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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 135,472

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Q&A: “Bolivia Marked the Start of a Major Indigenous Awakening”

Q&A: “Bolivia Marked the Start of a Major Indigenous Awakening”
By Marianela Jarroud
Marianela Jarroud interviews Álvaro García Linera, vice president of Bolivia

SANTIAGO, Mar 31 2014 (IPS) - He describes himself as someone who was drawn to Marxism as a result of his commiseration with the plight of indigenous people in his country, and he is considered one of the most influential Latin American thinkers of the 21st century.

Álvaro García Linera, 51, is seen as the “right hand man” of Bolivia’s leftist President Evo Morales.
Bolivia’s 51-year-old vice president took part in the foundation of the Tupac Katari Guerrilla Army, whose aim was to support the indigenous insurgency. In 1997 he was released after five years in the San Pedro prison in La Paz.

He is also one of the main forces behind the lawsuit against Chile that Bolivia filed at the International Court of Justice in The Hague to reclaim access to the Pacific Ocean, which his country lost in the 1879-1883 War of the Pacific.

Bolivia has not had diplomatic ties with Chile since 1978. But during Chilean President Michelle Bachelet’s first term (2006-2010), relations warmed with Morales – in office since 2006 – although they cooled again under the government of Chile’s right-wing former president Sebastián Piñera (2010-2014).

More:
http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/03/133318/

Methane-producing microbes may be responsible for the largest mass extinction in Earth's history

Methane-producing microbes may be responsible for the largest mass extinction in Earth's history
4 hours ago

Evidence left at the crime scene is abundant and global: Fossil remains show that sometime around 252 million years ago, about 90 percent of all species on Earth were suddenly wiped out—by far the largest of this planet's five known mass extinctions. But pinpointing the culprit has been difficult, and controversial.

Now, a team of MIT researchers may have found enough evidence to convict the guilty parties—but you'll need a microscope to see the killers.

The perpetrators, this new work suggests, were not asteroids, volcanoes, or raging coal fires, all of which have been implicated previously. Rather, they were a form of microbes—specifically, methane-producing archaea called Methanosarcina—that suddenly bloomed explosively in the oceans, spewing prodigious amounts of methane into the atmosphere and dramatically changing the climate and the chemistry of the oceans.

Volcanoes are not entirely off the hook, according to this new scenario; they have simply been demoted to accessories to the crime. The reason for the sudden, explosive growth of the microbes, new evidence shows, may have been their novel ability to use a rich source of organic carbon, aided by a sudden influx of a nutrient required for their growth: the element nickel, emitted by massive volcanism at just that time.

More:
http://phys.org/news/2014-03-methane-producing-microbes-responsible-largest-mass.html#jCp

Bachelet proposes tax reforms in Chile

Bachelet proposes tax reforms in Chile
AFP
April 1, 2014, 6:07 am

Santiago (AFP) - President Michelle Bachelet sent Chile's Congress a bill Monday that would raise corporate taxes to fund a sweeping overhaul of the country's education system.

The proposed reform aims to raise $8.2 billion to fund tuition-free public universities, a demand that fueled massive student protests under Bachelet's conservative predecessor Sebastian Pinera.

Bachelet, a socialist who took office on March 11 for her second, non-consecutive term, said it was "the beginning of one of our government's most important reforms, along with education reform and a new constitution."

If passed, as seems likely, the bill would raise the corporate tax rate from 20 to 25 percent by 2017 and eliminate a deferment on taxes on reinvested earnings.

More:
http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/business/world/a/22291613/

Oaxaca state apologizes to indigenous woman who gave birth on clinic lawn in southern Mexico

Oaxaca state apologizes to indigenous woman who gave birth on clinic lawn in southern Mexico
Article by: Associated Press
Updated: March 31, 2014 - 4:55 PM

MEXICO CITY — The government of the Mexican state of Oaxaca has apologized to an indigenous woman who gave birth on a lawn after she was denied help at a public health center.

Oaxaca's state health secretary, Dr. German Tenorio, says in a statement Monday that the state is responsible for not giving Irma Lopez Aurelio and her son adequate medical attention.

Tenorio says that "the state of Oaxaca apologizes to Irma Lopez Aurelio and her small child."

Lopez Aurelio garnered attention last year when a photo of her squatting in pain immediately after giving birth was widely shared on Twitter and Facebook and then published on the front pages of some national newspapers.

Tenorio says the apology is part of a recommendation issued on the case by the National Human Rights Commission.

http://www.startribune.com/world/253274251.html

(Short article, no more at link.)

Remembering Brazil's decades of military repression

31 March 2014 Last updated at 01:59 ET

Remembering Brazil's decades of military repression
By Pablo Uchoa

BBC Brasil

On 31 March, Brazil marks the 50th anniversary of the coup which ushered in two decades of military rule. In the repression which followed, almost 500 people were disappeared or killed, and many more detained and tortured. BBC Brasil's Pablo Uchoa recalls the story of one of the detainees, his father Inocencio.


Growing up, I never saw my father as a superhero. But I knew he was a strong man.

Word had it that he had been beaten so aggressively by the military regime that his aggressors once broke a baton on his body.

I was brought up in a politicised, but otherwise ordinary, middle-class family in north-eastern Brazil. The brutal details of what happened in the torture chambers of my country were never mentioned during family events.

Revolution on the mind

My father, Inocencio, was one of 14 surviving siblings born into a humble family. Noticing his love of and aptitude for studying his parents sent him to a religious school, as they had the best reputation.

More:
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-26713772

ALLENDE SMILES IN HIS GRAVE

ALLENDE SMILES IN HIS GRAVE

The Statesman
28 Mar 2014

Perhaps it would not be a mistake to read Michelle Bachelet’s return to power as a reaffirmation of
the Chilean people’s faith in the legacy of an assassinated President and all those who lent their weight behind his visionary programme of empowerment of the oppressed and the marginalised, writes vidyarthy chatterjee

IT is difficult to overlook the element of renewed poetic justice in the recent re-election of socialist leader Michelle Bachelet as President of Chile. Salvador Allende, the world’s first freely-elected Marxist head of state who was brought down in a CIA-sponsored military coup 40 years ago, must be shaking his head and smiling in his grave. That coup claimed the lives of thousands of Allendistas (followers or supporters of the slain President). Bachelet’s father was among those who were eliminated for siding with Allende.

Bachelet, her country’s first woman President, and her Left-Centre coalition, were first elected in 2006. She was followed in office by a conservative billionaire named Sebastian Pinera who proved to be a disaster for a country with the highest per capita income in Latin America. Bachelet’s re-election is being interpreted in some circles as a vote for social justice and responsible governance, which had badly suffered during Pinera’s presidency.

When the news came in of Bachelet’s victory, I was reminded of distinguished Chilean filmmaker Miguel Littin’s comment that “a country which forgets its past has neither a present nor a future”. For years after Allende’s assassination and the fall of his Popular Unity government, it seemed as if the Chilean people had decided to look the other way when it came to discussing that tragic chapter in the country’s past.

More:
http://www.thestatesman.net/news/46687-allende-smiles-in-his-grave.html

Chile Derails "Monsanto Law" That Would Privatize Seeds

Chile Derails "Monsanto Law" That Would Privatize Seeds
Sunday, 30 March 2014 14:10
By Asha DuMonthier, New America Media | Report

Santiago, Chile - This month, rural women, indigenous communities, and farmers in Chile found themselves on the winning end of a long-fought battle against a bill that had come to be known by many in this country as simply, the “Monsanto Law.”

The bill, which would have given multinational agribusiness corporations the right to patent seeds they discover, develop or modify, was withdrawn by the Chilean government now controlled by newly elected members of the center-left coalition known as the New Majority, amid concerns that the law would bring harm to the country’s small and mid-sized farmers.

In making the announcement on March 17, new Secretary General Ximena Rincón pledged that the Chilean government will “analyze all that is known in our country and internationally about this issue in order to protect the rights of agricultural communities, small and medium-sized farmers, and the heritage of seeds in our country.”

Rincón has been a leading voice of opposition to the bill in the Chilean government, and part of a larger alliance of approximately fifteen organizations and elected officials across the country who have been lobbying and protesting its passage since the introduction of the bill four years ago.

More:
http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/22780-chile-derails-monsanto-law-that-would-privatize-seeds

Chile Derails "Monsanto Law" That Would Privatize Seeds

Chile Derails "Monsanto Law" That Would Privatize Seeds
Sunday, 30 March 2014 14:10
By Asha DuMonthier, New America Media | Report

Santiago, Chile - This month, rural women, indigenous communities, and farmers in Chile found themselves on the winning end of a long-fought battle against a bill that had come to be known by many in this country as simply, the “Monsanto Law.”

The bill, which would have given multinational agribusiness corporations the right to patent seeds they discover, develop or modify, was withdrawn by the Chilean government now controlled by newly elected members of the center-left coalition known as the New Majority, amid concerns that the law would bring harm to the country’s small and mid-sized farmers.

In making the announcement on March 17, new Secretary General Ximena Rincón pledged that the Chilean government will “analyze all that is known in our country and internationally about this issue in order to protect the rights of agricultural communities, small and medium-sized farmers, and the heritage of seeds in our country.”

Rincón has been a leading voice of opposition to the bill in the Chilean government, and part of a larger alliance of approximately fifteen organizations and elected officials across the country who have been lobbying and protesting its passage since the introduction of the bill four years ago.

More:
http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/22780-chile-derails-monsanto-law-that-would-privatize-seeds

El Libertario: Beware Venezuela’s False ‘Anarchists’

El Libertario: Beware Venezuela’s False ‘Anarchists’

By George Ciccariello-Maher

March 29, 2014 "Information Clearing House - "RoarMag"- Not everyone who calls themselves anarchists are worthy of the name. Before expressing our solidarity, we should be clear who it is we are supporting.

When it comes to the Venezuelan protests of recent weeks and months, misinformation reigns supreme. Just as liberals and progressives have been misled by desperate hashtags like #SOSVenezuela and simplistic comparisons to Occupy, so too has the radical left been tempted by the some self-described Venezuelan anarchists, and El Libertario in particular.

This is not a critique of anarchism in general or even of all Venezuelan anarchists (I will discuss others below). I have always been very close to the anarchist milieu and, while frustrated by certain anarchist blindspots, I am influenced by anarchism as a doctrine of revolutionary struggle that understands the inherent contradictions of the state. The liberal, middle-class anarchism of El Libertario, however, represents not the fulfillment but the betrayal of this revolutionary anarchist vision. Condescending toward the poor and utterly absent from concrete struggles, it has instead allied itself—as it does today—with reactionary elite movements.

In a recent piece published in English both by Libcom.org and ROAR Magazine, El Libertario figurehead Rafael Uzcátegui (not to be confused with the former guerrilla of the same name), put forth a highly misleading but also revealing account of the recent protests to provide an “anarchist perspective” for the “poorly informed.” Unfortunately, the piece leaves us even more poorly informed than before, and lacks any anarchist perspective whatsoever. (While this is not the time to fully dissect Uzcátegui’s book, translated into English as Venezuela: Revolution as Spectacle, let’s just say that—as the title suggests—it’s more Debord than Magón or Bakunin.)

More:
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38101.htm

Another Color Revolution? The Deceptive Use of the Phrase “Peaceful Protests” in Venezuela

Another Color Revolution? The Deceptive Use of the Phrase “Peaceful Protests” in Venezuela
By Steve Ellner
Global Research, March 29, 2014

The Venezuelan opposition and much of the media use the term “peaceful protests” to distinguish gatherings of protesting students and other young people from the more violent actions including vandalism and shootings carried out by those outside of the university community.

“Peaceful protests,” however, is a loaded term that serves to plant doubts about the intentions of the Chavista government. In the first place, the actions of the police and National Guard are portrayed as a violation of the constitutional right to peacefully demonstrate at the same time that the government is blamed for failing to get the “violent” protests under control. In the process, Venezuela is depicted as virtually a failed state or, as opposition leader Leopoldo López put it in the title of his March 25 New York Times op-ed article, “a failing state.” Another outlandish assertion that makes its way into the media is that the “violent” protesters are actually Chavista infiltrators intent on discrediting the opposition. Consequently the violence has absolutely nothing to do with the peaceful protests and the opposition in general.



Barricades setup by “peaceful protests” are removed by people living in
Las Vegas de Táriba, Táchira state.


The Chavista discourse sometimes plays into this deceptive line of reasoning in an attempt to isolate the radical fringe of the opposition. In appealing to the mainstream opposition group the Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD) to join the government-sponsored “Peace Dialogue,” President Nicolás Maduro and other Chavista leaders sometimes reinforce the distinction between the “peaceful” and “violent” protesters.

Protests Range from Nuisance to Fatalities

However the term “peaceful protests” is misleading if not deceptive. In the first place, nearly all of the thousands of opposition protests that have taken place over the last six weeks in Venezuela have been illegal and would not be tolerated in any democratic nation throughout the world. At best, the “peaceful protests” consist of blocking traffic lanes of major avenues, resulting in vehicle backups for miles often forcing thousands of people to lose an hour or more of their time. In addition, the “peaceful protests” sometimes include barricades, fires, and the dispersing of oil on lanes used by motorcyclists. In this sense the distinction between the “peaceful protests” and the violent ones is blurry.

More:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/another-color-revolution-the-deceptive-use-of-the-phrase-peaceful-protests-in-venezuela/5375800
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