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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 147,066

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The Voice of Berta Cáceres

April 1, 2016
The Voice of Berta Cáceres

by Laura Carlsen

The news shocked the world, but it wasn‘t entirely unexpected. As an opposition leader up against giant companies and international financial institutions that sought to grab indigenous lands, as an organizer against a patriarchal system that dominates women by force, and as critic of imperialism’s arming of repressive forces in Honduras, Berta Caceres was a marked woman. And she knew it.

On March 3, hit men entered Berta’s house in La Esperanza, in Lenca indigenous territory. In the middle of the night they burst in and shot her and then her colleague, Mexican environmentalist, Gustavo Castro. The murderers committed this atrocious act knowing that to kill Berta—recognized worldwide for her defense of indigenous and women’s rights—would carry a high political price.

But their determination to silence Berta won out over political calculations, for two reasons. First, because the race to gain control of dwindling natural resources, removing all obstacles in the path, has reached a point where in lawless countries like Honduras social and human costs don’t matter any more.

And second, because Berta’s voice was not just any voice. It was, and continues to be even after her death, an extraordinarily powerful and articulate voice, a voice that united people in defense of land and rights, and that brought together thousands of likeminded people and organizations throughout the world.


This Mexican canyon is alive with the sound of music

This Mexican canyon is alive with the sound of music

PRI's The World
April 01, 2016 · 3:15 PM EDT

By Mónica Ortiz Uribe

[font size=1]

Romayne Wheeler's Steinway & Sons grand piano was transported from the city of Guadalajara and now sits inside his home on the edge of a cliff in the Sierra Tarahumara.

Jesus A. Rodriguez
The short route to Romayne Wheeler's cliffside home in Mexico's Copper Canyon is an hour-long ride in a five passenger charter plane from Chihuahua city. From the air it looks like a glass cocoon clinging to the edge of a canyon wall.

Wheeler is an American-born concert pianist whose career spans nearly half a century and has taken him to 52 countries worldwide. Since his student days in Vienna and Salzburg he's reached for his backpack and hiking boots in his spare time. His dream was to one day unite his love of the outdoors with his passion for music.

[font size=1]
Romayne Wheeler can see over seven mountain ranges through the windows of his home.

Jesus A. Rodriguez
That dream came true 20 years ago when Wheeler put his Steinway grand piano in a dump truck cushioned with four tons of potatoes and drove it 28 hours into Mexico's northern Sierra Madre.

Copper Canyon cuts six slits into the Earth, four of which are deeper than the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Its jagged cliffs and remote valleys are home to the Tarahumaras, an indigenous tribe made famous for long distance running. It's here where Wheeler has finally set down roots.


If you have the time, please take a quick look at this Google images page of this area. It would be impossible to pick one picture to add below this article, to illustrate how amazing Mr. Wheeler's and his friends' neighborhood actually is:


Here’s how one man hacked Latin American elections for nearly a decade

Here’s how one man hacked Latin American elections for nearly a decade

By Lulu Chang — April 1, 2016

In this day and age, everything lies at the mercy of technology. Even our democratic processes. In a proactively titled new piece in Bloomberg, “How to Hack an Election,” hacker extraordinaire Andrés Sepúlveda tells a story of how he allegedly rigged elections throughout Central and South America for nearly ten years. The computer whiz currently sits behind bars as part of a 10-year prison sentence, the result of his involvement in Colombia’s 2014 election hacking scandal. But according to this latest report, 2014 was just the tip of the iceberg. Indeed, in nearly 5,000 words, Bloomberg details the extent to which the Latin American political system has been shaped by one man, and several computers.

Branded most kindly as an “online campaign strategist,” Sepúlveda tells Bloomberg. “My job was to do actions of dirty war and psychological operations, black propaganda, rumors — the whole dark side of politics that nobody knows exists but everyone can see.” The 31-year-old started his nefarious career back in 2005, initially completing much smaller, less substantial tasks. He would deface campaign websites, break into opponents’ donor bases — you know, your more run-of-the-mill illegal online activity.

But as his expertise and reputation grew, so too did the size of his jobs. He began putting together entire teams who ran digital smearing, hacking, and other unsavory campaigns. And then, in 2012, operating under a $600,000 budget, Sepúlveda says that the zenith of his career came with the Enrique Peña Nieto election in Mexico. “He led a team of hackers that stole campaign strategies, manipulated social media to create false waves of enthusiasm and derision, and installed spyware in opposition offices, all to help Peña Nieto, a right-of-center candidate, eke out a victory,” Bloomberg reports.

On Thursday evening, Nieto’s office adamantly denied any involvement with the hacker, stating, “We reject any relationship between the 2012 presidential campaign team and Andrés Sepúlveda.” And of course, Sepúlveda says he’s destroyed all the evidence, drilling holes in flash drives, hard drives, cell phones, and anything else even remotely incriminating.


Supporters rally to save Brazil’s President Rousseff from impeachment

Supporters rally to save Brazil’s President Rousseff from impeachment

01/04 02:02 CET

| updated 018:28 mn ago

- video at link -

With a political crisis threatening to topple Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff, thousands of her supporters rallied to her side in Rio and 17 other cities, as the embattled leader fights to survive a push to have her impeached.

Efforts to oust her have been growing amid allegations of corruption and account fiddling, budget irregularities and illegal campaign financing but her supporters see it as an attempt at a coup.

One woman at the protest agrees for the need for an end to corruption but “not removing the government, that would be a step back.”

Another supporter at the demo said that an impeachment would lead to civil unrest, saying that there is no legal basis for it, “so if it happens is something forced, and a forced (impeachment) is a coup. More and more each day we are in favour of consolidating the democracy.”


The Stones in Havana: Who paid for that “free” concert?

The Stones in Havana: Who paid for that “free” concert?

Posted on March 28, 2016 by Sabina Becker

Coño, indeed.

Now that all the dust has settled after the Stones oh-so-historically played in Havana, it’s time to start asking some hard questions about their “free” concert. After all, Mick Jagger is a notorious greedyguts; he’s even been known to stiff the ladies of paid company when purchasing their services. It’s hard to imagine him doing anything out of the goodness of his little puny heart, which makes the Grinch’s pre-epiphany ticker look downright gargantuan. There’s about as much goodness in a dried-up dog turd. So, let’s follow the money with El Confidencial:

The “who”, “when” and “where” have been the centre of attention for weeks. The Rolling Stones would perform at the Ciudad Deportiva de La Habana on March 25 before an audience of an estimated half-million spectators. Those are the facts which the news agencies have been replicating politely since the news came out on February 29. Also the “how??: It will be a free open-air megaconcert. But this time the dimensions of this “how” go far beyond the set list (from “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” to “Brown Sugar” through “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll”, “Paint It Black”, “Sympathy for the Devil”…) and we really have to bring ourselves to ask the real “why” of the Cuban concert.

Regarding such an exceptional event, the question is not whether they played “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” or not. Yes, there was something missing. When it comes to the Rolling Stones’ visit to Cuba, the essential question is: Who paid for all this?

The Cuban government would not pay for such astronomical cachet as that of the Stones, even if it were in a position to do so, cost it what it might. Come on, Cuba isn’t like the Deutsche Bank, which is able to put up four million euros, as it did in 2007 so that the Jagger/Richards band would play for 600 of their most select clients in the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. The Rolling Stones don’t leave their homes if there isn’t lots and lots of money on the table. And the estimated cost of the Havana concert was about $7 million. So…


Something I missed last year, still important:

Leamsy Salazar: The DEA’s useful spy
Posted on February 10, 2015 by Sabina Becker

Hey! Remember the spook I blogged about the other day? Leamsy Salazar, the presidential security officer who “defected” from the Venezuelan armed forces and is now a star witness for the DEA? Well, it looks like that won’t be the last we hear about him. Far from it. It looks like he’s turned into a very useful stool pigeon, at least as far as fascist media are concerned. And that’s not all there is to side-eye about him. So let’s scratch a bit and see what flakes off him, shall we?

There are two ways of looking at the press operation of the Spanish Franco-fascist newspaper, ABC, on the DEA’s new star: Corvette captain Leamsy Salazar, ex-member of the first ring of security around Comandante Chávez. One, consider that everything ABC says is “information”; the other, try to separate the facts from the operations. That [latter] is what we’re trying to do here.

Of what ABC has said, only one element can we give as proven: Leamsy Salazar deserted the ranks of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces and will be in the United states, or at the disposal of that land. That is the only fact corroborated by diverse sources: the daily ABC, and on the other hand, the president of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, the target of the Franco-fascist periodical’s attacks.

Diosdado Cabello told [journalist] Pedro Carvajalino, on VTV, in a video broadcast on Tuesday, January 27:

“This comrade was with Comandante Chávez. When the Comandante died, I decided, fine, in honor of the Comandante, I’ll take him to work with me. But suddenly I started talking to him, and he started to lower his eyes from mine…this was in the month of June. Month of June. He started to lower his eyes from mine, he wouldn’t meet my eyes, the deception began. I spoke with the Minister of Defence, and asked her for a replacement, and told her: Send him to study so he can be retrained, because he doesn’t look right to me. He went off to study, and never attended the course. On the contrary, he deserted. He deserted with his wife in December, which was decisive…but he deserted the course long before the course he was supposed to take, which all military officers do.”

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