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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 147,304

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The priest helping women get birth control at US border: 'Lesser of two evils'

For undocumented women making the perilous journey to the US, sexual violence is one among many threats. As a nun explains: ‘Women are a commodity’

Alice Whitwham
Friday 17 March 2017 06.00 EDT

“Unfortunately, the woman who is going to migrate, she knows that she will be violated,” Father Prisciliano Pereza told me. We were standing in a sun-beaten central plaza outside Our Lady of Guadalupe church, in Altar, a languid town in Sonora, Mexico.

Wearing a corduroy jacket, a cowboy hat and a broad smile, Father Prisciliano – or “Prisci”, as he is locally known – is uncharacteristic of Mexican Catholic priests. He adapts Catholic teaching to minister to migrating women during their perilous journeys across the Sonoran desert into the US. Especially shocking to some, he helps them to acquire preventive birth control, because of the risk of sexual assault.

“There are groups that are networks,” he told me, when I asked him who he thought was responsible for the sexual violence. “It’s not just one guide, there are several … From their place of origin until their destination, there are going to be five to eight people guiding the migrants. It makes women more vulnerable.”

He was referring to the guías – local people who are familiar with the routes in different towns and cities – who accompany women on their journeys north. They are organized by coyotes, businessmen who determine the cost of making these connections. The tensions Prisci navigates are political as well as spiritual; he serves the guías who grew up in his church, as well as the women who fear them.


How unaccompanied youth become exploited workers in the U.S.

FRIDAY, MAR 17, 2017 06:29 PM CDT
How unaccompanied youth become exploited workers in the U.S.
Undocumented immigrant youths face horrific work conditions to support their families

The Trump administration has released a series of executive orders targeting immigration at the U.S. southern border. Central American families and children traveling alone represent nearly half of all unauthorized migrants apprehended by Customs and Border Protection. The criminalization of immigrants at the U.S. southern border disproportionately affects Central American children and youth. The Conversation

Nearly 153,000 unaccompanied Mexican and Central American children have been apprehended at the U.S. southern border since 2014. Of those detained by Customs and Border Protection and processed by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, 60 percent have been reunited with a sponsor, typically a parent. The other 40 percent are placed with a nonparent sponsor.

With the guidance of a parent or guardian, these youths might obtain financial, legal, health and social support. Others who enter without detection and remain unaccompanied when they arrive in the U.S. are financially independent and may never gain access to formal resettlement services. Recent orders by the Trump administration that prioritize unaccompanied child migrants for deportation heighten the vulnerability of immigrant children in the U.S.

Since 2012, I have conducted in-depth observations and interviews with undocumented immigrant youth who arrived in Los Angeles, California as unaccompanied minors and have remained without a parent throughout their settlement in the U.S. I use pseudonyms for confidentiality as research participants are migrant youth living and working in the U.S. without authorization.


Southern Command in Costa Rica: US Occupation Disguised as Humanitarian Aid

Southern Command in Costa Rica: US Occupation Disguised as Humanitarian Aid
Saturday, March 18, 2017
By Santiago Navarro F. and Renata Bessi, Truthout | Report

A helicopter of the Southern Command in the Alto Telire, Talamanca, takes part in Operation
Pura Vida. (Photo Courtesy of The Ministry of Public Security of Costa Rica)

From the top of the great Talamaca mountain range in southern Costa Rica, you can see the Caribbean Sea and the houses of the Bribri and Cabécar Indigenous groups. According to their cosmology, their ancestors are in every tree, in every river and in every living being found in this reserve close to the border with Panama: The place is sacred. But to the Costa Rican government and the United States Southern Command, its value lies in its mineral deposits and oil.

Costa Rica hasn't had an official army for the last 68 years. However, in 2013, people in the Talamaca region were surprised by the arrival of a helicopter full of uniformed military personnel, whom they immediately identified as being part of the United States Southern Command. The military personnel were playing the role of missionaries, giving Bibles away. However, simultaneously, they were carrying out various military training activities in the area around Alto Cuen, a Bribri community.

"They said they were missionaries, but no one believed them," Bribri tribe member Leonardo Buitrago Morales told Truthout. "We knew they were looking for something more. The truth is that they want our lands and our forests to make money."

In addition to the locals, the organization Ceiba Amigos de la Tierra, which promotes sustainable societies through social, economic and environmental justice, also spoke out against the arrival of the eight military personnel, who carried sophisticated equipment including GPS, cameras, altitude and topography meters, firearms and other weapons. The non-governmental organization even filed a complaint with the Costa Rican government, but "the Public Ministry never followed up on it. On the contrary, the complaint was dismissed," says Henry Picado of the Costa Rican Biodiversity Network.


The 11-year-old Brazilian boy teaching his mother to read

By Renata Moura
BBC Brasil, Natal
4 March 2017

Damiao has taught his mother Sandra to read

It has only been a year since Sandra Maria de Andrade woke up to the wondrous world of reading.

One afternoon after work, the rubbish picker from north-eastern Brazil was lying exhausted in a hammock when her youngest son, Damiao Sandriano, invited her to take a look at a book.

"Mum, would you like to read with me?" he asked. "It's a story, and it has pictures."

At the time, the 42-year old was unable to write her own name.


Ecuador's presidential candidate accused of corruption

Ecuador's presidential candidate accused of corruption
Source: Xinhua 2017-03-17 06:38:02

QUITO, March 16 (Xinhua) -- Ecuadorian presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso has been accused of using his position as economy minister to enrich himself during the country's worst ever financial crisis, state news agency Andes said on Thursday.

Lasso, an ex-banker and candidate of the conservative opposition, "multiplied his wealth by 3,000 percent" from 1999 to 2000, when he served as economy minister to former President Jamil Mahuad, according to the agency.

"While millions of Ecuadorians lost their assets," Lasso turned his million-dollar fortune into 30 million dollars "thanks to speculating with Reprogrammed Certificates of Deposit (CDRs), a document that was given to depositors for the value of their savings, but that had to be exchanged at the end of a year," the agency explained.

Amid the panic of an unraveling economy, the banks, including Lasso's, then bought the CDRs at deep discounts, only to turn around and cash them for the full amount with the National Financial Corporation (CFN). The nation's publicly-owned bank also went broke.


Man exonerated for LA murder walks free after 32 years

Source: Associated Press

Robert Jablon, Associated Press Updated 5:06 pm, Thursday, March 16, 2017

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A man whose murder conviction was tossed by a California judge walked free Thursday after 32 years in prison.

Andrew Leander Wilson, 62, left Los Angeles County Men's Central Jail holding hands with a sister and daughter, and with a granddaughter at his side.

Wilson said he holds no bitterness.

"That's a waste of time, being bitter," he said.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/crime/article/Man-exonerated-for-LA-murder-walks-free-after-32-11007686.php

Nationwide Protests in Brazil Against Pension Reform

In São Paulo the protest was peaceful but in other cities such as Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia, protesters clashed with police.

By Lise Alves - March 16, 2017
By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Thousands once again took to the streets in Brazil to protest on Wednesday, this time against the government’s proposed pension reform. In some cities, public transportation came to a halt, leaving millions with no way to go to work.

While in São Paulo the protest was peaceful, in other cities such as Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia, protesters clashed with police.

After a tumultuous early morning rush hour, with no public transportation available, thousands gathered on Avenida Paulista in the early afternoon to protest labor and pension reforms proposed by the government. The protest in the largest city in the country was peaceful.

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva participated in the protest, speaking against the Social Security reform at the end of the rally. According to Lula the current administration wants to end the gains of the working class through labor and welfare reforms.


Dark Matter Was Minor Ingredient Of Galaxies In Early Universe

Dark Matter Was Minor Ingredient Of Galaxies In Early Universe
16 March 2017, 3:00 am EDT By Allan Adamson Tech Times

Dark matter is known to dominate galaxies today, but findings of a new study have suggested that it only played a minor role in galaxies of the early universe.

Dark Matter Today

Dark matter makes up about a quarter of the universe, which is far greater than ordinary matter that only makes up about 5 percent. The rest is composed of dark energy.

Although dark matter is invisible because it does not absorb, emit, or reflect light, it was discovered after scientists noticed that galaxies move as if they are influenced by gravity.

Dark matter interacts with normal matter through gravity. It is also responsible for the rotation speeds of spiral galaxies.Their presence can explain why outer parts of spiral galaxies rotate more quickly than would be expected if only the visible normal matter is present.

- See more at: http://www.techtimes.com/articles/201801/20170316/dark-matter-minor-ingredient-of-galaxies-in-early-universe.htm#sthash.jyTLHigJ.dpuf


Mar 15, 6:59 PM EDT


SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) -- A judge in El Salvador has reopened the case of the infamous El Mozote massacre during the country's civil war and summoned 20 military suspects to appear in court.

Plaintiffs' lawyer Wilfredo Medrano said Wednesday that the suspects have been ordered to appear March 29-30 to be informed of the case against them. They include a former defense minister and high-ranking generals.

More than 1,000 people were killed in December 1981 in and around the hamlet of El Mozote, in one of Latin America's bloodiest massacres. Hundreds more were displaced.

Soldiers entered the area looking for guerrillas but killed civilians instead.

Reopening the case became possible after El Salvador's Supreme Court overturned a 1993 amnesty for crimes and human rights abuses committed during the civil war.


(Short article, no more at link.)

~ ~ ~

‘On This Day’ 1981: U.S.-Trained Salvadoran Death Squad Massacres 900 Villagers at El Mozote


Reagan’s forces of freedom in action. (Photo: Alain Keler/Sygma/Corbis)

Crushing popular uprisings is no easy task. It requires an iron will and crack troops, coldblooded and callous, who aren’t afraid to get innocent blood on their hands. When the government of El Salvador, facing growing opposition to its oppressive rule, found itself in desperate need of such soldiers, it turned to its patrons in Washington.

What it got was the Atlcatl Battalion. Created in 1980 at the notorious US Army School of the Americas, also known as the School of Assassins and the School of Coups because it produced so many of both, and trained at Fort Bragg, North Carolina by US Special Forces, the elite men of the Atlcatl Battalion were a brutal bunch. They were fond of killing animals and painting their faces with the blood, which they also sometimes drank, and as a rite of passage they would gather up all the roadkill carcasses they could find– “dogs, vultures, anything,” and boil them into a soup that they all guzzled down.

Led by Lieutenant Colonel Domingo Monterrosa Barrios, a School of the Americas graduate and darling of the US military, the battalion was deployed back to El Salvador in 1981. It quickly gained a fearsome reputation for unmatched savagery. In late 1981 the Atlacatl Brigade launched “Operation Rescue,” ostensibly an anti-guerrilla mission. The reality, however, was that the Atlacatl Battalion usually killed anyone they came in contact with– men, women and children alike. Captain Walter Oswaldo Salazar, a company commander and School of the Americas graduate himself, summed up the prevailing mentality of Salvadoran officers when he gave permission for his soldiers to kill anyone they pleased since everyone in the northern part of the country was presumed to be a guerrilla.

On December 10, 1981 the Atlacatl Brigade arrived at the village of El Mozote. Supremely confident with their American training, their American helicopters and their American guns, the Atlacatl soldiers met no resistance as they entered the village. The entire hamlet was ordered out into the town square where the terrified peasants were forced to lie face down on the ground as soldiers beat, robbed and interrogated them. Then everyone was told to return to their homes and remain there or be shot. Happy to be alive, the people of El Mozote quickly obeyed.


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Having Helped Overthrow Aristide, Guy Philippe Knows Too Much and is a Danger to U.S., Lawyer

Having “Helped” Overthrow Aristide, Guy Philippe Knows “Too Much” and is a “Danger” to U.S., Lawyer Claims
Kim Ives - March 15, 2017

“What goes around, comes around,” says the proverb, and former Haitian “rebel” leader Guy Philippe must be pondering this karmic truth as he languishes in his Miami, FL jail cell.

In February 2004, he played a key role in helping U.S. Special Forces kidnap then President Jean-Bertrand Aristide from Haiti and whisk him off to a seven year exile in Africa. Today, Philippe claims, through his lawyer, that U.S. government agents illegally kidnapped him from Haiti on Jan. 5, 2017 and, with “shocking and outrageous” conduct, flew him to Florida to stand trial because he has “too much information” about Washington’s overthrow of Aristide.

In November 2005 (21 months after the coup against Aristide), a U.S. grand jury issued a three count indictment against Philippe for drug trafficking and money laundering between 1997 and 2001. After his arrest in Haiti and transport to Miami, Philippe pled not guilty to the charges through his Hollywood, FL-based lawyer, Zeljka Bozanic. On Feb. 28, 2017, she filed with U.S. District Court in Miami two motions to dismiss and one motion to abate (temporarily suspend) the case against Philippe.

One motion to dismiss argues that the U.S. took too long to arrest Philippe, 49, since the 2005 indictment. “There was and has been no activity whatsoever and no effort by the United States to bring Mr. Philippe to trial until the Defendant’s kidnapping on Jan. 5, 2017,” Bozanic argues.

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