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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 147,066

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One woman’s victory against a mining giant in Peru

One woman’s victory against a mining giant in Peru
Published on April 27, 2016 by Sian Cowman |
Web exclusive

Máxima Acuña has just won the Goldman Prize for her resistance against a gold mine – but why are women’s bodies on the frontlines of resistance to extractivism? asks Sian Cowman.

Máxima Acuña, a farmer from Peru’s northern highlands, recently won the 2016 Goldman Environmental Prize for her resistance against the mining consortium Yanacocha in Cajamarca, Peru.

At the prize acceptance ceremony in San Francisco on 18 April, in lieu of a speech Máxima sang her story: ‘Because I defend my lakes, they want to take my life.’

Goldman Environmental Prize

Yanacocha is the largest gold mine in Latin America and fourth largest in the world, operating since 1993. The mine is now owned by the US Newmont Mining Corporation, a Peruvian mining company, and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation.

Gold mining causes ‘toxic mine drainage’ – when you break up rock that’s been underground for a long time chemical reactions cause it to release toxic metals and acids. And at Yanacocha cyanide-laced water is used to separate the gold from the rock.

Locals have been complaining for years of contaminated water and the disappearance of fish in the rivers, lakes and streams. Reinhard Seifert, an environmental engineer who spent years investigating the effects of the Yanacocha mine on the area’s water quality found traces of lead, arsenic, cyanide and mercury in the drinking water, linked to the rising rates of gastrointestinal cancer amongst residents of Cajamarca.


The Future of US / Cuban Relations

April 26, 2016
The Future of US / Cuban Relations

by Jack Smith

Washington’s partial rapprochement with Havana, symbolized by President Barack Obama’s recent visit to Cuba, is more advantageous to the United States than the neighboring country it has ostracized, sanctioned and subverted for over five decades.

This is not to say that the small island nation of 11.3 million people has gained nothing from President Obama’s efforts to mitigate over 56 years of Yankee hostility, beginning overtly a year after the 1959 armed revolution that freed Cuba not only from a vicious dictatorship but 467 years of foreign domination — by Spain from 1492, replaced by the U.S. from 1899. It ended with the Cuban Revolution on New Year’s Day 1959.

Despite Obama’s significant visit to Havana March 21-23, his cordial dialogue with President Raul Castro, and the declaration that “I have come here to bury the last remnant of the Cold War in the Americas,” the principal contradiction between Washington and Havana has not changed substantially: The Cuban revolutionary government is committed to retain a socialist system, including a measure of private enterprise and foreign investment. The U.S. government is committed to eliminating socialism in the Western Hemisphere, though a modification in methodology now will seek to attain that goal with honey, not acid. It will take a more leftist White House and Congress to allow a truly equal and friendly relationship to develop — and that’s not on the present horizon.

President Castro alluded to U.S. intentions in his opening report to the 7th Communist Party congress April 16 when he noted: ” We are not naive nor do we ignore the aspirations of powerful external forces that are committed to what they call the ’empowerment’ of non-state forms of management, in order to create agents of change in the hope of putting an end to the Revolution and socialism in Cuba by other means.”


Washington Launches Its Attack Against BRICS

April 26, 2016
Washington Launches Its Attack Against BRICS

by Paul Craig Roberts

Having removed the reformist President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Washington is now disposing of the reformist President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff.

Washington used a federal judge to order Argentina to sacrifice its debt restructuring program in order to pay US vulture funds the full value of defaulted Argentine bonds that the vulture funds had bought for a few pennies on the dollar. These vultures were called “creditors” who had made “loans” regardless of the fact that they were not creditors and had made no loans. They were opportunists after easy money and were used by Washington to get rid of a reformist government.

President Kirchner resisted and, thus, she had to go. Washington concocted a story that Kirchner covered up an alleged Iranian bombing in Buenos Aires in 1994. This implausible fantasy, for which there is no evidence of Iranian involvement, was fed to one of Washington’s agents in the state prosecutor’s office, and a dubious event of 22 years ago was used to clear Kirchner out of the way of the American looting of Argentina.

In Brazil, Washington has used corruption insinuations to get President Rousseff impeached by the lower house. Evidence is not necessary, just allegations. It is no different from “Iranian nukes,” Saddam Hussein’s “weapons of mass destruction,” Assad’s “use of chemical weapons,” or in Rousseff’s case merely insinuations. The Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, notes that Rousseff “hasn’t been accused of anything.” The American-backed elites are simply using impeachment to remove a president who they cannot defeat electorally.


It would be good to check at the end of the article on the author, Paul Craig Roberts. He has credentials:

Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal.

Germany opens files on Nazi paedophile sect in Chile

Source: Reuters

Germany opens files on Nazi paedophile sect in Chile

April 26, 2016

Berlin (AFP) - Germany is declassifying its files on Colonia Dignidad, a sect in Chile run by a Nazi paedophile, Germany's foreign minister said Tuesday, admitting the diplomatic service's failure to stop the abuses.

Colonia Dignidad was a German commune founded in 1961 by convicted paedophile Paul Schaefer and a group of fellow German immigrants in a remote part of Chile, where residents were indoctrinated and kept as virtual slaves over three decades.

Schaefer also collaborated with the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, whose secret police used the colony -- which lies some 350 kilometres (215 miles) south of the capital Santiago -- as a place to torture opponents.

"The handling of Colonia Dignidad was not a glorious chapter of the history of the foreign ministry," said Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Read more: https://www.yahoo.com/news/germany-opens-files-nazi-paedophile-sect-chile-203629334.html?nhp=1

Colombia investigating contractors for starving children in embezzlement scheme

Colombia investigating contractors for starving children in embezzlement scheme

written by Stephen Gill April 26, 2016

Colombia’s authorities are targeting three contractors who are allegedly embezzled more than $10 million from vital school feeding programs on the Caribbean coast, local media reported.

The investigation was opened to investigate the actions of Leda Guerrero, Adiela Alvarez and Katia Rosado, who supposedly embezzled millions from $200 million ($600 billion pesos) feeding programs in 49 municipalities in three provinces.

As a consequence, at least half a dozen children in the region died of malnutrition while thousands are suffering food deficiencies.

Not bullies, but politicians are stealing Colombia’s school children’s lunch money

“For the first time we put the face to those who hide behind these companies that have historically taken over the business” and allegedly stole the children’s school lunches, said Education Minister Gina Parody.



Katia Rosado, Leda Guerrero and Adiela Álvarez [/center]

Washington’s Dog-Whistle Diplomacy Supports Attempted Coup in Brazil

April 25, 2016
Washington’s Dog-Whistle Diplomacy Supports Attempted Coup in Brazil

by Mark Weisbrot

The day after the impeachment vote in the lower house of Brazil’s congress, one of the leaders of the effort, Senator Aloysio Nunes, traveled to Washington, D.C. He had scheduled meetings with a number of U.S. officials, including Thomas Shannon at the State Department.

Shannon has a relatively low profile in the media, but he is the number three official in the U.S. State Department. Even more significantly in this case, he is the most influential person in the State Department on U.S. policy in Latin America. He will be the one recommending to Secretary of State John Kerry what the U.S. should do as the ongoing efforts to remove President Dilma Rousseff proceed.

Shannon’s willingness to meet with Nunes just days after the impeachment vote sends a powerful signal that Washington is on board with the opposition in this venture. How do we know this? Very simply, Shannon did not have to have this meeting. If he wanted to show that Washington was neutral in this fierce and deeply polarizing political conflict, he would not have a meeting with high-profile protagonists on either side, especially at this particular moment.

Shannon’s meeting with Nunes is an example of what could be called “dog-whistle diplomacy.” It barely shows up on the radar of the media reporting on the conflict, and therefore is unlikely to generate backlash. But all the major actors know exactly what it means. That is why Nunes’ party, the Social Democracy Party (PSDB), publicized the meeting.


The Return of the Coup in Latin America

April 26, 2016
The Return of the Coup in Latin America

by Manuel E. Yepe

Venezuela and Brazil are the scenes of a new form of coup d’état that would set the continent’s political calendar back to its worst times. Meanwhile, in Argentina, the brutal model for the demolition of democracy is set forward by the continental oligarchic right and the hegemonic forces of US imperialism who wish to impose their model in the region.

As we can see in the previews that test the memory of the peoples in the continent, it is difficult to accept that the new types of coups are actually softer and more covert than those which Latin America suffered for so long.
What has been shown so far in Argentina is no less cruel, in terms of contempt for the masses, than the coups carried out by the bloodthirsty dictatorships that sprouted in time of Operation Condor.

In Venezuela the president of the opposition majority in the National Assembly, Henry Ramos, openly declares that in view of the severity of the economic crisis, he fails to see Maduro concluding his term and adds they should put an end to Nicolas Maduro’s legitimate government within six months. Such statements did not compel the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, to formulate even the mildest rejection to such a coup-like declaration. This indicates they are returning to the era of open and brutal coups in the backyard of the United States of America.

Meanwhile, in Argentina, the newly-elected president, Mauricio Macri, moves forward the implementation of his “democratic model” with a brutal demolition of all the advances the nation had made after the collapse it suffered as a result of the neo-liberal economic and political crisis from which it had been rescued by the consecutive popular governments of Nestor Kirchner and Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.


Political violence targeting Colombia’s human rights workers on the rise: Report

Source: Colombia Reports

Political violence targeting Colombia’s human rights workers on the rise: Report

written by Thomas Graham April 25, 2016

Colombia has not been any safer in 35 years — unless you work with human rights, because threats and murders targeting rights workers increased in the South American country.

Not long ago, and with some fanfare, the Colombian government announced that 2015 was the least intense year in the armed conflict of 50 years and had registered the lowest number homicide rate in decades.

However, another form of violence has quietly risen instead: political violence against the unarmed, including political and social leaders and human rights activists.

. . .

This new generation of paramilitary groups, in some cases in conjunction with corrupt elements in the military, is according to the government itself, Colombia’s primary human rights violator.

Read more: http://colombiareports.com/death-threats-murders-human-rights-activists-rise/

Report after report confirms Colombia’s paramilitaries continued after AUC

Report after report confirms Colombia’s paramilitaries continued after AUC

written by Stephen Gill April 25, 2016

Colombia security is severely under threat at the hands of illegal paramilitary groups, according to a report published last week by conflict monitoring NGO Indepaz. The report revealed that in the first quarter of 2016, there were 14 paramilitary groups in operation in 146 of 1,100 municipalities in 22 of 32 provinces in Colombia.

The Indepaz report confirms an Inspector General report released last week, which also claimed that paramilitary groups are alive and well, in spite the government denying their existence.
These groups are said to be involved in a variety of activities that are destabilizing the security situation in the South American country.

These illegal activities include drug-trafficking, smuggling, illegal mining, extortion, targeted assassinations and corruption involving public representatives.

“It is worrying that despite being so close to a peace process with the FARC, the presence of these paramilitary structures have invaded Colombian territory with effective threats perpetrated against human rights defenders, land claimants and communities in general,” said the coordinator of the Research Unit of Indepaz, Leonardo Gonzalez.


Remembering Argentina’s Mothers of the Disappeared

April 25, 2016
Remembering Argentina’s Mothers of the Disappeared

by Rivera Sun

Campaign Nonviolence is a movement to build a culture of active nonviolence. We share the stories of nonviolent action, drawing lessons, strength, and strategy from the global grassroots movements for change. Throughout the year, we look at historic struggles. This week commemorates the 39th anniversary of the first protest of the Argentina’s Mothers of the Disappeared.

On April 30, 1977, Azucena Villaflor de De Vincenti and a dozen other mothers gathered in the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina’s capitol city to demand justice for their children, who had been “disappeared” by the military junta during the Dirty War period – a reign of terror that would last from 1976 to 1983, backed by the CIA.

A tense atmosphere of fear pervaded the years of the military regime in Argentina. Opposition was not tolerated; tens of thousands of people were simply “disappeared.” Only some of the bodies would be found. More than 250 children were taken from mothers in prison camps, or from those who were disappeared, and put up for adoption. The demonstrations of the Mothers of the Disappeared clearly took extreme courage. They started small in size, but within a year, hundreds of women were participating in the weekly demonstrations. They carried signs with photos of their sons and daughters. The regime tried to discredit them by calling the women, “las locas,” the madwomen.

On December 10, 1978, International Human Rights Day, the Mothers published an advertisement in the newspaper with the names of their missing children. That evening and soon thereafter, three of the Mothers themselves were disappeared.

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