"Take No Prisoners" in Practice
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.
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.
Does a Mexican Drug Kingpin Have a Case Against the DEA?
by Andrew Kennis and Jason McGahan, Time Out Chicago
The abandoned car of Margarito Flores Sr., a resident of Chicago's Little Village neighborhood, was discovered in western Mexico's Sinaloa desert in 2009. A message directed to his twin sons, Pedro and Margarito, was stuck to its windshield: tell those fuckers to shut up or we are going to send you his head.
The Flores twins, 31-year-old Chicago drug traffickers, had warned their father not to return to Mexico, and especially not to the drug-war-torn state of Sinaloa, home to the Sinaloa cartel, which US intelligence considers one of the most powerful drug trafficking organizations in the world.
Margarito Sr. was never heard from again.
by Bill Weinberg, The Progressive
The Newmont Mining Corporation, based in Colorado, has embroiled itself in a controversial project in northern Peru that locals say threatens their water and their future. Peasants and workers in the region have engaged in mass demonstrations and general strikes, and the president of Peru has responded by declaring a state of emergency. At stake is the economic model of aggressive resource extraction lubricated by the new free trade agreement with Washington.
by David Frakt, JURIST Forum
On September 11, 2012, as the nation remembered those who lost their lives in the horrific and senseless attacks of 9-11, the government released information about the death of Guantánamo detainee Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif. His story exemplifies how many of the detainees are also victims, not of terrorism, but of the war on terror.
As a result of the Bush administration's overreaction to the actions of a small terrorist network, 787 men have been detained at Guantánamo Bay since it opened in January 2002—only a handful with any connection to the attacks on September 11, 2001. Many detainees, including several later proven to be innocent, have been subjected to torture. Most were subjected at least to inhumanity and abuse, especially during the early years when our government did not recognize that the Geneva Convention requirements of humane treatment applied to detainees. Of the over 600 detainees released, none have ever received compensation of any kind from the US government, or even so much as an apology or acknowledgment that they were wrongfully imprisoned.
by Kevin Anderson, US Marxist-Humanists
Beset by the twin dangers of Islamism and nominally secular authoritarianism, the Arab revolutions continue to shake up the region as they move through their second year. This essay, which first appeared in Logos, Vol. 11, Issues 1-2 (Spring-Summer 2012), is based upon a presentation to a Convention of the International Marxist-Humanist Organization in Chicago on July 14, 2012 — Editors