The Andes
pedro castillo

Peru: Keiko takes page from Trump playbook

One week after Peru’s close and hotly contested presidential run-off election, far-right candidate¬†Keiko Fujimori appears to be taking a tip from the Donald Trump playbook. The official results from the National Office of Electoral Processes (ONPE) give Fujimori 49.8% of the vote, and 50.2% to her left-populist challenger Pedro Castillo. However, the results only become official when they are certified by the National Jury of Elections (JNE)‚ÄĒand Fujimori is calling for some 200,000 votes to be nullified as fraudulent, enough to throw the race in her favor. The JNE initially said it would extend the deadline for filing challenges to votes, which has now passed. However, it quickly reversed this decision¬†in response to a public outcry and accusations by Castillo and his supporters of an attempted “coup d’etat.” (Photo:¬†Diario Uno)

Europe
belarus cops

Fascist pseudo-anti-fascism in Belarus

Under long-ruling dictator Alexander Lukashenko, a fascistic order has long obtained in Belarus‚ÄĒand amid the wave of state terror following last year’s stolen elections,¬†it may now be going over the edge into outright fascism.¬†Which is why it’s particularly sickening that Lukashenko and his propaganda machine are playing to anti-fascism in the international flare-up over his latest outrage. Activist and blogger¬†Roman Protasevich, arrested when a passenger plane was forced down by a Belarusian fighter jet, may face the death penalty for “terrorism” charges. But it all appears to rest on¬†Protasevich’s supposed involvement in Ukraine’s Nazi-nostalgist Azov Battalion‚ÄĒand this seems entirely a matter of conjecture. (Photo:¬†Libcom.org)

Mexico
torreon

Mexico: apology for 1911 massacre of Chinese

Mexico’s President Andr√©s Manuel L√≥pez Obrador officiated over a ceremony in Torre√≥n, Coahuila, where he issued an apology for the 1911 massacre of more than 300 members of the city’s Chinese community at the hands of revolutionary troops. The president said the objective of the apology was to ensure “that this never, ever happens again.” Also on hand was Coahuila Gov. Miguel √Āngel Riquelme, who said racist ideas fueled “genocidal killings” during a “convulsive” period of Mexico’s history. Also attending the ceremony was Chinese Ambassador Zhu Qingqiao. (Photo of 1911 taking of Torre√≥n via Wikipedia)

The Andes
antikeiko

Peru: mass mobilization against neo-fujimorismo

Under the slogans “Fujimori nunca m√°s” and “Keiko No Va,” many thousands of Peruvians filled the streets of Lima and cities across the country to repudiate the presidential candidacy of Keiko Fujimori, contender of the far-right Fuerza Popular party and daughter of imprisoned ex-dictator Alberto Fujimori. The lead contingent in the rally that filled downtown Lima’s Plaza San Mart√≠n was composed of¬†survivors of the reign of terror during the 1992-2000 Fujimori dictatorship.¬†Large mobilizations were also held in Arequipa, Cuzco, Huancayo, Ayacucho, Hu√°nuco, Tacna, and other cities.¬†Two weeks ahead of a run-off vote, despite far greater campaign and media resources, Fujimori is trailing her rival Pedro Castillo of Per√ļ Libre, a left-populist former teacher and union leader from a rural area of northern Cajamarca region‚ÄĒfar from the center of power in Lima. (Photo via Twitter)

Syria
qamishli

Syrian Kurdish militia fire on Arab protesters

Five are reported dead after Kurdish militiamen opened fire on local Arab residents protesting against a hike in fuel prices imposed by the Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration in northern Syria. Protests were reported in several towns in al-Hasakah province, including Qamishli, al-Haddaja, al-Rashidiya and al-Haddadiya. The Autonomous Administration overturned the planned price hikes in response to the protests. However, the Syrian Democratic Forces,¬†the military alliance supported by the Autonomous Administration, issued a statement warning that “protesting activities should not be turned into means to strike at peace and security,” and implying that the demonstrations had been stirred up by “outside propaganda.” ¬†(Photo of Qamlishi protest: Ekrem Salih/Kurdistan24)

The Caucasus
Lake Sev

Armenia-Azerbaijan border stand-off ‚ÄĒover water

Armenia’s Security Council held an emergency meeting¬†in response to a reported border incursion by Azerbaijan. Local authorities in southern Syunik province issued urgent reports that Azerbaijan’s forces had crossed the border and completely surrounded Lake Sev.¬†The glacial lake, which provides water for irrigation in the area, is bisected by the frontier between the two countries, with its northern third lying within Azerbaijan. But the territory on the Azerbaijan side had been held by Armenia between the 1991-4 war and last November’s ceasefire, under which it was ceded back. The two sides remain at odds on the precise demarcation of the line, which had not been formalized in Soviet times.¬†(Photo: Albero/Wikimedia Commons via Armenian Weekly)

The Andes
paro

Colombia: gunmen fire on indigenous protesters

Colombian President Iv√°n Duque flew to Cali in the middle of the night after street clashes in the southwestern city left several indigenous protesters injured. Amid a national strikesparked by Duque’s proposed burdensome tax reform, some 5,000 indigenous activists from the nearby administrative department of Cauca had been holding a “Minga,” or protest gathering, on the outskirts of Cali, when unknown gunmen in civilian dress arrived in a pickup truck and opened fire. The Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca (CRIC) reported that at least 10 activists were wounded, and that the gunmen were intermingled and cooperating with uniformed police. Bogot√° has also seen days of street fighting, while an ongoing street festival, with music and dancing, is being maintained by strike supporters in Medell√≠n‚ÄĒdespite police repression that has led to hundreds of detentions.¬†(Photo:¬†Colombia Informa)

Afghanistan
Sayed ul-Shuhada

Afghanistan: schoolgirls massacred amid ‘peace’ talks

An attack on a high school¬†in Afghanistan’s capital killed at least 50 and wounded dozens more‚ÄĒmost of them girls who were leaving class. The school is in Kabul’s western Dasht-e-Barchi district, where many residents are of the Hazara ethnic minority, who were subject to genocide under Taliban rule in the 1990s. The students¬†appear to have been doubly targeted as both girls and Hazaras‚ÄĒraising further questions for the status and security of women and ethnic minorities as the power-brokers race to declare “peace” in Afghanistan.¬†(Photo of girls from the targeted school: HRW via Twitter)

Palestine
Palestine

Electoral impasse exposes Jerusalem apartheid

For weeks, East Jerusalem has seen nightly protests over the impending eviction of hundreds of Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah district‚ÄĒculminating in violent clashes with riot police at al-Aqsa Mosque. Compounding the anger is another grievance‚ÄĒIsrael’s denial of East Jerusalem Palestinians’ right to participate in elections for the Palestinian Authority’s Legislative Council. With the overwhelming majority of East Jerusalem Palestinians denied Israeli citizenship by an array of bureaucratic artifices, this means they are effectively disenfranchised of the vote in either sovereignty. (Photo: RJA1988 via Jurist)

The Andes
Cauca

Massacres, assassinations continue in Colombia

Police killed at least eight people in Colombia‚Äôs southwestern city of Cali, amid national protests against President Iv√°n Duque’s proposed reform of the tax code. Clashes between police and protesters also took place in Bogot√°, Medellin and other cities. In response to the protest wave, Duque said he would revise his proposed reform,¬†and that new taxes on sales of food and gasoline would be dropped. The protests come¬†as political violence is escalating nearly across Colombia, but especially the southwest. Amid the violence, a locally-organized “Caravan for Peace” is making its way through the region, calling for a dialogue with armed actors and civil society to arrive at a new “Pact for Life & Peace,” addresing needs for security, land, and economic sustenance. (Photo: Colombia Informa)

Syria
qamishlo

Syria: Kurdish forces take Qamishli from regime

The local Kurdish Asayish militia announced that it has¬†taken control of the last contested district of the northeast Syrian town of Qamishli from pro-regime forces. An Asayish statement said that after several days of fighting, al-Tay neighborhood is to be in their hands under terms of a truce with the pro-regime National Defense Forces (NDF), enforced by Russian troops and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).¬†The Qamishlo District Council, an organ of the Rojava autonomous administration, issued its own statement, charging¬†that NDF attacks on Asayish checkpoints were “evidence of their desire to inflame the discord among the components of the region…in particular the Kurdish and Arab.”¬†(Photo of Qamishlo District Council reading statement:¬†ANHA)

The Andes
castillo

Peru: electoral upset portends polarization

Peru seems poised for polarization following surprise results in first-round presidential elections that saw a previously unknown leftist candidate, Pedro Castillo, taking 19% of the vote in a very crowded field‚ÄĒmore than any of his rivals. In a June run-off, he will face his runner-up‚ÄĒhard-right candidate Keiko Fujimori, who took 13%. The two candidates represent the extremes of Peru’s electoral spectrum. Fujimori is the daughter of imprisoned ex-dictator Alberto Fujimori‚ÄĒand had herself been imprisoned as corruption charges were pending against her last year. Her Fuerza Popular party is the paradoxical populist vehicle of the most reactionary sectors of the country’s elites, and has actually been assailed¬†as a “mafia organization.”¬†Castillo, in vivid contrast, is a former school-teacher and trade unionist of campesino background from the poor and rural Andean region of Cajamarca. His successful grassroots campaign is seen an upsurge from such forgotten parts of the country, in rejection of the Lima-based political class. (Photo of Pedro Castillo in Lima via Twitter)