As reported in last weeks blog, “a week is a long time in Latin American politics!”
In a story that would have made a good film, irony and twists of fate created a midweek cliffhanger.
Corruption is a cancer, but many see it as the oil that wheels progress and without it, things would simply stop. Nowhere is that more apt than in the dirty world of politics…
“High-ranking politicians across Latin America are being charged and sentenced to jail for taking bribes from Odebrecht. In a 2016 plea deal with the U.S. Justice Department, the construction giant admitted to paying nearly $800 million to politicians, their campaigns and political parties in return for lucrative public works contracts that earned the company some $3.3 billion in profits.
In Ecuador, Vice President Jorge Glas has been sentenced to six years in jail for orchestrating an Odebrecht bribery scheme. Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is appealing his conviction on charges of corruption and money laundering related to the plot. In Peru, two former presidents stand accused of accepting money from Odebrecht. One is behind bars and the other in the U.S. seeking to avoid extradition”.
In the very public spotlight this week, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski Godard, A.K.A. simply as PPK, is a Peruvian economist, politician and public administrator who is the 66th and current President of Peru. He previously served as Prime Minister of Peru from 2005 to 2006.
He became embroiled in the whole Odebracht mess and the press and opposition wanted a public flogging/hanging, within a week!
I’ll approach this from a neutral view…
PPK is the president, but he faces a huge opposition (in congress) from Keiki Fuijimori (Fuerza Popular).
Out of 130 seats, PPK only has 18 seats compared to Keiko’s 71.
PPK won the election in a close-shave second round, narrowly defeating Keiko, who is the daughter of Alberto (president from 1990-2000, currently in the clink for 25 years for human rights abuses. An interesting character who divides the nation, it’s a l-o-n-g story which I won’t bore you with here). Keiko is the sister of Kenji Fujimori, also from Fuerza Popular. More of him later…
87 votes were needed to “impeach” the president. If impeached he would have been replaced by the Vice President, or the vice-vice president. If both of them resigned (within the term left, until 2021) general elections would be called and the (generally promising) economy would probably plummet underground and who-knows-what would happen next.
In a tense ten hour battle, it was Kenji Fujimori who was to be hailed as the saviour of PPK!
He and 9 other rebels abstained, which, along with PPK support from the left meant insufficient votes were gained for impeachment. (There may be deeper and darker motives from Kenji, but right now I can’t see him being invited to his sister’s for dinner this Christmas!)
All in all, despite the mess and fall-out, it was (possibly/probably) the best result for the country.
More details here.
Slightly overshadowed by the above, Paolo Guerrero, national captain and currently under the cloud of a drugs ban (testing positive for cocaine), won an appeal against FIFA this week, who reduced his ban from 12mths to just 6, which means he can now play in the 2018 World Cup.
Stay off the marching powder el Capitan
A story of Siddal and sinusitis!
In 1999 (or 1998) I was playing rugby for the British Library (BLSSC) team in the Civil Service cup.
We were drawn away to Halifax Post Office at Siddal (at Siddal’s ground against a team that seemed to be mainly Siddal players, a well known, no-nonsense side).
It was late in the season, July and I was uneasy about the game for two reasons:
a) Because they were a much, much better side than us and had been described as “junkyard dogs”and
b) As I was going on my jollies a week later and always got superstitious about getting crocked, due to being distracted by the prospect of a fortnight in Greece.
The game kicked off, I was second-row (I was bigger then) 40yds back on the left.
The ball came straight to me and (miraculously) I caught it and ran it in…
You see cartoons when birds fly around people’s heads, that was me, I didn’t really know where I was and was taken off. The opposition player said it was the ground (which was covered in about 6″ of grass, it wasn’t the ground), it was a swinging right arm that clobbered my nose and sent it west!
I came back on and we got hammered (defeated, not drunk, that was later). At one point I tried to tackle a runaway full-back, but my left-hand ring finger just went “ping” and bent back, the strangest sensation, no pain but left me with no movement, I played on.
It was to be my last ever game of rugby, in a short and unillustrious RL career…
(One week later, the Friday before my holidays on Monday, still with no movement in my finger, I went to the Quacks, who sent me straight to St. James’s A&E who operated on me immediately. I came round with a huge fibreglass scaffolding and a sliced open finger where they had pulled my ruptured tendon back from my palm. It was a quiet holiday!)
With loads of physio treatment, the hand healed but I was never able to breathe through my left nostril and barely through my right. My hooter (nose) is hardly small, and crooked too. I’d never given it much thought, until I started getting blinding headaches this week (to go with my 80-a-day cough and dodgy guts). So I went to the Quacks…
I’d had a MRI scan last year, but nobody had ever explained it to me. The doctor looked at it again and said that my septum (nose bone/cartilage) was in the wrong place and that 1.5 of my nasal canals were not joined! So, at night I breathe through my mouth and also my sinus cavities are jiggered too!
Great news before Christmas, as I was prescribed a prescription that would make Sick Boy blush and told to go back for stronger meds (which always screw up my guts) after further tests, with the bonus possibility of an operation for a new nose and no ale for 6 weeks :-/
(I am slightly worried that a nose-op may turn me into a zombie who is unable to grow a tash!)
After the results came back, I have decided to wait a while, I’ve managed for 18 years, so I am not ready for a new nose just yet.
It was an emotional week at work.
Our little diddy home of a centre is to be demolished and built into a supersized centre (to compete with the opposition next door).
It is a great shame, but such is progress, there is no room for sentiment!
We are moving up the road (whilst I am moving house down the road, so my commute could be even more heinous, but I have a plan).
Napoleon the chef cooked up a treat for us all. Pisco Sours and Sangria (which I haven’t touched since my 1992 Teneriefee incident) were flowing but there was an overwhelming feeling of sadness.
Onwards and upwards…
(With special thanks to LOURDES for the photos!)
Take a photo!
This has become the latest phrase from the Nipper!
It doesn’t matter where we are and it may be of random objects in the street…
Or, of her!
I don’t know where she gets it from???
There is a canny little phone app called “Strava” which is useful for recording/taking the guesswork out of running/swimming/pedalling. They kindly sent me a stats video to say that I ran:
on 140 days
243, 715ft climbing.
Averagely mediocre to be honest. Here’s hoping that 2018 will not be a repeat of the “Injury-illness-incident” cycle of 2017…
It was a cracking and at times surreal day out.
A lot of impro/ad-lib on my part on the unsuspecting public (anybody with any sense would run a mile!)