Town Crier News: Zika is here, baby!
The Town Crier is a weekly summary of Nicaraguan news stories that can be found online. My contribution is NOT journalism, as can be discerned from the conversational tone and dry humor of my English paraphrasing of the articles in Spanish. This list is by no means comprehensive. In fact I just picked the most relevant, funny and ridiculous news stories of the week. For real news in English check out the nicaraguadispatch.com. For entertainment, stay right here.
Here’s what’s been going on in this crazy town for the last week:
Zika in Nicaragua, one-size-fits-all hats to change slogan
The latest fad in scary diseases has finally hit the streets of Nicaragua. Seven cases of Zika have been reported in the capital city. Nicaragua was the last bastion of health in a region of Zika outbreaks from South America to the United States, but now the mosquito-borne virus has taken root here. For those of you who haven’t heard, symptoms are mild fever, slightly achey joints, light rash and babies born with microcephaly. The Ministry of Health (MINSA) is going crazy fumigating houses and sprinkling abate in open water receptacles. If they come knocking at your door, go ahead and let them in.
Paramilitary groups continue terrorizing indigenous areas
Local indigenous leaders have filed more complaints that again will likely go ignored against paramilitary actions in the indigenous RAAN region, this time in Waspam. A group of armed men torched a high school in Rio Coco. In other incidents two indigenous were kidnapped and two women were sexually abused. “We live in terror, completely forgotten about by the government,” says Susana Cunningham, local leader in Waspam. “We want the world to realize that the indigenous here are persecuted, assassinated, excluded and displaced.”
What’s killing the monkeys in San Juan del Sur?
In the last three months 18 howler monkeys have been found dead in the tropical dry forest outside of San Juan del Sur. Authorities are at a loss to explain why, though theories such as Zika or other viruses, as well as lack of drinking water are being considered. In the video in the link you can see a howler monkey on the ground. Considering the fact that howlers spend their entire lives in the trees and never touch the ground, this one is obviously sick.
MINSA to use bacterial warfare against mosquitoes
The Nicaraguan Ministry of Health has announced the acquisition of a new weapon in the fight against mosquitoes. In addition to fumigating with diesel smoke and sprinkling sand, they will also be spraying a larvae-infecting bacteria that goes by the nickname Bacillus thuringiensis (skeeterus beateris). The bacteria infects all kinds of worm larvae but has a particularly good track record killing mosquitoes.
Dramatic footage from the panga disaster first responders
The rescue of last weekend’s disaster that killed 13 Costa Rican tourists after the panga ferry flipped between the Corn Islands was recorded on video by one of the crew from the first responder boat. You can hear in a heavy creole accent, “The baby, the baby”, referring to the first one to be rescued.
Get ready for Nica motorcycle rally
The third annual Moto-fest rally took place in Esteli and featured a ride from the Multicentro Esteli to Matagalpa. Harleys are few and far between in Nicaragua but motorcycles certainly are not.
Boy disappears all day, shows up later like nothing happened
A family in Boaco freaked out when they realized their 12-year-old son had gone missing in the early hours. They looked under the sofa, in between the cushions, behind the door, but he was nowhere to be found. Mom was crying, grandma was frantic as they retraced their steps to see where they might have lost him. That evening the boy showed up like, what’s up? and realized his family thought maybe la mona had carried him off. Turns out he was afraid his mamma was gonna smack him with the belt so he hightailed it out of there to calm things down.
Restaurant Im Bliss robbed
The restaurant Im Bliss, owned by German restauranteur Manuel Fredebrecht in Los Robles, Managua, was broken into in the wee hours and the robbers robbed off with a cash register. One of them injured himself while breaking the glass. Reports say that although there are multiple businesses with various guards in the area, nobody saw anything.
Tire pissed on, man pissed off, victim pisses pants
A drunk guy in Nandaime took a leak on another man’s tire and when the owner of said tire and the car it was attached to confronted the drunk, the man packed his pp pistol in his pants and pulled out a real gun to put a hole in the complainer’s chest. He fired off two shots, missed, and the drunk’s drinking buddy wrestled the gun away firing another three shots that went nowhere. The man is now in jail.
Lady steals garbage can, explains why with her potty mouth
This video went viral like Zika in the Nica news this week. It’s of a lady who ripped off a public garbage can in Managua:
When channel 8 went to find her and ask her why, she says that her neighbors keep dumping all their garbage in front of her house and her front porch isn’t a churreca. “Those people who sell chicken, they throw their bags here…There is a son-of-a-bitch who sells french fries who dumps the skins here…I don’t know what the big fucking deal is. If you look over there, all the other barrels are ass up. Others are burned. Why are they fucking with those who flip them over?”
Horse disappears into hole, gets pulled out
The owners of a horse that disappeared found what they were looking for when the peered into a 5-meter deep hole in the ground and saw their horse staring back at them in Ciudad Sandino. They were able to pull it out with help from neighbors.
Hey, foreigner, may I see your papers, please?
According to this news story, police will start randomly asking foreigners for their immigration documents to make sure they are in the country legally. And by law all tourists have to have their passports on them at all times in case of such revision by authorities. It’s for you safety, says the man.
Nicaragua among the most corrupt latin american countries, sigh.
According to Transparency International, little ol Nicaragua ranks right up there with the big dogs when it comes to corruption. Sandwiched between Iran and Ukraine on the corruption index, no other central american country ranks worse. I am sure anyone who has been stopped by the police here is not surprised.
Fake ID card scam nets thief 10 new motos
A scammer bought 10 new motorcycles with a fake ID card, a fake bank statement and his good looks and disappeared. Eight of the motorcycles have been recovered but there is a $17k debt still due.
Massive fishkill sparks anger in Chinandega
Fish have been dying mysteriously in Rio Acome in Chinandega. The Nica ministry of the environment (MARENA) is on the case and have already fined one guy C$35,000 for washing out chemical barrels in the river. Neighbors have complained of others washing out
drums of chemicals in the river as well. Testing of the fish is currently underway.
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