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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 146,597

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Earlier article: Forced sterilization and impunity in Peru

Forced sterilization and impunity in Peru
MARIELLA SALA 10 February 2014

Between 1995-2000, 300,000 women in Peru, mostly poor indigenous peasants who did not speak Spanish, were forcibly sterilized by the Fujimori government. The Peruvian feminist movement has been trying to bring Fujimori and his officials to trial for this crime against humanity ever since. Last month the case was thrown out for a second time.

In 1995, then-President Alberto Fujimori met with Peruvian feminists at the UN Women’s Conference in Beijing and announced he would liberalize Peru’s strict laws on contraception by allowing women to have their tubes tied without getting their husbands’ permission. For Peruvian feminists, who had been fighting for more reproductive rights against powerful opposition from the Catholic Church and Opus Dei, this was a victory. They had no idea that the Fujimori government would use the new law to forcibly sterilize three hundred thousand indigenous women in the Andes between 1995 - 2000.

There are many historical instances of forced sterilization, which is currently being practised on HIV-positive women in Namibia, for purposes of population control in Uzbekistan, and against the Roma in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It is among the offenses listed as crimes against humanity by the Rome Statute of 2005: “Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity.”

In the case of Peru, because most of the peasant women who were sterilized only spoke Quechua or Aymara, and many of them did not know how to name what had happened to their bodies even in their own language, it took a while for the story to reach women’s human rights advocates in Lima. In 1996, Giulia Tamayo from CLADEM, a Latin American feminist lawyers’ network, began investigating the crime and in 1999 she published a report, Nada Personal – A human’s right report about how the sterilization program has injured thousands of women. At the same time Hilaria Supa, an indigenous leader of the peasant women’s federation in the district of Anta, began to work with MAM Fundacional (Movimiento Amplio de Mujeres) and CLADEM to investigate the issue. Supa, who is fluent in both Spanish and Quechua, discovered that hundreds of women in her community had been sterilized against their wills, and founded the Asociación de Mujeres Afectadas por las Esterilizaciones Forzadas de Anta (AMAEF), organizing survivors from the communities and districts of Anta and Cusco.


Peru's ex-President faces forced sterilization charges

By Sara Shayanian | April 27, 2018 at 10:01 AM

April 27 (UPI) -- Peru's former president is facing charges over alleged forced sterilization of women during his time in office.

Alberto Fujimori, the ex-president of Peru, and three of his former health ministers, Marino Costa Bauer, Eduardo Yong and Alejandro Aguinaga, will be issued new charges over the forced sterilization of five women that reportedly took place while he was in office.

Between 1990 and 2000, when Fujimori was in office, around 300,000 women had the surgery as part of a government program. Although it was meant to be a voluntary procedure, thousands say they did not give their consent.

Over 2,000 people have filed lawsuits against the sterilizations and data showing that 18 women died as a result of the procedures.

The procedures were mainly done on poor, indigenous women -- many of whom claim they were harassed, threatened and blackmailed into complying.


Over 100 Years Ago Chilean and British Imperialism Cut Bolivia Off From the Sea.

APRIL 27, 2018
Over 100 Years Ago Chilean and British Imperialism Cut Bolivia Off From the Sea. Today, Evo Morales Could Lead the Country Back to the Coast

In 1879 began the disastrous ‘War of the Pacific’, the Chilean army invaded Bolivia’s ‘Litoral’ department, leaving the poorest nation in South America landlocked. It is thought up to 18,000 Bolivians died in the war. Chile’s war on Bolivia was at every step of the way backed and armed by the British Empire as English industrialists took control of the vast natural resources of the Bolivian coastal region. These included guano, sodium, nitrate, copper where British interests established a monopoly on the export of these primary resources. Bolivia has never given up its demand to return to the coast, it still maintains a navy in preparation, the only landlocked country in the world to do so. Today the Bolivian government, under left-indigenous president Evo Morales is taking the biggest steps yet in securing a sovereign access to the sea as he takes the case to the International Court of Justice at the Hague who have already ruled against Chile’s early objections to Bolivia’s claims, a preliminary ruling is expected on April 28th. This is more than a territorial dispute, this is a political battle to roll back the hidden legacy of British imperialist interference in Latin America. It is inconceivable that Bolivia’s previous neoliberal governments could have come this far, indeed they didn’t, Bolivia’s successes are precisely because Morales’ left government is nation building for the first time, bringing natural resources under public ownership and incorporating the social movements into the structures of popular power. Those who preceded him were more interested in short sighted frenzies of privatisation than any long term state projects like this.

The war began when the Bolivian government raised taxes on the Chilean and British companies operating in Bolivia’s Litoral department. Companies such as the “Antofagasta Nitrate & Railway Company” (CSFA) refused to pay so Bolivia moved to nationalise mining interests there. Chile then unleashed a brutal war that was to last 5 years and invade huge parts of Bolivia and even Peru. Territory they still hold to this day. Behind this was a vast network of British imperial interests that had built links to sections of the Chilean oligarchy. Ever since the fall of the Spanish Empire in the Americas, Britain was quick off the blocks in establishing informal control of Latin American natural resources. Chile’s Banco Edwards was a subsidiary of the Bank of England[1], and owned by the same family as Chile’s foremost newspaper El Mercuriothat became key in drumming up popular support for the invasion and framing it as a patriotic war rather than a war for British and Chilean mining capitalists. An English businessman with the CSFA articulated Britain’s colonial approach to the conflict, “The Bolivians are getting very cocky, but with this action they’ll realise that they can’t interfere with a subject of the crown, and also, the Chileans will realise that it is in their interests to have the English at their side”. From the start of the war began an aggressive media operation in London to portray Chile as advanced and civilised, and Bolivia as backward hordes, one newspaper labeled Bolivia a “Semi-barbarous country that doesn’t know civilization”[2]. This was a textbook divide and rule strategy that the British Empire was employing all over Africa. Britain was rigidly against Simon Bolívar’s vision of a united Latin America, (‘Gran Colombia’ as he called it), Eduardo Galeano summed it up thus, “For U.S. imperialism to be able to “integrate and rule” Latin America today, it was necessary for the British Empire to help divide and rule us yesterday. An archipelago of disconnected countries came into being as a result of the frustration of our national unity.”[3]. British economic interests penetrated deep into every port city of the Americas and played off the new republics against each other whenever its interests were threatened. Britain proceeded to play a vital role in urging and sponsoring Chile’s invasion, providing it with huge supplies of arms, financing, logistical support and the political support of its press. Bolivia’s meagre forces never stood a chance.

The British back Chilean forces overwhelmed both Bolivia and Peru. Today it is estimated that lack of access to the sea deprives Bolivia of 1.5% in economic growth annually[4], a huge amount for the region’s poorest country. For British imperial interests the outcome was a everything they hoped and more, Yorkshire industrialist John Thomas North established a monopoly over the vast nitrate fields and the British linked Edwards family reaped huge rewards from the captured natural resources. These oligarchs formed a caste that wielded huge political power and plunged Chile into civil war in 1891 when the progressive president Balmaceda tried push through competition laws to break up their monopolies, the war ended in victory for the oligarchy. In some ways even Chile did not benefit from the war, they were left indebted to Britain to the tune of millions for the support they received and the natural resources fell into the hands of a tiny number of families who exported these primary materials on the cheap to the global north. Peruvian historian Enrique Amayo, in his book on British involvement in the war perhaps summed it up best in his final heading titled “Imperialist Great Britain helped Chile, but in the end Chile too became the loser”[5].

This war nearly a 140 years ago is still an open wound for Bolivians and an obstacle to Latin American integration and unity. The sense of loss for Bolivia, a small nation against the might of the British Empire and Chilean sub-imperialism. Add to this, Chile’s national chauvinism they gained after the war, that they are the ‘advanced’ of the region compared with their ‘backward’ and more indigenous neighbours Bolivia and Peru, the xenophobia and discrimination is still a defining experience of Andean migrants in Santiago.


AP Explains: How Native American powwows evolved over years

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Apr 27, 2018, 2:29 PM ET

The Associated Press

FILE--In this April 28, 2017 file photo, a group of Native American elders lead the grand entry to the Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque, N.M. The Gathering of Nations, one of the world's largest gatherings of indigenous people, is set to begin Friday, April 27, 2018, in Albuquerque, drawing around 3,000 dancers from hundreds of tribes in the U.S., Canada and Mexico and generally pulling in about 80,000 visitors with dances, drum contests and various competitions. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras, file)

The Gathering of Nations, one of the world's largest gatherings of indigenous people, started Friday in Albuquerque. The annual event attracts about 3,000 dancers from hundreds of tribes from the U.S., Canada and Mexico and draws about 80,000 visitors who come to see dances, drum contests and competitions.

The Native American event is a powwow — a pan-American Indian celebration featuring song, dance and prayer. They are held in stadiums, rural community centers or high school gyms and offer an opportunity for American Indians from different tribal nations with diverse histories to come together to reaffirm their shared experiences and reunite with friends.

Here's a look at how powwows began and have evolved over the years:


Assassins murdered Honduran activist Berta Cceres. Her mother and daughters have taken up the fight

Across Women's Lives
April 24, 2018 · 12:00 PM EDT
By Alice Driver


A Lenca woman holds a sign honoring Berta Cáceres that says, “Berta Lives! The Lenca Community Resists.” Credit: Alice Driver/PRI

Austra Bertha Flores López remains convinced that the assassins who took her daughter's life were sadly mistaken.

“They think that they killed Berta [Cáceres] but they didn’t because she continues to live on in the hearts of all the indigenous people, in the hearts of all women participating in struggles and in the hearts of communities around the world,” she said.

Honduran environmental activist Berta Cáceres was killed in March 2016 by gunmen who broke into her La Esperanza home. She was 43. The murder investigation is still ongoing, though the principal suspect in the case was arrested last month.

Berta Cáceres had fought against a dam project from Desarrollos Energéticos S.A., or DESA, which was to be built along the Gualcarque River, considered sacred waters to her indigenous Lenca people. The dam's investors withdrew from the project in the wake of her murder.


WWII Sub Rumoured to Have Taken Top Nazis to South America Found Off Danish Coast

By George Dvorsky on 24 Apr 2018 at 3:00PM

In the dying days of World War II, a German sub was reportedly sunk near the Danish coast, but the wreck was never found, leading to speculation that high-ranking Nazi officials—even possibly Adolf Hitler himself—used the high-tech vessel to escape to South America. A museum in Denmark has finally found the missing U-boat, ending this 73-year-old mystery.

The German submarine was discovered under 403 feet (123 metres) of water earlier this month by an expedition from the Sea War Museum Jutland. Radar scans of the seafloor taken from the survey ship Viña show the U-boat U-3523—an advanced Type XXI submarine—resting in an extraordinary position, with its tail-end sticking out from a hole at practically a 45 degree angle.

This is now the ninth German sub discovered by the Sea War Museum along the Danish coast, in addition to three British subs. In total, the museum has discovered 450 wrecks in the North Sea and in the Skagerrak Strait between Norway, Sweden, and the Jutland peninsula of Denmark.

According to the British navy, a B24 Liberator sunk the U-3523 on May 6, 1945 using depth charges, which are underwater explosives dropped from above. Given the timing of the incident, the U-boat was likely not on patrol, but on the run. The sinking happened a day after Nazi forces surrendered in Denmark, and just two days before the war officially ended in Europe. Fifty-three German sailors were killed in the incident, assuming its standard contingent was on board. The U-3523 was found in the Skagerrak Strait some 10.3 miles (16.6 km) northeast of Skagen. The pilot of the B24 Liberator reported a location 1.2 miles (2 km) away, which may explain why the sub eluded discovery for so many years. Its unorthodox position on the seafloor may have had something to do with it as well.


Corals build 'cloud umbrellas' to help keep cool under blazing sun, study says

ABC Far North By Sharnie Kim and Adam Stephen
Posted about 4 hours ago

Australian researchers have found corals build "cloud umbrellas" to protect themselves from the scorching sun, and say coral loss through bleaching events could have wider ramifications for weather and agricultural production along the Queensland coast.

A team of scientists from Griffith University, Southern Cross University and the University of Southern Queensland analysed satellite data spanning 15 years to find corals produce and release aerosols into the atmosphere to create a barrier of cloud cover to help keep themselves cool.

Associate Professor Albert Gabric from Griffith University said the study looked at a 100 square kilometre area around Heron Island in the southern Great Barrier Reef.

"The corals can get stressed by strong levels of irradiance or indeed warming, warm temperatures and ocean temperatures," he said.


Colombia extradites former paramilitary warlord to the United States

Source: Colombia Reports

by Stephen Gill April 23, 2018

Colombia on Monday extradited the founder of the country’s largest illegal armed group, the AGC, to the United States on drug trafficking charges.

Daniel Rendon, who is better known as “Don Mario,” left Colombia in the early hours of the morning for New York where he will face trial.

Mario “left at 4AM heading to New York where he has two of the three indictments against him,” confirmed his lawyer in a press statement.

The former warlord was arrested in 2009 and serving a 20-year sentence for homicide, forced disappearance, torture, kidnapping, drug trafficking and forced displacement in a prison in the capital Bogota.

Read more: https://colombiareports.com/colombia-extradites-former-paramilitary-warlord-to-the-united-states/

3/1/2016 9:22:00 AM
Who are the cellmates of Santiago Uribe?
A former governor, a former paramilitary chief and three businessmen have been detained for a long time in the cells of the Prosecutor's Office.

Santiago Uribe, Álvaro Cruz, 'Don Mario' and Julio Gómez. ' Photo: WEEK

Santiago Uribe, that farmer and the former president's favorite brother, spent his first night in a cell in the prosecutor's bunker. He was transferred to the capital after being captured as part of a process for alleged support for paramilitarism.

There, in that judicial complex in the west of Bogotá, not only lives the random confinement that is felt when entering a semi-basement full of bars where little light enters, but at the same time draw a double uncomfortable situation.

On the one hand, the bitter accusations that accuse him of integrating the group known as the '12 Apostles' that acted in Antioquia, and on the other, having to share space with a former paramilitary leader who has pointed out several times.

It is Daniel Rendón Herrera, alias 'Don Mario', who has been held for a long time in the bunker of the Prosecutor's Office. The financial chief of the Centauros Bloc of the AUC has said that relations with Santiago Uribe were key to achieving the extension of paramilitary power in Antioquia.


Western Media Shorthand on Venezuela Conveys and Conceals So Much

APRIL 23, 2018

A Reuters article (4/18/18) reports that the European Union “could impose further sanctions on Venezuela if it believes democracy is being undermined there.”

The line nicely illustrates the kind of journalistic shorthand Western media have developed, over years of repetition, for conveying distortions and whitewashing gross imperial hypocrisy about Venezuela. A passing remark can convey and conceal so much.

The EU’s sincerity in acting on what it “believes” about Venezuelan democracy is unquestioned by the London-based Reuters. Meanwhile Spain, an EU member, is pursuing the democratically elected president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, for the crime of organizing an illegal independence referendum last year. Weeks ago, he was arrested in Germany at Spain’s request, and other elected representatives have been arrested in Catalonia, where Spain’s federal government deposed the elected regional government after the referendum.

In July 2017, a few months before the referendum in Catalonia, Venezuela’s opposition also organized an illegal referendum. One of the questions asked if the military should obey the opposition-controlled National Assembly, which was an extremely provocative question, given the opposition’s various efforts to overthrow the government by force since 2002. The referendum required an extremely high level of political expression, organization and participation. It allegedly involved 7 million voters. The Venezuelan government disregarded the results—as Spain disregarded the Catalan referendum results—but unlike Spain, did not jail people for organizing it, or send police to brutally repress voters. In fact, two weeks later, Venezuelan voters (overwhelmingly government supporters, since the opposition boycotted and did not field candidates) were violently attacked by opposition militants when they elected a constituent assembly. The attacks resulted in several deaths.


Macri's Argentina Has Become a Hotbed of Neoliberalism and Police Violence

Sunday, April 22, 2018
By Hugo Goeury, Truthout | News Analysis

After 12 years of center-left rule under Néstor Kirchner (2003-2007) and his wife Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (2007-2015), Argentina took a decisive turn to the right in November 2015 with the election of Mauricio Macri, a former businessman and mayor of Buenos Aires from 2007 to 2015.

If the first decade of the 21st century had seen left and center-left governments dominate the Latin American political scene -- a period that is often called the "Pink Tide" -- Macri's election marked the beginning of a regional shift to the right. Since then, the left has faced many challenges and setbacks in Latin America. Those include, among others: the controversial removal of Brazil's first female president Dilma Rousseff by parliament in August 2016, followed by the current judicial attacks aimed at preventing former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva from running in the upcoming presidential election; the recent election of right-wing, multibillionaire and former president (2010-2014) Sebastián Piñera in Chile; and the confrontation between Rafael Correa and his successor, ex-Vice President Lenín Moreno in Ecuador.

Meanwhile, in Argentina, the resurgence of the right and the implementation of Macri's neoliberal project has not only been synonymous with constant assaults against social rights, but also of increasing levels of state violence.

Presidentially Sanctioned Trigger Happiness
On December 8, 2017, Frank Joseph Wolek, a 54-year-old American tourist, was violently assaulted while visiting the working-class neighborhood of La Boca, located in the southeastern part of the Argentine capital Buenos Aires. Among those who witnessed the altercation was Luis Chocobar, an off-duty police officer. As they were fleeing the scene, Chocobar shot one of two assailants, 18-year-old Pablo Kukoc, twice in the back. Five days later, Kukoc died from his injuries in one of the capital's hospitals.

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