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December 12 – Season 01, Episode 10: The Clarín Neverending Story

By | [email protected] | December 13, 2014 1:19am


It’s almost mid-December and nothing terrible has happened (yet) so let’s celebrate by bursting the news with The Bubble Podcast. Featuring this week:

  • The motochorro caught on GoPro camera has been released… Somebody needs to contact him so he joins Marcelo Tinelli’s Dancing with the Stars next year.
  • Uruguay keeps scoring points. This week they received six former Guantanamo Bay prisoners held who had been held without trial for thirteen years. They are now 100 percent free men and even drinking mate with the locals.
  • Clarín, the Media Law and a Judge walk into a bar… And now there’s a new injunction and the Government has filed an appeal. Sounds familiar? True. It’s the Neverending Story of Clarin versus the National Government.

And there’s more to discover in the podcast, that you can download from the site, iTunes or Soundcloud.

Also, introducing this week: The Cheat Sheet! A companion guide to the issues discussed on our show, with a time mark to find the stories in the podcast:

1: 20: Uruguay hosts Guantánamo Bay prisoners who were held in the US prison for over a decade. They’ve been given refugee status, and according to host President José Mujica, they “can leave whenever they want to”.  For the first two months, their housing was provided by the “Umbrella Group” (the transport union, not the resident evil guys) so they have a chance to get used to the country and its customs. Uruguay goes on scoring points as the “Coolest Country on Earth”.
5:50: Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s seven year anniversary as Head of State:  She first took power on December 10th 2007 with 45,29% of the votes (8.651.066) and received the presidential staff from her late husband, Nestor Kirchner. She was re-elected in 2011 with 54,11% with a whopping 38% difference from runner-up Hermes Binner. Her second period will end after next year’s elections, and she will no longer be able to stand as a candidate for the country’ presidential seat.
8:50: The “Gap” and conflict with the farmers. In early 2008, a few months after Cristina got elected, a massive conflict exploded involving the big farming industries, after the government attempted to pass a bill raising their export taxes for soy and sunflower seeds. To counter this measure, the producers went on a 129-day lockout which included export interruptions as well as road and port blockages. On July 17th 2008, the senate voted over the project. The result was a 36 vote tie, with 13 pro-government senators voting against it. According to Article 57 of the Constitution, the Vice-President breaks the tie in these situations. Julio Cobos also voted against his own government, thus undermining the law. Since then, the term “the Gap” has been coined, which means that there is no gray area in Argentine politics. You either support the government or you’re against it: there’s nothing in the Gap.
9:15: Iberoamerican Summit: Cristina misses Iberoamerican summit in Mexico, along with five other Latin American presidents. Is it a way of giving Europe the finger? Maybe. El Salvador’s president also got sick and had to leave.
11:05: Martín Insaurralde, lower house member left his seat only a year after being elected. He had been hand-picked by Cristina to be the face of the party and lead it. Now, in an odd turn of events, he’s (politically) flirting with his rival from last year, Sergio Massa. It’s not exactly clear if he’ll go back to being Lomas de Zamora’s mayor or run for Buenos Aires’ governor as a representative of Massa’s party. It is definitely clear it’s a mess. . He argues that they don’t get anything done there; Insaurralde likes being in an executive seat and he likes ‘actually accomplishing things’.
13:05: Argentina’s never-ending story: Government vs. Clarín media group: It began when the “media law” passed in 2009. The controversial articles which Clarín challenged involved air and cable TV limitations, since those companies who exceeded these limitations would have to “un-invest” and split (of course, Clarín exceeded them by miles) . These challenges paralyzed the law for four years until October 29th 2013, where the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the government, stating that the articles were constitutional, as with the law as a whole. Clarín presented a plan to get in some of their own terms, but the government rejected it, arguing that there were “incompatible links with the current normative” and initiated a government-dictated adequacy.   This week, a judge who ruled against Clarín two years ago granted the media group an injunction and suspended the companies’ split because “the issue hasn’t been debated enough”.  The never-ending story goes on, guys.
17:35: The famous Motochorro was released from jail during the week and is now awaiting trial outside bars, since there is no flight danger. He just finished his two month sentence for resisting authority, yet another the other crime he committed. Aguirre is now awaiting trial for the attempted robbery which made him famous. If found guilty, he’ll go back to jail, but will probably get  a bunch of offers to be on TV shows such as “Dancing with the Stars.” So he’s got that going for him, which is nice.
23:45: Macri promised to end human right scams. The most important example is the  “sueños compartidos mission”. This plan, supervised by the organisation “Madres de Plaza de Mayo,” received government funds which were supposed to go into social housing. Instead, the organisation’s representative Sergio Schoklender is now being investigated for public funds embezzlement after multiple complaints. He left “Madres” in 2011, stating that the job was not compatible with his own personal projects, but other sources imply that he was let go of, because of issues related to money management.  The government interpreted Macri’s statements in another way and is now bashing him for it, as though he said was going to undo the trials prosecuting military repressors.
27:00: Brief news:
New flag indicator at the beach. The new black flag is brought to you by climate change. It means that there are risks of lightning strikes. It was implemented as a result of last year’s tragedy, where four people died after they being struck by lightening in popular beach resort Villa Gesell.
Porn site Brazzers is looking for Argentine actresses and they have posted an ad on the popular job-hunt web-site, ZonaJobs. Are they offering poor wages? They are, according to Adrian Bono.
River Plate finally won an international championship and ended a 17-year dry spell. Yay! Sports teams playing sports…