Posts tagged americas
Posts tagged americas
Maya Ixil women, including Guatemala’s civil war survivor Maria Raymundo (C), celebrate after listening the sentence given to former Guatemalan de facto President, retired General Jose Efrain Rios Montt, 86, for crimes committed during his regime, in Guatemala City on May 10, 2013. Rios Montt was found guilty of genocide and war crimes on Friday in a landmark ruling stemming from massacres of indigenous people in his country’s long civil war. Rios Montt thus became the first Latin American convicted of trying to exterminate an entire group of people in a brief but particularly gruesome stretch of a war that started in 1960, lasted 36 years and left around 200,000 people dead or missing.
[Credit : Johan Ordonez/AFP/Getty Images]
Mass brutal police repression during a protest against the cancellation of a teachers’ strike after an assembly with the Union of Education Professionals in Sao Paulo on May 10, 2013. Source 1 | Source 2
For a bit of additional info:
According to local journals, the protest became violent when a segment of the teachers disagreed with the decision of a poll deciding for the end of the strike, since the government agreed with some of the sindicate’s revindications. Some protesters started throwing objects at the car where the board of directors was and soon the police got involved. The head of the sindicate claims the protesters are just a noisy minority and the decision was democratically made. But the number of people claiming the opposite, and since the media coverage here hasn’t yet given a minute of full attention to the replies from the side of the protesters - and, as usually, the police’s answer was heavy and violent - implies there’s more bias to this than it’s being noticed by both brazilian and foreign media.
More prisoners have joined a hunger strike at the US-run detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, bringing the reported total to 93 out of 166 held at the facility, according to media reports. Lawyers for the detainees claim that the actual number is higher.
“The illegal detentions without charge or trial at Guantanamo Bay have gone on for more than a decade with no end in sight, so it’s not surprising that detainees feel desperate,” said Laura Pitter, counterterrorism advisor at Human Rights Watch. “The Obama administration simply has to do more to end this unlawful practice that will forever be a black mark on US history.”
Human Rights Watch has long called for an end to the practice of indefinite detention at Guantanamo, which violates international law. More than half of the detainees currently at the facility were approved for transfer to their home or third countries by an Obama administration interagency task force in 2009. Congress restricted those transfers but the Defense Department still has the ability to transfer the cleared detainees as long as certain safeguards are in place. Human Rights Watch urged the Obama administration to use its authority to begin transferring detainees out of the facility as soon as possible.
Photo: © 2009 Reuters
(via The Guardian)
In many tribal communities, including the Hadza and the Innu featured here, women and men enjoy equal status. But tribal people often face displacement, murder and rape, according to Survival International. Often humiliated by governments that perpetuate the idea they are ‘backward’, some have their lands taken away. Yet resistance is growing as they take action to protect their land and ways of life.
What problems do tribal peoples have?
Tribal people are still violently attacked, and sometimes killed, particularly in parts of South & Central America, Africa and Asia.
Violence, often self-inflicted, is also a big problem in wealthy countries, which have largely dispossessed their indigenous peoples (such as Canada and the USA, Australia and New Zealand).
In some areas, tribal people are still held in a form of slavery, called ‘debt-bondage’, where they are forced to produce raw materials to pay a supposed debt to an outsider.
The view that tribal people are ‘primitive’ and not able to make rational choices about their own future derives from a colonialist, racist ideology. It is still used to justify their dispossession.
Tribal peoples are generally self-sufficient and dependent on their land to provide their food and support their way of life. It also forms the bedrock of their identity. It is stolen for ‘development’, such as mining, dam-building, farming, etc., as well as for ‘conservation’ projects.
Even where the land itself isn’t taken, its resources often are. These can be timber or minerals.
All peoples are changing all the time, but changes forced on tribal peoples in the name of ‘progress’ result in a far lower quality of life than before, with increased illness, suicide, imprisonment, substance abuse and dependence etc. Changes should be under the control of the people themselves.
More information at Survival International’s website.
1. The Dongria Kondh women of the Niyamgiri hills in Odisha state, India – who call themselves Jharnia, or protectors of streams – have lived in the lush, forested hills for millennia. For the past 10 years these women have worked with Dongria men to protect their most sacred mountain, Niyam Dongar, against plans for an opencast bauxite mine. (Jason Taylor/Survival International)
2. The Bushmen are the original people of southern Africa. Between 1997 and 2002, after the discovery of diamond fields in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, almost all Bushmen were taken from their homes in the reserve and driven to eviction camps. Some women and their families have now returned to the reserve, but harassment and intimidation continue. (Mark Håkansson/Survival International)
3. A Nenets woman outside her chum, or teepee, in Siberia’s Yamal Peninsula. Her homeland is a remote, wind-blasted place of permafrost, serpentine rivers and dwarf shrubs; the reindeer-herding Nenets people have migrated across it for over a thousand years. Today, their way of life is severely affected by oil drilling and climate change. (Steve Morgan/Survival International)
4. These Innu women on the shores of the Labrador-Quebec peninsula in north-eastern Canada have resisted attempts by missionaries and the Canadian government to impose European patterns of living. The women have been prominent in opposing extractive industries on Innu lands, and have been active in efforts the people are making to maintain their way of life. (Dominick Tyler/Survival International)
5. Between Tanzania’s Lake Eyasi and the Great Rift Valley live the Hadza, a tribe of approximately 1,300 hunter-gatherers. The Hadza are one of the oldest lineages of humankind. Over the past 50 years, however, the tribe has lost 90% of its land. The tribe value equality highly, recognising no official leaders. Hadza women have a great amount of autonomy and participate equally in decision making with men. (Joanna Eede/Survival International)
This morning’s featured film from the PBS Online Film Festival is “Sin País,” a short documentary film that explores one family’s complex and emotional journey involving deportation.
Watch it above, and then vote for the PBS Online Film Festival People’s Choice Winner at http://www.pbs.org/filmfestival/vote/.
The many problems of Chavez’s successor
Vice President Nicolas Maduro is all but certain to replace deceased Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez - but any election day celebrations are bound to be short-lived.
…nostalgia and affection may prove short-lived policies to sustain Chavismo without Chavez, Latin American scholars say. Especially if sky-high oil prices currently bankrolling social “missions” fall from the $100-per-barrel levels that fill government coffers with the means of financing the top-down largesse.
Chavez’s legacy, along with memories of his larger-than-life personality and colorful remarks, is one of widespread poverty and corruption, with Venezuela’s police struggling to tame South America’s highest murder rate and a majority of the country still below the poverty line.
Photos: Mauricio Duenas Castaneda / EPA, Geraldo Caso / AFP/Getty
Today’s Front Pages From the Americas
New York Post (bottom center) still keeping it classy.
Images: Via the Newseum. Select to embiggen.
Plans for a road linking the Cochabamba and Beni regions of Bolivia continues to provoke debate and cause conflict in the country. Although most agree on the need to link the two regions in to the centre and northeast of the country, the fact that plans state the road would cut through the heart of the Isiboro Sécure National Park and Indigenous Territory [Parque Nacional y Territorio Indígena Isiboro-Secure or Territorio Indígena y Parque Nacional Isiboro Secure, TIPNIS] has been the cause of much conflict. The project, moreover, has been devised and is being pushed by Evo Morales’ government. In 2011 and 2012, several indigenous organisations openly opposed the idea that the road project should cross through the TIPNIS. The eighth and ninth Indigenous Marches for Dignity and Territory were the most visible demonstrations of indigenous protest against the road, which would put one of the Amazon’s most biodiverse and highly protected areas at risk. Tensions worsened when on 25 September 2011 police used violence to intervene with the eighth Indigenous March.
Idle No More protesters make good on threats to shut down Canadian infrastructure
Making good on threats to shut down infrastructure across Canada, flag-waving, drum-beating protesters marched Wednesday under the banner of the Idle No More movement as they set up blockades snarling traffic and halting trains across the country.
In Windsor, Ont., about 600 marchers — one of the largest of the protests — took to one of the city’s links to Detroit, the Ambassador Bridge, backing up commercial traffic beyond city limits.
The so-called national day of action created tension outside Edmonton where protesters blocked the main artery between the Alberta capital and Calgary. One driver in a large blue pickup truck slowly edged their way through the blockade as protesters jumped on the truck’s hood before finally letting the driver pass. No one was injured during the confrontation.
With minor exceptions, the protests were peaceful and went off without incident.
More than one chief who spoke out in Windsor, however, put the federal government on notice that, should it not heed the call to meet and discuss treaty rights with Canada’s indigenous leaders, protesters would return with much larger numbers. (Photo: John Woods; Robin Rowland/The Canadian Press)
GUATEMALA CITY — She holds one of the most dangerous jobs in this spectacularly dangerous country, confronting the most feared and powerful men of the Guatemalan present: gang leaders; dirty public officials; shot-callers in the Mexican drug cartels who have bled in from the north.
She is also taking on the titans of Guatemala’s past: military men and security chiefs whom she has accused of human rights abuses during the nation’s brutal 35-year civil war. Guatemala’s emblematic 20th century strongman, Efrain Rios Montt, has been under house arrest since January, when her office charged him with genocide and crimes against humanity.
Claudia Paz y Paz, a 46-year-old former human rights lawyer, has served as attorney general since December 2010, earning a reputation as the most aggressive prosecutor the Central American nation has seen since the war’s end in the mid-1990s.
The challenges she faces are formidable: The Guatemalan homicide rate has roughly doubled in the last decade, because of ghastly cartel slayings in the countryside and a rise in crime, much of it gang-related, in and around Guatemala City, the capital.
Moreover, she inherited an office tarnished by scandal and a dismal conviction rate. Her critics, meanwhile, accuse her of re-fighting the civil war in the courts on behalf of the Guatemalan left, not administering justice, they say, so much as settling scores.
Pictured: Atty. Gen. Claudia Paz y Paz, seen in October, is taking on the titans of the Guatemalan past: military men and security chiefs whom she has accused of human rights abuses during the nation’s civil war. (Moises Castillo, Associated Press / October 11, 2012)
The Falkland Islands are in the news again - but what do we really know about the territory the Argentinians call the Islas Malvinas? This is the key data.
First Nation leaders to meet as Idle No More movement ‘becoming more volatile’
First Nations leaders are meeting today to clarify the demands of hunger-striker Chief Theresa Spence, in the hopes of getting closer to a resolution of recent unrest.
National Chief Shawn Atleo is meeting several key regional chiefs from the area surrounding Spence’s Attawapiskat reserve in northern Ontario.
Spence’s spokespeople said Wednesday in a written statement that the situation “is becoming more volatile” with each passing day that Prime Minister Stephen Harper doesn’t meet with Spence.
At the same time, Atleo has issued what he calls an urgent invitation to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Gov. Gen. David Johnston to meet chiefs on Jan. 24 _ the one-year anniversary of Harper’s summit with First Nations. (The Canadian Press)
Canada, First Nations headed in ‘dangerous direction’ as Idle No More hunger strike continues: Former PM Joe Clark
A visibly weak Chief Theresa Spence made a brief appearance on Sunday — in Day 20 of her fast — as a parade of politicians and protesters turned up the volume to demand action from the Harper government on treaty issues.
Through a spokesperson, the chief of the Attawapiskat First Nation said she was “deeply humbled” by the support she’s received from aboriginals and non-aboriginals in her appeal for a face-to-face meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Governor-General David Johnston.
“This is a call to arms and a call to action in the most peaceful and respective way that reflects our natural laws as Indigenous nations,” Spence said in the statement. (Robin Rowland, Fred Chartrand/The Canadian Press)
“[The law] wants to legalize the seeds policy that has had disastrous results in the U.S. and Europe. This law would give Monsanto the ownership of seeds. The seeds that our small farmers and landholders sow would just have to be contaminated by the gene to be considered the property of Monsanto, and seed producers would not be able to collect their seeds”
Read: Argentina’s Impending ‘Monsanto Law’ is Not Welcome