Archive | South America

Operation Condor

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Operation Condor: Latin-American Heads of State Condemned by Rome Tribunal, Declassified Docs Reveal Role of Henry Kissinger

 
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Rome Court Concludes 3-Year Trial on Multinational Repression in Latin America

National Security Archive Provided Declassified Evidence to Tribunal, Hails Historic Ruling

A tribunal in Rome, Italy, today sentenced two former heads of state and two ex-chiefs of security forces from Bolivia and Peru, and a former Uruguayan foreign minister to life imprisonment for their  involvement in the coordinated, cross-border system of repression known as “Operation Condor.”  The National Security Archive, which provided testimony and dozens of declassified documents as evidence to the tribunal, hailed the ruling.  Today’s posting on the Archive’s web site includes several exhibits from the trial.

One declassified Department of State document that the Archive provided to prosecutors stated that Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay

“have established Operation Condor to find and kill terrorists … in their own countries and in Europe.” “… [T]hey are joining forces to eradicate ‘subversion’, a word which increasingly translates into non-violent dissent from the left and center left.” Their definition of subversion, according to the document, was so broad as to include “nearly anyone who opposes government policy.”

The document notes that former Foreign Minister Blanco of Uruguay was one of those behind this vision.

Former Uruguayan Foreign Minister Juan Carlos Blanco (Photo: Flores.org.uy)

In another document introduced in the trial, Peru’s former defense and prime Minister Richter Prada claims that three Argentine fugitives were “legally expelled and delivered to a Bolivian immigration official in accordance with long-standing practice.” The document goes on to say that the  fugitives are probably “permanent disappearances.”

The Rome trial considered the disappearance of 42 dual citizens – 33 Italian-Uruguayans, 5 Italian-Argentinians and 4 Italian-Chileans. The tribunal sentenced to life in prison former military dictator Francisco Morales Bermudez and the prime minister at the time, Pedro Richter Prada from Peru; former dictator Luis Garcia Meza and minister of interior Luis Arce Gomez from Bolivia; and former Uruguayan Foreign Minister Juan Carlos Blanco (1973-76). Two Chilean military, Hernán Jerónimo Ramírez and Rafael Ahumada Valderrama, were also sentenced to life. Recently deceased former head of the Uruguayan National Security Council, Gregorio Alvarez, was also one of the initially accused, along with the head of the Chilean secret police (DINA), Manuel Contreras, and DINA operative Sergio Arellano Stark (both deceased).

Surprisingly, the tribunal  acquitted infamous Uruguayan intelligence operatives in Argentina from 1976 Nino Gavazzo, Jose Arab, and Jorge Silveira; along with Jorge Troccoli, a Uruguayan marine intelligence officer operating in Argentina in 1977.  Ten other Uruguayan military were acquitted. Interviewed in Rome, former prosecutor and current director of the Uruguayan National Institution of Human Rights Mirtha Guianze deplored the tribunal acquittals. Relatives of the Uruguayan victims have indicated they will appeal.

The trial had its origin in a complaint filed in 1999 by six relatives of victims: Cristina Mihura, wife of Bernardo Arnone; Marta Casal del Rey, wife of Gerardo Gatti; María Luz Ibarburu, mother of Juan Pablo Recagno; María Bellizzi, mother of Andrés Bellizzi; Aurora Meloni, wife of Daniel Banfi, and Claudia Allegrini, wife of Lorenzo Viñas.

In 2001, Cristina Mihura and prosecutor Giancarlo Capaldo visited the National Security Archive seeking assistance in locating and compiling documentary evidence. Capaldo requested the indictment of the defendants in 2006. The trial started in 2013 and the hearings and debate in February 2015.

According to Carlos Osorio, the Archive’s Southern Cone analyst, “the sentences are the result of the unquenchable thirst for justice of dozens of relatives and victims.” Osorio testified before the court on May 19-20, 2016, and supplied the court with 100 declassified records.


Listen to Archive analyst Carlos Osorio (pictured above at the Argentine embassy in Washington on March 23, 2015) testify at the Rome trial, where he provided dozens of declassified documents as evidence.

Osorio Testimony 5/19/2016

Osorio Testimony 5/20/2016

READ THE DOCUMENTS

Summary of Document 1

On the role of Henry Kissinger:
Document 01
Department of State, Memorandum of Conversation between Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Argentine Foreign Minister Adm. Cesar Guzzetti, Secret, June 10, 1976
Source: Freedom of Information Act request filed by Carlos Osorio
During a June 1976 OAS meeting in Santiago, Chile, (which corresponded with the second Condor meeting, also held in Santiago at the same time), Henry Kissinger met privately with Admiral Cesar Guzzetti, foreign minister of Argentina’s military regime. This declassified “memcon” reveals that Kissinger not only encouraged the ongoing internal repression in Argentina, but also endorsed the “joint efforts” with other Southern Cone regimes, which Guzzetti described, to address “the terrorist problem.” In what appears to be the very first time Kissinger is told of the Condor collaboration, Guzzetti informs him that Argentina wants “to integrate with our neighbors … All of them: Chile, Paraguay, Bolivia, Uruguay, Brazil,” to fight subversion. In response, Kissinger advises him to step up diplomatic efforts to explain the repression and offset international condemnation:
“You will have to make an international effort to have your problems understood. Otherwise, you, too, will come under increasing attack. If there are things that have to be done, you should do them quickly. But you must get back quickly to normal procedures.” When Guzzetti suggests that “The terrorists work hard to appear as victims in the light of world opinion even though they are the real aggressors,” Kissinger agrees. “We want you to succeed,” he concludes. “We do not want to harass you. I will do what I can … “

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Ecuador Assumes G77 Leadership, Vows to Fight Tax Havens

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  • Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa speaks at the U.N. April, 2016

    Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa speaks at the U.N. April, 2016 | Photo: AFP

Ecuador will use its chair at the head of the world’s largest organization of developing states to tackle tax havens and the corruption they breed.

President of Ecuador Rafael Correa assume the chairmanship of the Group of 77 in New York on Friday, the largest intergovernmental organization of developing countries at the U.N., for the first time in the Andean nation’s history.

RELATED: Ecuador to Propose Global End to Tax Havens

Correa said that his country’s election to chair the group, whose mission is to promote South-South cooperation and enhance joint negotiating capacity within the U.N. system, is a “global recognition” that the development that has taken place under his government’s leadership is of interest “to the region and the world.”

In remarks to the press before leaving for U.N. headquarters in New York, where Correa will formally take over G77 leadership from Thailand, he highlighted his goal to use Ecuador’s mandate to tackle the global problem of international tax havens.

“Tax havens are one of the largest manifestations of savage capitalism,” he noted, adding “We will insist that tax havens be banned to avoid corruption, money laundering, and tax evasion.”

“We are going to give it much greater impetus because (tax havens) are one of the great enemies of developing nations,” he said. “They mainly harm the poor nations that need these resources. Our oligarchies make that money in our countries, often in a bad way, and send it to those tax havens where capital has no face.”

Correa is leading the campaign against corporate and individual tax fraud by example, having launched a national referendum in Ecuador where citizens will vote in February on a proposed ban on public servants or elected officials holding money in offshore tax havens.

Correa launched both his national and international campaigns against tax avoidance after the massive Panama Papers leaks which showed hundreds of prominent politicians – including Ecuadorian presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso, and Argentine President Mauricio Macri – were using Panamanian banks to avoid paying legally owed taxes.

RELATED: The Latest: New Panama Papers Embroil Latin American Elite

He told reporters on Thursday that Ecuador’s other priorities during its term would be protecting the world’s oceans, ensuring that transnational corporations respect human rights, and addressing the crushing external debts imposed on countries who have been subject to enforced under-development by international monetary organizations such as the World Bank and IMF.

Correa ended his remarks by noting that he wanted to use Ecuador’s one-year term as head of the coalition of 134 nations from the Global South to demonstrate that at the U.N., the General Assembly should “make the most important decisions, and not a group of privileged countries based on the military power they have.”

This will likely be Correa’s last official visit to the U.N. as his term as president ends in May.

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Ex-Honduran Soldier Linked to Berta Caceres Murder Arrested

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  • Environmental and Indigenous rights leader Berta Caceres, who was shot dead last year in her home in Honduras, is pictured in a handout from the Goldman Environmental Prize, an award she won in 2015.

    Environmental and Indigenous rights leader Berta Caceres, who was shot dead last year in her home in Honduras, is pictured in a handout from the Goldman Environmental Prize, an award she won in 2015. | Photo: Reuters

The suspect in the Indigenous land defender’s murder was arrested in northern Mexico.

A former Honduran soldier allegedly involved in last year’s assassination of renowned Honduran Indigenous and environmental activist Berta Caceres has been arrested in Mexico, local press reported on Friday.

RELATED: Honduras Indigenous Leader Under Police Protection Arrested

La Prensa Honduras says the man, identified as Henry Javier Hernandez Rodriguez, was arrested at a barbershop in the northern Mexican city of Reynosa. Mexican authorities have not yet confirmed the report.

Caceres gained prominence for leading the indigenous Lenca people in a struggle against the Agua Zarca Dam, a controversial development project in the community of Rio Blanco that was put in motion without consent from local communities. Caceres suffered dozens of death threats and was reportedly on the top of a U.S.-backed military hit list leading up to her assassination.

So far, eight people have been arrested for Caceres’s murder, who was shot dead in the early hours of March 3, 2016, at her home in the town of La Esperanza. On the day of her murder, Caceres hosted Mexican environmentalist Gustavo Castro as a guest in her home, the only witness to the assassination who survived by playing dead after being shot. Castro and Caceres’s family claim that the Honduran company Desarrollos Energeticos SA, better known as DESA, and the Honduran government hired contract killers to murder activists like her.

RELATED:  Indigenous Women Led Environmental Struggle in 2016

Last year the United Nations Environment Programme posthumously awarded her its Champions of the Earth Prize for her “action and inspiration” so that “her death would not be in vain.”

A report by the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders says human rights defenders in Honduras face killings, constant threats, and criminalization, making the Central American country one of the most dangerous in the world for human rights activists.

The Mexican digital outlet 24 Horas reported that Hernandez Rodriguez’s capture was possible after several months of coordinated work between the police of El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico.

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Sandra Naranjo Appointed Vice President of Ecuador

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  • Sandra Naranjo, a graduate in economics and finance with a specialization in mathematics, will still be in charge of the National Secretariat for Planning and Development
    Sandra Naranjo, a graduate in economics and finance with a specialization in mathematics, will still be in charge of the National Secretariat for Planning and Development | Photo: Andes.
She is the second woman in the country’s history to hold this position.

National Secretary of Planning Sandra Naranjo, will be the vice president of the Republic of Ecuador until Feb. 19, replacing the incumbent, Jorge Glas, while he runs as the vice presidential candidate on the governing Alianza Pais ticket with Lenin Moreno as the presidential candidate.

RELATED: Ecuador Starts Presidential Race, Correa’s Former Vice President Leads

Secretary of Communication Patricio Barriga confirmed Wednesday night the appointment of Naranjo. He wrote from his Twitter account: “@MashiRafael appoints @sandynaranjo vice president of the Republic. Extraordinary woman of Tonga, a great professional.”

Sandra Naranjo, a graduate in economics and finance with a specialization in mathematics, will remain in charge of the National Secretariat for Planning and Development (SENPLADES), a post she’s held since October 2015. Previously she was Minister of Tourism.

She is the second woman to serve as vice president of Ecuador, the first being Rosalía Arteaga, who was elected as vice president in 1996 and served in that role for two years.

On Wednesday, the National Assembly approved the unpaid leave of Vice President Glas, with 75 affirmative votes and 19 abstentions.

Glass’ request is in accordance with article 93 of the Code of Democracy, which states that “dignitaries who opt for immediate re-election” may use the unpaid leave “from the registration of their candidatures until the day after the elections.”

Over 12 million Ecuadorian voters will go to the polls on February 19 to select one of the eight candidates running for President. They will also elect the members of the National Assembly and the representatives to the Andean Parliament. Voting is mandatory in the country for all eligible voters, with voting age beginning at 16.

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At Least 33 Inmates Killed in Brazil in 2nd Prison Riot in Days

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  • Forensic experts of the Civil Police are handcuffed during a protest against bad working conditions and low pay in front of the Court of Justice in Manaus, Brazil, January 5, 2017.
    Forensic experts of the Civil Police are handcuffed during a protest against bad working conditions and low pay in front of the Court of Justice in Manaus, Brazil, January 5, 2017. | Photo: Reuters
The new prison uprising was reportedly a reaction to the deadly riot that left 56 prisoners slaughtered in the Manaus prison five days ago.

At least 33 inmates have been killed in an uprising in a Brazilian prison in the northernmost region of Roraima, local government officials said on Friday.

RELATED: Incarceration Crisis: 1 Killed Every Day in Brazil’s Prisons

The riot, which broke out at dawn, was reportedly a reaction to the prison uprising and deaths of around 60 people in the Amazon jungle Manaus prison on Sunday night.

The government has been quick to blame the Roraima riot on the country’s wide-reaching criminal organization Primeiro Comando da Capital, the country’s most powerful drug cartel.

Last October violent clashes at that same prison left at least 25 inmates dead. The facility, over 2,000 miles northwest of Rio de Janeiro, is located near the Venezuelan border.

Several of the deceased in Manaus had their decapitated bodies thrown over the prison walls, in what has been considered the bloodiest rebellion in the country’s overcrowded jails within the last two decades.

RELATED: Brazil Eyes War on Drug Gangs After Prison Riot Massacre

Officials say police have managed to recapture 40 of the 87 prisoners who escaped.

Brazil has the fourth largest prison population in the world behind Russia, China and the United States, with over 600,000 inmates living in overcrowded and squalid conditions.

Human rights groups have repeatedly raised concerns about the inhumane living conditions in Brazilian correctional facilities, which play an instrumental role in sparking violent clashes.

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Chilean Leftist Presidential Hopeful Snatches Lead in Key Poll

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Senator Alejandro Guillier is seen inside at the Chilean congress in Valparaiso, Chile September 27, 2016.

  • Senator Alejandro Guillier is seen inside at the Chilean congress in Valparaiso, Chile September 27, 2016. | Photo: Reuters.

Far reaching political and corporate corruption scandals have fueled disenchantment with politics as usual in the South American nation.

An independent left-wing senator running for president in Chile’s 2017 election is leading in a head-to-head matchup against the right’s front-runner, a poll released on Wednesday showed, spicing up a race once expected to feature only establishment favorites.

RELATED: Isabel Allende Backtracks, Won’t Run for President of Chile

The survey by pollster MORI shows Alejandro Guillier, a journalist turned politician, winning a potential runoff election by 5 points against Sebastian Pinera, a conservative, investor-friendly ex-president.

When asked who they would vote for in a race between the two, 35 percent of survey respondents said Guillier and 30 percent favored Pinera.

In a potential first round, the survey showed Guillier would take 19 percent while Pinera would take 23 percent, far short of the 50 percent needed to avoid a runoff.

Up until a few months ago, Guillier was a relative unknown in Chile, and most observers believed any runoff likely would be between Pinera and Ricardo Lagos, a moderate ex-president. However, far reaching political and corporate corruption scandals, as well as a sluggish economy, have fueled disenchantment with politics as usual in the South American nation, boosting outsiders.

The results of the most recent poll will be welcomed by left-leaning sectors of Chilean society, who believe profound reforms are necessary to soften the nation’s biting inequality. However, it complicates the outlook for investors who had previously seen the race as devoid of political risk.

“For Sebastian Pinera, vacation’s over,” said MORI director Marta Lagos. “Now he has a competitor and he has to go out and defend his position.”

In elections for mayors and councilmen in October, an anti-incumbent mood led to huge losses for the left-leaning Nueva Mayoria coalition, which held majorities at practically every level of government, in what was seen as a boost for Pinera.[nL1N1CU021]

But leftist independents unaffiliated with traditional parties also did historically well in many places, which could bode well for Guillier. A left-wing candidate affiliated with Chile’s student movement, for instance, won the mayor’s race in the country’s second largest city.

The MORI poll, which took place between December 7 and 15, included responses from 1,200 Chileans. It has a margin of error of 3 percent.

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Venezuela Expresses Concern Over Colombia-NATO Cooperation

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Image result for Venezuela CHAVEZ PHOTO
By Jeanette Charles | Venezuelanalysis 

La Ceiba – The Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Relations released an official statement Monday expressing its concern over Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos’ announcement that Colombia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) are set to further military cooperation. Venezuela’s Bolivarian government recognizes the agreement as a threat against regional peace emphasizing Latin American institutions such as the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States’ (CELAC) commitment to peace of which Colombia is a member.

Santos celebrated the recently approved agreement and publicly reminisced how the process began nine years ago when he served as Defense Minister under former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe’s administration.

TELESUR reports that the agreement between the South American nation and Northern hemispheric military organization is based upon pre-existing cooperation tackling organized crime. In 2013, Colombia signed a cooperation memorandum with NATO in Brussels, Belgium the first of its kind for the military organization with a Latin American nation.

The 2013 memorandum was signed by former Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón and NATO Vice-Secretary General Alexander Vershbow. Pinzón expressed then that the agreement sought to “access knowledge, experience, good practices in peace missions, humanitarian missions, human rights, military justice, transformation processes and improvement of the defense and security sector, in addition to help in the fight against drug trafficking.”

Venezuelan Foreign Relations Minister Delcy Rodríguez expressed her nation’s concern Monday via social media platform Twitter where she published the Bolivarian government’s official statement.

“The Venezuelan Government is strongly opposed to the attempt to introduce external factors with nuclear capability in our region, whose past and recent actions claim a policy of war, violate bilateral and regional agreements of which Colombia is a member (UNASUR, CELAC) and through which Latin America and the Caribbean have been declared a Peace Zone,” read the statement.

For the Bolivarian government, Santos’ announcement also “distorts the principles of Bandung that gave rise to the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), which expressly prohibits member states from forming military alliances.”

Additionally, “the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela, for the sake of union and integration of the Patria Grande, urges the Colombian government to not generate elements of destabilization and war in South America and vows to attend to our Liberators’ historic call for peace and unity.”

NATO was founded in 1949 and has been most recently criticized for waging wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. Twenty-eight member states constitute the multi-governmental military organization.

News of Santos’ decision to build a stronger alliance with NATO comes after several tumultuous months for the Colombian people following the devastating results of the Peace Accords plebiscite.

In recent weeks, the Colombian government and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) reached consensus on revised peace accords which suggest potential opportunities for peace in the South American nation.

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Why Is December So Important in Nicaragua?

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  • December has been important in the history of Nicaragua and Sandinismo.
    December has been important in the history of Nicaragua and Sandinismo. | Photo: EFE
An incomplete review offers a glance at why December is such an important month in Nicaragua’s turbulent history.

There are months of the year that for some more or less mysterious reason, or by mere coincidence, are laden with political meaning in Latin American history.

OPINION: Sandino and the Memory of Resistance

December is one of those months, especially in Nicaragua where the fireworks powder burned in the Catholic celebrations to Mother Mary and Christmas, and the pagan festivity of the New Year often blended with the gun smoke of the struggle for national liberation. December for Nicaraguans recalls important years past.

1927
Occupying U.S. troops disembark in Puerto Cabezas, in the Caribbean Coast. With the help of local women workers General Augusto C. Sandino recovers weapons and ammunition the enemy had tried to destroy by dumping them in the sea, enabling him to start his struggle against foreign intervention.

1930
Troops of Sandinista General Miguel Ángel Ortez ambush a patrol of marines in Achuapa, in the department of Leon.

1961
Along the banks of Rio Coco, in northern Nicaragua, the National Guard hunts down a guerrilla group of 45 young revolutionaries under the leadership of Carlos Fonseca, founder of the Sandinista Front for National Liberation.

1963
Guatemala City – Five Sandinistas, among them today’s president Daniel Ortega Saavedra, are arrested and tortured by Guatemalan police and later handed over to Somoza’s National Guard.

1968
The Sandinista movement Revolutionary Students’ Front organized protests against Lyndon B. Johnson’s visit to the country. In Estelí somebody throws a molotov cocktail against a jeep of the dictatorship’s National Guard.

1969
Nicaragua is shaken by the news that guerrillas the dictatorship claimed had been defeated, are indeed alive: Combats are reported in La Virgen in the south and guerrilla activity is detected in Zinica in the north. In Alajuela, Costa Rica, a guerrilla squad of Sandinistas attempts to free from prison FSLN founder, Carlos Fonseca. The action fails, but the Sandinista Front wins the respect of wide sections of society.

1972
On Dec. 23, 1972, a violent earthquake destroys the capital, Managua. Instead of helping the victims, the National Guard plunders their belongings.The FSLN reorganizes its forces and sends many militants to the capital to help people who lost their homes.

1973
The whole month is taken by popular protests against the inhuman treatment given to political prisoners, especially the Sandinistas. University students take to the streets and occupy the churches in various cities demanding the prisoners’release. Political prisoners in the notorious El Modelo jail start a hunger strike. Their mothers join them.

1974
Three thousand construction workers start a strike demanding unpaid salaries and Social Security registration.

On Dec. 27, the Sandinista squad ‘Juan José Quezada’ seizes the mansion of leading Somocista José María Castillo Quant, taking hostage almost all the diplomatic corps appointed to Managua who had been invited to a party there. The demand of the Sandinistas: Freedom for all political prisoners.

With this successful action, FSLN gains international recognition. The long period of silent strength accumulation is over and a new period of revolutionary offensive begins. Among the released prisoners: Comandante Daniel Ortega.

The regime’s answer to this blow by the Sandinistas was to unleash massive repression declaring martial law. One of the victims of this repression was the recently deceased former president of the National Assembly, René Núñez Téllez, captured by the National Guard and savagely tortured.

1976
On Dec. 9, 1976, Sandinista leader Rufo Marín is killed in Matagalpa. A month earlier the Sandinista leader Carlos Fonseca had been killed not far away, in Zinica.

1977
A month full of combats and struggle against the dictatorship. Ambushes and attacks against the National Guard in the north and also in Managua, occupation of churches by students in the cities, and important political moves under the leadership of the Sandinistas. A broad political spectrum (the Group of the Twelve) announces that no dialogue can be productive without the Sandinista Front. The next day, the Jesuits issue a statement condemning the National Guard’s repression.

Fearing an invasion by Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza, Costa Rica asks the Organization of American States (OAS) to enforce the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, against the most loyal U.S. regional watchdog.

In southern Nicaragua, Radio Sandino starts clandestine broadcasts openly defying the regime’s censorship. Via Radio Sandino, a Spanish priest, Gaspar García Laviana, calls for popular unity to combat the dictatorship and announces his membership in the FSLN.

1978
Somoza lifts the martial law.But a Sandinista squad seizes the Nicaraguan-Honduran border post of Las Manos. A year after his appeal on Radio Sandino, Gaspar García Laviana is killed in combat in the southern department of Rivas. Major combats take place in the Southern Front ‘Benjamín Zeledón’ with the participation of important groups of Latin American internationalists. On Dec. 20, fierce combats force the closure of the border with Costa Rica.

Meanwhile, in the cities, popular struggle intensifies. The National Guard fails to evacuate a church in Managua, occupied by students and workers. The broad-based Group of Twelve call for a National Patriotic Front of all those committed to put an end to the dictatorship.

1979-1990
During the revolutionary decade that followed the ouster of Somoza’s regime, December became synonymous with struggle and solidarity. Thousands of youth mobilized at the end of every year in order to help harvest coffee beans in farms mostly located in the war zones. Other thousands joined the reserve battalions or the military draft to fight the Contras.

All over the country, young people sent letters to their families from faraway locations where they were fulfilling revolutionary duties. Cultural brigades visited the most isolated corners of Nicaragua trying to spread joy and warmth in the middle of the war.

On Dec. 13, 1981, the CIA blows up a Boeing 727 of Nicaragua’s national airline Aeronica in Mexico City’s International Airport, injuring both Nicaraguan and Mexican personnel.

In 1982, the government completes expropriation of 75,000 acres of land in Matagalpa, Jinotega, Estelí, Madriz and Nueva Segovia.

In 1983, the CIA’s Contra’s task forces launch one of many failed attempts to seize the town of Jalapa, on the border with Honduras.

In 1986, the Sandinista Popular Army rolls back an invasion of 3,000 U.S. armed Contras from Honduras.

In December 1989, during the U.S. invasion of Panama, with possible invasion imminent, tanks of the Sandinista Army surround the U.S. embassy in Managua.

RELATED: Remembering Carlos Fonseca, Architect of the Sandinista Revolution

1999
Nicaragua sues Honduras in the International Court of Justice in the Hague over a maritime border treaty signed by the neighboring country with Colombia. 13 years later, in 2012, Nicaragua will recover 90,000 square kilometers of Caribbean Sea from Colombia.

2002
On Dec. 12, the National Assembly unseats former president Arnoldo Alemán, accused of serious fraud, as well as civil and electoral crimes.

2004
On Dec. 10, in California, investigative journalist Gary Webb dies under mysterious circumstances. Webb disclosed how the CIA flooded black U.S. neighborhoods with drugs and laundered money from the Iran-Contra scandal so as to finance the U.S. terrorist war against Nicaragua.

This incomplete review offers a glance at why December is such an important month in Nicaragua’s turbulent history. By contrast, today, December in Nicaragua is above all synonymous with Peace, Community and Solidarity. The government guarantees toys for the children. In municipal parks and other public spaces, Nicaraguan families enjoy the warm Central American evenings without fear of political repression, war or helplessness in the face of natural disasters. All of this is a revolutionary change both from the experiences of the past and from the current experience in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

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‘Every 30 Hours’ an Argentine Woman Dies

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A protestor at the Ni Una Menos demonstration.

  • A protestor at the Ni Una Menos demonstration. | Photo: Reuters

Despite the inclusion of “femicide” in the criminal code in 2012, only one man has been sentenced for femicide charges since then.

Director Alejandra Perdomo’s latest documentary is focusing on one of Argentina’s burning issue of gender violence, which kills one woman every 30 hours in the country.

ANALYSIS: Argentine Women in Forefront Against Femicide

Including testimonies of victims of gender violence, relatives of women killed, from all ages and social status, as well as experts, the documentary was the result of “the daily concern of opening a newspaper, listening to the radio or TV and find out about another femicide.”

The film tries to “show the hope beyond the pain,” said Perdomo to EFE, showing how parents of assassinated daughters joined the struggle against femicides, among others.

Every 30 hours, a woman is killed in the country, which inspired the documentary title, with almost 3,000 women killed in total since 2008, when the organization Casa del Encuentro started to monitor femicides.

Femicide refers to the murder of a woman by a man who considers her his property and therefore has the right to her life or death. It was recognized as a specific case of homicide in Argentina’s criminal code system and susceptible to heavier prison sentences since 2012 during the progressive administration of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

Despite the inclusion of “femicide” in the criminal code in 2012, only one man has been sentenced for femicide charges since then.

According to Pedromo, the anti-femicide movement “Ni Una Menos” made the issue more visible, resulting in a surge of complaints.

While Argentina has been a pioneer in implementing laws defending the rights of the LGBTI community over the past decade during the progressive Kirchnerist administration, the country only recently started to measure the extent of the femicide issue, after an accumulation of horrendous murders were covered in the media.

The documentary premiered on Nov. 24 and seeks to contribute to the visibility of gender violence, as well as the programs and groups fighting against it, working as “a tool for society” in a bid to cut short the cycle of violence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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More Than 77% of Brazilians Disapprove of Coup Leader Temer

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  • Coup-imposed President Michel Temer has abysmal approval ratings.
    Coup-imposed President Michel Temer has abysmal approval ratings. | Photo: EFE
Brazilians are unhappy about the country’s economic woes, austerity measures and an ongoing corruption case where Temer is implicated.

More than three of every four Brazilians disapprove of Senate-imposed President Michel Temer, a new poll confirmed Friday.

RELATED:Temer’s Holiday Gift to Brazilian Workers: More Work, Less Pay

Temer, who was imposed after a parliamentary coup against elected President Dilma Rousseff, has a disapproval rating of 77 percent in December, the Ipsos Institute reported.

The latest numbers represent an 18 point drop in approval from October, while the approval rating for his government also dropped 10 points during the same period.

According to the director of Ipsos and head of the research, Danilo Cersosimo, the increase in disapproval for the beleaguered politician is a combination of dissatisfaction with government’s responses to the country’s economic woes as well as the reforms’ agenda proposed by Temer, including unpopular austerity measures.

Temer and his allies also continue to be embroiled in the Lava Jato anti-corruption operation, which recently resurfaced after a U.S. court found executives from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht guilty of bribing Brazilian officials to the tune of US$349 million.

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