Archive for March, 2010

Haitian opposition parties reject government reconstruction plan

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

[Translation of an article from AlterPresse of Haiti for March 30, 2010.]

Port-au-Prince, March 30 – Parties opposed to the administration of President René Préval have rejected a plan that the Haitian government will offer at a United Nations conference on reconstruction of the country in New York on March 31. (more…)

Chaos and fear in Monterrey, Mexico after murders at the university

Monday, March 29th, 2010

“Sultan of the North” pays the price for inequality and oligarchy

[Translation of an article from the March 28, 2010,  La Jornada of Mexico City.]

by Sanjuana Martínez

During its three foundings, Monterrey survived the battle of the Indians, the batterings of the Inquisition and the rebellion of the natives, but never before in its recent history has it lived through an irregular urban war like that of the past few days. (more…)

Striking teachers in Brazil attacked, injured and arrested

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

Demonstrators ask Governor José Serra to open negotiations but are attacked by police

“The death of education” — Folha de Sao Paulo photo

[Translation of an article from the Brazilian paper Hora do Povo for March 26, 2010. The striking teachers are demanding a 34 percent salary increase, improved pensions for retirees and greater job security, among other demands. José Serra, governor of São Paulo state, is the candidate of the center-right Partido do Social Democracia Brasileira for the presidential elections, to be held October 3. He is currently leading in the polls, with 36 percent, followed by the socialist Partido dos Trabalhadores candidate Dilma Rousseff, with 27 pecent. Rousseff, Lula’s chief of staff and his own choice to succeed him, is generally considered to be to the left of Lula politically.]

A number of teachers from the state educational network of São Paulo were assaulted during a demonstration in Franco da Rocha against the intransigence of state Governor José Serra, who refuses to negotiate on their demands, for which they have been on strike since March 8. (more…)

What is Washington planning for Haiti?

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

[Translation of an article from Haïti-Progrès for March 23, 2010.

René Préval, Barack Obama

On Thursday, March 11, the day after the the end of President René Préval’s visit to Washington, the Barack Obama government issued a report through the state department concerning human rights and corruption in the Préval/Bellerive government. The report covered the year 2009. Unfortunately, no country that we know of has yet produced a report on human rights and corruption in the United States. That might have curbed the arrogance of the leaders in Washington.

Let’s take a brief look at the contents of the Washington report. It says in the introduction, “The civil authorities in general have effective control over security forces. But occasionally elements of the Police Nationale d’Haïti (PNH – Haitian National Police) act independently.” Farther along, in the second paragraph of the 21-page document, the US authorities broach the subject of human rights. “The following problems concerning human rights have been reported: parliamentary elections were not held on schedule… PNH agents are presumed to have engaged in killings… participation of the PNH in kidnappings… violence and social discrimination against women, abuse of children, human trafficking, violations of workers’ rights.” It seems like a fairy tale. What irony! Washington talking about violations of the rights of workers, children and women? When that country is the largest supplier of sophisticated weapons, which kill women and children in particular throughout the world. (more…)

Chile: The meaning of life

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

“Today we have earthquakes, tremors, seaquakes, blackouts and, as though that were not enough, pinochetismo in La Moneda.”

[Translation of an unsigned essay from the Chilean weekly El Siglo for March 22, 2010.]

We must assume that these days that have shaken Chile have brought about a deep division in our national history, a breach. Nothing will be the same from this point onward. (more…)

In Haiti, social organizations reject government’s reconstruction plan

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

In anticipation of  March 31 meeting with donors

[Translation of an article from the Haitian website AlterPresse.]

by Ronald Colbert

Port-au-Prince, March 20 – Several social organizations have disapproved the content as well as the procedure that have come about in the writing of a document entitled “Action Plan for Development,” undertaken by the government of Prime Minister Joseph Jean Max Bellerive in preparation for a summit of international donors to be held at United Nations headquarters in New York on March 31, 2010, more than two months after the January 12 earthquake, which by official count resulted in more than 250,000 deaths. (more…)

In Ecuador: Negotiations with China ended with mistreatment, Rafael Correa says

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

Rafael Correa

[Translation of an article from El Universal of Guayaquil, Ecuador, for March 20, 2010, based on a dispatch from the Spanish news agency Efe.]

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa declared today that he will not forget the Chinese position in failed negotiations over credit the country is seeking to finance one of its largest hydroelectric projects.

This week Ecuadorian Finance Minister María Elsa Viteri announced that the government has suspended negotiations it was carrying on with China over credit of almost two billion dollars for the hydroelectric project known as Coca Codo Sinclair.


In Honduras, Andrés Pavón charges “Custodio manipulated human rights report”

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

[Translation of an article from Diario Libre of San Pedro Sula, Honduras. See “Custodio blames Zelaya in report to Honduran congress” below.]

Tegucigalpa, March 20 – Andrés Pavón, president of the Comité para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos en Honduras (CODEH – Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in Honduras), said yesterday that he is not surprised at the content of the report by the Comisionado Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (CONADEH – National Human Rights Commissioner), since it reflects the position its author, Ramón Custodio, has held since last June 28. (more…)

Custodio blames Zelaya in report to Honduran congress

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

[Translation of an article from the March 18, 2010, edition of  Diario Tiempo of San Pedro Sula,  Honduras, the only commercial newspaper in the country to oppose the coup d’état.]

In his annual report to the national congress, Comisionado Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (CONADEH – National Human Rights Commissioner) Ramón Custodio López found no human rights violations in the deaths of several Hondurans during demonstrations to demand the restitution of former President Manuel Zelaya Rosales, ousted in a coup d’état last June 28. (more…)

Privatization of Mexican petroleum industry is unstoppable, they charge

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

The federal government refuses to reveal the contents of the “incentive contracts”

[Translation of an article from the March 18,2010,  La Jornada of Mexico City concerning attempts to privatize Pemex, the state-owned oil company.  Pemex was formed in 1938 by President Lázaro Cárdenas after a strike by petroleum workers against the British and US owners.  It is now the world’s tenth largest oil company and the fifth largest oil exporter.]

By Roberto González Amador

The privatization of the Mexican petroleum industry is moving forward out of our reach. That is the opinion of a group of artists, intellectuals and academicians who have issued a declaration in which they call for halting a policy the group asserts is handing over substantial control of the state-owned industry to private capital. (more…)

Life is the cost of freedom of expression in Honduras

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Nahún Palacios — Diario Tiempo photo

[Translation of an article from the Honduran website for March 15, 2010.]

Nahún Palacios is the third journalist killed so far in 2010. His death, on Sunday evening, March 14, has added to the mourning among journalists and to their fear of practicing their profession in a country where freedom of expression is delineated by death. (more…)

Student protests in Dominican Republic shut down universities

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Listin Diario photo

Eight injured, several jailed amid charges students were armed

by David Holmes Morris

Tear gas filled the air and classes were suspended at universities in San Francisco de Macorís and Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, during student protests on Thursday and Friday, March 11 and 12, primarily over physical conditions at the medical and engineering schools in San Francisco de Macorís, in the northeast of the country. (more…)