Judi LynnJudi Lynn's Journal
guy, a truly nasty, obnoxious, snotty man, who spoke openly of the fact they put mines in the water in Nicaragua, and I was stunned by the fact he seemed to have absolutely no conscience at all. He was just as cold, and aggressive as anyone might expect.
It was also the first time I'd ever heard they mined a harbor, an evil act which had been done to death already!
I decided to take a quick google check and saw it mentioned in this Wikipedia entry, with a lot more useful information:
CIA activities in Nicaragua
CIA activities in Nicaragua have been ongoing since the 1980s. The increasing influence gained by the Sandinista National Liberation Front, a left-wing and anti-imperialist political party in Nicaragua, led to a sharp decrease in NicaraguaUnited States relations, particularly after the Nicaraguan Revolution. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan authorized the Central Intelligence Agency to support the Contras, a right-wing Nicaraguan political group to combat the influence held by the Sandinistas in the Nicaraguan government. Various anti-government rebels in Nicaragua were organized into the Nicaraguan Democratic Force, the first Contra group, at the behest of the CIA. The CIA also supplied the Contras with training and equipment, including materials related to torture and assassination. There have also been allegations that the CIA engaged in drug trafficking in Nicaragua.
. . .
The United States saw the Sandinistas as Communists, and felt the need to stop them. Congress viewed the Reagan Administration's anti-Sandinista policies with extreme skepticism, and were under the impression that the true goal of the CIA operation in Nicaragua was to overthrow the Sandinista government. Congress' efforts resulted in passage of an amendment in late 1982 introduced by Representative Edward P. Boland to the Fiscal Year 1983 Defense Appropriations bill. This is the first of a series of Boland Amendments prohibiting the CIA, principal conduit of covert American support to the Contras, from spending any money "for the purpose of overthrowing the government of Nicaragua". The CIA, however, interpreted the "purpose" stated in this phrase as the purpose of the CIA rather than the purpose of the end user. Thus, the CIA argued that since the purpose of the CIA was not to overthrow the government, that the money and military assistance went to people who had this goal did not matter. The subsequent lack of change in the Nicaragua operation significantly contributed to the eventual further restrictions imposed by Congress in the second version of the Boland amendment.
The majority report stated, "The Central Intelligence Agency was the U.S. Government agency that assisted the contras. In accordance with Presidential decisions, known as findings, and with funds appropriated by Congress, the C.I.A. armed, clothed, fed and supervised the contras. Despite this assistance, the contras failed to win widespread popular support of military victories within Nicaragua."
. . .
The CIA carried out the Nicaraguan operation based on military intelligence indicating the Sandinista government had close ties to the Cuban and Soviet governments, which represented a strategic threat to the U.S. U.S. policy planners also feared that the success of democracy and socialism in Nicaragua would inspire revolutions across the continent, thereby challenging U.S. hegemony and the interests of Western corporations. At this time, the Sandinistas were building their military to a level that was disproportionate for the size of Nicaragua; the U.S. saw this as a Soviet-backed push for power in the region. The CIA gave $50,000 (equivalent to $161,000 in 2022) to the training and arming of the Contras in 1981, which was eventually followed up by millions more once the CIA secured funding for the operation. The CIA executed operations of their own: in 1982, a CIA-trained team blew up two bridges in Nicaragua and mined Corinto harbor, which may have been carried out by members of the U.S. military rather than through the indigenous assets the CIA claimed it used. The mines were an attempt to disrupt the Nicaraguan economy by closing down the main shipping port. Petroleum imports and cotton exports were the main targets. The mines they eventually used were specifically designed to only cause a large noise rather than actually damage ships. The logic behind this is that once a harbor was known to be mined, it would be flagged as such and therefore avoided by most shipping companies. This eventually backfired and became somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy for the U.S. as this act actually drove the Sandinista government closer to the Soviet Union because it needed petroleum imports.
AUGUST 31, 2023
Fifty years after the military coup that brought down Salvador Allende and installed the Pinochet dicatorship, there are still top secret documents on the US role that must be declassified.
Photographs of former President Richard Nixon and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger displayed during Secrets of State: The Declassified History of the Chilean Dictatorship, an exhibition at the Museum of Memory and Human Rights in Santiago, Chile in 2017.
(Martin Bernetti / AFP via Getty)
On August 25, the Central Intelligence Agency quietly posted on its website two documents on the military coup in Chile that had been kept top secret for half a century: the Presidents Daily Brief (PDB) for the morning of the September 11, 1973the day of the coupand for September 8, 1973, as the Chilean military finalized its plans to overthrow the democratically elected government of Socialist Salvador Allende. The newly released documents proved almost impossible to find and read on the CIA website, buried among dozens of other previously declassified PDBs. Eventually, the State Department sent out a press advisory providing the links. The release of the PDBs was in accordance with our commitment to increased transparency, according to the press release. We remain committed to working with our Chilean partners to try and identify additional sources of information to increase our awareness of impactful events throughout our shared history.
As the 50th anniversary of the coup approaches, that commitment will be tested as Chileans, and their government, seek to obtain additional classified documents on the US role in undermining democracy and supporting dictatorship in Chile. This week a delegation of Chilean congressional representatives from the Socialist Party met with US Ambassador Bernadette Meehan to lobby her for release of the remaining secret records on Chile; earlier this month, the Chilean Congress voted almost unanimously to request that the Foreign Ministry solicit still-secret records on US intervention in Chiles sovereignty before, during and after the coup of 1973. And the Chilean government of Gabriel Boric has already appealed to the Biden administration for a special, 50th-anniversary gesture of declassification diplomacy. We still dont know what President Nixon saw on his desk the morning of the military coup, as Chiles ambassador to Washington, Juan Gabriel Valdés, stated in an interview before the PDBs were released. There are details that remain of interest to [Chileans], that are important for us to reconstruct our own history.
Among the documents on President Nixons desk on the morning of September 11, 1973, was the PDBa daily CIA intelligence summary that contained three paragraphs on the opening salvos of the military coup in Chile. Fifty years after Nixon read it, we finally know what it saysvery little. The intelligence provided to the president on the initiation of the coup was equivocal and erroneous. Although military officers are increasingly determined to restore political and economic order, they may still lack an effectively coordinated plan that could capitalize on the widespread civilian opposition, the PDB advised, incorrectly. President Allende, for his part, the PDB stated more accurately, still hopes that temporizing will fend off a showdown.
But Nixon had access to far more detailed and dramatic intelligence. A special CIA CRITICCritical Advance Intelligence Cablethat would have been distributed on an urgent basis to the highest levels of the White House on September 10, provided concrete reporting on the date, time, and place of the planned coup; another top secret CIA memo that reached the White House the morning of September 11 contained an urgent request from a key officer in the military group planning overthrow President Allende who asked if the U.S. Government would come to the aid of the Chilean military if the situation became difficult. How the president of the United States responded to that request is one of the details of the history of the coup that remain unknown.
Wednesday, August 30, 2023
José Luis Sanz and Carlos Martínez
~ ~ ~
This second chapter on the origins of MS-13 was published by El Faro in Spanish in August 2012.
Read chapter one in English here:
How Los Angeles Taught the Mara Salvatrucha to Hate
~ ~ ~
The helicopter roar is a blessing. Silence between each series of blows would have been more chilling, and the impact of each one even more brutal. If there had been silence, the onlooker would have filled it with the imagined sound of truncheons crashing on the knees, torso, and arms of this Black man rolling on the floor as three police officers beat him. One of them stands with his legs apart like a baseball player, lowering his center of gravity making him able to beat the man harder and with more control. One thump, then another, and another. A pause, then again, a succession of three more blows landing on the legs of this sack of meat as he tries to sit up, disoriented. Another pause for breath, then seven more hits.
In the television images there appears to be a total of 56 blows. Were it not for the helicopter in the recording, filling the silence with its deafening hum, one could even imagine the sound of bones grinding just before they break.
* * *
The video of the attack on Rodney King began to circulate globally in 1991. A 25-year-old Black man, formally incarcerated for robbery, King had been drinking that night and refused police orders to stop his car, fearing a return to prison. The beating was recorded by a bystander and became news on five continents.
The clip was immediately held up as an example of the brutality and racism of the Los Angeles police, who had enjoyed political freedom to beat or shoot their victims since their successful clean-up of the streets in 1984. Fifteen officers were present as King was beaten for over ten minutes. Not one lifted a finger to stop what was happening, and only four of these officers the one who used the truncheon, and the Sargeant immediately in charge were brought to trial.
By Anay Mridul
Published on Aug 31, 2023
Environmental groups are urging the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to halt Brazilian meat giant JBSs planned US IPO, citing its failure to adhere to climate and corporate governance pledges. The activists call it the biggest climate risk IPO listing in history, posing questions about the environmental issues of the worlds largest meat company.
The coalition of environmental groups includes Rainforest Action Network, Mighty Earth and World Animal Protection. The letter to the SEC states that there is little transparency about JBSs 2040 net-zero plans the company recently withdrew labelling claims about this target after an ad review board found it aspirational.
This isnt the first time JBS is eyeing an IPO in the US its previous attempts were thwarted by a corruption scandal in 2017, and then the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, climate activists are hoping to add to that list, halting a move that seeks to give up to 90% of the shareholder voting power to the founding Batista family.
Concentrating 90% of voting power in the hands of the Batista brothers, Joesley and Wesley both acknowledged criminals restricts the ability of outside investors to push JBS to end deforestation or deal with its outsized emissions, said Mighty Earth CEO Glenn Hurowitz, calling it the single most important IPO for the climate in history.
JBSs well-documented controversies
JBS has a long history of greenwashing and human rights abuse. The brand acquired Spanish cultivated meat producer BioTech Foods in 2021 and is developing a large-scale cultured meat production plant, but it increased its greenhouse gas emissions by 51% between 2016 and 2021. Its total emissions were 68 times higher than what it claimed. JBS has also been found to be among the biggest drivers of deforestation in the Amazon, with its slaughterhouses in the region more than doubling between 2009 and 2020.
Earlier this year, it was involved in a child labour controversy. Allegations were made against a Wisconsin cleaning company that said it employed more than two dozen minors to clean dangerous meatpacking plants for JBS across the US. And in March, JBS was named as the worst offender in World Animal Protections list ranking the meat industrys climate impact.
AUGUST 30, 2023
BY JOHN G. RUSSELL
Photograph Source: DonkeyHotey CC BY 2.0
Do you know how it feels to have the president of the United States target you?
Ruby Freeman, Georgia election worker
Hey, you stupid slave nigger You are in our sights, we want to kill you. If Trump doesnt get elected in 2024, we are coming to kill you, so tread lightly, bitch.
Abigail Jo Shry, Texas Trump cultists threat to Judge Tanya Chutkan
They must serve as examples for their crimes. They must serve as examples so that others will think long and hard before committing a crime or an act of violence.
Donald Trump on the Central Park Five
Well, when the president does it that means that it is not illegal.
Revenge porn is the GOPs new black.
I am your retribution, Donald Trump, Americas bloated, bloviating Batman, declares.
Were going to start slitting throats on day one, promises Ron DeSantis, glitchy governator of Florida, the state where history goes to die, and being comatose is touted as a virtue.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 30, 2023
General Pinochet in 1986 Photo: Chilean Congress National Library/cc
THE Chilean government said yesterday that it will launch a search plan for those people who went missing during the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.
Chilean Minister of Justice Luis Cordero said the government was planning to put in place reparations not only to the families of the victims, but also to society.
The National Search Plan for Detainees Disappeared is set to be launched today by the government.
The whereabouts of some 1,192 detainees who went missing during Pinochets dictatorship is still unknown
. . .
The launch of the search plan comes ahead of the 50th anniversary of the US-backed coup against then-president Salvador Allende on September 11, which is remembered as one of the darkest moments in the history of the South American country.
Photograph courtesy of LA SEMILLA
WORDS BY MOLLY LIPSON
The Kogi people have been stewarding the land of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in northern Colombia for millennia. Molly Lipson speaks with one Kogi family about how a forthcoming art auction can help them build a necessary piece of infrastructure.
The land of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in northern Colombia is stewarded by four Indigenous tribes: Arhuaco, Wiwa, Kankuamo and Kogi. Earlier this month, three KogisMamo Juan Conchacala Dingula, his wife Java Teresa, and their son Marcoleft their territory for the first time to travel to Europe. It was a significant moment for them, but also for those they met along the way. Steeped in traditional wisdom about the natural world, they had come here with a warning.
The Kogis began to notice that the land and water around them in the Colombian mountains was changing many decades ago as a result of mining, construction, deforestation, and other harmful practices. They knew that this was disrupting the Earths careful balance, and that doing so would lead to catastrophe after catastrophe. Over time, in the West, we have gained knowledge about climate change through scientific study, through data about the Earths temperature, the seas acidity, the airs pollution levels, but the Kogis intuit these changes through their active relationship with the world around them. They have long been telling us what a dangerous path we are pursuingand yet we continually ignore them.
On a sunny afternoon in mid-August, Mamo Juan Conchacala Dingula, Java Teresa, and Marco sat on low chairs in a bright, airy room of the Hayward Gallery on Londons Southbank in front of one of the displays of Dear Earth, an exhibition about the interdependence of ecologies and ecosystems. Though these particular works were not for sale, some artist friends of the Kogis have collected a number of art pieces that are available to buy as part of the Jàka Project, an auction that will raise funds to build a crucial piece of infrastructure for the Kogis: a bridge over the Rio Ancho.
Art by Ackroyd & Harvey, courtesy of Hayward Gallery
Art by Cornelia Parker, courtesy of Hayward Gallery
Artists Gene Closuit and Pascal Rousson first met the Kogis during a trip to Colombia after they were introduced to fellow artist and longtime friend of the Kogis, Jaime Correa. They came to learn about the perils the Kogis faced when trying to cross the river, which cuts through their territory. They need this bridge to travel between the 11 villages that make up the Kogi community, and to transport their animals and produce.
Some twenty years ago, the construction of a bridge began, but fighting between the paramilitary and the guerrilla group FARC put an end to the works. Now, Closuit and Rousson, along with many of the Kogis friends and fellow artists like Correa and Maria Elvira Dieppa, hope to raise enough money to build the bridge that will allow the Kogis to continue their way of life safely. The auction includes art donated by the likes of Ackroyd & Harvey, Cornelia Parker, and Nicole Frobusch among many others, and is set to take place online between September 21 and October 1.
Wednesday, August 23, 2023
Carlos Martínez and José Luis Sanz
This piece on the origins of MS-13 was published by El Faro in Spanish in August 2012.
Its not that the young palabrero from Fulton was much of a peacemaker. In fact, he did not earn the nickname Satan for promoting truces with his enemies.
He was leader of the Mara Salvatrucha clique in the San Fernando Valley, which borders the city of Los Angeles.
He had received elite training from the Salvadoran army; it was precisely these military skills which turned him, after just one year, into leader of one of the most powerful Mara Salvatrucha cliques in the United States no small feat. Within gang protocols, almost nobody goes from being a wriggling sack on the floor, during initiation rites known as el brinco (the jump), to being the one who decides who is a punching bag and who is not.
He knew how to load and unload handguns and rifles, strategies for withdrawal, how to conduct an ambush, the purpose of small units, and the importance of holding onto certain territories. Probably, he knew how to kill. Satan knew all about war.
Born Ernesto Deras, Satan was no Hollywood-style Rambo, except for perhaps his voice tired-sounding, almost a whisper, making him seem infinitely sad. And except for the fact that those who know him say theyve never heard him shout, nor cackle with laughter. And his Green Beret training, which he received from U.S. advisors as part of a rapid response battalion during the civil war in El Salvador.
AUGUST 24, 2023
BY CHARLES PIERSON
Photograph Source: Thomas Quine CC BY 2.0
We are living through a unique historical moment. I know this because MSNBC keeps telling me so. With the exception of Rachel Maddow on her August 21, 2023 broadcast, MSNBCs anchors have been repeating that this is the first time in history a president may be going to jail. Its a remarkably parochial view. Many presidents have gone to jailthey just werent US presidents. What follows is a brief, nowhere near comprehensive list. Maybe Donald Trump, who currently faces 91 felony counts from 4 indictments, will cheer up once he sees his predicament is not unique.
But probably not.
* * * * *
While not technically Panamas head of state, General Manuel Noriega was Panamas de facto ruler from 1983 to 1989. He was also one of Latin Americas biggest cocaine traffickers. (In the 2001 film adaptation of John le Carrés novel The Tailor of Panama, a newcomer to the country is told that Panama Citys high-rise bank buildings are commonly referred to as the cocaine towers.). Noriegas career serves as a cautionary tale of what can happen to a foreign strongman once he outlasts his usefulness to the US Empire. Noriega had been a CIA asset since the 1950s, trained at the United States infamous School of the Americas. The US indicted Noriega in 1988 for cocaine trafficking, money laundering, and impersonating a pineapple. President George Bush the Elder used the war on drugs as a pretext for the 1989 US invasion of Panama, unironically dubbed Operation Just Cause. Bush, who had been head of the CIA for twelve months under President Gerald Ford, knew about Noreigas extracurricular activities. Anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 Panamanians lost their lives so that the US could arrest one man.
Noriega, who died in 2017, spent the remainder of his life in US, French, and Panamanian prisons.
- click for image -
FILE - Colombian paramilitary warlord Salvatore Mancuso is escorted by U.S. DEA agents upon his arrival to Opa-locka, Florida, May 13, 2008. Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio called on the Biden administration Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023, to reject Colombias request for extradition of Mancuso after he was named a peace envoy in the South American nation. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)
Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022, in Miami.
BY JOSHUA GOODMAN
Updated 2:08 PM CDT, August 23, 2023
MIAMI (AP) Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio is calling on the Biden administration to reject Colombias request for extradition of a former warlord after he was named a peace envoy in the South American nation, a move that could see him avoid additional prison time for human rights abuses.
Salvatore Mancuso, the top commander of a former group of right-wing militias, completed a 12-year cocaine trafficking sentence in 2020. He has been held in U.S. custody ever since after Colombia at the last minute reversed a U.S. order that wouldve sent him to Italy, where he also has citizenship, and instead struck a deal for him to be sent back home to face justice.
This month, Colombian President Gustavo Petro named Mancuso a peace envoy to promote the disarming of other illegal armed groups that emerged after Mancusos United Self Defense Forces of Colombia, or AUC, laid down its weapons two decades ago. To facilitate the peacemaking role, Petro said he would seek to suspend prison sentences courts already imposed against Mancuso for his role in more than 1,500 acts of murder and forced disappearances.
(It's about time the Batistiano Cuban "exiles" stopped controlling U.S. foreign policy re: Latin America. Permanently. It never should have been allowed in the first place.)
~ ~ ~
Colombian warlord: Release of death squad boss 'El Mono' from U.S. prison has Canadian victims seeking truth
When Salvatore Mancuso was shipped from Colombia to a U.S. cell, he said, they extradited the truth. But his sentence ends today and he has secrets to tell
Author of the article:Brian Fitzpatrick
Published Mar 27, 2020 21 minute read
Former paramilitary leader Salvatore Mancuso is escorted by guards to a court in Medellín, Colombia, on Wednesday, May 16, 2007. PHOTO BY AP PHOTO/FREDY AMARILES
For weeks, locals had been quietly fleeing the northern Colombian town of El Salado. They were afraid, they told neighbours, of the arrival of the AUC, a death squad led in their region by a tall, imposing figure named Salvatore Mancuso, known as El Mono.
By the year 2000, El Salado, a farming community nestled in Colombias Montes de María mountains, had become a coveted target in a brutal conflict between two irregular armies. On one side were the Marxist guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), who had been at war with the Colombian state since 1964. On the other was Mancusos United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (AUC), a paramilitary death squad that colluded with corrupt elements of the Colombian military and did their dirty work.
As it did for the FARC, Colombias cocaine trade bankrolled the AUC. And to move AUC drugs from Colombias interior to the Caribbean coast for export onward to North America Mancuso needed to clear a path north through El Salado and across the Montes de María. On Mancusos orders, Rodrigo Mercado Peluffo, a fearsome AUC boss known as Chain, planned an attack on El Salado using five FARC deserters handed over to him by the Colombian army to guide the way.
By Feb. 16, 2000, for anyone who hadnt fled, it was too late. Four hundred AUC soldiers began garrotting peasants, slowly encircling the town. When they reached El Salados main square, the AUC produced a list upon which were scrawled the names of suspected FARC operatives, or locals felt to be helping them. Mancuso would later call what followed an anti-subversive operation. In reality, it was killing for sport. Over a weekend on a concrete soccer field, at least 40 men, women and children were stabbed, bashed and shot dead. Using instruments pillaged from El Salados cultural centre, the killers gave each victim a musical sendoff.
The Colombian army, despite frantic calls from locals to the nearest base, was nowhere to be found.
They pulled my daughter away, one survivor told Human Rights Watch seven years later. She called to me, mommy, and they shot her in the head. She had been celebrating her 20th birthday that day. They killed my cousin, they scalped her, tied her up they strangled her and finally, they cut her head off.
The mother thought another of her daughters, a seven-year-old, had lived. Three days later she found her body. They put a plastic bag over her head and she died, suffocated on the top of a hill.
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