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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
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Germany’s African Genocide

Weekend Edition September 19-21, 2014
The Nambia Legacy

Germany’s African Genocide


How outrageous, how heartbreaking, how truly grotesque! Windhoek City – the capital of Namibia – is, at one extreme full of flowers and Mediterranean-style villas, and at the other, it is nothing more than a tremendous slum without water or electricity.

And in between, there is the town center– with its Germanic orderly feel, boasting ‘colonial architecture’, including Protestant churches and commemorative plaques mourning those brave German men, women and children, those martyrs, who died during the uprisings and wars conducted by local indigenous people.

The most divisive and absurd of those memorials is the so-called “Equestrian Monument”, more commonly known as “The Horse” or under its German original names, Reiterdenkmal and Südwester Reiter (Rider of South-West). It is a statue inaugurated on 27 January 1912, which was the birthday of the German emperor Wilhelm II. The monument “honors the soldiers and civilians that died on the German side of the Herero and Namaqua ‘War’ of 1904–1907’”.

That ‘war’ was not really a war; it was nothing more than genocide, a holocaust.

And Namibia was a prelude to what German Nazis later tried to implement on European soil.

A European expert working for the UN, my friend, speaks, like almost everyone here, passionately, but without daring to reveal her name:

“The first concentration camps on earth were built in this part of Africa… They were built by the British Empire in South Africa and by Germans here, in Namibia. Shark Island on the coast was the first concentration camp in Namibia, used to murder the Nama people, but now it is just a tourist destination – you would never guess that there were people exterminated there. Here in the center of Windhoek, there was another extermination camp; right on the spot where “The Horse” originally stood.”


Colombian senator charges Álvaro Uribe with ties to drug lords and death squads

Colombian senator charges Álvaro Uribe with ties to drug lords and death squads

Iván Cepeda, son of a murdered communist leader, wants ex-president’s past to be investigated

Elizabeth Reyes L. Bogotá 18 SEP 2014 - 17:46 CEST

It was not the first time that Colombia’s elected representatives had argued over the nearly three decades of paramilitary activity in the country. But for more than nine hours on Wednesday, Congress focused exclusively on the alleged ties between Senator Álvaro Uribe (president between 2002 and 2010), the paramilitaries and the drug world.

The debate was initiated by a left-wing senator, Iván Cepeda, who is one of Uribe’s biggest critics.

Uribe is himself the most vocal opponent of President Juan Manuel Santos, and he continues to enjoy significant support among Colombians, especially those who defend a tough stance against the FARC guerrillas.

Uribe has long criticized Santos for the latter’s ongoing negotiations with the armed group in Havana. During his own presidency, he made the fight against armed groups, including FARC and the smaller guerrilla group, ELN, a national priority.

Uribe showed up in Congress at the beginning of the debate, but walked out before Iván Cepeda took the podium, arguing that he would present his evidence in the Supreme Court rather than in the legislative chamber.


Washington Snubs Bolivia on Drug Policy Reform, Again

Washington Snubs Bolivia on Drug Policy Reform, Again

Bolivia has found a way to cut coca production without sacrificing the leaf's cultural importance or cracking down on small growers. But Washington's not having it.

By Zoe Pearson and Thomas Grisaffi, September 19, 2014.

[font size=1]
In Bolivia, licensed growers can legally cultivate a limited quantity of coca—a policy that has actually reduced overall
production. But because it doesn’t fit the U.S. drug war model, the policy has raised hackles in Washington. (Photo:
Thomas Grisaffi / FPIF)
Once again, Washington claims Bolivia has not met its obligations under international narcotics agreements. For the seventh year in a row, the U.S. president has notified Congress that the Andean country “failed demonstrably” in its counter-narcotics efforts over the last 12 months. Blacklisting Bolivia means the withholding of U.S. aid from one of South America’s poorest countries.

The story has hardly made the news in the United States, and that is worrisome. While many countries in the hemisphere call for drug policy reform and are willing to entertain new strategies in that vein, it remains business-as-usual in the United States.

The UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), meanwhile, seems to think that Bolivia is doing a great job, lauding the government’s efforts to tackle coca production (coca is used to make cocaine) and cocaine processing for the past three years. The Organization of American States (OAS) is also heaping praise on Bolivia, calling Bolivia’s innovative new approach to coca control an example of a “best practice” in drug policy.

According to the UNODC, Bolivia has decreased the amount of land dedicated to coca plants by about 26 percent from 2010-2013. Approximately 56,800 acres are currently under production


Colombia: Chocó indigenous leaders assassinated

Colombia: Chocó indigenous leaders assassinated
Submitted by WW4 Report on Sat, 09/20/2014 - 03:45

The president of the Indigenous Organization of Chocó (OICH), Ernelio Pacheco Tunay, was assassinated Sept. 12 at the Embera Dobida indigenous pueblo of Bacal, Alto Baudó municipality, in Colombia's Pacific coastal department of Chocó. Pacheco was detained by armed men while traveling in a boat along the Río Nauca; his body was found nearby several hours later. The following day, Miguel Becheche Zarco, president of the Association of Indigenous Cabildos of Alto Baudo (ACIAB), was similarly taken by armed men while traveling along the same river; his body was found near the community of La Playita. Local indigenous leaders are pressing authorities for action, and protest that no investigators from the Fiscalía, Colombia's attorney general, have yet arrived in Alto Baudó. The municipality is the scene of ongoing conflict between the National Liberation Army (ELN) and the Urabeños paramilitary group. Both groups have threatened indigenous leaders for demanding their right to non-involvement in the conflict. (Radio Caracol, Sept. 16; communique from indigenous organizations, online at Choco.org, Sept. 15; El Colombiano, El Espectador, Sept. 14)


(Short article, no more at link.)

Case of American jailed in Cuba back in US court

Source: Associated Press

Case of American jailed in Cuba back in US court
Posted: Friday, September 19, 2014 4:11 pm | Updated: 8:02 pm, Fri Sep 19, 2014.
Associated Press |

WASHINGTON (AP) — A government subcontractor who has spent over four years imprisoned in Cuba should be allowed to sue the U.S. government over lost wages and legal fees, his attorney told an appeals court Friday.
Alan Gross was working in Cuba as a government subcontractor when he was arrested in 2009. He has since lost income and racked up legal fees, his attorney Barry Buchman told the three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. A lawyer for the government argued the claims are based on his detention in Cuba, making him ineligible to sue.


A lower-court judge previously threw out Gross' lawsuit against the government in 2013, saying federal law bars lawsuits against the government based on injuries suffered in foreign countries. Gross' lawyers appealed.

Gross was detained in December 2009 while working to set up Internet access as a subcontractor for the U.S. government's U.S. Agency for International Development, which does work promoting democracy in the communist country. It was his fifth trip to Cuba to work with Jewish communities on setting up Internet access that bypassed local censorship. Cuba considers USAID's programs illegal attempts by the U.S. to undermine its government, and Gross was tried and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

On Friday, Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson asked a lawyer for the government, Alan Burch, if USAID was still sending people to Cuba. He responded he didn't know. A USAID spokesman declined to comment Friday on the case.

Read more: http://www.appeal-democrat.com/news/national/case-of-american-jailed-in-cuba-back-in-us-court/article_1e4787cb-aab9-58d6-bee1-942333e92057.html

How Uruguay's retiring President redefined his country's views on wealth

How Uruguay's retiring President redefined his country's views on wealth
Stephanie Nolen
RICÓN DEL CERRO, Uruguay — The Globe and Mail

Published Friday, Sep. 19 2014, 6:11 PM EDT
Last updated Friday, Sep. 19 2014, 10:37 PM EDT

The President seems wistful. He flings open the wooden door of his farmhouse, squints into the early-morning light, mutters a gruff greeting. Two steps back into the gloomy interior and he sinks into the seat of power: an ancient black vinyl chair from which he does much of the governing of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay.

Jose Alberto Mujica has only a few months left as the head of this country. The constitution prohibits him from consecutive terms; once he hands over power, he plans to grow flowers, and teach young people to farm. At 79, after a life packed full of drama, he is due for a rest. He has accomplishments to savour.

And yet he leaves his country’s highest office without having accomplished all he had hoped. The President sees himself as a fighter in an epic struggle – for justice, for equality, for liberty – and that fight, by any measure, is not won. So, Mr. Mujica admits with a shrug, he may keep one hand in the game of regional diplomacy.

He retires as a man of some influence, a perhaps surprising amount for the leader of a nation of 3.3 million people tucked into the southern tip of Latin America, its very name a frequent synonym for obscurity. But in the course of Mr. Mujica’s term, Uruguay has been the subject of unprecedented international interest.


Will Col. Inocente Orlando Montano face criminal trial? (El Salvador death squad priest killer)

20 August 2013 Last updated at 19:08 ET
Will Col Inocente Orlando Montano face criminal trial?
By Nina Lakhani

San Vicente, El Salvador

Coffins of the murdered priests; and Gen Montano in 1989 and as he is today Mourners at the
coffins of the murdered priests in 1989; and Col Montano then and now

The commander of one of El Salvador's notorious death squads, active during the 1979-92 civil war, could soon become the first top-ranking Salvadoran officer to face trial for murder. But if so, he will be tried in Spain, not his own country, where an amnesty protects even those guilty of atrocities against civilians.

Inocente Orlando Montano was quietly working in a sweet factory in Massachusetts in May 2011, when he and 19 others were indicted by a Spanish court for their alleged role in the 1989 murder of six Jesuit priests, along with their housekeeper and her teenage daughter.

Five of the priests - outspoken critics of El Salvador's military and suspected of being sympathisers of left-wing rebels - were Spanish. Spain asked for Montano to be extradited - and soon afterwards he was indicted by the US for having lied about his entry date and military past to obtain papers giving him the right to work in the US.

He pleaded guilty in September last year to six counts of immigration fraud and perjury and will be sentenced on Monday.

As vice-minister of public security, Colonel Montano had been one of El Salvador's top three military leaders. He was also commander of the feared Belloso Battalion.


Panama foreign minister invites Raul Castro to Americas Summit

Source: Reuters

Panama foreign minister invites Raul Castro to Americas Summit
By Marc Frank
HAVANA Fri Sep 19, 2014 11:49am EDT

(Reuters) - Panamanian Foreign Minister Isabel de Saint Malo personally invited Cuban President Raul Castro to the Summit of the Americas her nation is hosting in April, according to a Cuban government statement published on Friday.

De Saint Malo met with Castro on Thursday during a one-day visit to Cuba, where she delivered a verbal invitation that puts the United States on the spot diplomatically.

Washington, which initiated the summits in 1994, blocked Cuba’s invitation to the previous six events, saying the Communist-ruled country’s one-party political system was not democratic.

Panama’s invitation amounts to a diplomatic coup for Cuba and follows demands by governments of many Latin American and Caribbean countries that it be invited.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/19/us-cuba-panama-idUSKBN0HE1TW20140919?rpc=401

Paraguay: 3 guerrillas die in clash with troops

Paraguay: 3 guerrillas die in clash with troops
Sep 19, 4:16 PM EDT

ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) -- Paraguay's government says three members of a recently formed guerrilla group have died in a clash with security forces in the South American country.

Col. Victor Urdapilleta says the Agrupacion Campesina Armada fighters battled a joint police, military and anti-drug unit Friday. The confrontation took place 270 miles north of the capital, Asuncion.

The emergence of the new rebel group was announced by the government just two months ago. Officials said intelligence reports indicated it is a splinter group of another rebel movement, the Paraguayan People's Army.

The latter group has sown fear with kidnappings for ransom in the name of political change to help the rural poor. It has killed three members of the military, 13 police officers and 22 civilians since it began operating in 2008.


(Short article, no more at link.)

Former paramilitary leader to sue Uribe over slander

Former paramilitary leader to sue Uribe over slander
Sep 19, 2014 posted by Nicolas Bedoya

A heated debate on former President Alvaro Uribe’s alleged ties to paramilitaries and drug cartels even forced former paramilitary leader Salvatore Mancuso to file criminal charges over slander. The extradited Mancuso, held responsible of more than a hundred homicides and massacres, announced from his prison in the United States that he will sue Uribe for injury and slander.

The legal action comes from what he says are lies that Uribe said during the debate that the former supreme leader of the AUC paramilitary group threatened people into testifying against Uribe.

Senator Ivan Cepeda used recordings of Mancuso’s testimonies in the debate on Wednesday in which the leftist opposition lawmaker attempted to prove the ties between Uribe, the Medellin Cartel and the AUC.

Uribe and his Democratic Center party disqualified the testimonies used the in debate as being lies from convicted criminals. Paradoxically, the testimonies are a direct consequence of the 2005 Justice and Peace law, designed by the Uribe administration in 2005, that allowed paramilitary fighters and commanders reduced sentences in return for, among others, their testimonies.

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