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.)

Map of Latin America showing countries where major protests have occurred in recent months (AFP Photo)
A student holds a sign reading "Don't shoot, listen!!!" during a protest
on June 17, 2013 in Brasilia (AFP, Evaristo)

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


"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, August 31, 2013

Colombia troops to patrol Bogota after protests

BBC News, 30 August 2013

President Santos said violence overnight in Bogota was unacceptable

Related Stories

Colombia is deploying troops in the capital, Bogota, following violent protests in support of a strike by small-scale farmers.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said the troops were needed "to assure normality".

Clashes with police broke out after thousands of people took to the streets in support of the farmers. At least two people have died.

Farmers say government policies are driving them into bankruptcy.

"Last night, I ordered the militarisation of Bogota and I will do the same today in any municipality or area that needs the presence of our soldiers," President Santos said in a televised address after an overnight cabinet meeting.

"It's unacceptable that the actions of a few impact the lives of the majority."

On Friday, the farmers' leaders said they would no longer block highways but would retain roadside pickets.

They said they would resume negotiations with the government on Saturday.

Water cannon

President Santos also said he was deploying up to 50,000 troops on the nation's road network to counter protests and blockages.

He had earlier described the protests as "valid", but urged demonstrators to keep them peaceful.

Clashes broke out on Thursday afternoon after tens of thousands of people marched peacefully in support of a 10-day protest by small-scale farmers.

Correspondents said masked youths threw stones and bricks, and fought riot police who responded with tear gas and water cannon.

The two deaths occurred overnight in the western districts of Suba and Engativa, although the circumstances are not yet clear, Bogota security chief Alfonso Jaramillo said.

Riot police clashed with protesters in several areas on Bogota

Interior Minister Fernando Carrillo said that those who had resorted to violence were "vandals, not farmers".

The protests have united potato growers and milk producers with teachers, health workers and students.

Roadblocks set up by protesters have disrupted food supplies to major cities and towns.

On Wednesday the government announced measures - including better prices for agricultural products and more access to loans - to ease the pressure on farmers.

The government also promised more protection from products imported at lower prices from countries with free-trade agreements with Colombia.

But the small-scale farmers have so far rejected the government's offer.

They say that free trade agreements with the European Union and the US, which have recently come into force, are flooding the market with agricultural products at prices they are unable to match.

They also complain that rising fuel and production costs have turned small-scale farming into a loss-making business.

Suriname president's son Dino Bouterse charged in US

BBC News, 31 August 2013

Dino Bouterse, seen here arriving at court in 2003, served an earlier prison
sentence on multiple charges

Related Stories

The son of Suriname's president has appeared before a court in the United States, charged with drug and weapons trafficking.

Dino Bouterse pleaded not guilty in a federal court in New York.

Mr Bouterse was arrested in Panama on Thursday and swiftly handed over to American agents.

His arrest came as his father, President Desi Bouterse, hosted the Unasur summit of South American leaders.

Dino Bouterse, who was head of Suriname's anti-terrorism unit, was arrested at Panama City international airport while travelling on a diplomatic passport.

US officials said Mr Bouterse had been indicted on drug and weapons charges, including cocaine trafficking.

He had been sentenced to eight years in prison in 2005, after being found guilty of trafficking in drugs, weapons and stolen luxury cars.

Mr Bouterse was released three years later for good behaviour and was later named director of Suriname's Counter Terrorist Unit.

His father Desi (for Desire), a former coup leader, was elected president of Suriname in 2010.

He was accused of numerous human rights violations in the 1980s but was given immunity by parliament in 2012.

In 2000, President Bouterse was himself convicted in absentia of drug trafficking by a court in the Netherlands.

He has always denied the charges.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Julian Assange told: stop using embassy to make fun of politicians

Ecuador's Rafael Correa sends letter to WikiLeaks founder asking him to desist ridiculing Australian political figures, Kevin Rawlinson and agencies, Friday 30 August 2013

Julian Assange takes part in a modified version of John Farnham's hit You're
the Voice inside the Ecuadorean embassy in London. Photograph: The
Juice Media/AFP

Julian Assange has been told to stop using the Ecuadorean embassy in London to poke fun at Australian politicians as part of his Senate election bid, it has been reported.

The South American nation's president, Rafael Correa, chastised Assange after a video appeared online in which the WikiLeaks founder – along with Juice Rap News – ridiculed Tony Abbott, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard.

"We have sent him a letter: he can campaign politically, but without making fun of Australian politicians. We are not going to allow that," said Correa, who is attending a South American summit in the Surinamese capital Paramarimbo.

Assange appeared wearing a comedy wig and bandana emblazoned with the Australian flag in the video. He also performed a cover version of John Farnham's You're the Voice.

He is one of six WikiLeaks party candidates running for election. The party's chances at the ballot box were hit when Assange's running mate in Victoria Leslie Cannold resigned. She was followed out of the door by six other members.

Tensions between Assange and his Ecuadorean hosts were heightened during the Snowden affair, with diplomats saying that they felt that the WikiLeaks founder was trying to steal the limelight.

According to Agence France-Presse, Correa said: "The rules of asylum in principle forbid meddling in the politics of the country that grants asylum. But as a matter of courtesy we are not going to bar Julian Assange from exercising his right to be a candidate. Just so long as he doesn't make fun of Australian politicians or people."

Assange took refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London in June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning about sexual assault allegations.

He fears Sweden would extradite him to the United States, where he believes he is wanted in relation to WikiLeaks' disclosure of a huge trove of classified US military and diplomatic documents.

Chelsea Manning, the US army private who leaked the documents to Assange's organisation, was sentenced to 35 years in prison by a US military court on 21 August.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Swiss and French police raid offices linked to billionaire Steinmetz

The Guardian understands the raids were requested by the US department of justice, which has been investigating Steinmetz's Simandou mining deal

The Guardian, Ian Cobain, Thursday 29 August 2013

BSGR's acquisition of mining concessions in Guinea, where millions live
 in poverty, caused widespread anger. Photograph: Issouf Sanogo/AFP/
 Getty Image

Police in Switzerland and France carried out a number of co-ordinated raids on properties linked to one of the world's richest men as part of a global investigation into allegations of corruption surrounding a multibillion dollar mining deal.

Officers in Geneva raided the offices of a firm that provides management services for BSGR, a company controlled by Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz, while in France police raided the home of a director of the management services firm. Up to 20 police raided the offices of Onyx Financial Advisors, according to a security guard quoted by Reuters, and took away a number of documents. The Guardian understands that the raids were mounted at the request of the US department of justice, which has spent more than six months investigating BSGR's acquisition of lucrative mining concessions in the former French colony of Guinea.

Steinmetz, 57, secured the rights to extract half the ore at Simandou after investing $165m in exploration, and then sold half his stake to a Brazilian mining corporation for $2.5bn.

In a country where millions of people live in desperate poverty, without running water, electricity or a functioning infrastructure – while sitting on some of the richest mineral deposits in the world, it was a deal that caused widespread anger and resentment.

Shortly after FBI agents began investigating the circumstances surrounding the Simandou deal to establish whether there had been any breach of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and anti money-laundering laws, an associate of Steinmetz was arrested in Florida.

The FBI had covertly recorded a series of meetings during which the man had allegedly attempted to secure the destruction of documents detailing the way in which the iron ore concession was acquired. He has been charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice and is due to stand trial later in the year. He denies any wrongdoing.

Following the raids in Switzerland and France a spokesman for Onyx said: "Onyx has absolutely nothing to hide. We are co-operating fully with the authorities but are unable to comment further at this time."

The company's chief executive, Dag Cramer, added that the firm had "provided the Swiss authorities with information".

Steinmetz and BSGR deny any wrongdoing over the Simandou deal and say they are the victims of a smear campaign that is being led by the current president of Guinea, Alpha Condé, in an attempt to divert attention from his domestic political problems. Condé, who denies this, is conducting a parallel investigation to that being conducted by the FBI, examining a number of mining deals struck by past governments.

Last month the Guardian reported that Steinmetz was under investigation by the FBI as part of its corruption probe. While researching that article questions put to Steinmetz's spokesman Ian Middleton at the London PR firm Powerscourt twice resulted in threats of libel action from his lawyers at Mishcon de Reya.

Earlier this month Powerscourt also attempted to play down connections between Steinmetz's firm BSGR and Onyx, saying they were "separate and fully independent" of each other. Onyx was originally incorporated as BSG Management Services; the two firms share a number of directors as well as offices in London's Mayfair; and BSGR's website offers Onyx as a point of contact for anyone wishing to invest in BSGR.

Asked whether BSGR and Steinmetz had any comment on the raids in Switzerland and France, Middleton replied: "No they don't."

Mexico detains cartel operator tied to 350 murders

Google – AFP, 29 August 2013

A member of the local police in plain clothes patrols in Ciudad Juarez, 
Mexico, on May 7, 2013 (AFP/File, Jesus Alcazar)

MEXICO CITY — Police have detained a drug cartel operator in northern Mexico suspected of being responsible for the killing of more than 350 people found in 23 clandestine graves, authorities said Thursday.

Mario Nunez Meza, 39, was captured on Wednesday in Ciudad Juarez, which borders Texas, without a shot being fired, federal security spokesman Eduardo Sanchez told a news conference.

Sanchez said Nunez is a "close collaborator" of Mexico's most wanted man, Sinaloa cartel kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

Nunez played a key role in the wave of violence that has plagued the northern states of Chihuahua and Durango in recent years and is "likely responsible for the murder of more than 350 people found in 23 clandestine graves," Sanchez said.

He is also wanted for his alleged role in drug trafficking, kidnapping and money laundering. With his arrest, the authorities have now captured 63 of the country's 122 most wanted and "most dangerous" criminals, Sanchez said.

When authorities discovered mass graves in Durango last year, authorities linked the violence to battles between rival factions within the Sinaloa crime syndicate and the arrival of the Zetas cartels, a group founded by military deserters.

The states of Durango, Chihuahua and Sinaloa share a region known as "The Gold Triangle" for its extensive fields of marijuana and heroin-producing poppies, drugs that are then shipped to the United States.

Ciudad Juarez was once considered the world's murder capital as the Sinaloa and Juarez cartels fought for control of the lucrative drug trafficking route, but the homicide rate has been dropping there since hitting a peak of 3,116 deaths in 2010.

FARC peace talk law upheld, Colombia's president says he's ready to start talks with ELN

Deutsche Welle, 29 August 2013

A Colombian court has declared constitutional a law that has made FARC peace talks possible. Meanwhile, the country’s president has said he is ready to start negotiations with Colombia’s number two rebel group, the ELN.

The Constitutional Court announced the decision on Wednesday evening, saying the law is a key factor in the peace process with Marxist FARC rebels.

Congress passed the so-called Legal Framework for Peace last year, which modified the constitution and established that rebels can receive reduced or suspended prison sentences if they lay down their weapons.

"The Constitutional Court considered that to reach stable and lasting peace, it is legitimate to adopt transitional justice measures like the mechanisms of selection and ranking," of crimes, said a statement read by the court's top judge, Jorge Ivan Palacio. However, he also cautioned that the ruling does not mean war crimes will go unpunished.

Human rights groups have criticized the amendment as inadequate and have said it could allow rebels who commit war crimes to escape justice.

Bogotahas been engaged in Cuba-brokered talks with the country's largest rebel group, FARC, since November. Ahead of the negotiations, FARC gave up kidnappings and freed its last police and military hostages in April.

The court's decision came on the same evening that President Juan Manuel Santos announced that Bogota was ready to start peace negotiations with the National Liberation Army (ELN), FARC's smaller counterpart.

"The government is ready to start dialogue with the ELN as soon as possible," the office of the president said in a statement Wednesday. Santos had demanded the release of Gernot Wober, a 47-year-old mining executive, as a condition for beginning peace negotiations.

The ELN handed Wober over to the Red Cross on Tuesday, with the group's commander Nicolas Rodriguez, known as Gabino, calling his release a "humanitarian act" that would hopefully be seen as a "contribution for peace in Colombia."

Wobert was captured in northern Sur de Bolivar state on January 18 while visiting a gold-mining camp. He was taken along with two Peruvians and three Colombians employed by his company, all of whom were released a month later except for Wober.

The ELN, which opposes mining by foreign companies in Colombia, had demanded Wober's Braeval Mining Corp. halt exploration in the local Snow Mine. Last month the company announced it was pulling out of Colombia, and on Tuesday the ELN said it would free Wober.

The government has been in conflict with the leftist ELN, an organization with an estimated 3,000 fighters, for nearly five decades.

dr,hc/jm (AFP, Reuters)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Brazil foreign minister quits over Bolivia senator row

BBC News, 27 August 2013

Related Stories

Bolivian Senator Roger Pinto was clearly
 overjoyed to have arrived in Brasilia
Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota has resigned in the wake of a diplomatic scandal with Bolivia.

He quit after a Bolivian opposition politician holed up in the Brazilian embassy in La Paz for more than a year fled the country in a diplomatic car.

A Brazilian official has admitted using his diplomatic immunity to drive the senator across the border without permission from either country.

Senator Roger Pinto was given asylum at the Brazilian embassy last year.

He had been accused of at least 14 crimes in Bolivia, including corruption. He denied the charges and asked for asylum saying he was being persecuted.

Mr Patriota's resignation was announced in a brief statement from the office of President Dilma Rousseff on Monday.

The same statement named Luiz Alberto Figueiredo, Brazil's head of mission at the UN, as the new foreign minister. Mr Patriota is to become Brazil's new UN ambassador, officials said.


Antonio Patriota is to take up the
post of Brazil's UN ambassador
The BBC's Julia Carneiro in Brazil says Mr Patriota's resignation came after a day of diplomatic tension with Bolivia.

Brazilian diplomat Eduardo Saboia said he used his diplomatic immunity to get Mr Pinto out of Bolivia, leaving with him in an official vehicle on Friday, she says.

Mr Saboia said Mr Pinto had been suffering from depression and he had taken a personal decision to help him.

The senator had been living in a small room in the Brazilian embassy for the past 450 days.

After the escape was revealed, Bolivia accused Brazil of violating international agreements and demanded an explanation.

According to Brazilian media, President Rousseff's government did not know of the operation and considered it a "disaster".

Mr Pinto, who arrived in Brasilia on Sunday, says the charges against him are politically motivated and have been fabricated by the Bolivian government.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Oil drilling in Yasuni creates tension between Germany and Ecuador

Deutsche Welle, 22 August 2013

After Ecuador announced it would drill for oil in its pristine Yasuni National Park while blaming international donors for failed conservation efforts, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has now canceled German aid.

When Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa announced last week (15.08.2013) he had decided to allow oil exploration in parts of Ecuador's Amazon rainforest, Germany was dumbfounded. The German Development Ministry had long been opposing Correa's conservation scheme that asked developed countries to pay Ecuador for preserving the Yasuni National Park. According to Ecuadorian officials, the forest prevents about 400 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) from entering the atmosphere each year.

Correa wanted international donors to come up with $3.6 billion (2.7 billion euros) as compensation payments for not extracting the oil, but said Ecuador had only raised $13 million in actual donations and $116 million in pledges. Correa said the lack of support made it necessary to go ahead with oil drilling plans, despite the fact that the UNESCO biosphere reserve is home to rich biodiversity as well as indigenous tribes.

The Yasuni park is home to indigenous
communities like the Waorani
Germany played a crucial part in opposing the Yasuni project. When German Development Minister Dirk Niebel took over from his predecessor Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul in 2009, who was in favor of the Yasuni conservation scheme, the ministry turned on the project.

Germany says no to Yasuni scheme

"We never ever promised to pay into a fund, because we think it's a totally wrong approach," Gudrun Kopp, Niebel's parliamentary state secretary to the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), told DW. "We want to protect the forests, we would like to empower the indigenous people there and we know that the biodiversity in Ecuador is really unique. And we want to protect the environment by action and by reducing emissions. We don't pay for not drilling for oil."

The BMZ said such an approach would set a precedent for other countries that are exploiting resources like oil, gas or gold. The crux is that the BMZ doesn't want to pay for countries to refrain from doing something, but rather support actions to reduce CO2 emissions and work towards sustainable development.

"Refraining from oil drilling alone is not going to help in forest preservation, and compensation payments have little prospect of success in climate protection measures," Niebel wrote in a newspaper op-ed back in 2011.

Ecuador already extracts oil in other areas - kids here play next to oil
pipelines in Orellana province

Kopp added that, Germany and Ecuador had agreed on a 34.5 million euro program that had just kicked off this year - a program that includes managing the forest protection area, the UN's Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) program as well as protecting biodiversity and indigenous people.

That, however, was canceled by Correa who was furious about "German arrogance" in criticizing Ecuador's drilling plans. He said Ecuador would pay back every cent of aid that has been paid by Germany so far.

"We were completely astonished about this new development [Correa's announcement], because we thought with all our efforts to [protect] the environment and to support the country that we had found a wonderful solution and an agreement that was really being applauded to," Kopp said.

International concern over damages

According to Gorky Villa Munoz, an Ecuadorian botanist at US-based NGO Finding Species, the German decision not to support the Yasuni initiative certainly had a huge impact on other international donors. Donations that have been received so far - by private donors or countries including Belgium, Chile, France, Italy, Spain and Indonesia - had been placed in a trust fund run by the UN Development Program and would be returned.

Munoz expressed hope part of the oil revenues would go to development projects such as schools, conservation efforts and hospitals. He also warned that new roads would be Yasuni's downfall. "If the government will build new roads - that would be devastating for the park. But if the government drills [for] oil using offshore techniques, that means using helicopters to transport all materials, the impact will be less," he told DW.

Correa is fed up with "German arrogance"
and has canceled contracts
Kelly Swing, a US biologist based in Ecuador, said the initiative's failure wasn't all that surprising since it hadn't met the desired level of support for years.

"The idea of the Yasuni ITT [the three oil-rich areas in the park - Ishpingo, Tambococha and Tiputini] initiative may have been to harvest cash, as opposed to getting trade-offs and such, but I know that Italy, for example, had agreed to a fairly large debt-swap I think in the order of tens of millions of dollars," he said.

Eco tourism as a way out?

Swing said damage caused by oil development will be devastating - and said he preferred other ways to secure revenue.

"You can get the oil out, $18 billion, in a few decades - but what happens after a few decades? If we keep the rainforest, we can continue to harvest income for basically forever through eco tourism and through the development of some super parks," he said. "Right now we are looking at maybe harvesting as much as $1 billion per year over a couple of decades in the form of oil, but as we know from other countries in Latin America, that have well-developed eco tourism industries, Ecuador could harvest maybe as much as $500 million per year just through that."

So far, Ecuador's President Correa has said he would only drill in about 1 percent of the Yasuni National Park. Ecuador already extracts oil in other parks. As laid out in the country's constitution, he now has to ask permission of the national assembly to drill.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

14 year old girl picks fight with bully TV host - and WINS!

14 year old Rachel Parent debates Kevin O'Leary on the issue of Genetically Modified Food. Rachel's website:

Canadian Biotechnology Action Network: petition for mandatory GMO food labelling:

Rachel Parent

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Seeds Of Death - Full Movie

Monsanto and Genetically Modified Crops - Is there a cover-up?

New Chapter sells out to Procter & Gamble, part of the global corporate elite (Vanguard ...)

Drug 'Queen of the Pacific' returns to Mexico

Google – AFP, Guillermo Barros (AFP), 20 August 2013

A mug shot of Sandra Avila Beltran, also known as the "Queen of the Pacific,"
in Mexico City on September 28, 2007 (Mexican Federal Police/AFP/File)

MEXICO CITY — A Mexican woman known as the "Queen of the Pacific" for her links to drug trafficking returned home Tuesday to face money laundering charges after the United States deported her.

Sandra Avila Beltran, who was convicted by a US court for helping a drug lord evade arrest, stepped off an airplane in handcuffs after landing in Mexico City on a special US flight that repatriates migrants, TV footage showed.

The dark-haired woman, born in 1960, made headlines by flashing a smile to news cameras following her first arrest in 2007. She inspired a soap opera and got her nickname from a Mexican drug ballad, known as a narcocorrido.

A Mexican government official, who requested anonymity, said Avila Beltran underwent medical tests at the airport and was later put on a plane to the western state of Jalisco, where she will appear before a judge in the money laundering case.

When Mexican authorities detained her six years ago, they presented her as a member of the infamous Sinaloa drug cartel who played a key role in drug smuggling to the United States via the Pacific Ocean.

But she was acquitted in Mexico and then extradited to the United States in September 2012.
In the United States, she reached a plea deal that resulted in her conviction as an accessory after the fact in keeping her ex-boyfriend, Colombian drug trafficker Juan Diego Espinosa "El Tigre," from being apprehended.

Last month, a US judge sentenced her to 70 months in prison but he ordered her release and deportation due to time already served in Mexico and the United States.

She was transferred to an immigration center in El Paso, Texas, before being flown home under Mexican police custody.

Avila Beltran has admitted having links to the cartel underworld but denies having a role in drug trafficking, insisting that she amassed her fortune through real estate and her work in fashion.

In a prison interview with journalist Julio Scherer, who wrote the book "Queen of the Pacific: Time to Talk," she said her mistake was her "circumstantial" meetings with drug lords such as Rafael Caro Quintero.

Caro Quintero, who co-founded one of the first Mexican drug cartels, was abruptly released from prison this month after serving 28 of his 40-year prison sentence for the killing of a US Drug Enforcement Administration agent.

She also claimed to have met Mexico's most wanted man, Sinaloa drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

Related Article:

In first, FARC accepts partial blame for Colombia bloodshed

France24 – AFP, 20 August 2013 

Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) Commander, Ivan Marquez,
 gives a speech at the Convention Palace in Havana as peace talks with the
Colombian government resume on August 19, 2013.

AFP - The FARC guerrilla group for the first time accepted partial responsibility Tuesday for the thousands of victims of Colombia's nearly 50-year-old insurgency.

The statement was read out by a top FARC negotiator on the sidelines of peace negotiations in Havana between the leftist rebel group and the government of President Juan Manuel Santos.

"Without a doubt, there has also been cruelty and pain provoked by our forces," said the negotiator, Pablo Catatumbo.

"Still, we must recognize the need to approach the issue of victims, their identification and reparations with complete loyalty to the cause of peace and reconciliation," he said.

The acknowledgement that the FARC bears partial responsibility for the bloodshed comes nearly a month after Santos publicly admitted that the Colombian state was responsible for "serious violations" of human rights during the conflict.

Taken together, the statements appeared to mark a significant step forward in the peace process, which has been underway since November.

Colombia's constitutional court is expected to rule soon on a proposed legal framework for dealing with issues of accountability during a transition to peace.

Catatumbo called anew for the creation of an international "truth" commission to investigate the "fratricidal conflict" in Colombia.

"This commission in our opinion should be formed immediately," he said, calling on "the entire country to hold a day of reflection and contrition."

A government commission last month estimated that some 220,000 people have lost their lives in Latin America's oldest armed conflict. Other estimates rise as high as 600,000.

The peace talks in Havana have yet to take up the issue of reparations for the victims. Other pending agenda issues are the laying down of arms and drug trafficking.

The two sides currently are discussing the question of the FARC's participation in politics, and in May negotiators reached a consensus on the complex issue of land holdings.

The law that empowered Ecuador's disabled

BBC News, Irene Caselli, Quito, 19 August 2013

As vice-president, Lenin Moreno (L) fought for the rights of disabled people

Disabled people in Ecuador were once marginalised, shut up in their homes and considered unemployable. Since 2007, a single government initiative has transformed many of their lives.

Before his accident, Angel Quevedo worked as a house painter in Ecuador's capital city Quito.

He was originally from a farm in the Andean highlands, but had moved to the city to find a job.

During a party at his cousin's house in 1989, a fight broke out. As he got involved to break it up, he was pushed and fell from a terrace on the second floor.

The impact left him paralysed from the waist down.

Pain confined him to bed for eight months, while his family had to sell seven cows to pay for medical expenses.

"It was tough," he says. "All of a sudden I had to depend on other people's help to live."

Slowly Mr Quevedo learnt how to get around in a wheelchair, while he resigned himself to live off the charity of family and friends in a city that became hostile.

"People looked at me strangely," he says. "They called me 'cripple'. They thought I was good for nothing."

Back in 1989 it was unthinkable that a person with a disability could find work in Ecuador.

They were often confined to their family's homes, hidden from society. Those who ventured out in their wheelchairs had to roll next to cars in order to move around the city. Unable to find work, many would beg at traffic lights.

Things started changing in 2007, when Lenin Moreno took over as vice president after winning the elections as Rafael Correa's running mate.

Mr Moreno, who became paraplegic after being shot in the back in 1998, set out to make a difference.

Since taking office, has has implemented the Ecuador without Borders programme, which turned the rights of disabled people into state policy.

The same rights were later included in the 2008 constitution and became an all-encompassing law in 2012.

Gaining independence

The government launched programmes to research the causes and numbers of disabilities across the country. Ecuadorean doctors, helped by their Cuban peers, visited every village in Ecuador to establish how many people had disabilities, and what help they needed.

The government recognised that approximately 295,000 people have a disability (just over 2% of the total population) and sent out technical assistance to those in need - free wheelchairs were handed out, as well as health and housing support.

Moreover, starting in 2010, it became compulsory for companies with over 25 employees to fill at least 4% of staff positions with people with disabilities.

For people like Mr Quevedo, this was the most important step in what he, and a majority of Ecuadoreans, deem as the most successful set of policies under the administration of President Rafael Correa.

Mr Quevedo, who had not had a full-time job since his accident, was hired by a furniture shop looking to comply with the new law.

"When I started working, I felt so much better," says Mr Quevedo, now 53. "I can earn my own money and not depend on anyone."

"For me it was a joy to see other disabled people working too."

Angel Quevedo spent two decades
without work
Atu, the company he works for, employs 15 people with disabilities.

Sporting achievements

At the beginning, it was not easy to find employees, says Paola Cueva, the manager who was in charge of hiring new staff at the furniture factory.

This had been a worry for several businesses, who had initially complained that quota would be difficult to comply with it.

Some companies were fined for not meeting the 4% quota, and there is still concern that some businesses are not complying.

Ms Cueva explains that it was hard to find a good fit for a factory where manual work can be tough, but she still approves of the regulation.

"It's been an enriching experience. They are all very hard-working and responsible," she says. "If the law didn't exist, companies would have never hired disabled people in such a massive way."

In an interview with the BBC's Outlook, Mr Moreno said the legislature's greatest achievement was to give visibility to a part of society that had previously been isolated.

"Visibility means being able to say: 'I am a human being. There are things I cannot do because I have a disability, but I remain a human being,'" he said.

"Now disabled people can be proud when they go out into the streets."

Pride is felt strongly among Atu's disabled workers. Many of them are also athletes.

Wilson de la Cruz, one of Ecuador's most decorated athletes, works at the factory. He participated in three Paralympic Games and played basketball professionally in the United States.

Mr Quevedo also has an impressive record. He has competed in many events, including the world's longest wheelchair race in Alaska.

Their sporting achievements did not earn them much fame or money in Ecuador, but they have become a great bonding mechanism in the workplace.

Mr de la Cruz organises a weekly basketball game, and many participate, including Luis Aguayo, 27, whose leg was amputated in 2007 following a work accident.

"Wilson motivated me to keep going," says Mr Aguayo. "Now I feel like a normal person, because I can work with other non-disabled people."

After leaving a very successful legacy, Mr Moreno retired from politics in May. But his career may not be over, as the Ecuadorean government is promoting him as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Disability.

If that were to take place, it would be a reason to celebrate, says Mr Quevedo.

"We could show other countries that here in Ecuador we disabled people can do anything we set out to do," he says.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Mexican cartel chief sentenced to 15 years in US

Google – AFP, 19 August 2013

Eduardo Arellano Felix, leader of a drug trafficking cartel, at a press
conference in Mexico City on October 27, 2008 (AFP/File, Luis Acosta)

LOS ANGELES — A US judge sentenced the former number two leader of the Tijuana drug cartel, Eduardo Arellano Felix, to 15 years in prison Monday after he pleaded guilty to money laundering.

US District Judge Larry Burns said Arellano's crimes had "terrible effects ... And for that, you should be ashamed."

Arellano Felix entered a guilty plea as part of a deal with prosecutors under which he also agreed to pay $50 million.

Known as "the Doctor," the 56-year-old Arellano Felix is a brother of the founder of the Tijuana cartel, based across the border from San Diego.

He was arrested after a firefight with Mexican authorities in October 2008 and extradited to the United States a year ago.

He had initially pleaded "not guilty," but changed his plea in May.

His brothers Eduardo, Francisco Javier and Benjamin Arellano Felix are all serving prison terms in the United States.

Burns backed a request by defense attorneys that Arrellano Felix be imprisoned in Florida with his brother Benjamin, the leader of the cartel during its heydey in the 1990s.

The group once dominated the smuggling of cocaine, marijuana and other drugs between Mexico and California, and was the inspiration for the Steven Soderbergh movie "Traffic."

Weakened by arrests, the cartel is now thought to be run by the brothers' sister Enedina and her son Fernando, known as "The Engineer."

Violence linked to drug trafficking and organized crime has left more than 70,000 dead in Mexico over the past six years.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Mexico Gulf Cartel leader Mario Ramirez Trevino captured

BBC News, 18 August 2013

Related Stories

The Los Zetas cartel was the armed
force of the Gulf cartel until 2010
Mexican troops have captured one of the country's most wanted drug-gang leaders.

Mario Ramirez Trevino, known as X-20, is said to be the head of the cocaine and marijuana-smuggling Gulf Cartel.

It is the second high-profile arrest since President Enrique Pena Nieto came to power last December.

The US government was offering a reward of $5m (£3.2m) for information leading to the capture of Mr Ramirez, while Mexico offered about $3m.

Ramirez Trevino is thought to have taken over as leader of the Gulf Cartel after the arrest of Jorge Eduardo Costilla, known as The Coss, last September.

Mexican media reported that the drug lord was arrested by a joint Army and Marines operation in Rio Bravo, in the northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas.

'As violent as Trevino Morales'

The interior ministry confirmed the arrest on Twitter.

"This morning, the Mexican Army has captured Mario Armando Ramirez Trevino," it said.

The Mexican authorities are expected to make a formal announcement of the arrest on Sunday and have so far not provided much detail on the arrest.

The leader of the Gulf Cartel was wanted by US authorities since 2006.

He is considered "at least as violent" the leader of the notoriously brutal Zetas cartel, Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, who was also arrested last month.

Authorities believe he had enough influence to attempt unifying the Gulf and Zeta cartels, which used to be one organisation until its leadership split up in 2010, Mexican media reports.

The Zetas began as the enforcement arm of the Gulf Cartel.

Trevino Morales was detained in July

This is the second high-profile arrest since President Enrique Pena Nieto took office last December.

In July, authorities announced the arrest of Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, the alleged leader of the brutal Zetas.

Mr Pena Nieto promised to change the policy of the previous government by tackling cartels through law enforcement on a local level rather than the capture of big-name targets.

Ex-President Felipe Calderon had deployed the army across the country and pursued cartel leaders.

Although the policy eliminated many senior criminal figures, it also created power vacuums that helped fuel the violence.

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