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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 147,298

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Colombia's police tortured, sexually abused and threatened to kill unlawfully detained protesters: r

Colombia’s police tortured, sexually abused and threatened to kill unlawfully detained protesters: reports
by Adriaan Alsema December 16, 2019

Colombia’s National Police allegedly tortured, sexually abused and threatened to kill illegally detained participants in attempts to repress anti-government protests, according to victims and human rights defenders.

The accusations reported by Cable Noticias and La Nueva Prensa on Sunday add to previous claims that the police used terror tactics, kidnapped, assaulted and even murdered at least four innocent civilians to quell the protests that began on November 21.

The police’s alleged torture practices
Human rights advocates told Cable Noticias they will be filing criminal charges against the National Police over the apparently widespread human rights abuses, which include torture and sexual abuse.

Alexandra Gonzalez of the Committee for Political Prisoners told the television network that “we have evidence of torture” of some of the more than 1050 people who were unlawfully detained during the protests.


Cop who admittedly murdered Bogota protester contradicts evidence in charm offensive

by Adriaan Alsema December 16, 2019

The cop who admitted murdering a high-school student during Colombia’s anti-government protests contradicted evidence and previous statements in his defense on Sunday.

El Tiempo, the newspaper of President Ivan Duque‘s campaign financier, allowed ESMAD riot police Captain Manuel Cubillos to justify the murder for the second time in two weeks while concealing his identity.

In an earlier interview with El Tiempo, the captain said he opened fire after protesters attacked the police, an explosion was heard and the protesters were disobeying his order to disperse.

Video evidence indicates there was no explosion, nobody was attacking the police or committing acts of vandalism, and that the victim was walking away from the notoriously violent ESMAD when Cubillos shot him in the head.


The U.S. has spent more money erasing Native languages than saving them

As tribes fight to save their languages from extinction, has the government done enough?
Nov. 5, 2019

Ricky Duvall’s first language was Cherokee. His mom spoke Cherokee; his grandparents spoke Cherokee; his siblings and cousins all spoke Cherokee. When he was growing up in Lyons Switch, Oklahoma, everyone around him spoke Cherokee.

But when Duvall went to kindergarten in the mid-1970s, everyone spoke English. As one of the few Cherokee-speaking kids in his class, he was told by his teachers to stop. At the time, he says, they believed Cherokee bilingual students weren’t as smart and would fall behind students who spoke only English — a theory that research has since proven unfounded. When Duvall spoke his own language, his teacher kept him inside for recess. He remembers being 6 years old, watching the other kids play through the window.

So Duvall worked hard to be a good student and speak English, and only English. First at school, then at home, and eventually everywhere. And like thousands of other Cherokee-first language speakers of his generation, he lost his language.

“Speakers under the age of 40 are few and far between,” Duvall says today. “It was everywhere when I was a kid. ... We’re losing it.”


Colombia's war crimes tribunal discovers first major military mass grave

Colombia’s war crimes tribunal discovers first major military mass grave
by Adriaan Alsema December 15, 2019

Colombia’s war crimes tribunal has discovered a military mass grave in which more than 50 victims of extrajudicial executions could be buried, weekly Semana reported on Saturday.

The cemetery of Dabeiba, a village in the northwestern Antioquia province, was used by the Medellin-based 4th Brigade to bury murdered civilians who were falsely reported as combat kills, according to several soldiers.

Extraordinary security measures
The investigation of the controversial army unit is proceeding under extraordinary security measures as several witnesses have already received death threats or survived assassination attempts.

. . .

Colombia’s Big Lie
The discovery of the mass grave is a major step in the gradual debunking of the “false positives” reported when former President Alvaro Uribe was in office between 2002 and 2010.


This has been common knowledge even far beyond Colombia's borders. Barbaric, sadistic, monstrous actions inflicted upon innocent Colombian people.

El Mozote massacre: Waiting for reparations 38 years later

Salvadorans who survived Latin America’s most brutal massacre of the 20th century still await promised reparations.

Anna-Cat Brigida by Anna-Cat Brigida
4 hours ago

Los Quebrachos, El Salvador - Over the course of three days in December 1981, Salvadoran soldiers murdered nearly 1,000 women, children and elderly civilians in El Mozote and other towns in the northeastern province of Morazan in what has since become known as the most brutal massacre in Latin America in the 20th century.

Survivors reported hearing the screams of women and children before they were gunned down. Soldiers then burned their houses and crops and killed their animals.

Thirty-eight years later, survivors and families of victims are still fighting for recognition, justice and promised reparations. But due to bureaucratic mazes, and a new administration in place, the compensation they have been promised has effectively stalled.

Sofia Romero, whose parents were killed in the massacre, is one of many waiting for reparations. In order to receive her payment, she must prove her parents died and that they were, in fact, her parents. She thought she had gathered all the paperwork necessary, only to find out she needed more documentation for her grandparents.


Remembrance of a Massacre — El Mozote

In 2001, on the 20th anniversary of the El Mozote Massacre, a member of the Argentine Forensic Anthropology team (EAAF) team team holds a photograph taken by Susan Meiselas shortly after the 1981 attack on the village. The team plans further exhumations at the site, which is marked only by the two story cement house in the background. El Mozote, El Salvador, 2001

The perpetrators were members of a U.S.-trained Salvadoran counterinsurgency unit called the Atlacatl battalion. Fresh from a skirmish with the guerillas, they had entered El Mozote in December 1981, and begun a systematic campaign of rape, plunder, torture and murder. In this village — little more than a Catholic church in a simple town square — more than two hundred men, women and children were killed; only Amaya had survived. Altogether, some 800 were killed in the area, making “El Mozote” a name that stands in infamy, one of the worst massacres in modern Latin American history.

The Salvadoran government denied the killings had occurred and the Reagan Administration insisted that The New York Times and The Washington Post reports of the massacre were gross exaggerations. As one Reagan official told a congressional subcomittee,“no evidence could be found to confirm that government forces systematically massacred civilians.”

But twenty years later, the United Nations Commission on the Truth for El Salvador conducted a thorough investigation, and confirmed what we had reported. The commission wrote:

“During the morning, they [the Salvadoran soldiers] proceeded to interrogate, torture and execute the men in various locations. Around noon, they began taking out the women in groups, separating them from their children and machine gunning them. Finally, they killed the children. A group of children who had been locked in the convent were machine-gunned through the windows. After exterminating the entire population, the soldiers set fire to the buildings.”


Some images at google images:


Indigenous boy, 15, murdered on Brazil's Amazon border

Erisvan Soares Guajajara’s body was found with knife wounds in Maranhão region

Dom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro

Fri 13 Dec 2019 19.25 ESTLast modified on Fri 13 Dec 2019 19.27 EST

Arariboia, Maranhao state, Brazil

A 15-year-old indigenous boy has been murdered in Brazil on the edge of a heavily-deforested indigenous reserve in the state of Maranhão, on the fringes of the Amazon.

The murder, the fourth from the Guajajara tribe in recent weeks, came as a wave of racist abuse against indigenous people swept social media in the state.

The Indigenous Missionary Council(CIMI), a non-profit group reported that Erisvan Soares Guajajara’s body was found with knife wounds on Friday in Amarante do Maranhão. The group said he had travelled to the town, on the edge of the Araribóia indigenous reserve, with his father. The G1 news site reported that a non-indigenous man called Roberto Silva, 31, was also killed with Erisvan and that both died in the early hours of Friday at a party in an area called Vila Industrial.

“Another brutal crime against the Guajajara people,” tweeted Sonia Guajajara, a leader from the same tribe and reserve who is executive coordinator of Brazilian indigenous association ABIP. “Everyone who doesn’t like us feels allowed to kill because they know impunity rules. It’s time to say ENOUGH.”


Just in case, senators taking Colombia's security forces to court swear they won't commit suicide

by Adriaan Alsema December 13, 2019

Senator Gustavo Bolivar (Facebook)

Five senators of Colombia’s opposition filed criminal charges against the security forces said Thursday they are not contemplating suicide, just in case.

Opposition Senator Gustavo Bolivar recorded himself and four of his colleagues in case something happens to them while taking the National Police and the National Army to court.

The senators filed the charges over, among other alleged abuses, the security forces’ violent repression of ongoing peaceful anti-government protests, the apparent kidnapping of three students, and the murders of a student, a demobilized FARC member and a native Colombian.

Additionally, the senators plan to take these cases to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Holland.


Amazon aflame: What we've learnt in a year reporting on Brazilian beef and the rainforest


The fires that have swept through the Amazon rainforest are a direct result of beef consumption in Europe and around the world, as documented by the Bureau in a series of investigations throughout this year.

Our food and environment team has spent the last year investigating the links between the Brazilian beef industry and the ongoing destruction of one of our most important carbon sinks.

As the COP25 global climate negotiations draw to a close in Madrid, our latest story has revealed Brazilian Amazon fires were three times more common in the meatpackers’ estimated operating areas than outside them.

It is the latest in a series of reports we have produced working with the Guardian and Repórter Brasil evidencing the toll of Brazil’s beef industry. In July we shared our findings that JBS, the world’s biggest meat producer, had broken its own “zero-deforestation” policy by buying cows from a supplier grazing cattle on land that had been forbidden for use as a punishment for earlier felling.


Picked by slaves: coffee crisis brews in Brazil

DECEMBER 12, 2019 / 5:11 AM / UPDATED 19 HOURS AGO

Fabio Teixeira

PATOS DE MINAS, Brazil (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - As the coffee harvest drew to a close in the rolling hills of southeastern Brazil, labor inspectors raced to two sprawling plantations with one goal - to rescue workers from slavery.

The convoy, escorted by armed police, hit the road one August morning in Minas Gerais - a state bigger than France - that grows more than half the beans in Brazil, the world’s top coffee exporter.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation joined officials on a high-speed chase over fields, searching for coffee bean pickers crouched amid countless rows of lush trees.

The inspectors knew they had to act fast as supervisors running plantations were known to order workers to flee at the first sight of authorities, using WhatsApp to issue warnings.

By sunset, they had raided both plantations and found 59 workers - including children aged 13 - all undocumented, underpaid and lacking safety equipment as required by law.


The Return of the Indigenous Struggle in Bolivia

Post on: December 12, 2019 Javo Ferreira

The resistance to the right-wing coup in Bolivia has developed under the banners of the indigenous peoples. The working class needs to take up these demands as its own. We publish here the prologue to the third edition of Javo Ferreira’s book Comunidad, indigenismo y marxismo (Community, Indigenism, and Marxism).

ince the Bolivian elections of October 20, the subsequent coup d’état has been consolidated, reopening deep wounds and contradictions in society that Bolivian and Latin American “progressivism” thought had been overcome. The civilian, police, and military coup, consummated with the resignation of President Evo Morales on November 10, attempted to consolidate itself through savage repression that claimed the lives of more than 30 people and left hundreds injured and almost a thousand detained by the police and military forces. It is in this context, while the ashes of the roadblocks still smolder, that I write this prologue for the third edition of this book. Great events in the history of peoples are those that, like a judge’s decision that cannot be appealed, determine whether texts, analyses, and documents drawn up previously can pass the test of facts or are simply to be tucked away in the trunk of historical curiosities. I believe not only that this text, written mainly in 2009 after 14 years of government by the MAS, has comfortably passed the test of events, but also that much of what happened after 2009 was anticipated in its pages. I hope that, with the revival of the struggle of the exploited and oppressed of Bolivia—a large part of the country’s nations and native peoples—this text will contribute to that struggle and to organizing against the state, against its ruling classes, and against the racial structure of society that makes it easy to gain advantage from the social capital that comes with being white and Spanish-speaking.

It remains to be seen how far the coup plotters can go in dismantling the “Plurinational State of Bolivia”—as former Vice President Álvaro García Linera called the outcome of his administration’s efforts to overcome the racial structuring of Bolivian society. Constitutional and institutional reforms were undertaken by the government in an attempt to break through the state’s “gelatinous” nature and advance toward a unitary construction of civil and political society.

On November 10, after the resignation of Morales and García Linera, a group of coup plotters undertook an enormously symbolic act—lowering the wiphala1 at the Palacio Quemado (Bolivia’s presidential palace) and setting it on fire. This revealed the racist character of the coup and the white elite’s absolute hatred of indigenous peoples. It also left for dead any attempt to use reforms to satisfy the indigenous peoples’ structural democratic demands in a new constitution, without modifying the bourgeois character of the Bolivian state. Ultimately, the “apparent state”2 was never displaced, thus permitting the Right—which never accepted the Constitution or the state’s plurinational character—to trample on it once the balance of power allowed. Doing so, however, does not appear to be a simple task, as was demonstrated by the massive mobilizations that arose in resistance to the coup and that in their early days used slogans that centered fighting racism and defending cultures. The passivity of the MAS, the Central Obrera Boliviana (COB, the trade union confederation), and several of the leaderships that have validated the coup is an enormous help in this effort to dismantle, at least partially, many of the demands that had been embodied as provisions in the Constitution—and which are now under attack and could even be eliminated as the racist elite reoccupies the state.

The MAS was elected as a government based on the great uprisings and insurrections that shook Bolivia in the 2000s. This government had to express—albeit in a distorted way—the relationship of forces established by those great independent actions of the mass movement. This was expressed in various constitutional and legal reforms presented as a “democratic and cultural revolution.” The approval of the new constitution was the result of a pact with the Right that in 2008 had its strongholds in Sucre and in the so-called Media Luna.3 That constitutional pact brought a certain social peace to the country, lubricated by a boom in the price of raw materials that helped cushion the deep social, economic, and political cracks of the last decade. It was translated into important reforms that sought to resolve, through institutional means, the historical social exclusion of the great national majorities of Aymara, Quechua, and Tupi Guaraní origin. But that pact lasted only until October 20, 2019, when the crisis was reopened and the trend from 2008 toward civil war reemerged.

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