Tupac Amaru leader Milagro Sala
Tupac Amaru leader Milagro Sala is still in prison. (miregion.com.ar)

It’s Friday again!

And unsurprisingly, January has come and gone. Scary, isn’t it.

Well, while you were (probably) away on some Argentine/Uruguayan/Brazilian beach sunbathing, I was stuck in this hell hole that we choose to call Buenos Aires, dealing with the complex political ramifications of a series of unfortunate events that range from massive layoffs to the invasion of deadly Zika and dengue-carrying mosquitoes.

So if you see one of those blood-sucking bastards, please don’t be like Junior and remember to run.

See? Don’t be like Junior.

This is what you need to know:

  • Milagro Sala is still in prison. And it doesn’t look like she’s getting out any time soon. And while the population continues to be divided over whether she “deserves” to be in prison or not, the fact is she remains a social leader who has done a lot of bad things but has been imprisoned for the wrong reasons. The whole affair started to reverberate abroad as regional leaders and media began to compare her case with that of Venezuela’s Leopoldo López. The executive director of Amnesty International Argentina clarifies it for us here. So read.
  • The City’s Culture Minister, Darío Lopérfido, caused a stir this week after he put into question the fact that 30,000 people had been “disappeared” during the last military dictatorship (because apparently society is not divided enough.) Are there people who say that it was less than 30,000 people? Sure. Are they monsters for saying that? Well, it depends. There are people whose interest in reaching a real number based on official documents is purely journalistic (as Jorge Lanata says here). After all, and for the sake of history, it would be helpful to know the exact number of people that fell victim to the horrors of state-sponsored terrorism. The problem, my friends, is that many of those who question this number do so with a quasi dismissive attitude of the tragedy of the ’70s. And that is why questioning that number is so controversial. Because saying that it wasn’t 30,000 people who were killed and that it was “only 8,000” is the same as saying “it wasn’t that bad.” In the end, like today’s Buenos Aires Herald editorial says here, it’s the promotion of memory and justice that matters.
  • The blue dollar is gone, but you can now say hello to the “blue mosquito repellent.” Yes. That is a thing now. People are so freaked out by dengue and Zika that supermarkets and pharmacies have been raided, and the price of a regular bottle of Off! has suspiciously skyrocketed. If you are lucky enough to find it, of course, since according to some local media outlets mosquito repellent is missing from the shelves already. Summer, amirite? Here are a few tips that may help you in this time of sorrow and despair.
  • On a positive note, the new AR$200 bill featuring an oddly positioned whale is about to be redesigned, following a public outcry that began after people though the whale had been drawn upside down.
  • But if you are, for some reason, one of those people who think “the football” is an interesting sport, here’s an interesting guide to the Primera División tournament. But I obviously don’t know what that is.
  • If you’re looking for something to do that isn’t football related check out this handy rundown on your options this weekend.

Happy weekend!