Bookmark and Share

February 4 & 7: from Kandahar - San Salvador - Karanovo, Bulgaria - Buenos Aires - Bogota

Canadian confidence in Kandahar. Commanders prepare to take the war to the Taliban. 

The reverse remittance trap. Salvadorans find themselves sending money to relatives in the U.S.

Someone is stealing chariots and antiquities right out of the Bulgarian soil, and there's not much anyone can do about it.

A suitcase full of cash. A suspect singing like a canary. Did a foreign government try to buy Argentina's election?

And why Dispatches' ambitions to report from the moon are no longer as sure as they once were.

Listen to Part 1

Download Flash Player to view this content.

Listen to Part 2

Download Flash Player to view this content.

Click here to listen to the individual Dispatches.

Afghan surge and push

Canadian forces are talking tough in Kandahar, anticipating a troop surge and a spring push against the Taliban in southern Afghanistan.

But in the meantime, they've got to keep their heads down.

After four years, they still can't prevent the Taliban lobbing rockets into the Canadian base with impunity. And apparently their aim is improving.

The CBC's Derek Stoffel is just finishing up his latest tour covering the Canadian war effort there.

Derek, from the base...

Download Flash Player to view this content.

Send us your pesos

The global recession is playing a cruel trick on people in El Salvador.

Time was they counted on receiving cash remittances from family members gone to work in the United States. Now, they find themselves being asked to send money to their unemployed relatives in places like California.

It's a big problem for a small country when a lot of its people live somewhere else. And one thing they never thought they'd face, as Canadian journalist Dominique Jarry-Shore discovers in El Salvador's capital.

Dominique's dispatch...

Download Flash Player to view this content.

To the moon, Rick!

Rick's flights of fancy are grounded, when he finds he has a better chance of becoming a Toronto Argonaut than an astronaut.

Rick's essay....

Download Flash Player to view this content.

Treasures beneath Bulgaria

In Bulgaria, you can buy parts for a chariot.

A real horsedrawn, just-like-the-Romans-drove, chariot. And it's making archaeologists crazy. In shallow graves in the Bulgarian soil lie artifacts from every wandering tribe and invading force that ever crossed the country.

And archaeologists are using them to fill the blanks of history. But they're in a chariot race with tomb raiders. And not only that.

The very people you'd think would protect Bulgaria's past, are also among those pillaging it. And it's all perfectly legal, as we hear from Dispatches contributor Saroja Coelho -- on the trail of the looters.

Saroja's documentary...

Download Flash Player to view this content.

The case of the stuffed suitcase 

Alejandro Antonini helped another passenger carry a suitcase through airport customs in Argentina.

Inside it, nearly $800,000 in U.S. greenbacks. Maybe he knew. Maybe he didn't.

But when Antonini came under pressure to say the luggage was his, he high-tailed it out of there -- triggering a tale of secret cash flights, and worse.

In his new book, The Secrets Of The Suitcase, journalist Hugo Alconada alleges the money was an effort by the president of one country to influence the election a president in another: Cristina Kirchner. She succeeded her husband as president of Argentina in 2007.

And the source of the cash? The secret of the suitcase? Alconada says the evidence points to Kirchner's neighbour -- Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.

Hugo Alconda from Buenos Aires...

Download Flash Player to view this content.

Hugo Alconada is a journalist with La Nacion in Argentina. 

Fandango farewell 

Latin America has lost a national treasure. The Queen of Fandango. Folksinger Etelvina Maldonado died in Cartagena a few days ago, age 75.

She wasn't that well-known abroad -- or at home for that matter. But her passing is front page news on Colombia's state website.

She sang at more house parties than recording studios. She liked boleros. And rancheros.  And tangos.

But she excelled at the music known as bullerengue, from Colombia's Caribbean coast.  And when Etelvina Maldonado sang it, she owned it.

Like this, at the Grand National Concert in Colombia in 2008.

Download Flash Player to view this content.


This program is the work of producers Dawna Dingwall, Alison Masemann and Steve McNally with technical producer Victor Johnston, senior producer Alan Guettel and Rick MacInnes-Rae.

  • Commenting has been disabled for this entry.