Archive for November, 2011

A new government comming

Posted in Uncategorized on November 30, 2011 by Boris Ekner

The new government that got elected some weeks ago, under Otto Perez Molina, is making the best of the transition time waiting to get into office January 14th. All ministers are paying visits to the ones in office at the moment. The current president Colom is said not to have done that when he won four years ago. And if he would have, he wouldn’t have found much since the predecessor, Portillo, is said to have deleted a lot of the information in the computers. So when Colom got into power his government needed up to four months to ‘learn’ the job. But Perez Molina has already started working. I like that.

When the vice president-elect, Sra. Roxana Baldetti, visited the current one, Dr Rafael Espada, the picture in Prensa Libre from Espada’s office showed a video game. Looking at the game controls on the desk Espada likes playing some air plane game. During working hours??! What a busy guy… Remember; This is the guy that is the President of the Transparency Commission and who bought sexy lingerie and Viagra using the government credit card…

Baldetti has said that she won’t visit Espada again. Maybe she got more important things to do than sharing video games experiences or discuss the effect of Viagra…?

Now, todays last story about Espada is that he bought himself a brand new house in Antigua. But before moving in he wanted some minor things to be adjusted or changed. When the construction company asked where to send the invoice of 16’000 Quetzales (less than $2100) they where given the address to a school in another province/department! Well, if you want to stay wealthy make sure someone else pays your bills … Right?

According to a news paper article today the current president, Alvaro Colom, wont attend the ceremony installing the new president. Colom says the security isn’t good enough. So now that his presidential period is over he’s suddenly interested in the security issue? A topic that has been a major subject for all the rest of the country during at least eight years now… I wonder if guests like Prince Felipe of Spain, US Minister of Foreign Affairs Hillary Clinton and all the other dignitaries visiting the Presidential installation event share the same concern? I think not… But Colom has an issue about it – he who has been in charge for the last four years … Does he understand that he just gave grades for the job done? I think not.

The former first lady Sandra Torres, who divorced the president for political reasons in order to be a presidential candidate (she didn´t succeed) has a sister named Gloria. Gloria Torres was in a government office but suddenly resigned some months ago after what was told to be a fight/argument with the older sister Sandra. Gloria left the same day. Now the same Gloria as well as her daughter got arrested today by the police. Charges; Money laundering… One can add to the picture that people working at the airport have seen the Torres’ several times going to Panama with cash money stashed in suitcases. The money shows up on the X-ray screens that is mandatory procedure no matter who or how important you think you are.

Like I said before … This isn’t a boring country to live in. 😉

Ten days in civilazation

Posted in Uncategorized on November 21, 2011 by Boris Ekner

The family just spent ten days in Florida. It was my second time there. The first days I was yet again stunned by the beauty. So clean, so neat, so well-organized. Wide roads and streets, drivers showing respect each others. Walking across the street without fearing that any one would try to run us over. Road signs saying “Speeding fine doubled when road workers present”, “Littering fine $100 or more”. Good looking plantations, nice cut hedges, palm trees everywhere. No litter. The hotels had pools and beautiful gardens. No guards with shoot guns, no walls surrounding the houses and buildings, no barbed wire.

So close to Guatemala but yet so different.

We went up to Orlando and Kissimmee. Visited six theme parks. Bush Gardens, Sea World, Island of Adventure, Universal Studios, Disney, MGM. Harry Potter and Hogwarts was stunning. What a place they’ve created there. We had all the roller coaster rides we had time for. In Kissimmee I did The Sling Shot again. It’s still my favorite.

One day we had a tour with the air boats. Seeing the environment that still looks the same as it did 100 million years ago is pretty amazing. Saw crocodiles, birds, hawks, and white bald eagles.

We had a great trip and having that with the great family made it even better.

I’ll be back.

Corruption

Posted in Uncategorized on November 7, 2011 by Boris Ekner

In this country one uses corrugated tin roofs. Today I learned that the red presidential candidate had offered 10 plates and Q200 to everyone who voted for him.

During his presidential campaign this guy said that he would fight corruption. I wonder if he ever realized that his offer falls under the same epithet? Probably not…

A new president elect

Posted in Uncategorized on November 6, 2011 by Boris Ekner

Congratulations Guatemala. You just got a new president.
I hope this is a turning point for the country for the better.

I hope for a turning point giving you jobs and the ability to support your families, a turning point giving you the security you all want, a turning point fighting corruption and injustice, a turning point for a better future.

I wish you all the best of luck working for this future to become realized.

Election this Sunday

Posted in Uncategorized on November 5, 2011 by Boris Ekner

This Sunday it’s election day in Guatemala. The previous round was won by Otto Perez Molina (a former military general) and Manuel Baldizon (a social democratic populist).

Since the country is classified as a third world country with known violence I asked a friend if there’s any reason to worry. He answered that it’s not. Some days later I read in the news paper that 25’700 police officers as well as 17’000 soldiers been ordered out to make sure everything stays calm. Suddenly my question seemed legitimate. (From noon Saturday liqueur is prohibited from being sold, due to Sundays election. It’s obvious that some people in charge of the country wants to have a sober congregation. I hope thats a good thing…)

As it looks now in the polls Perez Molina is in the lead with more than 58% of the votes. That might be the second good thing of the day…

The current social democratic president Alvaro Colom was interviewed on Canal Antigua tonight. The questions asked all got vague answers. When he came into power four years ago he promised to fight crime with intelligence. But since the intelligence he possess isn’t much to salute he’s done nothing.

The lack of security is a very big issue here. Four years ago Guatemala had an average of 17 killing/day. The last official figure is from last year 2010 saying it’s 20/day. Since then it’s gone even worse. The last unofficial number is now 36. As I said, he didn’t possess much intelligence to fight crime…

Last year 27’000 cell phones were robbed at gun point. This number might decrease since a new law prohibits the cell phone companies to re-register a stolen cell phone. (Find and write your cell phone’s unique IMEI number by dialing *#06# on your phone. That’s the number to block if the phone gets lost. Back to Colom… )

Not much has turned into the better during his four years of government.

-The corruption is more severe than ever. The National Police is one of the most corrupt institutions in the country, but one can expect to find corrupt officials and civil servants in every level of the society.

-The crime rate isn’t reduced. Killings and robberies take place every day. And in the northern parts of the country, bordering Mexico, the narco trafficers rules without any interference of the government.

-The hospitals still can’t offer aid for the sick. Some days the hospitals don’t even have band aids, nor medicine.

-The educational system still can’t provide proper education. 75% of the population still can’t read. In Europe the number of illiterates are less than 2% – since toddlers are too young to read…!

-The justice system still can’t upheld the law, it barely upholds the constitution – and 98% of the killers or criminals never get caught by the police.

-The infrastructure, i.e. streets & roads, electricity grids, telecommunications, fresh water supply’s, garbage handling, are still extremely bad.

-The environment issue, that is such a big political issue in Europe, hasn’t even started here! Almost no-one in Guatemala knows what green-house gases or global warming is. They just don’t have a clue about it. So the pollution is hundreds of times higher than in any civilized country… (Al Gore! Please come and help us!)

During four years of government under Alvaro Colom and his wife Sandra Torres Guatemala has gone from bad to worse.

It’s pretty obvious that none in that government has much knowledge, if any, about national economy since they have spread money around through different aid-programs. First of all, international studies clearly confirms without any doubt what so ever, that handing out money isn’t helping the poor and hungry in the long run. Remember what Bob Geldof said; “If you have a hungry fisherman, don’t give him fish. Give him a fishing rod – so he can go fishing.” I don’t think the Colom/Torres government ever heard a word said by Geldof. They probably don’t even know who he is…

Second; Guatemala is a poor country and handing out money like it’s been done for the past four years is nothing but financial suicide for a poor parish like this. I’ve seen a lot of stupidity in my days, but I’ve never seen such political madness nor financial irresponsibility in my entire life.

It’s beyond any doubt that the legacy after Alvaro Colom and Sandra Torres is that Guatemala today, in every single term, in every corner of the country, is in a worse situation than ever before. Without any hesitance I’m convinced that under the leadership of Colom/Torres Guatemala has gone from poor to impoverished. I doubt that the President and his wife – or whatever she is nowadays – has the same financial status…

A country full of rumors

Posted in Uncategorized on November 2, 2011 by Boris Ekner

Next Sunday, i.e. November 6, it’s election day.
The latest rumor I heard was that the former 1st lady will be appointed vice president if the red candidate wins.

That’s a scary thought…

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