Rivers in Brazil’s Amazon River system are drying to critical levels. In the photo, community Nova Esperança, Baré people, at the Cuieiras river, tributary of the Rio Negro, Amazonia, Brazil.

BRAZIL: AMAZON TRIBUTARY DRYS UP The Rio Negro, an important tributary of the Rio Amazonas and the most important tributary in the world, as well as the second highest in volume, is suffering from the lowest level of water in the last 30 years with only five centimeters left before it reaches the lowest level in the last 106 years. The low level of water in the Rio Negro is alarming despite the torrential rains that have fallen in this region, insufficient to increase the volume of water. Thousands of people are without water, food or medicine. The Rio Negro is indispensable for the Rio Amazonas, heart of one of the most important ecological sanctuaries on earth. The Brazilian Amazon provides 25 percent of the planet’s drinkable water and is considered the most important ecological reservoir that exists today. According to experts, this alarming decrease of water is related to the destruction of the Amazonian forest that continues to be destroyed year by year for economic interests. The measures taken by different administrations in the long run have been unable to stop this ecological bleeding. The candidate who will succeed the current Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Dilma Rousseff, has not committed herself to stop the deforestation of the rainforest 100 percent, a goal which has not been achieved by the environmentalists of the world. Her commitment has been, despite the electoral pressures, to defend the preservation of 80 percent of the Amazonian surface. (www.elpais.com)

PERU: PERU OPENS A CAMPAIGN FOR THE RETURN OF THE INCA ANTIQUITIES The government of Peru announced a worldwide media campaign to raise the awareness of public opinion regarding the antiquities belonging to Machu Picchu, illegally taken by Yale University in Connecticut, U.S. It has filed a complaint firmly demanding that the “rude” scientists return that which does not belong to them but instead belongs to the Peruvian people. From 1914 to 1915, more than 46,300 Inca items were looted by the North American Hiram Bingham, Yale professor, who took the items under the pretext of identification and research. A lawsuit filed in 2007 in Connecticut has not yet reached a resolution. Peru will demand through all of the United Nations’ courts that the university return the historical items. The goal for the Peruvian government is to recuperate all of the items before July 7, 2011, when they will celebrate the centennial of the discovery of the complex of buildings of Machu Picchu, from where the stolen items were taken. “A century is sufficient enough to study these archeological items,” suggested the Peruvian President, Alan Garcia. (actualidad.rt.com)

ARGENTINA: THE DEATH OF THE EX-PRESIDENT NESTOR KIRCHNER Nestor Kirchner, husband of President Cristina Fernandez and Argentina’s ex-president (2003-2007), 60 years old, died Wednesday, Oct. 27, of a heart attack. Kirchner had already suffered two urgent hospital admissions in February and September of 2010. According to Mariana Llanos, political scientist, “Nestor Kirchner had a relevant role as a political operative within his wife’s administration.” He was a kind of political confidant and many of the decisions made were directly attributable to the ex-president, said the expert on politics. The deceased politician, who led Argentina’s recuperation after the terrible crisis of 2001, was strongly supported by popular sectors within the population, human rights organizations and all kinds of civic movements. Kirchner was an Argentinean politician and lawyer, member of the Partido Justicialista, a party that continued the politics of the Partido Peronista (Peron’s Party), holding as a primary tenet, since its inception, the defense of workers, and maintaining close ties with the working class and the unions. Considered the most influential politician in Argentina, he had been elected in May of this year Secretary General of the United Nations of South America. At the regional level, the death of ex-President Kirchner with its possible consequences for the “New Left” of Latin America, has provoked a reaction of much solidarity with Cristina Fernandez from those countries considered friends of Argentina, said political scientist Llanos. (www.dw-world.de); (www.elpais.com); (sobrehistoria.com)

MEXICO: THE DRUG TRAFFICKERS SHOOT 13 MINORS IN A DETOXIFICATION CENTER OF DRUG ADDICTS IN TIJUANA There is not even time to bury the dead. When the gray coffins of the 14 boys killed Oct. 22 in Ciudad Juarez were still open, another group of hired assassins, also under the protection of the night and impunity, busted into the detoxification center of drug addicts in Tijuana, forcing 13 of those inside to stand against a wall and shot them with high powered guns. A few minutes later, the leaders of the killings interrupted the police frequency and with a background of narco ballads, announced their warning: “This is just beginning. There will be 135 more killings” — a killing for each ton of marijuana that authorities confiscated and burned just a few days before. Three years ago, to the day, on the northern border of Mexico, the same event occurred as the one on Oct. 22 in Juarez. The killings in Tijuana were but an exact repetition of many other multiple executions, identical in cruelty, all without an exact reason other than that of an all-out war that is supported by the main drug cartels amongst themselves and against the Mexican government. What is for sure is that three years and 28,000 deaths after the initiation of the war against organized crime, the drug cartels not only do not appear weaker but, on the contrary, appear stronger. (www.elpais.com)