Archive for May, 2010

Lobo willing to come to Dominican Republic to escort Zelaya home

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Fernández, Lobo and Zelaya at the Brazilian embassy on January 27 — AP photo

[Translation of an article from Listín Diario of Santo Domingo for May 28 based on an Associated Press dispatch.]

Honduran President Porfirio Lobo said Thursday that he is willing to travel to the Dominican Republic to escort deposed President Manuel Zelaya back to Honduras.

“I spoke today with President Fernández of the Dominican Republic and told him, ‘You don’t believe me when I say Zelaya can return to Honduras when he pleases and that nobody here is going to arrest him. He can come and, just so you’ll believe me, get him ready and I will bring him here,’” Lobo said. (more…)

CEPAL proposes states in Latin America return to role of protagonists

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Inequality in distribution of wealth results from debt payments and decrease in social spending

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for May 30.]

by Roberto González Amador

The financial crisis has dealt a serious blow to the social progress of the past few years in Latin America. The region has come to occupy the position of the most unequal in the world: the average income per person in the wealthiest layer is more than 17 times that earned by the 40 percent in the poorest homes. That is the problem and the solution, according to the Comisión Económica para América Latina (CEPAL – Economic Commission for Latin America, an organ of the Untied Nations) is to redress the way the state has been excluded from economic decisions in the past three decades.

The report, which beginning this Sunday will be discussed during the annual CEPAL sessions in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, stresses the “necessity for a strong role for the state,” to which it assigns the position of “prinicpal actor in reconciling the policies of stability and economic growth, of productive development, job promotion and greater social equality.” (more…)

Meeting in Rio ends with no answer to Iranian nuclear question

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

[Translation of an article from Folha.com of Brazil for May 29, 2010.]

by Samantha Lima

An accidental stage for Brazil’s recent response to US criticism of approaches to Iran, the Third Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations ended today in Rio , having “re-established the urgent need to face global diversity”

That’s the opinion of the UN representative to the Alliance, Jorge Sampiao, former president of Portugal. He failed to comment, however, on the the differences between Brazil and the United States on the issue. (more…)

In Dominican Republic: Peña says “armed forces don’t act on rumors”

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Minister asserts military show of force is to avoid having to use it

[Translation of an article from Listín Diario of Santo Domingo for May 24 concerning deployment of the armed forces in “Operation Jurón” following supposed intelligence reports of plans for violence by the opposition party after parliamentary and municipal elections. The opposition Partido Revolucionario Dominicano is charging fraud on the part of the ruling Partido de la Liberación Dominicana. See also “Election disputes in the Dominican Republic” posted here on May 23.]

By Néstor Medrano

Minister of the armed forces Lieutenant General Pedro Rafael Peña Antonio said yesterday that the military has the situation under contol throughout the country and he could guarantee peace for the citizenry. He warned that the Operation Jurón military deployment will remain in effect.

Concerning intelligence reports of plans to disturb the public order, he said the reports are decreasing but that in any case the military is remaining vigilant, with troops deployed, to guarantee order. (more…)

In Honduras, hunger strike over fired judges continues

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Revistazo photo

[Translations of two articles from Revistazo.com of Honduras, the first from May 24, the second from May 27, on the dismissal of four judges who had been critical of the coup d’état and the de facto governments in power since it occurred. See also “Honduran judges dismissed for condemning corruption in judicial branch” posted here on May 7.]

Campesinos from Bajo Aguán join hunger strike

By Eleana Borjas Coello

Despite the persistent rain that has fallen in the past few hours and the exposure to contaminants flourishing around the Plaza de la Merced, the judges on hunger strike are still waging their struggle for an independent and impartial supreme court. Eight more people joined the strike today.

“When it first began to rain we had it a little hard but two or three days ago, with the support of other organizations, we managed to get some platforms and attach the canvas better, and now we don’t get as wet as before,” commented Luis Chévez de la Rocha, one of the judges on hunger strike. (more…)

Drug trafficking leaves 10,000 orphans in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

[Translation of an article from TeleSUR for May 25.]

More than one percent of the children in the northern city of Ciudad Juárez are orphans. According to official figures, the Mexican city has the highest percentage of narcotics use, especially among adolescents.

At least 10,000 children are orphans as a result of the drug trafficking and violence that has plagued the northern city of Ciudad Juárez, on the border with the United States, considered the most violent in the country, several non-governmental organizations reported on Tuesday. (more…)

Haitian demonstrators oppose Préval and Mulet

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

“The People Demand that Préval leave” — AlterPresse photo

[Translation of an article from AlterPresse Haïti for May 26 on demonstrations in Port-au-Prince demanding the resignation of President René Préval and the departure of Edmond Mulet, head of the United Nations Mission for the Stabilization of Haiti (MINUSTAH). Mulet, a Guatemalan diplomat, was reappointed as MINUSTAH head two months ago after the former head, Tunisian Hedi Annabi, was killed in the January 12 earthquake. Mulet, known for his arrogance, had angered many Haitians during his previous tenure as MINUSTAH head, a period in which many Haitians died at the hands of UN soldiers. Concerning a particularly brutal MINUSTAH attack on Cité Soleil on July 6, 2005, in which as many as 70 Haitians were killed, the vast majority of them unarmed civilians, Mulet claimed when he assumed the MINUSTAH leadership a year later that criminal gangs had attacked UN troops, firing some 20,000 rounds at them. The UN later admitted MINUSTAH soldiers had fired 22,000 rounds at the civilians.]

Port-au-Prince, May 26 –Several groups of demonstators took to the streets of the capital on May 25 to demand the resignation of President René Préval and the departure of Edmond Mulet, head of the United Nations Mission for the Stabilization of Haiti.

Demonstrators affiliated with the Lavalas party overran metal barriers set up in front of the presidential palace by the police, who used tear-gas to disperse the crowd. (more…)

In Mexico, more than 901,000 jobs lost in first trimester

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Number surpasses the 718,000 jobs created in 2009

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for May 23.]

by Susana González G.

During the first three months of this year, the country has lost 901,555 jobs, in contrast with the number gained as 2009 ended, the Encuesta Nacional de Ocupación y Empleo (ENOE – National Survey on Employment and Jobs) indicates.

In the fourth trimester of last year, 44,535,314 individuals made up the national working population but by the first trimester of 2010 there were 43,633,759, official figures show.

The difference represents a decline of only two percent but the 901,000 Mexicans who lost their jobs between January and March of this year are more than the 718,000 who entered the work force last year, according to the survey. (more…)

Turmoil ahead in Haiti

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

[Translations of two articles from Agence Haïtienne de Presse for May 21.]

Getty photo

FIDH admits fear of violence in survivors’ camps

Four months after the earthquake that ravaged the country, the Fédération Internationale del Ligues des Droits de l’Homme (FIDH – International Human Rights Federation) fears a wave of violence may sweep through the survivors’ camps in Haiti “if poor living conditions are not changed.”

“The people’s capacity for adaptation during and after the earthquake could turn into desperation and eventually into violence if the survivors don’t see that measures are being taken soon to remove them from the degrading conditions, even if it’s only a matter of temporary solutions,” the FIDH wrote in a report made public this week on the situation in Haiti. (more…)

Election disputes in the Dominican Republic

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

[Translations of three articles from May 21 and 22 on the aftermath of last Sunday’s legislative and municipal elections in the Dominican Republic. In addition to several minor parties, the elections pitted the ruling Partido de la Liberación Dominicana (PLD) against the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano (PRD), both nominally social democrat and center left, although the PLD, under President Leonel Fernández, has shifted considerably to the right in the past few years, with a decidedly neoliberal economic policy. The PRD was founded in 1939, during the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo, by Dominicans in exile in Cuba led by Juan Bosch, a leftist and leader of the opposition. In 1963, Bosch became the first democratically elected president after Trujillo’s assassination but was deposed in a coup d’état seven months later. He split from the PRD in 1973 to found the PLD.

The elections last Sunday were marked by outbreaks of violence, with one PRD activist shot to death in a dipute with PLD members at a polling place in Cambita that left three others injured, and reports by OAS observers that voter identification cards had been bought and sold.

The PRD charges fraud on the part of the PLD while the government claims to have unearthed an unlikely plot by PRD sympathizers to incite armed violence.]

[From Listín Diario]
PLD maintains majority

By Néstor Medrano

Santo Domingo – With 100 percent of the votes tallied, the Junta Central Electoral [JCE – Central Electoral Board] last night finished releasing the results in the congressional and municpal elections, reaffirming the victory of the Partido de la Liberación Dominicana, with majorities in the senatorial, congressional and municipal races. (more…)

Honduras: Human rights leader denounces plan to assassinate Zelaya

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

[Translation of an article from Tiempo of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, for May 22.]

By Francisco Rodríguez

Tegucigalpa – 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) yesterday declared that there exists a plan to eliminate witnesses to human rights violations, including one to assassinate former President Manuel Zelaya when he returns to the country.

Pavón recalled that at the time of the June 28 coup d’état a crisis office was established in the capitol, where police commissioner Danilo Orellano brought up several persons, among them Zelaya Rosales. (more…)

Why does the empire covet Haiti?

Friday, May 21st, 2010

[Translation of an unsigned essay from Haïti Progrès for May 18.]

Ban Ki-Moon, secretary general of the United Nations, has asked the Security Council to work toward reinforcing the UN Mission for the Stabilization of Haiti (MINUSTAH) which, he says, is being called on to play an essential role since the earthquake of last January 12.

Indeed, on April 27 the head of the UN was seen to be extremely worried about the threat of new natural disasters in the months to come, notably the arrival of the rainy season. “The risks of a possible revival of criminal activity and the precarious conditions in the refugee camps are no less unsettling,” Ki-Moon declared. “We must continue increasing security and protection measures, considering that the fragility of the state institutions exposes the country to a revival of gang activity, of organized crime and drug trafficking, which could endanger the achievements of stabilization of the past few years.” (more…)