James McTurk has become the first Canadian convicted of sex crimes against children in Cuba (see earlier post https://notesontheamericas.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/the-dark-side-of-tourism/). TheToronto Star reports that “Despite two previous convictions for child pornography — in 1995 and 1998 — and being placed on the sex offender’s registry, McTurk was free to travel. The court was told that he made 31 trips to the island, between 2009 and his arrest in July 2012.” The article includes a photograph of McTurk, 78, wearing a tartan beret and holding a picture of Che Guevara. http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2013/06/14/toronto_man_78_pleads_guilty_to_child_sex_crimes_in_cuba.html.
The Associated Press reports on the disturbing consequences to Cuba of rising sea levels, with scientists predicting that 122 towns and cities would either be serious damaged or else destroyed altogether. http://news.yahoo.com/cuba-girds-climate-change-reclaiming-coasts-182238464.html “In recent months, inspectors and demolition crews have begun fanning out across the island with plans to raze thousands of houses, restaurants, hotels and improvised docks in a race to restore much of the coast to something approaching its natural state.”
Foreign Affairs has a piece on the Matte family, a veritable Chilean dynasty whose family business, CMPC is the fourth largest cellulose provider in the world and whose high-achieving members can be found in think tanks, universities and the Chilean media. http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/139476/roland-benedikter-and-katja-siepmann/meet-the-mattes.
And the New York Review of Books blog has a poem by Roberto Bolaño, from a complete collection of the late Chilean writer’s poetry, The Unknown University, to be published by New Directions next month: http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2013/jun/08/robert-bolano-devotion/