21st-century censorship: Governments around the world are using stealthy strategies to manipulate the media
‘Two beliefs safely inhabit the canon of contemporary thinking about journalism. The first is that the internet is the most powerful force disrupting the news media. The second is that the internet and the communication and information tools it spawned, like YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, are shifting power from governments to civil society and to individual bloggers, netizens, or “citizen journalists.”
It is hard to disagree with these two beliefs. Yet they obscure evidence that governments are having as much success as the internet in disrupting independent media and determining the information that reaches society. Moreover, in many poor countries or in those with autocratic regimes, government actions are more important than the internet in defining how information is produced and consumed, and by whom.
Illustrating this point is a curious fact: Censorship is flourishing in the information age. In theory, new technologies make it more difficult, and ultimately impossible, for governments to control the flow of information. Some have argued that the birth of the internet foreshadowed the death of censorship. In 1993, John Gilmore, an internet pioneer, told Time, “The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.”
Today, many governments are routing around the liberating effects of the internet. Like entrepreneurs, they are relying on innovation and imitation. In countries such as Hungary, Ecuador, Turkey, and Kenya, officials are mimicking autocracies like Russia, Iran, or China by redacting critical news and building state media brands. They are also creating more subtle tools to complement the blunt instruments of attacking journalists.
As a result, the internet’s promise of open access to independent and diverse sources of information is a reality mostly for the minority of humanity living in mature democracies.’
‘Abby Martin interviews Kate Horner, Forest Campaigns Director, about the massacre of four indigenous activists in Peru for standing up for their land, and the trade of illegal logging worldwide.’ (Breaking the Set)
- Global Witness: ‘Environmentalist murders escalating worldwide’
- Peru Among Most Dangerous for Land Defenders
- Illegal loggers plunder Peruvian Amazon
- Peruvian Protester’s My Brother Was Disappeared in 1993
- Deforestation cuts into climate change goals
- Illegal logging nets organized crime up to 100 billion dollars a year
- Organized Crime Is Fueling a Boom in Illegal Logging Worldwide
- Illegal logging
Editor’s Note: Advertising for autocrats. Glad to see some football clubs standing up and not allowing themselves to become part of a public relations campaign for a totalitarian ruler and his unpleasant family. Learn more about Azerbaijan and the Aliyev family here.
‘[…] One of the conditions that the Azeri officials imposed on San Lorenzo was that “there couldn’t be ethnic Armenians” in future executive committees of the club in exchange for a lucrative contract with the club. The issue gained importance in Peñarol since some of the candidates are members of the Armenian community.
The current president of Peñarol seeking for a re-election Juan Pedro Damianisaid that in the event of a similar proposal “we will act the same way as San Lorenzo” and stated that “it strikes me that Atletico Madrid could accept this sponsor.”’
- All the candidates for the presidency of Peñarol would refuse a possible sponsorship of Azerbaijan
- Amnesty warns some Euro 2020 host cities may use tournament for image laundering
- Baku 2015 chief insists Azerbaijan is ‘incredibly free’
- Azerbaijan’s president threatens war with Armenia via Twitter
- Atlético Madrid: Human Rights Bodies Slam Sponsor Azerbaijan For Repressive Government
- Azerbaijan’s sponsorship of Atlético Madrid proves spectacular success
- Do you know who Atlético Madrid’s real sponsor is?
‘World War Two was never as close to land in South America as on 13 December 1939, when three Royal Navy cruisers challenged Germany’s Admiral Graf Spee off the coast of Uruguay.
A battle still goes on 75 years later.
This time, however, the matter in dispute is not the control of the South Atlantic but rather a controversial four-tonne bronze eagle that could fetch millions of dollars at auction.’
‘Afghanistan has the world’s highest number of children killed or wounded by landmines and other explosive remnants of war, followed by Colombia, according to a leading anti-landmine group.
In its annual Landmine Monitor report, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munition Coalition (ICBL-CMC) said the number of recorded casualties of mines and other explosive remnants of war has decreased to the lowest level since 1999, but child victims have risen.’
‘[…] Ny has never properly explained why she will not come to London, just as the Swedish authorities have never explained why they refuse to give Assange a guarantee that they will not extradite him on to the US under a secret arrangement agreed between Stockholm and Washington. In December 2010, the Independent revealed that the two governments had discussed his onward extradition to the US before the European Arrest Warrant was issued.
Perhaps an explanation is that, contrary to its reputation as a liberal bastion, Sweden has drawn so close to Washington that it has allowed secret CIA “renditions” – including the illegal deportation of refugees. The rendition and subsequent torture of two Egyptian political refugees in 2001 was condemned by the UN Committee against Torture, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch; the complicity and duplicity of the Swedish state are documented in successful civil litigation and WikiLeaks cables. In the summer of 2010, Assange had been in Sweden to talk about WikiLeaks revelations of the war in Afghanistan – in which Sweden had forces under US command.
The Americans are pursuing Assange because WikiLeaks exposed their epic crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq: the wholesale killing of tens of thousands of civilians, which they covered up; and their contempt for sovereignty and international law, as demonstrated vividly in their leaked diplomatic cables.’
- Assange welcome in Ecuador embassy ‘as long as necessary’
- Assange lawyer Per E Samuelson on court decision
- 59 International Organizations Call Upon UN to Remedy Human Rights Violations in Pre-Charge Detention of Wikileaks Publisher Julian Assange
- Women Against Rape: We do not want Julian Assange extradited
- Assange Attorney: British Ruling Sets Alarming Precedent for Judicial Independence in Europe
- Julian Assange is right to fear US prosecution
- Assange could face espionage trial in US
- Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks
- EXTRADITING ASSANGE
Editor’s Note: Michael Fox is a reporter for teleSur English and is co-author of ‘Latin America’s Turbulent Transitions: The Future of Twenty-first Century Socialism‘.
- Dilma Rousseff must now pull together a deeply divided Brazil
- Pepe Escobar: Re-elected Dilma wins in a Brazil broken in two
- Brazil’s Surprise Rate Rise Shows Rousseff Courting Markets
- What Lies Ahead for Dilma Rousseff’s Workers’ Party?
- What Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff Can Teach Hillary Clinton
- Moody’s gives Brazil’s Rousseff benefit of the doubt, for now
- Dilma Rousseff has a second chance to invigorate Brazil’s foreign policy
- Wall Street Will Not Be Kind To Brazil
- Brazil’s Rousseff Rebuffs Corruption Allegations Before Polls
- Brazilian Schoolgirl’s Brave Battle For Reform
- A stumbling giant: Is Latin America’s largest economy in danger of recession?
- Brazil presidential candidate Campos killed in plane crash
- Transforming Brazil: Al Jazeera interview with Dilma Rousseff
- Brazil’s Dance with the Devil: World Cup, Olympics, and the Fight for Democracy
- Brazil’s Petrobras investigated in alleged corruption probe
- Brazil’s government has set the favelas and middle classes against each other
- Hell Hole: 2010 Documentary on Brazil’s Brutal Prison System
‘The notion that history tends to favor the hegemonies that would write it is nothing new. This is especially the case for the United States today. Take US-Latin American international relations, for example: they are indelibly stippled with gunboat diplomacy and seditious coups; even the many perverse trade agreements and subsequent growing poverty belie the neoliberal overtures that America continually makes. Yet, in spite of a most basic realpolitik approach to assessing America’s litany of hegemonic aggression, history is still quick to cite the anarchic nature of international relationships in general, and in doing so, it excuses fratricidal US ‘diplomacy’ throughout Latin America by simply referencing a manifest ‘self-help’ system amongst states.
America, in other words, is not to blame; rather, the anarchy of inter-state relationships is to be understood as a given, and its inherent culpability, understood.
This road, of course, is too easily taken. Though it may explain the what, it does not explain the why apropos general US meddling in Latin America. And while polemical inter-state issues between the US and its closest neighbors are well documented and investigated with some frequency, an “empire for empire’s sake” argument does not suffice as a believable impetus for such aggressive behavior in Latin America—at least, not any more than a phenomenon like self-interest can or does. No. To truly understand these international affairs, one must look beyond hackneyed tautologies. One must weigh the interest that runs the state, the lifeblood of the state’s moneyed organs, the whip that drives the imperial mule. Then, the raison d’être for America’s imposition and coercion in Latin America becomes clear.’
‘Freedom of expression and the press have sharply deteriorated in the Americas over the last six months due to an increase in censorship and physical attacks on journalists, the Inter American Press Association said Tuesday.
Eleven journalists were killed in attacks “carried out by organized crime, drug traffic hit men and police-style groups on the orders of several governments of the region,” the group said in a statement at the end of its 70th General Assembly.
Journalists suffered violence in almost every country in the region, including Venezuela, where some were attacked by police, and in Bolivia, Brazil and Peru during election coverage. Journalists also experienced violence while reporting on street protests in the U.S. city of Ferguson, Missouri, and the Brazilian cities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.’
‘One of the most accidentally revealing media accounts highlighting the real meaning of “democracy” in U.S. discourse is a still-remarkable 2002 New York Times Editorial on the U.S.-backed military coup in Venezuela, which temporarily removed that country’s democratically elected (and very popular) president, Hugo Chávez. Rather than describe that coup as what it was by definition – a direct attack on democracy by a foreign power and domestic military which disliked the popularly elected president – the Times, in the most Orwellian fashion imaginable, literally celebrated the coup as a victory for democracy:
With yesterday’s resignation of President Hugo Chávez, Venezuelan democracy is no longer threatened by a would-be dictator. Mr. Chávez, a ruinous demagogue, stepped down after the military intervened and handed power to a respected business leader, Pedro Carmona.
Thankfully, said the NYT, democracy in Venezuela was no longer in danger . . . because the democratically-elected leader was forcibly removed by the military and replaced by an unelected, pro-U.S. “business leader.” The Champions of Democracy at the NYT then demanded a ruler more to their liking: “Venezuela urgently needs a leader with a strong democratic mandate to clean up the mess, encourage entrepreneurial freedom and slim down and professionalize the bureaucracy.”’
Venezuela, Malaysia, Angola, New Zealand and Spain win U.N. Security Council seats, Turkey bid fails
‘Venezuela, Malaysia, Angola, New Zealand and Spain won seats on the United Nations Security Council on Thursday for two years from Jan. 1, 2015. The 193-member U.N. General Assembly elected Venezuela with 181 votes, Malaysia with 187 votes, Angola with 190 votes.
All three countries campaigned unopposed for their seats after being chosen as the candidates for their respective regional groups, but still needed to win the votes of two-thirds of the General Assembly to secure their spots.
The only contest was between New Zealand, Spain and Turkey for two seats given to the Western European and others group. New Zealand won a seat during the first round of voting with 145 votes. Spain beat Turkey in a third round of run-off voting.’
- Turkey fails in bid to join UN Security Council
- Venezuela elected to UN security council
- Spain wins seat on UN Security Council
- New Zealand wins seat on UN Security Council
- Angola Goes Big On UN Security Council
- Malaysia: How Will It Perform on the UN Security Council?
- Has America Stopped Even Pretending to Care About the U.N. Security Council?
‘Colombia must invest at least 90 trillion pesos ($44.4 billion) to implement a peace deal with Marxist rebels to end a 50-year conflict, says a senator who backs the current peace talks, adding the amount is much less than the cost of waging war.
The figure is the first estimate of the cost of a peace accord to end the conflict with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC… He said the money would be used to finance reintegration programs for former rebels, victim compensation, the return of displaced populations and land reform.’
- US support vital for Colombia peace: Former ambassador
- UN: Victims participating in Colombia peace talks receive deaths threats
- Colombian port city where body parts wash up following screams in the dark
- Bodyguard Scandal a Threat to Peace in Colombia
- Venezuela leader implicates Uribe in killing
- Colombia Paramilitary Massacre of the Poor
- Colombia says rebel chief has been to Cuba for peace talks
- ‘Don’t make children fight your war': ex-child soldier to Colombia rebels
- ICRC: Silence surrounds Colombia’s 92,000 disappeared
- Colombia arrests 32 politicians over paramilitary ties
- FARC chief says Colombia peace deal unlikely this year
- Colombia wants to expand the wealth tax in the country
- Colombia drought wipes out crops and cattle
‘Morales, a native Aymara Indian, received 60% of the vote against 25% for cement magnate Samuel Doria Medina, the highest polling of four challengers in Sunday’s election, according to a quick count of voting stations by the polling firm Ipsos for ATB television. Official partial results were expected early on Monday. Doria Medina conceded defeat late on Sunday, promising to “keep working to make a better country”.
Morales’s supporters poured into the streets to celebrate the triumph, but the festive mood was partly dented by an apparent failure by the ruling Movement Toward Socialism party to retain the two-thirds control of congress needed to push through a constitutional reform lifting a two-term limit on presidential mandates.’
- Bolivia’s Fire-Proof President
- Why Evo Morales Will Likely Win
- Bolivia’s Morales poised to win third term
- Happily Evo after: A third term for a “non-stick” leader
- Washington Snubs Bolivia on Drug Policy Reform, Again
- Natural Resource Extraction vs. Indigenous Rights and the Environment in Latin America
- Turnabout in Bolivia as Economy Rises From Instability
- Democracy from Below in Bolivia: An Interview with Oscar Olivera
- Evo Morales bows to Bolivian people power
- Evo Morales: The Extraordinary Rise of the First Indigenous President of Bolivia (Book)
‘Isabel Allende, the daughter of deposed Chilean president Salvador Allende, is “heading towards” running for leadership of the country’s socialist party, she said, a role that would put her in prime position for an eventual shot at the presidency.
Isabel Allende (not the well-known author, who is a more distant relative) is currently the head of the senate. That role ends next year, and she is holding talks as to whether she should put her name forward for the socialist party leadership contest in April, she told journalists on Friday.
[…] Allende’s name has appeared in local media in recent weeks as a possible candidate for the 2017 presidential elections, in which incumbent socialist President Michelle Bachelet is barred from running under Chile’s constitution.’
‘Tech-savvy Venezuelans looking to bypass dysfunctional economic controls are turning to the bitcoin virtual currency to obtain dollars, make Internet purchases — and launch a little subversion.
Two New York-based Venezuelan brothers hope this week to start trading on the first bitcoin exchange in the socialist-run country, which already has at least several hundred bitcoin enthusiasts.
Due to currency controls introduced by late president Hugo Chavez a decade ago, acquiring hard currency now means either requesting it from the state, which struggles to satisfy demand, or tapping a shadowy black market. Even small dollar transactions are out of the question for most Venezuelans.’
‘[…] Incredibly, everything went according to plan. The stadiums were ready on time. The airports functioned well. Though expensive, there were enough hotels. Only one major piece of infrastructure collapsed, killing two people and injuring dozens — but no one blinked. The football was entertaining, theparties pulsating. The systematic violence used against protesters was brushed off as a necessary measure against radical student groups and anarchists. The police didn’t commit mass murders, few tourists disappeared, and Brazil came out on the other side of the World Cup with its reputation intact. The pessimists were either shunted aside, swept up in the euphoria, or never interviewed again. The smug satisfaction of FIFA and their Brazilian partners in government and industry bubbled over in theirchampagne glasses. After years of haranguing Brazil for their apparent disorganization, FIFA president Joseph Blatter gave Brazil a 9.25 out of 10, calling the tournament “very, very special.”
Though hyperbolic and facile, this is the narrative that seems to have won the day. Now that the dust has settled and Brazilians try to digest seven German goals, it is important to understand how Brazil managed this outcome and what has changed, because the Olympics are next.’
- World Cup Lessons: What Brazil 2014 could mean for Russia 2018
- Documentary: The Other Side of Brazil’s World Cup
- Dispatches From Brazil’s World Cup: ‘No One Lives Here Anymore’
- Brazil 2014: A World Cup for Corporations
- Corruption to Blame for Some Brazil World Cup Cost Rises
- Brazil 2014: Inside the World Cup’s ever-escalating security arms race
- Security Games: Surveillance and Control at Mega-Events (Book)
- Brazil Becomes Hot Market for Surveillance Technology Ahead of World Cup
‘The World Cup 2014 in Brazil was hailed by some media outlets as the greatest tournament of all time. But while the action on the pitch may serve as the benchmark for future tournaments, the headlines circling the organisation of the tournament will serve as a serious warning for the next edition of football’s most prestigious tournament, to be held in Russia in 2018.
Both Russia and Brazil share a place among the BRIC grouping acronym, which refers to four emerging market powerhouse economies – Brazil, Russia, India and China – all deemed to be at a similar stage of economic development and expected to be among the world’s most dominant economies by the year 2050 . Such similarities are leading analysts to use Brazil’s experience as a guide, or more importantly as a source of foreboding concern for Russia over the next four years.’
- Hulk the target of latest racist abuse incident in Russia
- Russia: Player charged after reacting to racism
- Russian soccer fans charged with inciting racial hatred
- FIFA approves number of Russia World Cup venues
- FIFA unmoved by calls to boycott Russia’s 2018 World Cup
- EU says boycott of Russia’s 2018 World Cup ‘possible’
- Boycotting Russia World Cup 2018 would be ‘empty-gesture politics’
- Russia consider central contracts to prepare team for 2018 World Cup
- Russia 2018 and her Doomed Four-Year World Cup Plan
- Gap between rich & poor in Russia among world’s biggest
- APS-Tsentr challenges Luzhniki decision in favour of Moscow Council
- Russia World Cup bid chief defends racism track record
- FIFA said in 2010 racism ‘not a factor’ in battle for World Cup 2018
‘Argentinian opposition politicians have accused the country’s president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, of being “completely out of touch with reality” after she gave a rambling televised address in which she claimed the US may be behind a plot to overthrow her government and possibly even assassinate her.
“If something should happen to me, don’t look to the Middle East, look to the North,” Fernández said during the address on Tuesday night, in which she alluded to an alleged plot against her by local bankers and businessmen “with foreign help”.’
- Argentina deposits debt payment in defiance of US ruling
- Overused Argentina ATMs Proving Woefully Unreliable
- Citigroup seeks stay on Argentine debt order as government threatens penalties
- Argentina accuses Washington of meddling in internal affairs
- Argentine Companies Look to Increase Trade with Russia
- Argentina in the Shadow of the Vultures
- Argentine Workers in National Strike as Economic Woes Mount
- Colonization by Bankruptcy: The High-Stakes Chess Match for Argentina
- Argentina debt plan ruled ‘illegal’ in US court
- Argentina says will use anti-terror law against U.S. printing firm
‘Chile was braced for unrest on Thursday as the country observed the anniversary of the 1973 coup by General Augusto Pinochet, days after a bomb exploded in a busy shopping mall, injuring at least 14 people.
A bus was set on fire in a Santiago suburb and a police vehicle was attacked in another part of the capital, as the protests that regularly mark the divisive date began to gather momentum.
The anniversary of the military coup on September 11, 1973 against leftist president Salvador Allende exposes the deep wounds from the dictatorship years that still linger in Chilean society. A festering antagonism between those who supported and those who opposed the brutal right-wing junta spills on to the streets and demonstrations often turn violent.’
- The fall of Allende
- The Other 9/11: remembering Chile’s descent into dictatorship
- Chile on high alert after 3 explosions in 3 days
- Chile Struggling To Figure Out Who Is Behind String Of Bombings In Santiago
- July: Chile invokes anti-terrorism laws after device explodes in subway
- Chilean Court Rules U.S. Had Role in Pinchoet Murders
- Documentary: Uncovering Pinochet’s Secret Death Camps
- John Pilger: In an Age of ‘Realists’ and Vigilantes
- Kissinger and Chile: The Declassified Record on Regime Change
- The Pinochet File: How U.S. Politicians, Banks and Corporations Aided Chilean Coup, Dictatorship
‘In the midst of a global fight against child labor and poverty, Bolivia stands alone on an empty street. As the world actively seeks to reduce the exploitation of young children in the workforce, La Paz recently amended its child labor law, making it more flexible and allowing children as young as 10 years old to work legally. Indeed, Bolivia’s recent actions reflect its unfortunate reality: approximately 45 percent of its 10 million population lives under the national poverty line. With the recent transformation of the country’s labor laws, the government claims to‘solve’ poverty by 2025; but instead, the move will likely exacerbate the situation and perpetuate the poverty cycle. Although President Evo Morales and his administration may mean well, to succeed in reality, Bolivia must search for other alternatives in order to effectively combat its poverty.’
‘Santiago is generally regarded as one of the safest capital cities in Latin America, so it comes as something of a shock to visitors to find out that it has been hit by around 200 bomb attacks over the past decade.
[…] The bomb attacks started in 2005. Since then, around 200 devices have been planted across the capital.
Two-thirds have gone off while bomb disposal experts have defused the rest. A handful of bombs have also exploded in provincial Chilean cities.
About a third of the bombs have been placed outside banks but other targets have included police stations, army barracks, churches, embassies, the headquarters of political parties, company offices, courthouses and government buildings.
Most have been timed to go off at night when the streets are largely empty, and only a handful of passers-by have been injured, none seriously.’
‘Six Ecuadorean police officers have been given 12 years in jail for trying to assassinate President Rafael Correa. The six took part in a mutiny in 2010 during which officers besieged the president at a Quito hospital.
One of Mr Correa’s bodyguards was killed when the mutineers opened fire on the president’s car as he finally left the hospital after 12 hours. The police were protesting over cuts to their benefits, but the demonstrations snowballed into a full-scale mutiny.
A lawyer for the officers said they were considering an appeal. A total of 40 people have been convicted for their role in the mutiny.’
UPDATE: It has been reported in the Brazilian media that it may have been a drone that caused Campos’ aircraft to crash.
‘Brazilian presidential candidate Eduardo Campos was killed in a plane crash on Wednesday, throwing the October election and local financial markets into disarray. A private jet carrying Campos and his entourage crashed in a residential area in bad weather as it prepared to land in the coastal city of Santos. The accident killed all seven people on board, the Sao Paulo state fire department said. Campos, 49, was running on a business-friendly platform and was in third place in polls with the support of about 10 percent of voters. While he was not expected to win the Oct. 5 vote, he was widely seen as one of Brazil’s brightest young political stars and his death instantly changes the dynamics of the race.
Some analysts said that Campos’ death could make it harder for President Dilma Rousseff to win a second term, especially if his running mate Marina Silva runs in his place, as allowed by electoral law. A renowned environmentalist and former presidential candidate, Silva is better known nationally than Campos and could eat into Rousseff’s support among leftist and younger voters. Silva’s religious beliefs also make her hugely popular among evangelical Christian voters, an increasingly important demographic in Brazil. Silva’s popularity could get an additional boost from an outpouring of sympathy in the wake of Campos’ death.’
‘Greg Palast: President Obama has failed to exercise his authority to stop a New York judge from ordering Argentina to pay vulture fund billionaire Paul Singer debt worth pennies on the dollar’ (The Real News)
- Greg Palast: How Barack Obama could end the Argentina debt crisis
- The GOP billionaire behind Argentina’s crash: Interview with Greg Palast
- Spearheading Argentina into Bankruptcy: US Judicial System Upholds Wall Street Fraud
- The Forces Behind Argentina’s Default: Interview with James Henry
- IMF warns Argentina’s legal defeat may have wider implications
- Greg Palast in 2001: IMF’s four steps to damnation
- 1998–2002 Argentine great depression
‘Isolated native people likely to be fleeing attacks in Peru have turned up in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest where they made contact with the outside world, according to a video released by the country’s indigenous authority.
Brazilian experts have said the tribespeople probably crossed the border as they had come under pressure from illegal logging and drug trafficking at home. The tribe, part of the Pano linguistic group, made contact with the Ashaninka native people of northern Brazil in late June.’
‘[…] The campaign against Argentina shows how driven and deep-pocketed hedge funds can sometimes wield influence outside of the markets they bet in. George Soros’s successful wager against the pound in 1992 affected Britain’s relationship with Europe for years.
While Mr. Singer’s firm has yet to collect any money from Argentina, some debt market experts say that the battle may already have shifted the balance of power toward creditors in the enormous debt markets that countries regularly tap to fund their deficits. Countries in crisis may now find it harder to gain relief from creditors after defaulting on their debt, they assert.
“We’ve had a lot of bombs being thrown around the world, and this is America throwing a bomb into the global economic system,” said Joseph E. Stiglitz, the economist and professor at Columbia University. “We don’t know how big the explosion will be — and it’s not just about Argentina.”’
- Argentina’s second debt default could have been avoided
- How an American hedge fund forced Argentina into default
- Profile: Argentina’s nemesis, hedge fund manager Paul Singer
- Argentina blames US mediator for debt default
- It’s the end of Argentina as we know it, and the world economy will be just fine
- Why Does Argentina Not Simply Default Again?
- Argentina Loses Court Appeal Against “Vulture” Fund Manager Paul Singer
- The Vulture: Chewing Argentina’s Living Corpse
- Greg Palast on Vulture Capitalism, Argentina & Goldman Sachs
- The Fragile State Of Argentina When It Defaulted (Documentary)
- Greg Palast: Who Shot Argentina? The Finger Prints On the Smoking Gun Read ‘I.M.F.’
‘It was a momentous day for Latin America: On March 11, 1990, Augusto Pinochet, the region’s last military dictator, finally handed power to an elected civilian president. Since then, democracy has put down roots in the Americas to such an extent that few expect a repeat of the bloody coups that frequently punctuated the region’s history.
But now, across Latin America, the military is flexing its muscles once again and taking on more central roles in society, including in ways that experts warn are posing subtler risks to constitutional rule.
The most obvious way is the armed forces’ increasingly upfront participation in crime fighting, with the public, media and politicians demanding a “mano dura,” or firm hand, against rampant street violence and ruthless drug cartels.’
- CSIS: Latin American Defense Spending Trends
- Brazil spent $36.2 billion on its armed forces last year
- U.S. Defense Spending vs. Global Defense Spending
- U.S. military expands its drug war in Latin America
- The US war on drugs and its legacy in Latin America
- Latin America promising market for Russian military aviation
- Lavrov: Russia has no plans for military bases in Latin America
- Putin’s quiet Latin America play
‘[…] This is the reality of Colombia today. But it’s not, of course, the story sold by the Colombian government and its US and British backers. As far as they’re concerned, the peace talks with the Farc are heading for success after Juan Manuel Santos was re-elected president last month on a peace ticket.
Colombian officials talk peace and human rights with an evangelical zeal and a dizzying array of flipcharts. But, as one independent report after another confirms, there is a chasm between the spin and life on the ground. Laws are not implemented or abusers prosecuted. Thousands of political prisoners languish in Colombia’s jails. Political, trade union and social movement activists are still routinely jailed or assassinated.
A quarter of a million have died in Colombia’s war, the large majority of them at the hands of the army, police and government-linked paramilitaries. Five million have been forced from their homes. Although the violence is down from its peak, the killing of human rights and union activists has actually increased in the past year.’
- Colombian peace talks will fail without government concessions, Farc warns
- Colombia president says ‘demented’ FARC attacks could end peace talks
- Testimony: Colombian soldiers paid $500 for victims to boost kill counts
- Who controls Medellín? Fragile peace in Colombia’s ‘model’ city
- US removes terror designation for Colombia group
- Santos Wins ‘Dirty Election’ in Colombia
- Support From the Left Helps Keep a Right-Wing President in Power in Colombia
- Colombia’s FARC rebels hope World Cup fosters ‘reconciliation’
- Colombia government and Farc rebels to set up truth commission
- Colombian peace negotiator demands FARC hand in weapons
- Factbox: Colombia’s left-wing guerrillas the ELN
- High-stakes Colombian presidential race marred by scandals, personal feuds
- After 50 years of war, Colombian rebels look to politics
- Colombia presidential candidate says spying scandal a plot against him
- Colombia rebels say ‘stable and lasting peace’ is possible
- Gangs target Colombian children
- Human Rights Watch Colombia Report 2014
- 2013: Record year for attacks against human rights defenders
- Colombia: Disappearances Plague Major Port
‘A divided U.S. appeals court on Thursday threw out claims against produce giant Chiquita Brands International made by relatives of thousands of Colombians killed during years of bloody civil war.
A panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that federal courts have no jurisdiction over the Colombian claims. The lawsuits accused Chiquita of assisting in the killings by paying $1.7 million to a violent right-wing paramilitary group known as the AUC, the Spanish acronym for United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia.
Chiquita, based in the U.S., formerly operated large banana plantations in Colombia through its Banadex subsidiary. Chiquita insists it was the victim of extortion and was forced to pay the AUC or face violence directed at its employees and assets in Colombia.’