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Judi Lynn

Judi Lynn's Journal
Judi Lynn's Journal
September 25, 2022

Colombian President Gustavo Petro: End the War on Drugs


At his United Nations General Assembly address this week, newly elected leftist Colombian president Gustavo Petro denounced the war on drugs and destruction of the planet waged by the United States. We reprint his remarks here in full.

The following is an English translation of Colombian president Gustavo Petro’s address to the General Assembly of the United Nations on September 20, 2022.

Secretary-general of the United Nations António Guterres, Your Excellencies, heads of state and heads of missions accredited to the Seventy-seventh United Nations General Assembly; Deputy Secretary-general of the United Nations Amina Mohammed, to all of you.

I come from one of the three most beautiful countries on Earth. There is an explosion of life there. Thousands of multicolored species in the seas, in the skies, on the land. I come from the land of yellow butterflies and magic. There, in the mountains and valleys of all the shades of green, flow not just abundant waters but also torrents of blood.

I come from a country of bloodsoaked beauty. My country is not just beautiful — it is also violent.

How can violence and beauty exist side by side? How can the biodiversity of life intertwine with the dances of death and horror? Who is to blame for breaking the charming spell with terror? Who or what is responsible for suffocating life in the routine decisions of wealth and interest? Who leads us to destruction as a nation and as a people?


September 23, 2022

A Poet Confronts the Violent History of El Salvador

Christopher Soto’s Diaries of a Terrorist grapples with the the security ideology that shapes the Americas through poems that explore activism and resistance.

By Danielle Mackey YESTERDAY 5:00 AM

In the early morning darkness of May 24, 2022, hundreds of people were camped on a street bordering a prison in San Luis Mariona, El Salvador. The encampment had been there for days, its inhabitants hoping for information about loved ones they suspected the state was holding on the other side of the prison walls. More than 50,000 Salvadorans have been arrested since late March in what President Nayib Bukele claims is a crackdown on gangs, but the administration refuses to share information about those detained. Most of the families that day in May couldn’t even be certain their relatives were in Mariona. But they had traveled hours by public bus from their rural homes to get here, where the only option was to sleep on the street, because the administration sometimes released prisoners by stealth at night.

The sun hadn’t yet risen when the riot police arrived. The officers evicted the people gathered around the prison, destroying their makeshift tents and nearly a dozen sheet-metal structures in which they had been cooking and sleeping. Police threatened to arrest anyone who refused to leave. Later that morning, a tank circled the encampment, accompanied by dozens of soldiers.

By the end of the summer, nearly 2,500 families had sought out the human rights group Cristosal, which found that 98 percent of their loved ones being held in prisons, including Mariona, were subjected to an arbitrary arrest. Eighty-six percent of the cases involve men, the vast majority of whom were at home or steps from it when they were detained. Many have chronic illnesses that are going untreated, and those who have been freed speak of beatings, torture, and severe restrictions on food and water. Prisoners are dying as a result of the abuse and neglect; the administration has stopped releasing the number of dead, but human rights groups count more than 50.

. . .

Nayib Bukele is 41 years old and a former executive at his father’s public relations firm. Since taking office in 2019, he has made deft use of advertising and social media to maintain overwhelming public approval, even as his term has been riven with corruption and crime. The country’s previous attorney general, until he was fired by Bukele’s party, was investigating six top officials for millions spent on overvalued pandemic procurements from companies owned by their friends and relatives. The vice minister of justice, who is also the prisons director, embezzled $1.6 million worth of emergency food meant for the poorest Salvadorans, according to the US government. Seven current and former senior officials have been named to the Engel list, Washington’s roster of corrupt and antidemocratic foreign actors, and US authorities are preparing to indict two of them for trading favors with the gangs. And in mid-September, Bukele announced that he will run for a second term as president, in violation of the Salvadoran constitution. Amid the storm of such scandals, the nationwide arrest of alleged criminals is a convenient distraction. Announcements promoting the crackdown blanket the country, with images posted along highways and splashed across public buses, promising to “eradicate” the gangs. Others display the number for the anonymous-tip hotline, accompanied by a plea: “We need your help to continue capturing terrorists.”


~ ~ ~

You probably might notice a very strange spin in this article. It's almost expected in every corporate masterpiece:

From the English version of EL PAÍS

San Salvador - FEB 06, 2019 - 05:23 EST


It’s 9am, and some of the most violent and bloodthirsty inmates of El Salvador sing, pray and passionately call out to Christ while they read the Bible in the prison’s courtyard. Hundreds of men, tattooed to their eyebrows, have been doing this non-stop for two hours.

They have given themselves to Christ. They show this by jumping, crying, beating their chests, calling out to the sky and playing music, lots of music. At least five trumpets, two guitars, three tambourines and one drum are on hand to celebrate Jehovah. Sometimes the inmates rejoice at dawn, other times throughout the night.

. . .

This army of young males in service to Christ listen eagerly. Without any shame, they show their tattoos and wounds from a war that ensnared them since childhood: the conflict between warring gangs Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and the two factions of the 18th Street (Barrio 18) gang, the Sureños and the Revolucionarios.

. . .

But peace has come to this prison thanks to the Bible and the pastors, who have managed to achieve several miracles: there is no violence, everything is perfectly clean and organized despite the overcrowding, and the prisoners treat each other with respect. And they have achieved the seemingly impossible – members of rival gangs are living together in the same space, something that is fairly normal inside the prison’s walls but unthinkable outside.

September 23, 2022

WOLA Human Rights Awards Honor Maya Achi and Q'eqchi' Women, David Morales and Rep. Joaquin Castro


There’s a moment when a room packed with people including human rights activists, philanthropists, artists, government officials and journalists, goes completely quiet, all eyes on a screen and a stage, tears streaming down many people’s eyes. Few things can have that effect. Yet that is exactly what happened at WOLA’s Human Rights Awards and Benefit Gala on September 21, as Máxima Emiliana García Valey and Demecia Yat shared their stories of bravery and courage.

Máxima and Demecia were honoured in representation of the Maya Achi women of Rabinal and the Maya Q’eqchi’ women of Sepur Zarco. WOLA celebrated their bravery and strength in the face of immense obstacles over several decades to ensure those responsible for their sexual violence faced justice.

WOLA also honoured Salvadoran lawyer David Morales for his ongoing fight for justice for human rights in El Salvador, in particular for the victims of the El Mozote massacre, and Representative Joaquin Castro, for his unwavering commitment to upholding human rights across Latin America.

Carolina Jiménez Sandoval and Representative Joaquin Castro. ©Lancer Photography.

“This is a time when we face enormous challenges in the Americas. It no longer makes sense to speak about setbacks to democracy. What we are witnessing is the advance and consolidation of authoritarianism in many countries and extremist threats here in the United States,” Carolina Jiménez Sandoval, President of WOLA, said. “But we take inspiration from the people we honor tonight. Their courage and their persistence against the incredible odds.”


September 23, 2022

Datafolha Researcher Attacked by Bolsonarist in So Paulo

Case is one more in the current escalation of the hostility against professionals from the research institute

Sep.22.2022 12:36PM

A Datafolha researcher was attacked on Tuesday afternoon (20) with kicks and punches by a Bolsonarist in Ariranha (378 km from the capital), in an escalation of hostility against professionals from the institute in the midst of the electoral process.

The researcher was interviewing a person, when Rafael Bianchini approached and, screaming, began to demand that he also be heard for the survey. "Picks only Lula" and "slobs" were some of the terms shouted by the bolsonarist in the middle of the street.

Rafael Bianchini ( Foto: Rafael Bianchini no facebook ) - facebook

The institute's researchers receive standardized training, which determines that people who offer to be interviewed must be avoided in order to ensure that the sample is random. The attack began when the researcher ended his interview with the other resident.

He was hit in the back, and the tablet used for the interview was knocked to the ground. When the researcher fought back, he was also attacked by a son of the bolsonarist.


September 23, 2022

Colombia's Supreme Court orders arrest of its fugitive former president

Allegedly corrupt former magistrate reportedly in Canada after political asylum request
by Adriaan Alsema September 21, 2022

Colombia’s Supreme Court ordered the arrest of its former president over claims that he sabotaged investigations into congressmen for money.

The court announced that it has ordered the detention of former magistrate Leonidas Bustos, one of three former Supreme Court magistrates embroiled in the “Toga Cartel” scandal.

Bustos reportedly fled to Canada in 2018 after Colombia’s highest court began investigating his alleged role in the biggest judicial corruption scandal in recent memory.

The court ordered the former magistrate’s arrest on claims that Bustos continued to wield enough power in Colombia to potentially sabotage investigations into the Toga Cartel.


September 23, 2022

"Addiction to money" destroying humanity, Petro tells UN

Colombian president fiercely criticizes current global capitalist system
by Adriaan Alsema September 20, 2022

Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro told the United Nations’ General Assembly that humanity is being threatened by its “addiction to money.”

In his first address before the UN’s General Assembly, Petro claimed that both “the war against drugs and the climate crisis have failed” because of unhinged capitalism.

“Wars haven’t served but as an excuse not to act against the climate crisis” and “the worst of addictions to power and to oil,” according to the president.

The dictates of power have ordered that cocaine is poison and must be persecuted, even if it only causes minimal deaths… but coal and oil on the other hand must be protected, even if their consumption could extinguish all mankind.

President Gustavo Petro

September 18, 2022

La Plata recalls 46th Anniversary of "The Night of the Pencils"

Saturday, September 17th 2022 - 10:12 UTC

Groups of survivors, students, and other human rights organizations Friday commemorated the 46th anniversary of the massacre known as “The Night of the Pencils” (La Noche de Los Lápices) in the Argentine city of La Plata where the atrocities committed by the military dictatorship were perpetrated.

“At 46 years, being in La Plata, where the walls speak to me and the streets bring me the absences, but being surrounded by so many young people and flags is restorative, it is a good tribute and a good opportunity to talk about the past in our present,” survivor Emilce Moler told Hoy.

She also pointed out that the issue has been discussed with the younger generations “so that it never happens again, so that political differences are never again settled through weapons.”

Starting Sept. 16 and over the next few days, state terror groups kidnapped students who had been demanding a special bus fare for students to the Arana clandestine detention centers where they were tortured for weeks.


September 18, 2022

Packaged" corpses sow terror in Colombian capital

SEPTEMBER 17, 2022 / 4:16 PM / AFP

For several months, bodies wrapped in plastic, some dismembered, have appeared on the streets of Colombia's capital Bogota — grim proof of an escalating vendetta between rival Venezuelan gangs.

Not even the bombings by late drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, or the murderous activities of leftist guerrillas and right-wing paramilitaries, have generated as much terror as the "packaged" corpses.

Since January, 23 bodies wrapped in plastic have been found abandoned in the city. These are "violent murders by strangulation, firearms or also with knives and a lot of cruelty," security minister Anibal Fernandez de Soto told AFP.

The bloody trail has reached eight of the 19 districts in a city that, while beset with organized crime, has been spared the worst of Colombia's decades of violent conflict.


September 15, 2022

Colombian Intelligence Operations, with US Backing, Are Bad for Peace

SEPTEMBER 14, 2022


Colombia’s new president Gustavo Petro wants peace. Colombia’s military, the largest in Latin America, except for that of Brazil, stands in the way. It benefits from U.S. largesse while attending to U.S. needs. Its intelligence branch, discussed here, is not about peace and reconciliation.

The U.S. government, militarily involved in Colombia for decades is likewise an obstacle to peace. As explained recently by analyst Hernando Calvo Ospina, military cooperation has been central to the U.S.-Colombian alliance. He details how since World War II the United States has partnered with Colombia in dominating the entire region to maintain access to strategic resources, exclude Communism, and suppress left-wing movements. Calvo Ospina mentions Colombian-U.S. drug-war operations and the two countries’ addiction to military and ruling-class power. This is the setting for the intelligence operations described below.

Colombian intelligence operations serve U.S. imperialist objectives as they target Cuba and Venezuela. Colombian governing authorities appear to have forgotten the legacy of independence hero Simón Bolívar who, up against Spanish rule and U.S. pretentions, fought for Latin American unity. In 1829 he remarked that, “The United States appear to be destined by Providence to plague America with misery in the name of liberty.” He was denouncing unencumbered U.S. license to control Spanish America, as proclaimed in the Monroe Doctrine of 1823 and still in force.

Trump-era national security advisor John Bolton recently boasted he had planned coups to unseat the Maduro government in Venezuela. Current White House advisor on Western Hemisphere affairs Juan González took a different tack while speaking in Colombia in August: “40 years ago the United States would have done everything possible to avoid the election of Gustavo Petro and, once elected would have done everything possible to sabotage his policies.” Now, says González, the United States wants to collaborate and “navigate that change.”


September 14, 2022

What's the world's oldest civilization?

By Tom Metcalfe published 2 days ago
Did tHere we see what is likely a restored ziggurat in the Sumerian city of Ur, in what is now Iraq. (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Countless civilizations have risen and fallen over the millennia. But which one is the oldest on record?

About 30 years ago, this question seemed to have a straightforward answer. Around 4000 B.C., the earliest phase of the Sumerian culture arose as the oldest civilization in the Mesopotamia region, in what is now mostly Iraq. The Sumerians are named after the ancient city of Sumer, which was a few miles south of the modern city of Kut, in eastern Iraq. Archaeologists call the earliest Sumerian phase the Uruk period(opens in new tab), after the equally ancient city of Uruk about 50 miles (80 kilometers) to the southwest, where many of the oldest Sumerian artifacts were found.

But evidence uncovered in the past few decades indicates that the Sumerians have a few contenders, including ancient Egypt, for the title of "oldest civilization."he first civilization arise in Mesopotamia, or elsewhere?

The definition of what makes a civilization is vague, but generally a culture has to achieve several hallmarks, notably urbanism — that is, cities — irrigation and writing; and the Sumerians had all three. After about 2000 B.C., the Sumerian civilization led directly to the Babylonian civilization in Mesopotamia, which is credited with discovering mathematical truths such as trigonometry and prime, square and cube numbers — concepts further developed by the ancient Greeks more than 1,000 years later.


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