Thursday, 26 March 2015

The dangerous border between Mexico and the United States

The USA – Mexico border is one of the most dangerous and porous borders in the world.

Each month, assisted by smugglers working with drug cartels, thousands of Hispanic immigrants try to cross the frontier between Mexico and the United States.

On the eve of the US mid-term elections, the influx of illegal immigrants has re-opened the debate on immigration. Many are caught and try again, once, twice, ten times if necessary, while those who make it through are often hunted down by federal agents once on American soil.

On both sides of the border, our reporters met with those who want to emigrate and those who try to catch them.

VIDEO: Mexico-USA-danger-ridden-border-immigration-illegal

Friday, 6 March 2015

Discouraging coca cultivation in Columbia

A waste of time and effort?

Helpful to achieve the objective

Harmful to achieve the objective








-War on drugs (destroy the plantations of coca plants)

-in 2000 – 1000 tonnes of cocaine annually

-in 2010 – less than 300 tonnes of cocaine annually

-in 2000 – 170000 hectares of coca bushes

-in 2010 – 75000 hectares of coca bushes


-Columbian government has no authority:

*left wing guerrillas (FARC)

*right wing paramilitary  groups

-environmental pollution (spraying & toxic materials).

-Farmers cannot make a living from legal agricultural activities, coca cultivation creates jobs and income for all the coca farmers in remote rural areas.

- +- 1.2 % of Columbia’s GDP is spent every year on the war on drugs (1 billion dollars).


-American support (also European support).

-US provides 1.3 billion dollars mainly in military aid, to help fight the drug barons.

-US provides military helicopters.

-US organised a training program for  3 special army battalions. The special army battalion try to clear the area of drug traffickers.


-the demand for cocaine in the US is extremely high. For example most Columbian heroin is destined for the US Market.

-the international crisis in the coffee world is tempting small coffee farmers to turn to growing the coca plant.

-Farmers in Columbia go bankrupt because they can’t compete with subsidised agricultural products imported from Europe and the US.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Surtsey, a new volcanic island

New islands are islands which have been created recently, whether by means of volcanism, erosion, glacial retreat, or other mechanisms. 

One of the most famous new volcanic islands is the small island of Surtsey, located in the Atlantic Ocean south of Iceland. It first emerged from the ocean surface only in 1963. 

In 1965, it was declared a nature reserve for the study of ecological succession; plants, insects, birds, seals, and other forms of life have since established themselves on the island.