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Judi Lynn

Judi Lynn's Journal
Judi Lynn's Journal
October 30, 2022

Bolsonaro and Allies Accused of Massive Vote-Buying Operation Ahead of Election

Michael Fox, Truthout
October 29, 2022

In the northern Brazilian state of Pará, a couple of dozen men stand in a circle around local businessman Maurício Lopes Fernandes Júnior, who wears jean shorts and a blue shirt. He’s under a brick archway which circles a one-story yellow home. Sun beats down through a cloudy sky. It’s hot out. Some of the men are bare-chested, their shirts slung over their shoulders.

“Look,” says the businessman, holding their attention. “If Lula wins, you can be sure that more than half of São Miguel is going to close up. I have three ceramics factories here and I’m going to close all three, because if he wins no one’s going to be able to handle the mess that’s coming.”

“So I have a proposal for you,” he continues. “I’m going to get all of your names. And if president Bolsonaro wins, each of you is going to have 200 bills in the pocket. All you have to do is come by here the next morning.”

He claps his hands for emphasis. The men in the crowd murmur in apparent agreement.

A cellphone video of this scene went viral on Brazilian social media earlier this month. It was not an isolated case. Videos and audio recordings have been shared from across Brazil showing bosses or businessmen trying to coerce employees into voting almost exclusively for current far right president Jair Bolsonaro, who is facing off against former leftist President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.


October 29, 2022

U.S. Pressuring New Left-Wing Honduras Government

After the Honduran government fulfilled a campaign promise by moving to end an extreme form of special economic zone, two U.S. senators threatened to withdraw foreign aid to the country.



People demonstrate against a proposed economic development zone that would forcibly relocate coastal communities from La Ceiba, in Honduras, May 31, 2021.

Honduran President Xiomara Castro, who took office in January, promised on the campaign trail to abolish special economic zones known as ZEDEs (“Economic Development and Employment Zones” in English), where private investors have outsized power to shape labor laws, judicial systems, and local governance. These zones have garnered fierce opposition in Honduras for undermining the basic tenets of democracy.

In April, she achieved a major win when the Congress of Honduras unanimously voted to repeal the law that allows for ZEDEs, and to abolish the current ones, though the latter has to be ratified next year. But the forces who want to keep ZEDEs in operation are retaliating, and they’ve found allies on Capitol Hill.

Earlier this month, Sens. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) called on U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to act against the Honduran government for moving to get rid of ZEDEs. In doing so, the senators are citing the findings of an influential think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), which has received direct support from a U.S.-based company that is invested in one of the ZEDEs.

The senators are not the first federal players to rebuke the Honduran government. In July, the State Department issued its own condemnation of Castro’s move to eliminate ZEDEs, and intimated that the government could be violating two trade agreements, the Dominican Republic–Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) and a U.S.-Honduras bilateral investment treaty (BIT). “The government has exposed itself to potentially significant liability and fueled concerns about the government’s commitment to commercial rule of law,” the State Department’s “investment climate statement” asserts.


October 29, 2022

How UK Backed Panama Invasion

October 27, 2022

Thatcher understood Washington’s 1989 invasion was illegal but supported it anyway, recently declassified documents show, John McEvoy reports.

Jan. 1, 1990: U.S. soldiers in Panama during the invasion. (U.S. National Archives)

By John McEvoy
Declassified UK

Shortly before 7 a.m. on Dec. 20, 1989, Margaret Thatcher received a call from U.S. President George H.W. Bush. Bush informed the U.K. prime minister that Washington had just launched an invasion of Panama, declaring that there had been “no alternative but to intervene.”

After decades on the C.I.A.’s payroll, Panama’s military leader Manuel Antonio Noriega had fallen out of favour with the White House, and the Bush administration decided it was time for him to go. That morning, over 20,000 U.S. troops descended on Panama, accompanied by the indiscriminate bombing of poor civilian areas thought to be Noriega strong-holds.

According to human rights organisations, up to 3,000 Panamanian civilians may have been killed during the invasion, with tens of thousands more displaced. The true figure of civilian casualties remains unknown — the U.S. forces didn’t bother to count the dead, with many thrown into mass graves.

Thatcher was the first foreign leader to be told of the operation. Over the phone, she assured Bush that “it was a very courageous decision which would have our full support.” Britain would “take the line that it was no good people criticising Noriega and then failing to support the Americans”.


~ ~ ~

The Panama Deception won an Oscar for Documentaries and was
narated by actress Elizabeth Montgomery.
October 29, 2022

Central Americans Are Fleeing Bad Governments

To Stanch Migration, Washington Must Address a Deeper Crisis
By Dan Restrepo
March 5, 2021

In January, thousands of people gathered in the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula to form a migrant caravan to travel north. “¡Fuera, Juan Orlando, fuera!” they chanted, referring to Honduras’s notoriously corrupt president. “Get out, Juan Orlando, get out!”

Honduras is one of the world’s poorest countries. It is also one of the most violent, especially for women. And along with its neighbors in northern Central America, it had just been devastated by two supposedly once-in-a-century storms that made landfall within 15 miles and two weeks of each other in November 2020.

All these factors help explain why tens of thousands of Hondurans flee their country every year. But the cry from those risking everything on a perilous journey through Guatemala and Mexico to the U.S. border pointed to a more fundamental driver of irregular migration from the region—the pervasive governance failures that have long plagued Honduras and its neighbors. To stem migration from Central America, previous U.S. administrations emphasized economic prosperity and security initiatives and failed to prioritize governance. The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden will have to try something new if it hopes to keep migration from the region at manageable levels. It will have to put governance first.

Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador are not just poor and violent; they are beset by corruption and ineffectual, often predatory governance. On nearly all of the World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators, including the effectiveness of government, rule of law, and control of corruption, countries in northern Central America lag well behind even their Latin American and Caribbean peers. And their citizens know it. Around the time the January caravan formed in San Pedro Sula, a public opinion survey revealed that even in a pandemic, an economic collapse, and the disastrous wake of Hurricanes Eta and Iota, more Hondurans—40 percent—identified corruption as the biggest problem facing the country than any other issue. Just 23 percent said unemployment and 12 percent said COVID-19.

Hondurans are not alone in decrying corruption. According to Transparency International’s 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index, which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived corruption levels, El Salvador and Guatemala rank 104 and 149, respectively. In Latin America’s benchmark public opinion survey, Latinobarómetro, Hondurans, Salvadorans, and Guatemalans routinely identify governance failures as among the most significant challenges facing their countries. In 2018, for example, no civilian governmental institution in any of these three countries enjoyed the confidence of more than 35 percent of the population, and most topped out in the teens and 20s. Satisfaction with democracy was even lower, at 11 percent in El Salvador, 18 percent in Guatemala, and 26 percent in Honduras.

October 24, 2022

Brazil politician, Bolsonaro ally refuses arrest, injures police after firing rifle

By Bruna Prado & Mauricio Savarese The Associated Press
Posted October 23, 2022 8:36 pm

A Brazilian politician attacked federal police officers seeking to arrest him in his home on Sunday, prompting an hours-long siege that caused alarm and a scramble for a response at the highest level of government.

Roberto Jefferson, a former lawmaker and an ally of President Jair Bolsonaro, fired a rifle at police and threw grenades, wounding two officers in the rural municipality Comendador Levy Gasparian, in Rio de Janeiro state. He said in a video message sent to supporters on WhatsApp that he refused to surrender, though by early evening he was in custody.

The events were stunning even for Brazilians who have grown increasingly accustomed to far-right politicians and activists thumbing their noses at Supreme Court justices, and comes just days before Brazilians go to the polls to vote for president.

The Supreme Court has sought to rein in the spread of disinformation and anti-democratic rhetoric ahead of the Oct. 30 vote, often inviting the ire of Bolsonaro’s base that decries such actions as censorship. As part of those efforts, Jefferson was jailed preventatively for making threats against the court’s justices.


~ ~ ~

A close ally of Bolsonaro is suspected of having thrown grenades at police officers
Post date
October 23, 2022

October 20, 2022

Guatemala's past unearthed: The search for the disappeared

A 40-year search for his disappeared father leads an Indigenous weaver into a world of forensic investigation.

Carlos Poyon was just three years old when his father was kidnapped. Forty years later, the traditional weaver studies anthropology, still hoping to find his father.

Carlos also works for the Forensic Anthropology Foundation of Guatemala. He records survivors’ testimonies, takes DNA samples of those seeking missing loved ones and joins excavations to recover the remains of the disappeared.

Up to 45,000 people disappeared during Guatemala’s 36-year internal conflict. More than 80 percent of them were Indigenous Mayan civilians.

Carlos and thousands of survivors still seek truth and justice 25 years after the 1996 peace accords.

17 Oct 2022

October 20, 2022

Indigenous women in Guatamala are defending weavings from cultural appropriation

By pushing for intellectual property legislation and documenting the disappearing meaning of their designs, Indigenous weavers are challenging the tourism industry.

Jeff Abbott October 20, 2022

The vibrant colors of the Indigenous weavings from Guatemala that appear on the traditional blouses known as huipiles, skirts and other items hold a deep symbolic meaning for communities across the Central American country, but they are also deeply intertwined with the promotion of tourism in Guatemala. The intricate designs greet tourists in promotional material at the airport, and companies and non-government organizations have sought to capitalize on the designs.

For the last six years, Indigenous women have sought to challenge the exploitation of their sacred designs through the promotion of legislation that would protect their collective intellectual property rights. On Sept. 5, the Women’s Association for the Development of Sacatepéquez, or AFEDES, and the weavers of the Ruchajixik Ri Qana’ojbäl movement, which means Guardians of Our Knowledge in the Kaqchikel language, presented their latest proposal for a law that would protect their weavings.

The proposal is backed by members of the leftist block in congress, and its presentation to lawmakers marked the fifth weavers congress, which brought together hundreds of weavers from their movement from across the country to discuss and exchange experiences and weavings in Guatemala City. Yet the weavers have also sought to find multi-party support for the legislation, in the hopes that the law will advance in the current congress.

“We are defending the weavings, because it is also part of defending our land, our territory,” said Ixchel Guorón Rodríguez, a weaver and member of the movement from Tecpán, Chimaltenango. “It is part of a legacy that our grandmothers have left us, and we see different problems regarding the improper use that is already done by others.”


October 19, 2022

This documentary depicts the effects of Bolsonaro's "catastrophic masculinity" on Brazil

Oct 18, 2022

Anew documentary from filmmakers Fernando Grostein and Fernando Siqueira shows two parallel realities: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s toxic masculinity and its disastrous effects on the country, as well as the innocence of Grostein's childhood and teenage years. Titled Quebrando Mitos (Debunking Myths, in English), the film has reached nearly a million views on YouTube since premiering in September.

Quebrando Mitos addresses the elements that helped Bolsonaro win the presidency in 2018. Widespread misinformation on social media sought to portray him as a "champion" of moral values, and he enjoyed support from evangelical representatives in Congress. Bolsonaro also regularly discussed protecting the so-called traditional family unit.

Grostein previously directed the 2011 documentary Quebrando o Tabu, and he is the founder of accounts on Twitter and Facebook by the same name. A constant target of death threats due to his political views and advocacy for marginalized communities in Brazil, Grostein fled the country in 2018.

"Catastrophic masculinity"
The decision to use the expression "catastrophic masculinity" throughout the documentary conveys a selfishness by those who believe their wishes should always be granted, even at someone else's expense, said screenwriter Carol Pires. "This is dangerous to democracy and to our existence, as it also considers the environment as his endless property."


The documentary with English subtitles:

Quebrando Mitos (Debunking Myths, in English)

October 18, 2022

Archaeologists: Peace reigned within Americas' oldest civilization

Online News EditorOctober 17, 2022

By Paula Bayarte

Lima, Oct 17 (EFE).- Neither weapons nor walls. The Caral civilization, the most ancient in the Americas, left no warlike remains, proving that peace reigned among that people and their contemporaries living in pre-Hispanic Peru, the head of an archaeological dig that is still yielding up its secrets – after almost three decades of study – said Monday.

Researchers have not found a single walled city, something that has certainly turned up elsewhere in the world, and no weapons, and the relationship has always been linked with the exchange of products and knowledge with other peoples, said the director of the Caral Archaeological Zone, Rush Shady Solis, at a press conference.

The Lupe Valley, located north of Lima, is a mountainous zone near the coast and not far from the jungle, which was the home of the Caral civilization between approximately 3,000 and 1,800 B.C.E.

Shady arrived in the valley in 1994 with a curiosity that made her certain that underneath the huge mounds of earth that looked like hills would be found the structures erected by a pre-Hispanic culture.

What she discovered went far beyond that, given that the valley is sprinkled with 25 sites that contain square-based pyramids, round plazas and innumerable remains like burials, tools and statuettes that have helped researchers understand a culture that attained relatively high scientific development and maintained connections with nearby peoples.


This Little-Known Peruvian Civilization Built Pyramids as Old as Ancient Egypt's
Caral was an architectural marvel—a 1,500-acre complex constructed by the oldest known civilization in the Western Hemisphere.


Colossal pyramid structures in the Americas as old as those in Egypt? The Sacred City of Caral-Supe, in central coastal Peru, boasts an impressive complex of ancient monumental architecture constructed around 2600 B.C., roughly the same time as the earliest Egyptian pyramid. Archaeologists consider Caral one of the largest and most complex urban centers built by the oldest known civilization in the Western Hemisphere.

The 1,500-acre site, situated 125 miles north of Lima and 14 miles from the Pacific coast, features six ancient pyramids, sunken circular plazas and giant staircases, all sitting on a windswept desert terrace overlooking the green floodplains of the winding Supe River. Its largest pyramid, also known as Pirámide Mayor, stands nearly 100 feet tall, with a base that covers an area spanning roughly four football fields. Radiocarbon dating on organic matter throughout the site has revealed it to be roughly between 4,000 to 5,000 years old, making its architecture as old—if not older—than the Step Pyramid of Saqqara, the oldest known pyramid in ancient Egypt.

That remarkable discovery places Caral as one of the oldest known cities in the Western Hemisphere. Coastal Peru has long been considered one of the six recognized cradles of world civilization, and new archaeological discoveries continue to push back the dates of when the region’s “mother culture” was established. Caral was the first extensively excavated site among some two dozen in a zone along Peru’s central coast known as the Norte Chico area. Archaeologists believe the sites collectively represent the oldest center of civilization in the Americas, one which lasted from roughly 3000 to 1800 B.C., completely uninfluenced by outside forces. It flourished nearly 4,000 years before the start of the powerful Incan Empire.

View of one of the amphitheaters of the Caral archaeological complex, in Peru. Almost 5,000 years old, it was built by one of the oldest cultures in the world.


Despite Caral’s significance, decades passed between when the first scholars stumbled upon the area, and when they recognized its importance. German archaeologist Max Uhle explored the Supe Valley, but not Caral itself, as part of a wide-ranging study of ancient Peruvian cities in the early 1900s. But it was American historian Paul Kosok, who is largely recognized as the first scholar to recognize and visit what is now known as the site of Caral in 1948. In his 1965 book, Life, Land and Water in Ancient Peru, he referred to the site as Chupa Cigarro Grande, after a nearby hacienda.


If you have the inclination, please compare the giant sunken circle with the kivas in the United States created by various Native American people:


October 16, 2022

Peru's Chan Chan Archaeological Zone - ruins of pre-Inca Chim capital, UNESCO World Heritage site

15.10.2022 [16:07]
Baku, October 15, AZERTAC

Located at the mouth of the Moche Valley in an arid section of the coastal desert of northern Peru, Chan Chan is an archaeological site and ancient capital of the disappeared Chimú Kingdom.

Chan Chan was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986.

The ruins of Chan Chan, which covers nearly 14 square miles (36 square km), are in fairly good condition because the area is usually rainless.

The building material used was adobe brick, and the buildings were finished with mud frequently adorned with patterned relief arabesques.

The centre of the city consists of several walled citadels, or quadrangles. Each of these contains pyramidal temples, cemeteries, gardens, reservoirs, and symmetrically arranged rooms.


Huaca del Dragón (Chan-Chán, Perú). Detalle del muro

Chan Chan
December 15th, 2007

It was the largest city that had existed in South America and remained that way even when it lay in ruins during part of the Spanish colonial period. At 18km2 by some measurements and more than 20km2 including its surrounding agricultural districts, this gigantic city formed the capital of the Chimor kingdom of the Chimú civilisation.

Located 5km west of modern Trujillo, out-sizing it until modern expansion, the ruins of Chan Chan are an extraordinary sight. Consisting of 10 citadels constructed by 10 generations of rulers, it would be impossible to visit it all.

Chan Chan now lays in a dilapidated state. Damage caused by El Niño rains have left the once towering walls of Chan Chan looking like melted snow. The most recent and most sever damage took place early last century when most of the remaining details on the walls were washed away.

Chan ChanOf the massive archaeological site, one small part, in itself huge, has been saved from the elements with careful restoration. Known as the Tschudi Complex, it is one of the last of 10 urban complexes constructed. In Chan Chan the Chimor rulers were expected to construct their own living and administrative centres to manage the kingdom. When a ruler dies, he and all his administrative staff are buried with him inside his complex. The complex is then sealed and a new one constructed by the following ruler.

Exploring the entire site can be done on foot, but there’s not much to see other than melted walls. In the Tschudi Complex however, you get an idea of how spectacular Chan Chan was.

The walls are constructed with adobe bricks, and covered with a smooth surface on which images were carved. These images had a maritime theme of fish, waves and pelican birds, a bird they also used to help them fish. Think bird on a string.


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