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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 147,053

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Colombia's former president becomes inmate #1087985

by Adriaan Alsema August 12, 2020

Colombia’s former president Alvaro Uribe said Wednesday he has been assigned his own inmate number after being placed under house arrest for allegedly tampering witnesses.

In his first tweet in almost a week, Uribe claimed he had been assigned inmate number #1087985 “for confronting testimonies brought against me by [demobilized guerrilla group] FARC, its new generation and its allies.”

The Supreme Court placed Uribe under house arrest last week after formally charging the former president with fraud and bribery.

According to the court, evidence indicates that the former president bribed witnesses initially to file false charges against opposition Senator Ivan Cepeda in 2014 and again in 2018 after the Supreme Court ordered to investigate Uribe.

. . .

Uribe and his brother Santiago have been sinking deeper and deeper into legal trouble over their alleged involvement in the formation of death squads in the 1990s’s and alleged attempt to subsequently cover this up.


Warlord's release from US prison ups tension with Colombia

Joshua Goodman, Associated Press
Updated 2:32 pm CDT, Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Photo: Alan Diaz, AP

FILE - In this May 13, 2008 file photo, Colombian paramilitary warlord Salvatore Mancuso is escorted by U.S. DEA agents upon his arrival to Opa-locka, Florida. A legal battle is quietly brewing in the U.S. in 2020 over Colombia’s request that this former paramilitary warlord be sent home after completing his drug sentence in the U.S.

MIAMI (AP) — A last-minute battle is unfolding over the fate of a former paramilitary warlord who the Colombian government wants returned following a long drug sentence in U.S. prison.

Salvatore Mancuso, the top commander of a since-disbanded group of right-wing militias, completed a 12-year cocaine trafficking sentence in March.

He remains in U.S. custody as Colombia — where courts have judged him responsible for more than 1,500 acts of murder or forced disappearance — fights a U.S. order that would send him to Italy, where he also has citizenship.

Mancuso’s lawyers contend he would be killed if he returns to a South American country that has struggled to heal from decades of bloody conflict. They argue he has already fulfilled his obligations under a 2003 peace deal he negotiated, which caps prison terms at eight years for paramilitary bosses who confess their crimes.


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Extremely rough customer, Salvatore Mancuso, in his past in Colombia . . . . .

Former President Uribe desperately doesn't want this guy back in Colombia. He knows where ALL the bodies are buried.

Colombia's electoral authority investigating alleged 2018 election fraud

by Adriaan Alsema August 11, 2020

Colombia’s electoral authority opened an investigation into the campaign of President Ivan Duque whose 2018 election has been marred by fraud allegations.

The National Electoral Council (CNE) will be investigating the alleged fraud of Duque’s Democratic Center Party (CD) based on evidence the far-right party conspired with a drug trafficking organization to rig the election and claims they illegally received funding from a Venezuelan oil tycoon.

The evidence is derived from investigations into Jose Guillermo Hernandez, the late money launderer of the drug trafficking organization of Marquitos Figueroa, and former President Alvaro Uribe, who is currently under house arrest.

In the wiretaps of the money launderer called “El Ñeñe,” Uribe’s former personal assistant Maria Claudia Daza was conspiring with the late mafia figure to move “money under the table” ahead of the second round of the 2018 elections.


Teaching Torture: The Death and Legacy of Dan Mitrione

by Brett Wilkins Posted on August 11, 2020

In the pre-dawn darkness of Monday, August 10, 1970, Dan Mitrione’s bullet-ridden body was discovered in the back seat of a stolen Buick convertible in a quiet residential neighborhood of Montevideo, the Uruguayan capital. He had just turned 50, and he had recently started a new dream job, although it was thousands of miles from his home in Richmond, Indiana. Who was Dan Mitrione, and what work was he doing in Uruguay that led him to such an early and violent end?

As the Cold War heated up, one of the ways in which the United States government fought communism abroad was through foreign assistance programs. These were favorite vehicles for Central Intelligence Agency and other US meddling. Dan Mitrione, a Navy veteran and former small-town police chief from Indiana, joined one such agency, the International Cooperation Administration, in 1960. The following year, ICA was absorbed by the United States Agency for International Development, which in addition to its stated mission of administering assistance to developing nations, gained global notoriety for its role in helping brutal dictatorships repress, torture and murder innocent men, women and children around the world.

Brazil Brutality

Mitrione’s first posting was in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, where he worked on the police aid program for USAID’s Office of Public Safety. OPS trained and armed friendly – read anti-communist – Latin American police and security officers. Ostensibly, it was meant to teach police how to be less corrupt and more professional. In practice, it operated as a CIA proxy. As for its parent organization, one former USAID director, John Gilligan, later admitted it was "infiltrated from top to bottom with CIA people." Gilligan explained that "the idea was to plant operatives in every kind of activity we had overseas; government, volunteer, religious, every kind."

Before Mitrione’s arrival, standard operating procedure for Brazilian police was to beat a suspect nearly to death; if he talked he lived, if not, well… Under Mitrione’s tutelage, officers introduced refined torture techniques drawn from the pages of KUBARK, a CIA instruction manual describing various physical and psychological methods of breaking a prisoner’s will to resist interrogation. Many of the abuses in KUBARK would later become familiar to the world as the "enhanced interrogation" techniques used during the US war against terrorism: prolonged constraint or exertion, ‘no-touch’ torture (stress positions), extremes of heat, cold or moisture and deprivation or drastic reduction of food or sleep. KUBARK also covers the use of electric shock torture, a favorite tool of both the Brazilian and Uruguayan police under Mitrione’s instruction.


I started bumping into information about this man years ago, and have posted information about him multiple times at D.U. It's important for people to know that torture from US personnel didn't start during the Presidency of George W. Bush.

Mitrione's photo:

. . .

Dan Mitrione (above left); also shown a finger crushing device, an electric shock device, and dental devices - all smuggled into Brazil and Uruguay by "diplomatic pouch" from the United States. Mitrione is the man who made torture a routine part of the CIA's operations throughout Latin America. He is quoted as having said: "The precise pain, in the precise place, in the precise amount, for the desired effect." He used homeless people for training purposes, who were executed once they had served their purpose. On July 31, 1970, the left-wing Tupamaros in Uruguay kidnapped Mitrione and an Agency for International Development associate, Claude L. Fry. Although the Tupamaros released Fry they proceeded to interrogate Mitrione about his past and the intervention of the U.S. government in Latin American. Mitrione was later found dead in a car. He had been shot twice in the head. Image: antipasministries.com

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Daniel Mitrione

Daniel Mitrione was born in Italy on 4th August, 1920. The family emigrated to the United States and in 1945 Mitrione became a police officer in Richmond, Indiana.

Mitrione joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 1959. The following year he was assigned to the State Department's International Cooperation Administration. He was then sent to South America to teach "advanced counterinsurgency techniques." His speciality was in teaching the police how to torture political prisoners without killing them.

According to A.J. Langguth of the New York Times, Mitrione was working for the CIA via the International Development's Office of Public Safety (OPS). We know he was in several foreign countries but between 1960 and 1967 he spent a lot of time in Brazil and was involved in trying to undermine the left-wing president João Goulart, who had taken power after President Juscelino Kubitschek resigned from office in 1961.

João Goulart was a wealthy landowner who was opposed to communism. However, he was in favour of the redistribution of wealth in Brazil. As minister of labour he had increased the minimum wage by 100%. Colonel Vernon Walters, the US military attaché in Brazil, described Goulart as “basically a good man with a guilty conscience for being rich.”


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- click for photo below -


TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013
July 31: Dan Mitrione, CIA, Kidnapped
On this date in History ... July 31, 1970:

Dan Mitrione, a CIA agent, was kidnapped in Uraguay by guerillas in Latin American affairs. 11 days later, Mitrione was found in the trunk of a car, shot twice in the head.

Mitrione was Italian-born who made Richmond, Indiana his hometown, where he served as Richmond’s police chief before moving on to the State Department & later the CIA. He left a wife and 9 children. His funeral was a big media event, attended by David Eisenhower, and the Secretary of State, William Rogers.

Frank Sinatra and Jerry Lewis came to Richmond to do a benefit concert that raised $20,000 (over $100K in 2010 dollars) for Mitrione’s children.

However, there is a dark side to this "hero's" story......

Mitrione was hailed as a hero to his hometown of Richmond. Growing up in Richmond, I was eleven years old at the time and I remember the adults explaining that he was like the guys on the TV show “Mission Impossible”: top secret and the “government will disavow any knowledge of your activity”.

Mitrione joined the FBI in 1959 and became a counter-insurgency specialist while assigned to the Agency for International Development with the Office of Public Safety.

But the untold part of the story is that he was a torture expert, taking it to a “cold science”. He instructed police in Brazil and Uruguay in "advanced anti-subversion and torture techniques". He also directly participated in and oversaw information extraction from prisoners.


~ ~ ~

Story from his home town, commemorating their local hero, 50 years later!

. . .

Remembering Dan Mitrione: Ex-RPD chief's murder made international news 50 years ago
Jason Truitt
Richmond Palladium-Item

RICHMOND, Ind. — Just inside the east entrance to the Richmond Municipal Building hangs a plaque that's likely to leave many who read it with questions.

"Dan A. Mitrone. 10 August 1970. In eternal memory with reverence from the citizens of Uruguay."

You might wonder, who was Dan Mitrione? Why is there a plaque in his honor at the city building? And what's the connection to a South American country that's some 5,000 miles away?

It's a story that begins in Italy, quickly moves to Richmond and eventually finds its way to Brazil and Uruguay.

Mitrione is the central figure, of course, but there are cameos from a U.S. secretary of state and other dignitaries, both foreign and domestic. It even includes key roles near the end from Frank Sinatra and an Academy Award-wining film director.

It's been 50 years since the events that led to that plaque being placed inside the rotunda of the city building. It's a good time to reflect on Mitrione's life and how his death at the hands of a guerrilla group brought international attention to Richmond.


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- click for photo below -


Book available for purchase online, probably at libraries, as well, one would think.

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Brasil according to William Blum

On December 9th 2018, historian, analyst and long term critic of US Imperialism and Foreign Policy, William Blum, died at the age of 85. Author of Rogue State, Killing Hope, and others, rather than a regular obituary, we compile some of his writings and observations, both historical and contemporary, on Brasil, its neighbors, and their relationship with Empire.

. . . .

Uruguay, 1964 to 1970: Torture—as American as apple pie
“The precise pain, in the precise place, in the precise amount, for the desired effect.”

The words of an instructor in the art of torture. The words of Dan Mitrione, the head of the Office of Public Safety (OPS) mission in Montevideo.

Officially, OPS was a division of the Agency for International Development, but the director of OPS in Washington, Byron Engle, was an old CIA hand. His organization maintained a close working relationship with the CIA, and Agency officers often operated abroad under OPS cover, although Mitrione was not one of them.

OPS had been operating formally in Uruguay since 1965, supplying the police with the equipment, the arms, and the training it was created to do. Four years later, when Mitrione arrived, the Uruguayans had a special need for OPS services. The country was in the midst of a long-running economic decline, its once-heralded prosperity and democracy sinking fast toward the level of its South American neighbors. Labor strikes, student demonstrations, and militant street violence had become normal events during the past year; and, most worrisome to the Uruguayan authorities, there were the revolutionaries who called themselves Tupamaros. Perhaps the cleverest, most resourceful and most sophisticated urban guerrillas the world has ever seen, the Tupamaros had a deft touch for capturing the public’s imagination with outrageous actions, and winning sympathizers with their Robin Hood philosophy. Their members and secret partisans held key positions in the government, banks, universities, and the professions, as well as in the military and police.

“Unlike other Latin-American guerrilla groups,” the New York Times stated in 1970, “the Tupamaros normally avoid bloodshed when possible. They try instead to create embarrassment for the Government and general disorder.” A favorite tactic was to raid the files of a private corporation to expose corruption and deceit in high places, or kidnap a prominent figure and try him before a “People’s Court”. It was heady stuff to choose a public villain whose acts went uncensored by the legislature, the courts and the press, subject him to an informed and uncompromising interrogation, and then publicize the results of the intriguing dialogue. Once they ransacked an exclusive high-class nightclub and scrawled on the walls perhaps their most memorable slogan: O Bailan Todos O No Baila Nadie … Either everyone dances or no one dances.

Dan Mitrione did not introduce the practice of torturing political prisoners to Uruguay. It had been perpetrated by the police at times from at least the early 1960s. However, in a surprising interview given to a leading Brazilian newspaper in 1970, the former Uruguayan Chief of Police Intelligence, Alejandro Otero, declared that US advisers, and in particular Mitrione, had instituted torture as a more routine measure; to the means of inflicting pain, they had added scientific refinement; and to that a psychology to create despair, such as playing a tape in the next room of women and children screaming and telling the prisoner that it was his family being tortured.

“The violent methods which were beginning to be employed,” said Otero, “caused an escalation in Tupamaro activity. Before then their attitude showed that they would use violence only as a last resort.”

The newspaper interview greatly upset American officials in South America and Washington. Byron Engle later tried to explain it all away by asserting: “The three Brazilian reporters in Montevideo all denied filing that story. We found out later that it was slipped into the paper by someone in the composing room at the Jornal do Brasil.”


(This section is located around 1/3rd of the way down the page.)

Bolivia's Regime Mobilizes Far-Right Paramilitary Groups

Paramilitaries and civil shock groups linked to the defacto administration have begun carrying out attacks against social movements.

Published 9 August 2020 (3 hours 48 minutes ago)

Paramilitary and extremist groups have waged assaults on demonstrators in three regions as security forces look the other way on day seven of nationwide protests demanding elections.

Human rights defenders are warning about the use of civil shock groups and paramilitaries, linked to Bolivia’s coup regime, to violently attack the road blockades while leaving people injured.

Bolivia’s Ombudsman, Nadia Cruz, has reported to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights as well as to the UN Human Rights Chief, Michelle Bachelet, that Bolivia’s police has turned to irregular civilian groups “with a para-police and paramilitary character” to lift the blockades being carried out as organized working class sectors intensify their resistance to the coup.

Under the threats of force, the shock group demanded that the citizens end their protest while police stood by idle. The protesters say they are vulnerable to an escalation of attacks as media workers are now also afraid to cover the events due to intimidation by violent groups.

The Association for Human Rights of Bolivia has called on international organizations to pronounce themselves on these violations. It also reported that a journalist of the television channel Cadena A was assaulted while trying to film the far-right group intimidating the youth and student protesters.

. . .

Across the country, 61 rural workers were arrested on Saturday afternoon in the municipality of Samaipata in the Department of Santa Cruz after an ambush by paramilitary groups of the far-right Samaipata Civic Committee, in joint actions with the police.

Thesd and released, reported torture and maltreatment and said the police planted explosives within the belongings of the arrested, in order to accuse them of carrying such devices. Around 40 people of them are currently still being held as political prisoners, some of which have been framed as carrying explosives.


These monsters have been terrorizing indigenous Bolivian people, the majority, since Evo Morales, the first indigenous Bolivian was elected as Bolivia's President, just as he was in the last election, which was overturned by the US-backed coup who put the whitish fascists back in power, the same people who didn't allow Bolivian people to vote until a revolution in 1952, or even walk on the same sidewalk as long any time a "white person" was walking on it.

The cartoon shows one of their dirty Youth Movement storm troupers murdering an indigenous woman with a flagpole, and encouraging death for Evo Morales.

The plain and barbed wire covered clubs have been used to viciously beat indigenous people. Their trucks haul their fascist asses over to neighborhoods where indigenous people live, where they go to lay waste to them when the spirit moves their leader. One of their leaders, who has fled the country, was Branko Marinkovic, a fascist from Croatia.

The US Left Needs Humility to Understand Mexican Politics

AUGUST 7, 2020

The recent visit to the US by Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) for a meeting with President Trump has stirred a great deal of media reaction in the US and México. Nearly all US media articles about the visit characterize it as AMLO abandoning his progressive principles and shamefully kowtowing to Donald Trump, despite the latter’s obvious racism towards Mexicans, his brutal deportation and anti-immigration policies. Without exception, none of these articles considers the political and economic context in which AMLO and his Morena party are attempting to implement significant economic, social, and political reforms in México. In order to better appreciate what AMLO and Morena are attempting to do and the significant challenges they face, here are some important factors the Left, especially the North American Left, needs to consider.

1. The strategic impact for the peoples of México, Latinoamérica, the Chican@-Mexican@ people in the US, and the general struggle against US imperialism, if México were to “go left” in a sustained way. A Leftist or Left-leaning México would be much, much more impactful than even when Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, etc, went pink. This is due not only to its size, it economy, its resources, but because it shares a 2000-mile border with the US, and has a “friendly” support population of more than 35 million Chican@-Mexican@ people within US borders.

2. Morena is a very young party, barely over 5-years old. The PRI on the other hand held power for most of the past seventy years. And the rightist PAN, which won its first national election in 2000, has been around since 1939. Compared to Morena’s brief history, these two parties are deeply entrenched within Mexican society, especially with its ruling elite. It was in just 2014 that Morena’s membership decided overwhelmingly to become an official political party, thus enabling it to run candidates at all levels. Morena’s 2018 electoral victories were both comprehensive and unambiguous. They won hundreds of offices at the local, regional, national legislative, and presidential level. This reflected years of organizing, and gargantuan mass support from nearly all sectors of Mexican society, but particularly from its working classes. Morena now has to govern while in the process of consolidation — programmatically, organizationally, politically and ideologically, financially, etc. It is like a vehicle that must be driven while still being assembled. Under ordinary circumstances this would be an extremely challenging task, but it becomes even more complicated and difficult because of the COVID crisis.

3. The Mexican oligarchy remains deeply entrenched and in control of the Mexican economy, most of its mass media, major institutions (including many unions), etc. And neither the PRI nor the Pan have gone away. They, together with the oligarchy and media which they largely control, have been working since the elections to undermine and overthrow AMLO and Morena. The Mexican public is daily bombarded with mass media propaganda about the failings of AMLO and Morena.

4. AMLO and Morena have an incredibly democratic/social democratic reform program, and they have identified their two most important issues, based on consultation with the masses, as ending corruption, and ending the massive wealth and income inequality in México. This does not mean that other issues — like NAFTA 2, environment, etc., are unimportant, but unless AMLO and Morena can show progress on the priority issues, they would likely lose significant mass support.


Newly Revealed Documents Show How the AFL-CIO Aided US Interference in Venezuela


The AFL-CIO’s Solidarity Center has a long history of working hand in glove with the US government in undermining democracy and left labor movements throughout the world. The center emphasizes it has shifted away from these Cold War tactics in recent years. But newly obtained documents show that the Solidarity Center has worked closely with the US to undermine the Venezuelan government in the recent past.

During the Cold War, the United States sought to defeat communism. Key to that effort was the United States’ attempt to match and defeat the Soviet Union’s influence around the world. In many locations, though, communist and socialist movements developed not as puppet movements of Moscow, but organically — particularly student, labor, and peasant organizations.

As a result, the United States worked on multiple fronts, usually clandestinely, to stop the rise of leftist movements, often with zero concern for democracy or basic human rights. A key part of that effort included confronting and marginalizing leftist labor groups.

Across much of the world, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) acted as an international arm of US foreign policy, both before and during the Cold War. In doing so, the AFL-CIO sought to undermine left-leaning and communist groups, labor unions, and governments — with little concern for democracy and often with no compunction about using or supporting brutal violence — in Italy and France in the 1940s, Guatemala in the 1950s, Brazil in the 1960s, Chile in the 1970s, and many other countries.

The union federation also aligned with repressive right-wing dictatorships supportive of US anticommunist foreign policy efforts by working with and funding groups aligned with such regimes. Kim Scipes and William Robinson, for example, have each offered a thorough account of how the AFL-CIO aligned with labor groups affiliated with the Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines throughout the 1970s and 1980s, a regime which regularly repressed, murdered, and disappeared trade unionists and activists.


Supreme Court Invalidates the Use of A Complaint Disclosed by Moro in Criminal Action against Lula

Ministers understood that the then judge of the Lava Jato acted politically to lift the secrecy of the piece six days before the first round of the 2018 election

Aug.5.2020 1:20PM

Matheus Teixeira

The Supreme Court decided on Tuesday (4) that the exonerated plea from ex-minister Antonio Palocci cannot be used in the criminal lawsuit against ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT).

The court found it illegal for then judge Sergio Moro to include Palocci's collaboration in the case file that investigates whether Odebrecht donated land for the construction of the Lula Institute was illegal.

The inclusion in the case occurred six days before the first round of the 2018 presidential election. For the Supreme Court justices Gilmar Mendes and Ricardo Lewandowski, it was intended to create a political fact in the election that year.

Former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Credit:Rede TVT - Rede TVT no Youtube

Barred from competing for the Clean Record Law, Lula was replaced by Fernando Haddad as PT candidate for the Presidency. Jair Bolsonaro defeated him.


Colombia's ruling party loses its wits after court ejects Uribe from politics

by Adriaan Alsema August 5, 2020

Members of Colombia’s far-right ruling party lost their wits on Tuesday after historic criminal charges against former President Alvaro Uribe left them without leader.

In a press release, the Democratic Center party said to be “indignant” the Supreme Court put Uribe under house arrest, abruptly ending the political career of arguably the most powerful politician in Colombia.

The Supreme Court’s fraud and bribery charges and accusations Uribe had tried to obstruct justice were “slanderous” and “sustained by false witnesses,” according to the party, which was already weak because of their alleged drug trafficking ties

The unprecedented blow left President Ivan Duque‘s party in shatters and senators barely able to hold back their tears on social media where they made one hopeless proposal after another to see their leader’s return to the Senate.


Children who suffer violence or trauma age faster, study finds

Researchers discover links with earlier puberty and signs of more rapid cellular ageing

Nicola Davis

Published on Mon 3 Aug 2020 15.30 EDT

Children who experience violence or trauma seem to age faster, going through puberty earlier and showing greater signs of ageing in their cells, researchers have found.

They say the findings add to a growing body of work that suggests early adversity can become “biologically embedded” with the potential for adverse health effects later in life.

“There are also clear practical implications for these findings,” said Dr Katie McLaughlin, co-author of the research at Harvard University. Screening for adversity may be warranted in children who have early puberty to help identify those who might be at risk of early onset of physical and mental health problems, she said.

Writing in the Psychological Bulletin, McLaughlin and her colleagues describe how they analysed 54 studies looking at the impact of two forms of adversity on the onset of puberty and ageing markers in cells.

In both cases, the result reveal children who had experienced violence or trauma, but not deprivation, showed accelerated ageing compared with those who had not.

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