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Argentina

The Takeaway

Prosecutor Drafted Arrest Warrant for Argentine President Before His Death

Friday, February 06, 2015

New evidence in Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman's mysterious death has turned up in the form of an arrest warrant he had drafted for President Kirchner. 

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The Takeaway

Accusations Fly in Wake of Argentine Prosecutor's Mysterious Death

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

An Argentine prosecutor was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot just days after he accused President Kirchner of shielding Iranian suspects in the nation's deadliest terror attack.

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WNYC News

Festival Brings Theater from Iran and Brazil

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Most plays in this year's edition of the Public Theater’s Under The Radar Festival come from abroad.

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WNYC News

A Dream by the Hudson River

Friday, September 26, 2014

Argentinian artist Fernando Rubio's "Everything by my side" is being performed for the first time in the U.S. — at Hudson River Park's Pier 45.

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PRI's The World

How an American scientist helps grandmothers in Argentina find their ‘stolen’ grandchildren

Thursday, August 07, 2014

For three decades, Mary-Claire King has led efforts to improve genetic technologies that can be used to identify the stolen children of Argentina’s Dirty War. Her partnership with The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo has yielded remarkable results.

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PRI's The World

A grandmother in Argentina finds her grandson after nearly 40 years

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Estela de Carlotto has been searching for her grandson for 36 years. He was stolen during the Dirty War in Argentina. Now, after nearly four decades she has found him.

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Money Talking

Expensive Prescriptions and Argentina's Default

Friday, August 01, 2014

Pharmaceutical companies are now developing drugs for so-called orphan diseases, which affect only a small sliver of the population. It sounds great, but there’s a potential problem: The cost. Plus, what Argentina's default means for the global economy.

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PRI's The World

The new Argentine debt crisis resurrects painful memories and fears of economic disaster

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Argentina defaulted for the second time in 13 years after last-ditch talks with US hedge funds collapsed. Many Argentines worry that unless a deal is reached, another default could crash the peso and lead to inflation and unemployment.

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The Takeaway

The Legacy of the 2014 World Cup

Monday, July 14, 2014

The 2014 World Cup was memorable in more ways than one. Now that it's all over, it's time to take a breath and take stock of the tournament. Here to discuss the 2014 World Cup and its legacy is George Vecsey, contributing sports columnist at our partner The New York Times.

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WNYC News

Seventy Years of Street Life in Latin America

Sunday, May 18, 2014

A new exhibit presents works by photographers from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela taken between 1944 and 2013.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Vino Argentino

Friday, November 29, 2013

Laura Catena talks about the wines and culture of Argentina. Vino Argentino: An Insider's Guide to the Wines and Wine Country of Argentina is part wine primer, part cultural exploration, and part introduction to the Argentine way of life.

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Soundcheck

Video Premiere: Tremor, 'Huella'

Friday, September 06, 2013

Watch the new video from the Argentine “digital folklorico” trio Tremor.

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Soundcheck

JP Jofre: 'Hard Tango' With Bandoneón

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Hear Argentinean bandoneón player JP Jofre and his band drop by the Soundcheck studio to play songs from his latest album, Hard Tango.

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Soundcheck

Fernando Otero on 'Romance'

Friday, March 08, 2013

Pianist and composer Fernando Otero was born in Argentina, and the sounds of tango and South American folk music echo throughout his works. The Latin Grammy winner has a new album out called Romance -- we hear some of it live. 

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Transportation Nation

To Drive or Not To Drive: Two South American Countries Consider Congestion Pricing

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

(photo by Alex E. Proimos via flickr)

(Drew Reed -- This Big City) Whether they own a Prius or a Hummer, a Porsche or a Pinto, or anything in between, car owners all over the world can agree on one thing: they don’t want to pay to use the roads they drive on. User fees like toll roads, congestion pricing, or others, are almost always met with scorn. Some of the best know examples of this have been in London and New York, where despite the transit friendly culture the measures have been met with controversy. Not surprisingly, similar proposals made in more car-oriented cities have gone down in flames.

The core rationale for user fees on roadways generally falls into two categories. The first is the idea that, since roads are expensive to build and maintain, the people who directly benefit should help to pay for them. While no form of direct payment for roads is ever going to be immensely popular, this idea is generally well received. People who feel their tolls are being used for something are likely to quietly accept them.

The second rationale for road user fees is that they should be used as a mechanism to promote driving patterns that utilize limited road space and car-related infrastructure in heavily urbanized areas more efficiently. This is often met with outrage. And despite the potential benefits of such measures, some of this outrage is understandable. When people have to pay for something, they like to know what it is they’re paying for. Congestion pricing struggles to convince people it needs to exist. For as much as everyone likes to complain about traffic, they have trouble accepting that they are part of the problem, instead embracing solutions that only apply to everyone else.

This equation changes slightly when applied outside of car-saturated first world countries. A recent congestion pricing project in Santiago, Chile, calls for pay centres placed to cover all vehicle entrances to the business district on the eastern side of the city, and charge a nominal fee to all vehicles entering the district that don’t belong to residents or workers (see this write up [es] for more information).

A similar thought process is being applied on the other side of the Andes, where the government of Buenos Aires, Argentina has proposed higher tolls on the City’s freeway system during rush hour. Although this has been proposed to help raise funds for the freeway system, Buenos Aires’s Chief of Government Mauricio Macri has stated explicitly that the program is also intended to reduce traffic during rush hour [es].

What was the reaction to these proposals? The Chilean proposal has yet to get beyond simply being a nifty set of photoshopped Google maps, and if it goes any further the reaction is likely to be along the lines of what transit specialist Louis de Grange predicts [es]:

Though congestion pricing may well be, in specific cases, a useful tool to manage traffic, to think that it is the solution for Santiago’s congestion problem is probably erroneous. In fact there are various cases in which it simply isn’t convenient to implement such a system, since the social benefits that it generates are less noticeable than the costs of implementing and managing it. Moreover, congestion pricing does not eliminate congestion; it only reduces it, hopefully to a socially optimal level.

In Argentina, plans for the new toll structure quickly turned into something of a political football (or perhaps, fútbol, since this is Argentina). The proposal was attacked by supporters of Marci’s chief political opponent, President Cristina Kirchner, who complained it was an unnecessary burden on middle class users of the freeway system, neglecting to consider how to encourage middle class users to use the transit system. Macri, quick to tout his business background, doubled down on the “government should act like a business” aspect of the plan. Lost in the debate was any attempt to find a solution that was anything more than a plank in either side’s political platform.

What is the main difference between the debate over congestion pricing in countries like England or the US versus countries like Chile or Argentina? Quite simply, congestion pricing in Chile or Argentina is shunned because people feel that they should be driving much more than they currently are. Driving is, of course, a symbol of progress, and anything that gets in the way of this keeps countries from clawing their way upward on the world stage and hurts politicians’ re-election chances. This doesn’t happen as much in England or the US since it would be difficult for people to drive any more than they already do. In these countries, congestion pricing measures are opposed because people see free access to highways as the norm, and any attempt to encourage use of other forms of transit or even a more strategic use of the same mode of transit is seen as a strike against the middle class or worse, an attempt to “make us act poor”.

The unfortunate part of this is that in South American countries, where the 1920s era dream of “a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage” was never acted on with the same immense government spending as in the more industrialized countries, there is a greater opportunity for sustainable urban reform since car-based infrastructure, political blocs, and social patterns aren’t as well established. Unfortunately, trends in these countries seem to be going in the opposite direction.

Time will tell if congestion pricing in some form will take hold in Latin American countries. Until then, they can take heart in the fact that they’ve been able to challenge the first world in an area where until now it’s always had a monopoly: complaining about tolls.

Drew Reed is an online media producer and community activist specializing in sustainable transportation. He lives in Buenos Aires.

This post originally appeared in This Big City.

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Albums of the Week

Mirian Conti Captures Nostalgic Side of Argentinean Piano Music

Monday, June 25, 2012

Argentinean pianist Mirian Conti highlights her homeland’s lesser-known composers from the past century on her new album, “Nostalgias Argentinas.”

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Winemakers and the Rebirth of Malbec

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ian Mount describes the nefarious scams, brilliant business innovations, and backroom politics that put Malbec on the map. For generations, Argentine wine was famously bad, but in 2001, a Cabernet Sauvignon/Malbec blend beat all contenders in a blind taste test featuring Napa and Bordeaux’s finest. The Vineyard at the End of the World tells the 400-year history of how Argentina became a wine mecca.

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The New Yorker: Out Loud

Francisco Goldman on the legacy of Argentina's Dirty War

Monday, March 12, 2012

Francisco Goldman on the legacy of Argentina's Dirty War.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Backstory: What OWS Can Learn From Argentina

Thursday, December 08, 2011

In the late 1990s, Argentina spiraled into a recession not unlike our own. That economic crisis also spawned the “piquetero movement,” where activists pioneered a system of strategic roadblocks as a form of protest. Nikolas Kozloff, author of Revolution! South America and the Rise of the New Left, discusses what the piqueteros did and didn’t accomplish and what lessons Occupy Wall Street can learn from the movement.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Vino Argentino

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Laura Catena talks about the wines and culture of Argentina. Vino Argentino: An Insider's Guide to the Wines and Wine Country of Argentina is part wine primer, part cultural exploration, and part introduction to the Argentine way of life.

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