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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
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Colombia re-arrests suspected rapist of journalist

Colombia re-arrests suspected rapist of journalist
Last Updated: Sunday, June 7, 2015 - 11:48

Bogota: The Colombian Attorney General`s Office has re-arrested former paramilitary Alejandro Cardenas Orozco, alias "JJ," one of the suspected rapists of a journalist Jineth Bedoya 15 years ago. His release was ordered by a prosecutor earlier this week in a decision harshly criticised inside the country and internationally, media reported.

The ex-paramilitary personnel was re-arrested on Friday night at a house in the densely populated Kennedy sector of southwest Bogota by agents of the Technical Investigation Corps (CTI) of the AG`s office, and was immediately taken to the unit`s lockup, according to El Tiempo, the newspaper where Bedoya works.

. . .

The decision to re-arrest "JJ" was taken last Thursday by Colombia`s Attorney General Eduardo Montealegre, after which a technical committee set about analysing the controversial decision of the prosecutor who ordered Cardenas`s release.
"All kinds of irregularities were observed by that committee", for which reason the AG`s office "reactivated the preventive detention and arrest warrant" against Cardenas, an ex-paramilitary of the United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (AUC), the CTI said at the time.

Bedoya was kidnapped on May 25, 2000, at the entrance to Bogota`s La Modelo prison, where she had arrived to conduct an interview with a senior paramilitary member. She was subsequently physically and psychologically tortured and raped by her captors, in what was ruled a crime against humanity.



Alejandro Cardenas Orozco[/center]

Peruvian women haunted by forced sterilisation seek state apology

Peruvian women haunted by forced sterilisation seek state apology

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Thu, 4 Jun 2015 17:00 GMT
Author: Anastasia Moloney

BOGOTA, June 3 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Government health workers spent hours going from door to door to coax, cajole and bully women in a farming community in Peru's highlands to come with them for free medical treatment.

Esperanza Huayama, then three months pregnant, was one of scores of women who clambered onto buses that morning 20 years ago for the three-hour ride to a clinic. Lying in a hospital bed, Huayama soon realised something was wrong - but it was too late.

Moments later doctors administered anaesthetic and when she woke up, Huayama had been sterilised - victim of a birth control campaign targeting mostly indigenous women in the South American country's poor, rural areas.

"I didn't sign anything. They tricked us. Nurses told us we had to go to the clinic where we would be given a free health check-up, medicine and food. They said it was for our own good and well-being," Huayama, now 59, recalled. "They threatened us and said those who refuse to go wouldn't get medical care in the future," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a telephone interview from Peru's northern Huancabamba province.


Ecuador gets OPEC's support in dispute with Chevron

Ecuador gets OPEC's support in dispute with Chevron
EFE | Vienna 5 Jun 2015

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries on Friday expressed support for Ecuador in an ongoing arbitration process brought against that member nation by U.S. oil supermajor Chevron Corp.

"The Conference (the oil cartel's top authority) expressed its support to Ecuador in the exercise of its sovereign rights over its natural resources, in accordance with international law," OPEC said after a ministerial meeting in the Austrian capital.


(Short article, no more at link.)

The Optimus Prime of architecture: Bolivia’s crazily coloured buildings, and their miniatures – in p

The Optimus Prime of architecture: Bolivia’s crazily coloured buildings, and their miniatures – in pictures

Nick Ballon photographs the exuberant and painstakingly ornamented buildings of El Alto, the world’s highest major metropolis. In this series, some are twinned with miniature versions of the same buildings – a spiritual tradition of the region

Amaru Villanueva Rance
Wednesday 3 June 2015 07.02 EDT

[font size=1]
‘Sentinel Prime’

The miniature versions of this and other El Alto buildings were photographed by Jonathan Minster. The project was inspired by the
Alasitas festival – the largest miniature trade fair in the world – held every January in the Bolivian highlands. Thousands of spiritual
devotees come to trade their miniature bikes, tables, laptops and cars, then get them blessed by a kallawalla or yatiri (Andean
medicinal healers or mystic).

Three of these diptych prints are now on sale – more details here

A grandmother's 36-year hunt for the child stolen by the Argentinian junta

A grandmother's 36-year hunt for the child stolen by the Argentinian junta

The Observer

In 1977 Estela Carlotto’s pregnant daughter was arrested. The Argentinian regime let her live long enough to have the baby before killing her. With others, Estela formed the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo to search for the grandson she’d never known. Uki Goñi reports

Sunday 7 June 2015 05.30 EDT

[font size=1]
‘I begged God not to let me die before I found him’: Estela Carlotto hugs her grandson Ignacio Montoya Carlotto, son of
her daughter Laura, who ‘disappeared’ in 1977. Photograph: Leo La Valle/Getty

Practically all of Argentina has cried on this one,” says Ignacio Montoya Carlotto, patting his right shoulder. We are crisscrossing the old cobblestone streets of San Telmo, the colonial district of the capital, Buenos Aires. The 36-year-old musician, his crinkly curls prematurely greying, his mouth fast to resolve into a smile, is not bragging. It’s impossible to walk even one city block without someone rushing to hug him and then burst into tears, as he predicted, on his rumpled T-shirt.

Maybe it’s because, thanks to his grandmother, the whole of Argentina had been waiting – praying – for more than 30 years for the day when he would be “found”. Most Argentinians can remember exactly what they were doing when that moment finally came in August last year.

“When I turned 80, I begged God not to let me die before I found my grandson,” says Estela Carlotto. Estela has led an extraordinary life, rising from tragedy into one of the most loved and respected public figures in Argentina. It took four more years. “We all cried; everyone has something to say about how they felt to have found this grandson we were all searching for.”

Estela was a 47-year-old schoolteacher, housewife and mother of three in November 1977 when a death squad from Argentina’s 1976-83 dictatorship picked her daughter Laura off a street in the city of La Plata where she lived, about 32 miles south of Buenos Aires. Laura, a 22-year-old political activist, became one of the thousands of young dissidents who were made to “disappear” by a bloody, fascist regime. Unknown to Estela, her long-haired, strikingly beautiful daughter was three months pregnant at the time of her abduction. She was taken to a secret “detention centre” called La Cacha. There, in her presence, they killed her companion and the father of the child she was carrying, 26-year-old Walmir Montoya.


Pablo Escobar’s Legacy – A Look At Colombia’s Lost Generation Of Hit-Men

Pablo Escobar’s Legacy – A Look At Colombia’s Lost Generation Of Hit-Men
Published by Julie King June 5, 2015 11:30 am

Colombia’s most infamous Medellin drug cartel, led by Pablo Escobar during the 1980s and early 1990s, managed to ruin the lives of thousands of Colombian youngsters. Throughout these decades, children of eight, nine, ten years old entered the criminal world as hit men for Escobar’s Cartel. Commonly known as “Sicarios”, they all tried to make a living and support their loved ones. Though the notorious drug lord was killed by U.S. and Colombian police forces in 1993, the legacy of the sicarios lives on.

Nowadays, Colombian hit men are more centered in their neighborhood gangs than to any cartel. During Escobar’s domination of the region, however, the sicarios averaged killing one person every three hours. In exchange, they received money, weapons, and cocaine.

(Pablo Escobar)

According to 1990 statistics (at the height of the cartel’s power), the Medellin Cartel paid their assassins US $3,500 to kill a uniformed police officer, US $8,800 to kill a police officer dressed in civilian clothing, and US $880,000 to kill a general. Faced with poverty and scarce access to education, the Colombian boys were naturally attracted to Escobar’s gang. His cartel was willing to pay for only one murder 15 times the national minimum wage for an entire month.

The Profile Of A Colombian Hit-man

The typical profile of a Colombian assassin is terrifying. He is usually a male youth from a humble family, with a single or abandoned mother. Most of them lived under physical and mental abuse from family and peers. Generally, the hit man grows up in a world of violence. His only form of survival seems to lie within the illegality of drug trafficking, theft and murder. During a supposed age of innocence, these traumatized boys transformed into dysfunctional adults and, down the line, into killing machines without a trace of remorse.


Free digital TVs in Mexico come with political strings attached

Free digital TVs in Mexico come with political strings attached
Date June 6, 2015 - 10:53AM

[font size=1]
A billboard for the campaign of Indalecio Rios, the mayoral candidate in Ecatepec de Morelos, Mexico from President
Enrique Pena Nieto's Institutional Revolutionary Party. Photo: Rodrigo Cruz
Ecatepec de Morelos, Mexico: - Isabel Valdez Rodriguez is expecting to pick up two free 24-inch digital televisions - one for herself; the other for her mother - courtesy of President Enrique Pena Nieto's government.

Her windfall, just two coupons printed with a promise at this point, is part of the government's effort to switch the country to digital television. To help Mexico's poorest citizens keep pace with technology, officials are vowing to give away 10 million free televisions.

But here in Mexico's most populous state, the handout has merged with something else: an election campaign.

While the government describes the television plan as the way to bring all Mexicans into the digital age, opposition parties on the left and the right call it old-fashioned vote buying.


Pilgrimage to the mountains

Pilgrimage to the mountains

Photographer Timothy Allen climbs high into the Peruvian Andes for Qoyllur Rit'i - the Snow Star Festival.


(There are 20 wonderful photos at BBC link.)

Non-BBC photo from Google images:


. . .

There are several accounts of the origins of the Quyllur Rit'i festival. What follows are two accounts: one describes the pre-Columbian origins and the other is the "Catholic Church's" version as compiled by the priest of the town of Ccatca between 1928 and 1946.[2]

Pre-Columbian Origins[edit]

The Inca followed both solar and lunar cycles throughout the year. However, the cycle of the moon was of primary importance for both agricultural activities and the timing of festivals, which reflected in many cases celebrations surrounding animal husbandry, sowing seeds and harvesting of crops. Important festivals such as Quyllur Rit'i, perhaps the most important festival given its significance and meaning, are still celebrated on the full moon.

The Quyllur Rit'i festival falls in a period of time when the Pleiades constellation, or Seven Sisters, a 7-star cluster in the Taurus Constellation, disappears and reappears in the Southern Hemisphere. The star movement signals the time of the coming harvest and therefore a time of abundance. For this reason Incan astronomers cleverly named the Pleiades "Qullqa" or storehouse in their native language Runa Simi ("human's language" or Quechua as it is also called.

Metaphorically, due to the star’s disappearance from the night sky and reemergence approximately two months afterwards is a signal that our planes of existence have times of disorder and chaos, but also return to order. This outlook coincides with the recent Pachakuti or Inca Prophecy literally translated from the two words pacha and kuti (Quechua pacha "time and space", kuti "return" where pacha kuti means "return of time", "change of time" or "great change or disturbance in the social or political order".[3]

The prophecy therefore represents (according to the Glossary of Terminology of the Shamanic & Ceremonial Traditions of the Inca Medicine Lineage) a period of upheaval and cosmic transformation. An overturning of the space/time continuum that affects consciousness. A reversal of the world. A cataclysmic event separating eras in time.

In the current pacha it is said that we will set the world rightside up and return to a golden era. This era will last at least 500 years. The andino people and their native historical culture will see a resurgence and rise out of the previous period of conquest and oppression and begin to thrive and return to a period of grandeur.

The Pachakuti also speaks of the tumultuous nature of our current world, in particular the environmental destruction of the earth, transforming and returning to one of balance, harmony and sustainability. This will happen as we as a people change our way of thinking and become more conscious. Therefore the Pachakuti is representative of the death of an old way of thinking about the world in which we live, and an elevation to a higher state of consciousness. In this way, we can describe ourselves not as who we are or were, but who we are becoming.


How the Red Cross Raised Half a Billion Dollars for Haiti ­and Built Six Homes

How the Red Cross Raised Half a Billion Dollars for Haiti ­and Built Six Homes

Even as the group has publicly celebrated its work, insider accounts detail a string of failures
by Justin Elliott, ProPublica, and Laura Sullivan, NPR

June 3, 2015

The neighborhood of Campeche sprawls up a steep hillside in Haiti’s capital city, Port-au-Prince. Goats rustle in trash that goes forever uncollected. Children kick a deflated volleyball in a dusty lot below a wall with a hand-painted logo of the American Red Cross.

In late 2011, the Red Cross launched a multimillion-dollar project to transform the desperately poor area, which was hit hard by the earthquake that struck Haiti the year before. The main focus of the project — called LAMIKA, an acronym in Creole for “A Better Life in My Neighborhood” — was building hundreds of permanent homes.

Today, not one home has been built in Campeche. Many residents live in shacks made of rusty sheet metal, without access to drinkable water, electricity or basic sanitation. When it rains, their homes flood and residents bail out mud and water.

The Red Cross received an outpouring of donations after the quake, nearly half a billion dollars. The group has publicly celebrated its work. But in fact, the Red Cross has repeatedly failed on the ground in Haiti. Confidential memos, emails from worried top officers, and accounts of a dozen frustrated and disappointed insiders show the charity has broken promises, squandered donations, and made dubious claims of success.


Why Ecuador’s Rafael Correa Is One of Latin America’s Most Popular Leaders

Why Ecuador’s Rafael Correa Is One of Latin America’s Most Popular Leaders

He played hardball with foreign creditors and stood up to Big Oil, using increased earnings to transform education and health.

James North June 4, 2015

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

Rafael Correa is often wrongly paired with Hugo Chávez, the late Venezuelan president, as an outspoken Latin American populist. In fact, the differences between the two men are significant. Chávez was a career army colonel; Correa is an accomplished economics professor, with a PhD from the University of Illinois. Chávez first won attention with a failed coup attempt in 1992; Correa stepped into Ecuador’s spotlight in 2005 as a bold finance minister who stood up to international banks. Even Chávez’s partisans admit that his presidency was marred by economic mismanagement; even Correa’s opponents can find little to criticize about Ecuador’s stable and growing economy. These differences partly explain why Chávez’s successor, Nicolás Maduro, is stumbling badly in Venezuela, while Correa continues to enjoy nationwide approval ratings of more than 60 percent.

Correa, 52, was raised in modest circumstances in the tropical port city of Guayaquil. Strongly influenced by the Catholic Church’s Liberation Theology, Correa interrupted his studies to volunteer for a year in a poor indigenous community in the Andean highlands, where he taught school and promoted micro-enterprises. In our recent interview in Quito, he told me simply, “I think all Christians should do this.” There he learned how to speak some Kichwa, the language of as many as 35 percent of Ecuadoreans, who include many of the poorest.

Correa was a charismatic student leader, and the traditional politicians tried to recruit him. “I realized that I wasn’t ready,” he told me. “I needed to learn something first.” An aptitude test in high school had suggested that he study economics. “I was good at both social sciences and mathematics,” he said, laughing. “I didn’t know what economics was. But I decided to try it.”

After attending universities in Belgium and then the United States, he returned to teach in Ecuador, a nation then shaken by chronic economic and political crisis. The country had seven different presidents in only ten years. Correa had been quietly advising one of them when he was picked to be finance minister. He ran for president himself in 2006, and he has been re-elected comfortably twice since then. “I got here by chance, by accident,” he said, gesturing around his office in the 200-year-old presidential palace.

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