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Judi Lynn

Judi Lynn's Journal
Judi Lynn's Journal
October 31, 2020

Venezuela coup plotters met at Trump Doral. Central figure says U.S. officials knew of plan.


In a challenge to denials of government involvement, the ex-U.S. special operations sergeant whose security firm took part in a botched Venezuelan coup last May said two Trump administration officials met with and expressed support to planners of Operation Gideon, a Bay of Pigs-type operation that tried to oust Venezuelan strongman Nicolás Maduro.

It’s a story of bungling, bravado and cloak-and-dagger plotting, with plans shared in clandestine meetings in the back of limousines while rolling through Miami, in restaurants and even at dusk on the 12th fairway of the Red Course of Trump Doral, the Miami Herald/McClatchy has learned.

Details have been elusive, even as Gideon’s planning and execution happened in the nation’s capital, South Florida and across the Caribbean Sea in coastal Venezuela. The allegations reported exclusively in this story are also contained in a $1.4 million breach-of-contract lawsuit filed Friday, Oct. 30, by Miami attorney Gustavo J. Garcia-Montes in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.

The suit is against Juan Jose Rendon, a political consultant closely aligned with Venezuelan legislator Juan Guaidó, who the Trump administration in January 2019 began calling the legitimate president of the oil-rich South American nation.

It was brought on behalf of retired Sgt. 1st Class Jordan Goudreau, who in roughly seven hours of detailed interviews insisted he had encouragement from the administration and even held meetings to plan the operation at the Trump Hotel in the nation’s capital and at the Trump Doral west of Miami. Reporters worked on fact-checking Goudreau’s data and allegations over a six-week period.

October 31, 2020

US Border Agents Went Rogue and Illegally Detained Hundreds of Migrants in Guatemala

Officials also tried to cover up the misuse of funds, according to a new Senate report.
By Maya Averbuch
October 14, 2020, 2:57pm

Customs and Border Protection agents stationed in Central America detained and removed hundreds of Honduran migrants, acting as law enforcement on foreign soil, according to a new Senate report.

The officers were in Guatemala – funded by the State Department – to train their local counterparts and provide “mentoring, advising, and capacity-building.” Instead, they took charge on the ground and returned migrants themselves.

In January, they helped Guatemalan police round up Hondurans traveling on foot in a caravan, shuttled them into unmarked vehicles (also funded by the U.S.) and sent them back to the Honduran border, according to a new report from Democratic members of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee called “DHS Run Amok?”

The report exposes the reach of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and includes the accusation that Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials tried to cover up their misuse of government funds.

. . .

"These are sovereign countries, and you’re not supposed to be carrying out arrests and kicking in doors in another country," said Adam Isacson, the director of defense oversight at the Washington Office on Latin America, a think tank also known as WOLA.

October 31, 2020

El Salvador's Supreme Court halts investigation into murder of priests


By Reuters Staff


MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - El Salvador’s Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that senior figures suspected of links to the 1989 killing of six Jesuit priests, including a former president, should not be investigated, lawyers for both sides said.

The killing of the priests during the Central American country’s civil war was among the most notorious episodes during the conflict in which 75,000 people were killed and 8,000 went missing.

In April 2018, a court reopened an investigation into the killings and named in court documents six military officers and a former president, Alfredo Cristiani, as subjects of the investigation.

. . .

Spain has also indicted 20 former Salvadoran army officers in connection with the killings, which took place when a group of soldiers from the U.S.-trained Atlacatl Battalion entered the campus of El Salvador’s Central American University.

One of the slain priests was Father Ignacio Ellacuria, who was a prominent critic of the U.S.-backed right-wing government of El Salvador and the rector at the university.

. . .


October 31, 2020

The Other Americans: United States Attacks Cuban Medics During Pandemic

The Trump Administration is refusing Cuba’s COVID-19 medical aid, claiming the doctors are being ‘trafficked.’

by Jeff Abbott
October 30, 2020

There are parts of Guatemala that have no access to medical services from the Guatemalan government. This void is being filled by the doctors from the Cuban medical mission, who are working in the most remote parts of the country.

But recently, these Cuban medics have come under attack.

n August 2020, Felipe Alejos, a rightwing congressional representative with the Todos Party, demanded that the Guatemalan Foreign Ministry annul the agreements with more than 400 Cuban medics that have served rural communities across the country since 1998. Alejos, who has been repeatedly accused of corruption for abuse of power and trafficking of influences, argued that the agreements shouldn't be in place because they are with a communist country.

“We as Guatemalans cannot accept to be financing a state that is authoritarian in nature,” Alejos said in the press statement calling for the end of the Cuban medical mission in Guatemala.

Alejos has a history of pushing U.S.-based positions in Guatemala, but on October 28, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revoked his visa to the United States due to the accusations of corruption.

Guatemala has one of the lowest percentages of doctors per capita in Latin America, with less than one physician for every 1,000 citizens. Cuban medics serve in more than two-thirds of health areas in Guatemala, including the country’s most remote regions like la Zona Reina, where the Health Ministry has almost no presence.

October 30, 2020

Argentina Dirty War: Torture and baby theft trial under way

Published 1 day ago

Miguel Etchecolatz, who is 91, has been on trial a number of times before

Eighteen people have gone on trial in Argentina on charges ranging from abduction to crimes against humanity.

The prosecution says they were responsible for torture, baby thefts and killings carried out in three detention centres under military rule between 1976 and 1983.

Among those charged is Miguel Etchecolatz, 91, who headed police investigations in Buenos Aires.

He is already in jail serving four life sentences.

Who's in the dock?
The court in the city of La Plata will examine alleged crimes committed against hundreds of people held in the detention centres of Pozo de Banfield, Pozo de Quilmes and Brigada Lanús, which was widely known as El Infierno (Hell).

More than 400 witnesses are expected to give evidence during the trial, which is expected to take at least two years.
October 29, 2020

Confronting the Deep Roots of Violence in El Salvador

Laura Weiss/October 21, 2020

Roberto Lovato’s “Unforgetting” explores the traumatic history of a country torn apart by wars and gangs—and the dangers of not facing the past.

Government militia patrol a village in El Salvador during the civil war.

Government militias patrol a village in northern El Salvador during the country’s brutal civil war.

In 1982, Joan Didion famously wrote of El Salvador that “terror is the given of the place.” At the time, the country was in the midst of a civil war, which pitted the leftist guerrillas of the Faribundo Martí National Liberation Front, or FMLN, against the country’s military, supported and armed by the United States. During the war, which lasted from 1980 to 1992, some 50,000 civilians were killed, with the lion’s share of atrocities committed by the military. The conflict compelled more than a quarter of the country’s 4.5 million people to seek safety in nearby countries as well as the U.S., where most were denied asylum despite the bloody conditions they were fleeing.

Roberto Lovato has no illusions about the violence that has permeated the history of El Salvador. However, his debut book, Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs, and Revolution, is determined to unravel the many stereotypes that outsiders like Didion have perpetuated about the country, to make room for new insights about the trauma that generations of Salvadorans have endured.

Lovato, who is Salvadoran-American, claims early on that his book seeks to explore the roots of gang violence in El Salvador, but it is about much more than that. Unforgetting covers a lot of ground, jumping between time periods, characters, countries, and even genres. It is part memoir, part reported narrative, and even part crónica, or chronicle, a genre first made famous by Gabriel García Márquez that straddles the line between fiction and journalism.

Sections of the book narrate Lovato’s childhood in the Mission District of San Francisco in the 1970s, where he was raised by two immigrant parents. Another, set in the 1920s, reconstructs the childhood of his father, with whom Lovato has a tense and occasionally violent relationship. Significant portions take place during the Salvadoran civil war, when Lovato was deeply involved in solidarity efforts with the FMLN. Another part of the book takes place in 2015, when an interview with a Salvadoran child held in immigrant detention in Karnes, Texas, motivates Lovato to report on what has driven so many to seek refuge outside of El Salvador.

The book illuminates the depths of violence that have shaped El Salvador: from the wiping out of large swaths of Indigenous people during the colonial period to the 1932 matanza, or massacre, carried out by the army, which the historian Anders Sandberg, quoted by Lovato, calls one of the “most violent episodes of the modern era.” Then there are the atrocities of the civil war, like the 1981 El Mozote massacre, during which military officers, funded and abetted by the U.S., wiped out an entire town in the course of one day.


October 29, 2020

Berkeley Talks: The violent underworlds of El Salvador and their ties to the U.S.

By Public Affairs, UC Berkeley| OCTOBER 23, 2020

In this Berkeley Talks episode, Salvadoran American journalist and activist Roberto Lovato discusses his new book, Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs, and Revolution in the Americas, with Jess Alvarenga, an investigative reporter and documentary filmmaker and a graduate of UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.

In Unforgetting, Lovato exposes how the U.S.-backed military dictatorship was responsible for killing 85% of the 75,000 to 80,000 people killed during the Salvadoran Civil War, which was fought from 1979 to 1992.

“The book is … a journey through different underworlds — the underworlds of the guerillas, the underworlds of the gangs, the underworlds of our family histories and secrets, the underworld of the secrets of nations, the things that countries don’t like for us to know, I mean, which is theoretically how you get a president like Donald Trump, for example,” said Lovato.

Listen to the conversation between Lovato and Alvarenga in Berkeley Talks episode #98, “The violent underworlds of El Salvador and their ties to the U.S.” Watch a video of the conversation below.

Watch a video of the conversation between journalist Roberto Lovato and Jess
Alvarenga about Lovato’s new book, Unforgetting. (Berkeley Journalism video)

October 29, 2020

State of Fear: The US Legacy in El Salvador

Examining the self-sustaining cycle of gang violence in El Salvador

El Salvador ranks among the world’s most dangerous places. Violent crime associated with gang activity has created war zone like conditions in a nation that has been at peace for nearly three decades. These conditions have caused thousands to flee the country for the nearby United States.

Once in the U.S., many of these migrants find themselves back at square one, with the same gangs they fled living within their communities. Finding themselves caught up in gang activity; many are then deported to the place they once fled. This perpetual cycle has made El Salvador ground zero for gang-related violence.

‘State of Fear: The U.S. Legacy in El Salvador’ takes viewers deep inside this ever-growing world of gangs and violence while examining the effects of migration and deportation on gang membership.


Watch it all at once if you have 57:18, or in increments, which can be very convenient, to pick up a lot of information you might not easily find otherwise. It looks really worthwhile. I'm just at the beginning , doing it in segments. Thank you.cc

October 23, 2020

Is Colombia's aviation agency trafficking for Sinaloa Cartel this time?

by Adriaan Alsema October 22, 2020

Evidence that Colombia’s former President Alvaro Uribe is hiring Sinaloa Cartel pilots is impossible to ignore 40 years after he granted the Medellin Cartel some 200 licenses.

The trial against “El Chapo” additionally revealed how Uribe’s in-laws, the Cifuentes family, worked with the Mexican cartel since the 1990’s to secure drug trafficking routes while creating countless money laundering rackets in Colombia.

. . .

The illegal contract with the Sinaloa cartel pilot

The former pilot of Uribe and President Ivan Duque contributed more than $5000 to the 2018 congressional campaign of Uribe, according to financial records, but has been missing since December.

The pilot, Samuel Niño, has been missing since his airplane crashed while allegedly trafficking cocaine to Mexico for the Sinaloa Cartel.

Guatemalan authorities are unable to verify if the body found in the narco plane belongs to the former pilot of Colombia’s president and his political patron, as the family refuses to surrendered DNA.

October 23, 2020

The CIA and Chile: Anatomy of an Assassination

Schneider official portrait
Published: Oct 22, 2020
Briefing Book #728
Edited by Peter Kornbluh and Savannah Bock

Chile Marks 50th Anniversary of Assassination of Chilean Commander-in-Chief, General René Schneider

'60 Minutes' Posts Dramatic Exposé on Henry Kissinger’s Role and Schneider Family Lawsuit

Schneider’s Murder: “a stain on the pages of contemporary history”

Washington D.C., October 22, 2020 - On October 23, 1970, one day after armed thugs intercepted and mortally wounded the Chilean army commander-in-chief, General Rene Schneider, as he drove to work in Santiago, CIA Director Richard Helms convened his top aides to review the covert coup operations that had led to the attack. “It was agreed that … a maximum effort has been achieved,” and that “the station has done excellent job of guiding Chileans to point today where a military solution is at least an option for them,” stated a Secret cable of commendation transmitted that day to the CIA station in Chile. “COS [Chief of Station] … and Station [deleted] are commended for accomplishing this under extremely difficult and delicate circumstances.”

At the State Department, officials had no idea that the CIA and the highest levels of the Nixon White House had backed the attack on Schneider—with pressure, weapons, and money—as a pretext for a military coup that would overturn the democratic election of Salvador Allende. They drafted a condolence letter for President Nixon to send. In a memo to National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, who was secretly supervising the CIA’s coup operations, the State Department recommended that Nixon convey the following message to the President of Chile: “Dear Mr. President: The shocking attempt on the life of General Schneider is a stain on the pages of contemporary history. I would like you to know of my sorrow that this repugnant event has occurred in your country….”

Marking the 50th anniversary of the U.S.-supported attack on General Schneider, the National Security Archive today is posting a collection of previously declassified records to commemorate this “repugnant event.” The Archive has also posted a CBS '60 Minutes' segment, “Schneider vs. Kissinger,” that drew on these documents to report on a “wrongful death” lawsuit filed in September 2001 by the Schneider family against Kissinger for his role in the assassination. The '60 Minutes' broadcast aired on September 9, 2001 and has not been publicly available since then. In preparation for the 50th anniversary, CBS News graciously posted the broadcast as a “60 Minutes Rewind” yesterday.

In Chile, the assassination of General Schneider remains the historical equivalent of the assassination of John F. Kennedy: a cruel and shocking political crime that shook the nation. In the United States, the murder of Schneider has become one of the most renowned case studies of CIA efforts to “neutralize” a foreign leader who stood in the way of U.S. objectives.

The CIA’s murderous covert operations to, as CIA officials suggested, “effect the removal of Schneider,” were first revealed in a 1975 Senate report on Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders. At the time, investigators for the special Senate committee led by Idaho Senator Frank Church were able to review the Top Secret CIA operational cables and memoranda relating to “Operation FUBELT”—the code name for CIA efforts, ordered by Nixon and supervised by Kissinger, to instigate a military coup that would begin with the kidnapping of Schneider. When the Church Committee published its dramatic report, however, almost none of the classified records were made public.


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