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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 137,360

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Bogota dislikes capitalist mayor even more than it disliked socialist mayor

Bogota dislikes capitalist mayor even more than it disliked socialist mayor

written by Adriaan Alsema June 9, 2016



When Bogota Mayor Peñalosa took office in January, he almost impossibly could become as unpopular as his socialist predecessor Gustavo Petro. But he did and is now facing impeachment after barely half a year in office.

Petro’s administration was polemic at best. The former guerrilla had come up with a highly progressive agenda focused mainly on improving conditions from the poor, but a mutual dislike between him and the capital’s political establishment made his administration almost impossible.

Petro’s lack of ability to compromise and his opponents’ determination to make him fail made the former administration one of the least effective in the past decades.

After four years of fighting with a city council that mainly consisted of traditional career and dynasty politicians, Petro left office with a disapproval rating of 61% and an approval rating of 36%, according to Gallup Colombia.

In came Peñalosa with the support of the city’s business community, mainstream media and the traditional political elite, who immediately were granted top positions in his cabinet.

More:
http://colombiareports.com/bogota-hates-capitalists-mayor-much-hated-socialist-mayor/

General Motors CEO pressed on fate of Colombia factory workers

General Motors CEO pressed on fate of Colombia factory workers

written by Jack Norman June 8, 2016

A long running dispute between auto giant General Motors and former GM factory workers in Bogota heated up again at the company’s annual meeting in Detroit, when a shareholder publicly urged GM’s CEO to settle the case.

The former GM members say they were fired unfairly in 2012 because of workplace injuries. For four years they have maintained a protest encampment across the street from the US embassy in Bogota.

The case was brought up during the Q&A session at GM’s annual meeting of shareholders by Paige Shell-Spurling, an activist with the Portland (Oregon) Central America Solidarity Committee.

Shell-Spurling pressed GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra to settle the issue, saying it was “sweatshop” conditions that caused injuries that led to the firing of more than 60 workers at the GM Colombia assembly plant. Many of them have moved on, but a core of about ten remain active in challenging the company.

More:
http://colombiareports.com/general-motors-ceo-pressed-fate-colombian-factory-workers/

Had It Been Sally Hemings, Thomas Jefferson Would Have Gone Ape-Shit

June 8, 2016
Had It Been Sally Hemings, Thomas Jefferson Would Have Gone Ape-Shit

by David Macaray

It seems close to impossible to get a policeman, any policemen, convicted of unlawfully shooting an African-American. For that matter, it’s pretty damn hard to get an overzealous, gun-toting private citizen convicted of the same crime. We need only consider George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the death of 17-year old Trayvon Martin.

So in those relatively rare instances where the legal system plods along as intended, and justice finally does seem to “prevail,” and a violent person is convicted by a jury of unlawfully taking the life of a young African-American, it hurts all the more when the perpetrator—the person found guilty by a jury of his or her peers—walks away without being punished.

It hurts all the more. In March of 1991, a black teenage girl, 15-year old Latasha Harlins, was shot and killed by the owner of a convenience store in Los Angeles. The owner of the store, a 51-year old Korean woman named Soon Ja Du, claimed that Latasha had placed a bottle of orange juice in her backpack and was going to leave the store without paying.

But eyewitnesses, along with physical evidence obtained at the scene, indicated otherwise. While the girl had, in fact, placed the orange juice bottle in her bag, she had money clutched in her hand, ready to pay, when she was accosted by the store owner, who had aggressively grabbed the girl’s backpack.

More:
http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/08/had-it-been-sally-hemings-thomas-jefferson-would-have-gone-ape-shit/

Honduran Indigenous Leader Asks Sen. Dick Durbin To Help ‘Stop the Assassinations’ in Honduras

June 9, 2016

Honduran Indigenous Leader Asks Sen. Dick Durbin To Help ‘Stop the Assassinations’ in Honduras

Activists say U.S. policy in the region is still leading to violence.

BY Parker Asmann


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Gómez Membreño speaks outside of Sen. Durbin's office building. (Parker Asmann)
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A small crowd gathered outside of Chicago’s Federal Plaza Wednesday morning to demand that Senator Dick Durbin halt all security aid to Honduras and instead support an independent investigation into the assassination of Berta Cáceres.

Tomás Gómez Membreño of the Consejo Popular Indígena de Honduras (COPINH) was joined by organizers and members from the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN), La Voz de Los de Abajo-Chicago and Witness for Peace before delivering their message. Stan Smith of the Chicago ALBA Solidarity Committee, a group that supports progressive movements in Latin America, said his group was in attendance to show solidarity with the Lenca people of Honduras and the increasing privatization of the nation’s natural resources.

“Tomás and his people are being abused by the government of Honduras,” he said. “And the United States is backing the government in Honduras and what they’re doing since the coup in 2009 has contributed to the problem today.”

Tensions have risen in Honduras after security forces raided the home and murdered environmental activist Berta Cáceres in March, the former General Coordinator of COPINH. After her murder, Gómez Membreño assumed the role as general coordinator and has been leading a speaking tour across the United States to raise awareness about U.S. influence in Honduras.

U.S. intervention in Central America has persisted for decades. Throughout the 1980s the Reagan Administration created various U.S.-backed and funded right-wing rebel groups based in Honduras, known as the contras, to oppose the left-wing Sandinista government in Nicaragua. Numerous reports were generated that accused the Contras of committing severe human rights abuses with no discouragement from the C.I.A. Many of the contras’ bases were located in Honduras, with the backing of the U.S.-allied Honduran government.

More:
http://inthesetimes.com/article/19190/honduran-indigenous-leader-asks-sen.-dick-durbin-to-help-stop-the-assassina/

El Narco’s perpetual war

El Narco’s perpetual war

Posted on June 7, 2016 by Sabina Becker



Hey! Remember this guy? The one who’s so obsessed with waging war against the FARC in Colombia that he got up his own right-wing paramilitary army to murder local campesinos and blame it on the guerrillas? Yeah. HIM. Well, guess what. He’s still not in jail. He’s still not in The Hague. And he’s still stirring the shit by whatever means he can get his grubby little blood-stained and cocaine-dusted fingies on:

With the support of the ex-president of Colombia, Álvaro Uribe, a nationwide campaign has begun in Medellín to gather signatures opposing the peace process which the government of Juan Manuel Santos and the FARC-EP guerrillas have initiated to put an end to a half-century of armed conflict.

With a call to reject peace accords, the politician was the first to put down his signature at one of 27 tables, installed in the 25 municipalities of Medellín. He called upon the citizens to get on the Internet and sign the manifesto, available until August 4, rejecting the peace dialogue of Havana.

Delegates of the FARC-EP and the Colombian government have been in dialogue for more than three years in Havana, Cuba, seeking a peaceful exit from the armed conflict in Colombia, which has gone on for more than 50 years and has left some 600,000 dead.

More:
http://www.sabinabecker.com/



Street-Trained Virtuoso Pedrito Martinez Returns to Havana to Record a Historic Album

Street-Trained Virtuoso Pedrito Martinez Returns to Havana to Record a Historic Album


Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at 10:30 a.m.

By Siddhartha Mitter



Martinez put in many hours at Cuba’s legendary EGREM studios.

Danielle Moir

By the time he got to Cuba last October, the word had spread: Pedrito Martinez was in town to make an album. Old and young rumberos thronged to the EGREM studios in Havana to welcome one of their own. Martinez, the New York–based percussionist and Grammy nominee, had known the instant the United States and Cuba agreed to restore diplomatic ties that his group's second album would be made back home.

Habana Dreams, out this week, is the product of intense studio time with Cuban guests on the tracks — singers Descemer Bueno and Issac Delgado, rapper Telmary Diaz — and a whole community in support. "Each day there were forty people in the studio giving you twenty thousand hugs," says co-producer Willie Torres. "Pedrito was in heaven."

The most poignant moment arose in the recording of "Recuerdos" (Memories), which features no fewer than six Afro-Cuban drummers: Martinez; his musical and spiritual mentor Roman Diaz; bandmate Jhair Sala; and even his brothers Adrian, Mario, and Antonio, all three working percussionists in Cuba. Martinez dedicates the thrilling, explosive track to the tamboreros and rumberos who've gone to heaven, the más allá. "It came out crazy beautiful," he says. "So powerful, so much passion."

This apotheosis has been a long time coming for Martinez, who grew up in a working-class Havana neighborhood surrounded by elder drummers steeped in rumba, charanga, and són — the core styles of twentieth-century Cuban popular music, exemplified by classic bands such as Orquesta Aragón and Los Van Van. A street-trained virtuoso with no formal music education, Martinez deepened his craft in New York City, picking up work with Latin and jazz acts and quickly getting noticed by the likes of Wynton Marsalis, whom he considers a close friend and mentor, and Sting. New York also gave him space to practice Santería, the Afro-Cuban traditional religion with roots in the Yoruba culture of West Africa, which was held in dim regard at the time by Cuba's government.

More:
http://www.villagevoice.com/music/street-trained-virtuoso-pedrito-martinez-returns-to-havana-to-record-a-historic-album-8705091

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Cree language gets 21st-century reboot from First Nation Canadians

Cree language gets 21st-century reboot from First Nation Canadians

New crowdsourced book 100 Days of Cree features translations of everything from pizzas and saunas to Johnny Cash songs

Alison Flood
Tuesday 7 June 2016 12.49 EDT Last modified on Tuesday 7 June 2016 12.51 EDT

With entries ranging from pwâkamo-pahkwêsikan, the Cree word for pizza – “the throw-up bread” in literal English – to môniyâw-matotisân, a sauna or a “white-man sweat”, a crowdsourcing project documenting the vitality and evolution of the most widely spoken indigenous language in Canada is about to be published.

Neal McLeod, a poet and indigenous studies professor at Trent University, set out to connect with other Cree speakers on Facebook, aiming to gather together classical Cree vocabulary and to “coin and develop” words relating to contemporary life. According to a 2006 Canadian census, there are around 117,000 Cree speakers.

McLeod, who is from the James Smith Cree First Nation in Saskatchewan, received responses from across Canada and the US and, after working on the book with Arok Wolvengrey, will release 100 Days of Cree through the University of Regina Press later this week.

In his introduction to the book, McLeod writes that “one of the key things about learning a language is that people assist each other in the process”, but that “unfortunately, there have been many ruptures and breaks in the threads of our language through time: residential schools, collective trauma, and the influence of television and mass communication.

More:
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/jun/07/cree-language-first-nation-canadians-100-days-of-cree



Impeachment Act: The Brazilian Plot to Keep Corruption and Impunity Going

Impeachment Act: The Brazilian Plot to Keep Corruption and Impunity Going

Aline C. Piva 06 June 2016

The already fragile legitimacy of Michel Temer's interim government in Brazil took a huge blow last week. Leaked audios involving Temer's closest allies revealed a plot to oust democratically elected Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff as part of a plan to put an end to Operation Carwash (Operação Lava Jato), the operation that is investigating the scheme involving bribery and kickbacks in Petrobras, the Brazil state-owned oil company. [1][2]

On May 23, the Brazilian newspaper Folha de S.Paulo published the transcripts of a conversation between Romero Jucá, Planning Minister in Temer's interim government, and Sergio Machado, former Senator and President of Transpetro, another Brazilian state-owned oil company. This conversation – and other records leaked since then – were recorded in March, before the first vote of the impeachment process that took place in the Chamber of Deputies.[3]

After discussing their own involvement in the Carwash investigation –both are being investigated for corruption-, Jucá states his solution for the "problem": "We have to change the government to be able to stop this bleeding." Machado followed by agreeing: "The easiest solution would be to put in Michel (Temer)."[4]

A National Pact

In this conversation, Jucá talked about a "national pact" to impeach Dilma and stop the investigations of the corruption scheme. This included justices of the Supreme Court, the compliance of the military forces and the pacts amongst the opposition forces in Congress. These clandestine arrangements were formed in complete disregard for the political will expressed by the majority of Brazilians at the ballot box.

More:
http://www.brazzil.com/23946-impeachment-act-the-brazilian-plot-to-keep-corruption-and-impunity-going

The Difference Between How the U.S. Treats Brazil and Venezuela in One Video

The Difference Between How the U.S. Treats Brazil and Venezuela in One Video

Zaid Jilani
June 6 2016, 2:28 p.m.

A State Department spokesperson repeatedly refused to comment on the momentous political crisis in Brazil during his daily press briefing on Friday — in almost ludicrous contrast to his long and loquacious criticisms of neighboring Venezuela.

When questioned on the stark contrast, increasingly exasperated department spokesperson Mark Toner replied, “I just – again, I don’t have anything to comment on the ongoing political dimensions of the crisis there. I don’t.”

Watch the spokesperson’s responses below:



The State Department has long been eager to criticize Venezuela’s left-wing government, which has pursued policies antagonistic to global corporations. In contrast, it has been silent about the takeover of Brazil by a staunchly right-wing, pro-business government that is making the privatization of state industry a priority.

Friday’s exchange began when The Intercept asked Toner why the U.S. has been joining in regional criticisms of Venezuela’s democratic backsliding but has ignored Brazil’s political crisis, where right-wing lawmakers voted on May 12 to suspend the elected government and open impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff.

More:
https://theintercept.com/2016/06/06/the-difference-between-how-the-u-s-treats-brazil-and-venezula-in-one-video/

Good Reads:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1016159610

The Amazing Stories of Las Lajas Sanctuary, the “Most Beautiful Church in the World”

The Amazing Stories of Las Lajas Sanctuary, the “Most Beautiful Church in the World”

Translation posted 6 June 2016 20:15 GMT


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Las Lajas Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary. Image on Flickr by user Jonathan Wood (CC BY-ND 2.0).
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All across Latin America, stories of miracles and fantastic events travel through the region and many times stop at the churches. In Colombia, many of these stories surrround the Las Lajas (stone similar to shale) Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary. Known as the “most beautiful church on earth,” the sanctuary is located about 800 kilometers south of Bogotá (a little less than 500 miles) and 10 kilometres (about six miles) from the border with Ecuador, in the Colombian city of Ipiales in Nariño department. Las Lajas Sanctuary received canonical coronation from the Vatican in 1951 and the sanctuary was declared a basilica in 1954.

There are many stories and origins it protectes, however, that date back from at least the 18th century. One of the best known tells the story of Maria Mueses de Quiñones, and the miracles the Virgin granted to her daughter:

Translation
Original Quote


The main characters [in this story] are Maria Mueses, an indigenous woman from Quiñones, who was descended from old caciques (tribe leaders) and her small daughter Rosa, deaf and mute from birth. The place where the events took place is located in the Equatorial Andes, 2.600 meters above sea level (about 8,500 feet), in the middle of a deep gorge over Guaitara river, in the municipality of Ipiales, on the southern end of modern-day Colombia, ten kilometers from the border with Ecuador. … Upon arrival to the Pastaran cave, Maria stops to rest. Then, the girl (her daughter Rosa) slips from her mother and starts to climb the shales. Soon Maria hears her daughter saying: ‘Mommy, look at this mestiza (mixed race) that has come down holding a baby with two other mestizos by her side.’ Bewildered, Maria is only able to grab the girl and run away from the place.


More:
https://globalvoices.org/2016/06/06/the-amazing-stories-of-las-lajas-sanctuary-the-most-beautiful-church-in-the-world/

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