Archive for December, 2013

Mexico: The Buen Pastor Shelter, where injured travelers find support

Saturday, December 28th, 2013
((Juan Presentación Marroquín - La Jornada photo by Blanche Petrich))

((Juan Presentación Marroquín – La Jornada photo by Blanche Petrich))

Central Americans say Mexican government does not do enough to fight crimes against migrants

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for December 22, 2013. See original here and related articles here, here, here and here.]

by Blanche Petrich

Tapachula, Chiapas, December 21 – Anita Zelaya, from El Salvador, walks with determination into the men’s dormitory at the Buen Pastor Shelter, a unique place in the country where sick or injured migrants are taken in. In a bed in the back lies a countryman of hers, Juan Presentación Marroquín. “How are you, hijo? We came to say hello and to see how we can help you.” The boy, with both his legs amputated at the hip, turns toward the wall in annoyance. “Or rather, you help me. Look, this is my son, who is missing. Do you recognize him?”

The possibility of being useful stirs Juan from his lethargy. Ana and Juan talk; it turns out they are from the same place, Soyapango. And, no, Juan has not seen Anita’s son, Rafael Rolín Zelaya, kidnapped by extortionists in 2002, anywhere on the train known as La Bestia, which he has ridden five times. But he hastens to tell his story. (more…)

Chile: Cambridge professor José Gabriel Palma on Bachelet’s second term

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

x Michelle_Bachelet“Small changes with nothing changed”

[Translation of an article from Página/12 of Buenos Aires for December 20, 2013. See original here.]

There is more and more activism on the streets of Chile. Analyst José Gabriel Palma wonders how long president elect Bachelet can “continue to appease the demands with this ‘gatopardismo .’”

By Marcelo Justo

The runoff was the easy, predictable part. Now Michelle Bachelet’s problems begin. Surveys show that an overwhelming majority of the people want deep changes to a model that for a while was the wonder of the world but that is now a disappointment to Chileans themselves. The constitutional legacy of dictator Augusto Pinochet is hampering their aspirations decisively. Despite her sizable victory at the polls, she does not have the majority in the Senate she needs to bring about a profound transformation. Página/12 spoke by telephone with José Gabriel Palma, a Chilean professor of economics at the University of Cambridge, who is in his country keeping track of political developments. (more…)

After removal of Petro, Colombians question attorney general’s intentions and power

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Attorney general is accused of persecuting leftists while sparing the Right

[Translation of an article from Opera Mundi of São Paulo, Brazil, for December 14, 2013. See original here.]

((Gustavo Petro -- Opera Mundi photo))

((Gustavo Petro — Opera Mundi photo))

by Simone Bruno

“And in spite of it, I am the mayor of Bogotá,” Gustavo Petro shouted during his speech, perhaps the last during his tenure, to thousands of supporters in the Plaza de Bolívar, in the center of the Colombian capital. On Monday, December 9, the attorney general of the nation, who is in charge of conducting administrative trials of public servants, removed him from office and made him ineligible for public office for the next 15 years.

Only two years earlier, the former member of M-19, an urban guerrilla force originating in the 1970s, won the election for the most important position in the capital, the second most important in the country, after the presidency. In his speech, Petro recounted the history of the violence the Left of Colombia has been subjected to in the past few decades, from the extermination of the Unión Patriótica, the party born of a peace accord with the FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) guerrillas, when more than 5,000 people were assassinated in seven years, up to the homicides and attacks on former members of M-19 after they signed the peace accord and returned to civilian life. (more…)

Dominican Republic: A short history of anti-Haitianism

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Economist Miguel Ceara-Hatton speaks on the Constitutional Tribunal ruling

CEARA HATTON[Translation of comments by Dominican economist Miguel Ceara-Hatton to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights as published in Espacinsular of Santo Domingo on December 8, 2013. See original here. Ceara-Hatton is a member of the Comité de Solidaridad con los Desnacionalizados, the Committee in Solidarity with the Denationalized.]

Almost from the beginning of the 16th century, the island of Santo Domingo was abandoned by Spain; their abandonment turned into depopulation in the 17th century, which gave rise to the French occupation of the northwestern part of the island and eventually to the establishment of the French colony of Saint Domingue, which became the wealthiest French colony during the 18th century.

Its wealth was created on the basis of sugar production, organized on the plantation system, which was based on an intense and cruel slavery. The cruelty was an integral part of the plantation system because it was the only possible way for a few thousand white landowners to live in the midst of almost 500,000 slaves. (more…)

Dominican Republic: The Constitutional Tribunal ruling, Junot Díaz and the cardboard nationalists

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

[Translation of an article from Espacinsular of Santo Domingo for December 6, 2013. See original here. The court ruling in question, number 168/13, would deny Dominican nationality to those born in the country since 1929 of undocumented immigrant parents. It would affect primarily the approximately 250,000 Haitian-Dominicans living there who, without a cédula, the national identification card, would be unable to vote, be hired for any job except in the informal sector, open a bank account, enroll in college, receive social security, obtain a passport or be issued birth certificates for their children.]

By Luis M. Rodríguez

New York, December 6 – A committee of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) is in the Dominican Republic. The purpose of their visit is to monitor and watch over the results of ruling 168/13 by the Constitutional Tribunal and to determine whether the ruling violates the human rights of thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent, as has been charged.

The Commission traveled to the country at the invitation of the Dominican government. Even so, sectors of the government and the parasitic party apparatus, who live off the crumbs that fall from the heights of power, have unleashed a campaign to discredit the IACHR committee, arguing that it violates national sovereignty and its very presence is an act of interference in the internal affairs of the Dominican Republic. (more…)