Tag Archives: Colombia

US Jury Holds Chiquita Liable for Colombian Death Squad’s Murder of Banana Workers

“The verdict does not bring back the husbands and sons who were killed,” said one attorney, “but it sets the record straight and places accountability for funding terrorism where it belongs: at Chiquita’s doorstep.”

By Brett Wilkins. Published 6-11-2024 by Common Dreams

Then-AUC commander Carlos Castaño is seen here with some of his paramilitary fighters. Photo: Carlos Castaño Gil/Facebook

In what case litigants are calling the first time an American jury has held a U.S. corporation legally liable for atrocities abroad, federal jurors in Florida on Monday found that Chiquita Brands International financed a Colombian paramilitary death squad that murdered, tortured, and terrorized workers in a bid to crush labor unrest in the 1990s and 2000s.

The federal jury in West Palm Beach, Florida found the banana giant responsible for funding the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) and awarded eight families whose members were murdered by the right-wing paramilitary group $38.3 million in damages.

Continue reading
Share Button

Latin America shows why ecocide must be an international crime

Every state has an interest in prosecuting those who destroy our planet – we must ensure there are no ‘safe havens’

By Rodrigo Lledó. Published 5-21-2024 by openDemocracy

A lithium mine in Chile Photo: Reinhard Jahn/CC

Before leaving power in 1990, Chilean general and dictator Augusto Pinochet created a legal framework that guaranteed him absolute impunity. It didn’t work. He was arrested on charges of genocide and terrorism in London in 1998 by order of the Spanish justice system and, upon his return to Chile, finally had to face justice.

Years later, I had the opportunity to lead a team of public lawyers trying nearly 900 cases of crimes against humanity during the Chilean dictatorship. Though Pinochet was already dead, his accomplices had to be duly judged. But decades after his rule, human rights continue to be routinely violated in Latin America, often for defending the environment.

Continue reading
Share Button

Mexico Cuts Diplomatic Ties With Ecuador After ‘Intolerable’ Quito Embassy Raid

“This is a flagrant violation of international law and the sovereignty of Mexico,” said Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 4-6-2024 by Common Dreams

Screenshot: TRT World Now/X

Mexico on Friday night announced the suspension of diplomatic relations with Ecuador after police stormed the Mexican Embassy in Quito and kidnapped former Ecuadorian Vice President Jorge Glas, who was granted asylum after being convicted of what he claims are politically motivated corruption charges.

“Alicia Bárcena, our secretary of foreign affairs, has just informed me that police from Ecuador forcibly entered our embassy and detained the former vice president of that country who was a refugee and processing asylum due to the persecution and harassment he faces,” Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said on social media following the raid.

Continue reading
Share Button

‘Beautiful’: Minnesota Becomes 4th State to Provide Free School Meals to All Kids

“Let this serve as a reminder that poverty is a policy choice,” said one advocate. “In the richest country in the world, it is absolutely inexcusable that millions of our children go to school hungry because they are living in poverty.”

By Kenny Stancil.  Published 3-18-2023 by Common Dreams

Students hug Democratic Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz after he signed a universal free school meal bill into law on March 17, 2023. Photo: Prem/Twitter

Surrounded by students, teachers, and advocates, Democratic Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Friday afternoon signed into law a bill to provide breakfast and lunch at no cost to all of the state’s roughly 820,000 K-12 pupils regardless of their household income.

The move to make Minnesota the fourth U.S. state to guarantee universal free school meals—joining California, Maine, and Colorado—elicited praise from progressives. Continue reading

Share Button

Peruvian Forces Accused of ‘Massacre’ of 17 Protesters Opposed to Government Takeover

The governor of Puno province has declared three days of mourning for the victims of the killing in Juliaca, who include a 17-year-old girl.

By Brett Wilkins.  Published 1-10-2023 by Common Dreams

Protest in Lima, Peru on 12-13-2022 Photo: Mayimbú/Wikimedia Commons/CC

At least 17 people were killed by state security forces in southern Peru Monday while protesting the government of unelected President Dina Boluarte and the ouster and imprisonment of former leftist leader Pedro Castillo.

The Peruvian Health Ministry published the names and ages of 17 victims of what’s being called the Juliaca massacre, which took place in the Indigenous Aymara city of Juliaca, the capital of San Román province in the Puno region of southeastern Peru near Lake Titicaca and the Bolivian border. The youngest of the slain protesters is a 17-year-old girl, Nataly Aroquipa, who was reportedly shot in the abdomen. Continue reading

Share Button

Nobody loved you, 2022

From devastating floods in Pakistan to Italy’s far-right PM to overturning Roe v Wade, this was a year of extremes

By Adam Ramsay  Published 12-30-2022 by openDemocracy

A flooded village in Matiari, in the Sindh province of Pakistan. Photo: Asad Zaidi/UNICEF

How do you turn 365 days experienced by eight billion people – and billions more other beings – into some kind of story?

Maybe you start with some events?

In which case, 2022 was the year that Covid vaccines kicked in. Daily global deaths hit 77,000 on 7 February, and have declined fairly steadily ever since. It was the year Russia invaded Ukraine, the first war between major European powers since 1945. Continue reading

Share Button

Direct democracy can force governments to better represent the people – but it doesn’t always work out

The Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade has led to a push for citizens initiatives to enshrine abortion rights.
Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

 

Susan Stokes, University of Chicago

In August 2022, a statewide referendum in Kansas saw citizens overwhelmingly reject a plan to insert anti-abortion language into the state’s constitution. It comes as a slew of similar votes on abortion rights are planned in the coming months – putting the issue directly to the people after the Supreme Court struck down the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling.

But are referendums and citizens initiatives good for democracy? It may seem like an odd question to pose on International Day for Democracy, especially at a time when many feel democracy is imperiled both in the U.S. and around the world. Continue reading

Share Button

New Study Warns Swaths of Amazon Have Already Passed Key ‘Tipping Point’

“The tipping point is not a future scenario but rather a stage already present in some areas of the region,” note researchers.

By Jessica Corbett  Published 9-5-2022 by Common Dreams

Photo: Amazônia Real/flickr/CC

Indigenous leaders and scientists on Monday revealed research showing that the destruction of the Amazon rainforest is so advanced that some swaths may have hit a key tipping point and never recover.

While experts have long warned of human activity causing portions of the massive, biodiverse rainforest to shift to savannah, the new findings were unveiled on the Global Day of Action for the Amazon and the launch of the 5th Amazon Summit of Indigenous Peoples: Solutions for a Living Amazon in Lima, Peru. Continue reading

Share Button

Why reporting from the Amazon has become so dangerous

The discovery of two bodies believed to be those of Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira highlights risks facing journalists in the region

By Pablo Albarenga and Francesc Badia I Dalmases  Published 6-15-2022 by openDemocracy

Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira on Amazon expedition in 2018 Screenshot: The Guardian

Reporting from the Amazon, as we can both attest, is fraught with danger at every corner.

While leaving Indigenous territory on one of our recent reporting trips, we were stopped at gunpoint by military police. Officers searched our bags and personal belongings while firing questions at us. Continue reading

Share Button

Rebellious Climate Scientists Have Message for Humanity: ‘Mobilize, Mobilize, Mobilize’

In face of the “escalating climate emergency,” the advocacy group Scientist Rebellion warns that IPCC summary to global policymakers remains “alarmingly reserved, docile, and conservative.”

By Kenny Stancil  Published 4-6-2022 by Common Dreams

Scientists in the Netherlands blocked an entrance to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy in The Hague on Wednesday, April 6, 2022. (Photo: Scientist Rebellion / @ScientistRebel1)

Amid a weeklong global civil disobedience campaign to demand climate action commensurate with mounting evidence about the need for swift decarbonization, Scientist Rebellion is highlighting specific gaps between what experts say is necessary and what governments allowed to be published in a summary of the United Nations’ latest climate assessment.

The landmark report on mitigation by Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—part of the U.N.’s sixth comprehensive climate assessment since 1992 and possibly the last to be published with enough time to avert the most catastrophic consequences of the planetary crisis—was compiled by 278 researchers from 65 countries. Continue reading

Share Button