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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 135,822

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Evidence indicates Colombia military is bribing FARC rebels to abandon peace process


written by Adriaan Alsema April 4, 2017


Colombia’s military is bribing demobilizing FARC guerrillas to leave the peace process and sell their arms if audio recordings obtained by conflict monitoring website Verdad Abierta are real.

If proven true, this would be a major attempt to sabotage the country’s ongoing peace process, in particular the transitional justice system that seeks to clarify the scores of human rights violations committed by both the guerrillas and the state.

The renowned website published transcripts of multiple recordings in which alleged members of the National Army’s 21st Infantry Brigade were offering incentives to guerrillas to abandon the peace process.

Instead the alleged military member offered full impunity in return for taking part in a regular demobilization program that does not require participation in a transitional justice system, and a program in which former guerrillas help dismantle drug trafficking rackets.

More:
http://colombiareports.com/evidence-indicates-colombia-military-bribing-farc-rebels-abandon-peace-process/

21 Colombia soldiers sentenced for executing civilians to boost kill count

21 Colombia soldiers sentenced for executing civilians to boost kill count
written by Stephen Gill April 4, 2017


Twenty-one former members of Colombia’s National Army were convicted to lengthy prison sentences for their role in executing civilians.

The convicted military members offered non-existent job to five jobless boys and men from Soacha. After taking them far away from their hometown, the victims were executed and presented as guerrillas killed in combat.

Nevertheless, the scheme was discovered and started a criminal investigation that, according to the prosecution, involved the killing of more than 4,000 civilians during the administration of former President Alvaro Uribe.

The former president is currently being sued by the victims’ families for publicly implicating the victims were criminals.

More:
http://colombiareports.com/21-colombia-soldiers-sentenced-executing-civilians-boost-kill-count/

Former Colombia minister admits to bribing congress to allow Uribes 2006 election

‘Former Colombia minister admits to bribing congress to allow Uribe’s 2006 election’
written by Jamie Vaughan Johnson April 4, 2017


Colombia’s imprisoned former health minister has admitted to bribing members of congress to allow the 2006 reelection of former President Alvaro Uribe, local media reported Tuesday.

While applying to be included in a transitional justice system, Former Minister Diego Palacio reportedly admitted to the bribery of former House Representative Yidis Medina, who has also been sentenced for accepting the bribe and subsequently changing her mind on the vote.

The House of Representatives voted in June 2004 over a constitutional amendment that allowed Uribe to run for a second consecutive turn, something the constitution never allowed and was later reversed by current President Juan Manuel Santos.

The purpose of the bribe was to allow the 2006 reelection bid of Uribe who won the election in a landslide.

Paramilitary commanders later admitted to intimidating voters during the 2002 and 2006 elections, both were which were won by Uribe.

More:
http://colombiareports.com/former-colombia-minister-admits-bribing-congress-allow-uribes-2006-election/

Likely Leftist Victory in Ecuador Election Rejects "Oligarch's Candidate"

Published on Monday, April 03, 2017
byCommon Dreams


Julian Assange also expected to stay in Ecuadorian embassy in London after tense election ends with leftist candidate Lenín Moreno as president

by Nadia Prupis, staff writer


A nail-biting election in Ecuador appeared to end Sunday with leftist candidate Lenín Moreno winning the presidency over conservative Guillermo Lasso.

The National Electoral Council declared Moreno the winner by 51 percent, just minutes after another organization had said the race was a technical tie with both candidates being within 0.6 percentage points of each other.

Lasso demanded a recount as his supporters protested.

Moreno, leader of the ruling party, is seen as the political successor to outgoing President Rafael Correa. Moreno also previously served as Correa's vice president.

William K. Black, lawyer and academic, wrote an op-ed for Common Dreams last week that described Lasso as "a leader in aiding Ecuador's oligarchs to evade taxation through offshore tax havens" whose "platform is the standard right-wing recipe that caused Ecuador's recurrent economic, social, and political crises."

More:
http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/04/03/likely-leftist-victory-ecuador-election-rejects-oligarchs-candidate

Half Colombias municipality at elevated risk of avalanches

Half Colombia’s municipality at elevated risk of avalanches
written by Adriaan Alsema April 3, 2017





More than 180 of Colombia’s approximately 1,000 municipalities are either on orange or red alert for avalanches like the one that partially destroyed the southern town of Mocoa.

Including municipalities on yellow alert, half the country’s municipalities are considered at some elevated risk of mudslides or collapsing mountainsides, the director of Colombia’s meteorological institute IDEAM, Omar Franco, told press on Sunday.

This year’s first rainy season in Colombia coincides with “La Niña,” a Pacific weather phenomenon that causes increased rainfall in South America’s northern Andean region.

. . .

According to Franco, the regions at the highest risk of natural disasters as a consequence of the excessive rains are located in Colombia’s Andean regions in the southwest and center of the country.

More:
http://colombiareports.com/half-colombias-municipality-risk-avalanches/

Mexico newspaper stops printing after reporter shot dead

Source: BBC News

3 hours ago


A regional newspaper in Mexico says the violence against journalists and the lack of punishment for those responsible is forcing it to stop printing.

In an editorial, Norte de Ciudad Juarez said Sunday's edition would be its last.

However, the paper says it will continue to operate online.

Miroslava Breach, a journalist who worked for the paper in Chihuahua city, was shot dead last month.

. . .





Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-39475381

Interior minister, police chief fired after Paraguay clashes

Interior minister, police chief fired after Paraguay clashes
Pedro Servin, Associated Press Updated 10:02 pm, Saturday, April 1, 2017






ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) — President Horacio Cartes fired Paraguay's interior minister and top police official on Saturday following the killing of a young opposition party leader and violent overnight clashes sparked by a secret Senate vote for a constitutional amendment to allow presidential re-election.

Dozens of people, including a police officer, were arrested Friday evening in demonstrations that saw protesters break through police lines and enter the first floor of Paraguay's legislature, setting fire to papers and furniture. Police used water cannon and fired rubber bullets to drive protesters away from the building while firefighters extinguished blazes inside.

In the early hours Saturday, 25-year-old Rodrigo Quintana was shot and killed at the headquarters of the Authentic Radical Liberal Party, a different location than the congress building where most of the protests took place. Anti-riot police with rifles and their heads and faces covered by helmets had stormed the opposition headquarters amid the anti-government protests.

Security camera footage showed people in a corridor running desperately away from police and Quintana falling to the ground, apparently hit from behind. Seconds later, a policeman carrying a gun is seen stepping on Quintana, who is face-down to the ground.


More:
http://www.chron.com/news/crime/article/Clashes-fire-at-Paraguay-congress-after-11043156.php

[center] ~ ~ ~[/center]
Sat Apr 1, 2017 | 8:21pm EDT
Protester dies, minister sacked after Paraguay re-election vote


By Daniela Desantis | ASUNCION


Two top Paraguayan government officials were fired on Saturday after a protester died in violent clashes sparked by a secret Senate vote on a constitutional amendment that would allow President Horacio Cartes to run for re-election.

While the capital city Asuncion had calmed down the day after Paraguay's Congress was stormed and set on fire, protests may resume if the lower house votes on the amendment next week.

The violent upheaval punctured a period of relative stability under Cartes, in which the soy and beef exporting nation became one of South America's fastest-growing economies and began to move past a long history of political uncertainty.

Rodrigo Quintana, 25, was killed by a rubber bullet fired by police who entered the headquarters of the Liberal Party, the country's second-largest, opposition politicians and a federal prosecutor said.

More:
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-paraguay-president-idUSKBN1733IE

LBN:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10141744515

From Pidurangala to Sigiriya, ancient rocks and ruins reveal Sri Lankas past

From Pidurangala to Sigiriya, ancient rocks and ruins reveal Sri Lanka’s past





CATHERINE BUSH
PIDURANGALA, SRI LANKA
SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, MAR. 30, 2017 3:36PM EDT


In the central highlands of Sri Lanka, my driver makes a turn on to a small dirt road. Minutes later, he turns again at an unmarked opening in the trees. Moments after that, we find ourselves in a small forest clearing. I’ve arrived at Pidurangala, an ecolodge named for the giant rock that towers somewhere above us, the dense leaf cover rendering it invisible.

My lodgings for the next three nights will be a tree house – not a platform in the trees but a traditional, thatched-roof structure built out of slim trunks and open to the jungle. Huge boulders clasped by gnarled roots surround my airy two-storey abode. Monkeys hoot as they leap between branches. I’m told an elephant ambled past a day or so ago. I’m here to take in some of Sri Lanka’s rich archeological heritage, which also means being prepared to do some climbing.

Not far off lies Sigiriya, the ruins of a palace and monastic complex, a UNESCO World Heritage site, atop an even more imposing rock than Pidurangala. Mist still clings to this extraordinary bulge in the landscape as we begin our approach just after dawn the next morning. At a distance, it’s hard to imagine how we’ll ever reach the flat summit.



The second level stairs and entrance to the former fortress and monastery of Sigiriya, guarded by a pair of lion paws.
PIUS99/GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

Geologically speaking, Sigiriya is what is known as a monadnock: a volcanic protruberance harder than the surrounding rock that eroded over eons, leaving this peculiar upthrust. We cross a moat and pass through what were once elaborate water gardens, constructed by a pleasure-seeking, usurping king in the fifth-century AD. To either side of us rise gargantuan boulders: The caves formed beneath them were used by Buddhist monks from as early as the third-century BC. Their drip ledges, a line carved in the rock to stop water dripping underneath, are still visible today.

More:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/travel/destinations/climbing-to-the-top-of-sri-lankas-ancienthistory/article34492476/

Roman Baths Found Beneath County Durham Street

Roman Baths Found Beneath County Durham Street
By David Sunderland - March 30, 2017



Remains of Roman baths have been found beneath ordinary County Durham houses.

The remains, which are nearly 2000 years old, were discovered underneath back gardens in Chester-Le-Street.

The baths would have been used by Roman soldiers stationed at the fort of Concangis, a second-century settlement on the site of what is now Chester-Le-Street.

Records from the 19th century were used to estimate the location of the remains. Durham County Council archaeologist David Mason then worked with a team of local amateur archaeologists on a dig that uncovered traces of the bathhouse.

More:
https://consettmagazine.com/blog/2017/03/30/roman-baths-found-beneath-county-durham-street-56106/

Ancient city from 2,000 years ago DISCOVERED - and how it looks now is ASTOUNDING


EXPLORERS have discovered an ancient Roman city thought to have been lost for more than 2,000 years.

By VICKIIE OLIPHANT
PUBLISHED: 13:21, Fri, Mar 31, 2017 | UPDATED: 16:08, Fri, Mar 31, 2017


. . .


Ucetia was previously known only by name for thousands of years, with many questioning its existence entirely.

The city was believed to have existed since before the Roman conquest of Great Britain in 43 AD.






Now a top team or archaeologists have uncovered the elusive metropolis near Uzes, in southern France.

Led by Philippe Cayn from the French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP), the team uncovered a 4,000sqm city decorated with elaborate mosaics.

More:
http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/786296/Ancient-Roman-city-Ucetia-discovered-France-archaeologists
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