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Farmers fires choke Cristina Kirchner

Heavy smoke caused by the burning of farmland has smothered Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital, and its surrounding region for days, leading to traffic accidents and closure of ports and airports.

The smoke clouds have caused traffic accidents, flight delays and paralyzed ports in Buenos Aires, Argentina’s Interior Minister Florencio Randazzo has announced legal action against the land owners, Buenos Aires residents hope a wind change will blow the smoke away and clear the region’s skies.

On April 3 farming groups suspended a nationwide strike after 21 days. The strike, over the rises in export tax on soyabeans and sunflower seeds, led to food shortages, provoking street demonstrations.

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Argentine President harshly criticizes US border fence

The Argentine President, Nestor Kirchner, criticized the United States’ border fence plan. He was reading his speech about the Argentine economic recovery, when he startlingly stopped and called the US border fence along the frontier between Mexico and the United States an “insult.”

“In name of the Argentine Nation and addressing this honorable Congress I want to make clear the repudiation of the Argentine people and of who is speaking to you and of those who accompany me toward the despicable fence that is being built in the frontier between the Mexican sister nation and the Republic… or the Nation of the United States,” said the President to 40 deputies and senators, who got up from their seats and heavily applauded him.

“It’s not just an insult to our sister nation of Mexico, but to all the nations of Latin America and all the nations of the world,” he added later. Furthermore, he asked President Bush to consider “sincerely” the issue. “We plead that in the meantime, those building the fence of shame please reconsider.”

Both George W. Bush and the US Congress have passed a law for the building of 700-mile fence along the border between USA and Mexico in order to impede illegal immigration.

Riveros pardon unconstitutional

The Supreme Court of Argentina today ruled that a decree issued by the Argentine ex-president Carlos Saúl Menem was unconstitutional. The decree pardoned military general Santiago Omar Riveros, charged for crimes against humanity which were committed during the “Guerra Sucia”, a military rule (1976-1983) in Argentina.

The Supreme Court thus retracted the pardon towards Riveros. The ruling also left an open door for the cases of other pardoned generals, such as Jorge Videla and Eduardo Massera.

“Crimes against humanity, because of their seriousness in nature, are not only contrary to the Constitución Nacional, but as well to the entire international community,” the Supreme Court ruled. Nearly 30,000 disappeared in the Argentina military dictatiorship.