Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (C) addresses the
audience during a meeting of the annual Mercosur trade bloc presidential
summit in Mendoza June 29, 2012. (Credit: Reuters/Enrique Marcarian)

Chinese leader woos Latin America with deals

Chinese leader woos Latin America with deals
Chinese President Xi Jinping (4-L, first row) poses with leaders of the CELAC group of Latin American and Caribbean states, in Brasilia, on July 17, 2014 (AFP Photo/Nelson Almeida)
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)


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A student holds a sign reading "Don't shoot, listen!!!" during a protest
on June 17, 2013 in Brasilia (AFP, Evaristo)

Brazil's Rousseff claims nation 'ready for greatest World Cup'

Brazil's Rousseff claims nation 'ready for greatest World Cup'
Google: Ready, set, goooaaallll! The WorldCup is finally here.

Paraguay police search S. American football HQ

Paraguay police search S. American football HQ
The Conmebol headquarters in Luque, Paraguay, is seen on January 7, 2016, during a raid within the framework of the FIFA corruption scandal (AFP Photo/Norberto Duarte)

'Panama Papers' law firm under the media's lenses

'Panama Papers' law firm under the media's lenses
The Panama Papers: key facts on the huge journalists' investigation into tax evasion (AFP Photo/Thomas Saint-Cricq, Philippe Mouche)

Mossack Fonseca

Mossack Fonseca

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.
"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Saturday, July 14, 2018

'We apologize': former Colombia FARC rebels seek forgiveness at tribunal

Yahoo – AFP, Rodrigo ALMONACID, Marcela RODRIGUEZ, July 14, 2018

The Special Jurisdiction for Peace is examining kidnappings and disappearances
that took place between 1993 and 2012 (AFP Photo/Raul ARBOLEDA)

Bogota (AFP) - Former rebel FARC commanders in Colombia have appeared at a historic tribunal where for the first time they were made to answer for kidnappings and forced disappearances under the terms of a peace deal.

"We apologize to all of them, we will do the impossible so they can know the truth of what happened, we will assume our responsibilities," said Rodrigo "Timochenko" Londono, the leader of what was until recently the most powerful guerrilla group in South America.

He was speaking at a tribunal that opened on Friday under a truth and reconciliation system agreed with the government to recognize the hundreds of thousands of victims of more than a half century of confrontation.

At the end of his appearance, the former guerrilla leader reaffirmed to the press commitments to contribute "as far as possible" towards reparations for those affected and to never again exercise violence.

During their long and failed struggle for power, the FARC resorted to abductions for economic and political purposes.

Thousands of hostages, including military, police and politicians such as Franco-Colombian Ingrid Betancourt, were kept for years deep in the jungle before being rescued or released, with many others perishing in captivity.

The prosecution has documented 8,163 victims of kidnapping involving the rebels.

The Special Jurisdiction for Peace (known by its Spanish acronym JEP) is examining the period between 1993 and 2012.

The peace agreement signed in 2016 by FARC rebels and the government has 
divided Colombian society (AFP Photo/Raul ARBOLEDA)

Thirty-one FARC commanders were summoned to the first hearing, but only Timochenko and two others appeared in person.

The rest sent lawyers, while one -- Jesus Santrich, currently detained in Bogota and awaiting extradition to the United States on drug trafficking charges -- participated by video conference.

The ex-rebels pledged to confess their crimes and make reparations to the victims as part of the 2016 agreement that disarmed 7,000 FARC fighters and led to the group becoming a political party last year.

Fulfilling the terms will result in five to eight-year-punishments in a non-prison setting that has yet to be defined.

If they fail to live up to their obligations they are liable to receive between 15 to 20 years in prison.

Outgoing president Juan Manuel Santos celebrated the start of the trials.

"This is a very important signal, because what it means is that everything that had been said about this being a peace without accounting was untrue," he told reporters.

The peace agreement, signed in 2016, has divided Colombian society.

Half vehemently defends the agreement, while the other says the concessions it offered the rebels are too great.

President-elect Ivan Duque, who will assume power on August 7, won elections promising to modify the deal to prevent former FARC leaders from becoming lawmakers.

The pact guarantees FARC ten seats in Congress.

Outside the building where the tribunal took place, around twenty people who were prevented from entering gathered in silence and exhibited photographs of those "kidnapped or disappeared" at the hands of the rebels.

"We need to know the truth most of all. They must only get reduced sentences if they tell us what really happened to the people they kidnapped," said Olga Rojas, the widow of Sergeant Jose Vicente Rojas, who disappeared in 1992.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Prominent Chilean priest arrested over sex abuse allegations

Yahoo – AFP, July 13, 2018

Prosecutor Emiliano Arias, pictured in Santiago, confirmed the investigation
included a possible cover-up of abuse (AFP Photo/CLAUDIO REYES)

Santiago (AFP) - Prominent Chilean Catholic priest Oscar Munoz, who held senior positions in the archdiocese of Santiago, was detained Thursday over allegations that he sexually abused seven children -- the latest pedophilia scandal to grip the country's church.

The alleged abuse by Munoz, 56, took place from 2002 in the capital Santiago and the southern city of Rancagua, prosecutor Emiliano Arias said.

Munoz was vice-chancellor and then chancellor in the archdiocese of Santiago from 2011, before he was removed two months ago after admitting in January, days before Pope Francis' visit to Chile, that he had abused a minor.

He was initially investigated by the Chilean church, which then referred the case to the Vatican. The abuse was uncovered by Chilean prosecutors when the church's case file was seized during a June operation.

Arias confirmed the investigation included a possible cover-up involving senior members of the clergy, among them the two most recent archbishops of Santiago, Francisco Javier Errazuriz and Ricardo Ezzati.

Ezzati said the archdiocese is available to cooperate "in everything that is required."

Chilean police also set up an email address appealing for any other allegations related to the case.

The Chilean church has been hit by pedophilia scandals implicating dozens of priests. Pope Francis has accepted the resignations of five bishops, four of whom were accused of turning a blind eye to abuse or covering it up.

Brazil fighting fake news in the classroom

Yahoo – AFP, Paula RAMON, July 13, 2018

Students attend a lesson on "Fake News: access, security and veracity of
information" in Sao Paulo, Brazil (AFP Photo/Miguel SCHINCARIOL)

Sao Paulo (AFP) - Brazil has taken a stand against the explosion of "fake news" stories swamping the internet by making media analysis studies compulsory for schoolchildren.

Around the world, debates proliferate about the problem of unfettered information flooding social media, uploaded by people with no consideration for journalist ethics, impartiality or even the truth.

Of particular concern is the effect such misinformation can have on those most impressionable.

"The aim is to teach students to identify fake news, and now it's part of the national curriculum because the country has decided it's necessary," said Leandro Beguoci, editorial director at Brazilian education specialists Nova Escola.

"The proliferation of social media networks have created an urgent situation in this respect," Beguoci said.

Media analysis studies became compulsory in December 2017, but have been offered alongside traditional subjects like mathematics and history for years in some Brazilian schools.

Kayo Rodrigues, 14, said the Brazilian press is not perfect, but plays a vital role in combating fake news "because not everyone has the internet or the tools to check facts."

She enrolled in the "Young Press" program launched six years ago in the Casa Blanca public school in Sao Paulo.

At Casa Blanca, teachers Lucilene Varandas and Hildenor Gomes do Santos ensure their students, aged eight to 14, know not to take everything they watch or read at face value.

'Think about clicks'

"When I receive a piece of information, I look for it on the internet and ask myself if it's true," said Helena Vital, 11, whose parents are teachers. She said the program has taught her to view the media from a different perspective.

"Now I know that things aren't so bad, the whole country isn't going to collapse," added Vital, who said that consuming news without questioning it "leaves people sad" and that "there are many negative things that aren't true."

The children do not have the tools to systematically check everything, but "they look at the articles, who wrote them, who could be interested in them and where they're published, which are all ways of questioning the information," said Varandas, who is looking to create partnerships with fact-checking agencies to expand the children's education.

The measures seem to be working despite the children's young age.

"All it takes is one click to share false news; this project teaches me to think about my clicks," said Rodrigues, daughter of a shopkeeper and a manicurist.

The students enrolled in "Young Press" have also been analyzing local media stories about the project, and even found inaccuracies.

AFP was told its own coverage would be equally scrutinized.

With a population of almost 208 million people, Brazil has a massive social media presence: 120 million WhatsApp users, more than 100 million people on Facebook and another 50 million signed up to Instagram.

"In the past, kids were taught by their parents, but now that happens through a variety of means, something which alters the role of the school," said Beguoci, a trained journalist.

"What's so interesting in Brazil is that media and technological literacy are considered as important as classical literacy."

'Digital age natives'

Beguoci denies that information analysis is an additional burden on the education system, saying it rather offers "a context that can improve education."

"We're talking about things that are part of the student's world," he said.

For Veronica Martins Cannata, who coordinates technology and communication studies at the private Dante Alighieri school, children have their own responsibility when it comes to fake news.

"Technology has facilitated communication, but the time has come to question its content," she said.

"As natives of the digital age, children and teenagers must take the responsibility to analyze that content before reproducing it."

Dante Alighieri has been analyzing media content for 11 years and has also brought the fight against fake news into the classroom.

Children are born "with ingenuity," but at school they acquire "a critical eye and no longer consume information in the same way," said Martins Cannata.

Such media analysis studies will not necessarily create a new generation of wannabe reporters, though.

Vital, for one, is suspicious about the press that "is sometimes flawed in its credibility."

Asked if she would like to one day become a journalist, Vital said: "I prefer swimming!"

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Brazil appeals court orders ex-president Lula's release

Yahoo – AFP, July 8, 2018

Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva left office with sky-high ratings
following an economic boom and widely praised social programs to reduce
poverty (AFP Photo/Nelson ALMEIDA)

Rio de Janeiro (AFP) - A Brazilian appeals court on Sunday delivered a surprise ruling ordering the release of former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, 72, who has been jailed since April for corruption and could now be released within hours.

Leftist firebrand Lula -- who was convicted of accepting a seaside apartment as a bribe from Brazilian construction company OAS -- has been battling to overturn his 12-year sentence in the hopes of making another presidential bid in elections in October.

Judge Rogerio Favreto ruled in favor of several deputies of Lula's Workers' Party who on Friday had submitted a habeas corpus application on the former president's behalf.

On the heels of the ruling, top anti-corruption Judge Sergio Moro -- who originally sentenced Lula -- said the judge did not have the power to secure the leftist's release, declaring the decision "monocratic."

"Lula free now!" read the popular politician's Twitter account, praising "the end of the illegal imprisonment of Lula."

But even if released, Lula -- who ruled Brazil from 2003 to 2011, leaving office with sky-high ratings -- could see his candidacy invalidated by the South American country's electoral court.

Despite his jailing, Lula has consistently led presidential polls.

He insists he is innocent and has branded the accusations of accepting the apartment as a conspiracy aimed at thwarting his electoral bid.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Trump-AMLO: clash of populists, or chance for a fresh start?

Yahoo – AFP, Alina DIESTE, July 3, 2018

Lopez Obrador won more than 53 percent of the votes in Sunday's poll, a major
upset to the establishment that raises a question mark over Mexico's relations with
its powerful northern neighbor, its main trading partner (AFP Photo/PEDRO PARDO)

Washington (AFP) - Like Donald Trump before him, Mexico's new leftist leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador swept to victory with a promise to shake up corrupt elites and put his country's interests first.

So are the neighbors headed for a clash of the populists, or a new start in relations?

The politician known as "AMLO" won more than 53 percent of the votes in Sunday's poll, a major upset to the establishment that raises a question mark over Mexico's relations with its powerful northern neighbor, its main trading partner.

Despite Trump's hard line on migrants, his threats to build a wall on the border and shake up trade, and in spite of AMLO promising to "put Trump in his place," both leaders appeared determined to get off to a good start in a phone conversation held immediately after the Mexican's landslide.

Trump's National Security Advisor, the hawkish John Bolton, said the US president will "look forward" to what he predicted would be a productive meeting with AMLO.

"Having the two leaders get together may produce some surprising results," Bolton said.

Beyond the optimistic rhetoric, analysts suggest there are number of potential points of conflict ahead, even if AMLO moderates his approach upon taking office.

More Lula than Chavez

AMLO, the 64-year-old former mayor of Mexico City, won the presidency on his third attempt with a promise of "radical change," but his administration is expected to dial things down now he is finally in power.

Former Brazilian president (2003-2011) Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is more likely to be
 the model for Mexican president-elect Andres manuel Lopez Obrador than the late 
Venezuelan Socialist leader Hugo Chavez, analysts said (AFP Photo/Nelson ALMEIDA)

"AMLO will govern more like fellow leftist Lula da Silva in Brazil than (the late Hugo) Chavez in Venezuela," said analyst Mark Rosenberg of the GeoQuant consultants.

Jason Marczak, Latin America director at the Atlantic Council, was more emphatic: "AMLO is not Chavez."

"Will AMLO seek to implement social reforms in a pragmatic way like Lula did?" he asked.

"Yes, in that respect I think he will follow that path. AMLO, like Lula, is also seen by his followers like a savior with superhuman status.

"But the economic context in which AMLO arrives to power is very different from the one Lula inherited."

Lopez Obrador won largely because Mexicans are fed up with corruption, impunity and violence, and not because of the US leader's angry outbursts at everything south of the Rio Grande, added Marczak.

"Washington can and should seize upon this moment to recalibrate relations with Mexico, to not just maintain, but deepen the cooperation that benefits both our countries."

Kindred spirit?

Despite sharp differences in their backgrounds, the Mexican leftist has much in common with the showy 72-year old New York real estate magnate.

"Both men are nationalists who see themselves as redeemers who have to take on a 'corrupt' and inefficient establishment and have an agenda of putting their country first," said Juan Carlos Hidalgo of the Cato Institute, who argued Trump could see AMLO as a "kindred spirit."

A man holds a sign during a protest against US President Donald Trump outside 
the US Embassy in Mexico City in March 2018 as the seventh round of NAFTA
 (North American Free Trade Agreement) talks took place in the city (AFP Photo/
ALFREDO ESTRELLA)

But, he warned, it could also go the other way. "They are populists, and populists need enemies to survive politically," he said, and AMLO could find that external enemy in Trump.

Michael Shifter, head of the Inter-American Dialogue center, argued the most sensitive and volatile issues are likely to be NAFTA, security cooperation and immigration.

The North American Free Trade Agreement, signed in 1994 and regulating commerce between the United States, Canada and Mexico, has been a particular target for Trump's ire since he launched his campaign in 2015.

Trump ordered fresh negotiations to open last August to re-examine the complex trade deal, but Rosenberg said that protectionist urges on both sides will be complicate efforts to renew the pact.

Hidalgo said it was "likely that AMLO's campaign promises to seek self-sufficiency in food production will be the biggest stumbling block in the renegotiation."

"We can predict AMLO bringing the same brash approach to trade talks as his American counterpart," said Marczak. "As a result, trade talks are expected to become more difficult as the NAFTA partners seek to find a new compromise."

Monday, June 25, 2018

EU sanctions Venezuelan VP, 10 others over election abuses

Yahoo – AFP, June 25, 2018

Venezuela's new vice-president Delcy Rodriguez speaks during a meeting with
members of the new cabinet at the Foreign Ministry in Caracas on June 15,
2018 (AFP Photo/Federico PARRA)

Luxembourg (AFP) - The EU on Monday hit the Venezuelan vice-president and 10 other officials with sanctions over rights abuses and irregularities in the re-election of President Nicolas Maduro, which the bloc condemned as "neither free nor fair".

Vice-President Delcy Rodriguez is the most senior member of Maduro's government targeted by the travel bans and asset freezes, while other top cadres are sanctioned for grave human rights transgressions including torture.

The 28 EU states pledged last month to "swiftly" punish Caracas with sanctions over the May reelection of Maduro, which returned him to office until 2025. The poll was boycotted by the main opposition and denounced as a sham by the United States and many of Venezuela's Latin American neighbours.

"The persons listed are responsible for human rights violations and for undermining democracy and the rule of law in Venezuela," the European Union said after its 28 foreign ministers backed the move at a meeting in Luxembourg.

"The elections held in Venezuela on 20 May 2018 were neither free nor fair and their outcome lacked any credibility as the electoral process did not ensure the necessary guarantees for them to be inclusive and democratic."

The EU also called for fresh presidential elections in Venezuela in line with international standards and for the release of political prisoners.

Venezuela reacted angrily, condemning the EU for "meddling".

The foreign ministry in Caracas said it "categorically rejects the continued aggression and meddling of the European Union, which constitutes clear interference in the sovereign affairs of our country."

In January, Europe added seven senior Venezuelan officials including the interior minister to its sanctions blacklist, after earlier enforcing an embargo on weapons and equipment that could be used for political repression.

Alongside Rodriguez, former vice-president Tareck El Aissami is also sanctioned for his role overseeing the Venezuelan intelligence service, where the EU said he was responsible for "serious human rights violations... including arbitrary detention, politically motivated investigations, inhumane and degrading treatment and torture".

The UN rights chief on Friday called for an international investigation of atrocities in Venezuela, condemning the government's refusal to investigate security officers over the killing of civilians.

Venezuela's economy has collapsed into chaos under Maduro since 2013, with falling oil prices leading to chronic shortages of food and medicine and hundreds of thousands of people fleeing the country.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Cuba to get ready for same sex marriage: Castro daughter

Yahoo – AFP, Moises AVILA, 22 June 2018

Mariela Castro Espin, daughter of former president Raul Castro, runs Cuba's
National Sex Education Center

In Cuba, where homosexuals once suffered harsh repression, a new reform-oriented constitution being drafted could pave the way for same sex marriage, Raul Castro's daughter Mariela Castro Espin says.

She is the director of the National Center for Sex Education, or Cenesex, and promotes policies to help women and the LGBT community.

The National Assembly is drafting a new constitution that will maintain the one-party system but aims to adapt the country to new social and economic times. The current one dates from 1976.

"In the constitution there is a section on rights in which LGBT people must be involved," Castro told AFP in an interview.

"Constitutions do not necessarily get down to specifics. They open doors so later we can talk about changing the legislative system."

Support of current president

After the Cuban revolution of 1959, homosexuals suffered repression and punishment. Fidel Castro eventually apologized for this and insisted it was not a systematic policy of the state.

As a member of the Cuban Communist Party, Mariela Castro works to teach leaders as well as everyday citizens about tolerance.

As a member of the Cuban Communist Party, Mariela Castro works to teach
leaders and everyday people about tolerance

One of them was Miguel Diaz-Canel, who took over as president in April, ending decades of rule by the Castro brothers -- first Fidel and then his brother Raul. Diaz-Canel got tolerance education as a member of the party's youth wing.

"At one time he would go to Cenesex and attend our meeting, and we had a very productive dialogue," Castro said.

She said Cuban society has made progress on issues involving LGBT rights.

"Before, there was prejudice against talking about these things. Eleven years ago we started holding seminars about homophobia and trans-phobia. And that helped to pave the way for dialogue among the population," she said.

For the past decade Havana has hosted a gay rights parade called the Conga.

"There are people who are bothered by seeing LGBT people dressed up and having fun, and there are those who enjoy it," said Castro.

"We do not want to cause unease but rather instill interest in dialogue," she added.

And it is not just a matter of passing laws: in countries with same sex marriage there can still be high levels of violence against LGBT people, such as in Mexico.

"With marriages, did they stop that violence attitude? No. Bring on laws, of course, but we must work from a policy standpoint and in that we have not made enough progress," said Castro.

From June 25-29 Cenesex is holding a convention on sex education, orientation and therapy.

Erode the patricarchal state

Castro has recalled that since 1965 abortion has been legal in Cuba and is carried out for free.

"The goal was to save the lives of women and ensure their right to decide what they do with their body," she said.

Gays once suffered severe repression in Cuba but now a gay rights parade 
is held every year in Havana

But in Latin America, a misogynous mindset dating way back still predominates, according to Castro.

Even with women as president in some countries it has been hard to work for gender equality.

"They did not manage to bring about change. Not because the women did not want to but rather they faced very strong political opposition," Castro said.

Cuba also went through periods of resistance to women's rights -- "but we were lucky to have the leadership of Fidel Castro" who in 1960 created the Federation of Cuban Women, she said.

Cuba's national assembly has the highest proportion of women in the world, after that of Rwanda, she argued.

The work that began 60 years ago has helped erode the patriarchal state as the paradigm of power.

"We have not managed to overcome all the symbolic elements of the patriarchal state but we have weakened it."

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Chile authorities raid sites linked to church sex abuse

Yahoo – AFP, June 14, 2018

Students demonstrate against the sexual abuse scandal within the church in Chile
as the Vatican's top abuse investigator Maltese archbishop Charles Scicluna (R)
visits Catholic University in Santiago on June 13, 2018 (AFP Photo/CLAUDIO REYES)

Santiago (AFP) - Police on Wednesday seized church files in raids in Santiago and Rancagua, as the Catholic Church scrambled to try to put a better face on a sex abuse scandal that has rocked Chile.

The surprise operations came as Maltese archbishop Charles Scicluna and fellow papal envoy Jordi Bertomeu are visiting for a second time to take witness statements from victims of sexual abuse in the church and provide instruction to Chilean dioceses to respond adequately to any new complaints.

Prosecutor Emiliano Arias confirmed two "landmark" raids and said he was pleased with how they went. Precisely because church officials long were not subject to civilian authority in Chile, this marked a dramatic shift.

"This is not an investigation against the Catholic church," Arias said, but rather an investigation of reports of sex abuse by members of the church who abused minors.

Several members of the church hierarchy, including former bishop Juan Barros, are accused by victims of ignoring and covering up years of child abuse by Chilean pedophile priest Fernando Karadima during the 1980s and 1990s.

Pope Francis appointed 61-year-old Barros as bishop of Osorno in 2015, when victims' allegations against him were already widely known.

The pontiff himself became mired in the scandal when, during a trip to Chile in January, he defended Barros, who was accused of covering up Karadima's wrongdoing.

Karadima was suspended for life by the Vatican over the allegations of child molestation, and Barros was one of three bishops whose resignations Francis accepted on Monday.

Scicluna and Bertomeu visited Chile in February to investigate the allegations and meet with victims. Their report to Rome noted the existence of a "culture of abuse" within the Chilean Church.

In a letter to Chileans released at the end of last month, the pontiff voiced "shame" that the Catholic Church failed "to listen and react in time" to the allegations of sexual abuse by Chilean clergy.

He has since received two groups of Karadima's victims at the Vatican.

Since 2000, about 80 Catholic priests have been reported to authorities in Chile for alleged sexual abuse.

Earlier Sciclina told reporters "it is so important to show a sign of willingness to cooperate."

Monday, June 11, 2018

Pope accepts resignation of 3 Chilean bishops in sex abuse scandal

Digital Journal – AFP, By CATHERINE MARCIANO, 11 June 2018


Pope Francis accepted Monday the resignation of three Chilean bishops, including the controversial Juan Barros, following a child sex abuse scandal in Chile which has come to haunt his papacy.

The entire Chilean delegation of bishops tendered its resignation to the pope last month after a series of meetings at the Vatican.

The mass resignation of bishops is almost unheard of, having last happened two centuries ago.

Several members of the Chile's Catholic Church hierarchy are accused by victims of ignoring and covering up child abuse by Chilean paedophile priest Fernando Karadima during the 1980s and 1990s.

The scandal is the latest to rock the Roman Catholic Church, and Argentine-born Francis has said it must not happen again on his watch.

But the pontiff himself became mired in the scandal when, during a trip to Chile in January, he defended the 61-year-old Barros who was accused of covering up Karadima's wrongdoing.

Karadima was suspended for life by the Vatican over the allegations of child molestation.

'New day for the Church'

"It's a new day for the Catholic Church of Chile! Three corrupt bishops are out," said Juan Carlos Cruz, one of Karadima's victims who was received by the pope in May along with two other men the priest had abused.

The announcement of Pope Francis's decision to accept the resignation was made in a Vatican statement which named the other two bishops as Cristian Caro Cordero and Gonzalo Duarte Garcia de Cortazar. Both men are 75, the age when bishops normally retire.

Francis has apologised to the victims and admitted he had made "grave mistakes" after reading a 2,300-page report on abuses in Chile.

In a letter to Chileans released at the end of last month, the pontiff voiced "shame" that the Catholic Church failed "to listen and react in time" to the allegations of sexual abuse by Chilean clergy.

He has since received two groups of Karadima's victims at the Vatican. The second group comprises five Chilean priests who met Francis at the start of June.

Since 2000, about 80 Catholic priests have been reported to authorities in Chile for alleged sexual abuse.

In 2015, Francis appointed Barros as the head of the southern diocese of Osorno despite accusations he had covered up for Karadima.

'I was part of the problem'

Last month Francis promised "changes" to the Chilean church to "restore justice" in a short declaration to the bishops that was made public.

Chilean sexual abuse victims Jose Andres Murillo (R), James Hamilton (C) and
Juan Carlos Cruz (L) met the pope individually/
Tiziana FABI, AFP/File

The letter -- handed to the bishops at the start of their meetings with Francis -- evokes "crimes" and "painful and shameful sexual abuse of minors, abuses of power and conscience by ministers of the Church".

It qualifies the removal of certain prelates from their roles as necessary but "insufficient," calling for "the roots" that allowed for such abuse within an "elitist and authoritarian" Chilean church to be examined.

Cruz, whom the pope hosted at his Vatican residence and met individually along with two other victims, said the pontiff was "contrite" and said he had been "part of the problem".

"I told him that Barros was watching us when we were abused, I think that's clear to him now," Juan Carlos Cruz said.

"He (the pope) said, 'I was part of the problem, I caused this'," Cruz added.

Some of the victims have accused Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz, a key advisor to Francis, of ignoring and helping to cover up Karadima's abuses.

Despite a strong Catholic tradition, Chile is witnessing a growing rift between the people and the Church, deepened by the string of sexual abuse scandals.

President Sebastian Pinera, a practising Catholic, recently said he was saddened by the fact that the Church "is increasingly remote, not only from worshippers but from people in general."

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Pope to Chileans: 'We did not react in time' on sex abuse

Yahoo – AFP, May 31, 2018

Pope Francis prays during a weekly general audience in St Peter's square on
May 23, 2018 in Vatican (AFP Photo/Alberto PIZZOLI)

Santiago (AFP) - Pope Francis voiced "shame" that the Catholic church failed "to listen and react in time" to allegations of sexual abuse by Chilean clergy, in a letter to Chileans released Thursday.

Several members of the Chilean church hierarchy are accused by victims of ignoring and covering up child abuse by pedophile priest Fernando Karadima during the 1980s and 1990s.

Francis earlier this month promised "changes" to the Chilean church to "restore justice" after reading the conclusions of an investigation into the abuse.

"I must say with shame that we did not listen and react in time" over the allegations, the pope said in the letter, released by Chile's Episcopal Conference at a news conference.

The Argentine pope also announced a new trip soon to Chile by Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Father Jordi Bertomeu, who visited Santiago in February to talk to the victims.

Francis has apologized to the victims, three of whom he met with recently.

On Friday and Sunday, he is to receive seven more victims of Karadima, who was suspended for life by the Vatican.

On May 18, 34 Chilean bishops announced their resignation over the scandal, after Francis summoned them.

Since 2000, about 80 Roman Catholic priests have been reported to authorities in Chile for alleged sexual abuse.

Some analysts note that Chile's long tradition of having the church not subject to civilian law lent itself to impunity and cover-ups.


In a statement, the 34 Chilean bishops asked "forgiveness for the pain caused
to the victims" 

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