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Judi Lynn

Judi Lynn's Journal
Judi Lynn's Journal
July 1, 2014

Chile creates DNA bank for Pinochet-era adoptions probe

Source: Agence France-Presse

Chile creates DNA bank for Pinochet-era adoptions probe
July 2, 2014, 1:32 am

Santiago (AFP) - Chilean authorities have created a bank of DNA data to help investigate suspected illegal adoptions under the regime of dictator Augusto Pinochet, in power 1973 to 1990.

The database run by the government forensic medical service aims to create an independent register of genetic information for future analysis and comparisons as a court investigates "a suspected network of irregular adoptions of minors from hospitals in the 1970s and 1980s," a statement said.

Chilean courts are probing more than a dozen cases of suspected illegal adoptions of newborns declared stillborn but in reality given to new families, according to the online newspaper Ciper.

At the heart of scheme was Chilean priest Gerardo Joannon, suspended when the scandal broke. The 77-year-old priest was the "link" between parents of pregnant teen girls and the doctors who declared the babies dead so they could be adopted without the knowledge of their parents, the news site said.

Read more: https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/world/a/24364078/

July 1, 2014

Chilean Court Rules U.S. Had Role in Murders

Source: New York Times

Chilean Court Rules U.S. Had Role in Murders

SANTIAGO, Chile — The United States military intelligence services played a pivotal role in setting up the murders of two American citizens in 1973, providing the Chilean military with the information that led to their deaths, a court here has ruled.

The recent court decision found that an American naval officer, Ray E. Davis, alerted Chilean officials to the activities of two Americans, Charles Horman, 31, a filmmaker, and Frank Teruggi, 24, a student and an antiwar activist, which led to their arrests and executions.

The murders were part of an American-supported coup that ousted the leftist government of President Salvador Allende. The killing of the two men was portrayed in the 1982 film “Missing.”

The ruling by the judge, Jorge Zepeda, now establishes the involvement of American intelligence officials in providing information to their Chilean counterparts. He also charged a retired Chilean colonel, Pedro Espinoza, with the murders, and a civilian counterintelligence agent, Rafael González, as an accomplice in Mr. Horman’s murder.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/01/world/americas/chilean-court-rules-us-had-role-in-murders.html?_r=0

June 30, 2014

As a reminder of how voting went during Alvaro Uribe's reign:

COLOMBIA: "Mark Him on the Ballot – The One Wearing Glasses"
By Constanza Vieira

BOGOTA, May 8 2008 (IPS) - "With Uribe, we thought: this is the guy who is going to change the country," the 41-year-old fisherwoman told IPS.That is why her fishing and farming village of 800 people in the central Colombian region of Magdalena Medio decided overwhelmingly to vote for current President Álvaro Uribe in the 2002 presidential elections, when he first ran. The woman agreed to talk to IPS on the condition that she be asked neither her name (we will call her "L.&quot nor the name of her village.

The main city in the fertile region of Magdalena Medio is Barrancabermeja, an oil port on the Magdalena River, which runs across Colombia from south to north before emptying into the Caribbean Sea.

What convinced the villagers to vote for Uribe? "Because the region where we live is poor, very poor, it’s so difficult to find work, and when I heard him say ‘I am going to work for the poor, I am going to help them,’ I thought ‘this is a good president’."

When the rightwing president’s first four-year term came to an end in 2006, most of the villagers decided again to vote for him, reasoning that he just needed more time to reduce poverty. The odd thing was that in both the 2002 and 2006 elections, despite the fact that the villagers had already decided to vote for Uribe, the far-right paramilitaries, who had committed a number of murders since 1998, when they appeared in the region that was previously dominated by the leftwing guerrillas, pressured the local residents to vote for Uribe anyway.

The paramilitaries did not kill people to pressure the rest to vote for Uribe, as they did in other communities, but merely used "threats," said L.

"If you don't vote for Uribe, you know what the consequences will be," the villagers were told ominously.


June 30, 2014

Alarms Were Sounded on Blackwater Well Before the 2007 Iraq Shooting

Alarms Were Sounded on Blackwater Well Before the 2007 Iraq Shooting
Stephanie Burnett @stephy_burnett
2:32 AM ET

Documents on Blackwater reveal that a U.S. State Department official warned of the military contractor’s poor oversight and arrogant attitudes weeks prior to the Nisour Square bloodbath

A U.S. State Department official wrote of Blackwater’s lack of oversight and its “environment full of liability and negligence” well before Blackwater guards killed 17 civilians and injured 20 others in Baghdad’s Nisour Square in September 2007, reports the New York Times.

Weeks prior to the shooting, the State Department had begun an investigation into the military contractor’s operations in Iraq — but the probe was aborted after Blackwater’s top manager threatened that “he could kill” the government’s chief investigator and “no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq,” according to department reports obtained and published by the Times.

As tensions over the investigation worsened in August 2007, American embassy officials sided with Blackwater — and officials told State Department investigators to pull out of the probe because it disrupted the embassy’s relationship with the security contractor, according to the report.

Alarmed, Jean C. Richter, the investigator, wrote a scathing memo to State Department officials on Aug. 31, 2007. “The management structures in place to manage and monitor our contracts in Iraq have become subservient to the contractors themselves,” he wrote of Blackwater.


June 30, 2014

For those who missed it, journalist Jeremy Bigwood's speech posted on Magbana's journal,

in which he revealed information US progressives need to know, from the Bush years, regarding how they viewed Bolivia and its actual citizens.

magbana's Journal

Jeremy Bigwood, US Investigative Reporter, Reveals Truth of US Intervention in Bolivia

Posted by magbana in Latin America
Sat Oct 11th 2008, 02:26 PM


Tel: Saturday in La Paz: 73049561 Monday in US: 202-319-9150


Jeremy is a longtime investigative reporter and has been particularly successful at getting info out of the US gov't. through FOIA requests. He collaborated with Eva Golinger in getting important info in response to his requests for Golinger's book, "The Chavez Code."

Visit his site, to view recently acquired docs on Bolivia at Bolivia Matters, http://boliviamatters.wordpress.com /




October 11, 2008 - This morning at a press conference in La Paz, American photo and investigative journalist, Jeremy Bigwood, revealed new documents uncovered through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and other sources that show clear US government interference in Bolivia´s internal affairs.

Of the seven original documents shown during the press conference, and available online at the reporters blog as of 11am this morning: http://boliviamatters.wordpress.com / Mr. Bigwood made reference to two documents that showed clear intent on the part of the US government and its international development agencies to weaken Bolivia's President Evo Morales' MAS political party and foster opposition to the current government.

At the Radisson Hotel in La Paz, where the press conference was held, the American journalist presented a leaked internal email between USAID employees working in Bolivia. According to Bigwood, the email showed that "former Ambassador Philip Goldberg worked through various US government entities, including United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in an attempt to cultivate opposition and in at least one case to attempt to provide support to create indigenous organizations to confront the MAS party and Bolivia's first indigenous president, Evo Morales."

Journalists who attended the press conference received copies of the original documents uncovered by Mr. Bigwood and had the opportunity to ask questions following his presentation. As this is an ongoing investigation, Mr. Bigwood also provided information on where soon to be revealed information could be found over the coming months and cited his blog on Bolivia.

Immediately following the press conference today, Mr. Bigwood will be available for interviews by phone in La Paz and on Monday by phone in Washington DC. He will not be available for comment on Sunday. (See telephone numbers above for interviews.)


Best wishes to a consciencious, honorable, deeply interesting poster, magbana.
June 30, 2014

Peru now has a ‘licence to kill’ environmental protesters

Peru now has a ‘licence to kill’ environmental protesters

Law exempts soldiers and police from criminal responsibility if they cause injuries or deaths

Some of the recent media coverage about the fact that more than 50 people in Peru – the vast majority of them indigenous – are on trial following protests and fatal conflict in the Amazon over five years ago missed a crucial point. Yes, the hearings are finally going ahead and the charges are widely held to be trumped-up, but what about the government functionaries who apparently gave the riot police the order to attack the protestors, the police themselves, and – following Wikileaks’ revelations of cables in which the US ambassador in Lima criticized the Peruvian government’s “reluctance to use force” and wrote there could be “implications for the recently implemented Peru-US FTA” if the protests continued – the role of the US government?

The conflict broke out in northern Peru after mainly indigenous Awajúns and Wampis had been peacefully protesting a series of new laws which were supposedly emitted to comply with a trade agreement between Peru and the US and which made it easier, among other things, for extractive industries to exploit natural resources in their territories. Following a blockade of a highway near a town called Bagua – and an agreement that the protestors would break up and go home, reached the day before – early on 5 June the police moved to clear it and started shooting. In the ensuing conflict, 10 police officers, five indigenous people and five non-indigenous civilians were killed, more than 200 injured – at least 80 of whom were shot – and, elsewhere in the Bagua region, a further 11 police officers were killed after being taken hostage.

“So far only protesters have been brought to trial,” said Amnesty International in a statement marking five years since the conflict and pointing out that human rights lawyers have said there is no serious evidence linking the accused to the crimes they are being prosecuted for – which include homicide and rebellion. “[S]o far little progress has been made to determine the responsibility of the security forces. Likewise, no progress has been made to investigate the political authorities who gave the orders to launch the police operation.”

Does this desperate failure of justice not effectively constitute a “licence to kill” for the police? Maybe, maybe not, but whatever the answer Peru has now formalised that licence by emitting a law that, as the Dublin-based NGO Front Line Defenders (FLD) puts it, grants:

. . . members of the armed forces and the national police exemption from criminal responsibility if they cause injury or death, including through the use of guns or other weapons, while on duty. Human rights groups, both nationally and internationally, the Human Rights Ombudsman (Defensoria del Pueblo) as well as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights all expressed deep concern about the law. In the words of the [Lima-based] Instituto Libertad y Democracia [IDL], the law equates, in practice, to a “licence to kill.”


June 29, 2014

The Fight to Ban Gold Mining and Save El Salvador's Water Supply

The Fight to Ban Gold Mining and Save El Salvador's Water Supply
Sunday, 29 June 2014 10:52
By Julia Paley, Foreign Policy in Focus | Report and Video

Gold-digging multinationals are fueling political violence and environmental devastation in El Salvador, but communities are fighting back.

“For us, the mine is death.”

Those words, spoken by the president of a rural grassroots organization, capture the intensity and urgency of the struggle against mining in El Salvador.

Mining has reaped devastating consequences in El Salvador. Toxins from mining operations have made 90 percent of El Salvador’s water undrinkable. Lung and kidney diseases run rampant among miners. Community leaders and activists who resist are hounded and cut down.

The 15-minute documentary Gold or Water: The Struggle Against Metallic Mining in El Salvador dramatically illustrates Salvadorans’ passionate efforts to ward off mining from aggressive multinational firms. You can watch it in full here:

June 29, 2014

Puerto Castilla, Honduras: Corporate and Military Interests Above Garífuna Community

Puerto Castilla, Honduras: Corporate and Military Interests Above Garífuna Community

Written by Greg McCain
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 09:10

Six children from the community of Puerto Castilla, Trujillo, suffered severe respiratory damage resulting from an attack carried out on May 23, 2014 by the Honduran National Police, Military Police, and in conjunction with the Operation Xatruch III military unit. Hundreds of tear gas canisters were fired into the community in a haphazard manner as a means of dispersing a peaceful protest. After inundating the town with tear gas, the roughly 500 security force members entered the community, dousing anyone within reach with pepper spray.

Tear gas canisters landed in the yard of the kindergarten and the Colegio 14 de agosto, the local high school. The wind pushed concentrated levels of the gas into the classrooms. Younger students were foaming at the mouth and convulsing as they gasped for air.Canisters landed at doorsteps and windows of houses and businesses, which also filled with the noxious fumes. No one in the town could escape the irritant laden clouds. A cat, hit by one of the intensely hot canisters, has a permanent scar the size of a nickel on its head. The clouds of tear gas and pepper spray covered the entire town to the extent that many of the children had to be evacuated by small fishing boats out to the Bay of Trujillo. After a week, many of the children and adults still suffered nasal irritation and severe coughs while the four still hospitalized, one as young a six months old, continued to suffer headaches, vomiting, asthma like symptoms, and emotional trauma.

According to the Material Safety Data Sheet supplied to OSHA by a manufacturer of the gas,

Overexposure to some of the components (such as to people in a confined space) has been found to cause liver abnormalities and kidney damage in laboratory animals. Vapors can cause headache and nausea... Medical Conditions Generally Aggravated by Exposure: May put persons with pre-existing heart disease at risk. Vapors released at high concentrations may have an asthmatic effect and will displace air in confined spaces.

According to medical professionals writing in Irish Medical Times:

CS (teargas) is a cyanide compound and when it is metabolized, cyanide can be detected in human tissue. Also, when exposed to fire, cyanide compounds are undoubtedly released... According to the United States Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine, CS emits “very toxic fumes” when heated to decomposition, and at specified concentrations CS gas is an immediate danger to life and health.

The Honduran security forces were acting at the behest of the Municipality of Trujillo and of the Empresa Nacional Portuaria (ENP, the National Port Authority). On its web page, it states that the primary user of the Puerto Castilla port is Dole, the multinational fruit company. Further, it states,

The National Port Authority is a decentralized institution of the Government of the Republic ... Our goal is to create leading market positions in order to establish and develop investment projects in the short, medium and long term to provide port services and profitability by offering our customers very competitive flexible rates to allow us to compete in a global economy.


(My emphasis.)

June 29, 2014

Missed this last year.Time to fix my error:Revolutionary Indigenous Leader Assassinated in Venezuela

Revolutionary Indigenous Leader Assassinated in Venezuela

March 4, 2013

‘A powerful visionary, a talented leader and a passionate voice in the Indigenous land struggle’

By Emelie Rosenblatt

Cacique Sabino Romero

Yukpa Indigenous leader Cacique Sabino Romero has been brutally assassinated in Zulia, Venezuela, near the Colombian border. An emblematic leader in the struggle for Indigenous land rights, Cacique Sabino had survived nearly a decade of death threats and assassination attempts on behalf of the elite landowners, whose largely vacant pastures he fought to reclaim for the Yukpa people, succeeding in no fewer than 14 land takeovers.

On the night of March 3, two gunmen on motorcycles, suspected to have been hired by the landowners, ambushed Cacique Sabino and his wife as they walked along a rural highway in Zulia on their way to vote in Yukpa tribal elections. The masked gunmen assassinated Sabino, and his wife suffered injuries during the shooting.
Thousands of Venezuelans poured into the streets the next day to demand justice for those responsible for the attack. The United Socialist Party (PSUV) administration has launched a full-scale investigation into the assassination.

For nearly a decade, Cacique Sabino’s efforts to take back Yukpa lands for communal ownership drew attention throughout Latin America and around the world. In particular, his leadership during the Yukpa occupation of the Chaktapa estates in 2009 brought global recognition to the struggles of Indigenous Venezuelans to reclaim ancestral lands that had belonged to them as recently as the 1980s. In response to the Yukpa movement, several elite landowners hired mercenary assassins who made ceaseless attempts on Sabino’s life, including a ruthless attack on his family’s home that resulted in the death of his elderly father.

On surviving another assassination attempt in 2012, Cacique Sabino told the media: “The cattle ranchers and landowners threaten me because they don’t want to leave our land. They’ve persecuted me because I’m strong. The other strong Caciques are already dead. I’m not strong to fight with the force of the bullet, but with the force of words.” Five Yukpa leaders close to Sabino had been assassinated in a two-month period earlier that year.

In a televised speech in 2008, President Hugo Chávez praised Cacique Sabino’s work on behalf of the Yukpa and all Indigenous peoples. Chávez reaffirmed the Venezuelan government’s commitment to supporting their struggle, stating, “There should be no doubt that, between the hacienda owners and the Indigenous people, this government stands with the Indigenous.” Addressing a crowd that broke into a thunderous applause, President Chávez continued: “Justice for the Indians! Land for the Indians!”


Rest in Peace, Cacique Sabino Romero.

June 29, 2014

Behind Washington’s War on Cuba

Behind Washington’s War on Cuba

by Mateo Pimentel / June 27th, 2014

The US does not celebrate or even welcome the independence of other nations; it only countenances servitude. Indeed, the nation that wins its sovereignty—only to prostitute its resources for the sake of American empire—is the nation that gets the green light from Washington. Yet, if America does not receive a warm, economic, post-independence welcome, its war hawks invariably circle. Sometimes they circle anyway! Then bombs drop. Or, embargos facilitate economic terrorism. Pick a country, any country. This blueprint gets redrawn everywhere, and this is precisely the protocol, the behavioral norm, for maintaining global hegemony 90 miles off the coast of Florida.

Despite the perpetual propagation of its oppressive, hegemonic antagonism around the globe, even a looming specter as carcinogenic as American empire cannot shore-up every possibility of a long-lived rogue power it might enterprise to relegate to the margins of global economy. Cuba, for centuries, has been quite the fly in America’s imperial ointment, and thus, a champion to oppressed peoples everywhere. This has especially been true in the last half-century. Cuba shamed Washington with its revolution some fifty years ago, warring against US-sponsored terrorism and oppression. But the saga is not over. Because Cuba threw off the yoke of subjugation in 1959, US aggression continues to seek retribution for its inability to indenture Cuba to this day.

Almost two centuries ago, the architects of US statecraft envisaged a sphere of influence whereby the entire American hemisphere submitted to total US domination. They named it the “American System.” John Quincy Adams, for one, specifically asserted Cuba’s preordained indenture to the US. He claimed there were “laws of political as well as of physical gravitation” that affected Cuba the same way that gravity pulls on an “apple severed from a tree.” Adams further predicted Cuba would be “incapable of self-support,” thus justifying US interest and its savage agenda there. The US then conquered half of Mexico in 1848, acquiring Cuba roughly fifty years later. It is perhaps no coincidence that these annexations took place within but a generation of Adam’s presidency. As further evidence of imperialist tendencies, the seizures of Mexican and Cuban property rested largely on the unbending belief that the US had not only the ability and the authority, but also the burden of determining economic and political order in ‘its’ hemisphere.

In one of his most famous chapters, entitled “A Revolution Begins,” Ernesto “Che” Guevara, a most integral spoke in the Cuban revolutionary wheel, cited Adams in his own apologies for the historic events that took place in Cuba in the mid-to-late 1950s. Che noted how the reasons for Cuba’s revolution extend much further back in history, before Sumner Welles in 1933, before the 1901 Platt Amendment—all the way back to Narciso López, direct envoy of the US annexationists. Writes Che, “These are all links in a long chain of continental aggression that has not been aimed solely at Cuba.” Many years before the probability of Che’s leadership in Cuba’s 1959 Revolution would become a certainty, Simón Bolívar echoed similar sentiments gathered through his experience as a liberator in his own right. He noted how the United States appeared “to be determined by Providence to plague America with misery in the name of liberty.” No doubt he spoke of the US species of “liberty” sardonically. It would appear there was nothing new under the imperial sun for Cuba in the 50s.


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