The World-View 30/05/11
Honduran reintegration debate heats up, Air France flight ‘black box’ data published and Argentina celebrates victory for Messi (and Barcelona).
A meeting of Central American presidents was the highlight of a week of diplomatic encounters around the region. The summit in Managua, Nicaragua, saw the agreement of a regional plan to combat drug trafficking and organised crime, but was most significant for the attendance of Honduran President Porfirio Lobo.
According to the newspaper El Nuevo Diario, the purpose of the meeting was ‘to convince the President of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, to accept the reincorporation of Honduras into the Central American Integration System, so that the country can also return to the Organisation of American States (OAS)’.
As Pulsamerica’s Central American pages report this week, the return of exiled former President Manuel Zelaya to Honduras is expected to lead to the country’s readmission to the hemispheric body.
While Nicaragua has yet to recognise Lobo’s government, his meeting with Ortega was seen as a positive step in Honduras’s reintegration. However, from Indonesia this week, Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño expressed the view that the Central American country still has work to do to realise the conditions placed on its re‑entry, especially those regarding democracy and human rights.
Elsewhere, the Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo this week published the preliminary results of the analysis of data from the ‘black boxes’ recovered from the wreckage of the Air France plane that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on 31 May 2009.
Folha reported that the plane took little over three minutes to fall from its cruising altitude, hitting the sea at a speed of around 116 miles per hour. It added that the preliminary report ‘neither assigns blame nor exonerates the pilots, who may have been induced into error by a system failure’.
However, other outlets have interpreted the findings as heavily implicating the pilots in the disaster.
Air France flight 447 had left Rio de Janeiro and was bound for Paris when it crashed, killing everyone on board. The ‘black box’ flight recorders were only found at the beginning of this month, along with the first two bodies to have been recovered.
Following on from last week’s coverage of the protesters who have occupied city centres across Spain, a host of newspaper front pages in Argentina, Brazil and Ecuador on Saturday carried striking photographs of the efforts of the Barcelona police to remove the self‑styled ‘indignant’ from the city’s Plaza de Cataluña.
The circulation of photographs of the violent clashes between police and protesters via online social networks was interpreted by the Argentine newspaper La Nacion as a boon for the protest movement, ‘which had seemed condemned to an early extinction’.
A day later and attention had turned to matters of a more sporting nature, as many newspapers opted to splash with the news of Barcelona’s victory over Manchester United in Saturday’s European Champions League final at Wembley.
Interest in the match was particularly high in Argentina, birthplace of Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano, two of Barcelona’s starting eleven in the game, which the champions won by three goals to one.