Tag Archives: Brazil

Mystery surrounds whereabouts of former Gitmo detainee in South America

Shocker, not.

Muzzie on the run...

Muzzie on the run…

From Fox News: A South American airline issued a memo to its employees Monday to be on the lookout for a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who was resettled in Uruguay after being freed by the U.S. and has since vanished.

Danilo Alves, a spokesman for Colombia-based Avianca Airlines in Sao Paulo, told The Associated Press that the alert was issued internally to employees, but declined to give any more details.

The alert about Syrian native Abu Wa’el Dhiab adds to a growing mystery about his whereabouts. The Uruguayan authorities have insisted for weeks that he’s visiting neighboring Brazil and that as a refugee he is entitled to leave Uruguay. However, Brazilian authorities have said there is no record of Dhiab entering the country.

The Argentine web news portal Infobae published the alert, which warns employees that Dhiab may be using a fake passport. The image of the alert posted by Infobae said the information came from Brazil’s anti-terrorism police.

She said Dhiab had told friends in Uruguay’s capital that he planned to keep to himself while spending the about-to-end Muslim holy month of Ramadan in the Uruguay-Brazil border region, where there is a Muslim community and mosques.

“He has a valid identity card, issued by the Uruguayan government, that allows him to go to other countries. He is not a fugitive from justice,” Herrera told the AP over the weekend.

Dhiab is one of six former Guantanamo detainees resettled in Uruguay in late 2014.

Former Uruguay President Jose Mujica invited them as a humanitarian gesture, but for several of the men, their time in the country has been loaded with problems. They initially complained the government wasn’t helping them enough and they also refused to get jobs, drawing criticism from Uruguayans.


Dhiab, who suffers several health problems related to hunger strikes he undertook while held at the U.S. military’s Guantanamo base on Cuba, has been particularly vocal about his unhappiness in Uruguay.

Several weeks ago, Uruguayan media began reporting that he had left the country. Government officials said he had traveled to Brazil and insisted he had a right to do so. They said he had not broken any law and was not being sought.

However, last week the U.S. Embassy in Uruguay said American authorities were “collaborating” with Brazilian and Uruguayan authorities to locate Dhiab. According to the Brazilian news outlet Plus55.com, he hasn’t been seen since June 6.

Dhiab had been held at Guantanamo Bay since 2002 for suspected ties to Al Qaeda. He spent 12 years at Guantanamo without being charged after his capture in Pakistan.

Guantanamo still holds 80 prisoners.


Rio de Janeiro First Responders Greet Tourists at Airport with “Welcome to Hell” Sign

Ain’t socialism grand?


From TotalProSports: The Rio Olympics get underway in a little over a month, and on Monday a group of firefighters and police officers were at the airport greeting tourists with a sign that says “WELCOME TO HELL” in big bold letters.

The sign wasn’t talking about the dreaded Zika virus, or the notoriously polluted water that is apparently teaming with what news outlets are calling “super bacteria.” It’s talking about the fact that the state of Rio de Janeiro recently declared a “state of calamity” because they are on the brink of a “total collapse in public security, health, education, transport, and environmental management.” Specifically, the Rio first responders were warning that, because firefighters and police aren’t getting paid, visitors will not be safe.

That wasn’t the only welcome sign, either. Take a look at the one somebody painted on an overpass outside the airport:


You want some context? Just recently 20 armed men stormed Rio’s largest hospital, leaving one person dead and two injured. So yeah, it’s pretty ‘hard to blame the people of Rio for protesting. Would you want to host the Olympics if your town didn’t even have police, firefighters, or hospitals?


Former Guantanamo prisoner vanishes in South America, prompting search

Obama’s response will no doubt be, “Fore!”


From Fox News: A former Guantanamo Bay prison living in Uruguay has vanished under mysterious circumstances, The Washington Post reports. Law enforcement is now searching for the former detainee, Jihad Ahmed Mustafa Dhiab, a Syrian national, the paper reported Friday, citing a U.S. official.

“We are coordinating with officials in Brazil and Uruguay to determine his whereabouts,” the official told the paper on background to discuss a sensitive incident.

Officials believe Dhiab, imprisoned at Guantanamo in 2002 for suspected ties to al Qaeda, may have entered Brazil illegally.

According to Uruguayan media, the country’s interior minister said Thursday Dhiab’s can make international trips, but Brazil hasn’t allowed him to enter the country previously, the Post reported.

Just this week the Senate passed a defense spending bill that bars shuttering the Guantanamo prison in Cuba. The debate over closing Guantanamo, which President Obama has pledged to do since taking office, could intensify if Dhiab’s disappearance is confirmed.

Another Uruguayan government official told the Associated Press that Dhiab traveled legally to Brazil, according to the Post. He hasn’t been seen since June 6, a Brazilian online news outlet, Plus55.com, reported Friday.

“If Brazilian authorities didn’t allow his legal entry, they can send Dhiab back to Uruguay, but that’s a problem for Brazil,” the news outlet quoted Uruguayan Interior Minister Eduardo Bonomi as saying.

Dhiab went to Uruguay with five other Guantanamo Bay prisoners in 2014 in a deal between the south American country and Uruguay and the U.S. to resettle detainees seen as posing little threat.

He spent 12 years at Guantanamo without being charged after his capture in Pakistan. Guantanamo still holds 80 prisoners.


Penguin swims 5,000 miles every year to visit Brazilian man who nursed it back to life

This will warm your heart!


Via Daily Mail: Retired bricklayer and part time fisherman Joao Pereira de Souza, 71, from an island village just outside Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, discovered a tiny penguin languishing on rocks in 2011. The helpless creature was starving and covered in oil but Mr. de Souza took him in and nursed him back to health, naming the South American Magellanic penguin Dindim.

It took him a week just to clean the sticky black residue from the bird’s feathers.  When Dindim was well again Mr. de Souza released him back into the sea, never expecting to see his new friend again.

He was astonished when, just a few months later, the penguin returned to the island where he recognized Mr. de Souza and returned home with him. Now, Dindim spends eight months of the year with Mr. de Souza and spends the rest of his time breeding off the coast of Argentina and Chile.


The flightless bird is believed to swim around 5,000 miles every time he returns to Mr. de Souza. ‘I love the penguin like it’s my own child and I believe the penguin loves me,’ Mr. Pereira de Souza told Globo TV.  ‘No one else is allowed to touch him. He pecks them if they do. He lays on my lap, lets me give him showers, allows me to feed him sardines and to pick him up.

Mr. de Souza said he fed Dindim a daily diet of fish to improve his strength then took him back to the sea to let him go. ‘He arrives in June and leaves to go home in February and every year he becomes more affectionate as he appears even happier to see me.’


Biologist Joao Paulo Krajewski, who interviewed Mr. de Souza for Globo TV, said: ‘I have never seen anything like this before. I think the penguin believes Joao is part of his family and probably a penguin as well. ‘When he sees him he wags his tail like a dog and honks with delight.’  Another expert said it appears as though Dindim recognizes Mr. de Souza as he would another penguin, and acts accordingly.

There’s a video at the Daily Mail article. Go see it here.


Turtle lives, after 30 years in a box

Turtles are famous for their longevity, many living for more than a hundred years.

One giant tortoise named Adwaita is said to have lived 255 years in the Calcutta Zoo. He finally died of liver failure in 2006.

How do turtles manage to be so long-lived?

This is fascinating: Researchers have recently discovered a turtle’s organs do not gradually break down or become less efficient over time, unlike most other animals. Instead, the liver, lungs, and kidneys of a centenarian (100-year-old) turtle are virtually indistinguishable from those of its younger counterparts.

But the survival skills of turtles may be even more astounding.

A turtle in Brazil managed to survive, after being trapped in a wooden box in a shed for THIRTY years.

Red-footed tortoise pictureA red-footed tortoise, like Manuela (photo by Fabio Maffei)

Richard Schiffman reports for the National Geographic, Feb. 1, 2013, that in 1982, a red-footed tortoise named Manuela mysteriously “disappeared” from the home of the Almeida family in a suburb of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The family assumed that their pet escaped from the house after construction workers had left the front door ajar.

Flash forward 30 years.

Recently, Leandro Almeida was cleaning out a storage shed and was about to throw away an old wooden box he’d found in the shed: “I put the box on the pavement for the rubbish men to collect, and a neighbor said, ‘You’re not throwing out the turtle as well are you?’ I looked and saw her. At that moment, I turned white, I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”

Inside the box was an old record player and Manuela, their long-lost tortoise, still alive after more than three decades.

Leandro’s sister, Lenita, who was given the tortoise as a childhood pet, said, “We’re all thrilled to have Manuela back. But no one can understand how she managed to survive for 30 years in there—it’s just unbelievable.”

Even the experts are stumped. Jeferson Peres, a Rio-based veterinarian, said that red-footed tortoises have been known to go without eating for two to three years in the wild—but 30 years is off the known charts. He speculated that Manuela had survived by eating termites and other small insects and licking condensation.

Turtles also have reserve fat pads that they can draw on when food is scarce, Anthony Pilny, a veterinary surgeon and specialist in birds and reptiles at the Center for Avian and Exotic Medicine in New York City, said by email.

Like snakes, turtles are able to go for long periods without eating. Wild turtles can also lower their body temperatures and other physiological processes and enter into temporary states of suspended animation from which they’re able to recover. But Pilny does not recommend that pet owners try this with their own turtles.

As for Manuela, Pilny has some advice for the family. “They should go very slowly—start by warming her up and rehydrating Manuela before feeding … Give her warm water soaks and offer a small meal after she seems stable. Then take her to a veterinarian who specializes in reptiles for a checkup and some bloodwork.”


They grow them on trees in Brazil !

Chayote is an edible plant belonging to the gourd family Cucurbitaceae, along with melons, cucumbers and squash.

Also known as pear squash, vegetable pear, christophene, cho-cho, chouchoute, choko, pipinola, merleton, and xuxu (in Brazil), chayote is originally native to Mexico or Central America where it grows abundantly and has little commercial value. The gourd has been introduced as a crop all over Latin America, and worldwide. The main growing regions are Brazil, Costa Rica and Veracruz, Mexico.

The gourd usually looks like this:


But in Brazil, one woman’s xuxu decided to grow like this. The poor woman looks so embarrassed. LOL


H/t FOTM’s Miss May.


The Face of Agenda 21

Do You Trust This Man?

His name is Sha Zukang.  He is the U.N. under-secretary-general heading the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, and is the secretary-general of the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio+20 At Rio.  This is what he wrote about the Rio+20 Conference taking place in Brazil later this month:

 I hope to see action on how to advance a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. Indeed, action on a range of issues are calling for attention: decent jobs, especially for the nearly 80 million young people entering the workforce every year, social protection schemes, social inclusion; energy access, efficiency and sustainability; food security and sustainable agriculture; sound water management; sustainable cities; protection and management of the oceans; and improved resilience and disaster preparedness.

Governments will also need to decide what institutional framework can best advance the sustainable development agenda, and provide space for civil society and the private sector to play their role.

Indeed, all sectors of society can and must engage on these issues. Business and industry can develop technologies that help transform the world for the better, generate green jobs, and positively influence society through corporate social responsibility.

FOTM has other posts on this “Fearless Leader.” See: