Geopolitics

Internet Mogul McAfee Arrested In Guatemala, Blogs From Jail

AMANDALA (Belize), PRENSA LIBRE, UNIVISION (Guatemala), BBC (UK)

Worldcrunch

GUATEMALA CITY- Computer software millionaire John McAfee was arrested in Guatemala late Wednesday, after fleeing his home last month in Belize following the murder of his neighbor.

The BBC reports that McAfee, who made his fortune developing anti-virus software, has been charged with entering Guatemala illegally, after admitting to authorities that he'd disguised himself in order to cross the border: dying his hair and beard, staining his teeth, and sticking bubble gum in his upper gums to fatten his face.

The multi-millionaire is wanted for questioning in Belize after the November 11 death of his neighbor, property developer Gregory Faull. Prensa Libre says that McAfee had been hiding and giving false clues to his whereabouts on his blog to evade the Belizean authorities, who want to interrogate him about the murder. He has not been charged with any crime in Belize.

Days before his death, complaints had been made by Faull about the security dogs protecting the software developer’s compound. According to Belize newspaper Amandala, police raided the compound and the dogs had been found dead and buried. Police are trying to determine whether the dogs' bullets match those that killed Faull. On his blog, McAfee says the dogs were poisoned during one of the 8 police raids on his property.

Univision reports that McAfee's lawyer, Telésforo Guerra, says that his client is not a fugitive and therefore should not be deported. Blogging from jail, on the warden's computer, McAfee seems in good spirits.

Having been in hiding for the last three weeks, McAfee fears returning to Belize as he feels he will not be fairly treated by the police or even worse, says Amandala, killed by them.

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Green

In Argentina, A Visit To World's Highest Solar Energy Park

With loans and solar panels from China, the massive solar park has been opened a year and is already powering the surrounding areas. Now the Chinese supplier is pushing for an expansion.

960,000 solar panels have been installed at the Cauchari park

Silvia Naishtat


CAUCHARI
— Driving across the border with Chile into the northwest Argentine department of Susques, you may spot what looks like a black mass in the distance. Arriving at a 4,000-meter altitude in the municipality of Cauchari, what comes into view instead is an assembly of 960,000 solar panels. It is the world's highest photovoltaic (PV) park, which is also the second biggest solar energy facility in Latin America, after Mexico's Aguascalientes plant.

Spread over 800 hectares in an arid landscape, the Cauchari park has been operating for a year, and has so far turned sunshine into 315 megawatts of electricity, enough to power the local provincial capital of Jujuy through the national grid.


It has also generated some $50 million for the province, which Governor Gerardo Morales has allocated to building 239 schools.

Abundant sunshine, low temperatures

The physicist Martín Albornoz says Cauchari, which means "link to the sun," is exposed to the best solar radiation anywhere. The area has 260 days of sunshine, with no smog and relatively low temperatures, which helps keep the panels in optimal conditions.

Its construction began with a loan of more than $331 million from China's Eximbank, which allowed the purchase of panels made in Shanghai. They arrived in Buenos Aires in 2,500 containers and were later trucked a considerable distance to the site in Cauchari . This was a titanic project that required 1,200 builders and 10-ton cranes, but will save some 780,000 tons of CO2 emissions a year.

It is now run by 60 technicians. Its panels, with a 25-year guarantee, follow the sun's path and are cleaned twice a year. The plant is expected to have a service life of 40 years. Its choice of location was based on power lines traced in the 1990s to export power to Chile, now fed by the park.

Chinese engineers working in an office at the Cauchari park

Xinhua/ZUMA

Chinese want to expand

The plant belongs to the public-sector firm Jemse (Jujuy Energía y Minería), created in 2011 by the province's then governor Eduardo Fellner. Jemse's president, Felipe Albornoz, says that once Chinese credits are repaid in 20 years, Cauchari will earn the province $600 million.

The Argentine Energy ministry must now decide on the park's proposed expansion. The Chinese would pay in $200 million, which will help install 400,000 additional panels and generate enough power for the entire province of Jujuy.

The park's CEO, Guillermo Hoerth, observes that state policies are key to turning Jujuy into a green province. "We must change the production model. The world is rapidly cutting fossil fuel emissions. This is a great opportunity," Hoerth says.

The province's energy chief, Mario Pizarro, says in turn that Susques and three other provincial districts are already self-sufficient with clean energy, and three other districts would soon follow.

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