El Mirador

This place called El Mirador is a wonderful place stuck in the middle of the jungle in the northern part of Guatemala. Stuck in the upper north regions of the Petén department of Guatemala, near the border of Mexico, rests the ruins that some scholars believe to be the original "cradle of Mayan civilization". El Mirador is an expansive pre-Classic Mayan city that until 1926, remained unknown.It is truly a jewel in the jungle in an area called the "Mayan Biosphere Reserve". The Guatemala section of the Maya Forest forms the six million acre Maya Biosphere Reserve and is the largest protected area within the Maya Forest. In fact, it contains over ten percent of Guatemala's total land area. The Guatemalan government and UNESCO established the Maya Biosphere Reserve in 1990 to safeguard the region’s outstanding biological and cultural diversity. Within the internationally recognized World Biosphere Reserve are eight core protected areas, including the famous Tikal National Park which was declared a Natural and Cultural World Heritage site in 1979. 

The Mirador ruins are very valuable and interesting because the city of EL Mirador was the oldest and the biggest Mayan city of the whole Mayan empire. El Mirador is the largest known site of the preclassic era. Dating from 300 BC to 200 AD this city is one of the most important and monumental sites ever build in mayan history. The largest architectural works of the entire pre-classic period are found here. The biggest temple at the site ¨La Danta¨ is one of the worlds biggest temples and only it`s base is measured at 600 meters wide.

El Mirador is over 2,000 years old and it is believed that it thrived between 150 B.C. and 150 A.D. Believed to have been a major Mayan trade center with an impressive "urban" configuration, it is larger in size than other sites in the surrounding area. Together with the Mayan ruins at Tikal, El Mirador is one of the best examples of the accomplishments of the once great Mayan civilization. Civic buildings and complexes constructed for religious purposes comprise the center of this ancient city, and besides being a trading center, it is also believed that El Mirador was also a strong political and economic power in its time. The two main structures at El Mirador are the large "El Tigre" complex and the "La Danta" complex. El Tigre rises to about 180 feet tall, while La Danta tops out at around 230 feet high, making it one of the loftiest of all Mayan civilization structures. El Tigre's base alone spreads over 14 acres, while the base of La Danta comprises an area the size of around 35 football fields.  

Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo

Pico De Gallo also called salsa fresca, is a fresh, uncooked condiment made from chopped tomato, onion, and sometimes chili’s.

Like any recipe using raw ingredients, care should be taken in the preparation and storage of salsa, since many raw-served varieties can act as a growth medium for potentially dangerous bacteria, especially when un-refrigerated.

Pico De Gallo Recipe

 6 medium Tomatoes diced
1 medium Onion diced
1/4 cup fresh Cilantro chopped.
2 to 4 Fresh serrano or jalapeño seeded and minced
 garlic powder just a pinch * Salt to taste
Put all ingredients in a bowl add 1/2 cup of cold water, mix well. Let set a few minutes. You will find a lot of recipes in this site, where we can use the pico de gallo for cooking and a garnish.


3 large tomatoes or 6 Roma tomatoes
2 large white onions
1 bunch green onions
1 bunch cilantro
2 Serrano peppers
2 to 3 lemons or limes (whichever is your preference)

Cut tomatoes and white onion into the smallest pieces possible (or chop in the Cuisinart). Chop green onion and cilantro. Cut peppers as small as possible but make sure to taste after adding to mix for heat factor. Juice lemons (or limes) and pour into bowl with rest of mixture. Add a generous helping of salt and pepper, then taste.
Let sit for 4 to 5 hours in refrigerator to marinate.


• 1 large tomato, cored, seeded, and coarsely chopped
• 1 white onion, coarsely chopped
• 2 limes, juiced
• 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix ingredients together and season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Tres Leches Cake

Tres Leches Cake

Tres Leches cake is popular in Latin America and gaining popularity in the US. The origins of the tres leches are disputed, and are usually attributed to Mexico or Ecuador, the two places where it appeared earliest. Mexico does, however, appear to have had recipes very similar to that of the tres leches, which probably led to the now famous dessert being created there, which then possibly migrated to Nicaragua.

A Tres leches cake, or Pastel de Tres leches (Spanish, "Three milk cake"), is a sponge cake,-in some recipes, a butter cake-soaked in three kinds of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk, and either whole milk or cream. When butter is not used, the tres leches is a very light cake, with many air bubbles. This distinct texture is why it does not have a soggy consistency, despite being soaked in a mixture of three types of milk.

Following the same recipe for the cake, but soaking it in a mixture of water, rum or brandy, and sugar, it is called "pastel borracho" (drunken cake). It is popular throughout Central America in this form.

In the Caribbean, cream of coconut is occasionally used instead of condensed milk. As in the pastel borracho, rum is sometimes added.

In addition, fruit or nuts are added in some recipes, as well as many other kinds of alcohol. Cherries are most commonly used as decoration, but other fruits or berries are sometimes used instead.

At some restaurants in Texas and Florida, the addition of cajeta creates what is known as a cuatro leches cake.

Tres Leches Cake   

By Ingrid Hoffman From the Food Network


  • 1 pound cake, loaf-style
  • 6 ounces evaporated milk
  • 8 ounces heavy whipping cream
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Chocolate covered candies, all in 1 color (recommended: M&M's)
  • 1/2 cup crushed skittles


With a fork, punch some holes in the cake still in its loaf pan.

In a medium saucepan, mix the 3 milks and heat over low heat. When the milk mixture is hot, remove it from the stove.

Pour the milk mixture slowly over the cake, being sure to fill all the holes. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Whip the heavy cream slowly adding sugar until soft peaks form. When the cake chilled, cover the cake with whipped cream. Using the chocolate covered candies and skittles, craft out a design of your own.

 For some wonderful information and recipes for Tres Leches check out my Squidoo Page for Tres Leches

Forgotten Promises Leave Indigenous Peoples Poorer and Hungrier - IPS ipsnews.net

Forgotten Promises Leave Indigenous Peoples Poorer and Hungrier
By Danilo Valladares

GUATEMALA CITY, Dec 12, 2010 (IPS) - Nearly three years into President Álvaro Colom's four-year term, Guatemala's indigenous people have seen little improvement in their lives -- and they represent approximately half the country's population.

"The situation of the native peoples may be even worse than before. Poverty has increased, the quality of education is very poor, and there is no intercultural perspective in health services," Eduardo Sacayón, director of the Interethnic Studies Institute at Guatemala's University of San Carlos, told IPS.

The social-democratic President Colom promised when he was sworn in, Jan. 14, 2008, that he would govern "with a Maya face," in favour of the poor and excluded. "Today is the beginning of privileges for the poor, today is the beginning of privileges for those without opportunities," he said at the time.

But Sacayón says the reality is quite different: "It is a structural and historic issue of always seeing what is indigenous as something that is not worth the effort, that has no value, or is a burden to the country."

According to official statistics, 40 percent of the Guatemalan population is indigenous, and include Maya, Garífuna and Xinca peoples. Though they themselves claim that more than 60 percent of Guatemala's 14 million inhabitants are indigenous......

GUATEMALA: Forgotten Promises Leave Indigenous Peoples Poorer and Hungrier - IPS ipsnews.net

Guatemala jailbreak: Prisoner freed by armed gang

Malacatan, Guatemala 

Gunmen in Guatemala have stormed a prison near the Mexican border and freed a suspected murderer. 

About 20 men with assault rifles and grenade-launchers attacked the jail in the town of Malacatan and then escaped in a convoy of vehicles pursued by the Guatemalan army and police.
A police officer and a passer-by were killed in the gun battle, police said.
The prisoner who escaped was accused of the kidnap and murder of a local footballer last month.
There was an intense firefight in the streets of Malacatan as the security forces tried to stop the raiders from getting away. As well as the two fatalities, four soldiers and several bystanders were wounded, police said.
Roadblocks have been set up and a helicopter has been searching the area in San Marcos Province in western Guatemala.
Dismembered The rescued prisoner, Elmer Aroldo Zelada Galdamez, was arrested last week for alleged involvement in the kidnap and murder last month of footballer Carlos Mercedes Vasquez, who played for the local first division team Malacatecos.
The football star's dismembered body was found 28 November, dumped in five plastic bags with a note accusing him of "messing with the women of others".
Mr Zelada is also suspected of involvement in several other murders.
Guatemala has one of the highest murder rates in the world, with many of the killings blamed on organized criminal gangs that have links to Mexico's violent drugs cartels.

Guatemala oil exploration

GUATEMALA CITY Dec 1 (Reuters) - Guatemala on Wednesday began seeking bids from foreign oil companies interested in exploring four possible oil patches in the northern part of the country.
Guatemala published the details of the tender rules on Wednesday in the official gazette but did not speculate about what kind of reserves might be found in the areas up for bid.


Guatemala HIV

MEXICO CITY, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- Guatemala's HIV infection rate is 0.8 percent of the population, and the country has seen 10,900 new HIV infections in the last four years, a senior Health Ministry official said Wednesday.

A total of 22,260 HIV infections have been registered since the first case was detected in 1984, and more than half have been contracted since 2006, Claudia Samayoa, coordinator of the Guatemalan Health Ministry's national AIDS program, said after Guatemala signed an agreement to receive 4 million U.S. dollars in anti-HIV assistance from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

About 95 percent of the cases were sexually transmitted, and among high risk groups such as homosexuals and sex workers, infection rates were closer to 5 percent, Samayoa told reporters at the signing ceremony, one of the nation's events to mark International AIDS Day.

USAID project officer Lucrecia Castillo noted that some of the increase comes from better testing, as in the past, many people did not know they were infected.

Castillo warned that homophobia is an obstacle in fighting the spread of the disease, as "communities that identify as homosexual are being reached, but not those who do not wish to be identified."
The United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS says that Belize has the highest HIV prevalence rate in Central America, at 2.3 percent. Panama is in second place with 0.9 percent, and Guatemala and El Salvador are tied for third place with 0.8 percent.


Amnesty International and Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal Launching New Film

Latin American Herald

Amnesty International and Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal collaborated on launching a film describing the harsh treatment and experiences of undocumented immigrants in Mexico.

“Los Invisibles” (The Invisibles) documents the journey of hundreds of emigrants from the time they cross the southern border into Mexico from Guatemala until they reach the United States, AI said in a communique.

The screening of “Los Invisibles” coincides with the start of the Global Forum on Migration and Development, being held in the Mexican resort town of Puerto Vallarta.

Each year, thousands of immigrants are kidnapped, raped and sometimes even murdered after crossing into Mexico dreaming of finding a better life in the United States.

The film, AI said, “exposes the truth behind one of the most dangerous journeys in the world and reveals the untold stories of the people who make the journey north through Mexico.”

“The Mexican authorities must protect migrants in our country. The law must protect us all, whether nationals or foreigners. It’s essential Mexico sets a good example in the way it treats migrants,” Garcia Bernal said.

In a number of interviews with immigrants, AI documented the abuses to which they are subjected by criminal bands and even public officials, abuses that do not dissuade them – however – in their determination to get to the United States.

“We made ‘The Invisibles’ to shine a light on the abuses migrants suffer in Mexico. As the world’s experts on migration gather in Puerto Vallarta for the Global Forum on Migration and Development this week, hundreds of miles away migrants in Mexico are facing terrible dangers,” AI Mexico campaigner and executive producer Sarah Shebbeare said.

“The Mexican government has promised to improve protection for migrants. It is time to turn that promise into action,” she said. “As a first step, we are calling on the government to establish a clear action plan and to collect and publish nationwide data on abuses against migrants and on the action taken to hold those responsible to account.”

Mexico is one of the few countries, AI says, that is both a destination and a transit route for immigrants.

After the massacre last August of more than 70 undocumented immigrants in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, little has changed for the people who cross the southern border from Guatemala, AI says. EFE

Los Zetas, based in Mexico's

Guatemala — The Peten jungle, once known for its jaguars and Mayan ruins, has fallen prey to a notorious Mexican drug gang that operates from remote jungle ranches and has begun openly challenging Guatemalan security forces for control of the roads.
The struggle that's under way in this remote region could help determine the fate of Guatemala, a fragile democracy south of Mexico that's already under enormous pressure from narcotics gangs. It's certain to affect Mexico, which is struggling to maintain order against powerful armed gangs on its northern borders.
In a fierce clash that began south of the famous Tikal ruins, the drug gang known as Los Zetas, based in Mexico's northeastern border area and the Yucatan Peninsula, was able to outgun local police by deploying armored vehicles, bigger guns and far more ammunition. Then it fought a large army patrol to a draw, losing vehicles and taking wounded but apparently getting away with a stash of cocaine.
The transformation of the once-pristine jungle into a no man's land is the latest calamity to befall Guatemala, which has had a history of military domination, a 36-year civil war and a genocide conducted by the Guatemalan army against Mayan Indians some three decades ago. Although the CIA helped overthrow a government in 1952, Guatemala's newest drama is getting little high-level attention in Washington.
The recent confrontation between Los Zetas and the authorities began with a shouted warning from a bullhorn and a wrong turn.
Around midday on Oct. 5, when police stopped a convoy of 16 or so big double-cabin pickups and other vehicles a short drive south of the Tikal National Park, an amplified voice from one vehicle barked a warning:
"We are Los Zetas! Let us pass. We don't want problems."
To make their point, several men carrying assault rifles got out of the vehicles and fired hundreds of rounds into the air in a deafening display of firepower.


Guatemalan Vice President Rafael Espada talks abotu experiments

GUATEMALA CITY – The United States carried out 17 different types of medical experiments on approximately 1,500 Guatemalans by intentionally infecting them with venereal diseases in the 1940s, Guatemalan Vice President Rafael Espada told the press.
Officials already have data on the medical projects and the information is being investigated by a commission headed by the vice president with help from the United States, Espada said.
The experiments were performed by U.S. scientists on the mentally ill, prostitutes, prisoners and soldiers in the Central American nation between 1946 and 1948, Espada said. The Guatemalans were infected intentionally with syphilis and gonorrhea, among other diseases.
The U.S. government has already provided about 90 percent of the scientific information about the experiments and the documents will be opened when the commission investigating the matter is fully constituted with medical experts and translators to avoid mistakes and misunderstandings, the vice president said.


U.S. scientists infected the mentally ill, prostitutes, prisoners and soldiers with veneral diseases in the Central American nation between 1946 and 1948

Hurricane Richard weakens as it goes over Guatemala

Tropical Depression Richard, moving northwest over Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, will disintegrate in the next day or two and probably won’t regain strength in the Gulf of Mexico, according to forecasters.
The system was about 55 miles (89 kilometers) southeast of Ciudad del Carmen at about 4:30 p.m. East Coast time, the National Hurricane Center said. It had maximum sustained winds of 35 mph and was moving at 9 mph toward the Bay of Campeche.

“The U.S. interests in the energy infrastructure do not need to worry at all about this storm,” said Jim Rouiller, senior energy meteorologist for Planalytics Inc. in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. “The environmental conditions over the Gulf are hostile. It won’t strengthen, it will die a slow death.”

Richard developed into a tropical storm last week over the western Caribbean before growing into a hurricane and going ashore in Belize over the weekend. At its peak it was a Category 1 hurricane, the weakest on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph, according to the hurricane center.

Kidnappers using social networks

Guatemalan Kidnappers Use Online Social Networks


GUATEMALA - The use of social networking websites to kidnap people is on the rise in Guatemala, the local press reported on Thursday.

Facebook, Hi5, MySpace, and Tagged are some of the websites where criminals look for the people they later abduct, Prensa Libre newspaper said, based on investigations by the Public Ministry.

Investigators have information about five cases in which the kidnappers chose their victims through those sites. The targets are chiefly people between 10 and 25 years old who are invited by unknown persons who claim to be of the same age.

Guatemalan authorities reported that five or six kidnapping gangs are operating in the country, but a new one using that method is being sought.

The kidnappers begin operating when they create false accounts on those websites, with false data and photos. Then they invite the victims to chat, they get their information, and finally they abduct them.

The accounts are created at cybercafes, making it difficult to identify the criminals, the article said.

Guatemala: UN-backed meeting opens to spur recovery from floods, eruptions

An international conference opened in Guatemala today to help in the reconstruction of the Central American country after devastating volcanic eruptions and torrential rains, with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pledging full United Nations support.

“The United Nations system has been deeply engaged in the humanitarian response to Guatemala’s recent catastrophes, and our co-sponsorship of this meeting is a further sign of our commitment,” he said in a message delivered by UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena.

“We will continue to work hand-in-hand with national authorities and partners to provide coherent and responsive support to Guatemala in its effort to achieve its stated goal of ‘recovery and reconstruction with transformation,’” he added, noting that the “tremendous human suffering, material destruction and economic losses” have raised concerns over the effects of extreme weather associated with climate change.
Such tragedies “highlight the need for concrete action at the upcoming Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change [UNFCCC], which begins next month in Cancún, [Mexico],” he stressed.

On Saturday, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres said countries at a meeting in Tianjin, China, had made progress in defining what could be achieved at the Cancún talks to be held from 29 November to 10 December as part of the world effort to stabilize human-caused greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere that could lead to global warming, violent storms and fierce droughts.

Guatemala: UN-backed meeting opens to spur recovery from floods, eruptions

US won't participate in Guatemala adoption program

GUATEMALA CITY — The United States won't participate in Guatemala's pilot adoption program.
The U.S. State Department says Guatemala hasn't provided enough details on how cases will be processed under a system enacted in 2008 and corruption remains a concern.
Guatemala suspended international adoptions in 2007 after discovering some babies had been stolen and others had fake birth certificates. Guatemala had been the world's second-largest source of babies to U.S. citizens after China.
Rudy Zepeda, spokesman for Guatemala's National Adoptions Council, declined Thursday to comment on the U.S. move. The State Department announced the decision Wednesday on its website.

Source : AP

New archbishop of Guatemala named

The Metropolitan Archbishop of Guatemala City, Cardinal Rodolfo Quezada Toruño, thanked his fellow Catholic bishops of Guatemala for their help during his term as leader of the Central American republic’s Catholics. At Sunday homily on October 1, he also called upon the faithful to support the new archbishop of Guatemala City, Bishop Oscar Vian Morales, as he begins his episcopacy.

Cardinal Quezada Toruño has been an outspoken defender of human rights and the country’s poor and is frequently at loggerheads with Guatemala’s political elites. He has demanded good governance and has called on President Alvaro Colom to address rampant crime and murder.

Cardinal Quezada Toruño had served as archbishop of Guatemala and the neighboring Sacatepequez region since 2001. In an interview at the beginning of his archepiscopacy, he said that he wished to advance peace and reconciliation in a country long torn by violence and government oppression. Moreover, he said that Guatemalans deserve to “live in a society that is more, just, fraternal, and human.” A participant in negotiations that eventually led to peace accords between the Guatemalan government and armed rebels, the archbishop said that while positive steps have been taken towards peace there is much more work to do.

The incoming archbishop, Bishop Óscar Julio Vian Morales was ordained to the priesthood in 1976. He was born in 1947 to Isidoro Vian and Hortensia Morales, who had three other children. He was named to the see of Los Altos Quetzaltenango - Totonicapán in 2007. Quetzaltenango is the second largest city in Guatemala and close to the Mexican border.

Read more of the story: Spero News

Latin American Herald Tribune - Guatemala Hillside Collapse Kills 2 Children

GUATEMALA CITY – Two Indian children were buried alive in Guatemala when a hillside collapsed during the heavy rains of the last few hours and fell onto their poor dwelling, officials said Saturday.

The tragedy occurred in the town of Canilla, Quiche province, at 210 kilometers (130 miles) northwest of the Guatemalan capital, where more than a dozen communities are isolated by the multiple mudslides that have fallen on highways.

A firefighters’ spokesperson told reporters that the little girls, identified as Rosibel and Lesbia Dubon Ortiz, were asleep when the hillside crashed down and buried their home under tons of mud and rocks.

According to the latest report from the Conred national disaster management agency, the torrential rains that lashed Guatemala in recent days affected more than 40,000 people.

The report said that a total of 8,092 people had to be evacuated and of those, 7,313 went to temporary shelters, 1,238 homes were slightly damaged and more than 40 mudslides fell onto highways.

Several stretches of the Inter-American Highway are currently blocked by the mudslides, with authorities trying to clear away the tons of mud and rocks that poured down from the hillsides.

Since Thursday, classes have been suspended in four municipalities of the northern province of Alta Verapaz due to flooding.

Conred said that an orange alert is in effect nationwide as a preventive measure and to aid those affected.

According to the National Seismology, Vulcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology Institute, the storm is normal for the country’s rainy season, which began to dissipate on Friday.

To date in 2010, rains in Guatemala have left 276 dead and around 600,000 affected.

Latin American Herald Tribune - Guatemala Hillside Collapse Kills 2 Children

UN: Guatemala can not postpone the fight against insecurity with false measures

The United Nations Office for Human Rights in Guatemala expresses its deep concern over the current debate in the Guatemalan Congress over bills for security and justice, promoting measures that do not attack the structural problems, delegitimize and undermine the rule of law.

It is misleading to think that actions based on repression and human rights violations are the solution to insecurity, such as the application of the death penalty today in Guatemala, to renounce international human rights treaties, the creation of courts with "faceless judges" and the so-called "anti-gang laws "

The latter, besides being ineffective have been strongly condemned by the United Nations for being discriminatory and promote the persecution of young people simply by their clothing or the use of tattoos, not because they commit a crime. Furthermore, in a country that lacks adequate meeting places and recreation, these laws criminalize youth and restrict freedom of association, since any youth social would be included in the definition of "mara"- gangs, being innocent.

To execute ten people on death row does not solve the problem of insecurity. The death penalty has not proven to have a deterrent effect on crime, it reproduces violence and neglects to address the structural problems that originate the problem.

The waiver of international human rights treaties would be a serious setback, which not only threatens the rights of Guatemalans, but that marginalizes the country against the international community and contradicts the commitments acquired by the State of Guatemala before international human rights organizations.


Source: The United Nations Office for Human Rights in Guatemala, Press Release, September 29, 2010.

U.S. apologize for STD experiments in Guatemala

U.S. to apologize for STD experiments in Guatemala.

This reported on MSNBC

U.S. government medical researchers intentionally infected hundreds of people in Guatemala, including institutionalized mental patients, with gonorrhea and syphilis without their knowledge or permission more than 60 years ago. 

Many of those infected were encouraged to pass the infection onto others as part of the study.
About one third of those who were infected never got adequate treatment.

On Friday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius are expected to offer extensive apologies for actions taken by the U.S. Public Health Service.
The apology will be to Guatemala and Hispanic residents of the United States, according to officials. 

See Source for more of this story: MSNBC


Guatemala: First Exhumation of War Victims

GUATEMALA -  Guatemala on Wednesday begins exhuming the remains of those murdered by the army during the internal armed conflict of 1960 to 1996.

According to the National Reparations Program (PNR), the exhumation will take place on Wednesday and Thursday at a small village located in Huehuetenango department, where residents reported the existence of a clandestine cemetery.

Source: Inside Costa Rica 


Guatemala: Student protests shut down uni

Protests against an attempt to stifle student participation in elections for representatives to faculty boards have triggered one of the most important student occupations seen in Central America in recent years.

The occupation, which began in August, has shut down Guatemala’s sole public university, the University of San Carlos (USC). It has become a direct challenge to the privatising agenda of successive governments and university administrations.

The USC has about 120,000 students and is a direct legacy of the progressive government of Jacobo Arbenz, who was overthrown in a CIA-organised coup in 1954.

Arbenz introduced many progressive reforms, including redistributing land to peasants and creating the USC.

The USC was created as an institution open to all society and dedicated to study and research for the benefit of the people.

To read more of this article see the source:

Guatemala: Student protests shut down uni

Track of Tropical Storm Matthew over Guatemala

Tropical Storm Matthew Threatens Guatemala - CBS News

(AP) Nicaragua began evacuating about 10,000 people from the path of Tropical Storm Matthew as the storm drenched the Caribbean coast and threatened much of a Central American region prone to disastrous flooding.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Matthew's center had hit land over northeastern Nicaragua Friday afternoon and was heading northwest along the Central American coast and inland toward Guatemala with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph.

CBS News Storm Tracker

The Hurricane Center said it could bring 6 to 10 inches of rain to Nicaragua and Honduras, with the possibility of flash floods and mud slides. Some parts of Nicaragua already were coping with flooding due to earlier rains.

A tropical storm watch also was in effect for the coast of Belize.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega ordered the preventive measures and "all emergency structures are on alert," Lt. Col. Freddy Herrera told The Associated Press by telephone. "We have evacuated people from the region of Cabo Gracias a Dios and the Miskito Cays" in the same region.

Flights into the area were suspended due to limited visibility, though the winds are moderate, the military said.

See more from the Source:

Tropical Storm Matthew Threatens Guatemala - CBS News

Guatemala tapping volcanoes as new energy sources

Dotted with volcanoes, Guatemala is seeking to harness their geothermal energy to create green power sources, part of a growing trend in Central America, Reuters reports.

By harnessing the heat of steam and water trapped deep under the active Pacaya volcano, Guatemala's two geothermal plants are already producing energy that serves as an alternative source to fossil fuel power.

The plants, run by an Israeli company, are also hailed by environmentalists because they do not require widespread alteration of the landscape as hydroelectric dams do. Hydroelectric power sources also have a somewhat haunted history in Guatemala, with the Chixoy dam massacre of 1983, and are vulnerable to storms and hurricanes, which have increasingly beset the region.

Source: LATimes

Heavy Rains Forecasted in Guatemala

Guatemalans received bad news regarding weather, as heavy rains are expected in the coming days. The cause is a low pressure system that moves through the Atlantic Ocean, which will bring rainfalls all over Central America.

Guatemalans received bad news regarding weather.
The forecasts indicate an intensification of the storm in the following hours, although the capital already feels some of its effects, with drizzles and electric shocks.

Reports from the United States indicate that this system has 60 percent chance to become a tropical storm on its way to the western Caribbean Sea.

However, specialized national agencies have not issued any warning related to the climatological phenomenon.

A winter (rainy) season as never seen before in Guatemala in the last six decades has caused material losses that exceed one billion dollars, plus 274 deaths.

This balance includes the impact of the eruption of Pacaya volcano and the Tropical Storm Agatha, last May, for which the government seeks financing in order to implement a reconstruction plan with transformation.

Guatemalan president seeks aid from UN - Taiwan News Online

Guatemala's president says the Central American nation will need at least $1 billion in aid to recover from tropical storms that killed at least 259 people and destroyed hundreds of bridges throughout the largely rural, mountainous nation beginning in late May.

President Alvaro Colom told The Associated Press on Monday that several European countries and the United States have confirmed they will attend an October meeting of donor countries to help rebuild Guatemala after widespread damage caused by Tropical Storm Agatha and subsequent storms.

Click below to read the rest of the story:

Guatemalan president seeks aid from UN - Taiwan News Online

CENTRAL AMERICA: Doors Wide Open for Renewable Energy - IPS ipsnews.net

GUATEMALA CITY, Jul 15, 2010 (IPS) - Heavy reliance on petroleum imports, the need for electricity in rural areas, and the ongoing effort towards sustainable development have focussed Central America's attention on renewable energy. But that doesn't mean there isn't opposition.

This year, Honduras plans to have one of the largest wind energy farms in Latin America up and running, with an output of 100 megawatts of electricity.

Located in the municipality of Santa Ana, 24 kilometres from the Honduran capital, it cost 250 million dollars, according to owner Energía Eólica Honduras (Wind Energy Honduras), subsidiary of Mesoamerica Energy, made up of 15 business groups from the region. In addition, Honduras will invest 2.1 billion dollars in 52 hydroelectric projects between 2010 and 2016, each with the capacity to generate five megawatts, announced the Honduran Association of Small Producers of Renewable Energy in early June.

"We based our efforts on three aspects: energy security by avoiding dependence on international petroleum prices, improving access to energy in rural zones, and sustainable development," Association president Elsia Paz told IPS. According to Paz, promotion of renewable energy has been important for achieving a balanced diversification of the Honduran energy matrix, as 70 percent comes from fossil fuels, "a resource that is imported and leads to capital flight."

Doors Wide Open for Renewable Energy

RN-T.com - Locals celebrate Mexican Guatemalan independence

Four girls in traditional Mexican and Guatemalan dresses waited to hear who had sold the most raffle tickets and would be named queen of an independence celebration.With 521 tickets sold, Joandra Ocampo, 17, was crowned.“It feels good,” Joandra said. “I appreciate everyone supporting me and I feel more part of the community.

”The contest was part of an event Sunday at the Rome Civic Center celebrating Mexico’s and Guatemala’s independence from Spain.“We remember with pride the people that were involved in that movement,” said Carlos Hernandez, a Mexican-born Rome resident. During the event, the emcee called out names of men who fought to help free Mexico and Guatemala from Spain’s monarchy. Many of them were priests.

Read more: RN-T.com - Locals celebrate Mexican Guatemalan independence

Guatemala police operation leads to public shootout - CNN.com

(CNN) -- Guatemalan police on Thursday were searching for a drug trafficker who initiated a shootout with police at a shopping mall the day before.
Authorities would not give details on the search for Mauro Salomon Ramirez Barrios, a suspected drug trafficker, interior Ministry Spokesman Nery Morales told CNN.
On Wednesday, police were acting on intelligence of a drug deal to take place at the Tikal Futura shopping center in southern Guatemala City, Morales said. Such transactions at malls are common, and police decided to mount an operation to snag Ramirez.
Click on link below to read more of this story:

Guatemala police operation leads to public shootout - CNN.com

LoveFM News and Music Power - Belize News Source and Radio Station


September 14, 2010

The Guatemalan Congress late last week overwhelmingly gave its approval for a referendum to be held to give the people of Guatemala a say in whether or not that country’s claim to Belize should be taken to the International Court of Justice for final resolution. According to a report in the Prensa Libre newspaper, the approval of the referendum came during a regular session of the Guatemalan Congress last Thursday. What follows now is that president of the Guatemalan Congress will go to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal with instructions to carry out the referendum. No date or indeed a timetable for that move has been given. According to Prensa Libre the simple question requiring either a “yes” or a “no” vote that will appear on the ballot is: Are you in favor of having the International Court of Justice, with headquarters in The Hague, resolve the territorial dispute between Belize and Guatemala? Under the special agreement, also known as the compromise that was signed in December of 2008 by Belize and Guatemala it was agreed that if the people of both nations approved, by way of a simultaneous referendum on the same day, that the dispute would proceed to the ICJ. The outcome of any ruling handed down by the ICJ will be final and binding, regardless of in whose favor the ruling is handed down.

LoveFM News and Music Power - Belize News Source and Radio Station

Guatemala’s Independence Student Parades | AntiguaDailyPhoto.Com

Today I am happy to present my very good friend Leonel “Nelo” Mijangos photographs. Even though he has appeared twice in AntiguaDailyPhoto, this is the first time we get a chance to appreciate his photography. Nelo was kind enough to share with us some his photos to help us understand the Independence school parades.

Most people in Guatemala often say that Guatemalans are not very “patriotic” and immediately mention how patriotic the Mexicans really are: “that’s really patriotism!” Heck I even heard an hour long radio show today discussing it.

Read the source by clicking on the link below:

Guatemala’s Independence Student Parades | AntiguaDailyPhoto.Com

Tropical Storm Karl Forms Near Yucatan Peninsula | Damego

Tropical Storm Karl has formed near the Yucatan Peninsula. Karl has been strengthening for the past hour, and it is expected that the storm will continue strengthening a bit before it makes landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula. The center of Karl is expected to move into the southwestern Gulf of Mexico Wednesday night, or Thursday, after it passes over the Yucatan Peninsula as a tropical storm.
Tropical Storm Karl’s maximum wind speeds are up to 45 miles per hour. Karl is currently moving west-northwest at about 15 miles per hour.

For more information click on the source link below:

Tropical Storm Karl Forms Near Yucatan Peninsula | Damego

Igor stirs up Caribbean, takes aim at Bermuda - FOCUS Information Agency

Miami. The most powerful Atlantic storm of 2010, Hurricane Igor, whipped up dangerous swells in the Caribbean on Tuesday as it barreled west-northwest in the direction of Bermuda, AFP reported.

Igor, packing winds of 145 miles (230 kilometers) per hour is a category four hurricane, the second highest notch on the five-point Saffir-Simpson scale, and forecasters warned it was "getting stronger."

As the powerful storm churned through the Atlantic, the National Hurricane Center said tropical storm Karl had formed off the coast of Mexico's Yucatan peninsula.
Though still comparatively weak, the system threatened to dump more rain on Mexico, which is struggling with flooding in southeastern states including Veracruz and Oaxaca.
Almost one million people were affected by flooding this month alone which left 25 dead. The rains, which began in July, are set to worsen as the season continues to almost the end of the year.

More than one third of the Gulf Coast state of Veracruz has been hit by flooding which affected some 500,000 people, according to governor Fidel Herrera.
Igor is not expected to make landfall for days. Forecasters say the storm could reach Bermuda by Sunday, but caution it is too early to know if it will be a direct hit or how strong it will be five days from now.

"Exact impacts of Hurricane Igor at the end of the week are still difficult to gauge," the Bermuda Weather Service said.
"Much more detail on Igor will be covered in the next few days, as it likely becomes a potential threat to the island."
At 2100 GMT, Igor's eye was located some 655 miles (1,055 kilometers) east of the northern Leeward Islands and it was heading west-northwestward at eight miles (13 kilometers) per hour, US experts said.

Swells generated by the storm were due to begin affecting the archipelago later Tuesday before reaching Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands late Tuesday and Wednesday.

For more on this story click on link below for the source of this story:

Igor stirs up Caribbean, takes aim at Bermuda - FOCUS Information Agency

Flan Napolitano

The National Day for Guatemala

Wednsday September 15, 2010 is the National Day for Guatemala. This is the 189th anniversary of independence from Spain.

The Republic of Guatemala celebrates its National Day today (Wednesday), marking the anniversary of its independence from Spain. The whole country embraces this celebration with dances, fireworks, and parades. The largest National Day celebration is held in the city of Quetzaltenango.

Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast. A representative democracy, its capital is Guatemala City. Guatemala’s abundance of biologically significant and unique ecosystems contributes to Mesoamerica’s designation as a biodiversity hotspot.

Guatemala is the largest among the Central American countries and has the biggest population.

Cardenal Rodolfo Quezada Toruno called upon fellow citizens to show solidarity

Cardenal Rodolfo Quezada Toruno of Guatemala called upon fellow citizens to show solidarity with the country's victims of floods and mudslides, while also calling them to prayer on the coming anniversary of the Central American country's independence from Spain in 1821.

For September 15 festivities, the cardinal is calling upon Guatemalans "At five in the evening - we will pray for our nation. In past years, I issued an invitation to a Te Deum, but now the invitation is for everyone, in order to promote a nationalist feeling.“

Speaking at the end of Mass on September 12 in the cathedral in Guatemala City, Cardinal Quezada Toruno said, "In past years, I issued an invitation, but the high-ranking authorities came and their security nearly filled the cathedral. So, I have decided that everyone should come. Instead of a Te Deum, we will have a prayer led by Monsignor Gustavo Mendoz." The prelate is, however, expecting some government officials to attend the liturgy marking the anniversary.

Read More: Source Spero News

Coffee People Kona Blend, Extra Bold K-Cups for Keurig Brewers (Pack of 50) [Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging]

Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, 6" Display, Graphite - Latest Generation

Black & Decker TRO480BS Toast-R-Oven 4-Slice Toaster Oven


Car packed with explosives left in front of Guatemala's prisons bureau

GUATEMALA CITY — Police in Guatemala City found a car packed with gunpowder, nails and propane tanks parked outside the national prison headquarters Monday, along with cellphones apparently designed to detonate the load.

Police specialists deactivated the devices without incident.
It is apparently the first car bomb attack attempted by Guatemalan criminals in recent memory. In neighbouring Mexico, drug cartels have started using such bombs; four have gone off there since July, mainly targeting police.
Guatemalan Interior Minister Carlos Menocal said the incident may be related to street gangs' anger over a recent government decision to transfer gang members.

Menocal said a guard noticed the car parked outside the prison office, and when he looked inside he saw wires connecting the gas tanks to a large metal box.

The alert was sounded and when specialists defused the device and looked inside the box, they found it was packed with gunpowder, nails and screws apparently intended to spread projectiles over the blast area.
The device appeared to be "homemade but of large dimensions," Menocal said.

While Guatemala has not seen car-bombings before, street gangs have been blamed for six grenade attacks on public buses that killed 3 people and wounded 55.

AccuWeather.com - Weather News | Rain to Continue in Guatemala after Mudslides Kill Dozens

Ongoing seasonal precipitation, including locally heavy downpours, may hamper the search for survivors in the Guatemalan mudslides.

Nearly 40 people were killed in mudslides this weekend, and the death toll is expected to rise as recovery continues. President Alvaro Colom declared a national emergency on Saturday.
News agencies are reporting that sections of the Inter-American Highway were washed out. The first landslide buried a bus near kilometer marker 82, killing 12......

AccuWeather.com - Weather News Rain to Continue in Guatemala after Mudslides Kill Dozens

Tres Leches

Do you love deserts, do you love cake? Then you need to check out this website for one of my totally awesome spanish deserts called Tres Leches.

Tres Leches cake is popular in Latin America and gaining popularity in the US. The origins of the tres leches are disputed, and are usually attributed to Mexico or Ecuador, the two places where it appeared earliest. Mexico does, however, appear to have had recipes very similar to that of the tres leches, which probably led to the now famous dessert being created there, which then possibly migrated to Nicaragua.

A Tres leches cake, or Pastel de Tres leches (Spanish, "Three milk cake"), is a sponge cake,-in some recipes, a butter cake-soaked in three kinds of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk, and either whole milk or cream. When butter is not used, the tres leches is a very light cake, with many air bubbles. This distinct texture is why it does not have a soggy consistency, despite being soaked in a mixture of three types of milk.

Following the same recipe for the cake, but soaking it in a mixture of water, rum or brandy, and sugar, it is called "pastel borracho" (drunken cake). It is popular throughout Central America in this form.

In the Caribbean, cream of coconut is occasionally used instead of condensed milk. As in the pastel borracho, rum is sometimes added.

In addition, fruit or nuts are added in some recipes, as well as many other kinds of alcohol. Cherries are most commonly used as decoration, but other fruits or berries are sometimes used instead.

At some restaurants in Texas and Florida, the addition of cajeta creates what is known as a cuatro leches cake.

Come and check out this web site for some mouth watering recipes and pictures of one of the best deserts in the world.  Tres Leches

Anfield Discovers Additional High Grade Nickel Mineralization at Its Mayaniquel Project, Guatemala

Anfield Discovers Additional High Grade Nickel Mineralization


("Anfield") is pleased to announce that significant high-grade nickel mineralization has been discovered in early exploration at the Tres Juanes target area at its 100% owned Mayaniquel nickel laterite project located in northeastern Guatemala. The results of the new discovery are highlighted by holes TJN10-028 that intersected 18.2 meters averaging 1.69% nickel including 7.3 meters at 2.53% nickel and TJN10-040 that intersected 15.9 meters averaging 1.79% nickel including 8.6 meters grading 2.46% nickel.

Drilling at Tres Juanes is currently focused at Tres Juanes Norte, one of three laterite occurrences within that exploration area. Surface mapping at Tres Juanes Norte has identified lateritic exposure over an area approximately 2 kilometers long by 600 meters wide. Drilling commenced with two drills, one each within the northern and southern portions of the exposure, and located approximately 800 meters apart. Results from the 48 holes drilled to date have identified significant nickel mineralization in both areas. Current drilling is focused on expanding these zones as well as testing the area between the zones (see Tres Juanes map). Once drilling has been completed at Tres Juanes Norte, the program will move to the two remaining areas, Tres Juanes Sur and Tres Juanes Rio.

Source and to read more : Wall Street Journal Market Watch


The Guatemalan government is taking steps to reduce the killings of bus drivers in the country.

In Guatemala, danger lies on a bus

The Guatemalan government is taking steps to reduce the killings of bus drivers in the country.

BY EZRA FIESER  Special to The Miami Herald

GUATEMALA CITY -- In his 12 years driving a city bus, Hector Garrillo has felt the cold barrel of a gun against his temple so many times that he's stopped counting.

The most shocking attack occurred earlier this year, when a pair of teenagers carrying their baby boarded his bus as he steered through the slums on the city's outskirts. The boy -- he couldn't have been older than 15, Garrillo said -- pulled a sawed-off shotgun out of the diaper bag.

``He put it up to my head and told me to give him everything, my cellphone, my papers and all the money in the fare box,'' said Garrillo, 45. ``He left me with nothing. This used to be a good job. Now it's a nightmare.''

And Garrillo counts himself lucky.


Nearly 600 drivers like Garrillo have been murdered on the job since 2006. In the first six months of this year, 62 drivers and 31 drivers' assistants were slain, according to government statistics. Gang members extort drivers and bus owners, charging them a ``protection tax'' to pass through gang-controlled neighborhoods. If they don't pay, the gangs send hit men.
``I've had 12, maybe 15 friends get killed. Thank God nothing's happened to me,'' Garrillo said. He hands over as much as $125 a month to the gangs, about one-fourth of his earnings. ``It's scary. My family wants me to quit, but I have no other way to pay the bills.''

Just 14 years after the end of a civil war that killed an estimated 200,000 people, Guatemala is now struggling with a new wave of deadly crime. Overcome with drug traffickers, gangs and corruption, Guatemala's murder rate is more than eight times that of the United States. On the streets of Guatemala City, the violent heart of one of the hemisphere's most deadly countries, the most vulnerable seat you can take is behind the wheel of a bus.
``Driving a bus is, and has been for a while, the most dangerous job in the country. And this is a country already struggling with crime,'' said Karla Campos, a legal advisor with Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo, a human rights group that tracks killings in the country.

In July, the government introduced a new bus system, one it promises will cut down on the violence. But drivers and passengers have watched the killings continue.

It started 15 years ago with simple theft: kids with machetes threatened passengers and drivers into turning over pocket change. Now, the gangs are armed with pistols, shotguns and automatic weapons. Twice last year, gangs even attacked buses with fragmentation grenades. In past years, gangs in neighboring Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico have stepped up their violent attacks, including deadly attacks on buses.

In Guatemala, the murders are often presented as simple extortion: If a bus driver or company does not pay for ``protection,'' the gangs shoot him, much like they did with Garrillo's friend, David Giovany Mayén, a 29-year-old father who was shot to death at dawn on a February morning.

Read more: Miami Herald

France lodges charges against Guatemala ex-president

France lodges charges against Guatemala ex-president, soldiers to be tried for massacre
By The Associated Press (CP)

GUATEMALA CITY — France has accused former Guatemalan president Alfonso Portillo of money-laundering and he also faces embezzlement charges in Guatemala, prosecutors said.

Anti-corruption prosecutor Francisco Sandoval said Wednesday that the French government asked Portillo to testify, but the former leader refused. France claims Portillo laundered $1.5 million through French accounts using relatives' names. France has frozen 491,000 euros in accounts allegedly linked to Portillo.
Portillo is also accused of he stealing $15 million from the Guatemalan defence department. His trial on the Guatemalan charges is set to begin in September.

Portillo defence lawyer Telesforo Guerra said Portillo was within his rights not to testify.
Portillo was president from 2000 to 2004. He was charged with corruption in 2008, but was freed on bail. He was re-arrested Jan. 26 on an extradition request from the United States, where he is charged in New York federal court with embezzling $1.5 million in foreign donations intended to buy school library books in Guatemala.

Under Guatemalan law, Portillo must first be tried at home before being extradited.
Also on Wednesday, prosecutors announced that three former soldiers will stand trial for allegedly participating in the massacre of 250 people in 1982, as part of a counterinsurgency campaign during the country's 1960-1996 civil war.
Judge Carol Patricia Flores said there is "sufficient evidence" to hold the men over for trial.
Prosecutors say the men were part of a unit that killed men, women and children at the Dos Erres village while looking for rifles stolen by guerrillas. Later 162 skeletal remains were found in a village well.
The three ex-soldiers have said they are innocent.

The massacre was one of hundreds that occurred during the civil war, which ended in peace agreements in 1996. Some 240,000 people, mostly Mayan Indians, vanished or died.
Also Wednesday, Guatemalan authorities announced that a couple had died Wednesday when a landslide buried their house in western Guatemala, bring the death toll from mudslides over the last five days to 48.

Source: Canadian Press

WalMart expands in Guatemala


News is spreading about WalMart expanding its operations across Guatemala and Central America. This news brings excitement to many that shop at the large retailer.

“Retail Expansion In June 2010 Wal-Mart Centroamerica inaugurated a new store in Guatemala and said that it is to be the first of seven planned outlets in the country in 2010. The expansion is part of the firms commitment to opening 30 new stores across Central America in 2010 growth that will cement its position as the regions largest retailer. The expansion highlights the opportunities available in the relatively unsaturated Central American market, where organized retailers account for less than 50% of food and grocery spending.”

Source: Business Wire

President and CEO David A. DeLorenzo yesterday discussed

Dole CEO Highlights Company Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Programs at Conference in Guatemala

GUATEMALA CITY, Sep 08, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Dole Food Company, Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!dole/quotes/nls/dole (DOLE 9.04, +0.15, +1.73%) President and CEO David A. DeLorenzo yesterday discussed the Company's ongoing corporate responsibility and sustainability efforts in Central America in a forum organized by CentraRSE in Guatemala City.

CentralRSE, or Center for implementing Corporate Social Responsibility, was founded in 2003 and has over 100 company members, generating approximately 30% of Guatemala's GDP. Approximately 560 people, representing many different local stakeholders, partook in the forum, opened by Alvaro Colom, President of the Republic of Guatemala. The discussion with Dole's CEO focused on the subject of "companies as actors for change." David DeLorenzo's introduction focused on how Dole has been contributing for decades to the development of communities in Central America and shared Dole's efforts to address the Company's "three pillars of sustainability," namely Carbon Footprint, Water Use and Soil Conservation.

"Dole always strives to be a responsible corporate citizen in all of the countries in which we operate," said DeLorenzo. "Central America is a region in which we've been particularly active, whether it is by building up the regional economy through infrastructure investment, creating local jobs, developing community programs or partnering with local growers to implement sustainable agricultural programs. In addition, wherever possible, Dole partners with global NGOs, research groups, and other non-profits that bring additional expertise to very specific areas of Corporate Responsibility and sustainability."

Dole also proactively attempts to engage regional partners for the benefit of its Central American workforce. One example of this is Dole's participation in the World Banana Forum, an assembly space used to promote open dialogue on the challenges facing the banana industry. Participants include NGOs, standard-setting organizations, trade unions, and governmental and non-governmental organizations.

Dole, with 2009 net revenues of $6.8 billion, is the world's largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, and is the leading producer of organic bananas. Dole markets a growing line of packaged and frozen fruit and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research.

SOURCE: Business Watch

Guatemala sends its fans home happy after 2-0 win

By Paul Tenorio

Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 8, 2010

For the El Salvador national soccer team, RFK Stadium and the Washington area have become a home away from home, a venue where the team has been welcomed by the large Salvadoran community to enjoy a hearty home field advantage.

On Tuesday night against regional rival Guatemala, however, the crowd of 12,246 was nearly equally split between the two. On the field, Guatemala was the stronger team en route to a 2-0 victory.

"I remember the other times we came to play here, it was more dominated by the Salvadoran fans," Guatemala midfielder Fredy Thompson said in his native Spanish. "I think tonight it was almost like it was even, there might have been a minimal difference. And for us that helped us be motivated to play well in front of our fans."

Thompson opened the scoring for the Chapines in the 45th minute. The Salvadoran defense had been shaky throughout the first half, giving away possession in the midfield to open up counterattacks for Guatemala and failing to close space quickly.

After El Salvador failed to clear the ball, Thompson battled through a weak tackle to set himself alone on top of the 18-yard box, where he finished past the onrushing goalkeeper with a left-footed shot.

Source: Washington Post


Dozens killed in Guatemala Mudslides

Guatemala tropical depression udpate

Over this past weekend, a tropical depression passed over Guatemala dumping a large amount of rainfall. The most heavily affected areas are the Western Highlands, with numerous mudslides blocking major highways. Presently, the Panamerican Highway which carries travelers from Guatemala City to Lake Atitlan, is closed.

Near term forecasts for further rainfall may exacerbate this situation, and Viaventure has currently suspended all non-essential vehicular travel into the Western Highlands, including Lake Atitlan and Chichicastenango, until Monday September 13.

"We are concerned that even if the roads are re-opened in the next day or two, there is a chance that vehicular travel across these affected routes could be hazardous or may leave clients stranded on the other side of mudslides that could occur during the day," stated a Viaventure spokesperson.

6 former Guatemala soldiers linked to Mexican cartel

Sep 6, 2010 8:15 PM By Sapa-AFP

Mexican officials said Monday they were holding six former Guatemalan soldiers suspected of links to the Zetas, a drug cartel blamed for a wave of violence and considered one of the country’s most dangerous syndicates.

The federal prosecutor’s office said the six were being transferred to a prison in the eastern state of Veracruz after their links to the Zetas were confirmed.

Authorities said the men had originally been detained as illegal immigrants, and then escaped from an immigration centre in an operation believed to have been organized by the drug cartel. They were recaptured on April 22.

Much of the violence in the north-eastern Tamaulipas state is blamed on the Zetas, a brutal, well-trained group of former elite Mexican army commandos that the US government calls the most dangerous organized crime syndicate in Mexico.

The Zetas emerged in the late 1990s as hired guns for the powerful leader of the Gulf cartel, Osiel Cardenas.

The crime syndicate is believed to be responsible for the slaughtering of 72 illegal immigrants last month.

Source: Times Live

Further landslides hit Guatemala

5 September 2010 Last updated at 15:47 ET Help

Emergency services in Guatemala say up to 100 people are feared to have been buried by landslides on the main highway linking it with Mexico.
The fire department said dozens of people were trying to dig a bus out of a mudslide when a second one engulfed them.

Across Guatemala, 36 people have been confirmed dead in floods and landslides caused by heavy rain. Russell Trott reports.

Click here for more information and pictures "Click"

Toll from deadly Guatemala landslides rises to 44

SOLOLA, Guatemala (AFP) - – The death toll from multiple landslides in Guatemala rose to 44, officials said Monday as rescuers took advantage of a brief window of good weather to search for victims and survivors.

At least 16 people were still missing after a series of landslides, mudslides and wall collapses that followed weeks of heavy rain in the impoverished and mountainous Central American nation, emergency officials said.

There are "43,043 people at risk, 11,495 have been evacuated, 9,160 are in shelters and 56 people have been injured," a statement from Guatemala's National Coordination for Disaster Reduction (Conared) said.

"It's a national tragedy," President Alvaro Colom said as he visited a site where up to 40 people were thought to have been buried alive in a mudslide.

"This weekend alone we have seen damage comparable to what we experienced with Agatha," he added, referring to a tropical storm in May that killed 165 Guatemalans and left thousands homeless.

After a pause overnight as new rains rolled in, rescue crews resumed work at 6:00 am local time (1200 GMT), said Cesar Aguirre, a spokesman for emergency services.
"We hope that the rains let up a bit, and allow us to work," he told AFP.
The rescue effort has been hampered by continuing bad weather associated with the region's rainy season, with operations halting during downpours to ensure workers are not at risk from new landslides.

"It is a very painful thing that poor people end up being the ones hurt by natural disasters," Colom added, urging people only to use the main highway if they had no other option "because there are landslides all over the place."

Conared chief Alejandro Maldonado said that the torrential rains had flooded many homes and left infrastructure including key roads unusable.

And the threat posed by the landslides was not over, with forecasters predicting more rain later Monday.

Late Sunday, a fresh mudslide in northern Guatemala killed one person and injured eight, including two children.

"Top priority at present is dealing with this emergency," Colom said as he toured the devastation and put damages, in one of the poorest countries in the Americas, as high as 500 million dollars.

On Sunday, rescuers dug nine bodies out of a 300-meter (1,000-foot) deep ravine off the main Pan-American Highway, west of the capital Guatemala City.
Fire service spokesman Cecilio Chacaj told AFP some 40 people were believed to have buried there as they tried to help the occupants of five vehicles and a bus swept into the abyss by a previous landslide.

Ten people were killed in a separate incident on Saturday when a bus on the main highway was buried near the town of Chimaltenango. Rescuers managed to unearth 20 survivors.
A landslide also buried a family of four inside their house in the western region of Quetzaltenango, while 13 more people were killed in separate incidents around the country.
In Nahuala municipality, rescuers in bright orange uniforms used shovels, hoes and their hands to unearth the corpses of victims. Among the dead was Manuel Sohon, whose uncle Manuel Ajtzalam wept as he identified him.

Conared said the torrential downpours had caused almost 200 landslides, wall collapses and mudslides across the country.

Three regions in the country's south, Escuintla, Retalhuleu and Suchitepequez, were placed on red alert.

With more heavy rain forecast, authorities have closed part of the Pan-American Highway.
Colom warned he had little funds left to cope with the disaster as the country was still struggling to recover from tropical storm Agatha, which hit the nation in May.
Central America has been lashed by an unusually fierce rainy season this year. The recent bad weather has killed 55 people in Honduras, at least 40 in Nicaragua, nine in El Salvador and three in Costa Rica.

The downpours have come ahead of what is traditionally the worst part of the rainy season, which lasts until October 30.