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Stories from and

Argentinian Football Fans Travel 1,500 Kilometers in a Refurbished Bus to Cheer on Their Team

La Serena, Chile. Imagen en flickr del usuario Ronald Woan (CC BY-NC 2.0).

La Serena, Chile. Image on Flickr by user Ronald Woan (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Five very loyal fans of the Argentinian national football team traveled over 1,500 kilometers by land to cheer on their favorite team in the Copa América, to be hosted in Chile between June 11 and July 4, 2015.

The fans departed from Mar del Plata, southwest of Buenos Aires Province, and arrived in La Serena, in Chile. To do that, they refurbished an old bus they used as transport and shelter during the adventurous journey:

Un periplo de más de 1.500 kilómetros en “El Perro Vago”, una máquina de los años 70 que en la actualidad cuenta con cinco camas y baño portátil, un esfuerzo familiar que estos hinchas nos invitaron a conocer.

The over 1,500 kilometer tour in “El Perro Vago” (The Lazy Dog), a vehicle from the 1970s that currently holds five beds and a portable bathroom, these fans invited us to discover this family effort.

The innovative name of the vehicle comes from Marcelo Gali's father, one of the fans that just arrived to La Serena:

Viajamos ahora yo, papá, mi hermano, un tío y un amigo de papá. Paramos primero en Buenos Aires, después en San Luis y luego en Mendoza. […] Por la albiceleste nos bancamos todo y seguimos donde sea.

Now it's me travelling with my dad, my brother, an uncle and a friend of my dad's. We stopped first in Buenos Aires, then in San Luis and then in Mendoza. […] For the Argentinian national team (known as the albiceleste for its white and light blue colors), we'll endure anything. We'll follow them wherever they'll go.

On Twitter, some users shared the fans’ story, along with images:

El Perro Vago: The story of the self-sacrificing Argentinian fans who arrived in La Serena.

The truth is that all is fair when it comes to team loyalty.

The Copa América is the most important football tournament of the South American continent and gathers ten national teams plus two guest teams.

Blunt Pro-Abortion Campaign in Chile

The NGO Miles (Thousands) and the advertising agency Grey Chile are taking a provocative approach to showing the problem that thousands of women face in Chile with respect to abortion, using three fictitious tutorial videos that show the only legal way to have an abortion in the country.

The “advice” ranges from throwing yourself down the stairs to getting run over by a car.

Abortion is prohibited in Chile, which means that thousands of women have to resort to illegal means in order to abort. It is estimated that there are around 150,000 cases each year, some of which result in the death of the patient.

This campaign seeks to draw attention to this fact and persuade the Chilean government to approve the therapeutic abortion law that was rejected last February.

Warning before you click play: these videos contain graphic images.

A Chilean Real-Time Video App Launches at the Boston Marathon

The application RhinoBirdTV, developed by the Chilean Felipe Heusser, who founded the NGO Ciudadano Inteligente, allows users to share video experiences in real time. The makers of RhinoBirdTV hope their product will help facilitate a more democratic world by breaking down boundaries and connecting people through simple-to-distribute live videos.

RhinoBird.TV, imagen extraída de Twitter, utilizada con autorización

RhinoBird.TV. image from Twitter, used with permission.

RhinoBirdTV chose to launch its Android version on April 20, the day of the 119th annual Boston Marathon, allowing users to broadcast and receive live videos from the event, following the hashtag #bostonmarathon.

On Twitter, people welcomed RhinoBirdTV with enthusiasm and high expectations:

Far from the Marathon is a marvel made in Chile the USA.

Chileans in Boston are bosses. Enduring the cold and rain to support.

An Election Film Week in Lebanon to Say #NoToExtension of Parliament Term

What better than the seventh art to mobilize? In another effort to push for Elections in Lebanon and prevent an extension of the Parliamentary term #NoToExtension, Lebanese NGO Nahwa Al Muwatiniya (meaning Towards Citizenship) held an “Election Film Week”.

Six works from Chile, Iran, China, Ghana and the US, varying between documentaries and fiction are being screened between August 28 to September 2 at Cinema Metropolis (a theater promoting indie movies)  in collaboration with the Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections (LADE).

On the Facebook Page of the event, where the programme is listed, the organisers note:

We have been struggling with a fragile democracy in Lebanon, ever since its independence. Today, more than in the darkest days of the civil war, the foundations of our democracy are at risk. But we’re not alone in this. The world is full of stories about the human struggle for self-determination and democratic participation. Broadening our perspective serves our effort to improve the quality of the political system in Lebanon. 

The films we picked share stories from different countries, all which portray the election process. Collectively, they reveal a combination of human values and ideals and the efforts politicians make to win an election.

To see a glimpse of the movies, check out the trailer posted on Nahwa Al Muwatiniya Youtube Page.

The current parliament extended its four-year stay for the first time in May 2013. And like a year before, various parties are supporting the move this time around under the pretext of security conditions.

The end of the parliamentary term comes amidst a period of turmoil in Lebanon. The country has lacked a president since May 25 after parliament failed to elect a new head of state and top officials could not reach political consensus. A general strike by syndicates demanding to approve a new enhanced wage scale for civil servants has threatened to paralyze the entire country. Lebanon has experience instability on both Syrian and Israeli borders after soldiers were kidnapped by members of Islamic militant organization ISIS.

Confessions of an Ex-Football Fan in Chile

On the blog section of Chilean newspaper El Mercurio, Gustavo Santander writes that he doesn't like football, even though he ends up watching the matches with his friends and sharing stories so much that someone told him once: “you know a lot for someone who doesn't like football.”

He explains there was once a time when he loved football and that the 1986 World Cup in Mexico was the first one he remembers to the fullest:

Quién sabe por qué ese 29 de junio (de 1986) se grabó en mi mente como un día inolvidable, el hecho es que si cierro los ojos, aún puedo ver al Loco (Carlos Salvador) Bilardo gesticulando como un demente al borde de la cancha, a (Nery) Pumpido volando como un poseso para atajar los tiros alemanes, a (Karl-Heniz) Rummenigge disparando pelotazos como si fuera un Pánzer de carne y hueso; a (Jorge) Valdano metiendo el segundo gol de Argentina y a mi padre abrazando a mi madre, besándola en los labios como si fueran dos adolescentes cuando el silbato del árbitro marcó el fin de ese encuentro, que no era el suyo, pues ese año aún ni sabían que su matrimonio estaba por jugar su tiempo suplementario.

Who knows why that June 29 (1986) is fixed in my memory as an unforgettable day, and if I close my eyes, I can still see (Argentinian coach Carlos Salvador) Loco Bilardo madly gesturing on the sidelines, (Argentinian goalkeeper Nery) Pumpido flying as if possessed to block the German shots, (German goalkeeper Karl-Heniz) Rummenigge taking shots as if he was a flesh and blood Panzer; (Argentinian player Jorge) Valdano scoring the second Argentinian goal and my father hugging my mother, kissing her on the lips as if they were two teenagers when the referee whistled to end the match that wasn't theirs, as that year they weren't even aware that their marriage was about to play in additional time.

Chile Will Build the Biggest Telescope on Earth

In Fotones Valley at Cerro Armazones in the Atacama desert, Chile, the construction for what will become the largest optical telescope in the world, with a diameter of 39 meters, are underway.

In 2010, the European Southern Observatory Board chose that location in the Chilean desert for the future E-ELT.2. It will be the most southern European telescope (known by its acronym E-ELT):

LIVE: Explosions at Cerro Armazones to set up the biggest telescope of the world.

Cerro Armazones houses an observatory with three telescopes, with diameters 1.5 meters, 84 centimeters and 41 centimeters, the results of a joint project between several Chilean and foreign institutions and the European Southern Observatory. Representative Fernando Comerón noted that “with E-ELT we are building a telescope for the 22nd century”. According to estimations, the works will go on for 10 years and the telescope will be fully functional two years later.

Pre Historic Remains Found in Chile

They spent millions of years hidden, until 21st century, when a group of paleontologists discovered the remains of 46 ichthyosaur at Torres del Paine National Park [es], in southern Chile:

In Chile, an ichthyosaur cementery was found. The project started with the…

In Chile, a singular ichthyosaur cemetery was found. It's SHAMEFUL that we have to find it out on foreign media.

Is Breastfeeding in Public indecent?

Is breastfeeding in public “indecent”? That's the question raised [es] by Alejandra on Verde Alegría, after she was forced to breastafeed in private and realized she was not the only one:

To me, breastfeeding was -and still is- something absolutely normal and I thought everybody shared that idea. Nevertheless, I've recently seen on news portals many mothers telling that they have been discriminated for breastfeeding their children in public, and they even have left some of those places for being called almost as obscene for simply feeding their babies.

She explains this position as one double standard from society, due to some false moral and ignorance. And she claims:

No mother wants to show her breasts just because. I've never met a mother who intentionally wants to exhibit herself to other people “for her to be seen”. Of course, we are all prudish. But the thing is breastfeeding isn't an act that goes against the sense of shame. If there is someone who considers this has some kind of stimulating feature, or that it is somehow “dirty” or shameless. it's not the mother's problem, it's theirs, the person who has a completely distorted vision of sexuality.

The post reviewed here was part of the first #LunesDeBlogsGV [Monday of blogs at GV] on May 5, 2014.

Chile: “Strength Built with Hands”

The author of blog Palabras para gastar shares his impressions after a visit to cerro Merced [es], in Valparaíso, days after the devastating fire that destroyed the area:

There it was, a crowd moving along like ants, solving on the go, communicating with each other; not even asking for a lending hand but offering both. There ir was, besides the monument that commemorate the 1906 earthquake and the “Plaza del Recuerdo” [Remembrance Square], a stack of debris, rusted and scorched cans. Twisted as should be our conscience.
And facing this shocking setting, solidarity shows itself in all its splendor. No alms; solidarity. Equal treat, like brothers.
Strength, Valpo! Strength built with hands, no one that just gets pronounced or written. A mound of strength, damn it!

16 Women Rocking Chile

A photo essay in the website Sentidos Comunes [es] highlights 16 outstanding Chilean women who “are the protagonists of the public agenda in the next five or ten years.”

The list includes photographer Paloma Palomino, politician Karol Cariola, journalist Isabel Plant, filmmaker Dominga Sotomayor, and illustrator Fran Meneses.

Chilean Campaign to Prevent Child Grooming Goes Viral

The Chilean Police campaign against grooming, in which adults earn the trust of minors online to later abuse them, has already reached more than 5 million views. It has become a success going way beyond the borders of the South American country, according to Verne website.

The video was published on Facebook to raise awareness among young people. It tells the story of a teenage girl who sets up a date with a guy she met on a social network. The man, who has been asking her for “sexy” pictures is older than she imagined. The video leads to think the girl was abused.

Augusto Schuster, a very popular Chilean teen actor and singer with a base of 270,000 Twitter followers, was part of the campaign. At the end of the video, which is also available on YouTube, Schuster questions kids: “How many of your social network friends do you really know? Grooming is not a game. It is abuse. Remember that on Internet, the pictures are not only yours, they belong to everyone.”

Groomers pretend to be teenagers to take advantage of minors on social networks, wining their trust little by little, then asking them for intimate images, or setting up meetings that can end up in sexual abuse. Besides the video, the Chilean campaign offers tips — and even a test — to help kids recognize dangerous behavior. Verne adds that the police are promoting the hashtag #todoscontraelgrooming (everyone against grooming).

Self-evaluation: Am I exposed to grooming?

1. I have a profile in more than one social network.

2. I have more than 250 friends on Facebook.

3. I have accepted friendships requests from people I don't know.

4. I have established strong ties with people I never met in person.

5. I have dated people I have never met on real life.

6. Have spoken on a webcam with strangers.

7. I have set up dates with people I met online.

8. I have taken pictures of myself on my underwear.

9. I have taken pictures of intimate parts of my body.

10. I have been asked to strip infront of a webcam or send intimate pictures.

11. I have been forced to send intimate pictures.

If you have answered YES to the questions:

1-5 You are vulnerable to be contacted by a groomer

6-8 You have probably been contacted by a groomer and you are at risk.

9-11 You have been a grooming victim.

At Least 30 People Killled After Heavy Rains in Chile

The heaviest rains to hit Chile's northern region in decades have costed the life of at least 30 people, according to the most recent report by the National Office of Emergency of the Interior Ministry (known as Onemi), dated April 21.

At the time of writing the original post of this translation, a new victim was found.

LAST MINUTE: At Los Loros, the body of a new victim of the flood was found. This would be number 31.

On Global Voices, we reported about what has been considered the worst rain from the past 80 years in the Northern regions (mainly in Atacama and Antofagasta) when heavy rains caused the Copiapó river to overflow.

According to press releases, there are at least 59 people unaccounted for and 29.739 affected. Meanwhile, material damages go up to 2.000 completely destroyed homes. Over 6.000 have been severely affected, and another 11.000 have suffered minor damages.

Chilean Volcano Wakes Up After Four Decades of Inactivity With Violent, Spectacular Eruption

The Chilean government declared a state of emergency caused by the disaster in towns near the Calbuco volcano, in southern Chile and on the border with Argentina, after it erupted violently Wednesday.

The people of Puerto Montt, Puerto Varas, Frutillar in Chile and Villa La Angostura, San Martin de los Andes and Bariloche in Argentina were surprised by column of ash belched by the volcano. These areas are near the 2,015-meter-high volcano, which was dormant for 43 years ago.

After a second eruption at one in the morning on Thursday, the Chilean government established an exclusion zone of 20 kilometers around the volcano.

The Ministry of Interior and Public Security (ONEMI) of Chile reported on Thursday morning that 4,150 people were evacuated because of the incident, and so far there have been no fatalities.

However, the spectacular images of the eruption caught the attention of social media under the hashtags #Calbuco and #VolcánCalbuco, as shown in the following video from the Facebook page Todo Puerto Montt.

Calbuco is considered one of the three most dangerous volcanoes of the 90 that are active in Chile, as reported by the BBC.

Chile: Controversial Draft Law Anti Memes Lasted Less Than 24 Hours

A very short life had the controversial anti-meme draft law, announced on Thursday July 10 by Chilean congressman of Christian Democratic Party, Jorge Sabag, as informed on Chilean media. The goal of the prohect was to preserve “authorities’ dignity” on social networks. The project imposed fines for individuals who used the face of any State officer on a meme and even considered imprisonment for the user who created and shared this kind of images on cyberspace.

On a radio interview on 11, facing the questions and jokes generated on Facebook and Twitter, Sabag admitted the project: “Was a mistake, I didn't pay close attention to what my advisors had drafted (…). It's not worth it to keep on processing it.”

The news was soon after commented on Twitter:

Jorge Sabag (DC), remember his name so he's never elected again.

Sabag's advisors…

The Inca Road Is a New World Heritage Site


Somewhere in the Qhapaq Ñam. Photo on Flickr by user Rainbowasi. CC BY-SA 2.0

For the first time in the 40 years of World Heritage convention, six countries united to submit a joint application to designate a cultural site as world heritage. Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru requested that the Incan Road be included as a cultural heritage site.

The announcement was made in the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee in in Doha, Qatar.

The international body highlighted that the Inca Road “represents a very valuable shared legacy, almost 60,000 kilometers long”:

Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru share a new cultural legacy site: #QhapaqÑan, Inca road system. Congratulations!

Chilean Football Fan Got Mixed Up and Missed His Team's First Match

A Chilean football fan who wanted to cheer his national team on at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil missed his team's first game with Australia because he mixed up the cities Curitiba and Cuiabá.

During an interview with a reporter in Curitiba, the distracted fan said he was happy to be in Brazil, “a beautiful country”. The journalist told him that the match against Australia was scheduled in Cuiabá… 1,700 kilometers away from Curitiba.

Twitter users reacted almost immediately:

Chilean fan went to Curitiba instead of Cuiabá.

Chilean football fan who mixed up Cuiabá and Curitiba, 1.700 km away from his national team debut on the World Cup says he was joking the reporter.

Anyway, my life is way much better than the guy who got mixed up with Cuiabá and Curitiba, LOL! I dropped dead… LOL!!!

Drawings With Coffee Foam

The blogger on El Francotirador shares [es] his experience on a fast food shop, when as the waitress gave him the coffee he had ordered, she added:

“There you go… I drew a heart with the foam” – she said smiling.

As a result of this gesture, the author reflects:

I stared at the coffee, with its white heart that was slowly losing its shape, and I couldn't help it but felt mine squeezing. You see, I've always regarded with a mix of compassion and fear the jobs at the fast food shops […] as prisoners who have to carry out the same chores, once and again, day after day, to serve perfect strangers, indifferent and many times rude.

But there we have a girl that, in spite of the fatigue at the end of her shift, she drew me a heart with the foam.

I don't know if she did this to make my day or hers, but it worked in both ways and it proved that when you have a happy, lively or creative spirit, those gifts might blossom even the most hostile environments.

A Galaxy Far, Far Away

The website Chileno notes [en] that a Chilean-led team of astronomers has shed new light on the evolution of galaxies by observing young star formations in outer regions of the interacting galaxy NGC 92. As lead author Dr Sergio Torres from Universidad de La Serena explains, there is something special about interacting galaxies like NGC 92. They are as he says, “perfect laboratories to study galaxy evolution”:

The unassumingly titled NGC 92 galaxy isn’t a close one. On the contrary, it’s quite far away, 160 million light years away to be precise, or roughly 940 quintillion miles. That’s a lot of noughts.

Is Valparaíso's Wildfire Result of Neglect by Municipal Government?

incendio valparaiso

Photo of wildfire in Valparaíso by Flickr user Leonardo Maldonado, under license to CC Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0).

A report [es] from Chile's Centre for Investigative Journalism (CIPER) has stirred up a story of neglect and corruption about how, since 2012, local authorities have been aware of the danger posed by the extensive growth of underbrush in the hills and ravines around Valparaíso as well as the proliferation of garbage dumps in these same areas —all of which contribute to a situation ripe for wildfires. But not even the blazes that ignited in 2013 provoked a reaction from local government. So now, the search for those responsible has begun. 

In the midst of the ravages left by the massive wildfire in Valparaiso, a new inquiry commission will be appointed by the Chamber of Deputies in the coming week. The goal: to determine the amounts and those responsible for this latest corruption scandal in the city's administration […]. The investigation of this new regional scandal, which has once again focused its attention on another million dollars allegedly diverted to political campaigns, may turn out to be the one that paints the clearest picture of the extent to which corruption is entrenched in regional government and from which not a single party has escaped. 

VIDEO: Toward a Fair and Inclusive Education System in Chile

In the video above by Open Society Foundations, Giorgio Jackson, former student leader and newly elected parliamentarian in Chile, discusses the education system in his country and what it means to have an “open society.”

Trine Petersen writes:

A fair and inclusive system that makes education available to all is a powerful lever for a fair and open society. It enhances social cohesion and trust. Chileans want an education system that promotes education as public good and enables all citizens to engage in critical thinking and free expression.

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