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We didn't have our sons and daughters for war:Indigenous Peoples From Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru and Mexico Meet in Cauca, Colombia

North Cauca, Colombia, June 24, 2011: The first meeting of indigenous women in resistance for the survival and autonomy of their peoples concluded on Friday, after taking place at a shelter in Huellas Caloto in the Bodega Alta district in the Cauca department of Colombia. For four days, women and men from northern Cauca, joined with around 26 national and international organizations, discussed “weaving a memory with words,” and finished the event with a march to the town of Santander de Quilichao.

At the meeting, attendees discussed the need for autonomy with their food, and resistance from women. Seeds and traditional agricultural products were exchanged to reflect truth, justice, reparation and law for both indigenous women and a peace proposal. They also denounced and discussed the armed conflict that the country is living in.


In 1971, indigenous people from northern Cauca formed the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca, which was made up of nine chapters. Currently there are 19 chapters. They fight for their land, food, education, work opportunities and to live in harmony with mother earth. Nelson Lemus Consejero de Paz, with the Association of Indigenous Councils of Northern Cauca (ACIN in Spanish initials), said that “the multinational corporations want to dispossess us of our land through war.”

The people have organized cooperatives, including a trout hatchery, yogurt business, crafts market, and more. They are nonviolent, but for many years they have lived with harassment from soldiers. On May 28, 2001, they decided to organize and create what they call the Indigenous Guard, or, Kiwe Thegnas in the Nasa Yuwe indigenous language. The three goals of the group are to “care for, protect, and defend the people,” said Don Germán Valencia and Luis Alberto Mensa, coordinators with the Guard. MORE
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Peru cancels mine after 6 killed in clash.

Peru's government canceled a Canadian-owned silver mine in the southern highlands Friday after six people were killed and at least 30 wounded when police fired on mostly indigenous protesters opposing the project.

Protesters also attacked a police station and a state bank in a second city.

The bloodshed occured when police turned back protesters who tried to take over an airport near the city of Juliaca in Puno state, an area they have paralyzed with road blockades since May 9 in a bid to cancel the Santa Ana mine as well as a proposed hydroelectric project on the Inambari river.

The outgoing government of President Alan Garcia announced after leftist military man Ollanta Humala won the presidential election June 5 that it was scrapping the Inambari project. In April, it canceled a huge copper mining project in another southern state after three protesters died in clashes with police.

Mining accounts for two-thirds of Peru's export earnings and has been the underpinning of a decade of robust economic growth, but the rural poor have benefited little from mining and complain it contaminates their water and crops.

Dr. Percy Casaperalta, who directed the evacuation of wounded after Friday's clash at Manco Capac airport, said at least 4,000 protesters were involved. He provided the toll of six dead and at least 30 wounded by telephone from the local hospital Carlos Monge Medrano.


Gracía's government is still at it.
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Or maybe its this: "Exploitation by Any Other Name (Might be Monsanto)"

Whoever titled the sections had a definite sense of humor...



GMOS and Peru: The Debate Continues


In Peru, the debate over the introduction of GMOs into the country has been very public, involving a plethora of participants such as scientists, chefs, farmers, restaurant owners, politicians, and far-ranging members of civil society. Several Peruvian regions, including Cusco, Lambayeque, Huánuco, Ayacucho, and San Martín, were the first to declare themselves “GMO-free zones.”[i] Lima soon joined as the newest GMO-free zone in late April.[ii] This move came just days after President Alan García and former Peruvian Minister of Agriculture Rafael Quevedo had signed Supreme Decree 003-2011-AG on April 15.[iii]

The decree, which was actually drawn up two years ago, set up an agency to regulate the research, production, and trade of GMOs.[iv] Rafael Quevedo, who has since resigned from office due to intense criticism surrounding his stance on GMOs, claimed that the order was merely “a regulation which tries to eliminate errors, control the use of genetically modified organisms, and make sure they don’t come into the country if they are found to be a risk.”[v] However, many citizens felt that the decree paved the way for a flood of transgenic products into the country, which could hurt its rich biodiversity and its growing market for high quality organic products. The immediate backlash against the signing of the decree indicated that there, indeed, existed widespread support for a GMO-free Peru. Such indications were soon confirmed, as Peru’s Congress recently repealed the decree on June 8 by a 56 to 0 vote, with two abstentions.[vi] The bill has placed a “10-year moratorium on the entrance of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) for cultivation and breeding or any other type of transgenic products.”[vii] However, the transgenic battle in Peru is far from decidedly won, as the moratorium simply puts the heated spar on a temporary hold.


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PERU: Humala Pledges Justice for Sterilisation Victims


LIMA, Jun 10, 2011 (IPS) - Peruvian President-elect Ollanta Humala will push the legal system to investigate and prosecute those responsible for a massive forced sterilisation campaign targeting poor indigenous women carried out by the government of Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000), said the spokeswoman for Humala's party, Aída García Naranjo.

"Humala will live up to the Peruvian state's commitment to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to prevent impunity in the case of victims of female and male sterilisations, which we consider a crime against humanity," García Naranjo told IPS.

"Democracy is not possible in a country where an absence of justice and a sense of collective amnesia are promoted," said the representative of the Gana Perú party.

Under a friendly settlement agreement reached in 2003 with the IACHR, the Peruvian state acknowledged its responsibility, recognised the abuses committed under the family planning programme, and undertook to investigate and bring to trial the government officials who devised and implemented the campaign that carried out tubal ligations and vasectomies among mainly impoverished native rural highlands populations.

In 2010, however, the representative of the Peruvian government announced to the Washington-based IACHR that the attorney general's office had shelved the case. MORE
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ETA, if you have to read just one article, read this. It gives context: What's next in Humala's Peru?

HUMALA INHERITS a country that is extremely polarized. The vast majority of the population struggles just to survive, sometimes literally. Accoring to Peruvian sociologist Jorge Lora Cam, only 20 percent of the country's gross domestic product comes from wages, and the informal sector has mushroomed. This year, the poverty rate "went down" to 36 percent.

In Lima, over 1 million people lived without running water as of 2008. In the city of Ayacucho, 25 percent of the population faces the same lack.

The signing of bilateral free trade agreements, not only with the U.S. but also with China, has lead to increased sweatshop exploitation in the cities and to an exponential rise in multinational and foreign investment in metal and fuel mining, which in turn displaces peasant and indigenous communities and pollutes the ecosystem, whose land the government now claims the right to sell off.

Those fighting the conglomerates have been at the forefront of struggle in recent years. As the elections took place, the border between Peru and Bolivia was being blocked by indigenous people taking on mining companies. In Cocachacra, Arequipa and the area around these two southern towns, protesters against the Tía María mining project have been shot and killed, but have refused to accept a truce until after the elections take place.

MORE


Left candidate wins election in Peru


The victory of left-populist candidate Ollanta Humala in Peru's election is a "big fucking deal", as Vice President Joe Biden famously whispered to Obama on national TV in another context. With respect to US influence in the hemisphere, this knocks out one of only two allies that Washington could count on, leaving only the rightwing government of Chile. Left governments that are more independent of the United States than Europe is now run Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay and Peru. And Colombia under President Manuel Santos is now siding with these governments more than with the United States.
This means that regional political and economic integration will proceed more smoothly, although it is still a long-term project. On 5 July, for example, heads of state from the whole hemisphere will meet in Caracas, Venezuela, to proceed with the formation of Celac (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States). This is a regional organisation that includes all countries except the United States and Canada, and which – no matter what anyone says for diplomatic purposes – is intended to displace the Organisation of American States. The new organisation is a response to the abuse of the OAS by the United States (which controls most of the bureaucracy) for anti-democratic purposes, most recently in the cases of Honduras and Haiti.
These institutional changes, including the vastly expanded role of Unasur (Union of South American Nations) are changing the norms and customs of diplomatic relations in the hemisphere. The Obama administration, which has continued the policies of "containment" and "rollback" of its predecessor, has been slow to accept the new reality. As a result, it does not have ambassadors in Bolivia, Venezuela and Ecuador.MORE





Hope in the Andes: What Ollanta Humala’s Victory Means for Peru

Fried pork rinds, fish, potatoes and eggs were sold by street vendors outside polling stations on election day in Lima, Peru. By nightfall, thousands of people gathered in a central plaza waving the white flags of Ollanta Humala’s political party.


Ollanta is an Incan name meaning “the warrior everyone looks to.” Indeed, all eyes were on the leftist president-elect as he greeted the crowd just before midnight with the words, “We won the elections!”


Humala, a former military officer who led a failed military uprising in 2000, lost the elections in 2006 to Alan Garcia. On the June 5th presidential elections this year, he narrowly defeated Kieko Fujimori, the daughter of ex-president Alberto Fujimori, who was jailed in 2007 for corruption and crimes against humanity. If elected, Kieko would have likely worked to release her father from jail, and carry on his administration’s capitalist and repressive policies.

This election puts Humala among a growing number of leftist presidents in Latin America and offers hope to the poorest sectors of Peruvian society.
The poverty rate in Peru is just over 31 percent; in the countryside, two in three people live under the poverty line. In Sunday’s elections, it was the impoverished rural areas that went for Humala over Kieko Fujimori.


"You cannot speak of Peru advancing if so many Peruvians live in poverty,” Humala said in his victory speech, explaining that he would work to make sure that the government functioned “above all for the poorest people in the country.”MORE



June 2 Peru's Presidential Election: A Battle Over Memory and Justice

When Peruvian presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori arrived at a plaza in the city of Cajamarca for a recent campaign speech, she was met by a barrage of eggs thrown by activists who opposed her candidacy and called her a “murderer and thief.”

The activists were referring to the legacy of her father, Alberto Fujimori, who was Peru’s president from 1990-2000 and jailed in 2007 for a quarter century sentence after being found guilty of corruption and ‘crimes against humanity’.

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Ppl, the free market reforms that Fujimori did were not separate from the massacres and other fuckery he got up to. it was part and parcel of it, to make sure his opponents would stfu and stfd while he got on with capitalism. This thing is from The Economist and I'm linking for the info that it provides, but...jsyk k?



Victory for the Andean chameleon: Having reinvented himself as a moderate, Ollanta Humala has an extraordinary opportunity to marry economic growth with social progress

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I mean to say there! Taxing mining companies!!! Allowing Amerindian nations to have veto power on mining on their own LANDS!!!! What IS this world coming to!!!
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PERU No Easy Choice for Women in Presidential Runoff


LIMA, May 20, 2011 (IPS) - In other circumstances, many women in Peru would be celebrating the possibility of a female president for the first time in the history of their country, or the alternative: the triumph of a candidate who promises to improve things for the poor. But both candidates taking part in the Jun. 5 runoff draw heavy opposition or awaken serious doubts among women's groups.

The second round of elections, in which Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of the former president who launched a campaign of forced sterilisation of thousands of poor women, and Ollanta Humala, a former military officer stigmatised for leading a failed coup in 2000, puts the women's movement in a bind, activists say.

"I always wanted to see a woman elected president of my country, but with Keiko there is no possibility that women would be respected. 'Fujimorismo' is used to governing with impunity and corruption," Victoria Vigo told IPS, with the vehemence of someone who was a victim of forced sterilisation in 1996, during the regime of Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000). MORE


Peru: Humala and Fujimori in Final Stretch

(IPS) - If retired military officer Ollanta Humala wins the Jun. 5 presidential runoff in Peru, he will have to govern with a highly fragmented Congress. And if lawmaker Keiko Fujimori triumphs, her most notable move may be the release of her father, former president Alberto Fujimori, who is serving 25 years in prison.

Leftwing nationalist Humala came in first in Sunday's elections, and according to the partial results, his adversary in the second round will be the 35-year-old Keiko Fujimori, who is conservative and has pledged to be tough on crime.

Humala, a 48-year-old former army officer who heads the Gana Perú party, took 29.3 percent of the vote, followed by Fujimori of Fuerza 2011, with 23 percent, and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski of Alianza por el Gran Cambio, with 21 percent.

The leading candidate had to win at least 50 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff.

This is the second time that Humala – who led an uprising against former president Fujimori (1990-2000) in 2000 – has won a first-round victory. In 2006 he garnered 25.6 percent of the vote, but was defeated by current President Alan García in the second round, by 52.6 percent to 47.3 percent.

Keiko Fujimori, whose father is in prison for human rights violations and corruption, is set to go on to the next round, because the gap between her and Kuczynski is small but consistent, the electoral authorities announced.

...

Meanwhile, "Fujimorismo" - the movement represented by Fujimori – will go from the 13 seats it currently holds to nearly three times that number.

But what is most worrisome about a possible triumph by Fujimori is that she may use the office of president to free her father, the director of the local human rights organisation Legal Defence Institute, Carlos Rivera, told IPS. MORE





Can you imagine being a Peruvian voter in this situation?
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‘The last free people on the planet’

In small pockets around the world live isolated indigenous communities, groups that, even though they have had run-ins with their neighbours or Westerners, prefer to avoid or resist any further contact. Although we sometime call them ‘uncontacted,’ a more accurate description is probably ‘voluntarily isolated’ or ‘withdrawn’ or ‘evasive.’ Many of these groups have tragic histories of encounters with outsiders — too much ‘contact’ — where they fought to preserve their isolation and, usually, came up much worse off than their more numerous intruders.

Survival International reports that about one hundred groups around the world prefer to be left alone. They refuse to become enmeshed with their neighbours, to give up their ways of life and languages, or to find some way to earn the local currency or trade goods. All have made it abundantly clear their wishes: stay away.

MORE
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Imagining Urban Life without Catcalls or Rape
Kanya D'Almeida interviews INES ALBERDI, Executive Director of UNIFEM


UNITED NATIONS, Nov 22, 2010 (IPS) - The U.N. Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) launched an ambitious new initiative to improve the safety and wellbeing of women in five major cities Monday - New Delhi, India; Cairo, Egypt; Quito, Ecuador; Kigali, Rwanda; and Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea.

In an interview with IPS, Ines Alberdi, executive director of UNIFEM, discussed the aspirations and trajectory of the 'Safe Cities' initiative, from its humble beginnings as a set of pilot programmes in various cities across Latin America, from Bogotá, Colombia, to Rosario, Argentina and Santiago, Chile.

These programmes were implemented after proposals from grassroots organisations for a comprehensive campaign on safety in cities, a landscape that has become a virtual war zone for millions of women.

Inspired by the programme's successes in Argentina, Guatemala, El Salvador, Peru, Brazil, Chile and Colombia, UNIFEM and UN Habitat began to mull the idea of going global. With solid regional bases already in place, UNIFEM has decided to work closely with local governments and municipalities to alter the urban landscape, making it safer for women and girls to navigate. MORE



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So recently Nicolas Kristof, New York Times columnist who has set himself up as a women's rights crusader, was tackled on the fact that he hinged his stories on whiote poeple who were helping the natives of the various brown citizen majority countries that he reports from: Texas in Africa has the story in white man's burden

Back in May, @viewfromthecave tweeted that The Kristof was taking questions from readers to be answered via YouTube. This is the question I asked:


Your columns about Africa almost always feature black Africans as victims, and white foreigners as their saviors.



There was more to it than that, but I can't find the original post. At any rate, the gist of the question was, "Why not feature more of the work that Africans are doing to solve their countries' problems?"


And, lo and behold, Kristof answered. NYT Picker thankfully has the transcript for those of us on dial-up connections:
This is a really important issue for a journalist. And it's one I've thought a lot about.


I should, first of all, from my defensive crouch, say that I think you're a little bit exaggerating the way I have reported. Indeed, recently, for example, among the Africans who I have emphasized, the people who are doing fantastic work are the extraordinary Dr. Dennis Mukwege in the Congo, Edna Adan in Somaliland, Valentino Deng in Sudan, Manute Bol in Sudan, and there are a lot of others.


But I do take your point. That very often I do go to developing countries where local people are doing extraordinary work, and instead I tend to focus on some foreigner, often some American, who’s doing something there.


And let me tell you why I do that. The problem that I face -- my challenge as a writer -- in trying to get readers to care about something like Eastern Congo, is that frankly, the moment a reader sees that I'm writing about Central Africa, for an awful lot of them, that's the moment to turn the page. It's very hard to get people to care about distant crises like that.


One way of getting people to read at least a few grafs in is to have some kind of a foreign protagonist, some American who they can identify with as a bridge character.


And so if this is a way I can get people to care about foreign countries, to read about them, ideally, to get a little bit more involved, then I plead guilty.



As NYT Picker aptly notes, the persons to whom Kristof refers have either not been mentioned in his print columns or are typically only mentioned briefly.Texas in Africa proceeds to fisk this white liberal racist BS as it deserves



I am extremely pissed at this BS meself, so have a linkspam of women in their own countries, being all awesome without some white saviours anywhere near them.

INDIAN OCEAN ISLANDS Women Join Forces for Political Equality


PORT-LOUIS , Jul 14, 2010 (IPS) - "Instead of moaning all the time, why don’t you create your own (political) party?" some men asked Brigitte Rabemanantsoa Rasamoelina, a female politician from Madagascar. She accepted the challenge and in February formed Ampela Mano Politika, a political party which started with only 22 female members and now has over 5,000 female members ... and 10 men.


With female political representation standing at only 3.75 percent in Madagascar, a women’s lot is very precarious, says Rasamoelina.


And so too is the situation for many women in most of the Indian Ocean Islands. Female political representation is a mere three percent in Comoros, 18 percent in Mauritius and 23.5 percent in the Seychelles.


It is one of the reasons why Rasamoelina and 30 other women from the Indian Ocean Islands, gathered recently in Mauritius to identify ways to attain parity among men and women in politics in an event organised by the Indian Ocean Commission and Women in Politics (WIP).MORE




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BRASIL:More than 200 ways of being a mother


RIO DE JANEIRO, Jul 13, 2010 (IPS) - "You can only have one mother," as the saying goes, but in Brazil there are 215 ways of becoming a mother, one for each of the ethnic groups in this South American country. Promoting maternal health while respecting cultural traditions is a major health challenge.

Silvia Angelice de Almeida, who works at the state National Health Foundation's (FUNASA) Department of Indigenous Health, knows all about it from her nursing experience.

Some indigenous peoples believe the placenta must be returned to the community after birth. Others regard it as important that people should be born, and die, on their own land. In some native villages, special care is given to pregnant women, including particular haircuts and body painting.

"We have general guidelines for infant and maternal health, but we found we needed others, specifically for indigenous peoples," Almeida told IPS.

One of these, on "inter-cultural healthcare," includes respect for native healers or "pajés," shamans, traditional midwives and natural medicine.

"The concept of pregnancy is different among native peoples. Field staff have to undertake training in order to be able to address these issues," Almeida stressed.

According to the state National Indian Foundation (FUNAI), Brazil has 460,000 indigenous people divided into 215 ethnic groups, making up 0.25 percent of the national population of over 193 million.

There may be between 100,000 and 190,000 more native people living outside the indigenous territories, some of them in urban areas, and an unknown number have not yet been contacted, according to FUNAI.

The known native population is spread over 24 of the country's 26 states, 336 administrative centres, 4,413 villages and 615 indigenous territories comprising 107 million hectares, equivalent to 12.6 percent of the area of Brazil. MORE



COLOMBIA:
Midwives Seek Legal Recognition, Respect


BOGOTÁ, Jul 13, 2010 (IPS) - In Colombia, western medicine has nearly succeeded in pushing midwives -- "parteras" or "comadronas," as they are known in Spanish -- out of existence. But some tenacious practitioners are pushing for a law to formalise the role of midwife as a health worker.

"Through 2009 and so far in 2010, there have been no deaths of women attended by a member of the United Midwives of the Pacific Association," said Liceth Quiñones, 22, who works as a midwife in Buenaventura, the principal Colombian port on the Pacific coast.

Daughter of 60-year-old midwife Rosmilda Quiñones, Liceth was three in 1991 when her mother founded the association, which she still heads. With the acronym ASOPARUPA, it has 250 members in the western departments (provinces) of Chocó, Valle, Cauca and Nariño.MORE



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Depending on a Global Workplace: Interview with American activist Eric Nicholson


Can you please contextualize the work you do, in what has become a global system of agriculture?
We are now importing the majority of the food we eat. The overwhelming majority of workers who harvest the food we eat in the United States are not from this country. And many if not most of the workers employed in the fields in the United States are displaced farmers from their own countries (mostly Mexico but not exclusively.) So we’re seeing that many of the same pressures and challenges that are facing farmers in the US are the very same ones that are displacing small farmers in the global South and resulting in them coming in search of employment to the United States, Canada, Australia, and European Union. At the same time, farmers and sometimes their spouses in the US are looking for second jobs in more urban settings.

When Vietnam entered the global market with coffee we saw an unprecedented exodus of coffee farmers out of eastern Mexico. When NAFTA was signed, mass exodus of corn farmers – so we see a direct correlation between these international trade policies and agricultural practices and kind of the global crisis of agriculture that we’re facing.

Within that context you look at agriculture in the United States and pretty much anyone born in this country has no aspirations to work in the fields. And I think if we’re honest with ourselves, the reason is because we all know the conditions are not good, the pay is pretty bad, and there’s really no benefits. As a result we have depended on immigrant workers to come up and do the work that we haven’t wanted to do. And so if you look at the history of the United Farm Workers, we’ve had workers literally from around the world as members – from Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Yemen, African Americans and of course, Mexicans, Central Americans, and the internationalization of the work-force continues. We now have workers working under contract from Somalia, Sudan, Kenya, and it’s very much become a global workforce that is harvesting the food we eat.MORE



One Year since the Bagua Massacre: New Actors Facing a State in Crisis – by Raúl Zibechi

“The rainforest is not for sale”, was one of the most-repeated choruses in the marches across Peru commemorating the first anniversary of the Bagua massacre. 34 people died and 200 were wounded when Alan García’s government decided to clear out the Awajun people who were blocking roads in the Amazon in protest of the indiscriminate exploitation of the forest. Thousands of Awajun had been demonstrating for two months and were about to abandon the so-called Curva del Diablo, but before they had a chance to do so they were attacked by rifles on land and by air.

Ten indigenous people were killed at the Curva del Diablo. They later retaliated, causing the death of 23 police officers. The location of one of the protestors, Major Felipe Bazán Caballero, remains unknown. All signs indicate that the minister of the interior, Mercedes Cabanillas, gave the order to open fire. A year later, no one has been found guilty of the tragedy. Shortly after the repression, four of the legislative decrees that had provoked the demonstrations were revoked and, on May 19, parliament approved the Consultation Law, which dictates that locals must be consulted before any projects to exploit community resources are approved. These are two substantial victories for the movement.

But, in addition to their legal triumphs, the indigenous people who make up the Interethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Rainforest (AIDESEP), which brings together around 1,500 communities, obtained the recognition of Peruvian society as new and decisive actors in national political life. This is a symbolic act. On June 5, the father of the missing Major Felipe Bazán, travelled to the Curva del Diablo, near Bagua and the Ecuadorian border, one thousand kilometers northeast of Lima, to embrace indigenous people as they participated in a memorial act, baptizing the site as the “Curva de la Esperanza”.
MORE



Time to Value Women's Unpaid Work

SANTIAGO - The time has come for Latin American countries to put an economic value on the work that women do as they take care of households, children and the elderly, says ECLAC, the United Nations regional economic agency.
MORE



Haitian peasants march against Monsanto Company for Food and Seed Sovereignty- By La Via Campesina

On June 4th about ten thousand Haitian peasants marched to protest U.S.-based Monsanto Company’s ‘deadly gift’ of seed to the government of Haiti. The seven-kilometer march from Papaye to Hinche—in a rural area on the central plateau—was organized by several Haitian farmers’ organizations that are proposing a development model based on food and seed sovereignty instead of industrial agriculture. Slogans for the march included “long live native maize seed” and “Monsanto’s GMO & hybrid seed violates peasant agriculture.”MORE



CZECH REPUBLIC: Women Resist All-Male Cabinet

PRAGUE, Jul 7, 2010 (IPS) - Women’s rights campaigners say the Czech Republic’s new government has effectively told women they have no relevance to the country’s future after the new cabinet was formed – without a single female minister.

Despite a record number of women elected to parliament in elections in May and pre-election pledges by party leaders that they wanted more women in politics, women’s rights activists said they had been given a "slap in the face" after the make-up of the new cabinet was finally agreed last week. MORE



'Save Us From These Bankers, Fast'

BRUSSELS, Jul 5, 2010 (IPS) - Besieged by bankers opposed to regulation of their sector, members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have taken an unusual step. A cross-party alliance has called for an international campaigning organisation to concentrate on remedying the flaws of the financial services industry with the same tenacity that Amnesty International focuses on victims of torture and Greenpeace on toxic chemicals and whales.

The call -- signed by 70 of the Parliament's 736 elected members -- was prompted by concerns over how the financial lobby had marshalled its ample resources over the past few years in a bid to dilute legislation drafted in response to the global economic crisis. According to the MEPs, the pressure they have been placed under by the financial industry is so intense that it represents a threat to democracy, especially as public interest groups have generally lacked the means or the expertise to mount a robust counter- offensive to the banks' efforts
MORE
I could get behind this 110%!


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Links

Apr. 9th, 2010 08:54 pm
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Collateral Murder Uncut Version



April 03, 2010 — Wikileaks has obtained and decrypted this previously unreleased video footage from a US Apache helicopter in 2007. It shows Reuters journalist Namir Noor-Eldeen, driver Saeed Chmagh, and several others as the Apache shoots and kills them in a public square in Eastern Baghdad. They are apparently assumed to be insurgents. After the initial shooting, an unarmed group of adults and children in a minivan arrives on the scene and attempts to transport the wounded. They are fired upon as well. The official statement on this incident initially listed all adults as insurgents and claimed the US military did not know how the deaths ocurred. Wikileaks released this video with transcripts and a package of supporting documents on April 5th 2010 on http://collateralmurder.com





Global Vocies:Kyrgyzstan: The “Archived” Revolution

The roots of the present revolution are various: South vs. North clash (Bakiev is from the South, the rebels are from the North), corruption and suppressive government (in recent years Kyrgyz people witnessed all forms of oppression from closings of the newspapers [ENG] to independent journalists' murders [EN]), Russia's Great Game interest, Ortega-y-Gasset'ian “revolt of the masses” etc). Whatever the real reasons of the Kyrgyz revolution of 2010 are it is important to note that it was overwhelmingly immediate, furious, bloody and… well-documented.

The role of the new media changed slightly this time compared to other dramatic events (like the protests in Moldova or Iran). Blogs and Twitter didn't serve as serious means of public mobilization since the Internet penetration rate is relatively small in Kyrgyzstan ( just 15 percent in 2009). However, new media were agile enough to cover all the main events giving detailed footage of initial protests in Talas, rampage in Bishkek and looting that followed. At the same time, new media were efficiently used by the opposition attracting the attention of international community and shifting public opinion to the side of the protesters. The opposition leader Roza Otunbaeva (@otunbaeva), for instance, registered her account as soon as she became the head of the provisional government. On the other day, son of president Bakiev, Maxim opened a LiveJournal account to express the pro-government point of view.

As Gregory Asmolov concluded [RUS], it was not “journalists 2.0″ who were the most efficient in covering Kyrgyz events but the “editors 2.0″. Bloggers who both knew the region and were outside the country to see the big picture and collected the photographs, videos and Twitter confessions. Two most informed bloggers in this situation were people outside the country: US-based Yelena Skochilo (a.k.a. LJ user morrire) and Kazakhstan-based Vyacheslav Firsov (a.k.a. lord_fame). They managed to assemble the most complete collections of photos, videos and timelines


Trinidad & Tobago: Election Fever

With one action, the prorogation of Parliament, Trinidad and Tobago's Prime Minister thrust the country into election mode. (The constitution of the twin island republic states that from the moment Parliament is dissolved, a general election must be held in no fewer than 35 days and no more than 90). As the news broke, the blogosphere was rife with speculation that the move was made to pre-empt a no-confidence motion against Manning that had been scheduled for debate today in the House of Representatives, as well as to avoid the fallout over the report of the Uff Commission of Enquiry into the Construction Sector, which was critical of the modus operandi of the state-owned Urban Development Corporation of T&T (UDeCOTT) - which is not to say that bloggers are not asking other critical questions, some even as basic as “When?

Trinidad and Tobago girls, politics, sports, technology, carnival, and lifestyle, however, starts with the “Why?”:

Why now? Why would the Prime Minister risk losing Government with not even 3 years of his five-year term behind him?
Why? Why when the country can still call on record revenue and a commanding majority in Parliament?

The analysts are pinning it on the no-confidence motion; or Calder Hart. But as Chris Rock asked when speaking on the Columbine shootings, “Whatever happened to crazy?”
It's quite possible Manning is just a nut. A lunatic.


MORE


RIGHTS-US: Love Without Borders – Or Papers

Cuba:Old Havana reaches out to the hearing impaired

Peru: Ongoing Mining Strike

Palestinian Christians barred from Jerusalem for Easter

Our Bodies are shaking now: Rape follows Earthquake in Haiti

Bolivia: Polarization persists:Regional elections confirm political split between the western highlands and eastern lowlands

Guatemala: Despite change to Penal Code, poor, indigenous Guatemalans lack resources to bring discrimination cases to trial.

South Korea insists it atomic program is for energy only



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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Today brings news from Peru of a massacre of indigenous people who were protesting policies set in place based on the Peru Free Trade Agreement with the United States. Remember, Obama was actually FOR the Peru FTA. What essentially happened is that the Peruvian government wants to destroy the Amazon rainforest to use it for oil, mining, and biofuels, and they are attempting to do this in the name of free trade. When the indigenous people protested to protect their rights, they were brutally massacred.
Here is a photo diary of the massacre (warning: graphic). Read a description of the events and what caused them below. We in America need to be aware of the effects our economic imperialism has around the world. Instead of looking to move away from free trade agreements such as the one in Peru, we are working to establish new agreements, such as those in Panama or Columbia. The pork industry, for example, is lobbying very hard for a Panama FTA, so it can open up Panamanian markets to American pork.MORE

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