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Judi Lynn

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The Deadliest Massacre in Reconstruction-Era Louisiana Happened 150 Years Ago

In September 1868, Southern white Democrats hunted down around 200 African-Americans in an effort to suppress voter turnout



Klan newspaper cartoon
A cartoon from a U.S. newspaper from 1880 reads: ’Terrorism in the South. Citizens beaten and shot at.” (Granger)
By Lorraine Boissoneault

SMITHSONIAN.COM
SEPTEMBER 28, 2018 7:00AM
3714031126
“E.B. Beware! K.K.K.”

So read the note found on the schoolhouse door by its intended recipient: Emerson Bentley, a white school teacher. He found the message in early September 1868, illustrated with a coffin, a skull and bones, and a dagger dripping with blood. The straightforward message represented a menacing threat to Bentley, who was teaching African-American children in Louisiana at the time. Little could the Ohio-born Republican have predicted just how soon that violence would come about.

Bentley, an 18-year-old who also worked as one of the editors of the Republican paper The St. Landry Progress, was one of the few white Republicans in the Louisiana parish of St. Landry. He and others came to the region to assist recently emancipated African-Americans find jobs, access education and become politically active. With Louisiana passing a new state constitution in April 1868 that included male enfranchisement and access to state schools regardless of color, Bentley had reason to feel optimistic about the state’s future.

But southern, white Democrats were nowhere near willing to concede the power they’d held for decades before the Civil War. And in St. Landry, one of the largest and most populous parishes in the state, thousands of white men were eager to take up arms to defend their political power.

The summer of 1868 was a tumultuous one. With the help of tens of thousands of black citizens who finally had the right to vote, Republicans handily won local and state elections that spring. Henry Clay Warmoth, a Republican, won the race for state governor, but the votes African-Americans cast for those elections cost them. Over the summer, armed white men harassed black families, shot at them outside of Opelousas (the largest city in St. Landry Parish), and killed men, women and children with impunity. Editors of Democratic newspapers repeatedly warned of dire consequences if the Republican party continued winning victories at the polls.


Read more: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/story-deadliest-massacre-reconstruction-era-louisiana-180970420/#XRc0KihAYtgiPHzV.99

Don't forget, Southern Democrats became Republicans during the 1960's because they refused to accept Civil Rights legislation which was achieved  by  mentally stable Democrats.

The Great Aztec Temple

FROM THE APRIL 2018 ISSUE
The Great Aztec Temple
Archaeologists analyze ruins in the heart of Mexico City.
By Bridget Alex



Temple 7.0
The temple began as a modest structure in the 1300s, but as the Mexica, the ethnic group that came to rule the Aztec Empire, amassed wealth and territory, they enlarged the monument. By the time Spaniards arrived in 1519, Templo Mayor had undergone six major renovations, becoming a 10-story pyramid, with earlier structures nestled inside. This latest and greatest phase is the most poorly preserved: Only fragments of the floor remain because the Spanish razed the temple for materials to build their colonial city.
DEA PICTURE LIBRARY/De Agostini/Getty Images

In 1978, utilities workers digging in Mexico City unearthed a colossal stone relief, depicting an unmistakable figure: the Aztec goddess Coyolxauhqui, naked, dismembered and decapitated, after being slain by her brother, Huitzilopochtli, the god of sun and war. Archaeologists realized the carving must be part of Templo Mayor, the Great Temple of the Aztec Empire, known to lie somewhere below the city center based on colonial-era accounts and previous limited digging projects.

The setting had deterred earlier archaeological investigation because the Aztec ruins were buried under functioning buildings, some erected in Spanish colonial times, themselves protected as historic landmarks. However, the Coyolxauhqui relief sparked such national excitement that archaeologists were permitted to embark on long-term excavations, first led by Eduardo Matos Moctezuma of Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History.

The government initially allowed the team to demolish 13 buildings of limited historical value. Since then, excavations have continued in fits and starts, in collaboration with construction and maintenance projects. Today, remains of the main temple are exposed for visitors, right in the city center — a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

“It’s a beautiful, lively Mexican scene where you’ve got modern Mexico City, colonial Mexico City and also pre-Columbian Mexico,” says Davíd Carrasco, a scholar of Mesoamerican religions at Harvard University. The site is so rich that research could “go on for another 100 years,” says Carrasco, who studies the temple. Some recent spectacular finds follow.

More:
http://discovermagazine.com/2018/apr/the-great-aztec-temple?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+DiscoverLivingWorld+%28Discover+Living+World%29

Suicide, Sacrifice, And Mutilations In Precolumbian Cemetery Questioned By Archaeologists

Sep 24, 2018, 10:39am
Suicide, Sacrifice, And Mutilations In Precolumbian Cemetery Questioned By Archaeologists

Kristina Killgrove
Senior Contributor

Science
Archaeologist, Writer, Scientist

Just outside of Panama City, a precolumbian cemetery excavated in the 1950s was originally interpreted as containing extensive evidence of suicide, sacrifice, and mutilated bodies. A new analysis by archaeologists who specialize in human remains, however, questions the presence of anything irregular about the burials.

The archaeological site of Playa Venado (also called Venado Beach) was identified in 1948 when the U.S. Navy began digging in the target practice area of now-decommissioned Fort Kobbe, adjacent to Howard Air Force Base in the Panama Canal Zone. Because of its location, the site was quickly ransacked for antiquities belonging to the long-lived prehistoric Coclé culture that included fine goldwork, carved bone and ivory, semi-precious gemstone jewelry, and intricately decorated pottery.

In 1951, archaeologist Samuel Lothrop of Harvard University's Peabody Museum directed an excavation at Playa Venado and recovered 202 skeletons and grave artifacts. An additional 167 skeletons were later unearthed by avocational archaeologists. Lothrop published his thoughts on the cemetery, which dates to 550-850 AD, in a 1954 American Antiquity article he titled "Suicide, sacrifice, and mutilations in burials at Venado Beach, Panama." Unfortunately, in this time period, bioarchaeology was not yet an established discipline and Lothrop's conclusions about the culture, drawn largely from the writings of 16th century Spanish historian Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo, did more harm than good, being widely and incorrectly cited as evidence of violence, cannibalism, and trophy head-taking in precolumbian Panama.

A newly published report in the journal Latin American Antiquity by Nicole Smith-Guzmán and Richard Cooke of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, however, calls into question Lothrop's sensationalistic interpretation of the Playa Venado skeletons through a reanalysis of archival documents, photographs, ethnohistoric accounts, and a subset of 77 skeletons that Lothrop sent back to the U.S., now stored at Harvard University.

More:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/kristinakillgrove/2018/09/24/suicide-sacrifice-and-mutilations-in-precolumbian-cemetery-questioned-by-archaeologists/#727a18322bc4

The Maya Civilisation Was Far More Complex Than We Thought, Major Discovery Has Revealed

The Maya Civilisation Was Far More Complex Than We Thought, Major Discovery Has Revealed
"Oh wow, we totally missed that."


BEN GUARINO, THE WASHINGTON POST
28 SEP 2018

In the autumn of 1929, Anne Morrow Lindbergh and her husband Charles flew across the Yucatán Peninsula. With Charles at the controls, Anne snapped photographs of the jungles just below.

She wrote in her journal of Maya structures obscured by large humps of vegetation. A bright stone wall peeked through the leaves, "unspeakably alone and majestic and desolate - the mark of a great civilization gone."

Nearly a century later, surveyors once again took flight over the ancient Maya empire, and mapped the Guatemala forests with lasers.

The 2016 survey, whose first results were published this week in the journal Science, comprises a dozen plots covering 830 square miles, an area larger than the island of Maui. It is the largest such survey of the Maya region, ever.

More:
https://www.sciencealert.com/lidar-upends-long-held-theories-about-mayan-civilization

Stunning 3D laser maps reveal the sprawling Mayan 'megalopolis' where more than 61,000 ancient struc

Stunning 3D laser maps reveal the sprawling Mayan 'megalopolis' where more than 61,000 ancient structures lay hidden beneath Guatemala's forest canopy

More than 60,000 previously unknown Mayan structures have been uncovered in Peten, Guatemala
Researchers say the abundance of defensive walls, ramparts and fortresses suggests warfare was rife
The ground-breaking research used LIDAR technology to map the area, relying on laser pulses
The researchers have now published the results of what they say is the largest lidar survey to date
By CHEYENNE MACDONALD FOR DAILYMAIL.COM and PHOEBE WESTON FOR MAILONLINE

PUBLISHED: 17:55 EDT, 27 September 2018 | UPDATED: 22:20 EDT, 27 September 2018

Stunning new maps covering over 2,000 square kilometers of northern Guatemala have revealed the site of an ancient Maya mega-city hidden in the dense tropical forest.

Researchers uncovered more than 61,000 ancient structures at the site using LiDAR technology, which relies on laser pulses to map out the topography.

Evidence from the exhaustive survey supports earlier suspicions that upwards of 11 million people lived in the Maya Lowlands from the year 650 to 800 CE.

The experts also say the discovery shows the ancient people modified the wetlands for their agricultural needs, and even created networks of roadways to connect distant cities and towns.

. . .



. . .



More:
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6216505/Stunning-3-D-laser-maps-reveal-sprawling-Mayan-megalopolis-hidden-Guatemala.html

Scientists uncover tens of thousands of ancient Mayan structures that could change our understanding


New findings uncover the mysterious lives of millions of people

Andrew Griffin @_andrew_griffin
3 hours ago

Scientists have uncovered tens of thousands of Mayan structures, potentially changing our understanding of the ancient civilisation.

The newly found evidence gives an insight into the lives of millions of people that have remained largely mysterious until today.

It was discovered using high-tech Lidar technology, which uses pulses of laser light to map land cover and topography in 3-D. That land is usually covered in dense woodland, making surveys of the area difficult.

The new research, according to the scientists behind it, gives an understanding of the area with "unprecedented scope" that "compels" a re-evaluation of our understanding of Mayan culture.

More:
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/maya-ancient-structures-discovery-latest-economy-transport-a8558466.html

Science:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/122859741

Guatemala ex-intel chief acquitted on 1980s genocide charges


Updated 11:31 am CDT, Thursday, September 27, 2018

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A Guatemalan court has absolved the late dictator Efrain Rios Montt's former intelligence chief of 1980s civil war rights abuses for a second time.

In a 2-1 decision, the tribunal ruled late Wednesday that Jose Mauricio Rodriguez will not see prison for genocide and crimes against humanity.

The justices unanimously held that the abuses were committed by the military, but disagreed on whether it was proven that Rodriguez gave the commands.

Prosecutors had argued that the 73-year-old ex-military officer knew about and ordered the killings of 1,771 indigenous Ixil Guatemalans by the army during Rios Montt's 1982-1983 regime.

More:
https://www.chron.com/news/crime/article/Guatemala-ex-intel-chief-acquitted-on-1980s-13262798.php

~ ~ ~

What was Guatemala’s ‘Silent Genocide’?
Sep 27, 2018
Former military general Jose Mauricio Rodriguez has been acquitted of mass murder of Mayans during 36-year civil war



Getty Images
Families are still seeking justice for the hundreds of thousands of civilians killed during the brutal civil war

A court in Guatemala has ruled that genocide was committed against ethnic Mayan civilians during the country’s protracted civil war but has acquitted a former military chief of ordering the mass murder.

Retired general Jose Mauricio Rodriguez, 73, was accused of ordering the killings of almost 1,800 indigenous Ixil civilians, and of disappearing tens of thousands more, during the dictatorship of Efrain Rios Montt in 1982 and 1983. The dictator’s brutal 14 months in power are considered the “darkest hours” of the Guatemalan civil war, which lasted from 1960 to 1996.

The court’s ruling is the culmination of the Guatemalan Maya’s decades-long fight for justice, a process that has been fraught with retrials, appeals and overturned convictions. “The harm caused by the genocide affects the lives of many Mayan Guatemalans even today,” says Luke Moffett, a law lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast, in an article on The Conversation.

. . .

Why was there civil war?
For more than a decade from 1931, Guatemala was led by Jorge Ubico, a ruthless CIA-backed dictator who gave sweeping concessions to the US-based United Fruit Company, a vast corporation with control over the politics of multiple countries in the region.

More:
http://www.theweek.co.uk/96750/what-was-guatemala-s-silent-genocide

WWII Bombs Had Rippling Effect on the Edge of Space


By Megan Gannon, Live Science Contributor | September 26, 2018 07:40am ET

Nearly 80 years on, impacts from the violent bombings of World War II are still felt around the globe. Christopher Scott would know —two of his aunts were killed at just 9 and 11 years of age during the London Blitz, Nazi Germany's eight-month onslaught against the British.

Those aerial raids didn't just have rippling effects through generations of families. Scott, who is a space and atmospheric physicist at the University of Reading in the U.K., recently found that the bombs were felt at the edge of space, too.

By combing through archival data, Scott discovered that shock waves from the bombs briefly weakened the ionosphere, the outermost layer of Earth's atmosphere. [10 of the Most Powerful Explosions Ever]

From lightning to bombs
Between around 50 and 375 miles (80 and 600 kilometers) above the ground, the ionosphere is where auroras are created and where astronauts on board the International Space Station live. Atoms of gas in this layer of the atmosphere get excited by solar radiation, forming electrically charged ions. The density and altitude of electrons, the negatively charged particles, in the ionosphere can fluctuate. [Infographic: Earth's Atmosphere Top to Bottom]

More:
https://www.livescience.com/63677-wwii-bombs-edge-of-space.html?utm_source=notification

Colombia's prosecutions on killings by army in limbo


by Jose Miguel Vivanco July 15, 2018

Last month, Colombian lawmakers passed a bill detailing the functioning of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, a judicial system negotiated with the FARC as part of the peace talks. The bill includes a provision – proposed by supporters of President-elect Ivan Duque – that is likely to halt prosecutions of killings by the army and other abuses.

. . .

Critics have characterized the provision as a distortion of the peace accord – likely to grant more lenient treatment to government soldiers than to FARC fighters. But it’s worse than that. The measure could put prosecutions against army soldiers and officers on complete hold.

Already, judges have moved some cases from the ordinary courts to the Special Jurisdiction. And a bill passed by Congress last November – now under Constitutional Court review—goes much farther. If approved, it will largely stop prosecutions in regular jurisdictions for crimes linked to the armed conflict. Under that bill, ordinary courts cannot, among other activities, issue judgments, or send suspects in such cases to pre-trial detention.

With these changes in place, army generals now under investigation for their brigades’ systematic execution of civilians could slip into a convenient legal limbo. Victims of these killings, committed across Colombia between 2002 and 2008, were recorded as enemies killed in combat, and officers were rewarded for running up the body count. The killings came to be known as “false positives.”

More:
https://colombiareports.com/colombias-prosecutions-on-killings-by-army-in-limbo/

How Colombia is preventing you from knowing the truth about the country


by Adriaan Alsema September 3, 2018

Colombia’s foreign ministry has ousted and repelled freelance foreign journalists simply by failing to grant them the visas they need to work.

Over the past week, The Bogota Post and Colombia Reports have made an inventory and gathered testimonies of foreign journalists and correspondents who have been unable to obtain or renew a migrant visa.

How bad the situation is
Over the past two decades, media outlets have sacked the vast majority of their foreign correspondents. As a consequence, much of the news you receive from Colombia comes from freelancers.

Colombia’s Foreign Ministry knows this because whenever we, for example, report that both former President Juan Manuel Santos and President Ivan Duque have been implicated in the Odebrecht bribery scandal, it’s the foreign ministry that has to deal with the fallout.

More:
https://colombiareports.com/how-colombia-is-getting-rid-of-foreign-correspondents/
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