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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 139,518

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World’s Most Unequal Region Sets Example in Fight Against Hunger

World’s Most Unequal Region Sets Example in Fight Against Hunger
By Marianela Jarroud

[font size=1]
A woman and her daughter, beneficiaries of Brazil’s Bolsa Familia programme, one of the country’s social plans cited as
examples in the global fight against hunger. Credit: UNDP [/font]

SANTIAGO, Sep 17 2014 (IPS) - Latin America and the Caribbean, the world’s most unequal region, has made the greatest progress towards improving food security and has become the region with the largest number of countries to have reached the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the proportion of undernourished people.

However, social and geographic inequalities persist in the region, and rural women and indigenous people continue to face high rates of food insecurity and poverty, says the State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI 2014) report, which underscores Brazil and Bolivia’s anti-hunger policies as successful strategies.

“These policies have had a general impact and all groups have benefited, but there are segments that need greater specificity when it comes to policy design,” said Raúl Benítez, regional representative of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), at the regional office based in Santiago.

“There are sectors that need more focalised and tailored policies,” he added in an interview with IPS. “This is like going over it with a fine-tooth comb, but there are things that need an even finer-toothed comb.”

SOFI 2014, presented Tuesday Sept. 16 in Rome, revealed that the proportion of people suffering from undernutrition in Latin America was reduced from 15.3 percent in the 1990-1992 period to 6.1 percent in 2012-2014.


Spectacular progress the Americas have made since the hard right oligarchs started losing their iron fisted grip over the governments of most of the countries. May the progressives not fail so they can reach the humanitarian goals for their WHOLE countries, rather than just the white elites, instead, as it used to be.

Argentina tries doctors for 'baby theft' during military rule

Source: BBC News

17 September 2014 Last updated at 21:06 ET
Argentina tries doctors for 'baby theft' during military rule

[font size=1]
Mothers of "disappeared" children protest in Argentina in this 1977 photo[/font]

Two doctors and a midwife have gone on trial in Argentina charged with kidnapping babies born in captivity to left-wing political prisoners during the 1976-83 military government.

It is the first case of medical staff being tried for allegedly falsifying the babies' birth certificates.

An estimated 500 children were stolen at birth from their mothers during what was known as the Dirty War.

They were then given illegally to other families who raised them as their own.

The real parents were either killed or disappeared.

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-29248974

New Memo: Kissinger Gave the "Green Light" for Argentina's Dirty War

—By David Corn

| Tue Jan. 14, 2014 4:23 PM EST

Only a few months ago, Henry Kissinger was dancing with Stephen Colbert in a funny bit on the latter's Comedy Central show. But for years, the former secretary of state has sidestepped judgment for his complicity in horrific human rights abuses abroad, and a new memo has emerged that provides clear evidence that in 1976 Kissinger gave Argentina's neo-fascist military junta the "green light" for the dirty war it was conducting against civilian and militant leftists that resulted in the disappearance—that is, deaths—of an estimated 30,000 people.

In April 1977, Patt Derian, a onetime civil rights activist whom President Jimmy Carter had recently appointed assistant secretary of state for human rights, met with the US ambassador in Buenos Aires, Robert Hill. A memo recording that conversation has been unearthed by Martin Edwin Andersen, who in 1987 first reported that Kissinger had told the Argentine generals to proceed with their terror campaign against leftists (whom the junta routinely referred to as "terrorists". The memo notes that Hill told Derian about a meeting Kissinger held with Argentine Foreign Minister Cesar Augusto Guzzetti the previous June. What the two men discussed was revealed in 2004 when the National Security Archive obtained and released the secret memorandum of conversation for that get-together. Guzzetti, according to that document, told Kissinger, "our main problem in Argentina is terrorism." Kissinger replied, "If there are things that have to be done, you should do them quickly. But you must get back quickly to normal procedures." In other words, go ahead with your killing crusade against the leftists.

The new document shows that Kissinger was even more explicit in encouraging the Argentine junta. The memo recounts Hill describing the Kissinger-Guzzetti discussion this way:

The Argentines were very worried that Kissinger would lecture to them on human rights. Guzzetti and Kissinger had a very long breakfast but the Secretary did not raise the subject. Finally Guzzetti did. Kissinger asked how long will it take you (the Argentines) to clean up the problem. Guzzetti replied that it would be done by the end of the year. Kissinger approved.

In other words, Ambassador Hill explained, Kissinger gave the Argentines the green light.


Uribe worked with Medellin Cartel banker: Opposition tells Colombia Senate

Uribe worked with Medellin Cartel banker: Opposition tells Colombia Senate
Sep 17, 2014 posted by Joel Gillin

Leftist opposition senator Ivan Cepeda on Wednesday claimed that Colombia’s former President Alvaro Uribe worked with the Medellin Cartel’s top finance man, among several other accusations of ties to criminal and politically violent activities over the last three decades.

In a debate broadcast on live television and streamed online by nearly every major Colombian newspaper, Cepeda provided extensive documentation of Uribe’s alleged connections paramilitaries, narco-traffickers, and those convicted of such ties.

It was a much-anticipated debate between two political enemies with long histories of accusing each other of supposed connections to illegal groups.

One of those alleged connections of Uribe’s was to the financier of the notorious Medellin Cartel, Luis Carlos Molina Yepes, who sent to prison for his involvement in the killing the director of El Espectador newspaper. According to the documents obtained by Cepeda, Uribe sat on the Board of Directors of Molina’s company COMFIRMESA.


(This man, Ivan Cepeda, has courage to spare: his own father was himself assassinated for his outspoken beliefs. He does have the power of his convictions giving him strength to speak in a country where leftists have been tortured, murdered relentlessly for ages. Clearly he believes what he says can be proven if someone will be good enough to start investigating formally.)

Luis Carlos Galan

Luis Carlos Galan
Sep 17, 2014 posted by Craig Corbett

Luis Carlos Galan was a Colombian journalist and Liberal politician who ran for president twice. He was defeated in his first attempt in 1982, but was tipped in the polls as the main contender for the 1990 election before his murder in August, 1989.

An outspoken opponent of drug trafficking, Galan was in favor of forming an extradition treaty with the USA, and thus found himself a target of organized crime networks in Colombia. He declared himself the enemy of Pablo Escobar and Jose Gonzalo Rodriguez also known by the nickname “El Mexicano,” both leaders of the infamous Medellin cartel.

After a number of death threats and thwarted planned attempts on his life, Galan was assassinated at a political rally in Soacha, Cundinamarca on the August 18, 1989 in front of thousands of spectators.

With a political career spanning from 1970 until his death in 1989, he was a well-known Liberal politician who formed his own party Nuevo Liberalismo as offspring of the Liberal party, in 1979.



Brazil removed from UN World Hunger Map

Brazil removed from UN World Hunger Map
| September 16, 2014 | Updated: September 16, 2014 3:28pm

SAO PAULO (AP) — The Brazilian government Tuesday hailed a new United Nations report that for the first time removed Latin America's biggest country from the World Hunger Map.

"Leaving the Hunger Map is a historic milestone for Brazil. We are very proud because overcoming hunger was a priority for the Brazilian state," Social Development Minister Tereza Campello said in a statement.

The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2014 was released Tuesday by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the United Nations World Food Program.

According to the report, the number of undernourished Brazilians has fallen by more than 80 percent in 10 years.

A feat Campello said was achieved through a "mix of public policies that have ensured more income for the poorest Brazilians, an increased food supply and a consolidation of Brazil's social safety net."


AP PHOTOS: Citizen patrols help police in Bolivia

AP PHOTOS: Citizen patrols help police in Bolivia

| September 16, 2014 | Updated: September 16, 2014 11:04pm

EL ALTO, Bolivia (AP) — The women and men march in formation across a local school yard on weekends, training as citizen volunteers in this city's fight against crime.

Each wearing a yellow cap and olive green vest over their street clothes, the members of El Alto's neighborhood security brigades get instructions from the uniformed police officers who train them. When they patrol their communities, the volunteers are armed with nothing more than cellphones to call the closest police station when they spot a suspected crime.

Porfiria Luca, a 29-year-old mother of two and bread vendor, said she joined the brigade because she's worried about crime in her neighborhood. She said a young woman who lived in the area was recently killed, her body found dumped a week ago.

Police Sgt. Freddy Quispe said there are more than 2,000 brigade members in El Alto. The city of about 800,000 people includes many impoverished people from rural areas who migrated there to be closer to the nearby capital of La Paz and improve their economic situation.


Guerrillas from Colombia’s Palace of Justice seige found in Bogota mass grave

Guerrillas from Colombia’s Palace of Justice seige found in Bogota mass grave
Sep 16, 2014 posted by Joel Gillin

Colombian authorities have identified the remains of two guerrillas who stormed the Colombia’s Palace of Justice in 1985, at least one of whom appear to have been executed, according to local media.

Colombia’s Noticias Uno reported Sunday that the two women identified, Carmen Cristina Garzon and Monica Molina Beltran, were not on the official list of the 11 people who disappeared following the siege, nor did their bodies bear the marks of having been burned in the military assault on the palace.

In addition, one of the remains reportedly had the mark of a “coup de grace” gunshot wound to the head, raising questions about the nature of their death and the possibility of their execution.

Photographic evidence appears to show the gathering and dumping of bodies by the police in such a way that did not comply with necessary protocols.


US Treasury targets Medellin crime syndicate

Source: Colombia Reports

US Treasury targets Medellin crime syndicate
Sep 16, 2014 posted by Emil Foget

The United States Treasury placed eight members of the violent drug cartel, Oficina de Envigado, a Medellin-based crime group, on the Treasury department’s “Kingpin list” Tuesday, according to a statement from USA Embassy in Bogota.

The Kingpin List is the colloquial term for the US Treasury Department’s Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN), compiled by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). The list orders the suspension of all illegal activities of the individuals or groups named and prohibits any US citizen to make transactions with these entities.

Oficina de Envigado was included in the Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers list (SDNT) in June, which means that any person or business associated with the Oficina could face fines or prison.

“La Oficina’s cadres of enforcers intimidate, extort, and murder citizens and officials, including courageous judicial and law enforcement partners throughout Colombia,” said Adam Szubin, director of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, in a statement.

Read more: http://colombiareports.co/u-s-treasury-targets-colombia-cocaine-cartel/

Guatemala: bishop's killer runs prison ring

Guatemala: bishop's killer runs prison ring
Submitted by Weekly News Update... on Tue, 09/16/2014 - 10:15

On Sept. 3 the United Nations-sponsored International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) announced that a joint operation with Guatemala's Public Ministry and Governance Ministry had captured seven members of a criminal network that took bribes to arrange transfers for prisoners; the ring also supplied prisoners with cell phones, special food, conjugal visits and other benefits. According to the authorities, the network's leaders were Penitentiary System Director Edgar Camargo Liere and a prisoner, Byron Miguel Lima Oliva, who is serving a 20-year term for carrying out the Apr. 26, 1998 murder of Catholic bishop Juan José Gerardi Conedera, a well-known human rights campaigner. A total of 14 people are charged with participating in the bribery ring, but apparently not all had been captured as of Sept. 3. (CICIG, Sept. 3)

Lima Oliva, a former army captain who is an inmate in the Pavoncito prison south of Guatemala City, reportedly had an arrangement with Penitentiary Director Camargo that enabled him to charge a prisoner as much as $12,000 to be transferred. Lima Oliva himself apparently was living well in the Pavoncito. He was equipped with as many as five cell phones for his business, made frequent trips out of prison in armored cars, including a Porsche, and invested in real estate, including a beachfront property. The Mexican daily La Jornada reported that the corruption in Pavoncito "was always known." Lima Oliva himself has claimed to be friends with President Otto Pérez Molina and to have connections with Governance Minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla; he says he arranged the printing of the campaign polo shirts for Pérez Molina's successful 2011 election campaign. In February of this year Lima was apprehended while going to the dentist and overstaying his authorized time outside the prison; he and his entourage were traveling in vehicles used in the 2011 campaign by Pérez Molina's Patriotic Party (PP).

According to the court that convicted him in June 2001, Lima Oliva bludgeoned Bishop Gerardi to death just two days after Gerardi released a report on abuses during Guatemala's 36-year civil war; the report blamed many of the abuses on the military. Also convicted were Lima Oliva's father, former colonel Byron Disrael Lima Estrada, and a former soldier in the Presidential General Staff (EMP), Specialist Obdulio Villanueva Arévalo. The elder Lima was given an early release in 2012 for good behavior; Villanueva was decapitated during an inmate riot at the Preventive Center prison in northern Guatemala City in February 2003. Lima Oliva was in the same prison but was unharmed. He denies any role in Gerardi's murder and says he's a scapegoat.

Lima Oliva's apparent connections with the government have led to suspicions that the prosecution of the former captain may not be successful. La Jornada correspondent Sanjuana Martínez asked the judge in the case, Miguel Ángel Gálvez, if he might end up fleeing the country, as happened with the chief prosecutor in Lima Oliva's 2001 conviction. "I hope not," Judge Gálvez said. When asked if he was afraid, he answered: "Of course, especially since this is a very complex country." (Christian Science Monitor, Sept. 5; Prensa Libre, Guatemala, Sept.11; LJ, Sept. 14; The Guardian, UK, Sept. 14, 2012, from AP)


(Short article, no more at link.)

Uruguay: Deepening of progressivism or conservative break?

Uruguay: Deepening of progressivism or conservative break?

Written by José Elosegui
Monday, 15 September 2014 19:13
Source: Latinamerican Press

Surveys indicate that the governing Frente Amplio and right-wing National Party would vie for the presidency in a second round.

On October 26 Uruguayans will vote for a new president and choose the members of the bicameral parliament (30 senators and 90 representatives). Opinion polls indicate that the governing Frente Amplio (FA), or Broad Front, will not win on the first round, so a runoff election on November 30 would be held, in which it will face the conservative National Party (PN).

FA member Tabaré Vázquez, who was president during 2005-2010 and was the first leftist leader in the political history of the country, and the young Luis Lacalle Pou, son of former president Luis Alberto Lacalle (1990-95), are the two choices for president.

It’s also not for certain that the governing leftist party will win the second round. Even if it does triumph, it’s very possible that it will lose the majority in the national parliament.

At the same time as the first round, a referendum will be carried out to let the people decide if they want to lower the age of criminal responsibility from 18 to 16 years of age. The referendum also divides along political parties and their supporters — the PN and Colorado Party (PC), the so called traditional parties, versus the FA. The result of this referendum is also very uncertain.

The two consecutive administrations of the ruling party have made fundamental strides for the Uruguayan people in terms of human rights as well as economic, social and cultural rights.

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