday, 23 July 2007

the triple frontier

So here goes, here is a place that brings MadMax, Pablo Escobar and Tintin to a head-on collision. Some lawless tri-border area where contraband is king and women wearing burquas walk in the heat of the surrounding jungle. A place where arms, women and drugs pass through unnoticed. And where nearby, a UNESCO heritage site, the Iguazu Falls, with its dramatic falls and cascades draws thousands of tourists every year, most of which spend an average of two days there. It is a completely transient zone.

The Triple Frontier -not to be confused with Las Triples Fronteras, the border of Brazil, Peru and Colombia- is where Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil join near the cities of Ciudad del Este, Alto Parana, Misiones and Foz do Iguazu. The area is routinely characterised as a lawless land and a hub for terrorist activities though there remains to be much proof for the sake of the latter. It has a large Arab community, some of which are Christian, of about 30 thousand. There are also large Taiwanese and Korean populations. It is said the Colombian FARC (terrorist liberation army known to deal in coke) and the Triads are there. Not to mention, as the CIA say, Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda.

Characteristics of the tri-border area, taken from outlines given by Thomaz G.Costa of the National Defense University of Brazil concerning organised crime are:
• The central geographic location tying three countries with unstable economics, mixing four currencies systems.
• Centers of tourism: the falls of Inuacu, with 3-4 million visitors/year, and the Itaipu Dam, with 500,000 visitors/year.
• Weak exercise of customs and immigration control.

The resulting dynamics of the region:
• Trade hub; extensive import and export of products sensitive to currency exchange fluctuations, counterfeit products and high value goods.
• Extensive currency exchange opportunities.
• Illegal activities.
• Extensive social mobility.

The resulting issues:
• Illegal activities are not salient when compared to other problems.
• Terrorism is not perceived as a direct threat.
• Illegal economic activities are perceived as a social valve.
• Bottlenecking of the judiciary system weakens law enforcement.
• The intelligence dilemma: can anyone confirm the presence of terrorists in the region?

triple frontier youtube found footage

crossing the border, over the bridge, mundane yet revealing

triple frontier youtube found footage

the girls from Ciudad del Este, Paraguay

triple frontier youtube found footage

clouds over iguazu, small doc about muslim arabs in the tri-border. Very good as it remains impartial

triple frontier youtube found footage

ciudad del este, lame footage, but insight nontheless

triple frontier youtube found footage

An american dork speaking about the Itaipu Dam, impressive

triple frontier youtube found footage

a terribly biased american media assertion that there are hezbollah recruits in the tri-border, where did they get this guy?

triple frontier youtube found footage

a great guide to the tri-border

triple frontier youtube found footage

not sure about this, hip hop music to bad raps, about rowing a shoddy canoe over the parana river to keep it real

Sunday, 22 July 2007


what is it with these agonising polyps that we carry
something to do with the age
or the lost generation that we homage

its pure dellusion
some veneer shit
really what we want is not the experience but the story
and get a pat on the back
perhaps get paid for being slack mutha fuckas for the rest of our lives

i want to be that foreign correspondent
who speaks french fluently with a portuguese accent
and reports on a garifuna burial, the triple frontier and the dunes of surinam

come lets take over the world
soon in october i plan this non seeded getaway
and let the birds swoop over my head while i stick my middle finger up at them


Saturday, 21 July 2007

Eaten by the Birds

'If you wake up every morning in a new place you will eventually forget what it's like to be rooted, and thus you will be as seed, to be tossed in the wind and eaten by birds.'

Leviticus 11:13

How do you, my naive milking crusader, do?

I am replying. Here. Look:

Last night my woman and I sat down and had a talk.
"You're draining my emotional resources" I told her.
"You're draining mine" She said.
"I really love you and I don't want anyone else", I said, "it's just that I need to sort my shit out, I feel pretty worthless right now".
I stared at the wall. she stared at the ceiling. I rubbed my eyes. She wiped snot on her sleeve.
"What do you want to do?" She asked.
I took a few deep breaths, I've given up smoking, I take lot's of deep breaths now, it's my new coping mechanism.
"Dunno" I said.

Might run off to sea. Got this crazy idea about being a freelance foreign correspondent. She's going to go to London for a month or so- Trial Separation- fucking sucks.

And so I write, and er self promote.
And take deep breaths.
The wound on my shin is a nasty one but it's healing nicely now. Playing football tonight.

Morose, yet strangely righteous.
Left wing, yet largely fascistic.
Just lining up the letters, ones and zeros,
Rooted, yet still tossed and eaten by birds.

Love, my brother, there is always love.


Sunday, 24 June 2007

Bunny Rabbit from Brooklyn in London

Once all the men die out we can rest assured some balance will finally come rolling down the hills. The dreams of men would be carried forward, from where women would pick up the pieces. Standing on top of a mound would sing an out-of-tune girl by the name of Bunny Rabbit, wearing a pink velveteen dress, carrying a cuddly toy.

Hip Hop purists will tell you the production is weak and that the rhymes are sketchy, which they are, though it is exactly this type of sketchiness that frees itself to act through impulse rather than any boxy tribal orientation. Still though they say it's Hip Hop. “Everything that is made right now, whether it’s architecture or clothing is hip hop influenced,” Black Cracker says. “Rather than fading it’s almost coming into its natural state because it’s becoming totally integrated – it’s less exploited and looked on as this other thing. And now we can experience it in ways we didn’t even realise.”

There’s a thin line between paradise and hell, as though both poles brush together, one only able to exist in the presence of the other. Beyond the veneer of idyllic beaches and Hawaiian girls are maggots festering beneath stones, on corners, in holes. And stained glass windows are filled with pornographic images of women getting sucked off.

The women from the dark dreams Kool Keith’s Sex Style album are coming with peach golden arrows laced in tampon butter. You can call me sexist I don't care. I love these girls.

“Big shout out to all the Kleenex constituents all around the world, everybody crying on a daily basis. Whether you drink tea, water or coffee – wait, wait, PG Tips. Whether its two bags, two sugars and a lot of cream or whatever, hopefully you’ll still wanna hang out, drink, and party, and cry with us... you know mush around.”

Bunny Rabbit

Thursday, 21 June 2007

PORT - siskin continued


The sun sets; the natty dogs approach the fences, lights of the cruise-ships move in the distance, while the forklifts, and shore to ship hydraulic cranes regain some of the energy lost from the mid-day sun. Further out in the farthest reaches of the city, blackouts mandate over pockets as lights flicker exposing the haves and the have-nots. Strings of rusty trucks and tardy taxis await some catches, cargo goods or rubbishy boxes, beds and BMWs in return of the precious dollar trickle.

Resisting the ugly belly underside of Britain I welcome anything especially this. The putrid smell of cauliflower and the women with their pretty genes. The Olympian blacks versus my puny line life I stack. The Vaseline-coated shores that glisten from the glossy pages from brochures. I jumped off ship and found a cheap hotel near the U.S. Marine Corps. I jumped off ship, disbanded, heaven forget the people I pissed off. How can one live around moral imbeciles by day, to think I’d let a fool, fool me with pillow talk of business ventures while my soul grated with a fork on rusted barrels. I might have spiralled into oblivion had I spent two more days with that cunt, festered in my own pre-existence like swamps.
So jump. I become the tropical tyrant with a pyramid of parakeets to my back, better yet the Sittamus Grisercapillus, foraging insects on trunks, catching them in mid-flight, temporarily skipping the end I dreamt, settling calmly on the island of Hispaniola.

Very few coastal captains worry about the antecedents of their crewmen or the possession of proper papers. I could have been from any where, it was just as easy to go over the fence. Debtors, social misfits and absconding husbands - just as much as some dumb hench idiot - can all be found on the small vessels around these ports.

I thought I might take this time to write something of value. Settle for a bit. Accept my tranquillity perhaps. Search a story to cover for the BBC world service online, rejoicing the fact that I am free of possessions, free of all ties, free of fear and malice. My room looks like the type of space used in brothels, I’m yet to see anybody in the other rooms. Last night I heard some thumping and screaming as though a girl’s hymen had been pilfered. At one point a blasted pigeon came into my room and shat all its guts, I swear it died on my floor, and was given a second chance in life. I'm left staring at the ceiling.

Friday, 8 June 2007

what do you want me to do with that?

“What do you want me to do with that?” Crimson and bulbous he bellows, little pink hands wrenching at the rusted handlebars of his Grifter, the front wheel humping up and down, spittle forming in neat balls at the corners of his mail-sack mouth, sliding down his lips and flying free every time his jowls flap.
His head’s too big for his fucking body.
“I’ll tell you what you can do with it- ”, I say, teeth gritted, jaw tightening. But what’s the use? What possible good could come from mauling Harry The Bump? Splitting his cherry red face, puncture wounds seeping clear fluid and blood, face like a parboiled ham, bristles like a pig anyway, fat bastard, fat cunt.
Deep breath.
And I walk away.
When there’s a few houses between us he starts shouting.
“Wanker!” He shouts, tentatively at first, then louder when he sees I’m not going to turn round. “You Wanker!”
At the corner I look back, he’s pedalling away from me, his fat arse swallowing the seat of that stupid fucking kid’s bike, wheels squeaking, little knees straining to get over a speed bump. I shake my head and walk on, I’m getting too old for this shit.


Friday, 25 May 2007

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Thursday, 5 April 2007

America Latina

Santo Domingo

Latin American politicians in times of elections are like actors standing in front of chasms saying they have uncovered the key in curbing the state from a continued blighted path. As if they had been in meditation up a mountain searching for a fixing truth, so that when the moment is ripe, they rush down sexually aroused at the site of microphones on balconies. Standing on a podium with veins popping from their necks, they’ll say – and we all know it – that the rich and the imperialists are to blame for the abject poverty haunting these developing countries.

Wednesday, 14 March 2007




Almost 28 days have gone past, on board this cargo ship, skating the North West African coast before it shoots off onto Caracas. I've got my habits already on board, habits of a sea lion. I lounge.

All the live long day I bask on the panels next to the rusty swimming pool I got them to fix. Carpet bomb, dive in, in as many ways as I can invent, the siskin, the rye catcher, the elephant turtle back, all before I bask again sucking slow at my cigarette stash, and depending on the hour I might wear a towel as a turban; from morning to night, the body bitten by the sun, my eyes squinting sharped by the salt, I’m thinking of nothing, save the Atlantic winds rushing the pool cooling my yoke.


From Southampton heading to Puerto La Cruz - that ultra-modern port established from the mouth of dunes where in the distance sparkle the Andes - the cargo was collected, picked up and derouted - space never meant for passengers, immigrants, loaders like me, but for merchandise - forty thousand boxes of bottles, lentilles de Puy, gum-arabic and Polish vodka, and now that a shipment of electro-domestics has been collected in Essaouira, to add further funds to the coffers, I'm told there'll be two more debarkations in the Canaries, not that I might give a fuck, or let off steam, joyful how I am when my life's of a flake.

I was never pressed to arrive at great speed, but then again who should for it is only when you're at constant movement that you ever feel at ease. Nothing is really waiting for me Latin America, nothing other than I had promised myself I’d find a writing job, publish something about the Puppet Televangelist with some of his schemes and Cuban dreams.

This is the first time I'm leaving Europe for good, and if I had chosen this boat it was so that I may cruise by myself, feel in permanent flux, really life seems to me great on board, a chance to recontact all; the universe, the ocean, the sky, with drops, the flyeng fishe, the heat of the tropics, sea water, the constellations of the hemisphere, the pelicans and sea gulls, the real nature of things, and be around sailors the darkest yet most understanding of men.


'La Clarnica' - not the prettiest of faces. Neglected, battered by the rough, some Ukrainians, some still on board, thought they'd go to the Horn, fish Nile Perch though they got chased by Omani pirates with bazookas for fuel. 'La Clarnica' at eight knots, with odd equipment and unloaded shipments old as the ship itself, somnambulant, worn-out, still chugging like a train holding it down. And as for its commander, M. Baptiste Triston, who for the entire journey of 69 days stays locked in his cabin, I have seen only three times, once at Cadiz, the other at Casablanca, and the last at Dakar, and each time he was out of it. An old guy, little melon head, dressed in black, a man of few words, the sailors do the orders, his tongue unlike theirs not the colour of colon cancer.


Thanks to the cockroaches, I pass even the nights by the side of the pool with my head on some cords, only ever going down to my cabin to get dressed. I take joy in brushing my teeth watching the waves on the side of the ship. And on most nights I am joined by the cook and his assistant, who, well aware that I am the sole paying client, accompany me, bringing added supplies of alcohol. They laze, obliviously, flicking ash, one with dark tobacco, the other with a chillum smoking pungent ‘zero zero’ he got in Morocco.

Night after night familiar stars disappear. Other new ones take their place, as if the sky moved like a cog, notch by notch - the Little Bear gone as the South Cross approaches - Life from the fish eye lens. Nights as empty as the beer bottles, without even a whistle, navigators mind their own business, with no interest in talking about their lives back home.

But it’s all good.
Come dawn, each the their post, stagger though they might, and me, I dive happily in my swimming pool, where I swim alone like a seal in the zoo.


One morning – the day after hitting Dakar – in order to distract myself, and not kill time, I thought I might invent a new way of swimming, one done under water without ever touching the floor and then I started catching coins with my mouth, throwing them in the air before quickly plunging. My accuracy so acute I can throw coins from behind my head and calculate the correct angle from which I dive. I revel in my spins and escape strategies, sometimes imagining the floor as the sky, doing all sorts of strokes - but then - this body files past. I immediately get out of the pool. Dammit, feeling indignified by this irruption upon my element, a complete violation of ones own habitat. As if this stranger had broken my intimate space, or worse still, as if this unknown had slid into my bed. Inconsiderate muther fucker, every little fucking thing I resent. Solitude and silence tossed over board, showing me for the shy savage I was cherishing for a month - a misanthrope.

So I went to stretch myself over the panel, where I laid on my back, face covered by a towel as if covering my face from the mad glare from the sun, now well decided not to say anything to this cunt, or encourage any sort of conversation he may want. Where might this odbin have arrived? I hear him splashing around the pool, smack the water, sniff, cough, splutter like a Pole gone wrong, I ain't like this walrus-looking cunt, splashing around the pool, smack water, sniff, cough.

Within 15 minutes from when I heard this Visogoth-Vandal enter the pool and shake himself off, he couldn't help it, help approach the shaky planks, the boards from where I cotch. So in a friendly voice he comes and says:

-Good day Sir. What a beautiful morning!
I say nothing
-Pretty good baff ah?
I say nothing
-Will you let me? May I borro your...matches?

-...Dale, claro que si
I hear him strike a match, take it on his gob, while Im cursing under my breath, ready for him to strike again or continue on his rant.
- Zank You Sir! My lighter doesn't work, jew see. Like all lighters I buy. When it's not the flame, it's the stone. Or it's the missing fuil. I wanted to buy a good electric one, japanese, but I found nothing but shit markets in Dakar. Maybe Venezuela? Do you know Venezuela?

I flinched not. Hoping he may fall silent. The chatterbox blurts out like a loudspeaker.
-You have very proud idea Sir! The commander told me it was you, who made him install swimming pool on bridge...
-Let me present myself. My name is Theodemir, engineer. I just spent three months in Dakar. Fucking country. Now first time I cross to..'new' world. Mr....Mr?
-Billy Cienfuegos


Four, Five, Six, maybe even a week goes past. Why should I change even an inch of my habit patterns, despite me feeling uneasy to this man who jumped on board at Dakar. Like Dog and Cat, it must be the same with the Seal and the Walrus, with no other reason than pure animosity. They just don't get on. I said to myself I won't let myself be surprised by this intruder. And I won't call him a cunt no more...restrain.

Four, Five, Six, a Week, Nine days, every morning at around 10 o'clock, the engineer comes to dip, finding me asleep over the panels, towel over my head, my back facing the sun faking sleep. Hear him belly flop...that lard...doggy paddle, come out of the water, cough, shake himself off, clear his throat, approach me and get all huffed up. I placed my matches on top of a box with a sign saying, SIRVASE, spanish for help yourself. GRACIAS. There he goes lighting up his fags, funniest shit I've ever done, my own little chuckle in silence, ‘cept I have to incorporate my snorts into my snores. I can guess whenever he's about to address something, sighing without the courage to continue, and then leave, and each time I snigger underneath, with another small victory. Half opening my eyelids, I see him leaving - bald, fat, penguin waddle type, white forehead and white calves, poor man with a left arm longer than his right. And so, I light my cigarette, swing off the towel and throw myself in the pool with a defiant star jump.


Naturally this situation couldn't last indefinitely, that pivotal mathematical point was approaching when we would have to talk. How and in what way this might come about I'd ask myself with curiosity, cos for many days that he was on board, the intruder also started developing habits, habits that quite skilfully exacerbated me straight to my core. I know for well you’ve been doubting me and my integrity, but I am an excellent judge in character. Like an innocent this son of a bitch'd killed time, firing shots with a kalashnikov! Where the fuck did he get a kalashnikov?! Shooting passing albatross and sorts - the winds carrying them across long distances for them to then get gashed up. So close in addressing some stark words. You know do it for the birds. At least kill this wretched hobby. Kill him if I could. And still I have this inner battle that I should stay firm maybe see how far it can get, see to what limit it could go on to. Idiots that get bored when travelling become cumbersome. It started off with him taking pictures, cackling, blowing off rounds in admiration of the architecture of clouds. Now he shoots off his rifle. One thing is clouds, the other is this muther fucking Tom Cruise Russian Rambo, and each time Id wish he’d fall into the sea and get swallowed by the great sea serpent.


Black hole*, Pot-au-noir, or passing the equator, it’s tradition in the Sea to fill the skull of the neophyte beginner who passes for the first time certain points of the ocean. I’d read about this. And so I came up with elaborated stories, one of my father being a guide on cruise ships, and me following in line. I told them of a time I was roughed up, me along with my Swedish girlfriend of the time. She was a deep-sea diver. We were passing one of the several deep-sea black holes, and the sailors locked her up in the mess room with fish heads and smells. And me they said I had to water-ski, impossible how that might have been dragged by a frigate. I shat myself while they said I had to prove it could be done, they said the last guy managed to stay afloat as it travelled at 17 knots for over five minutes. As they were about to throw me on the choppy death sea I begged them to hold me back, when they finally did, I cried, they laughed all night. La Belle Nautica it was called, and now I have this tattoo to prove it. The day Neptune baptised me Puffin face. A story completely fabricated with a very credible tattoo.

*Black Hole – that line announced to the beginner – a brusque change in the level of the ocean, a crack that separates the hemispheres, a collapse, a void, a Niagra of foam, of winds, of whirl pools, an abyss with whales, sharks, octopuses, and other monsters, that shipwrecks fleets, and whirls your stomach bringing with it sinking cemeteries.


Four o’clock in the morning they said. I was hoping it would happen. Ha! And here I am writing to you this shit on satellite wi-fi, God knows what they’ve done to him. Ha! Massive...deep in shit. I don't know what they've done to him, but I know they've taken him down. The cook assured me I'd be fine. He won't tell me what they're going to do with him, it's early days...

The ocean, the surface the sky mirrors, infinity, immensity, the sun does its tracks through the day dazzling leaving objects with no shadows. Everything which, to the reach of eyes, has form, the guardrail, the chimney shoots...dissolves in the heat and comes into fusion and trembles

Sunday, 4 March 2007