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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 139,721

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Mexico torture cases increase 600 percent in 10 years

Source: Anatolia News Agency

Mexico torture cases increase 600 percent in 10 years
10 September 2014 01:34 (Last updated 10 September 2014 01:42)

Moving the country's army and navy in areas to combat organized crime has helped to spike the increase in torture, according to a human rights group.

Mexico City

Claims of torture in Mexico have increased 600 percent during a 10-year period, according to a human rights group.
Amnesty International says that between 2003 and 2013 torture in the country exploded, in part, due to the large-scale deployment of the army and members of the navy in recent years to combat organized crime, according to its report “Mexico: Out Of Control: Torture And Other Ill-Treatment In Mexico.”

The 94-page report found that “torture is often used to extract ‘confessions’ and testimony serving as evidence to prosecute people who may or may not be involved in a crime.”

The results are unfair trails and suspect convictions where innocent civilians become inmates while the guilty go free.

~snip~
Research found that different forms of torture are systematically reported from different parts of the country, including partial suffocation, beatings, sexual violence, death threats and electric shocks, among others.

Read more: http://www.aa.com.tr/en/rss/386650--mexico-torture-cases-increase-600-percent-in-10-years

Chile steps up security after bomb hurts 14

Source: Associated Press

Chile steps up security after bomb hurts 14
By LUIS ANDRES HENAO, Associated Press | September 9, 2014 | Updated: September 9, 2014 10:39pm

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Chile's president increased security measures and expanded powers to investigate on Tuesday, a day after a bomb injured 14 people in the capital in the worst attack of its kind in the country since democracy returned in 1990.

Officials said they were looking into whether anarchist groups believed responsible for a wave of bombings in Santiago were behind Monday's attack at a fast-food restaurant next to a busy subway station.

"Those who carry out these acts think they will frighten us, but we're not going to let a small group of terrorists and cowards scare the vast majority who want a peaceful country," President Michelle Bachelet said after she led a high-level security meeting.

~snip~
The latest blast occurred just ahead of the 41st anniversary of the Chilean military coup that ousted socialist President Salvador Allende and began the bloody 1973-90 dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet. Chileans remain divided over Pinochet's rule, and protests at the coup's anniversary often turn violent.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/world/article/Chile-steps-up-security-after-bomb-hurts-14-5743905.php



CIA Admits Involvement in Chile
W A S H I N G T O N, Sept. 20
By David Briscoe

The CIA is acknowledging for the first time the extent of its deep involvement in Chile, where it dealt with coup-plotters, false propagandists and assassins.

The agency planned to post a declassified report required by Congress on its Web site today that admits CIA support for the 1970 kidnapping of Chile’s top general for refusing to use the Army to prevent the country’s congress from confirming the election of socialist Salvador Allende as president. The kidnapping failed, but Gen. Rene Schneider was shot and died two days later, the day Allende’s election was confirmed.

The CIA admits prior knowledge of the plot that overthrew Allende three years later but denies direct involvement. The report says the agency had no idea that Allende would refuse safe passage with his palace under bombardment and apparently kill himself. He was found dead of gunshot wounds.

There is no evidence the CIA wanted Schneider killed for refusing to join the coup attempt in 1970, the report said, although the agency later paid $35,000 to the group that botched his capture.

More:
http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=82588

Clothing of 53 victims exhumed at Peru base shown

Clothing of 53 victims exhumed at Peru base shown
By FRANKLIN BRICENO, Associated Press | September 9, 2014 | Updated: September 9, 2014 11:54pm







LIMA, Peru (AP) — Peruvian forensic investigators displayed on Tuesday the clothing that 53 people were wearing when they were killed in the 1980s at an army base in Ayacucho.

The prosecutor investigating the killings, Juan Borjas, said the Los Cabitos base was Peru's biggest detention center during the political violence of the fanatical Shining Path insurgency and a backlash of abuses by the military.

Not a single former soldier is in prison for any of the killings that presumably took place at Los Cabitos. Peru's Defense Ministry has refused to provide information about who was assigned there from 1983 to 1996.

~snip~
One survivor of Los Cabitos, anthropologist Jaime Urrutia, told The Associated Press he was tortured there in 1983, hung by the arms and submerged into a well full of water until he nearly drowned.

In all, 109 cadavers were exhumed from common graves. Forensic investigators say they also found four ovens where victims' bodies were burned.

http://www.chron.com/news/world/article/Clothing-of-53-victims-exhumed-at-Peru-base-shown-5744948.php#photo-6839779

Lawsuit Launched to Stop Out-of-control Wildlife Killing by Secretive Federal Agency in Idaho

Monday, September 8, 2014 - 2:30pm
Lawsuit Launched to Stop Out-of-control Wildlife Killing by Secretive Federal Agency in Idaho

BOISE, Idaho - Four conservation organizations today filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services program over its large-scale, often secretive killing of wild animals in Idaho. The program kills millions of animals nationwide every year, and in 2013 killed more than 3,000 mammals in Idaho alone via aerial gunning, neck snares, foothold traps, and toxic devices known as M-44s that spray sodium cyanide into the victim’s mouth, causing tremendous suffering and releasing toxic chemicals into the environment.

“It’s long overdue for Wildlife Services to be held accountable for killing wildlife and releasing pollutants into our environment,” said Travis Bruner, executive director of Western Watersheds Project. “We want an explanation for this deplorable expenditure of public funds.”

The lawsuit will challenge Wildlife Services’ renewal of its efforts in Idaho to eradicate coyotes, black bears, mountain lions, bobcats, foxes and other important carnivores from the landscape for the benefit of private livestock and agricultural interests. Wildlife Services also plans to remove dozens of beaver dams using explosives that will harm bull trout, a protected species. The program admits that its trapping activities will harm threatened grizzly bears and Canada lynx. Trapping also targets fishers, which are in rapid decline in the Northern Rocky Mountains due to a vast increase in trapping activities in Idaho. Conservation groups have petitioned to protect the fisher under the Endangered Species Act.

“One of the many problems with this program is the many unintended victims left in its wake, including endangered species,” said Andrea Santarsiere, staff attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Grizzly bears, lynx and bull trout are all suffering at the hands of Wildlife Services, and that needs to stop.”

Wildlife Services has come under increasing criticism for the sheer number of animals that it kills and injures, (including many nontarget animals), the ineffectiveness of its methods, its cruel and inhumane tactics, and its antiquated attitude about carnivores, which scientists demonstrate are critically important to maintaining intact ecosystems in the western United States. Beavers similarly play a key role in healthy ecosystems and are critical to successful climate adaptation. New research demonstrates the essential role beavers play by stabilizing streams, slowing snowmelt runoff, and improving fish habitat, among other benefits.

More:
http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2014/09/08/lawsuit-launched-stop-out-control-wildlife-killing-secretive-federal-agency

North America's key birds facing extinction, study finds

North America's key birds facing extinction, study finds

314 species, including the bald eagle and 10 state birds of US at risk from climate change

Half of North America’s bird species, from common backyard visitors like the Baltimore oriole and the rufous hummingbird to wilderness dwellers like the common loon and bald eagle, are under threat from climate change and many could go extinct, an exhaustive new study has found.

Seven years of research found climate change the biggest threat to North America’s bird species.

Some 314 species face dramatic declines in population, if present trends continue, with warming temperatures pushing the birds out of their traditional ranges. Ten states and Washington DC could lose their state birds.

“It is hard to imagine that we are not going to lose some of these birds permanently,” said Gary Langham, chief scientist for the Audubon Society and leader of the study.

“The scale of disruption we are projecting means that many familiar sounds, and many familiar birds that people may see in their backyards and on their walks, that help them define a place for them, may no longer be there.”

More:
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/09/north-america-birds-extinction-study-climate-change

Latin America’s Anti-drug Policies Feed on the Poor

Published on Sunday, September 07, 2014
by Inter Press Service

Latin America’s Anti-drug Policies Feed on the Poor
by Diego Arguedas Ortiz, Inter Press Service

Poor young men, slumdwellers and single mothers are hurt the most by anti-drug policies in Latin America, according to representatives of governments, social organisations and multilateral bodies meeting at the Fifth Latin American Conference on Drug Policies.

During the Sept. 3-4 conference held in San José, Costa Rica, activists, experts and decision-makers from throughout the region demanded reforms of these policies, to ease the pressure on vulnerable groups and shift the focus of law enforcement measures to those who benefit the most from the drug trade.

Today things are backwards – the focus is on “the small fish” rather than “the big fish”, Paul Simons, the executive secretary of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), told IPS.

The proposals set forth during the meeting recommended an overhaul of the legal systems in Latin America, to reduce incarceration and establish sentences proportionate to minor crimes. The participants argued that laws and the justice systems should focus on cracking down on the big interests involved in drug trafficking.

More:
http://www.commondreams.org/news/2014/09/07/latin-americas-anti-drug-policies-feed-poor

Panama Canal expansion dredges up historical treasures

Panama Canal expansion dredges up historical treasures

22 hours ago by María Isabel Sánchez

Panama Canal expansion work has uncovered an unexpected trove of archeological and paleontological treasures, scientists said, as the massive construction project winds down.

Workers who have blasted through mountains and dug up thick vegetation, have also uncovered the fossils of some 3,000 invertebrates and 500 vertebrates, as well as of more than 250 plants—including the remains of a forest consumed by fire after a volcanic eruption.

Experts hired by the Panama Canal Authority have identified remains of camels, crocodiles, the teeth of a giant shark, as well as bones of other animals millions of years old.

But the most surprising discovery, researchers said, was about the age of the very land beneath Panama, the southern end of the narrow isthmus that connects North and South America.

Evidence uncovered during the canal excavation showed that the land started forming 20 million years ago and finished around 10 million years later.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-09-panama-canal-expansion-dredges-historical.html#jCp

Nestlé and other companies can be sued for overseas child slave labor, court rules

Nestlé and other companies can be sued for overseas child slave labor, court rules
By Travis Gettys
Friday, September 5, 2014 10:30 EDT

Nestlé and other counties that sell chocolate from Africa can be sued for using child slave labor, a federal appeals court ruled.

Three former slave laborers sued the food manufacturer, along with Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill, under a 1789 law allowing lawsuits in U.S. courts for violations of international human rights.

A federal judge in Los Angeles previously dismissed the suit, ruling the law did not apply to U.S. corporations allegedly involved in illegal activities abroad.

But the appeals court found they could be sued if their conduct on U.S. soil substantially contributed to human rights violations overseas, reported the San Francisco Chronicle.

~snip~
The three plaintiffs claimed in their suit they were forced to work up to 14 hours a day, six days a week, and were beaten and whipped and given scraps to eat.

More:
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/09/05/nestle-and-other-companies-can-be-sued-for-overseas-child-slave-labor-court-rules/

A Victory Over Justice System's Failure: Wrongly Convicted Brothers Freed After 31 Years in Prison

A Victory Over Justice System's Failure: Wrongly Convicted Brothers Freed After 31 Years in Prison
Friday, 05 September 2014 13:35
By Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, Democracy Now! | Video Interview

Two African-American half-brothers have been exonerated of rape and murder after more than 30 years behind bars in North Carolina. Henry Lee McCollum and Leon Brown were found guilty in 1984 of the rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl. There was no physical evidence tying them to the crime, but police obtained confessions that McCollum and Brown have always said were coerced. Police at the time failed to investigate another man, Roscoe Artis, who lived near the crime scene and had admitted to a similar rape and murder at around the same time. After three decades, the case saw a major breakthrough last month when testing by North Carolina’s Innocence Inquiry Commission tied Artis’ DNA to the crime scene. After a hearing presenting the new evidence Tuesday, the two brothers were declared innocent and ordered freed. Over the years, death penalty supporters have cited the brothers’ case in order to back capital punishment. In 2010, the North Carolina Republican Party pasted McCollum’s mug shot on campaign mailers. In 1994, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia pointed to McCollum as an example of why the death penalty is just. We are joined by two guests: Vernetta Alston, one of the lawyers representing Henry Lee McCollum, and a staff attorney with the Center for Death Penalty Litigation; and Steven Drizin, clinical professor at Northwestern Law School and assistant dean of the Bluhm Legal Clinic, where for more than a decade he was legal director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions.

Video, and transcript at link:
http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/26016-a-victory-over-justice-systems-failure-wrongly-convicted-brothers-freed-after-31-years-in-prison

(My emphasis.)

Golden Weapons of Destruction Take Aim at El Salvador

Golden Weapons of Destruction Take Aim at El Salvador
Saturday, 06 September 2014 12:23
By John Cavanagh and Robin Broad, OtherWords | Op-Ed

An obscure tribunal housed at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. will soon decide the fate of millions of people.

At issue is whether a government should be punished for refusing to let a foreign mining company operate because it wants to protect its main source of water.

The case pits El Salvador's government against a Canadian gold-mining company that recently became part of a larger Australian-based corporation. When OceanaGold bought Pacific Rim last year, it identified the Salvadoran mining prospects as a key asset even though gold prices have sunk by more than a third from their 2011 high of more than $1,900 an ounce.

The case's implications are chilling. If the company wins, this small country will have to either let the company mine or pay hundreds of millions of dollars.

More:
http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/26022-golden-weapons-of-destruction-take-aim-at-el-salvador
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