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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
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In Argentina, Children of 'Death Flights' Perpetrators Aim to Testify Against Parents

In Argentina, Children of ‘Death Flights’ Perpetrators Aim to Testify Against Parents
Ramona Wadi by Ramona Wadi August 21, 2019

The death flights are synonymous with U.S.-backed Latin American dictatorships. Widely used in Argentina and Chile to eliminate all traces of victims and safeguard the state and perpetrators’ impunity, the death flights were not just a means of disappearance but also of extermination. Documents reveal that dictatorship’s opponents were at times heavily sedated after prolonged torture and thrown off helicopters into the water, while still alive.

During Argentina’s dictatorship from 1976 to 1981 under Jorge Rafael Videla, over 30,000 people were disappeared. The forced disappearances of the regime’s opponents in Argentina were part of a region-wide operation known as Plan Condor, carried out with full knowledge and support of the U.S. Declassified documents from the U.S. Department of State testify to the fact that the U.S. was aware of the extermination and disappearance procedures. Notably, the U.S. also provided the helicopters used to carry out the death flights.

For relatives of the disappeared, reconstructing memory is an ongoing, arduous process, hampered by the state’s refusal to collaborate with human rights organizations, as well as the protection it offers to perpetrators.

But state impunity is also being challenged by the children and relatives of genocide perpetrators. In 2017, Historias Desobedientes was formed, providing a platform for mobilization and a stance that works for Argentina’s collective memory and justice. The group participates in marches for justice and actively speaks out in communities in order to communicate their testimonies and assert their commitment to justice.

Argentinian lawyer Pablo Verna is the son of a genocide perpetrator, Julio Alejandro Verna, who worked as an army doctor, sedating prisoners at Campo De Mayo in preparation for their extermination by death flights while still alive.


Amazon fires: why ecocide must be recognised as an international crime

Simon Surtees says the burning Brazilian forest is redolent of the plot of Lord of the Flies; Stefan Simanowitz writes that it’s time ecocide joined genocide as a named crime; while John Charlton despairs at the race in aviation to fly longer and faster

Fri 23 Aug 2019 11.41 EDT

Eliane Brum’s passionate attack on the Amazon clearances is well made (In the burning Amazon, all our futures are now at stake, 23 August). In William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, the war between Ralph and Jack leads to the burning of the jungle. The boys are rescued by a naval crew attracted by the smoke and flames. But it is worth noting that Golding had to be persuaded by his editor to change the ending, which was considered a bit bleak for the 1950s, when it was written. He would have been quite happy for readers to take in the consequences of their selfishness and stupidity; the destruction of the place where they live. How he must be chuckling now.
Simon Surtees

n 1944, Winston Churchill described German atrocities in Russia as “a crime without a name”. Later that year, the term “genocide” was coined. Today the Amazon rainforest – the lungs of the world – is ablaze, with thousands of fires deliberately lit by land-grabbers keen to clear the forest for logging, farming and mining. This destruction, which has increased massively since Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro’s deregulated deforestation, threatens an area that is home to about 3 million species of plants and animals and 1 million indigenous people.

In order to stop such wanton destruction in Brazil and around the world, it is surely time to recognise ecocide – destruction of the environment or ecosystem – as an international crime. It should not be necessary to name something for it to become real but, as with genocide, a word can help encompass the enormity of a horror that might otherwise be too great to imagine.
Stefan Simanowitz


Two more ex-El Salvadorian military officers to face trial in '81 massacre

Forensic anthropologist Claudia Bernard, from Argentina, brushes dirt from human remains, in El Mozote, El Salvador, on Oct. 23, 1992. Two Salvadoran ex-military officers were notified on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019 that they will be prosecuted for their alleged participation in the El Mozote massacre, perpetrated by soldiers in 1981 and left an official record of 989 dead peasants over three days in December 1981.


Published: August 23, 2019

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — Two ex-military officers were notified Thursday that they will join more than a dozen others in being prosecuted for the 1981 El Mozote massacre, a particularly infamous moment from El Salvador's nation's civil war.

A judge in San Francisco Gotera, about 100 miles east of the capital, summoned former Cols. Roberto Antonio Garay and José Antonio Rodríguez to inform them they will be tried on the charges of torture, forced disappearance and forced displacement.

Lawyers for the two could not immediately be located for comment.

Nearly 1,000 rural dwellers were slain by soldiers in the El Mozote massacre over three December days.

Soldiers trained by the U.S. in counterinsurgency tactics entered the area looking for guerrillas but killed civilians. Many of the bodies were put inside a church that was then burned. In one mass grave, the remains of 136 children were found with an average age of 6


~ ~ ~

Time for a US Apology to El Salvador
Obama recently expressed regret for US support of Argentina’s “dirty war.” It’s time Washington did the same regarding our active backing of right-wing butchery in El Salvador.

By Raymond Bonner APRIL 15, 2016

Over the ages, the United States has routinely intervened in Latin America, overthrowing left-wing governments and propping up right-wing dictators. President Obama pressed a reset button of sorts last month when he traveled to Cuba and Argentina. Now it’s time for him to visit a Latin America country that is geographically smallest but where Washington’s footprint is large and the stain of intervention perhaps greatest—El Salvador.

In Argentina, on the 40th anniversary of a military coup that ushered in that country’s “dirty war,” President Obama said it was time for the United States to reflect on its policies during those “dark days.” In the name of fighting communism, the Argentine government hunted down, tortured, and killed suspected leftists—sometimes throwing their bodies out of helicopters into the sea. “We’ve been slow to speak out for human rights and that was the case here,” Obama said.

That failure to speak out looks benign in contrast to the active role Washington played in the “dirty war” in El Salvador in the 1980s, which pitted a right-wing government against Marxist guerrillas. The United States sent military advisers to help the Salvadoran military fight its dirty war, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars in economic and military aid.

In Argentina, the security forces killed some 30,000 civilians. In El Salvador, more than 75,000 lost their lives during the civil war, which lasted from 1980 until the 1992 peace agreement. The guerrillas committed atrocities, but the United Nations Truth Commission, established as part of the accord, found that more than 85 percent of the killings, kidnappings, and torture had been the work of government forces, which included paramilitaries, death squads, and army units trained by the United States.


Deforestation to blame for wildfires ripping through the Amazon forest, environmentalist says


Fires are ripping through the Amazon rainforest at a rapid rate, and an environmentalist who's been in the area says it's all down to deforestation ordered by Brazil's far-right leader.

Satellite data shows an 84 per cent increase in the number of blazes compared to the same time last year.

Greenpeaces's Phil Vine told TVNZ1's Breakfast the "distressing" thing is there is a tipping point for the forest which would impact the rest of the world.

He said 20 per cent of the oxygen we breathe on earth comes out of the Amazon's 400 billion trees, and 20 per cent of the water on earth is cycled through that forest.

"So that gives you an idea of how important it is," he said, adding that the forest also absorbs 2.2 billion tonnes of carbon every year.


Uribe tells Congress 'guerrilla simulator' triggered criminal charges by Colombia's Supreme Court

by Adriaan Alsema August 21, 2019

Colombia’s former President Alvaro Uribe fiercely defended himself in Congress on Tuesday, days after the Supreme Court announced his witness tampering trial will begin on September 3.

During a Senate debate, the political patron of President Ivan Duque and leader of the ruling Democratic Center party attacked opposition Senator Ivan Cepeda, who accidentally got his far-right rival in the worst legal trouble ever.

The Supreme Court charged Uribe with fraud and bribery in February last year in the same ruling in which the high court absolved Cepeda of witness tampering charges filed by Uribe in 2014.

Uribe insisted that he will continue to “dismantle infamy” both in court and congress. The former president accused Cepeda, a former victims representative, of being a “guerrilla simulator.”

. . .

The court case will put a spotlight not just on Uribe’s alleged witness tampering practices, but also on his allegedly criminal past. Many of the witnesses were directly involved in the Bloque Metro or in investigations between the widespread ties between Colombia’s narco-elite, politicians and death squads.


"Looking good," Álvaro.

Uribe needs a miracle to stay out of prison

by Adriaan Alsema August 17, 2019

Colombia’s former President Alvaro Uribe has been very successful in politics, but has had the worst luck in court.

This is because politics is a matter of opinion, but justice is not; it follows the rule of law. While Uribe has been extremely successful in manipulating public opinion, all his attempts to manipulate justice have failed.

Everything has been done to avoid the controversial politician be called to trial; at least one witness has been assassinated, evidence has been manipulated and Uribe even revived his proposal to abolish the very rule of law, all to no avail.

President Ivan Duque‘s political patron faces a reckoning and he knows it. This time, no political opponent of the controversial former president accused him of any crime, the Supreme Court did claiming it has evidence of one.

Uribe will already go into Colombia’s history as the first ever president to be tried by the Supreme Court on criminal charges. There’s no hashtag or referendum that can change that.

The witness tampering case is just one of at least two dozen criminal cases lying before the Supreme Court. These charges include his alleged involvement in two massacres, the assassinations of three human rights defenders and his role in the formation of a terrorist organization.


Former intelligence chief wants to submit to Colombia's war crimes tribunal

by Adriaan Alsema August 21, 2019

Jose Miguel Narvaez (Image: RCN Radio)

War and peace
Former intelligence chief wants to submit to Colombia’s war crimes tribunal
by Adriaan Alsema August 21, 2019

The former deputy director of Colombia’s now-defunct intelligence agency DAS has requested to submit to the war crimes tribunal, offering a lot of secrets, according to local media.

Former DAS intelligence chief Jose Miguel Narvaez, reportedly a man with a photographic memory, is believed to have key information about the ties between ranchers federation Fedegan, the military and paramilitary organization AUC.

The former intelligence executive is currently serving a more than 24 years in prison for the murder of journalist and comedian Jaime Garzon in 1999 and eight years for his role in the wiretapping of anyone deemed a political liability to former President Alvaro Uribe, including the Supreme Court.

But Narvaez could be allowed to leave prison if he tells the truth and the former intelligence chief has a lot to tell, a lot that could get some of the most powerful people in Colombia in big trouble.


Absolutely crucial this man will be kept protected, out of the reach of assassins until after he has delivered his information to the right authorities. He's totally needed. Bless him for his courage.

Mexico's Celso Pia, the 'Rebel Accordion' whose music made multiple generations dance, has died


Mexico's Celso Piña, the 'Rebel Accordion' whose music made multiple generations dance, has died

The Associated Press, Wire Service

MEXICO CITY — Celso Piña, accordionist and pioneer of the popular Colombian vallenato musical genre, died Wednesday of a heart attack. He was 66 years old.

His record company The Tuna Group said in a statement that the Mexican musician died Wednesday in his native city of Monterrey. "We are left with an immense emptiness, but we have his great legacy forever," the statement said.

His music made several generations of people dance.

Colombian Nobel Prize autor Gabriel García Márquez danced to his music when he visited Monterrey and Mexican film director Alejandro González Iñárritu included one of his songs for the soundtrack of his 2006 movie Babel.


Celso Piña - Reina de Cumbias (en vivo) ft. la Orquesta de Baja California

Celso Piña - Cumbia Sobre el Río Suena (En Vivo feat Pato Machete)

Celso Piña - Mira Mira (En Vivo feat Natalia Lafourcade )

Plaza de Armas. Torreón Coahuila. Tardeada "Cumbia Sampuesana"

Cholos bailando Cumbia Poder Celso Pia en Vivo

(At no time do their feet leave their ankles.)

Cholos bailando cumbia

(Last one added because of the amazing feet!)

Record number of Amazon wildfires lit on purpose, claims president of Brazil

Nearly 73,000 forest fires have been reported in the country so far this year.
34 minutes ago

THE RECORD NUMBER of wildfires blazing in the Amazon rainforest were lit on purpose by green groups, the president of Brazil has claimed.

Nearly 73,000 forest fires have been recorded in Brazil so far this year, according to official figures. This is the highest number since 2013.

#PrayforAmazonas was the top trending hashtag in the world on Twitter on Wednesday, with over 249,000 tweets.

There were nearly 40,000 forest fires in all of 2018, according to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE).

Most of them took place in the Amazon, the world’s largest tropical rainforest.

The World Wildlife Fund has blamed the latest fires on the increase in deforestation in Brazil.

But president of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro responded to criticism today over the fires by saying he believed they had been lit on purpose.

Bolsonaro said that “criminal action by those NGOs, to call attention against me, against the Brazilian government” may be the reason for the forest fires.


Conservationists would burn up the Amazon and blame it on Bolsonaro????? That's doubtful.

Brazil: New Leaked Conversation Proves Further Conspiracy Against Lula

The lawyers announced that they will send the case to the Committee of Human Rights of
the United Nations. | Photo: EFE

Published 19 August 2019 (12 hours 34 minutes ago)

Lula has been in prison since April 7, 2018, over corruption charges that media leaks and legal experts have exposed as politically motivated.

New private messages exchanged between the Lava Jato (Car Wash) prosecutors involved in the judicial case against former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva were published Monday by his defense attorney, giving more evidence that the leader of the Workers Party was "victim of a conspiracy."

"The messages are directly related with the two clearly corrupted procedures that were initiated in the Federal Court of Curitiba (the Triplex and Sitio case) and inflicted unfair sentenced to Lula," said his lawyers Valeska Texeira Martins and Cristiano Zanin Martins in a press release.

The then-judge Sergio Moro, now Super Minister of Justice, admitted that Lula received no funds from the construction company Odebrecht, still the corruption case known as Lava Jato, "did not take into account the evidence of his testimony that we brought to the procedure," they added.

. . .

Lula ran for president last year but was blocked from appearing on the ballot by Moro, which was upheld on appeal. Lula led opinion polls heading into the election, which was won by far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro.

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