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Judi Lynn

Judi Lynn's Journal
Judi Lynn's Journal
September 14, 2022

In 'Solito,' a child's harrowing solo migration is laid bare

Javier Zamora’s memoir follows a young child’s yearning to be with his parents in California as he makes the treacherous journey from El Salvador to the U.S. by himself.

Eva Recinos Sept. 7, 2022

In a fishing town in El Salvador, 9-year-old Javier Zamora lives with his grandparents. He enjoys gazing up at the stars with his Tía Mali and looking through photographs that show his parents’ lives in the United States. In one of them, his mom gazes at the camera, framed by the glimmering Golden Gate Bridge. At home, Javiercito helps his grandmother sell beverages like horchata and chan (a refreshing drink made from strawberry lemonade with chia seeds). He goes to a school where he’s taught by nuns, and once he even makes it to the national level of a grammar competition.

But his childhood has been shaped by the promise of the U.S., and now he must prepare to leave El Salvador for a long, difficult journey to reunite with his parents.

“I’m nine years old, but I can already jump the fence that separates our house from the neighbors’ pretty fast,” a young Zamora declares before he sets out. “And it’s made of barbwire.”

In heartbreaking detail, Javier Zamora’s Solito: A Memoir recounts the author’s unaccompanied journey to a new country, supported only by strangers and his steadfast determination to see his parents. Though Zamora left El Salvador decades ago, the present-day situation for immigrants is still dire; UNICEF USA reports that from March to November 2020, the U.S. deported approximately 13,000 children without parents or guardians back to Central America and Mexico. The BBC reports that in early May 2021, the U.S. was detaining approximately 22,500 unaccompanied children.

Solito traces Javiercito’s journey from the pre-planning stages to his official departure. Zamora puts us in the mind of his 9-year-old self with painstaking care. In a particularly touching scene, Javiercito invites his friends over to his home and gives them his finest toys, knowing he won’t be back any time soon. He knows he’s closing a chapter in his life; he is leaving in the hope of reaching the mythical land he daydreams about, a country he knows mostly through the photographs and toys his parents have sent him.


Outstanding in his field.

September 14, 2022

Organizations in Tapachula work to educate migrant children despite huge barriers

Migrant children of all ages and education levels attend class March 10 at La Escuela Primaria Fernando Montes de Oca Rodriguez in Tapachula, Mexico. It’s the only registered school in the city that doesn’t require paperwork or entrance exams to enroll. (Photo by Mikenzie Hammel/Cronkite Borderlands Project)

By Mikenzie Hammel/Cronkite Borderlands Project
Sept. 13, 2022

TAPACHULA, Mexico – Cristofer Josue Rivera, 9, hasn’t been to school since he and his father left Honduras more than two years ago.

His father, Arnol Sorto, said they traveled to Tapachula in search of a better life, whether in Mexico or the United States.

Cristofer, who wants to be a firefighter, went to school in Honduras, but once he started the journey, it was difficult to enroll in schools along the route.
Cristofer said he misses his teachers, although he now can’t remember their names.

Cristofer, 9, poses for a photograph in Tapachula on March 8. He hasn’t attended school in the two years he and his father have been traveling north from Honduras. (Photo by Mikenzie Hammel/Cronkite Borderlands Project)

Arnol Sorto said he grew up working to pay for his own schooling because his mother couldn’t afford it. He wants his Cristofer’s life to be different.

September 10, 2022

Former Paramilitary Hernan Giraldo Charged With Child Sexual Abuse in Colombia

AUC/9 SEP 2022

An infamous former paramilitary commander of Colombia’s once-feared right-wing self-defense forces has formally been charged with sexually abusing minors, which authorities allege he carried out while in two prisons following his demobilization.

Colombia's Attorney General's Office announced the charges on September 8 after several months of investigating Hernán Giraldo Serna, alias "El Taladro,” a former commander with the so-called Tayrona Resistance Bloc of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia - AUC).

"The evidence collected by the Colombian Attorney General's Office indicates that at least four minors were exploited and tricked into [going to] detention centers located in [the departments of] Antioquia and Atlántico, where Giraldo was detained between February 2006 and May 2008," prosecutors stated.

The Attorney’s General’s Office added these acts are alleged crimes against humanity. Giraldo was also charged with violent sexual assault, human trafficking, and forced abortion.


~ ~ ~


Hernán Giraldo Serna, the paramilitary who, from the rape of girls, spawned an army that still terrorizes the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta

Human rights defender Norma Vera Salazar managed to unravel the mind and action of one of Colombia's most dangerous paramilitaries.
Newsroom Infobae

March 23, 2022

On January 25, at 6:25 p.m. in the afternoon, Hernán Giraldo Serna, one of the most bloody and feared paramilitaries in the country, arrived deported to Colombia from the United States, where he remained behind bars for twelve years on drug trafficking charges. The announcement was made by Migration Colombia.

Now, the former paramilitary must serve a sentence for the crimes he committed against the civilian population, when he was part of the AUC.

Giraldo, 72, was known as 'El Patrón', 'El Tigre' or 'El señor de la Sierra', and all the inhabitants of the Sierra Nevada were afraid of him for being the commander of the AUC's 'Resistencia Tayrona' Bloc and his well-known torture techniques.

With his arrival in the country, fear aroused among the victims and inhabitants of the Sierra Nevada, as violence could escalate in this region of Colombia.

This war criminal is famous for territorial control and for having used sexual abuse of underage girls as a method of fear within armed conflict.


September 8, 2022

Chiquita to trial for financing terrorism in Colombia

US appeals court claims victims have enough evidence to sue banana company

by Adriaan Alsema September 7, 2022

American food giant Chiquita Brands will face trial for financing terrorism in Colombia in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, according to victim representatives.

In a press statement, human rights NGO EarthRights International said that an appeals court overruled a federal judge who ruled in 2019 that victims of the now-defunct paramilitary organization AUC lacked admissible evidence to sue Chiquita.

EarthRights International represents hundreds of people whose family members were assassinated by the AUC and are seeking damages from the paramilitaries’ corporate sponsor.

Chiquita’s admitted terrorism activity
Chiquita admitted that it had paid the paramilitary organization $1.7 million through its Colombian subsidiary Banadex between 1997 and 2004 in a 2007 plea bargain with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ).


For anyone who hadn't kept track, the AUC death squad members simply regrouped, formed new organizations under new names, like the "Aguillas Negras," or "Black Eagles" and continued as usual.

September 8, 2022

Colombia's war crimes tribunal exposes hundreds of Medellin's alleged terrorism sponsors

Truth Commission reveals "lost" prosecution investigation into paramilitary finances
by Adriaan Alsema September 7, 2022

Colombia’s Truth Commission revealed the names of 423 people and 58 companies that allegedly financed the expansion of paramilitary organization AUC between 1995 and 1998 from Medellin.

The alleged sponsors of the now-defunct paramilitary organization were being investigated by Medellin prosecution investigators after they found the financial administration of paramilitary group ACCU and local crime syndicate “La Oficina de Envigado” in May 1998.

The prosecutors found the paramilitaries’ financial administration during a historic raid of the Padilla parking garage in Medellin just blocks from the city’s city hall.

The raid led to the arrest of the ACCU’s accountant, “Lucas,” who surprisingly walked out of his Medellin jail less than six month later and wasn’t arrested again until last year.

The exposed associates of the paramilitaries were never prosecuted.


September 8, 2022

Bolsonaro mixes campaign politics, military displays on Brazil bicentennial

Thursday, 08 Sep 2022 7:42 AM MYT

BRASILIA, Sept 8 ― President Jair Bolsonaro mingled military parades on Brazil's Independence Day with political rallies in Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia yesterday, firing up hundreds of thousands of supporters less than a month before a heated election.

Opponents and legal experts criticized the far-right leader for co-opting public celebrations of Brazil's bicentennial to serve his re-election campaign, in which polls show him trailing leftist rival Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva ahead of a October 2 vote.

“Our battle is a fight between good and evil,” Bolsonaro told his supporters from a sound truck in Brasilia, amid cries of “Lula, thief” and banners calling for military intervention in Brazil's Supreme Court.

Bolsonaro toned down his attacks against the judiciary after spending more than a year blasting the courts that run Brazilian elections, which he calls vulnerable to fraud, without citing evidence.


September 8, 2022

Dems accuse Ronchetti of disingenuous shift in abortion messaging

KUNM | By Nash Jones
Published September 7, 2022 at 9:32 PM MDT

When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Republican candidate for governor Mark Ronchetti called for “measured dialogue on the issue of abortion” to reach “policies that are more mainstream and reflect our shared values.” The Democratic Party of New Mexico launched a website Wednesday calling the candidate’s recent messaging on the issue an inauthentic shift to a more moderate stance. Ronchetti's campaign denies that there has even been a shift in the candidate's position.

The site RonchettiOnAbortion.com says the candidate recently deleted from his website a description of himself as “strongly Pro-Life” and a governor who would “champion religious freedoms and the Right to Life.”

The party attributes the discovery of the deleted language to a Washington Post opinion piece about Republican candidates nationwide, along with Ronchetti, “scrambling to dial down their extreme views” on abortion access.

An internet archive shows that language was present on Ronchetti’s campaign site the day the Supreme Court decision came down on June 24, and gone the next time the page was captured in mid-July.

September 8, 2022

Colombia Amazon deforestation rose in first half of the year

Oliver Griffin Reuters

SEP 7, 2022 10:08PM EDT

BOGOTA, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Deforestation in Colombia's Amazon rose to 52,460 hectares (129,631 acres) in the first half of the year and could finish close to 11% higher in 2022, the environment ministry said on Wednesday.

Last year, total deforestation in Colombia reached 174,103 hectares (430,218 acres), of which about two-thirds was located in the country's Amazon. That included 47,080 hectares in the first half, the environment ministry said.

"This year we're already 11% higher, combining the (first) two quarters, compared to last year," Environment Minister Susana Muhamad said in a statement.

Preservation of the Amazon, the world's largest rainforest, is considered vital to curbing catastrophic climate change, because of the vast amount of greenhouse gas it absorbs.


September 8, 2022

Bolivian indigenous women break barriers through mountaineering

Issued on: 08/09/2022 - 04:38
Modified: 08/09/2022 - 04:37

- click for image -


(Left-right) Adela Llusco, Senobia Llusco, Cecilia Llusco and Camila Tarqui Llusco, Aymara indigenous women members of the Climbing Cholitas of Bolivia Warmis, at the summit of the 6.088-metre Huayna Potosi mountain Martín SILVA AFP

3 min
Huayna Potosí (Bolivia) (AFP) – A sudden gale drowns out the crunching sound of footsteps on the ice and makes skirts billow in the freezing night.

Ten indigenous Aymara women slowly trek up a Bolivian mountainside in their traditional dress as a statement of their emancipation.

The Climbing Cholitas of Bolivia Warmis is a group dedicated to campaigning for the rights of Indigenous women through mountaineering.

Cecilia Llusco, 36, is the daughter of a mountain guide and dreamt since she was young of climbing the snow-capped Huayna Potosi that rises over 6,000 meters above sea level.


September 8, 2022

Evangelicals flex muscle in Brazilian election race

Published September 7, 2022

Churchgoers attend a ceremony at the Assembly of God evangelical church in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Copyright Royal Canadian Mounted Police Saskatchewan/AFP/File Handout


Giociani Lucio, an evangelical Christian, stands on a street corner in Rio de Janeiro waving a flag with images of two would-be lawmakers who support President Jair Bolsonaro, flanking a well-known pastor.

“Only Jesus can save Brazil from corruption and from Lula,” Lucio says of the leftist former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the frontrunner in presidential elections next month.

Bolsonaro has grown close to Brazil’s evangelical churches over the course of his four-year term.

With the slogan “Brazil above and God above everyone”, Bolsonaro has been a fierce defender of conservative positions such as banning abortion and he also named an evangelical to the Supreme Court for the first time.

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