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, September 29, 2018

VIDEO: The Colombian government has set up social centres to help Venezuelan migrants, where migrants receive toiletries, help with immigration matters, and even haircuts and vaccinations

Thursday, September 27, 2018

US, Brazil fine Petrobras $853 mn in bribery scandal

Yahoo - AFP, Douglas Gillison, 27 September 2018

Petrobras executives 'cooked the books' to hide bribes paid in some cases to
halt an investigation into its contacts, US authorities say

US and Brazilian authorities have fined Brazil's state oil giant Petrobras more than $853 million for covering up a massive bribery scheme involving Brazilian politicians and political parties, the US Justice Department announced Thursday.

Petrobras said the issues were uncovered as part of the "Operation Car Wash" investigation -- the scandal that snared Brazil's jailed former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as well as many of the country's political and business elites.

Petrobras executives at "the highest levels," including board members, orchestrated hundreds of millions in bribes "and then cooked the books to conceal the bribe payments from investors and regulators," US Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski said in a statement.

US stock market regulators also charged the company with misleading investors as they concealed "a massive bribery and bid-rigging scheme."

The company inflated the cost of projects and then contractors "paid billions in kickbacks to the Petrobras executives, who shared the illegal payments with Brazilian politicians who helped them obtain their high-level positions at Petrobras," the Securities and Exchange Commission said in a statement.

Petrobras erroneously recorded these payments "resulting in an estimated $2.5 billion overstatement of assets," the SEC said.

Petrobras agreed to pay $933.5 million to the SEC to return ill-gotten gains, but this sum will be reduced by the amount of any payments made in a class action lawsuit by investors filed in New York.

'Car wash'

The actions the company admitted to occurred while Petrobras was traded on the New York Stock Exchange, giving US authorities jurisdiction, the Justice Department said.

Petrobras admitted some executives funneled payments to politicians and political parties, and that the company failed to keep accurate books and records about property and equipment, as required by law.

The company said "Operation Car Wash" was "a corrupt scheme that harmed and caused severe financial loss to Petrobras."

The resolution with US and Brazilian authorities "is in Petrobras's best interest and that of its shareholders. It puts an end to the uncertainties, risks, burdens and costs of potential prosecution and protracted litigation in the United States," the company said in a statement.

Brazilian authorities will receive 80 percent of the fine, and the remainder will be collected by the Justice Department and the SEC.

Prosecutors say a Petrobras executive directed payments to stop a Brazilian parliamentary inquiry into company contracts.

The executive allegedly funneled bribes from company contractors into the campaign of an unnamed Brazilian politician who had power over where Petrobras could build refineries.

Executives then falsely certified Petrobras financial statements to the US Securities and Exchange Commission even while they were personally involved in the bribery.

"According to Petrobras's admissions ... members of the Petrobras executive board were involved in facilitating and directing millions of dollars in corrupt payments to politicians and political parties in Brazil, and members of Petrobras's board of directors were also involved in facilitating bribes that a major Petrobras contractor was paying to Brazilian politicians," the Justice Department statement said.

As part of the agreement announced Thursday, Petrobras agreed to continue cooperating with in any continuing investigations into the matter, including actions taken by individuals, and to make changes to its internal compliance program.

The settlement involved a "non-prosecution agreement," meaning no charges will be brought against the company. Prosecutors may separately take action against individuals.

More than 40 countries including the United States have criminalized paying bribes abroad to win business, which authorities say defrauds investors while promoting corruption and political instability.

The company's shares rose on Thursday morning in Sao Paolo and New York.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

MPs demand action as man behind 1982 Dutch journalist murders is found

DutchNewsSeptember 25, 2018


Dutch MPs have urged the government to undertake steps to have the man responsible for the murder of four Dutch journalists in El Salvador in 1982 brought to justice. 

On Monday, investigative journalism programme Zembla revealed that the man, Mario Reys Mena, is a alive and well and living in the US. 

Mena, a former colonel in the El Salvadorean army at the time of the country’s civil war, was never prosecuted even though a report by the UN Truth Commission identified him as the man who gave the order to kill the four. 

When confronted by Zembla journalists, the 79-year-old Mena said the case had been investigated. ‘I was never indicted. You are part of a communist plot to take revenge.’ The journalists tracked him down via the social media activities of his grown up children. 

The Dutch public prosecution department has also confirmed it has been investigating the case since 2013. Mena could also face justice in El Salvador whose amnesty law was abolished two years ago, Zembla said. 

Official version

The official version at the time was that the four journalists, who worked for now defunct broadcaster Ikon, had been killed during an exchange of gunfire between guerrilla fighters and the army. But the 1993 UN investigation found that the murder had been premeditated and the four were ambushed when they were on their way to guerrilla territory. 

According to secret reports by the UN Truth Commission, which have come into the hands of the Zembla journalists, an American military trainer called Bruce Hazelwood, who was stationed at the same base as the soldiers who killed the journalists, knew about the plans. An anonymous source is quoted as saying that ‘Reyes Mena told Bruce Hazelwood about the plan to kill the journalists’. 

Investigation

Zembla also uncovered an email conversation in which Hazelwood writes to a fellow El Salvador veteran about the day of the murder: ‘That night my conversations with Mena were very frank and he followed my recommendations – unlike his former actions.’ 

Confronted with this information by Zembla, Hazelwood denied he was present that day.

 According to Geoff Thale of the Washington Office on Latin America the alleged involvement of Hazelwood warrants an investigation by the American congress. He also said the Dutch government should act.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Venezuela to bump China oil exports to one million barrels a day

Yahoo – AFP, September 18, 2018

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro (right) and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping
walking during a welcoming ceremony in Beijing (AFP Photo/Marcelo GARCIA)

Venezuela is to increase its oil exports to China to one million barrels a day, President Nicolas Maduro said on Tuesday, just days after visiting the Asian powerhouse.

Maduro said each country would invest "around five billion dollars" in the project by August 2019.

Private sector estimates put the current export figure to China at around 700,000 barrels a day.

Maduro spent two days in China last week, welcomed by counterpart Xi Jinping and attending meetings at the China Development Bank and the China National Petroleum Corporation.

Venezuela, the country with the largest crude reserves in the world, has received more than $60 billion in credit from Beijing over the last decade but still owes about $20 billion and has been repaying the debt with oil shipments.

Speaking to foreign media, Maduro said China National Petroleum Corporation president Zhang Jianhua will visit Venezuela on Thursday to finalize "the investment they're going to make."

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro insists Venezuela is up to date with its debt 
repayments to China despite the country still owing $20 billion (AFP Photo/Federico PARRA)

China eased Venezuela's debt repayment conditions in 2016 with the South American country gripped by an economic crisis.

Maduro refused to comment on whether those conditions had been extended during negotiations with China.

"Venezuela pays its debts on time, it's shown in the most difficult moments it's ability to respond to its Chinese commitments," he said.

"The accounts are clear with them."

Upon his return from China on Saturday, Maduro had refused to comment on rumors he had been offered an extra $5 billion loan.

He also walked into a social media storm after a celebrity chef in Turkey had posted videos of Maduro gorging on juicy chunks of meat and sucking on a cigar at a trendy restaurant in Istanbul during a stopover in which he is believed to have met in secret with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Venezuela is plagued by economic woes following four years of recession and inflation expected to reach one million percent this year, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Citizens face food and medicine shortages while public services such as transport, electricity and water have been hit by failures.

The crisis came about after a 2014 crash in the price of oil, which accounts for 96 percent of Venezuela's revenue, causing shortages of foreign capital that was exacerbated by the government printing money.

Oil production has dropped to a 30-year low of just 1.4 million barrels a day in August, according to the Organization of Oil Producing Countries, from a record high of 3.2 million 10 years ago.

Industry is operating at just 30 percent while 87 percent of the population lives in poverty, according to a group of leading universities.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Sex abuse claims rock Dutch Catholic Church

Yahoo – AFP, 15 September 2018

People in Australia, Europe, and North and South America have charged they
were sexually abused by clergymen and lay people

More than half of the Netherlands' senior clerics were involved in covering up sexual assault of children between 1945 and 2010, a press report claimed Saturday, further engulfing the Catholic Church in a global abuse scandal.

Over the course of 65 years, 20 of 39 Dutch cardinals, bishops and their auxiliaries "covered up sexual abuse, allowing the perpetrators to cause many more victims", the daily NRC reported.

"Four abused children and 16 others allowed the transfer of paedophile priests who could have caused new victims in other parishes," the Dutch newspaper added.

Church spokeswoman Daphne van Roosendaal told AFP the church could "confirm a part" of the report.

Other elements were based on anonymous information provided by a victims' assistance unit set up by the church.

"The names of several bishops correspond to those named in a report commissioned by the Church in 2010," the spokeswoman said.

Most of the accused clerics have since died, and the statute of limitations has expired in all cases, she added. Those still alive declined to comment, NRC said.

Meanwhile in France, a priest has been charged with sexually abusing four brothers, now aged from three to 17, his lawyer said Saturday.

The family brought the complaint against the 64-year-old priest, whose parish is in the central Cantal region. All four boys were said to be in the church choir.

The lawyer, Komine Bocoum, did not say when the alleged offences were said to have taken place.

Local bishop Bruno Grua said Saturday the his diocese was "shocked by these unspeakable acts".

They are the latest in a slew of assault allegations against the Catholic Church spanning several continents.

People in Australia, Europe, and North and South America have charged they were sexually abused by clergymen and lay people, in what German Archbishop Georg Gaenswein has called the Church's "own 9/11".

In August, Pope Francis declined to comment on a claim that he ignored sexual abuse allegations against a senior clergyman in the United States.

On Wednesday, the German Catholic Church said it was it was "dismayed and ashamed" by decades of child sex abuse by priests.

Pope Francis meets with leaders from the US church at the Vatican on Thursday
to discuss claims of sexual abuse by clergy (AFP Photo/Handout)

Related Articles:


Part of the painting, said to one of the highlights of the Vatican collection


"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration LecturesGod / 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)

“… I gave you a channelling years ago when Pope John Paul was alive. John Paul loved Mary, the mother. Had John Paul survived another 10 years, he would have done what the next Pope [The one after the current one, Benedict XVI] will do, and that is to bring women into the Church. This Pope you have now [Benedict XVI] won't be here long.* The next Pope will be the one who has to change the rules, should he survive. If he doesn't, it will be the one after that.

There it a large struggle within the Church, even right now, and great dissention, for it knows that it is not giving what humanity wants. The doctrine is not current to the puzzles of life. The answer will be to create a better balance between the feminine and masculine, and the new Pope, or the one after that, will try to allow women to be in the higher echelon of the Church structure to assist the priests.

It will be suggested to let women participate in services, doing things women did not do before. This graduates them within church law to an equality with priests, but doesn't actually let them become priests just yet. However, don't be surprised if this begins in another way, and instead gives priests the ability to marry. This will bring the feminine into the church in other ways. It will eventually happen and has to happen. If it does not, it will be the end of the Catholic Church, for humanity will not sustain a spiritual belief system that is out of balance with the love of God and also out of balance with intuitive Human awareness. …”



Friday, September 14, 2018

Indigenous peoples, key to saving forests, catch a break

Yahoo – AFP, Marlowe HOOD, September 14, 2018

Up to now, native communities in the forests of Latin America, Africa and Asia have
seen their ancestral lands degraded and destroyed -- sometimes with the
blessing of local or national governments (AFP Photo/Apu Gomes)

San Francisco (AFP) - Proven masters at sustainably managing forests that protect against global warming, indigenous peoples got a place at the table, and some cash, at an international climate summit in San Francisco this week.

New "guiding principles" for collaboration endorsed by three dozen mostly tropical provinces and states across nine countries bolster indigenous rights to land, self-governance and finance earmarked for safeguarding forests.

"The partnership between governments and indigenous leaders marks a paradigm shift for tribal and indigenous engagement," Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board, said at the Global Climate Action Summit.

Up to now, native communities in the forests of Latin America, Africa and Asia have seen their ancestral lands degraded and destroyed -- sometimes with the blessing of local or national governments -- by extraction industries (oil, gold) and big agriculture (soy, palm oil, cattle).

Even UN-led efforts to involve indigenous peoples in preventing deforestation have unfolded "in a context of rights abuses, displacement and dispossession, threats and harassment over territories, and the repression and assassination of environmental activists by state and private forces," the non-profit Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) reported last year.

At least 207 environmental campaigners, half from indigenous tribes in tropical forests, were murdered in 2017, according to watchdog group Global Witness.

Deforestation -- responsible for about a fifth of greenhouse gas emissions -- intensifies global warming in two ways.

Losing a wooded area the size of Greece each year not only reduces Earth's capacity to absorb carbon dioxide, it releases huge amounts of the planet-warming gas into the atmosphere.

The principles were negotiated within the decade-old Governors' Climate and Forests Task Force, made up of state and provincial leaders from eight tropical countries and the governors of California, Illinois and Catalonia.

Keeping carbon in the trees

"Today we recognize the essential role of local communities and indigenous peoples for the conservation of forest territories and the development of effective climate change strategies," said Jorge Aristoteles Sandoval Diaz, governor of Jalisco, Mexico.

New "guiding principles" for collaboration endorsed by three dozen mostly tropical 
provinces and states across nine countries bolster indigenous rights to land, 
self-governance and finance earmarked for safeguarding forests (AFP Photo/Apu Gomes)

Tribal leaders, who helped forge the new charter, said it would make a difference.

"We live in, depend upon, and manage our forests -- and have done so for centuries," said Francisca Arara, leader of the Arara indigenous people in Acre, Brazil.

"These principals provide us with a stronger platform for negotiating equal ground with governments."

Experts described the charter as "an important step forward," but said more was needed.

"Recognizing the rights is really key to keeping the carbon in the trees and the soil," said Andy White, Coordinator of the Washington-based Rights and Resources Initiative, a research group.

"But the real question is how much money they put behind implementing these commitments."

Tropical forests provide livelihoods and anchor the cultural identities of tens of millions of indigenous people.

Research has shown that stewardship by local communities significantly slows the pace of deforestation.

"Thirty-seven percent of what is needed to stay below two degrees Celsius" -- the cornerstone goal of the 196-nation Paris Agreement -- "can be provided by land," said Andrew Steer, WRI President and CEO of the World Resources Institute in Washington DC.

"But only three percent of the public funding for mitigation goes to land and forest issues. That needs to change."

In a parallel announcement, nine foundations pledged nearly half-a-billion dollars over the next five years to boost indigenous management of carbon-rich forests.

"Solving climate change requires that forests, and land in general, be managed well," Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation, told AFP. "Indigenous peoples are the key to unlocking that solution."

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Chile passes law allowing teens over 14 to change their legal sex

Yahoo – AFP, 12 September 2018

Deputies from Chile's Broad Front party celebrate passage of the Gender
Identity Law with a giant fake ID card reading "My identity, my right"

Lawmakers in Chile on Wednesday passed legislation allowing people as young as 14 to legally change their name and gender identity.

The Chamber of Deputies passed the Gender Identity Law by a vote of 95-46.

It allows people aged 18 and above to change their name and legal gender, while those aged over 14 can do so with the permission of a parent or legal guardian.

The Senate had passed the bill last month, so Wednesday's vote brought an end to a five-year battle in the deeply conservative South American country.

The hotly debated legislation had come close to passing several times, but the issue came to a head earlier this year in the final months of former president Michelle Bachelet's term.

"We are witnessing a historic event which we celebrate with great emotion and joy," said Alvaro Troncoso, head of the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (Movilh).

"It will improve the quality of life of thousands of people whose dignity and rights have been denigrated simply by the prejudices that exist against their gender identification."

Activists had argued that not allowing people to register legally under the gender they most strongly identified with was a form of discrimination and had caused a variety of social, psychological and legal problems.

Chilean transgender activist Alessia Injoque applies make-up before an interview with 
AFP at her home -- she says the new law will give her "legal recognition" that she exists

"Right now, for the Chilean state, I do not exist," transgender activist Alessia Injoque told AFP shortly before the law was passed.

"Right now there is someone called Alejandro who is not me."

She said the new law would "grant me legal recognition of my existence: recognizing my identity is recognizing a segment of the population that has been ignored and whose identity has been denied."

A survey conducted by Movilh in August of 326 people who identified as transgender revealed that 76 percent of respondents reported having been discriminated against because of their gender identification, limiting their options to find work.

When the new law comes into effect, single people aged 18 or over will be able to legally change their name and gender by filling out a form at the civil registry office, while married people can do so at a family court.

Young adults aged 14 to 18 will need the consent of at least one parent or guardian to change their gender identity at a family court. If they do not have that, they can ask a judge to intervene.

Attempts to apply the law to those under the age of 14 ran afoul of opposition from conservative lawmakers.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

VIDEO: Peru celebrates the return of one of its cultural treasures, an eighth-century gold funerary mask, after a 20-year legal and diplomatic battle with Germany

Monday, September 10, 2018

UN rights chief agrees to meet Venezuela foreign minister

France24 – AFP, 10 September 2018 

New UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet warned the cross-border flight of
Venezuelans amid a spiralling economic and political crisis 'is unprecedented
in the recent history of the Americas'  (AFP)

GENEVA (AFP) - New UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet has agreed to meet Venezuela's foreign minister, who is due to address the top UN rights body in Geneva this week, her office said Monday.

"I can confirm that Venezuela requested a meeting and the High Commissioner will be meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs" Jorge Arreaza, UN rights office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told AFP in an email.

She did not say when the meeting would take place, but Arreaza is to address the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday.

Bachelet mentioned Venezuela in her first speech as head of the UN rights office on Monday, listing it among a long line of states with human rights situations she was concerned about.

In a written version of the speech, the former Chilean president decried the "serious human rights violations" documented in recent reports on Venezuela.

Thousands of Venezuelans have been fleeing a spiralling economic and political crisis, as the country run by President Nicolas Maduro suffers a fourth year of recession.

According to the UN, some 1.6 million people have fled Venezuela since 2015.

Bachelet pointed out that the exodus was "due largely to lack of food or access to critical medicines and health care, insecurity and political persecution".

"This movement is accelerating," she said, warning that "cross-border movement of this magnitude is unprecedented in the recent history of the Americas."

A report released by the UN rights office in June highlighted alleged extra-judicial killings by security officers during a crackdown on protests.

It suggested that those officers, who had supposedly been tasked with fighting crime, may have been responsible for more than 500 killings between July 2015 and March 2017, largely carried out in poor neighbourhoods.

Bachelet said that since the release of the report, her office had continued to receive "information on violations of social and economic rights, such as cases of deaths related to malnutrition or preventable diseases, as well as violations of civil and political rights."

She lamented that "the government has not shown openness for genuine accountability measures".

Monday, September 3, 2018

SBM Offshore settles with Brazil over corruption claims

DutchNews, September 3, 2018

Photo: SBM Offshore

Oil industry service group SBM Offshore has reached a deal with the Brazilian authorities to pay the equivalent of €41m to oil and gas group Petrobras following a scandal over corrupt deals made in Brazil. 

The agreement, which still has to be approved by a special unit of the Brazilian prosecution department, means SBM Offshore can finally close the door on the affair, which has been rumbling on since 2014 and involved deals made in Angola, Kazakhstan, Iraq and Equatorial Guinea as well as Brazil. 

The deal takes the total amount SBM Offshore has paid to avoid legal action in Brazil to $347m. The company reached earlier out-of-court settlements in the Netherlands (2014, $240m) and the US (2017, $238m). 

‘We are pleased that following the recent agreement with Petrobras and the Brazilian authorities we now also have reached an agreement that removes the uncertainties around the remaining litigation risk over our historical legacy issues in Brazil,’ said compliance officer Erik Lagendijk in a statement.