Airfares level off leading to slowdown in global air traffic growth IATA

first_img Wednesday, December 7, 2016 << Previous PostNext Post >> GENEVA — Global passenger traffic was up 5.8% in October 2016 compared to the same month last year, according to the latest IATA results. Capacity increased 6.3% and load factor slid 0.4 percentage points to 80.1%.October’s performance was a slow-down on the 7.1% year-on-year growth rate recorded in September but still was in line with 10-year averages, noted IATA. Domestic and international travel growth largely was in balance.“Passenger demand growth in October was consistent with long-term trends but represented a deterioration compared to September,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. “While the negative traffic impact from terror attacks and political instability in parts of the world has receded, the long downward trend in yield – which helped to stimulate travel – has levelled off. Furthermore, the recent OPEC agreement to restrict oil production suggests fuel prices have ended their slide.”Airlines in all regions recorded growth. North American airline traffic climbed 2.4% in October compared to the year-ago period. This was the lowest among the regions, however on a seasonally-adjusted basis passenger volumes have still risen at an annualized rate of around 5% since March. Capacity rose 4.9% and load factor dropped 1.9 percentage points to 80.1%. Posted by Travelweek Group center_img Share Tags: IATA Airfares level off, leading to slow-down in global air traffic growth: IATAlast_img read more

Niagara Falls has turned black and smelly too

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Source: The Associated Press Niagara Falls has turned black (and smelly too) NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — The water near the base of Niagara Falls turned an alarming shade of black before tourists’ eyes following a foul-smelling discharge from a wastewater treatment plant.The water board for the city of Niagara Falls, New York, says Saturday’s discharge was part of routine maintenance of one of its basins.Video taken from a helicopter shows black-colored water along the Niagara River’s U.S. shoreline below the falls that border the country and Canada. The inky water enveloped the dock for the popular Maid of the Mist tour boats.Officials say the blackish water contained accumulated solids and carbon residue but no organic oils or solvents. They described the odour as “normal sewer water discharge smell.” The board says the discharge was within permitted limits.The black water dissipated by Sunday.center_img Share Tuesday, August 1, 2017 last_img read more

G Adventures becomes first travel company to sail Sri Lankas southern coast

first_imgTags: G Adventures, Sri Lanka Share G Adventures becomes first travel company to sail Sri Lanka’s southern coast Friday, September 29, 2017 Posted bycenter_img TORONTO — Demand for Sri Lanka is up, so much that G Adventures has seen triple the bookings in the past year to this fascinating destination. As such, the tour operator has launched a brand new program of small-group sailing tours along Sri Lanka’s southern coast, becoming the first travel company to do so.“We’re thrilled to be the first adventure company to explore Sri Lanka by sea. They say great things come in small packages and Sri Lanka is a fantastic destination with plenty to see, do and eat,” says Vince Donnelly, global sailing manager, G Adventures. “These sailing trips have a local chief experience officer (CEO), skipper and cook onboard, so travellers will also experience the local culture and flavours as they explore the sunning Sri Lankan coastline.”After seeing strong growth in sales of Sri Lanka tours this year, Donnelly notes that offering a sailing trip was the next natural step for the company.More news:  A new low for no-frills flying: easyJet assigns backless seat to passengerThe seven-day ‘Sri Lanka Sailing’ trip, which travels roundtrip from Mirissa, begins on Feb. 2, 2018. The trip can also be combined with a land-based itinerary in Sri Lanka – known as ‘the pearl of the Indian Ocean’ – to create a 14-day land and sea getaway called ‘Sri Lanka Land & Sea’.Highlights include a visit to Galle, a fort city on the southwest coast that was founded by the Portuguese, as well as a stop at Ussangoda National Park, the newest national park in Sri Lanka and home to wildlife and rare medicinal plants. Its red earth is said to be the result of an ancient asteroid that crashed into the land.‘Sailing Sri Lanka’ is priced from $1,999 per person, while the 14-day ‘Sri Lanka Land & Sea’ is priced from $3,399 per person.The launch of Sri Lanka sailing brings the number of sailing destinations offered by G Adventures to eight, with 19 different itineraries across the British Virgin Islands, Croatia, Cuba, Greece, Indonesia, Montenegro and Thailand. << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group last_img read more

Summer tourism hits 300 million mark for the first time ever UNWTO

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Summer tourism hits 300 million mark for the first time ever: UNWTO Posted by Tuesday, November 7, 2017 Sharecenter_img Tags: Trend Watch, UNTWO Travelweek Group MADRID — Demand for international tourism remained strong during the Northern Hemisphere summer peak season, with international tourist arrivals in July and August exceeding the 300 million mark for the first time ever, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer.Many destinations reported double-digit growth, in particular in the Mediterranean.Between January and August 2017, destinations worldwide welcomed 901 million international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors), 56 million more than in the same period of 2016, an increase of 7%.With upbeat prospects for the remaining months of the year, 2017 is set to be the eighth consecutive year of continued solid growth for international tourism, says the UNWTO.Results reflect the sustained growth in many destinations combined with the recovery of those suffering from security challenges in recent years.By UNWTO regions, growth was strongest in Africa (+9%) and Europe (+8%), followed by Asia and the Pacific (+6%), the Middle East (+5%) and the Americas (+3%).More news:  Visit Orlando unveils new travel trade tools & agent perks“Tourism is a major economic engine and employment generator, contributing to the improvement of livelihoods of millions of people around the world,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai in London, ahead of World Travel Market 2017 now underway.In Europe (+8%), international arrivals rebounded in both Southern and Mediterranean Europe (+12%) and Western Europe (+7%) following a weak 2016. Arrivals grew by 6% in Northern Europe and by 4% in Central and Eastern Europe between January and August 2017.Africa (+9%) recorded the fastest growth of all five regions, thanks to the strong rebound in North Africa (+15%) and the sound results of Sub-Saharan Africa (+5%).South Asia (+10%) led growth in Asia and the Pacific (+6%), followed by South-East Asia (+8%) and Oceania (+7%), while results in North-East Asia (+3%) were rather mixed.Most destinations in the Americas (+3%) continued to enjoy positive results, led by South America (+7%), followed by Central America and the Caribbean (both +4%). In North America (+2%), robust results in Mexico and Canada contrast with a decrease in the U.S.More news:  Rome enforces ban on sitting on Spanish StepsResults in the Middle East (5%) are mixed, with some destinations strongly rebounding from negative growth in previous years, while others reported declines through August.Inbound visitor growth across world destinations was fuelled by strong outbound demand from the majority of source markets.Among the top 10 markets, international tourism expenditure grew fastest in China (+19%), the Republic of Korea (+12%), the U.S. (+8%) and Canada (+7%).Expenditure from Germany, the UK, Australia, Italy and Hong Kong (China) grew between 3% and 5%, while France reported a modest 1% increase.Worth noting beyond the top 10 source markets is the significant recovery in demand from the Russian Federation (+27%) and Brazil (+35%) after a few years of declines in tourism expenditure abroad, says the UNWTO.last_img read more

ANZs newest nonstop route works with connections from YYZ YOW YUL

first_img Wednesday, March 28, 2018 Posted by Share Tags: Air New Zealand, Chicago, New Routes, New Zealand AUCKLAND — Air New Zealand’s push into the Canadian market continues with the carrier’s newly announced nonstop, year-round service from Chicago to Auckland.The new route is scheduled to take off Nov. 30, 2018 in partnership with United Airlines with nonstop, three times weekly service. Flight time will be approximately 15 hours northbound and just over 16 hours southbound.“We expect the addition of Chicago to our network to be an attractive option for Canadians keen to explore New Zealand and Kiwis wanting to visit Chicago or head on to other North American destinations,” says Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon.“This new route offers greater choice and flexibility for Canadian customers, especially those connecting through to New Zealand from key eastern markets such as Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal with just one stop.”Canadian demand for travel to New Zealand continues to rise with visitor arrivals up 11.4% for the year ending February, he added.More news:  Consolidation in the cruise industry as PONANT set to acquire Paul Gauguin CruisesThe new Auckland – Chicago route forms part of the airline’s alliance with United Airlines on flights between New Zealand and the mainland U.S. The alliance launched in 2016 and has opened up more travel options for New Zealand and U.S. travellers.The route will be serviced by Air New Zealand’s new configuration B787-9 Dreamliners with Business Premier (27 seats), Premium Economy (33 seats), Economy (215 seats) and Economy Skycouch (13 rows) seating options.Air New Zealand also flies nonstop to Auckland out of Vancouver. In 2017, marking the route’s 10th anniversary, Air New Zealand announced it was bumping up its Vancouver service by nearly 20% from January – July 2018, with more frequencies.The flights went daily beyond the peak months of December and January into the shoulder season of February, and increased to five services a week in March and April (up from four). From May to mid-June 2018 the carrier will offer four weekly flights out of Vancouver, up from three.center_img ANZ’s newest nonstop route works with connections from YYZ, YOW, YUL Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Globus offers guaranteed pricing central hotel for Oberammergau

first_imgGlobus offers guaranteed pricing & central hotel for Oberammergau Monday, April 2, 2018 Share << Previous PostNext Post >> TORONTO — Globus family of brands has announced that it will be guaranteeing pricing – in Canadian dollars – for all its Oberammergau Passion Play 2020 tours.The offer, available for booking by June 5 this year, is a “huge selling feature”, said Kim Clarke, director of sales, as guaranteed pricing for a tour taking place two years away is almost unheard of. “We urge agents to contact their Oberammergau prospects before the June 5 deadline with the great news.”Moreover, the company will be accommodating clients in the Hotel Boeld, located in the heart of the village and just steps away form Oberammergau’s main street. With the Passion Play being so popular (it takes places every 10 years), travellers are often forced to stay outside of the village. “The guarantee of a very central hotel is another great reason for clients to commit now,” added Clarke.Three Globus family companies – Globus and Cosmos with escorted tours, and Avalon Waterways’ river cruises – are offering Oberammergau packages. The Passion Play will run from May through October 2020.More news:  Windstar celebrates record-breaking bookings in JulyFor more go to Travelweek Group Tags: Globus Posted bylast_img read more

Sunwing readies for winter with Price Drop Guarantee 3x STAR points

first_imgTags: Discounts, Sunwing Thursday, May 24, 2018 Share Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img Travelweek Group Sunwing readies for winter with Price Drop Guarantee, 3x STAR points TORONTO – Sunwing is bringing back its popular Price Drop Guarantee to entice clients to book their winter vacations early.Those who book between May 22 and July 4, and travel between Nov. 1, 2018 and Oct. 31, 2019, will be guaranteed up to $400 back off their winter vacation should the price drop closer to their departure date. What’s more, their travel budgets will go even further with a reduced deposit of $100 per person and a travel voucher of $50 per person towards their next vacation.As for agents, they are eligible for 3x STAR Agent Reward points on each booking made between now and July 4.Resorts to consider for winter vacations include the upcoming Riu Palace Baja California in Los Cabos, Mexico, which includes four infinity pools, five specialty restaurants, 24-hour room service and more when it opens later this year.Also new for this winter is the family-oriented Grand Memories Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, featuring one of the largest on-site water parks in the Caribbean along with four pools, five restaurants and plenty of activities like windsurfing and snorkelling.More news:  Flights cancelled as British Airways hit by computer problemNot to be outdone is the Royalton Negril Resort and Spa in Jamaica, a top-rated luxury resort featuring five-star accommodations on the beach, a pool complex with a swim-up bar, world-class spa and daily kids club with extended hours.Early bird savings are also available on cruise packages with MSC Seaside, which boasts the multi-storey Forest Aquaventure Park, considered the most interactive water park at sea. Cruise packages include return flights to Fort Lauderdale, roundtrip transfers to PortMiami, complimentary 23kg checked luggage allowance and all meals onboard the ship.last_img read more

From cage to King of the jungle Lion World Travel helps rescue

first_img Travelweek Group Friday, August 10, 2018 Share TORONTO — We love a feel-good story, especially ones starring animals.A one-year-old lion cub has been rescued from a Paris apartment after French authorities discovered him living in a small cage. His owner, who was keeping the cub illegally, has been accused of abuse and neglect.Bravo @BornFreeFDN! King the rescued lion cub has gone from a cage in Paris to a sanctuary in South Africa, living his life as close to wild as possible! Well done! Read Kings’ story in the link below. #CharityTuesday— Kate on Conservation (@KateConsrvation) July 17, 2018Affectionately named ‘King’, the lion was taken to Natuurhulpcentrum wildlife rescue centre in Belgium, which specializes in the rehabilitation of sick and injured wild animals, before making the long journey to his ancestral home of South Africa on July 5.Lion World Travel, in partnership with the Born Free Foundation and Shamwari Game Reserve, sponsored King’s trip to South Africa, where he is now receiving lifetime care at the Big Cat Rescue Centre at Shamwari. The Born Free Foundation’s mission is to “keep wildlife in the wild” with a focus on taking in captive big cats living in poor conditions.More news:  Can you guess the one and only hotel company to rank on Indeed’s Top Workplaces in Canada list?The multi-national effort to rescue King comes on the heels of the TreadRight Foundation’s recent ‘Big Cat Fund’ announcement that will help to ensure the planet’s most at-risk wildlife populations are protected. The TreadRight Foundation is Lion World Travel’s not-for-profit partner in sustainability.King’s rescue has become a global rallying cry for conservationists. The African lion is considered one of the most endangered species on earth, with only 23,000 remaining. A total of 15 African countries has already declared it to be extinct. Coupled with reports of more lion hunting permits being issued under the current U.S. administration’s rollbacks on protections, King’s story is just one of millions about wild animals under threat.“At Lion World Travel, we are proud to support King’s journey,” said Cris David, President of Lion World Travel. “With his fantastic start to his new life in South Africa, we are happy that King will finally be able to live the life he deserves: free and in a home fit for a king.”More footage of King the lion cub who was found abused & starving in a #Paris apartment, released into @bornfreefoundation’s Big Cat Sanctuary @ShamwariSafari. He’s exploring his new forever home & was so brave! via: @ShamwariSafari @WorldAnimalNews— World Animal News (@WorldAnimalNews) July 7, 2018 From cage to ‘King’ of the jungle: Lion World Travel helps rescue lion cub in Pariscenter_img Posted by Tags: Lion World Travel << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Viva Wyndham V Samana to open 34 new bungalows in January

first_img MIAMI — A total of 34 new luxury bungalows are coming to Viva Wyndham V Samana in Samana, Dominican Republic in January 2019.The adults-only, all-inclusive resort by Viva Wyndham Resorts will unveil an exclusive area with the new bungalows that come complete with expansive rooms and At Your Service staff. Located just steps from the resort’s Coconut Whispers Spa, the bungalows also come with private plunge pools, well-appointed bathrooms with rain showers, upgraded and fully stocked minibars, 24-hour room service and free Wi-Fi.InteriorGuests of this exclusive area will also receive a complimentary foot massage at the spa. Plus, all-inclusive packages include breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, unlimited beverages and a welcome cocktail, daily and nightly entertainment, cooking and cocktail classes, waiter service at the beach and pool, and non-motorized water sports.Coconut Whispers SpaAlso on site at the resort are an infinity pool, Jacuzzi, beach snack bar, juice bar and lounge bar, and four restaurants.More news:  A new low for no-frills flying: easyJet assigns backless seat to passengerSpecial introductory rates for the new bungalow guestrooms are now available. For more information go to or Tuesday, November 13, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Travelweek Group center_img Posted by Viva Wyndham V Samana to open 34 new bungalows in January Tags: Dominican Republic, Viva, Wyndham Hotel Grouplast_img read more

Get ready for the firstever roller coaster at sea courtesy of Carnival

first_imgGet ready for the first-ever roller coaster at sea, courtesy of Carnival MIAMI — A roller coaster at sea? Sure, why not?Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras has plans to debut the first-ever roller coaster at sea in 2020, featuring nearly 800 feet of twists, turns and drops at speeds of approximately 40 miles per hour.Dubbed the BOLT, this new all-electric coaster will allow two riders to choose their preferred speed while strapped in a motorcycle-like vehicle suspended 187 feet above sea level. It will begin with an action-packed launch where riders can achieve race car-like levels of acceleration, and culminates with a high-powered hairpin turn around Carnival’s iconic funnel. Travelweek Group Share Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Riders’ speeds will be posted after the race, and just like land-based roller coasters, guests will have their photo taken during the ride for a memorable keepsake.“Mardi Gras will be our most innovative ship ever with some truly special features and attractions, highlighted by BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “BOLT will continue the tradition of Carnival providing exciting new ways for our guests to ‘Choose Fun.’  We are so thrilled to introduce this one-of-a-kind, game-changing, exhilarating attraction – our guests are going to love it!”More news:  Venice to ban cruise ships from city centre starting next monthMardi Gras will be based in Port Canaveral where a new state-of-the-art terminal is located. Itinerary information will be revealed early next month with additional details about the ship.A second XL-class ship will start construction in 2020 and be delivered in 2022 to mark the 50th anniversary of Carnival Cruise Line’s founding. Friday, December 14, 2018 Tags: Carnival Cruise Line Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Boeing 777 crash lands at San Francisco airport at least 2 dead

first_imgNo related posts. SAN FRANCISCO, California – An Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft crash landed at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday, U.S. aviation authorities said, with images showing the cabin of the plane almost completely burned out.An official said that at least two passengers are confirmed dead.Ten passengers are in critical condition, one of the city’s hospitals said.“SFGH treating 10 victims of Asiana Airline accident. 6 female, 4 male. 8 are adults and 2 children. Adults range 20-40yrs. All critical,” San Francisco General Hospital said on Twitter.One apparent survivor tweeted a picture of passengers fleeing the plane. Video footage showed the jet, Flight 214 from Seoul, South Korea, on its belly surrounded by firefighters.The airport has been closed until further notice, U.S. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsfor told AFP, after confirming the crash landing.California Highway Police also temporarily closed all roads near the facility – a major international hub, especially for flights to and from Asia.Local media reported there were about 290 people aboard, and multiple witnesses said the plane had approached the runway at an awkward angle, with some onlookers saying they heard a loud bang.One dramatic photo tweeted earlier by someone claiming to be a survivor showed people streaming out of the jet, which was missing its tail. An inflatable slide was at the front entrance and at least part of the aircraft’s landing gear was separated from the fuselage.“I just crash landed at SFO. Tail ripped off. Most everyone seems fine. I’m ok,” the survivor, David Eun, wrote.But another photo from above showed a more distressing scene, with almost the entire roof of the plane and the cabin seating area destroyed by fire. The aircraft’s wings were still attached and other emergency exits also appeared to have been used.Emergency crews were reporting passengers in need of burn treatment, according to Redwood City Fire Department.The accident site was covered in white foam used by firefighters, with at least six fire trucks at the scene. However, there was little indication of whether passengers had been killed in the incident or taken away by emergency staff.Asiana Airlines is based in Seoul. Its website says its Boeing 777 can carry between 246 to 300 passengers. The twin-engine aircraft is one of the world’s most popular long-distance planes, often used for flights of 12 hours or more, from one continent to another.Updated at 4:42 p.m. Costa Rica time. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Costa Ricas capital is ready for holiday celebrations

first_imgRelated posts:VIDEO: Fans weather rain to celebrate Festival de la Luz PHOTOS: Costa Rica’s National Horse Parade attracts thousands to nation’s capital Can’t-miss events for a truly Costa Rican Christmas Zapote Festivities, Traditional Tope, and other happenings around Costa Rica Christmas and year-end celebrations in Costa Rica involve activities all across the country, but some of the most popular events take place in San José.In the southeastern San José district of Zapote, the Zapote Festival runs from Dec. 25-Jan. 4 and includes carnival games and a variety of food ranging from Chinese fried rice to barbecue, and sweets like churros, cotton candy, candy apples and ice cream. On Dec. 31, a concert with a surprise international artist also is scheduled.“Daily events include family activities such as street theater performances, dance shows and concerts, all designed for the entire family,” festival spokesman Teo Dinarte said.The main event at Zapote is Costa Rica-style bullfighting, or “Toros a la Tica,” an event that occurs twice a day at 3-6 p.m. and 9-11 p.m.Tickets range from ₡5,000-25,000 ($9-47) depending on the hour, date and location. Special prices for children also are available.Tickets can be purchased at box offices at the bullfighting ring (Plaza de Toros) three hours before each show, as well as at Grupo Mutual bank branches, the Hard Rock Café or online at specialticket.Officials from the Health Ministry, the Red Cross and the National Police on Monday issued permits for the festival, and they will conduct daily inspections.On Dec. 26, the popular National Horse Parade, or Tope Nacional, will feature more than 1,000 horse riders starting at noon in Plaza Víquez, south of downtown San José. The course then moves down the capital’s Second Avenue and ends next to La Sabana Park, to the west.This year’s parade marshal is Claudia Romero, a member of Costa Rica’s National Equestrian Team who on Aug. 28 fell from her horse during a competition in France.The horse died in the accident, and Romero spent two weeks in serious condition at a French hospital.She continues her recovery, and the parade will be her first time back on a horse after her doctor granted her permission to participate.Happy holidays! Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Automotores Orletti Memories of the Argentine dictatorship

first_imgRelated posts:Sentencing in Chile begins to bring closure in 41-year-old murder cases of US citizens Frank Teruggi and Charles Horman Torture report revives CIA’s rogue image US prepares to ramp up transfers from Guantanamo Chile to try former secret police for diplomat’s death BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – The building looks almost as it did in 1976, although it has deteriorated. The first floor was a mechanic’s workshop, a cold and dark room measuring eight meters wide and 30 meters long, with cables and hooks affixed to the ceiling, a speaker attached to a metallic beam, and horrible fluorescent lights. On the right, old wooden stairs lead to the second floor. Entering the building one begins to shudder, but it’s nothing compared to what we would hear and see upstairs.The former Centro Clandestino de Detención, Tortura y Exterminio Automotores Orletti, located in the western section of the Argentine capital, was an old mechanic’s workshop at 3519-21 Venancio Flores Street, in front of the train tracks in Floresta, a tranquil residential neighborhood. In this nondescript place lie the memories of the Argentine military dictatorship and the atrocities committed against those who passed through here. The entrance to hell. Josué Arévalo/The Tico TimesThe victims recall being brought here blindfolded and then marched upstairs to be placed in a type of holding cell. Years later, they remember the details – and especially the sounds. Back then, they had no idea where they were, but they recall the sound of a loud metal roll-up gate leading into the workshop. They remember the sound of the train, which passed in front. They can still hear the voices and laughter of children who played on the patio of the Mauro Fernández school next door.When we arrived during a recent visit, the metal gate was lowered halfway down, and we were received by Alba Pereyra, an Argentine who works with other activists in this place, known as an “Espacio-memoria,” or memorial space.“This was a clandestine detention center and the base of Operation Cóndor,” said Pereyra, who estimates that some 300 Uruguayans, Chileans, Bolivians, Paraguayans, Cubans and Argentines were kidnapped and brought here. Most of them disappeared.Orletti has become infamous on the pages of text produced by human rights organizations, who note that this was Operation Cóndor’s headquarters. An estimated 300 Uruguayans, Chileans, Bolivians, Paraguayans, Cubans and Argentines were held at the Centro Clandestino de Detención, Tortura y Exterminio Automotores Orletti in western Buenos Aires, Argentina. Josué Arévalo/The Tico TimesThe center was used from May 12, 1976 to Nov. 3, 1976, the same year that Operation Cóndor was established. The plan centered on coordinating operations between the dictatorships in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Bolivia, along with the CIA. It continued into the 1980s, and relied on the surveillance, detention, torture, kidnapping, transfer between countries and disappearances of people considered “subversive,” or those who simply disagreed with the political and military dictatorships of the era. It is believed that more than 50,000 people were disappeared during this period in the Southern Cone region.During Argentina’s military dictatorship, which began on March 24, 1976 and lasted until 1983, Orletti formed part of a network of more than 500 clandestine torture, interrogation and extermination centers established in the country. Of those, 45 centers operated in Buenos Aires. Orletti was overseen by the First Army Corps and the Secretariat of State Intelligence, or SIDE, and was a base of operations for foreign intelligence operatives including Uruguay’s Órgano Coordinador de Operaciones Antisubversivas (OCOA) and Servicio de Inteligencia de Defensa (SID), and Chile’s National Intelligence Directorate (DIS). Human rights activists at Orletti discuss the difference between a museum and a “memorial space.” Josué Arévalo/The Tico TimesTestimonies of horrorOrletti’s second floor was once a family residence that was connected to the mechanic’s workshop. Today, visitors who climb the stairs will see paper peeling off the walls as they pass into a landing area, followed by a kitchen. Next are the rooms – gloomy and cold, with markings on the walls and bare light bulbs dangling from the ceiling. In an added feature, the walls were soundproofed to deaden the sound and facilitate the interrogations.Next are two larger rooms with higher ceilings and barred windows that offer no view of the outside world. These were the torture cells, and the screams of those in agony were heard by no one from the outside – the torturers’ constantly blaring radio helping with that task. A second-floor corridor leading to the interrogation rooms. Josué Arévalo/The Tico TimesRicardo Poggio, a human rights activist and employee at this Espacio-memoria, was our guide. He told us that the first person to talk publicly about Orletti was a right-leaning Uruguayan journalist named Enrique Rodríguez Larreta Piera, who came to Argentina to search for his disappeared son, Enrique Rodríguez Larreta Martínez. While he searched for his son, Enrique Rodríguez Larreta Piera also was targeted by intelligence services, kidnapped, and brought to Orletti. There he heard the voice of his captured son.In 1977, Enrique Rodríguez Larreta testified in a judicial hearing in London: “The next night, it was my turn to be driven and taken to the second floor, where I was tortured and interrogated just like the other men and women who had been there. They stripped me naked and hung me from my wrists with my arms behind my back. In that position I was hung 30 centimeters above the ground for 20 minutes. At the same time, they placed a type of loincloth on me that had electrical contacts. When connected, the victim receives a series of electrical shocks at several points simultaneously. This apparatus, which they called the “machine,” is connected while the questions are asked, and at the same time they deliver threats and insults, all the while striking blows to the most sensitive parts of the body. … I can’t say exactly how long I was tortured. I think that in my case it wasn’t more than a half hour. But in most cases, the torture lasted much longer, according to my calculations, about two or three hours.”Enrique Rodríguez Larreta was eventually transferred to Uruguay and released, as was his son.Poggio told us that in Orletti the torturers also stole the babies born in captivity to detained mothers. One of these was Macarena Gelman, the daughter-in-law of poet Juan Gelman. We saw the room where Gelman – seven months pregnant – was held and tortured, next to the kitchen on the second floor. The baby Macarena Gelman, named after her mother, was born in late 1976 and given to a former police officer in early 1977. She was finally reunited with her biological family in 2000, after a long and arduous search. In 2010, she provided testimony in a judicial case that seeks justice for the crimes perpetrated at Orletti. Guide Ricardo Poggio. Josué Arévalo/The Tico TimesThe torturers stopped using Orletti when on Nov. 3, 1976, Graciela Vidaillac and José Morales managed to escape. Naked, Vidaillac had been tied and hung from one of the metal beams in a room. Poggio told us the story. The captors had been eating and would check on her every 15 minutes. But they stopped coming, and Vidaillac could hear snoring. She managed to loosen her bonds and untie herself. She found her husband in another small room and untied him. This woke the captors, and Vidaillac grabbed a machine gun and tossed it to her husband. A shootout ensued, and Vidaillac was wounded. Nevertheless, she and her husband managed to run down the stairs and into the street. It was 6 a.m., and half a block away, they found several trucks parked in a depot. They managed to start one and speed away. Losing their captors, the couple drove to a small clinic to treat Vidaillac’s injuries, and later hid at a friend’s house.Morales returned to Orletti in an unsuccessful attempt to burn it to the ground before the couple fled into exile in Mexico. At one point after that, Morales briefly lived in Costa Rica before going to El Salvador, where he was killed in that country’s civil war. Vidaillac returned to Argentina in 1984.Historical memoryThe telling of stories like these help contribute to the construction in Argentina and elsewhere in Latin America of a historical memory that reminds us of the state-sponsored terrorism that fractured all of society.In 2003, the Comisión de Derechos Humanos de Uruguayos en Argentina began a legislative campaign to expropriate the property where Orletti is located. On March 23, 2009, the city of Buenos Aires took ownership of the property.Alba Pereyra has followed the process from the beginning. She worked in the central office of the Instituto Espacio para la Memoria (IEM), and later chose to work in the Espacio-memoria Orletti because several of her family members had been imprisoned or disappeared. Her father was one of Operation Cóndor’s many victims. She and her family lived for several years in exile in Uruguay and Spain. Orletti, once a torture chamber, now hosts discussions, debates and guided visits. Josué Arévalo/The Tico TimesIn 2009, the work of researching, preserving and managing information began for this site. But it wasn’t until June 2014 when the group began to work here, organizing guided tours, workshops, debates and film series.“The fact that they have expropriated these sites is the result of a struggle that has lasted more than 30 years,” Pereyra said. “It’s important that we are working in these places and talking about what happened here. We’ve accomplished many things since 2003. I think that society will try to maintain what we’ve accomplished, so that the grandchildren continue to be found, and the trials move forward.”Georgina Andino is another activist and guide at Orletti. Her father, Jorge Andino, 79, was captured and held at a similar site during the dictatorship. “It’s important that this place is open and that we invite people to come and see it,” she said.For Liliana Ferro, the cultural transformation that Argentina has experienced in the last decade is now irreversible. “We’ve won a cultural battle. Now human rights are taught in schools. The state-sponsored terrorism that took place is taught in schools. When I was in school, this did not happen,” she said.There is an ongoing discussion in Argentina about the difference between a museum and Espacio-memoria sites like Orletti. Also being debated is what type of things Espacios-memoria should offer visitors.For Pereyra, “a ‘memorial museum’ can be located anywhere and have elements brought from elsewhere. The important point is to recover the sites. Neighbors and human rights organizations are the ones who began to hold activities so that everyone would know where these places are located.”Poggio added that “a museum contains precise details of events that occurred over time. A ‘space,’ meanwhile, is a living place that is enriched over time with testimony, experiences and life lessons.”“There are constant reminders that this is a memorial site. The old staircase is one of the things mentioned in all of the testimony. The metallic gate, with its sound. These are confirmation of the space. The hook that is hanging is material proof that tells us what happened here,” Poggio said. “We are in a period of permanent denunciation, and when we say, ‘Never again,’ that means denouncing those who were responsible.” A father and son stop by Orletti. Josué Arévalo/The Tico TimesIn March 2011, a Buenos Aires tribunal handed down a sentence of 20 years to life to four torturers who operated at Automotores Orletti. Since March 2013, the same tribunal, on behalf of 106 victims, has convicted 25 people for crimes against humanity in the context of Operation Cóndor.Still, many Argentines and foreign visitors are unaware of these events, and the reminders invite guests to reflect on the past.When we first set foot in Orletti during a recent summer afternoon, a group of boys chatted in a small garden in front. “They killed people there,” said one.For many years, Orletti’s metal roll-down gate remained closed. Not anymore. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Photos Nicaraguans Costa Ricans celebrate Gold Cup 2019

first_img 170619_Gold_Cup_fans_3 Next Image info heading info content Costa Rica and Nicaragua met on the pitch Sunday night at part of Gold Cup 2019 action.While La Sele, the Group B favorites, matched expectations with an easy 4-0 victory, the game had additional intrigue due to the two countries’s international relations.Tens of thousands of Nicaraguans have fled the Daniel Ortega regime and sought asylum in neighboring Costa Rica. Many of them arrived at the National Stadium on Sunday to support their team.Here are photos from La Sabana by Tico Times photographer Jacob Spetzler. 170619_Gold_Cup_fans_4 170619_Gold_Cup_fans_6 170619_Gold_Cup_fans_1 Previous Image Facebook Comments 170619_Gold_Cup_fans_2 170619_Gold_Cup_fans_5 Related posts:Ready for Costa Rica ‘La Sele’ draws Nicaragua, Haiti and Bermuda in Gold Cup group Costa Rica announces provisional 40-man roster for Gold Cup No Navas as Costa Rica names roster for Peru friendlylast_img read more

Un says global food prices down again

first_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Sponsored Stories Top Stories Comments   Share   Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona ROME (AP) – A U.N. agency says world food prices have dropped in June for a third straight month to their lowest level in nearly two years but that dry weather in recent weeks could cause a spike.The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said in its monthly report Thursday that global prices of a basket of food commodities fell by 1.8 percent from May to their lowest level since September 2010.The agency also lowered its forecast for 2012 world cereal production but is still forecasting a record harvest up 2 percent from the previous high registered last year.center_img New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Quick workouts for men Parents, stop beating yourself up The Rome-based agency keeps a close watch on volatile global prices because rises in the prices of staple food have led to violence in some countries in recent years.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more

UK circus owner found guilty of elephant abuse

first_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement The 69-year-old Roberts told the court during a five-day trial that he would never have condoned the behavior of the groom, who is believed to have returned to his home in Romania.He was given a three-year conditional discharge Friday.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day LONDON (AP) – A British court has found a circus owner guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a performing elephant.A judge at Northampton Crown Court convicted Bobby Roberts after the court was shown secretly-filmed footage of a groom hitting 58-year-old elephant Anne with a pitchfork.The video, which was recorded by the group Animal Defenders International in 2011, showed the groom kicking and hitting the Asian elephant, which was seen chained by a foot and a hind leg in a barn. Comments   Share   Quick workouts for men Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenixcenter_img Top Stories Sponsored Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project 4 must play golf courses in Arizona 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finisheslast_img read more

Expremier elected new Czech president

first_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Associated PressPRAGUE (AP) – A former left-leaning prime minister staged a big return to power Saturday by winning the Czech Republic’s first directly elected presidential vote.With all the votes counted, Milos Zeman won 54.8 percent of the vote for the largely ceremonial post, the Czech Statistics Office reported. His opponent, conservative Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, had 45.2 percent.“Long live Zeman!” his supporters chanted at his campaign headquarters in Prague. Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy “I promise that as a president elected in a direct popular vote I will try to be the voice of all citizens,” Zeman said.Voters seemed to punish Schwarzenberg for the government’s unpopular austerity cuts that aimed to reduce the budget deficit.“It definitely didn’t help me,” Schwarzenberg said, adding he will continue to serve as foreign minister.Since Czechoslovakia split into Slovakia and the Czech Republic in 1993, the Czech Republic has had two presidents elected by Parliament: Vaclav Havel and Vaclav Klaus. But bickering during those votes led lawmakers to give that decision to the public.The 68-year-old Zeman will replace the euro-skeptic Klaus, whose second and final term ends March 7.Zeman is considered more favorable toward the 27-nation European Union, to which the country belongs. People in his inner circle also have close business ties with Russia so “he might become an advocate of closer relations with Russia,” said Josef Mlejnek, an analyst from Prague’s Charles University.Zeman is not opposed to pre-emptive strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities and opposes Kosovo’s independence.In the campaign, one of the top issues became the 1945 expulsion of 3 million ethnic Germans from then-Czechoslovakia in a move approved by the Allies. Schwarzenberg said Czechs should not be proud of this action, prompting attacks from both Zeman and Klaus. Comments   Share   Otherwise the president has little executive power and the country is run by the government chosen and led by the prime minister.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project “Nationalism took over the campaign,” said Mlejnek.A chain smoker who likes a good drink, Zeman made international headlines as prime minister with his outspoken comments. He once compared the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to Adolf Hitler, drawing condemnations from the EU and the Arab League, and called Austrians who opposed a Czech nuclear plant “idiots.”After the Sept. 11 attacks in the U.S., Zeman and his interior minister said they believed that hijacker Mohamed Atta met with a senior Iraqi intelligence official in Prague in April 2001. That purported meeting was cited as evidence of a possible al-Qaida connection to Iraq. The 9/11 commission later said such a meeting never happened.In 2002, Zeman outraged German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder by calling ethnic those Germans “Hitler’s fifth column.” In protest, Schroeder canceled his official trip to Prague.During his four years in office beginning in 1998, Zeman’s government privatized the ailing bank sector but was criticized for a lack of transparency in privatizing state-owned property and for often failing to run public tenders for state contracts.Under the Czech constitution, the president has the power to pick the prime minister after a general election and to appoint members of the Central Bank board. With the approval of Parliament’s upper house, the president also appoints Constitutional Court judges.center_img Top Stories 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technologylast_img read more

Capsizing death toll rises to 8 Haitians

first_img Sponsored Stories Top Stories Last week, a dozen Haitian migrants who took the risky sea journey looking for a better life were rescued by the Dominican navy.The rescued migrants told authorities the boat departed early Thursday for the U.S. island of Puerto Rico and overturned a few miles (kilometers) from shore. Smugglers had stolen the boat from a tourism business.(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) – The bodies of three more Haitians have been recovered by authorities in the Dominican Republic, raising the death toll to eight from a capsizing of a smuggler’s boat last week.Local civil defense chief Leoncio Calderon Castillo says searchers found the bodies of two Haitian men washed up on a beach Sunday. Another migrant’s body was found in nearby waters where the 25-foot (7-meter) boat capsized. Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milkcenter_img 0 Comments   Share   5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement New Valley school lets students pick career-path academieslast_img read more

Death toll jumps to 331 in Yangtze River capsizing

first_img JIANLI, China (AP) — The death toll in the Eastern Star capsizing rose to 331 on Saturday as disaster teams searched the now-upright ship bobbing on the water for more bodies, making it China’s deadliest boat disaster in nearly seven decades.Authorities have attributed the overturning of the cruise boat in the Yangtze River late Monday to sudden, severe winds, but also have placed the surviving captain and his first engineer under police custody. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies The Eastern Star disaster could become the country’s worst since the sinking of the SS Kiangya off Shanghai in 1948, which is believed to have killed anywhere from 2,750 to nearly 4,000 people.___Associated Press writers Louise Watt and Ian Mader and news assistant Henry Hou in Beijing contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, rescuers work on the top of the capsized Eastern Star after being righted by cranes on the Yangtze River in Jianli county of southern China’s Hubei province Friday, June 5, 2015. Top-deck cabins poked out of the water from the capsized river cruise ship on the river after disaster teams righted the vessel to quicken the search for the missing people. (Xiao Yijiu/Xinhua via AP) NO SALES Comments   Share   Passengers’ relatives have raised questions about whether the ship should have continued its cruise after the storm started in a section of Hubei province and despite a weather warning earlier in the evening.Heavy rains in the Yangtze area over four days beginning Monday have killed 15 people and left eight others missing, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said.State media outlets said hundreds more bodies from the Eastern Star were found overnight and Saturday, bringing the death toll to 331.The state broadcaster CCTV and the official Xinhua News Agency earlier Saturday morning put the death toll at 345, but they both later revised the number downward to 331. More than 100 remain unaccounted for.The boat had more than 450 people aboard, many of them elderly tourists, for a cruise from Nanjing to the southwestern city of Chongqing.Fourteen people survived, including three pulled out by divers from air pockets in the overturned hull on Tuesday.Disaster teams put chains around the hull and used cranes to roll the banged-up, white and blue boat upright and then gradually lift it out of the gray currents of the Yangtze on Friday.China’s deadliest maritime disaster in recent decades was the Dashun ferry, which caught fire and capsized off Shandong province in November 1999, killing about 280. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img Sponsored Stories Top Stories 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober The difference between men and women when it comes to painlast_img read more

Lebanese antigovernment protesters scuffle with army

first_imgLebanese army soldiers stand guard as supporters of Christian politician Michel Aoun chant slogans and hold flags of the Free Patriotic Movement, during a demonstration near the government headquarters in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, July 9, 2015. Lebanese supporters of Aoun later clashed with the troops who were blocking them from reaching the prime ministry where a cabinet session is underway. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein) Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Mesa family survives lightning strike to home BEIRUT (AP) — Dozens of Lebanese supporters of a Christian politician scuffled on Thursday with troops who blocked them from reaching the government building in downtown Beirut where a Cabinet session was underway.Leader of the Free Patriotic Movement Michel Aoun had called for the demonstrations following a dispute over security appointments in the government.Aoun, a former army commander, insists that the government should make the appointments a priority while government officials have said only regular items would be on the agenda. The meeting ended later with an agreement to postpone the discussion until July 23. Earlier, Lebanese soldiers beat back dozens of protesters with batons as they tried to break a security barrier, triggering hours-long skirmishes at the entrance to the posh Beirut souks in the downtown. The army said seven soldiers were being treated for various injuries while the FPM, Aoun’s party, said that around 17 protesters were hurt.Lebanon has been without a president since May 2014 and Aoun has accused Prime Minister Tammam Salam of taking advantage of the presidential vacuum and running the country as if he were president.Lebanon is the only country in the Arab world with a unique power-sharing system under which the president must be a Maronite Christian, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim and the parliament speaker a Shiite Muslim.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes 5 treatments for adult scoliosislast_img read more