On the last day of April a federal court ruled, as others have before it, that possessing drugs for personal consumption is not a crime.
In doing so, the court ruled that Article 14 of a 1989 law that criminally penalizes the “simple possession” of drugs is unconstitutional.
The article in question authorizes the government to put people into prison for up to six years if they are found possessing drugs. The article also allows for fines of up to 6,000 “australes” (australes were a currency used in Argentina from roughly 1985 through 1991) for such possession.
The court was ruling on a case involving a young man from La Pampa Province who come to Buenos Aires to attend a rave last September. According to court documents, while at the rave the man bought 15 Ecstasy pills for himself and his friends. Soon afterward, Coast Guard agents stopped the man and discovered the pills.
The case was taken to court and a lower court judge ruled that the man be fined 219 pesos for “simple possession” of the drugs. But upon appeal, the federal court ruled that this “simple possession” criteria is unconstitutional and that possession for personal consumption is not illegal.
Many legal analysts expect Argentina’s Supreme Court to rule on this broader issue within the near future, making it definitively clear that the personal consumption of drugs is legal in Argentina.
Tetro, the latest film by Hollywood legend Francis Ford Coppola, is nearing its June 11 (U.S.) debut date.
A trailor has been released for the movie, which was filmed in Argentina and shot with local actors (some of whom have complained about not getting paid for their work).
You can see the three minute trailer here (in regular definition or in 1080p HD.
As described on Apple’s trailors site:
“TETRO is Francis Ford Coppola’s first original screenplay since THE CONVERSATION. It is his most personal film yet, arising from memories and emotions from his early life, though totally fictional. It is the bittersweet story of two brothers, of family lost and found and the conflicts and secrets within a highly creative Argentine-Italian family.”
Three pieces of Tetro trivia from IMDB:
*Coppola decided to shoot this film the same way he shot Rumble Fish (1983): in black-and-white, with occasional bursts of color, since both films held “a spiritual connection” with each other (both are dramas about relationships, primarily that of brotherhood).
*Coppola was attracted to Argentina as a location to set the film/story: “I knew Argentina has a great cultural/artistic/literary/musical/cinema tradition, and I like those kinds of atmospheres very much because you usually find creative people to work with.”
*According to Coppola in an interview with Empire magazine, this is what he considers to be “the most beautiful film [he's] ever made”, and a very “personal” project.
Hat Tip to Diego over at Micropsia for the heads up.
This is a photo of Argentine President Cristina Fernández taken three months ago on February 4.
It’s a photo of the president signing a decree to create a new “electronic” card system that would allow people to prepay for bus, subway and train trips in and around the City of Buenos Aires. One goal of the new card system, in addition to making travel more convenient, was to eliminate the inconvenience of the current coin-based system, which, infamously, has left the city virtually without coins.
In a nationally-televised speech on the plan, which was anticipated by TAP four days before it was delivered, Fernández pledged to have the new card system up and running within 90 days. That was then, this is now, almost exactly 90 days later.
But little progress has been made on the new system. Indeed, when I asked a Transportation Secretariat spokesman about the issue on Monday, he said simply, “We have nothing to say about that.”
It sounded like a great plan. It could be, if it ever came to fruition.
UPDATE: Various Transportation Secretariat and Planning Ministry officials now say the system will up be and running in late June – just in time for the June 28 congressional election.
Argentina’s economy, which is almost certainly already in a recession, is unlikely to recover soon and will probably be in a recession throughout 2009, according to a recent series of data released by Torcuarto Di Tella University.
In a report published Monday that tracks the performance of distinct “leading economic indicators,” the university highlighted data indicating that there is just an 18.7% probability that the economy will recover within the next six months.
“This result indicates that the recession will continue throughout 2009,” Di Tella reported.
Di Tella’s survey is somewhat similar conceptually to a widely watched U.S. report published by the Conference Board. You can see Di Tella’s survey for yourself here.
Argentina has 45 possible swine flu cases being tested for confirmation, up from 29 on Sunday, the Health Ministry said in a statement Monday night. So far Argentina has had zero confirmed swine flu cases.
If you’re curious, the number of confirmed dengue cases totaled 22,417 by Monday, according to the Ministry. About 82% of those were found in just two provinces: Chaco and Catamarca.
Some 2,124 cases were confirmed in Salta and just one in Misiones, meaning, presumably, there’s little reason to not visit Iguazu if that’s something you’re considering.
By Fiorella Donayre
Dante Liporace, the executive chef at the new Moreno restaurant, offers a menu that puts twists on traditional flavors to tap your taste memory with techniques that both surprise and satisfy.
“The idea is to look for flavors that you know, that you have in your mind, stuck to your memory, and to find this flavor that you know with a different texture, with a different temperature, but that in your mouth has the same flavor,” Liporace, 31, told The Argentine Post in an interview at the restaurant.
In his executive chef debut, Liporace, who worked at El Bulli, among other Spanish Michelin-starred restaurants including Akelarre and Tragabuches, doesn’t seek extravagant flavors. Instead he says his aim is to serve Argentine diners bife de chorizo or risotto in ways they can enjoy as never before through the use of “perfect flavors.”
Moreno joins a small field of restaurants including La Vineria de Gualterio Bolivar that have brought vanguard cuisine, also known as experimental cooking, or techno-emotional cuisine to Buenos Aires. The style emerged in 1990, led by El Bulli owner and chef Ferran Adriá, as a search for new culinary concepts and techniques which began as an empiric exercise that employed foams made with siphons and savory ice creams made with liquid nitrogen. In his search of constant innovation, Adriá later explored other fields, including “molecular gastronomy,” a scientific approach to cooking, and used the new technology to improve his cooking techniques. El Bulli has been named the world’s best restaurant four times. (Adriá’s manifesto is here)
Deconstructed Spanish Tortilla
Moreno Restaurante is located on Moreno St. on the edge of Montserrat and San Telmo, a few blocks from the Plaza de Mayo. The restaurant has a main dining room next to the bar and a VIP area, with seating for 70 and a wine cellar with a capacity for 1000 bottles that includes classic and boutique wines, says sommelier María de la Paz Nasta.
Moreno offers three-course daily lunch specials (50 pesos) as well as tasting menus of seven (220 pesos per person) and 10 courses (330 pesos per person), with a la carte options also available.
The menu includes a “deconstructed Spanish tortilla” served in a glass. It starts with a layer of onions cooked slowly for four hours under a layer of scrambled eggs topped with a layer of mashed potato foam that’s sprinkled with French fries to provide a juxtaposition of potato textures, Liporace says.
Another dish that stands out is the suckling pig served with a wild berry risotto and “ossobuco sauce.” The meat is vacuum sealed in a heat-proof plastic bag and vapor cooked in a special oven for 17 hours at precisely 72 degrees Celsius. The temperature is then quickly lowered to 3 degrees Celsius. On order, the dish is reheated to 72 degrees Celsius in 10 minutes and served.
My friend Julian Gallo and his multimedia team took this amazing gigapan photo of the GCT’s Labor Day rally on Friday. The CGT, or Confederación General de Trabajo, led by “El Gordo” Hugo Moyano, is Argentina’s leading labor union umbrella organization, grouping together numerous smaller labor groups from around the country. It is a massive force in Argentine politics and has been for decades.
There were anywhere between 70,000 and 150,000 people at the rally, according to various media reports.
The first gigapan photo to gain worldwide attention was the one taken of U.S. President Barack Obama’s inauguration back in January. A gigapixel photo contains about 150 times the data captured by a standard six megapixel camera.
Use the + and – keys on your keyboard to zoom in and out of the image. Use your mouse (by clicking on the image) to move it up or down or from right to left.
Argentina has 29 possible swine flu cases being tested for confirmation, up from 17 on Saturday, Health Ministry officials said Sunday night. So far Argentina has had zero confirmed cases.
Meanwhile, the government renewed its suspension of flights to and from Mexico until further notice. The suspension was supposed to end Sunday at midnight.
As for the Argentines who got stuck in Mexico because of the government’s flight restrictions, the government said in a statement that it brought 203 of them back to Buenos Aires Sunday on a chartered plane.
Argentina has 17 possible swine flu cases being tested for confirmation, up from 13 on Friday, Health Ministry officials said Saturday night. So far Argentina has had zero confirmed cases.
Buenos Aires ranks 81st out of 215 cities for its “quality of living,” according to a survey published this week by the global human resources company Mercer.
Buenos Aires slipped three spots from 78th a year ago, though Mercer said this was due to gains in other cities.
Indeed, Buenos Aires actually improved its absolutely score from a year ago, though this wasn’t enough to beat out other cities which also improved their scores.
From the U.S. Embassy:
Junot Díaz, winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for his novel “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,” is in Buenos Aires to lecture at the Buenos Aires International Book Fair.
Junot Díaz, one of the most prestigious authors in US contemporary literature, will offer a talk on Saturday May 2 at 8:00 pm at the 35th International Book Fair of Buenos Aires, at La Rural, Room Julio Cortazár. He will talk about the American immigrant experience.
His work has appeared in: The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Time Out, Glimmer Train, Story, African Voices, Best American Fiction `96 (ed. John Edgar Wideman); Best American Fiction `97 (ed. Annie Proulx); Best American Fiction `99 (ed. Amy Tan); Best American Fiction `00 (ed. E.L. Doctorow); and was included in the ‘20 Writers for the 21st Century’ issue of The New Yorker (June ‘99) and The O.Henry Prize Stories anthology, 2009
From Santo Domingo to New York: The American Immigrant Experience.
May 2 – 8:00 pm
Ocre Pavillion – Room Julio Cortázar
Link: More Information
Argentina has 13 possible swine flu cases being tested for confirmation. That’s up from nine on Thursday. So far Argentina has had zero confirmed cases.
“We’re entering into the winter, a time when the flu is very common,” Health Minister Graciela Ocaña said Friday, adding that people should cover up their mouths when sneezing and wash their hands repeatedly throughout the day. Ocaña said the virus is not in circulation anywhere in the country except possibly at airports. She advised against wearing face masks.