Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member

Judi Lynn

Judi Lynn's Journal
Judi Lynn's Journal
May 31, 2018

US-funded police linked to illegal executions in El Salvador

Story by Nick Paton Walsh, Barbara Arvanitidis and Bryan Avelar

San Salvador, El Salvador (CNN) -- The United States has quietly funded and equipped elite paramilitary police officers in El Salvador who are accused of illegally executing gang members, CNN has learned.

Successive US administrations have pumped tens of millions of dollars into Salvadoran law enforcement and military to shore up the government’s “Mano Dura” or Firm Hand program, first launched in 2003 but redoubled in 2014 to tackle the country’s rampant gang problem.

Yet the country’s police will be broadly accused next month of “a pattern of behavior by security personnel amounting to extrajudicial executions” in a United Nations report, seen in advance by CNN, that will also call on Salvadoran security forces to break a “cycle of impunity” in which killings are rarely punished.

One police unit that killed 43 alleged gang members in the first six months of last year received significant US funding, CNN can reveal. Several of those deaths have been investigated as murders by Salvadoran police.

May 29, 2018

The far-right in Colombia

by Adriaan Alsema May 29, 2018

Colombia’s extreme left has long been recognized as a threat to democracy. The country’s far right, however, is at least as violent and often overlooked.

Making the distinction between democratic conservatism and fascism is difficult in Colombia. Unlike in most country’s, Colombia’s Conservative Party has traditionally opposed democracy.

. . .

Since “La Violencia,” the party has embraced democracy, but anti-democratic ideologies we associate with the far-right continue to be common, particularly in rural areas and in Medellin, the country’s second largest city.

. . .

The far right’s most prominent representative in contemporary politics is former President Alvaro Uribe, who is investigated by the Supreme Court for allegedly forming a death squad and on multiple occasions has opposed the rule of law.

May 29, 2018

Charges filed against former agents of Brazil dictatorship

Updated 1:48 pm, Monday, May 28, 2018

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian officials are trying yet again to prosecute agents of the country's 1964-1985 dictatorship, targeting two former army officers accused of killing a couple who opposed the regime.

Dozens of earlier attempts to prosecute so-called "Dirty War" crimes have been slapped aside by courts due to a 1979 amnesty law that barred prosecutions for politically motivated crimes under the dictatorship.

The prosecutor's office said Monday that former army officers Mauricio Lopes Lima and Carlos Setembrino da Silveira "summarily executed" a leftist militant couple after security forces invaded their house in Sao Paulo in 1970.

Prosecutors argue that neither amnesty nor the statute of limitations apply because the executions were part of a "generalized attack" against the Brazilian people and as such were "crimes against humanity."


(Short article, no more at link.)
May 28, 2018

"Sea Nomads" May Have Evolved to Be the World's Elite Divers

“Sea Nomads” May Have Evolved to Be the World’s Elite Divers
New genetic evidence suggests these indigenous Southeast Asians are singularly suited for underwater hunting

By Angus Chen on April 19, 2018

A Bajau freediver swims amongst a large school of Jack Fish shoaling on a reef at Sipidan Island,
Sabah, Malaysia. Credit: Timothy Allen Getty Images

When a human is submerged in water, within seconds the body begins to reflexively adjust. The heart rate slows; blood vessels in the extremities tighten, diverting blood flow to vital organs. And, crucially, the spleen constricts, expelling a precious reserve of oxygenated red blood cells into the bloodstream. All of this extends the time we can go without gasping.

Now a new study suggests some seafaring people may have evolved over thousands of years to push the limits of typical dive responses even further. Genetic changes have allowed one population in Southeast Asia to grow plus-size spleens that may enhance their breath-holding capabilities, according to an international research team’s analysis. Some scientists have likened these evolutionary adaptations to the ones that have allowed Tibetans to thrive at high elevations.

The new study dealt with people who are often locally called “Sea Nomads” and live among the islands and coastlines of Southeast Asia. “Traditionally, they live on houseboats and come to land only occasionally,” says Melissa Ilardo, a postdoctoral researcher at The University of Utah and first author on the study. “They have a reputation for being incredible divers, and for their connection to the sea. I went diving with them, and their abilities are just unreal.”

Among the Bajau—one group of people who live on houseboats in the waterways around and between the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia—divers have been recorded holding their breath for over five minutes while hunting for fish or shellfish. In comparison, average people might be able to stay underwater for one to two minutes, and world-class free divers can hold their breath in competitive settings for up to three or close to four and a half minutes.


May 27, 2018

Why the extraordinary story of the last slave in America has finally come to light

Afua Hirsch
Sat 26 May 2018 05.59 EDT

(Click for image.)


Oluale Kossola was taken from the Yoruba kingdom of Takkoi to Alabama in the 19th century.
Photograph: Courtesy of McGill Studio Collection, The Doy Leale McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
University of South Alabama

Zora Neale Hurston’s Barracoon was written in the 1930s, but has only just been published. Why has it taken so long for the remarkable story of Oluale Kossola to be made public?

“We stand as living monuments,” wrote the historian Len Garrison, of the black British descendants of slavery and empire. “For those who are afraid of who they must be, are but slaves in a trance.” For Garrison, the idea of the African diaspora as “living monuments” was to some extent figurative. But a new book makes it literal. Barracoon: The Story of the Last Slave presents the remarkable fact that there were people alive in America who had experienced abduction from Africa – being examined, displayed, traded and enslaved – well into the 20th century.

The book is the story of Cudjo Lewis; a man born Oluale Kossola in the Yoruba kingdom of Takkoi. Kossola was the last survivor of the last known slave ship to sail from the African continent to America with a human cargo. Written in the 1930s, but hidden away from a public audience until now, it is also perhaps the last great, unpublished work by the Harlem Renaissance writer Zora Neale Hurston.


May 27, 2018

Scientists Found This Stunning "Secret Garden" Of Corals Thousands Of Feet Below The Sea

By Jeremy Berke
27 MAY 2018, 12:42

Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration conducted an expedition to explore uncharted waters in the deepest parts of the Gulf of Mexico — and they found an astonishing "secret garden" of coral thousands of feet below the surface.

Using a remote-operated submersible (ROV), the researchers came across a vibrant, underwater community of bamboo corals over 7,500 feet down.

"This is a truly magnificent garden of coral fans, I don't think we've seen these densities yet in the Gulf of Mexico," one of the expedition's scientists said as the ROV revealed the collection of corals.

For a community of corals this dense to exist in the inky darkness thousands of feet below the sea, a lot of factors need to align, according to NOAA.

May 27, 2018

With its new embassy in Jerusalem, Bibi will ignore Paraguay's Nazi past

|Published May 27, 2018

At the opening ceremony of Paraguay’s new embassy in Jerusalem, Netanyahu spoke about common values such as democracy, tolerance, and coexistence. He failed to mention the fact that Paraguay gave asylum to Nazi war criminals.

By Eitay Mack

Taking a cue from the Trump administration, Paraguay was the third country to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem last week. Both Prime Minister Netanyahu and outgoing Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes spoke at the ceremony to inaugurate the new embassy, in which they both delivered speeches rife with embarrassing historical distortions.

During his speech, Cartes said that “our friendship is based on common principles such as democracy, tolerance and respect, a lack of discrimination, and peaceful coexistence.” One can only assume that in a worldwide poll asking people which countries symbolize democracy, tolerance and respect, a lack of discrimination, and peaceful coexistence, few would likely choose Israel or Paraguay.

After all, Israel has a record of 51 years of occupying the Palestinian territories, as well as discrimination against and oppressing its Palestinian citizens, while Paraguay has a record of successive military dictatorships. The country’s last dictator, General Alfredo Stroessner, ran the country as a police state for 35 years, and was responsible for the torture of tens of thousands of citizens, and disappeared hundreds of others. Women and girls who were arrested were sexually tortured and raped.

. . .

Netanyahu purposefully omitted a number of uncontroversial facts. In 1927, the first Nazi party outside of Germany was established in Paraguay. During World War II, much of the country’s elite, including future dictator Stroessner supported the Axis Powers. With the end of the war, Paraguay became one of the few countries that served as an asylum for the Nazi top brass who fled justice following the war, including those who took an active role in its genocidal machine, including Dr. Josef Mengale, who carried out brutal human experiments on Jews and the Roma people in Auschwitz, and in 1959 was granted citizenship by the Paraguayan dictatorship; Eduard Roschmann, who was one of the commanders of the Riga Ghetto; and Hans-Ulrich Rudel, a Nazi pilot personally revered by Hitler. After the war, Rudel became an arms dealer, helped harbor Nazis across Latin America, and became one of Stroessner’s close personal friends.


May 26, 2018

Peruvian scientists use DNA to trace origins of Inca emperors

Peruvian scientists use DNA to trace origins of Inca emperors

26 MAY 2018

The Inca empire included the mountain-top citadel of Machu Picchu

Researchers in Peru believe they have traced the origins of the Incas -- the largest pre-Hispanic civilization in the Americas -- through the DNA of the modern-day descendants of their emperors.

From their ancient capital Cusco, the Incas controlled a vast empire called Tahuantinsuyo, which extended from the west of present-day Argentina to the south of Colombia.

They ruled for more than two hundred years before being conquered by the invading Spanish in the 16th century.

The empire included the mountain-top citadel of Machu Picchu in modern-day Peru -- now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a major tourist attraction.


Information about the Inca Trail, still not well known by majority of US Americans:

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu



Many intriguing images of what's left of the Inca Empire:


May 26, 2018

Declassified US cables link Uribe to Colombia drug cartels

Source: Associated Press

Joshua Goodman, Associated Press
Updated 1:04 pm, Saturday, May 26, 2018

Photo: Fernando Vergara, AP
Colombia's former President Alvaro Uribe stands between Ivan Duque, presidential candidate for Democratic Center party, right, and his running mate Martha Lucia Ramirez during a campaign rally in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, May 20, 2018. Colombians will go to the polls on May 27 for a first round presidential election.

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — As Alvaro Uribe, Colombia's most powerful politician, was making his rise to the presidency more than two decades ago, U.S. officials were repeatedly told that the up-and-coming politician had ties to the nation's drug cartels, according to newly declassified State Department cables.

The cables were obtained and released Friday by the National Security Archive, a non-profit group, as Uribe's handpicked candidate, Ivan Duque, is the frontrunner in polls to win Sunday's presidential election.

They describe meetings between 1992 and 1995 between American officials and Uribe as well as other Colombian politicians in his then Liberal Party.

In one 1993 cable, then Senator Luis Velez told a U.S. Embassy political officer that Uribe was a cousin of the Ochoa crime family that partnered with Escobar and had financed his political campaigns.

Read more: https://www.chron.com/news/crime/article/Declassified-US-cables-link-Uribe-to-Colombia-12945699.php

George W. Bush awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Álvaro Uribe

May 26, 2018

Spend some time doing research. The information goes back for many years,

involves vicious violence against so many people you'd start realizing perhaps you should have learned about this earlier.

No time like the present.

Find out about what you don't know, rather than claiming the new (to you) information is bogus.

Jump right in there, start your research, just as anyone looking for the truth MUST. Everyone must bother to use his/her own time and energy to look for what has happened already so many, many times, or remain innocent of all helpful knowledge, taking potshots at subjects you really don't understand.

Oh, also, while you're at it, another one of the companies is Alabama-based Drummond Coal, and you will find similar events happened there, to similar innocent people who worked for those monsters who earlier created an evil history in their US businesses before they opened their devastating business in Colombia. I would hope you would be conscientious enough to research them, too:

Bloodstained coal from Colombia
Massacres, targeted killings, expulsions: Raw material companies in Colombia are believed to have taken part in crimes for years. Even German utilities have received coal supplies from them.

It was around 2 a.m. on February 19, 2002, when about 30 masked paramilitaries appeared in the village, recalls Marina Barbosa. "They stopped at our house and knocked on the door, but I did not let them in. 'Hurry up' or we will throw a grenade!' the men shouted. Later they entered the house and screamed: "You support the guerrilla fighters!"

Marina and her two children, Rafael Arturo and Maira Marleny were forced to lie on the floor while the men searched and destroyed everything in the house. They took away everything of value.

"After they had searched the house, the paramilitaries accused my husband to be a member of the trade union, which was not true. He worked for Drummond and drove trucks. But at the end they dragged him outside and shot him in front our children."

Numerous victims

Marina Barbosa is just one of the many victims of human rights violations by paramilitaries in the coal region Cesar in northeastern Colombia. In its recently published report "The Dark Side of Coal," the Netherlands-based NGO Pax for Peace raised serious allegations against the mine operator Prodeco, a subsidiary of the Swiss Glencore Group and the American family-run firm Drummond.


Profile Information

Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 159,184

Journal Entries

Latest Discussions»Judi Lynn's Journal