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Judi Lynn

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Chile officers sentenced for torture death of president’s father

Source: Globe and Mail

Chile officers sentenced for torture death of president’s father
SANTIAGO — The Associated Press
Published Friday, Nov. 21 2014, 7:06 PM EST
Last updated Friday, Nov. 21 2014, 7:11 PM EST

Two retired Chilean military officers were sentenced to prison Friday for the torture death of the father of President Michelle Bachelet.

Judge Mario Carroza ordered Colonels Ramon Caceres Jorquera and Edgar Cevallos Jones to serve three years and two years, respectively, for the 1974 torture of General Alberto Bachelet. The maximum possible sentence was five years.

Gen. Bachelet was imprisoned for treason during the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet because he had opposed the coup that ousted socialist president Salvador Allende. The regime also arrested then-23-year-old Ms. Bachelet and her mother, Angela Jeria. The women were tortured in a secret prison for two weeks before they fled into exile.

“The fact that the trial ended and the truth that we knew from the start is finally known gives me lots of tranquility,” Ms. Jeria told local TV after the judge’s decision. “At the same time, it gives me hope that justice will come for all of those who were held with my husband … and everyone else who suffered torture and repression.”

Gen. Bachelet remained loyal to Mr. Allende, refusing to endorse the coup of Sept. 11, 1973, even after Mr. Allende committed suicide while making his last stand in the bombed-out presidential palace.

Read more: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/chile-officers-sentenced-for-torture-death-of-presidents-father/article21711833/


General Alberto Bachelet [/center]

The USA as Judge, Jury and Executioner: The Punishment of Cuba

Weekend Edition November 21-23, 2014
The USA as Judge, Jury and Executioner

The Punishment of Cuba


For years American political leaders and media were fond of labeling Cuba an “international pariah”. We haven’t heard that for a very long time. Perhaps one reason is the annual vote in the United Nations General Assembly on the resolution which reads: “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba”. This is how the vote has gone (not including abstentions):

This year Washington’s policy may be subject to even more criticism than usual due to the widespread recognition of Cuba’s response to the Ebola outbreak in Africa.

Each fall the UN vote is a welcome reminder that the world has not completely lost its senses and that the American empire does not completely control the opinion of other governments.

Speaking before the General Assembly before last year’s vote, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez declared: “The economic damages accumulated after half a century as a result of the implementation of the blockade amount to $1.126 trillion.” He added that the blockade “has been further tightened under President Obama’s administration”, some 30 US and foreign entities being hit with $2.446 billion in fines due to their interaction with Cuba.


South Africa seeks to move rhinos from harm's way

South Africa seeks to move rhinos from harm's way
By CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA, Associated Press | November 21, 2014 | Updated: November 21, 2014 10:45am

SKUKUZA, South Africa (AP) — The rhino crashes forward, pounding the earth with its broad feet. Then, as a dart's sedative takes hold, it staggers and slouches to the ground, where South African rangers prepare to move the oversized beast by truck to an area they hope is safe from poachers.

Kruger National Park has conducted about 45 such captures since last month, part of a plan to create a stronghold within the country's flagship reserve where rhinos will get extra protection from poachers, many of whom cross from neighboring Mozambique and are slaughtering the animals in increasing numbers. Some rhinos were moved to other parks, and the relocation "experiment," as rangers describe it, is likely to escalate next year.

Safe havens or buffer zones have been hotly debated over the years as a way to protect civilians in some of the world's major conflicts. South Africa is applying a variation of the idea to wildlife to try to stem surging demand for rhino horn. Some consumers in Asia, primarily Vietnam and China, view rhino horn as a status symbol and a healing agent despite a lack of evidence that it can cure. The horn is made of keratin, a protein also found in human fingernails.

The so-called "intensive protection zone" in the southern part of Kruger National Park took on new urgency when South Africa, home to 80 percent of the world's rhinos, announced Thursday that 1,020 rhinos have been poached so far in 2014, exceeding last year's record of 1,004.


What “Free Trade” Has Done to Central America

What “Free Trade” Has Done to Central America

Warnings about the human and environmental costs of “free trade” went unheeded. Now the most vulnerable Central Americans are paying the price.

By Manuel Perez-Rocha and Julia Paley, November 21, 2014.

With Republicans winning big in the midterm elections, the debate over so-called “free-trade” agreements could again take center stage in Washington.

President Barack Obama has been angling for “fast-track” authority that would enable him to push the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP—a massive free-trade agreement between the United States and a host of Pacific Rim countries—through Congress with limited debate and no opportunity for amendments.

From the outset, the politicians who support the agreement have overplayed its benefits and underplayed its costs. They seldom note, for example, that the pact would allow corporations to sue governments whose regulations threaten their profits in cases brought before secretive and unaccountable foreign tribunals.

So let’s look closely at the real impact trade agreements have on people and the environment.

A prime example is the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement, or DR-CAFTA. Brokered by the George W. Bush administration and a handful of hemispheric allies, the pact has had a devastating effect on poverty, dislocation, and environmental contamination in the region.

And perhaps even worse, it’s diminished the ability of Central American countries to protect their citizens from corporate abuse.


Lawyer: Tipster had 'confidential' leads on Jacksonville businessman's Venezuela death

Lawyer: Tipster had 'confidential' leads on Jacksonville businessman's Venezuela death
By Steve Patterson Fri, Nov 21, 2014 @ 11:33 am

The attorney for relatives of a missing Jacksonville businessman says a tipster tied to national security issues fed him “highly confidential” information for a court fight over the businessman’s reported death in Venezuela.

The information “confirmed that Jose Lantigua is deceased,” but shouldn’t become public because it “is sensitive in nature and relates to matters of national security,” attorney Joshua Woolsey said in an affidavit filed last week in the family’s fight with life insurance companies that refused to pay out on Lantigua’s multimillion-dollar policies. The document didn’t detail the tipster’s information.

Lantigua, who owned Circle K Furniture stores on Jacksonville’s Westside and Southside, was reported dead in April 2013 while traveling in Venezuela, and was reported to have been cremated there.

But a string of insurers have challenged that, with one, Hartford Life and Annuity Insurance Co., telling the family last year that “Mr. Lantigua is alive and living in Venezuela.” Hartford is making its case in state court, while four others are arguing in federal court that they shouldn’t have to pay.

Woolsey said he was researching the death when he contacted a man whose phone number and email Lantigua had given to his wife, Daphne Simpson, before he traveled to South America.

The affidavit said the phone number was for a public affairs office at the Central Intelligence Agency, which didn’t confirm or deny knowing the man Lantigua had mentioned to his wife. But an email Simpson received last fall said the man was constrained by his government job.


Colombia’s Labyrinth of Violence

Colombia’s Labyrinth of Violence

by Joseph Grosso / November 19th, 2014

On May 16 of this year, in the rural Colombian town of Jardines de Sucumbíos (In the department of Narino), farmer Leonardo Obando offered the first floor of his home to four guests who had spent the day preparing for the town’s mother’s day festivities. The four men were: Brayan Yatacue Secue, Jose Antonio Acanamejoy, Jose Yinder Esterilla, and 15 year-old Deivi Lopez Ortega, all members of the agricultural union FENSUAGRO.

Around 4am, Obando and his family were awakened by the sound of gunfire as members of the Colombian military forcibly entered the house. Upon being found by soldiers Obando was given the choice of turning over the house to be used as a military base or being taken prisoner. As Obando and his family left the house he saw the dead bodies of his four guests- soon to be displayed and photographed on the front lawn and foully denounced as ‘guerillas’.

Killings like this, where military personal, apparently motivated by superiors to increase body counts (and thereby keep American aid flowing), kill civilians and report them as combatants killed in action, are often termed ‘false positives’. These have been a staple in Colombia, especially during the presidency of Alvaro Uribe (2002-2010). If the number has reduced since clearly the killings haven’t ceased (see Human Rights Watch 2014 country summary).

Colombia has long been a horrific place for union members and their leaders. Dozens are murdered every year, over 2500 in the past 20 years, more than the rest of the world combined according to British NGO Justice for Colombia. Meanwhile the actual guerillas are in talks with the government to end the multi-decades long struggle that partly explains why Colombia has the second highest number of internally displaced people in the world. Colombia also has the distinction, singular these days in South America, of essentially being an American client, the largest recipient of U.S. military aid in the Western Hemisphere.


Two children sexually abused every hour in Colombia

Two children sexually abused every hour in Colombia
Nov 20, 2014 posted by David Wing

Two children are sexually abused in Colombia every hour, the country’s Medical Examiner’s Office said Tuesday.

The office made the claim based on data compiled between January and September of this year, for a total of 10,442 cases.

Of the total cases, 83% of the victims were female with almost half of them being between the ages of 10 and 14 years old. The majority of male victims were abused between the ages of five and nine years old.

Angela Rosales, National Director of SOS Children’s Villages in Colombia, stated that families have the capability to teach their children their rights in order to prevent these incidents.

The data also shows that me majority of abuses are perpetrated “by a member of the family or in the household.” Just under 50% of the alleged perpetrators were family members. The abuse was perpetrated by someone the child lived with in 40% of the cases. This means that the family may not have an incentive to educate the children on their rights. It may be a factor in another problem: the institute estimates that its data only represents about 30% of actual abuses that took place in Colombia this year.


US blacklists Colombia’s Envigado soccer club over drug money laundering

US blacklists Colombia’s Envigado soccer club over drug money laundering
Nov 19, 2014 posted by Robin Llewellyn

Envigado FC of Colombia’s top soccer league has been placed under on the “Kingpin List” for supporting the Medellin-based “La Oficina de Envigado” crime syndicate.

Designation on the list freezes all United States-based assets of the club and prevents US citizens engaging in transactions with them.

Soccer club owner Juan Pablo Upegui Gallego was also named by the US Treasury as an important member of the crime syndicate who allegedly has placed the club’s finances at the service of the cartel for years.

Founded in 1989, the club has built a reputation for developing young stars including James Rodriguez and Juan Fernando Quintero, and won promotion to the top league during its first season of professional soccer in 1991.

But the club has been visited by controversy before. According to organized crime website InSight Crime, Oficina assassin Daniel Mejia killed former club owner Gustavo Upegui Lopez in 2006.

The crime syndicate, originally founded by slain drug lord Pablo Escobar, has emerged as the leading organization managing local militias and gangs in the area around Medellin following the death of its founder in 1993, cooperating with AUC (United Self Defense Forces of Colombia) paramilitaries.


Football-Sized Tumor Successfully Removed from Mexican Boy after 12-Hour Surgery

Source: Tech Times

Football-Sized Tumor Successfully Removed from Mexican Boy after 12-Hour Surgery

By Sumit Passary, Tech Times | November 19, 9:01 AM

Doctors have successfully removed a football-sized tumor from a Mexican boy. The surgery involved 25 medical professionals and lasted 12 hours.

The patient is Jose Antonio Ramirez Serrano, 11, a resident of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, which is known to be one of the deadliest cities not only in Mexico but the entire world due to the presence of drug cartels. The young boy had been afflicted with the tumor since birth. The deadly tumor had occupied parts of his shoulder, torso and neck.

Jose's parents are glad that their son has finally received treatment. They explain that the tumor had become so massive that it affected Jose's eyesight. They also feared that the tumor would spread to the heart, which may become fatal.
The patient's family tried to raise money or get treatment in their hometown and also in El Paso, Texas, but their efforts failed.

Members of the First Baptist Church of Rio Rancho saw Jose's suffering while on a visit to Ciudad Juarez. The members of the church found the boy walking in the city streets; his parents had lost all hope to get Jose treated.
Since then, the congregation started to raise money for Jose's surgery. When stories and pictures of the boy with the massive tumor went viral, the church also witnessed a spike in the donations.

The church also received help from the U.S. Homeland Security Department to get Jose and his family to New Mexico where his surgery would take place.

Read more: http://www.techtimes.com/articles/20528/20141119/football-sized-tumor-successfully-removed-from-mexican-boy-after-12-hour-surgery.htm#ixzz3JYZ3IHXA

Whales vs. the US Navy

November 19, 2014
War-Gaming the Pacific

Whales vs. the US Navy


One radiant, still morning a few days ago three jets, at what seemed eye level to observers on a 350-foot bluff overlooking the Mattole estuary, screamed in from the sea, instantly vanishing up the valley behind Rainbow Ridge. Ears ringing, the observers turned back along the trajectory for some explanation of this apparition, and settled suspiciously on the horizon, where sapphire waves sparkled and danced. The Navy Northwest Testing and Training Area boundary is 12 miles off-shore….but other, more joyful apparitions will soon materialize out there. Soon the spouts announcing the annual procession of grey whales will dot the sea as they cavort their way down to Baja to have their babies. And, even now, individuals of the Mattole’s own special race of Coho and Chinook salmon are nosing their way through the California Current, across the NWTT, seeking the estuary. Along the Pacific Flyway, shorebirds are migrating.

But, could there be an aircraft carrier out there too? Or, could these airships have been a new model of drone? More than whales and salmons are gestating out there. The NWTT is an important spawning ground for new Shocks and Awes, cradle for Bunker Busters, experiments with electro-magnetic and sonar radiation for hundreds of thousands of hours, and high tech weapons of death us primitive shore-dwellers can’t even imagine. The Navy predicts 11.3 million “takes”(destroyed or damaged animals) will result from their activities over the next 3 years.

The Navy has been testing weapons offshore for decades. In recent years they have been required to invite public comment: that the responses are almost universally negative explains the Navy’s preference for low-profile publicity. For example, the Navy recently launched a plan to install equipment on Octopus Mountain, on the Olympic Peninsula, which would operate Mobile Electronic Emitter Warfare Training systems mounted on vehicles throughout state and federal lands on the peninsula. Low-flying jets would cruise over the forests and obliterate the emissions, as practice for destroying enemy communications. The emissions are said to be powerful enough to “melt a human eye”.Though the Navy claimed it had posted the plan in the local papers, it completely escaped the notice of the mayor and all residents of the nearby town of Forks, as well as the Audubon Society, until it was too late to comment. Wrote Christi Baron, Forks Forum editor, “Does the Navy and the USFS believe that “we” the people that live in Forks are not worthy of knowing what is planned?”

Last weekend the Wall Street Journal ran an article about a lawsuit against the Navy, brought by the Conservation Council for Hawaii, Earthjustice and the Natural Resources Defense Council. The suit claims that Navy use of sonar violates limits on the levels officially permitted as safe for marine mammals. It recognizes that marine mammals must die in order to protect American security; the issue, as the WSJ points out, is just how many should be saved.

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