Features

Cobánby Dawn Paley, Upside Down World

COBÁN — Since February, forensic anthropologists have turned up over 400 skeletons at a military base in Cobán, Guatemala, in what has fast become one of the largest discoveries of a clandestine mass grave in the country. During the country's 36 year long internal armed conflict that led to acts of genocide, the base at Cobán was a center of military coordination and intelligence.

But what sets this dig apart is that it is taking place at a military base that remains active today: foreign military and police arrive regularly at the base to train troops from Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic. In 2006, the military zone in Cobán was renamed CREOMPAZ, which stands for Regional Training Command for Peacekeeping Operations.

Anuak
by John Ahni Schertow, Intercontinental Cry

Indigenous peoples in southwest Ethiopia have implicated the World Bank in grave human rights abuses that are being carried out as part of a resettlement programme headed by the Ethiopian government.

The government is currently working to resettle approximately 1.5 million people across the country by 2013. "Villagization" is supposed to be a voluntary process that offers increased access to basic services and improved food security. However, according Anuak who reside in the Gambella region, nothing could be further from the truth.

DEA
by Bill Weinberg, High Times

Recent headlines from Honduras give an uneasy sense of deja vu for the bad old days of the 1980s, when the US and its local proxy forces waged brutal counter-insurgency wars across Central America.
 
Residents of Ahuas village, on the remote Miskito Coast, took to the streets May 11 to protest a deadly military-style drug raid, demanding the US DEA leave their territory—and putting government offices to the torch to make their point. Miskito Indian leaders issued a statement declaring the DEA persona non grata in the territory.

"Nothing But Their Eyes to Cry With"
Mali
by Stefan Simanowitz, Toward Freedom

This June, following a short but bloody battle, Islamic fighters ousted the Tuareg National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) from the city of Gao. After a hiatus of nearly five months, fighting has again erupted between the MNLA and fighters from the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJWA). On Friday, amid conflicting reports, there was fighting near Mali's border with Niger and Burkina Faso and more skirmishes took place on Monday. The MNLA claimed to have launched an offensive aimed at regaining the Gao region while the MUJWA have said they have attacked the MNLA and have taken control of the town of Menaka. While the situation is currently unclear, even if MNLA forces suffered heavier losses, the fact that they have been engaged in fighting with Islamists has added a new dimension to the complex conflict in the northern Mali.

"Take No Prisoners" in Practice
Colombia
by John Lindsay-Poland, Fellowship of Reconciliation

A new and long-awaited report on civilian killings by the Colombian military from 2002 to 2010 argues convincingly that the spike of state violence during those years grew directly from the policies of "Democratic Security" that attempted to militarize all Colombian society.

The study was produced by the Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Observatory of the Colombia-Europe-United States Coordination (known by its acronym in Spanish, CCEEU), a coalition of more than 200 Colombian human rights organizations and their counterparts in Europe and the US. Twenty of these organizations have come together to document, analyze and carry out judicial strategies on extrajudicial executions. The coalition has painstakingly compiled records of 3,512 reported extrajudicial killings from 2002 to 2010, during the presidency of Álvaro Uribe.

Haiti

by David L. Wilson, World War 4 Report

On Oct. 22 Haitian president Michel Martelly hosted the official opening of the Caracol Industrial Park, a 617-acre tax-exempt factory complex in Haiti's rural northeastern corner that promoters say will bring as many as 65,000 jobs to the country.
 
The Haitian president was joined by an array of foreign officials and celebrities. The United States, which invested $124 million in the project, was represented by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). Another guest, former US president Bill Clinton, now the United Nations special envoy for Haiti, was a major promoter of the Caracol facility.

by Bill Weinberg, Al Jazeera

According to a 
Truth and Reconciliation Commission established ten years ago, some 70,000 people—mainly indigenous peasants—were killed or forcibly "disappeared" in Peru's war against the Maoist guerillas of the Sendero Luminoso between 1980 and 2000. Forensic teams are still exhuming mass graves in mountain villages. Now, following April's hostage crisis in the Peruvian rainforest, there is an uneasy sense of deja vu in the Andean nation.

More Draconian Than NAFTA

by Peter Dolack, Systemic Disorder

Imagine a world in which which labor safeguards, safety rules and environmental regulations will be struck down because a multi-national corporation's profits might be affected. A world in which measures to reign in financial speculation are illegal. A world in which the task of governments, codified in law, is to maximize corporate profits.

Imagine a world in which corporations can bypass national laws and courts when they are in a dispute with a government, and instead can have their dispute adjudicated by a closed tribunal controlled by their lawyers.

Unfortunately, the above is not dystopian science fiction; it is the reality of the top-secret Trans-Pacific Partnership. If you like NAFTA, you will love the TPP.