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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 139,937

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Peru holding two loggers in murder of four native environmentalists

Peru holding two loggers in murder of four native environmentalists
Source: Reuters - Fri, 26 Sep 2014 20:46 GMT

LIMA, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Peru has arrested two loggers suspected of murdering four indigenous environmental activists to keep them from opposing timber extraction on native lands near the border with Brazil, a prosecutor said on Friday.

More suspects linked to logging will likely be arrested as investigations proceed, said local prosecutor Eder Farfan.

Edwin Chota, a well-known environmental activist and Ashaninka tribal leader, was shot and killed along with three of his companions earlier this month in a remote rainforest region.

The case has triggered widespread criticism of Peru's response to complaints from indigenous communities over incursions from loggers and others on their lands.

Chota spent years opposing logging near his village of Saweto and reported several death threats he received to authorities, his colleagues and family members have said.

Late on Thursday, a Peruvian judge ordered Eurico Mapez, a Peruvian citizen, to nine months of preventive prison. His father, Adeuso Mapez, a Brazilian national, was arrested earlier this week.



[font size=1]
Edwin Chota in 2013 at a sawmill with some of the 800 logs that he said were extracted illegally from his community in Peru.
Credit Tomas Munita for The New York Times [/center]

UN Human Rights Council backs Argentina on US debt row

Source: BBC News

UN Human Rights Council backs Argentina on US debt row
26 September 2014 Last updated at 18:15 ET

The United Nations Human Rights Council has passed a resolution in Geneva condemning a group of American hedge funds that took Argentina to court.

The investors are demanding payments worth more than $1.3bn (£766m) dollars on government bonds they hold.

Argentina defaulted on its debts in July after refusing to comply with a US court ruling in favour of the funds.

It is searching for ways of meeting its obligations to its other creditors without paying the hedge funds in full.

It was approved by 33 votes to five, with nine countries abstaining.

The United States, Britain, Germany, Japan and the Czech Republic voted against.

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-29387872

El Salvador's total abortion ban lethal, says Amnesty

El Salvador's total abortion ban lethal, says Amnesty
25 September 2014 Last updated at 14:45 ET

El Salvador's total ban on abortions is killing women and girls and condemning others to decades in jail, says Amnesty International.

The rights group says that the ban is pushing women into unsafe, clandestine abortions or forcing them to undergo dangerous pregnancies.

The constitution in the majority Roman Catholic country protects the right to life "from the moment of conception".

Women and girls who violate the ban face lengthy jail sentences.

Under El Salvador's homicide laws, women who decide to terminate their pregnancy can be sentenced to up to 50 years in prison.

"The horrific repression that women and girls in El Salvador face is truly shocking and akin to torture," says Amnesty International.

"Shockingly, the ban extends even to cases where the life of the pregnant woman is at risk, and to children who have been raped," it adds.


Mexico army holds 8 soldiers in June killing of 22

Source: Associated Press

Mexico army holds 8 soldiers in June killing of 22
By PETER ORSI, Associated Press | September 25, 2014 | Updated: September 25, 2014 11:14pm

MEXICO CITY (AP) — An army officer and seven soldiers are being detained in connection with the killing of 22 people in rural southern Mexico, an encounter that the military initially reported as a shootout but that a witness later described as a massacre.

The Mexican Defense Department said in a statement late Thursday that the eight were involved in the June 30 incident in San Pedro Limon, but did not specify how. They were being held at a prison in Mexico City on charges of crimes against military discipline, disobedience and dereliction of duty.

The statement said the military charges are being pursued "independently of the investigations that civil authorities are carrying out under their jurisdiction."


At least five spots inside the warehouse where the bloodshed occurred showed the same pattern: One or two closely placed bullet pocks, surrounded by a mass of spattered blood, giving the appearance that some of those killed had been standing against a wall and shot at about chest level.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/world/article/Mexico-army-holds-8-soldiers-in-June-killing-of-22-5781899.php

‘Don’t think you are safe’

‘Don’t think you are safe’

By Thomas Mortensen

The text message that Yomaira Mendoza received was menacing. ‘They’ had seen her the previous day, it read, by the river, with los gringos – meaning us, a group of humanitarian workers and journalists visiting conflict-affected communities in Choco, north-west Colombia.

Over the years, the region had been the scene of massacres, selective killings and displacement. It was chilling to realize that those capable of such crimes were apparently watching us – closely.

After we left, Yomaira, whose husband was shot dead in front of her seven years ago, received another text message. ‘We have seen the gringos leave. Don’t think you are safe’, it warned.

Yomaira, the leader of an Afro-descendant community campaigning for the restitution of land lost during the conflict, had already received a string of death threats, including one reading: ‘fighting for land, there will be more than enough on top of you’.


No, Putin Isn't Following 'Reagan Playbook' in Ukraine–Thank God

No, Putin Isn't Following 'Reagan Playbook' in Ukraine–Thank God
By Jim Naureckas
Apr 09 2014

David Ignatius is a Washington Post columnist who is notable for his coziness with his sources in the CIA. So when he writes a column (4/8/14) headlined "Putin Steals the CIA's Playbook on Anti-Soviet Covert Operations," it's hard to know how to take that: Is it supposed to be a criticism or a compliment?

More specifically, Ignatius writes that Putin

may in fact be taking a page out of the United States' playbook during the Ronald Reagan presidency, when the Soviet empire began to unravel thanks to a relentless US covert-action campaign. Rather than confront Moscow head-on, Reagan nibbled at the edges, by supporting movements that destabilized Russian power in Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Angola and, finally, Poland and Eastern Europe.

Ignatius credits this view to "John Ma­guire, a former CIA paramilitary covert-action officer, who served in the Contras program in Nicaragua and later in the Middle East." Maguire argues that what Putin is doing in Ukraine is similar to what he and his colleagues did in Nicaragua. Really?

Though this history has largely gone down the memory hole, as demonstrated by the whitewashing of Reagan's record at the time of his death (Media Advisory, 6/9/04), the CIA-backed Contras were not just "hit-and-run guerrillas in Nicaragua," as Ignatius describes them. They were an organized terrorist force that targeted schools, health clinics and other civilian facilities.

Their standard tactics, in the words of human rights advocate Reed Brody, were "the killing of unarmed men, women, children and the elderly" and "premeditated acts of brutality including rape, beatings, mutilation and torture." The war left an estimated 30,000 dead.


Washington Post Slams Venezuela for Electing 'Former Bus Driver'

Washington Post Slams Venezuela for Electing 'Former Bus Driver'
By Peter Hart
Sep 25 2014

It's no secret that the Washington Post editorial page was quite alarmed by Venezuela's shift to the left under former President Hugo Chavez. The Post–like the rest of elite US media (Extra!, 11/05)–was an unrelenting critic of Chavez's policies.

Some things haven't changed.

In a scathing editorial (9/20/14), the Post went after Chavez's successor Nicolas Maduro, calling him an "economically illiterate former bus driver" because he "rejected the advice of pragmatists" and will continue to pursue policies that are ruining what was "once Latin America’s richest country."

During the Chavez years, the most important economic story was the rapid gains by the country's poor (FAIR Blog, 12/13/12); what the Post remembers as the good old days were when prosperity was not so widely shared.

The Post's real point is that the United States should do something significant to oppose the human rights abuses under Maduro–most especially the crackdown on anti-government protests earlier this year. The Post cites a Human Rights Watch report to make its case, and the solution was as clear as the editorial headline: "Venezuela Doesn't Deserve a Seat on the UN Security Council."


European lawmakers call on Colombia to protect political leader

European lawmakers call on Colombia to protect political leader
Sep 25, 2014 posted by Christoffer Frendesen

The Green alliance in the European Parliament calls on Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos to ensure the protection of the secretary general of the Colombian Green Alliance party who has been threatened by a neo-paramilitary group.

The threats came from the neo-paramilitary group Aguilas Negras in an email with hundred names of peace advocates and human rights defenders, which was sent to several associations and individuals including Gloria Florez, the Green Alliance’s secretary general.

Ulrike Lunacek, vice president of the Greens, rejected the threats and urged Santos to protect social leaders, trade unionists, human rights defenders and Florez.

To do this, Santos needs to take effective measures to guarantee the physical integrity and political work of Flórez, the statement from Lunacek and his colleagues said.


Colombia’s conservative opposition accidentally votes against own platform

Colombia’s conservative opposition accidentally votes against own platform
Sep 24, 2014 posted by Nicolas Bedoya

Whether an honest mistake or a show of incompetence, Colombia’s right-wing Democratic Center party senators on Tuesday surprisingly voted in favor of a political reform they have vehemently opposed over the past few weeks.

After an eight hour long debate in the Senate’s first commission, Democratic Center senator Paloma Valencia proposed an amendment to the political reform legislation passing through congress, to allow the a former president to run for president again after waiting four years.

Valencia’s proposal could be taken as an attempt to get Democratic Center party leader and former President Alvaro Uribe back into Colombia’s presidential palace.

The Democratic Center bench then requested that the bill be submitted to vote. When the time to vote on the initial proposal to eliminate reelection came, the “Uribistas” thought they were voting for their own amendment to allow a former president to run for president again, according to Semana magazine.

Senators Paloma Valencia, Jose Obdulio Gaviria, Jaime Amin, and Alfredo Rangel ended up voting for the elimination of the reelection along with their opponents in the governing coalition let by Santos’s U party. The final vote in the commission was 13 senators in favor and three against.


Colombia’s paramilitary successors continue to threaten human rights defenders

Colombia’s paramilitary successors continue to threaten human rights defenders
Sep 24, 2014 posted by Joel Gillin

Paramilitary successor groups have issued fresh threats against Colombian human rights defenders in recent weeks, leading several groups to call on the government to ensure adequate protection of at risk individuals.

Various NGOs and leaders were threatened in a letter signed by the group known as the Rastrojos over their alleged guerrilla sympathies, according to documents posted by the Peace and Reconciliation Foundation.

The letter, delivered as the latest round of peace talks between the government and the FARC got underway in Havana, stated that, “In any place in Colombia, our fight will be from the beginning to the end against our enemies: human rights defenders, FARC, ELN, EPL, and other similar organizations.”

Other prominent groups and leaders threatened include the director of the Consultation for Human Rights and Forced Displacement (CODHES), the president of the labor union General Confederation of Labor (CGT), and members of the NGO Nuevo Arco Iris.

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