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Judi Lynn

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Brazil renews protection of little-seen Amazon tribe for six months

September 17, 2021
2:25 PM CDT
Last Updated 7 hours ago

By Anthony Boadle

3 minute read

BRASILIA, Sept 17 (Reuters) - The only two known male members of the Piripkura tribe in Brazil live in isolation on ancestral lands the size of Luxembourg in the Amazon rainforest, resisting decades of invasion by loggers and cattle ranchers.

Brazil's indigenous affairs agency Funai renewed a protection order on Friday for the 242,500-hectare (599,230-acre) area in western Mato Grosso state. But the renewed protection will last just six months, unlike the three-year extensions granted for the territory since 2008.

The Piripkura's fate has become a test of indigenous rights under far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who has criticized reservations for giving too much land to too few people and blocking the expansion of mining and farming.

Indigenous rights advocates had pressed for a three-year extension as in previous renewals. Advocate group Survival International called it a "stay of execution" by the government to gauge reactions before ending the protection altogether.


The U.S. Stole Billions From Haiti. It's Time to Give It Back


SEPT 14, 20212:26 PM

Haiti is in desperate need after a devastating earthquake, a hurricane, a presidential assassination, and not eough vaccines to stop the delta variant. International aid is pouring in, which is all good, but not good enough.

It is time to ask about what Haiti is owed—not in terms of international benevolence or moral duty, but as a matter of basic legal rights and principles. Many think of Haiti as a debtor nation, but the fact is that former colonial powers might be the ones legally in debt to Haiti. And the basis for that debt is not just a generalized grievance about colonial domination, but something much more tangible: Haiti once had something of great value, and the United States took it. That something is a small, uninhabited, rocky island covered in a million tons of sun-baked bird poop.

The island of Navassa is about 30 miles off the coast of Haiti and is covered in centuries’ worth of accumulated bird droppings—guano. Sometimes referred to as “white gold,” guano is a potent fertilizer that in the mid-1800s was a scarce resource for which American farmers were desperate. Peru had large amounts of the stuff, but its near monopoly position and special deal with Britain meant that American farmers were priced out. In 1850, guano was $76 a pound—a quarter of the price of gold at the time. The situation was so dire that President Millard Fillmore devoted portions of his 1850 State of the Union address to the subject.

To solve the problem, the U.S. resorted to a kind of privatized colonialism. The Guano Islands Act of 1856 (which, incredibly, is still on the books) authorized American entrepreneurs to search the world and seize unclaimed islands anywhere that guano could be mined. The key implication was that the might of the U.S. Navy would back up Americans’ claims.


Mexican drug cartel threatens to kill TV reporter

Published 10 August


Bullet holes are seen after a battle between the CJNG and Los Viagras cartels in Aguililla

Men claiming to speak for Mexico's most powerful drug cartel have released a video threatening to murder a prominent female news anchor over what they deem to be unfair coverage.

The warning was made by a man who said it was on behalf of the leader of the Jalisco New Generation cartel (CJNG).

He complained that Milenio Television was favouring so-called self-defence groups organised to resist the CJNG.

In the video, journalist Azucena Uresti is threatened directly.

"I will make you eat your words even if they accuse me of femicide," the masked speaker, who is surrounded by six heavily armed men, warns.


Temer Telephones Bolsonaro to Explain Satire at Dinner

'Don't worry about it,' replied the president, saying he was used to sarcasm

Sep.15.2021 2:00PM

Mônica Bergamo

Former president Michel Temer called Jair Bolsonaro and explained the satire that radio commentator André Marinho made of him at a dinner at the home of businessman Naji Nahas, in São Paulo.

Temer told the president that Marinho also imitated him and that no one at the meeting was making fun of Bolsonaro.

Contrary to what some press reports showed, Nahas' guests laughed at several jokes made by Marinho.

According to an interlocutor with a direct connection to Bolsonaro, the president reassured Michel Temer. "Don't worry," he said. He claimed to be used to criticism and sarcasm.

At dinner, Marinho, who is a commentator for radio Jovem Pan, imitated Bolsonaro and pretended that he was talking to Temer about the meeting the president had had with him last week. The meeting resulted in Bolsonaro publishing a letter in which he retreated from the coup statements he had gave during the September 7th demonstrations.​


(Short article, no more at link.)

André Marinho, "comedian"

Is André Marinho clairvoyant?

Host of the party, Naji Nahas.


(Click photo for thread.)

New evidence supports idea that America's first civilization was made up of 'sophisticated' engineer

New evidence supports idea that America’s first civilization was made up of ‘sophisticated’ engineers

Washington University in St. Louis anthropologists believe the massive earthen structures at Poverty Point were built in a matter of months — possibly even weeks. (Photo: Shutterstock)
By Sara Savat September 1, 2021

The Native Americans who occupied the area known as Poverty Point in northern Louisiana more than 3,000 years ago long have been believed to be simple hunters and gatherers. But new Washington University in St. Louis archaeological findings paint a drastically different picture of America’s first civilization.

Far from the simplicity of life sometimes portrayed in anthropology books, these early Indigenous people were highly skilled engineers capable of building massive earthen structures in a matter of months — possibly even weeks — that withstood the test of time, the findings show.

“We as a research community — and population as a whole — have undervalued native people and their ability to do this work and to do it quickly in the ways they did,” said Tristram R. “T.R.” Kidder, lead author and the Edward S. and Tedi Macias Professor of Anthropology in Arts & Sciences.

“One of the most remarkable things is that these earthworks have held together for more than 3,000 years with no failure or major erosion. By comparison, modern bridges, highways and dams fail with amazing regularity because building things out of dirt is more complicated than you would think. They really were incredible engineers with very sophisticated technical knowledge.”

. . .

“Native Americans discovered sophisticated ways of mixing different types of materials to make them virtually indestructible, despite not being compacted. There’s some magic there that our modern engineers have not been able to figure out yet.”

Tristram Kidder


JBS plans to reopen Nebraska beef plant damaged in fire (Brazilian meat producer)

September 13, 2021
2:19 PM CDT
Last Updated 6 hours ago

By Tom Polansek

2 minute read

CHICAGO, Sept 13 (Reuters) - JBS USA on Monday halted production at a Nebraska beef plant that slaughters about 5% of U.S. cattle due to a fire, but said the company expects to resume operations on Tuesday.

The temporary closure highlighted concerns among U.S. lawmakers and ranchers that the United States is vulnerable to supply disruptions because a handful of meatpacking companies dominate the sector and rely on large plants to produce food. read more

The country has suffered a series of beef supply shocks over the past two years as large plants closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a cyberattack that crippled JBS's operations, and another fire that shut a Tyson Foods Inc (TSN.N) plant in Kansas for months. read more

The JBS fire in Grand Island, Nebraska, did not impact the plant's "primary production areas," spokesperson Nikki Richardson said. The company, a subsidiary of Brazilian firm JBS SA (JBSS3.SA), expects to resume operations on Tuesday pending an ongoing assessment of the situation, she said.


~ ~ ~

The Brazilian owners, Joseley and Wesley Batista, notorious sleazeball owners of a vast meat producing corporation, reaching across the globe, have been given money originally meant for needy Americans by Donald Trump:

Trump administration showers Brazilian crooks with $62M bailout money meant for struggling U.S. farmers
MAY 16, 2019 AT 4:20 AM

The Trump administration has forked over more than $62 million — taxpayer cash that was supposed to be earmarked for struggling American farmers — to a massive meatpacking company owned by a couple of corrupt Brazilian brothers.

The Department of Agriculture announced a contract in January to purchase $22.3 million worth of pork from plants operated by JBS USA, a Colorado-based subsidiary of Brazil’s JBS SA, which ranks as the largest meatpacker in the world.

The bailout raised eyebrows from industry insiders at the time, as it was sourced from a $12 billion program meant for American farmers harmed by President Trump’s escalating trade war with China and other countries.

But previously undisclosed purchase reports obtained by the Daily News this week reveal the administration has since issued at least two more bailouts to JBS, even as Trump’s own Justice Department began investigating the meatpacker, whose owners are Joesley and Wesley Batista — two wealthy brothers who have confessed to bribing hundreds of top officials in Brazil.

Both brothers have spent time in jail over the sweeping corruption scandal.

Local prosecutors rescinded the Batistas’ plea deals last year after accusing them of withholding evidence. The seedy brothers aren’t allowed to leave Brazil as their complex cases go to court.


~ ~ ~

Batista brothers

~ ~ ~

This foreign meat company got U.S. tax money. Now it wants to conquer America.

By Kimberly Kindy
November 7, 2019

This story has been updated.Two men in cowboy hats stood behind President Trump in May as he announced a $16 billion agricultural bailout. Trump said the financial relief from his trade war with China would help American farmers, reinforcing an earlier tweet when the president said the funds would help “great Patriot Farmers.” But not all beneficiaries of the taxpayer-funded program are American farmers or patriots. JBS, a Brazilian company that is the largest meat producer in the world, has received $78 million in government pork contracts funded with the bailout funds — more than any other U.S. pork producer.

JBS’s winning hand in securing a quarter of all of the pork bailout contracts is one example of the power a small number of multinational meat companies now hold in the United States. JBS has become a major player in the United States even as it faces price-fixing and other investigations from the federal government.

. . .

A dozen years ago, JBS did not own a single U.S. meat plant. Today, JBS and three other food companies control about 85 percent of beef production. JBS and Tyson Foods control about 40 percent of the poultry market. And JBS and three other companies control nearly 70 percent of the pork market.

. . .

Such consolidation has been condemned by eight Democratic presidential candidates, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) being the most outspoken. She’s pledged to break up the larger food and meat companies because the companies can use their “economic power to spend unlimited sums of money electing and manipulating politicians” and because they are “leaving family farmers with fewer choices, thinner margins and less independence.”

. . .

With a few large operators, meat contamination can pose a greater threat because their products end up on plates across the nation. Retail giants Costco, Walmart and Sysco all sell JBS products.

For example, in 2018, JBS ordered the largest recall of ground beef in U.S. history, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 12 million pounds of beef contaminated with a virulent strain of salmonella in 30 states sickened 403 people, of whom 117 were hospitalized. Less than 2 percent of the meat was recovered.


~ ~ ~

Salvador Allende Was Overthrown Because His Government Showed Chile Could Be Transformed



This weekend marks the 48th anniversary of the US-backed coup against Chilean socialist president Salvador Allende. That coup’s history is important, but we can’t forget that Allende’s government also achieved incredible things while in power.

Mía Dragnic

The first commemorative march for Chile’s Popular Unity government took place on September 11, 1989. Paying homage to the victims of the military dictatorship, it gathered more than five thousand people at Salvador Allende’s then-unmarked tomb in Viña del Mar.

It would also be the final year of Augusto Pinochet’s bloody dictatorship. Before stepping down, Pinochet ominously announced on national radio that even in his absence the “struggle against Marxism must go on.”

Every year since that date, a commemorative march is held in Santiago de Chile. However, in 2005, the route was reversed so that it would begin, rather than end, at the cemetery and head toward its final destination at the Moneda Palace. The message behind the route change was clear: there will always be a place for the Left to mourn its fallen heroes, but its ultimate destiny lies elsewhere.

The Chilean left also seems to be reversing course in recent years, most spectacularly by winning majority representation in the all-important Constitutional Convention, responsible for rewriting the nation’s magna carta.

Amid growing confidence on the Left, many people have also begun to look back with a different attitude on the history of Allende’s Popular Unity government (Unidad Popular, UP) — less as a solemn act of remembrance than an active search for useful political experiences.


'The Other 9/11': Progressives Remember Allende's Chile

"On this day in 1973, Salvador Allende's democratically elected socialist government was overthrown in a military coup led by the U.S.-backed fascist Augusto Pinochet."


September 11, 2021

As people reflect on the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, progressives drew attention to another horrifying event less well-known in the U.S. but referred to elsewhere as "the other 9/11": the bombing of Chile's presidential palace on September 11, 1973 by the nation's armed forces during a right-wing coup supported by Washington and other capitalist regimes.

Salvador Allende, Chile's democratically elected socialist president, died during the assault on La Moneda in Santiago, which brought to power Gen. Augusto Pinochet, whose brutal military junta imposed neoliberalism through deadly force, torture, and the "disappearance" of thousands of leftists. Despite its awareness of Pinochet's human rights abuses, including his execution of political opponents, the U.S. continued to support the pro-market dictator during his bloody, 17-year-long reign.

. . .

Journalist Alan Macleod pointed out that "Chile would be ruled by a gruesome fascist dictatorship for decades, the scars of which are still very fresh."

"But people in the West," MacLeod argued, "are largely insulated from the realities of empire thanks to a pliant media, which never shows you the effect of the bombs, sanctions, coups, etc."

Progressive International noted that "Allende was elected Chile's first socialist president in 1970 as the candidate of Popular Unity, a socialist-communist coalition. He quickly went to work reorganizing the society he inherited, characterized by poverty and confined by the greed of international corporations."


Also posted in Editorials and other articles:

The Water Defenders: How Ordinary People Saved a Country from Corporate Greed:

The Water Defenders: How Ordinary People

a Country from Corporate Greed: A Conversation with Co-authors Robin Broad and John Cavanagh
September 10, 2021 By Holly Sarkissian

The Water Defenders: How Ordinary People Saved a Country from Corporate Greed: A Conversation with Co-authors Robin Broad and John Cavanagh
by Friday Podcasts From ECSP and MHI

- Podcast at link -

“Many people have watched fights between communities and big corporations around the world. The corporations usually win so those are the Goliath. The Davids usually lose,” says John Cavanagh, co-author of The Water Defenders: How Ordinary People Saved a Country from Corporate Greed. In this week’s episode of Friday Podcasts, Cavanagh and co-author Robin Broad recount how local activists mobilized a global coalition of religious leaders, labor unions, and environmental activists to block an international corporation from opening a gold mine that threatened El Salvador’s fragile water supply.

“We had no choice but to begin the book with the horrifying realization that murder can be the cost of protecting the environment in many countries around the world,” said Broad. In 2009, three months before Cavanagh’s organization, Institute for Policy Studies, was preparing to present its prestigious annual Human Rights Award to a group of El Salvadoran water defenders, they received news that one of the awardees, teacher and cultural worker, Marcelo Rivera, had been assassinated, his tortured body left at the bottom of a deep dry well.

The Water Defenders tells the story of ordinary people coming together across national and political boundaries to resist powerful corporate interests.

In the early 2000s, mineral prices were on the rise and the Pacific Rim mining company sought to set up new mining operations to tap into El Salvador’s gold reserves, promising new jobs and one percent of their profits to the local government. While assurances of prosperity and profit by the mining company initially sounded inviting to Marcelo and the local community, “they visited a big mine in Honduras, and there they saw the horrible environmental damage that comes from the fact that gold is mined on a large scale, using cyanide to separate the gold from the rock [which is] highly toxic and very hard to contain,” says Cavanagh. In Honduras, cyanide-laced water flowed through the rivers, killing fish and causing skin diseases. The water defenders decided “that short term financial rewards for the few would be way offset by the environmental harms to the broader community,” says Cavanagh.

To expand their coalition of support and raise awareness of the dangers of mining, “they did some of the most creative education and organizing that we’ve ever seen,” says Cavanagh. Marcelo organized with humor, leading marches of laughter where people wore clown noses and involved local community radio stations who performed skits on water. The water defenders expanded their coalition to the global level, creating a network of “international allies” and appealing to the two million Salvadoran diaspora in the United States, and environmental groups like the Sierra Club and the Global International Trade Union Confederation, says Cavanagh.


So glad the Salvadoran people found a way to protect what should be considered sacred land. Best wishes to them forever.

~ ~ ~

Don't forget the heroic life of Berta Cáceres, indigenous water defender who was assassinated in Honduras for her effort to save a river from corporate murderous greed. Her Wikipedia:

Berta Isabel Cáceres Flores (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈbeɾta isaˈβel ˈkaseɾes ˈfloɾes]; 4 March 1971[1] – 2 March 2016)[2] (Lenca) was a Honduran environmental activist, indigenous leader,[3] and co-founder and coordinator of the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH).[4][5][6] She won the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2015, for "a grassroots campaign that successfully pressured the world’s largest dam builder to pull out of the Agua Zarca Dam" at the Río Gualcarque.[7][8]

She was assassinated in her home by armed intruders, after years of threats against her life.[9] A former soldier with the US-trained special forces units of the Honduran military asserted that Caceres' name was on their hitlist months before her assassination. As of February 2017, three of the eight arrested people were linked to the US-trained elite military troops: two had been trained at Fort Benning, Georgia, USA, the former School of the Americas (SOA), renamed WHINSEC, linked to thousands of murders and human rights violations in Latin America by its graduates. In November 2017, a team of international legal experts released a report finding "willful negligence by financial institutions." For example, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), the Netherlands Development Finance Institution (FMO) and the Finnfund pursued a strategy with shareholders, executives, managers, and employees of DESA, private security companies working for DESA, public officials and State security agencies "to control, neutralize and eliminate any opposition".

Twelve environmental activists were killed in Honduras in 2014, according to research by Global Witness, making it the most dangerous country in the world, relative to its size, for activists protecting forests and rivers.[10] Berta Cáceres' murder was followed by those of two more activists within the same month.

In July 2021, David Castillo, manager of DESA, was found guilty as the intellectual author of her murder.[11]


Bolsonaro Supporters Try to Invade Ministry of Health after Threatening TV Crew

Group forces entry through the ministry's glass doors and windows and chased press teams

Sep.9.2021 12:39PM

A group of supporters of Jair Bolsonaro tried to invade the headquarters of the Ministry of Health in Brasília, this Wednesday morning (8). The event took place the day after the pro-government and coup-supporting demonstrations promoted by the president on the September 7th holiday.

According to a member of the ministry who followed the riots, the protesters surrounded and attacked a man who criticized the movement and, as a result, attacked press teams. The journalists and the man sought shelter in the ministry building.

Images released by the Metrópoles portal show the group advancing on the ministry's door and windows. Workers hastily barred the entrance to prevent invasion.

The Ministry of Health, in a statement, confirmed the attempted invasion of the Ministry's headquarters. "The building's security quickly contained the situation. It should be clarified that there were no injuries."


(Short article, no more at link.)
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