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Judi Lynn

Judi Lynn's Journal
Judi Lynn's Journal
June 29, 2022

"There is Future if There is Truth": Colombia's Truth Commission Launches Final Report

In Fusagasugá, the mural "The Embrace of Truth" memorializes those killed during the conflict. (Source: Colombia Truth Commission)

Declassified U.S. Evidence Fortifies Truth Commission’s Findings and Recommendations

Bogotá, 28 June 2022 - Today, Colombia’s Truth Commission wraps up three-and-a-half years of work with the launch of its report on the causes and consequences of Colombia’s conflict. The publication of the Commission's findings and recommendations is an important step forward in guaranteeing the rights of victims and of Colombian society to know the truth about what happened, to build a foundation for coexistence among Colombians, and to ensure that such a conflict is never repeated.

. . .

Among the most impactful records are U.S. diplomatic and intelligence reports evaluating the nature and extent of ties between anti-guerrilla “paramilitary” death squads and the Colombian state. Of special interest are a handful of CIA operational reports—documents normally outside the purview of FOIA—that reveal contemporaneous U.S. knowledge that the Colombian military was engaged in a persistent pattern of collaboration with paramilitary operations.

One CIA report from May 1988 said that Colombian Army intelligence and brigade commanders were behind “a wave of assassinations against suspected leftists and communists” during 1987, including the killings of several members of the leftist Patriotic Union political party, victims of a state-sponsored “genocide” according to the Truth Commission.

The 1988 CIA report also said that the intelligence section of the Army’s 10th Brigade had supplied target lists and other support to the paramilitaries who murdered 20 workers in the infamous March 1988 massacres at the Honduras and La Negra banana plantations. The CIA said that the names of all the victims, most of whom were members of the Sintagro agricultural workers union, had “appeared on the B-2’s [Colombian Army intelligence section’s] interrogation reports” and “were accurately identified by their attackers from a list which the attackers possessed.”

June 21, 2022

Nicaragua a 'Dictatorship' When It Follows US Lead on NGOs

JUNE 16, 2022


President Daniel Ortega’s government in Nicaragua is “laying waste to civil society,” according to the Associated Press (6/2/22). The Guardian (6/2/22) called it a “sweeping purge of civil society,” while for the New York Times (2/14/22), Nicaragua is “inching toward dictatorship.” According to the Washington Post‘s Spanish edition (5/19/22), the country is already “a dictatorship laid bare.” In a call echoed by the BBC (5/5/22), the UN human rights commissioner urged Nicaragua to stop its “damaging crackdown on civil society.”

What can possibly have provoked such widespread criticism? It turns out that the Nicaraguan National Assembly’s “sweeping purge” was the withdrawal of the tax-free legal status of a small proportion of the country’s nonprofit organizations: just 440 over a period of four years. In more than half the cases, these non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have simply ceased to function or no longer exist. In other cases, they have failed (or refused) to comply with legal requirements, such as producing annual accounts or declaring the sources of their funding. Modest legal steps that would go unnoticed in most countries are—in Nicaragua’s case—clear evidence that it is “inching toward dictatorship.”

None of the media reports asked basic questions, such as what these nonprofits have done that led to the government taking this action, whether other countries follow similar practices, or what international requirements about the regulation of nonprofits Nicaragua is required to comply with. There is a much bigger story here that corporate media ignore. Let’s fill in some of the gaps.

Three basic questions

There are three basic questions. First, is Nicaragua exceptional in closing nonprofits on this scale? No, the practice is widespread in other nations. While figures are difficult to find, government agencies in the United States, Britain, Australia and elsewhere have closed tens of thousands of nonprofits in the last few years.

For example, between 2006 and 2011, the IRS closed 279,000 nonprofits out of a US total of 1.7 million; it closed 28,000 more in 2020. The Charity Commission in Britain closes around 4,000 per year. And in Australia, some 10,000 nonprofits have been closed since 2014, one-sixth of the total. In Nicaragua, four years of closures have so far affected only 7% of a total of more than 6,000 nonprofits.


June 17, 2022

Journalist's disappearance in Brazil shows risk of reporting in the Amazon


They disappeared Dom. That was the first thought that crossed my mind when I learned about the disappearance of the smiley British man whom I met at Copacabana beach back in 2018 surfing on a stand up paddle board. Dom Phillips, an experienced reporter, was accompanied by Bruno Pereira, one of the greatest experts in the Amazon region, where both went missing without a trace on Sunday, June 5.

After a couple of phone calls that mostly rejected the hypothesis of an accident, a friend of mine told me that some local residents had conducted a painstaking search in the surroundings. They found nothing. Then that same thought came to my mind repeatedly: They disappeared Dom.

Reporting on the Amazon has always been a hard, dangerous task, but it has become particularly lethal in recent years. In 2021, the number of deaths caused by conflict in local communities increased by over 1000% from the prior year. Eighty percent of the violent deaths in rural areas in Brazil take place in the Legal Amazon region. It was a matter of time until something like this occurred.

Three years ago, Dom Phillips attended an event with President Jair Bolsonaro. He questioned Bolsonaro about the rising and disturbing deforestation in the Amazon. He talked about the dismantling of the law enforcement meant to protect the environment. He commented on the criminal links between officials, the minister of the environment and illegal loggers. Contemptuous as usual, Bolsonaro said: “The first thing you must know is that the Amazon belongs to Brazil, it doesn’t belong to you.”


June 7, 2022

How Mexico ensures access to safe abortion without legalizing it

By Annalisa Merelli
Senior reporter based in New York City

Published June 6, 2022

When it comes to abortion, Mexico offers a glimpse of a possible future for the US.

Like its northern neighbor, the country is a federal republic of 32 states in which the legality of abortion varies. It does not have a federal law, or Roe v Wade-like constitutional decision legalizing abortion—a position the US is likely to find itself in by the end of June, when the Supreme Court is expected to officially announce its decision on Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The decision, a draft of which was leaked last month, might overturn the precedent stating that a woman has a right to obtain abortion as part of her right to privacy. If the leak is confirmed, it would end the federal protection of abortion, and making its legality dependent on the individual state.

This would open the way to restrictive laws in Republican-majority states, many of which have trigger laws ready to go into effect as soon as the Supreme Court ruling is out, including ones that could lead to the arrest of women experiencing miscarriages. But in Mexico, the situation is different in a small, but very significant way: Abortion is not legal, but has been decriminalized federally. On Sept. 7, 2021, Mexico’s Supreme Court unanimously ruled that it was unconstitutional to punish abortion as a crime.

The effects of decriminalization
The 2021 Mexican supreme court decision was propelled by the so-called marea verde, or green wave, a Latin American transnational movement promoting abortion rights, which pushed for the approval of abortion laws in countries including Argentina and Columbia, and in Mexican states. While it stops short of full legalization, its effects are significant in effectively giving women, including those who don’t qualify for an abortion in their home state, broader access to safe abortion.


June 2, 2022



While John F. Kennedy is widely regarded as one of the greatest presidents in U.S. history, his administration was not without its tribulations and scandals. One of the biggest was the failed Bay of Pigs invasion that took place in April 1961. According to the U.S. State Department, the CIA completely planned the invasion, which was aimed at unseating Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro. The attackers set out for Cuba from nearby Guatemala, but the invasion was over almost as soon as it began, and the forces were routed within a few days. The Bay of Pigs is an inlet of the Gulf of Cazones that leads to the Playa Girón beach, located on the southern coast of Cuba.


On January 8, 1959, Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba. He entered into Havana, the capital and largest city in Cuba, with his revolutionary organization known as the July 26th Movement (per the College of St. Benedict/St. John's University). That February, he became prime minister, and quickly started to implement agricultural reforms that severely curtailed the size of large landholdings. In April, he started redistributing the land to rural farmers, many of whom lived in deep poverty, and he also initiated a literacy campaign to teach them reading and writing skills. Throughout 1959, the U.S. and Castro still maintained normal relations, and Cuba did not recognize the Soviet Union, at least at first. However, by December, Cuba was admitting official Soviet journalists.

Initially, Washington and the CIA were unsure of how to proceed with Castro. According to Tim Weiner in "Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA," some CIA members like Al Cox, the chief of the paramilitary division, wanted to arm Castro and work with him as an emerging democratic leader. Another CIA officer described Castro as "a new spiritual leader of Latin American democratic and anti-dictator forces." However, feelings in the agency and the Eisenhower administration soon started to change, and Eisenhower would write in his memoirs years later that they were becoming convinced that Castro was bringing Communism to America's doorstep. Given the administration's foreign policy of Massive Retaliation, planning for a military response to Castro seemed inevitable.


Growing tensions with Fidel Castro's Cuba quickly brought it into conflict with Washington. According to Tim Weiner in "Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA," it caused the Eisenhower administration, and the CIA, to seriously consider removing Castro from power by late 1959. On December 11, 1959, Richard Bissell, the head of the CIA's clandestine department, communicated with Allen Dulles, the Director of the CIA, about the "elimination of Fidel Castro." Less than a month later, Dulles had Bissell get to work creating a task force charged with organizing Castro's overthrow. In March of 1960, the Eisenhower administration approved the use of covert forces to remove Castro from power. 

Read More: https://www.grunge.com/880158/chilling-details-from-the-bay-of-pigs-invasion/?utm_campaign=clip

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