Archive for January, 2012

Government of Guatemala takes action against wave of femicides

Monday, January 30th, 2012


((Jody Williams in Guatemala – AP photo))

Official figures show 705 women killed in 2011

[Translation of an article by Inter Press Service as published in La Jornada of Mexico City on January 30, 2012. See original here.]

Guatemala, January 29 – A wave of femicides in Guatemala, one of the countries with the greatest incidence of these crimes, has resulted in governmental and social actions and the involvement of two Nobel prize laureates in an attempt to halt this savagery against women.

According to reports by the Comisión Presidencial contra el Racismo (Presidential Commission against Racism), in 2011 a total of 705 women in the country lost their lives in acts of violence, most of them by fire arms and because of their gender, compared to 675 the previous year. (more…)

El Salvador: FMLN will not act against Funes’ unconstitutional move

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Funes removed FMLN from power in public security system

[Translation of an article from ContraPunto of San Salvador for January 24, 2012. See original here and related articles here and here.]

San Salvador – El Salvador’ governing party, the Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN), formerly a guerrilla force, declared on Tuesday that President Mauricio Funes’ naming of a military officer to head the police force is a violation of the constitution of the republic.

Funes, a member of the FMLN, on Monday named retired General Francisco Salinas, who had been vice-minister of national defense until that same Monday, to head the Policía Nacional Civil (PNC – National Civil Police), which, according to the party, is a violation of the constitution. (more…)

Brazil: Government seeks to bar Haitians, setting dangerous precedent

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

[Translation of a column from the Brazilian web site Carta Maior for January 14, 2012. See original here and related articles here and here.]

By Gilberto Maringoni

The administration of the daughter of Bulgarian immigrant Pedro Rousseff, who arrived here in the late 1930s in search of a better life, has just placed restrictions on the entry of immigrants into Brazil.

Last Friday, the National Council on Immigration, an agency tied to the Ministry of Labor, decided that it would halt the annual entry of more than 1,200 Haitians who come to the country in search of better luck. This is a matter of a perverse version of the policy of racial quotas, promoted by several sectors of Brazilian society as a means of providing those of African descent with access to universities and public offices. Now they are quotas to prohibit and not to facilitate. (more…)

Brazil: Evictions on the edge of Itaquera

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012


((Carla Vaneide – Brasil de Fato photo by Leandro Uchoas))

Construction projects around the World Cup soccer stadium in São Paulo leave a trail of evictions and a lack of public information

[Translation of an article from Brasil de Fato for January 18, 2012. See original here. Gilberto Kassab is mayor of São Paulo and Itaquera is a neighborhood in that city.]

by Leandro Uchoas

The history of the 2010 World Cup games in South Africa gives indications that Brazil, as the site of the next edition, does not have much to celebrate. In that African country, with a social reality similar to Brazil’s, the rule was forced evictions with no just compensation, lawless territories created to guarantee profits for Fifa [Fédération Internationale de Football Association], no satisfactory information provided to the public, massive corruption, questionable and over-priced projects, white elephants after the event, violation of environmental laws and human trafficking. All the efforts of government powers lead one to believe that the experience in the land of the Tupinquins [Brazil] will not be very different. A month ago, the Articulação dos Comitês Populares da Copa, made up of representatives of the 12 host cities, released a complete report detailing violations of social and environmental rights. In its geographic scope and the abundance of abuses, the document is impressive. (more…)

Mexico: Officials take advantage of Rarámuri food shortages, commuity leaders charge

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

((La Jornada photo by Jesús Villaseca))

Many leave food distribution event empty handed and still hungry after traveling miles

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for January 19, 2012. See original here. Over the weekend of January 14 and 15, several news sources reported that some 50 members of indigenous Rarámuri communities in the Sierra Tarahumara, or Sierra Madre Occidental, in the northern state of Chihuahua, had committed suicide during the month of December as a result of extreme hunger brought on by the serious drought, which has resulted in the failures of staple food crops like corn and beans.]

By Arturo García Hernández

Creel, Chihuahua, January 18 – Nobody has to starve to death to prove that there is a food emergency in the Sierra Tarahumara. The serious part is that it happens every year and no basic solutions are offered. The worst is that there is always somebody trying to take advantage politically. At least that is what was seen today in the Rarámuri community of San Ignacio de Arareko, adjoining Creel, where Governor César Duarte held the first distribution of food to ease the situation after the scandal brought on by the spreading of the rumor on Twitter and Facebook that there had been mass suicides because of the hunger. (more…)

Floods in Brazil: The tragedy is repeated, the shame persists

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

((Página/12 photo))

[Translation of an article from Página/12 of Buenos Aires, Argentina, for January 14, 2012. See original here.]

By Eric Nepomuceno
In Río de Janeiro

It rains, and it rains hard. In several parts of Minas Gerais, in different regions of the Brazilian southeast and in the mountains neighboring Río, it is only with the help of the gods that one gets through the daily threat of being eliminated because nothing is to be expected from the government.

Exactly one year ago, the summer storms washed away two cities in the neighboring mountainous region – Teresópolis and Nova Friburgo – and caused heavy damage in a third, the most beautiful and important, Petrópolis. The tally of destruction was 918 dead and 215 missing, who surely are dead as well. It was the greatest disaster provoked by climate change ever recorded in Brazil. (more…)

Left movements and the end of capitalism

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

[Translation of an essay from La Jornada of Mexico City for January 13, 2012. See original here and the article by Immanuel Wallerstein referred to here.]

by Raúl Zibechi

The current world crisis is breaking the planet up into regions in such a way that the world system is approaching an accelerating disarticulation. One of the effects of this growing regionalization of the planet is that political, social and economic processes do not manifest themselves in the same way in all parts of the world and divergences are produced – bifurcations perhaps, in the future – between the center and the periphery.

For anti-system forces this global disarticulation renders the design of a single and unique planetary strategy impossible and makes attempts to establish universal tactics useless. Although there are inspirations in common and shared general objectives, the different paces shown in the transition toward post-capitalism and the notable differences between anti-systemic subjects work against generalizations. (more…)

Chile: Carabineros raid Mapuche community

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012


((Clarín photo))

Police attack after fire in Araucanía

[Translation of an article from the Venezuelan website TeleSur for January 8, 2012. See original here and related articles here, here, here and here.]

The Chilean carabineros [militarized national police] early Sunday morning raided the Cacique José Guiñón community, in the commune of Ercilla, province of Malleco (in the Araucanía region), after a fire in a rural parcel of land that is considered a Mapuche conflict zone.

“We are in the commune of Ercilla, 100 kilometers north of Temuco, where close to 100 members of the Carabineros de Chile proceeded to raid the Cacique José Guiñón community early this morning,” reported César Parra, the TeleSur correspondent in the commune. (more…)

Fires ravage southern Chile, government blames Mapuches

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

[Translations of two articles from El Mostrador of Santiago, Chile, for January 6 and 8, 2012. See originals here and here. During an unusually warm and dry summer, fires in central and southern Chile have destroyed some 50,000 hectares of pristine forest since they started in late December. The regions of Bío Bío, Maule and Araucanía are particularly affected. The Mapuche indigenous peoples have struggled to regain their homelands in the area, opposing forestry and other operations, and opposition to construction of the HydroAysen hydroelectric plants in the region has been massive and strong.]

Firefighters in Carahue dispute Piñera’s explanation of how fires started

by Christian Buscaglia

President Sebastián Piñera announced yesterday a formal complaint invoking the Anti-Terrorist Law [which dates from the days of the Pinochet dictatorship] against those found responsible for the fires that have affected immense parts of Maule and Araucanía and have cost the lives of six firefighters working for a private company. “We have credible information that leads us to assume that there was a criminal intent behind these fires,” he declared from the La Moneda palace. (more…)

Close to 500 undocumented Haitians enter Brazil in three days

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Brazil has issued humanitarian visas to hundreds of Haitians

[Translation of an article by the Spanish news agency Efe as published on January 2, 2012, in Listín Diario of Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic. See original here and related article here.]

Some 500 undocumented Haitian immigrants entered the Brazilian city of Brasileia, on the Bolivian border, in the last three days of 2011, joining the approximately 700 who live in an improvised shelter in this Amazonian city of 20,000 inhabitants, official sources reported yesterday.

The immigrants arrived in mass over a few days in the midst of rumors that Brazil is studying the possibility of restricting the entry of Haitians across the Amazonian borders beginning this year, a source in the government of the Brazilian state of Acre told Efe. (more…)