Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ahora Mas Malos Aires

Three hundred grass fires are burning just outside the city limits of Buenos Aires. Over the past ten days a huge cloud of smoke has hung over the city further polluting the city's already dirty air.
These types of fires, lit to clear fields for grazing, are not unusual this time of year. However, timing and number of fires so close to the city cannot be coincidence. Farmers, who make up some of the richest Argentines, are locked in an ongoing dispute with the government over export tariffs. With the steep rise in commodity prices, the central government has been recently trying to raise revenues by increasing taxes on agricultural exports. The farmers haven't been having any of it and in March and early April, blocked roads and food deliveries to the capital.

The Foreign Correspondent had the luck of breathing fresh Andean air in Peru until last night. Right now, the skies look like a typical LA day, but the smoke is due to return tonight as firefighters continue to battle the blazes.

For some photos of the smoke, check out the "fotogaleria" link below the photo in this article.


Koland said...

With apologies for sounding like a typical American:

The farmers have instituted a blockade of the city? Wow. And the central government can't stop them? That's pretty silly -- I thought Argentina was less anarchic. But I guess if people are allowed set coordinated fires in an effort to smoke the capital city into submission, you can't expect too much.

BigDra said...

Well farmer's blocking roads is nothing new in other countries. It happens about every other day in France.
Plus our farmers have nothing to be upset about. Our subsidies keep them rich and happy.

Nemesis of Evil said...

Crazy. The ironic part is that something finally happens in a country where you're living, and you're on vacation.

I think I speak for all readers when I say we'd like to hear your thoughts on the recent
penis-related civil unrest in the Congo

Anonymous said...

as someone currently in LA, I'll take the air any day over where I just was (PA) and where I'll soon be headed (KY). anyone want to come visit Louisville?

BigDra said...

I guess as someone working on the Hillary campaign in less-than-desirable places in the US, LA pretty much seems like paradise...Make sure to get down here whenever she decides to finally give up, man!