Planet Watch
Amazon burning

IACHR hearings on state obligations in climate crisis

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) began its first day of public hearings in Manaus, Brazil, to address the obligations of states in light of the climate crisis, based on the principles of the American Convention on Human Rights. The hearings, marked by discussion on mitigating the impacts of social imbalances and the need to protect the most vulnerable, follow a January request by Chile and Colombia for an Advisory Opinion on the Climate Emergency and Human Rights. The first hearings took place in Barbados at the end of April. In their request, Chile and Colombia emphasized the devastating consequences of the climate emergency in their countries, citing examples such as droughts, floods, landslides and fires. (Photo: pixundfertig/Pixabay via Jurist)

Iran
Hezbollah

Iran, Hezbollah threaten Argentina: Milei

The Argentine government of far-right President Javier Milei announced that it has placed its borders on alert due to potential infiltration of operatives linked to Iran and Hezbollah. There have long been concerns about a Hezbollah presence in the Triborder Region where Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay meet. But Interior Minister Patricia Bullrich in making the announcement this time emphasized a supposed threat from Bolivia. Following years of closer ties, including security cooperation, Bolivia and Iran signed a formal defense pact in July 2023. The deal was said to inlcude an Iranian pledge to provide Bolivia with drones for narcotics enforcement, but the terms were secretive, with both Argentina and the Bolivian opposition demanding clarity on the details. (Photo: Khamenei.ir via Wikimedia Commons)

Southern Cone
AMIA

Hezbollah operative indicted in Buenos Aires bombing

The US District Court for the Southern District of New York unsealed an indictment filed against Hezbollah operative Samuel Salman El Reda for his alleged involvement in a bomb attack on a Jewish community center in Argentina three decades ago. The 20-page indictment concerns the 1994 bombing of the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 people and caused hundreds of injuries. The US government claims El Reda collaborated with the Hezbollah-linked Islamic Jihad Organization (IJO) in the attack.

Southern Cone
anti-ancap

Argentina gets an anarchist president? Not!

English-language media accounts are calling Argentina’s far-right president-elect Javier Milei a “self-described anarcho-capitalist,” but this appears to be a translation error. In Episode 202 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg sets the record straight, exposing “anarcho-capitalism” as an oxymoron and the fascistic Milei as antithetical to everything that Argentina’s proud anarchist tradition ever stood for. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon. (Anarcho-capitalist flag via Wikimedia Commons, defaced by CounterVortex)

Southern Cone
Chile coup

Chilean state launches search for ‘disappeared’

The families of the men, women and children killed or disappeared during the 1973-1990 dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet will finally have the official support of the state in their search for their missing kin. As Chile prepared to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the military coup on Sept. 11, President Gabriel Boric presented the country’s first National Search Plan, aimed at finding and identifying the remains of those who are still missing. So far only 307 sets of remains have been found and identified out of 1,469 officially listed as having been “disappeared” or murdered by the dictatorship. (Photo via BBC News)

Southern Cone
Malón de la Paz

Argentina: indigenous march against lithium mining

Thousands of indigenous people from the northwestern Argentine province of Jujuy arrived in Buenos Aires after marching cross-country to protest a provincial constitutional reform allowing greater lithium extraction from the lands they reside on. The marchers said that increased mining of lithium would exacerbate drought conditions, and cause soil contamination and other environmental damage. The protesters called on the Argentine Supreme Court to strike down the reform, saying indigenous voices were largely left out of the debate that led to its approval. Justice Minister Martín Soria asked the court to declare the reform unconstitutional, citing indigenous rights concerns. (Photo: UAINE via Twitter)

Southern Cone
Montevideo

Uruguay: water crisis sparks protests

With the return of El Niño, rising temperatures are leading to a surge of life-threatening weather patterns across the globe. In Latin America drought is affecting countries in unprecedented ways. In Uruguay, the lack of rain has emptied one of the capital’s main reservoirs, forcing the government to declare a state of emergency in Montevideo and to add salty water to public drinking water supplies—provoking protests from citizens angry over the significant decline of water quality. While the country faces its worst drought in the past 74 years, critics accuse the government of prioritizing water use by transnationals and agribusinesses over human consumption. News of a plan to build a Google data center that would require 3.8 million liters of water a day further infuriated Uruguayans. (Photo: ANRed)

Southern Cone
brasilia putsch

Bolsonaro supporters storm Brazilian congress

In scenes eerily reminiscent of the January 2020 attack on the US Capitol,​ crowds supporting former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro infiltrated and vandalized the country’s seats of power, one week after the inauguration of left-wing President Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva. Demonstrators smashed the windows of the the National Congress building and stormed its senate chamber. Protesters then breached the Supreme Federal Tribunal, entering the main courtroom clad in Brazillian flags. Many also forced their way into the Planalto Palace, the presidential building. Clashes between police and protesters have been reported, but one journalist tweeted a video of what appears to be a Federal District Military Police officer taking a selfie with demonstrators. Brazil’s Attorney General Office has asked judicial authorities to arrest former Bolsonaro justice minister and current head of Federal District security Anderson Torres. (Image: MeidasTouch)

Palestine
Palestine

Chile to open embassy in Palestine

Chile is planning to open an embassy in Palestine, President Gabriel Boric has announced. Speaking at a private ceremony hosted by the local Palestinian community in the capital Santiago, Boric acknowledged that he is “taking a risk” with the move, but added: “We are going to raise our official representation in Palestine from having a charge d’affaires. Now we are going to open an embassy.” The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs immediately commended the decision, saying it “affirms the principled position of Chile and its president in support of international law and the right of the Palestinian people to establish their independent state.” (Image: Nicolas Raymond via Flickr)

Southern Cone
Rio Loa

ICJ rules in Chile-Bolivia water dispute

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) delivered its judgment in a water dispute between Chile and Bolivia. The court found that the contested Río Silala is governed by international law, meaning that Bolivia cannot assert complete control over the waterway, and that Chile is entitled to the “equitable and reasonable use” of its waters. Bolivia asserted that Chile should not have rights to the river because the Silala’s waters only flow into Chile’s Río Loa through artificial channels. Chile, in turn, claimed the Silala is an international river and noted that the artificial channels at issue were built more than 100 years ago. The court urged that a “shared resource can only be protected through cooperation,” allowing both Chile and Bolivia to claim victory. The decision comes at a time when both Chile and Bolivia are experiencing severe drought. (Photo of Río Loa: Norberto Seebach via Aprendo en línea, Chile)

Southern Cone
Lula

Tough congress for Brazil’s new indigenous caucus

In Brazil’s general elections, five self-identified indigenous candidates won seats as federal deputies and two as senators—the highest number in the country’s history. The most celebrated victory was that of Sônia Guajajara, a leader of her own Guajajara people in Maranhão state who has emerged as a voice for indigenous peoples on the national stage, and now takes a seat as deputy. But this new “Bancada do Cocar” (Feathered Headdress Caucus) will face tough odds in a generally more conservative National Congress. More seats were won by supporters of the reactionary outgoing president Jair Bolsonaro, and especially the Bancada Rural (Rural Caucus, dominated by the agribusiness lobby), in both the lower and upper houses. (Photo of indigenous leaders with president-elect Lula da Silva via Mongabay)

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University of São Paulo

Brazil: cyberattack on ‘Democracy Manifesto’

Faculty at the University of São Paulo produced a “Manifesto for Democracy” in response to threats by President Jair Bolsonaro not to respect the results of Brazil’s upcoming elections if he loses. The letter was released and read aloud at an event at the university on Aug. 11—the date of the release of a similar manifesto in 1977, opposing the military dictatorship then in power. The letter has accrued more than 800,000 signatures. However, the day before the manifesto’s release, the computer system collecting the signatures was debilitated by a “distributed denial of service” (DDoS) attack. The IP addresses indicated that the attack originated in Russia. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons viia Brazilian Report)