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. …

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Chile secret agents charged over 1976 diplomat murder

BBC News, 30 October 2012

Related Stories 

Spanish diplomat Carmelo Soria
 was found dead in a canal in
Chile in 1976
A Spanish judge has indicted seven former members of the Chilean secret police for their alleged role in the kidnapping and murder of a Spanish diplomat during Chile's military rule.

The judge also ordered international arrest warrants for the seven accused.

UN diplomat Carmelo Soria was working in Chile when he was kidnapped, tortured and murdered in 1976.

He is one of about 3,000 people to have been killed during Gen Augusto Pinochet's rule from 1973 to 1990.

Judge Pablo Ruz charged six Chileans and one US citizen, all of whom worked for Gen Augusto Pinochet's secret police force, with genocide, murder and kidnapping.

'Drugged and strangled'

Those charged include Juan Contreras, the former director of the secret police, Dina. Contreras is currently serving a life sentence for crimes against humanity in Chile.

Also indicted was US citizen Michael Townley. Townley worked for the Dina in Chile, from where he was extradited to the United States in 1978.

He confessed to and was sentenced for his involvement in the 1976 murder of the Chilean ambassador to the US, Orlando Letelier, and his assistant.

He is reportedly living in the US under a witness protection programme.

The remaining indictees are all former Dina agents.

Judge Ruz said two of them stopped Carmelo Soria, who worked for the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, as he was driving to his home in the capital, Santiago.

The judge said two of the indicted agents detained Mr Soria, saying he had committed a traffic infraction.

'Not effective'

They took Mr Soria to Townley's apartment, where he was questioned and tortured, according to Judge Ruz.

The agents apparently suspected Mr Soria of having links to Chile's communist party.

Judge Ruz said the agents forced Soria to get drunk, either by forcing him to drink alcohol or by injecting it into his bloodstream.

He was then strangled, his body placed in his car, and the car driven into a canal, Judge Ruz said.

His body was pulled from the canal two days later. The Chilean authorities said Mr Soria had driven the car into the canal drunk.

Months later, a Washington Post investigation showed his death had been the result of torture, but Chile's military authorities refused to open another investigation.

The current case was brought by Spain's President Allende Foundation and taken up by Judge Ruz after another Spanish judge ruled that the investigation into the alleged crimes against Mr Soria "had not been effective" in Chile.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Colon Free Zone: Panama repeals land sale law

BBC News, 28 October 2012

Protests against the law turned violence with looting and burning

Related Stories 

Panama's National Assembly has repealed a controversial law allowing the sale of land in the Colon Free Zone, Latin America's biggest duty-free zone.

"An error has been corrected," said the Speaker Sergio Galvez after the measure passed.

The vote followed more than a week of violent protests in Colon and in Panama City in which at least three people died, including a nine-year-old boy.

The government had argued privatisation would boost development.

"The law sought the best for Colon but it had little acceptance," wrote Panama's President, Ricardo Martinelli, on his Twitter account on Friday. "We will proceed with its definitive repeal."

The legislation allowed the sell-off of state-owned lands in the Colon Free Zone. But the government abandoned its plans to allow a private sector buy-up in face of concerted protest.

Opponents of the law included trade unions, members of the Colon Chamber of Commerce and a variety of civil society groups. Trade unions and residents said land sales there would cost jobs and push down wages.

The violent protests first started on 19 October, after the president signed the bill into law.

Looters ransacked shops, smashed store windows and stoned vehicles in Panama City and in Colon.

Four days later the president announced that the government would scrap its plans to sell the land to private investors.

He said instead that commercial rents would be increased and the money reinvested in the region, as protesters had been demanding.

The Colon region is the biggest duty-free zone in Latin America but is blighted by poverty and crime.

Panama's economy has boomed in recent years, but sections of the population remain excluded from its commercial success.

The city of Colon - one of the largest free trade ports in the world and in operation since the 1950s - sits at the end of the Panama Canal on the Caribbean, just outside the former Panama Canal Zone.

The canal, linking the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific, is Panama's main source of revenue.

Related Article:

Friday, October 26, 2012

Gay Jamaicans launch legal action over island's homophobic laws

Landmark case seeks to abolish colonial-era 'buggery' laws and stop murders and violent attacks on Caribbean homosexuals

The Guardian, Owen Bowcott and Maya Wolfe-Robinson, Friday 26 October 2012

Jamaican prime minister Portia Simpson Miller has condemned discrimination
 but not yet attempted to repeal the homophobic laws. Photograph: Collin Reid/AP

Two gay Jamaicans have launched a legal challenge to colonial-era laws, which in effect criminalise homosexuality, on the grounds that they are unconstitutional and promote homophobia throughout the Caribbean.

The landmark action, supported by the UK-based Human Dignity Trust, is aimed at removing three clauses of the island's Offences Against Persons Act of 1864, commonly known as the "buggery" laws.

The battle over the legislation – blamed by critics for perpetuating a popular culture of hatred for "batty boys", as gay men are derided in some dancehall music – has also drawn a British lawyer into the debate, who said that Jamaica should not follow the legislative example of the UK.

The legal challenge is being taken to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which is modelled on the European Court of Human Rights. Jamaica is not a full member and any ruling would only be advisory and not binding; it would, nonetheless, send out a strong signal of international disapproval.

When the Jamaican prime minister, Portia Simpson Miller, was elected last December, she said she would hire a gay person to serve in her cabinet and condemned discrimination. Despite early sympathetic signals, her government has not attempted to repeal the laws.

The Offences Against Persons Act does not formally ban homosexuality but clause 76 provides for up to 10 years' imprisonment, with or without hard labour, for anyone convicted of the "abominable crime of buggery committed either with mankind or any animal". Two further clauses outlaw attempted buggery and gross indecency between two men.

Jamaica has one of the highest murder rates in the world. Murders of gay men are increasing, according to Dane Lewis, executive director of the Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-Flag), who is one of those petitioning the commission.

"This year alone there have been nine [murders]," he said. "The violence in Jamaica is having a spillover effect on other parts of the Caribbean: St Lucia now has a murder or so every year."

One prominent victim was John Terry, the British honorary consul in Montego Bay, who was found dead in 2009 having been beaten and strangled. A note left on his body read: "This is what will happen to all gays."

Many gay Jamaicans have fled abroad, some to the UK. In 2002, two gay Jamaican men were granted asylum in the UK because their lives were in danger from "severe homophobia" in the Caribbean.

Senior Jamaican police officers have in the past dismissed killings as the result of gay-on-gay "crimes of passion" – an interpretation disputed by civil rights groups.

In a House of Lords debate this week on the treatment of homosexual men and women in the developing world, the Conservative Lord Lexden said a "wave of persecution and violence has been suffered by gay people connected with [J-Flag]". Intolerance of homosexuality, he noted, was a legacy of the British empire: "Today, 42 of the 54 nations of the Commonwealth criminalise same-sex relations."

Jonathan Cooper, a London barrister who is the chief executive of the Human Dignity Trust, said: "We want to ensure that Jamaica satisfies its international human rights treaty obligations. We are supporting J-Flag in this case.

"These, and two accompanying cases supported by Aids-Free World, are the first cases before the Inter-American Commission but the issue is clear in international human rights law."

The UN's International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Jamaica is a signatory, protects private adult, consensual sexual activity.

J-Flag has also received free pro-bono advice from the UK City law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in drawing up their legal challenge.

One of the main bodies arguing to preserve the Offences Against Person Act is the Lawyers' Christian Fellowship in Jamaica (which has no connection to the UK Lawyers' Christian Fellowship).

Paul Diamond, a British barrister and Evangelical Christian who specialises in religious discrimination cases, took part in a debate on Jamaica's laws at the University of the West Indies last December.

"[Jamaicans] feel they are being pressurised by the UK and US governments in terms of visas and aid grants to modify their position [on homosexuality], which they say is morally based," Diamond told the Guardian. "I told them that England has totally failed in finding any balance between religious [and civil] freedoms."

The prime minister's office in Jamaica did not respond to enquiries.

Anti-gay laws in the Caribbean

While Jamaica holds the crown for being the worst place in the Americas to be gay, the rest of the English-speaking Caribbean has a long history of homophobia. The British colonial administration entrenched "buggery laws" in its colonies, many of which remain in some form.

The Bahamas criminalises same-sex activity between adults in public, although not in private. Jamaican, Guyanese and Grenadian laws do not mention lesbianism, but Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Antigua and St Lucia prohibit all acts of homosexuality.

Trinidad and Tobago's state-sponsored homophobia extends further through immigration laws prohibiting "prostitutes, homosexuals or persons living on the earnings of prostitutes or homosexuals, or persons reasonably suspected as coming to Trinidad and Tobago for these or any other immoral purposes" from entering the country.

Although the law is not enforced, there were attempts from Christian groups to prevent Elton John headlining the Tobago Jazz Festival in 2007. Church leaders were worried about the singer's potential influence on the "impressionable minds" of the island's young people.

Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Montserrat, and the Turks and Caicos islands were forced to repeal their sodomy laws in 2000, when Britain issued an order to its overseas territories, which it had to do to meet international treaty obligations.

Related Article:

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Maya demand an end to doomsday myth

Google – AFP, 25 October 2012 

Indigenous women of the village of Plan de Sanchez, in Guatemala City
 (AFP/File, Jose Miguel Lam)

GUATEMALA CITY — Guatemala's Mayan people accused the government and tour groups on Wednesday of perpetuating the myth that their calendar foresees the imminent end of the world for monetary gain.

"We are speaking out against deceit, lies and twisting of the truth, and turning us into folklore-for-profit. They are not telling the truth about time cycles," charged Felipe Gomez, leader of the Maya alliance Oxlaljuj Ajpop.

Several films and documentaries have promoted the idea that the ancient Mayan calendar predicts that doomsday is less than two months away, on December 21, 2012.

The Culture Ministry is hosting a massive event in Guatemala City -- which as many as 90,000 people are expected to attend -- just in case the world actually does end, while tour groups are promoting doomsday-themed getaways.

Maya leader Gomez urged the Tourism Institute to rethink the doomsday celebration, which he criticized as a "show" that was disrespectful to Mayan culture.

Experts say that for the Maya, all that ends in 2012 is one of their calendar cycles, not the world.

Gomez's group issued a statement saying that the new Maya time cycle simply "means there will be big changes on the personal, family and community level, so that there is harmony and balance between mankind and nature."

Oxlajuj Ajpop is holding events it considers sacred in five cities to mark the event and Gomez said the Culture Ministry would be wise to throw its support behind their real celebrations.

More than half of Guatemala's population of nearly 15 million are from indigenous groups of Mayan descent.

The Mayan calendar has 18 months of 20 days each plus a sacred month, "Wayeb," of five days. "B'aktun" is the larget unit in the time cycle system, and is about 400 years. The broader era spans 13 B'aktun, or about 5,200 years.

The Mayan culture enjoyed a golden age between 250 AD and 900 AD

Related Articles:

'Oldest Mayan tomb' found in Guatemala's Retalhuleu

"THE BRIDGE OF SWORDS"– Sep  29, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) (Text version)

“… There is no test in front of you, since you've already passed it. In your timeline, there are 18 more years of it [the precession]. So at the end of this year, the 2012 marker at that solstice point, it is simply only that - a celebration point in 3D time. This is where you celebrate having made it. And I suffice it to say right now that those who created this enlightened place called Earth know you did it. There are already celebrations in the skies and yet there are things happening on the planet that we told you would happen, and there are those who are worried. ..”

"Recalibration of Free Choice"–  Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) - (Subjects: (Old) SoulsMidpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Loose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth,  4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Paddle wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 – Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical)  8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) (Text version)

“..  We wish to continue that which we told you this morning we would do [within the seminar], a continuation of the message of the new energy on the planet. You are half-way through the 36-year alignment window that is what we would call the Galactic Alignment. This year, 2012, is therefore the middle of this alignment and is the year where the energy starts to shift and the energetic seeds begin to be planted that will change this planet from here forth.

This is the way of it, that it would be slower than you like. The slowness of change is due to generations of Human Beings inheriting what you might say is new consciousness. It also allows for those who have been born in an old energy to exhaust that old energy in what you would call an incarnation or an expression [one lifetime on Earth]. To us, death, therefore, is simply rejuvenation into life. If this doesn't make any sense to you, I will then tell you what my partner says should have been said all along: The old energy dies hard! ..”

Monday, October 22, 2012

Greenpeace warns EU off herbicide-tolerant GM crops

France24 - AFP, 22 October 2012  

Herbicide is sprayed on a soybean field in 2011. Global environmental watchdog
 Greenpeace launched a new report Monday warning the European Union against
 authorising herbicide-tolerant genetically engineered (HTGE) crops, saying they
would lead to herbicide-resistant super-weeds.

AFP - Global environmental watchdog Greenpeace launched a new report Monday warning the European Union against authorising herbicide-tolerant genetically engineered (HTGE) crops, saying they would lead to herbicide-resistant super-weeds.

"When herbicide-tolerant crops are relied on heavily, they trigger the spread and emergence of resistant weeds, which has now happened throughout the United States," said Oregon-based agricultural economist Charles Benbrook, who was commissioned by Greenpeace to study the issue.

"Then farmers have to spray much more heavily, turning to older, higher-risk herbicides which increases risk to both their cost of production as well as the public health problems associated with herbicide use," Benbrook told AFP, adding: "We're solidly in that phase in the US."

The launch of the report in Warsaw, Poland comes as the 27-member EU considers authorising 26 genetically engineered crops, including 19 that are tolerant to herbicides, Greenpeace said.

Benbrook has predicted EU farmers risk using up to 15 times more glyphosate-type herbicides on HTGE corn, soy and sugar beet crops to stem the growth of super-weeds over a 14-year period (2012-2025), as well as inflated prices for genetically modified seeds, should Brussels allow them.

Greenpeace commissioned Benbrook to complete a study on glyphosate-tolerant crops in the EU based on data on use of the herbicides in the US.

US biotech giant Monsanto brought glyphosate to the market in the 1970s under the Roundup trademark, but it is now off-patent and has become the most commonly used herbicide in the US.

While its producers claim glyphosate has relatively low toxicity compared to other herbicides, concerns persist about its environmental and human impacts.

"If EU farmers take up HTGE technology as quickly as in the US, glyphosate use in maize crops -- the most important and widely grown crop in Europe -? will increase by over 1,000 percent by 2025 over current use, and total herbicide use will double," Greenpeace warned in a Monday statement quoting the Benbrook study.

Benbrook and two US farmers are on an 18-day Greenpeace tour of Europe to meet farmers, local communities and politicians to share their concerns about HTGE crops.

Greenpeace campaigner Lasse Bruun also unveiled the YouTube launch of "Growing Doubt" (, a Greenpeace documentary focused on the experience of farmers in the US and Argentina with HTGE crops and glyphosate-based herbicides.

It comes on the heels of the "Bitter Seeds" documentary focused on an epidemic of farmer suicides in India among peasants who have lost their land after falling into debt using genetically modified crops.

Fidel Castro laughs off rumors of death in state media

AsiaOne, AFP,  Oct 22, 2012

HAVANA - Fidel Castro, who appeared in public Saturday for the first time in six months amid a swirl of rumours he was dead or dying, blasted the reports as trash in a sarcastic editorial in state media Monday.

Castro, who left power in a health crisis in 2006 after almost five decades at Cuba's helm, said US and international media had reported "the most singular garbage" about his health, claiming "I can't recall when I last had a headache."

"As a sign of how untrue these reports are, I am sending a long a few photos with this article," Castro wrote, under the cheeky headline "Fidel Castro is on his death bed."

In the nine pictures, Castro is shown in a black and red checked shirt, in a field, wearing a jaunty farmer's hat to protect him from the sun. Several show him using a cane to walk. The images ran Monday in state media.

Fidel Castro also addressed his change in publishing habits; he stopped writing his column "Reflections" on June 19, which in itself fueled rumours he was unwell.

"I stopped publishing (my column) because surely it is not my job to fill up the pages of our press, which needs to address other work the country had to get done," Castro wrote.

Castro, who rose to power after the 1959 revolution, ceded the presidency to his younger brother Raul, 81, in July 2006 for health reasons.

Castro had not been seen in public since March 28, when Pope Benedict XVI paid a landmark visit to Cuba, and again briefly the following week on April 5 with Chilean student leader Camila Vallejo.

That fueled rumours his health had worsened, that he was dead or on his death bed - particularly since Castro also had not published one of his usually frequent editorials in official state media since June 19.

In the past five years since falling ill after serious intestinal surgery, Castro has penned about 400 editorials as well as books about the revolution, and welcomed a few international leaders in private events.

Last week, he sent a letter of congratulations to medical school graduates which was picked up in state media, but he did not appear in public at the time.

With rumours about Castro's health rife abroad, one of his sons, photographer Alex Castro, said last week at an exhibit in Guantanamo of pictures he took of his father after 2010 that Castro "was in good shape, doing his daily activities, exercising, reading and taking care of himself."

Saturday Fidel Castro reappeared in public, meeting at a Havana hotel with a Venezuelan politician, former vice president Elias Jaua - quashing rumours that the former leader was on his death bed.

The re-election of Chavez, 58, in Venezuela this month likely brought huge sighs of relief in Havana. For now, it can continue to count on Caracas' critical economic support, as Cuba presses to tap it own oil resources so as to fund the Americas' only Communist regime into the future.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Argentina orders sailors to evacuate Libertad ship seized by Ghana

BBC News, 21 October 2012

Related Stories 

The Libertad has been held in
Ghana since 2 October
Argentina has ordered over 300 sailors to evacuate the navy training ship which was seized by the Ghanaian authorities earlier this month.

Ghana has held the Libertad since 2 October in a row over Argentine debts.

Argentina's foreign ministry said the captain and some crew will stay on board. It is not clear how the rest will leave Ghana.

Creditors say they will not release the ship until Argentina repays money owed to them from a default in 2001.

NML Capital, a subsidiary of US hedge fund Elliot Capital Management, says Argentina owes it more than $300m (£186m).

Argentina says the crew's rights have been violated after a Ghanaian judge refused to allow the refuelling of the ship to maintain the power supply.

Last week, Argentina replaced navy chief Carlos Alberto Paz and suspended two other senior naval officials over the dispute.

The government is holding an inquiry into who was responsible for allowing the Libertad to stop in Ghana.

Defaulted debts

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner's government has demanded the ship's release, saying it cannot legally be held by creditors because of its military nature.

The Libertad - a three-masted tall ship - was detained in the Ghanaian port of Tema on 2 October under a court order obtained by NML Capital.

Sailors from Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and South Africa are reported to be on board.

The firm says Argentina owes it more than $300m (£186m) and it will only release the ship if the country pays it at least $20m.

NML Capital is a subsidiary of US hedge fund Elliot Capital Management, one of Argentina's former creditors.

Argentina defaulted on more than $100bn (£62bn) of debt in 2001 and 2002, the biggest default in history.

Most of these loans were restructured in 2005 and 2010, giving creditors about 30% of their money back.

However, some creditors including Elliot chose to hold out, pursuing the Argentine government through the courts to recover the full amount.

Related Article:

Friday, October 19, 2012

Falklands war general arrested for crimes against humanity

The Telegraph, Jonathan Gilbert, 18 Oct 2012

Mario Menéndez, the army general who led and surrendered Argentine troops in the Falklands War, has been arrested for his alleged role in crimes against humanity perpetrated by the 1976-83 military dictatorship.

Mario Benjamin Menendez speaks before troops in April 1982. He has long
 been accused of overseeing the maltreatment of Argentine conscripts
during the conflict Photo: Eduardo Farre/EPA

Mr Menéndez, military governor of the Falklands during the conflict, was detained on Wednesday night at his home in Buenos Aires.

He will be transferred from a jail in the capital to the northern province of Tucumán, where the crimes took place, the Ministry of Security said.

Mr Menéndez, 82, was arrested together with 15 other people for their suspected participation in 'Operation Independence', one of the first operations of the dictatorship's 'Dirty War' against left-wing subversion.

An estimated 30,000 people were 'disappeared' – kidnapped and murdered – by the regime.
Mr Menéndez is expected to be put on the stand in a trial next month that will seek to bring to justice those involved in 'Operation Independence'.


The operation, which began in 1975, crushed an insurgency of guerrillas, utilising detention centres and torture to kill an estimated 700 people.

Similar trials have taken place across Argentina during the presidencies of Cristina Kirchner and her late husband and predecessor Néstor, who overturned impunity laws introduced by previous governments.

In July, former dictators Jorge Videla and Reynaldo Bignone, already serving lifetime sentences for human rights abuses, were found guilty ofoverseeing the systematic kidnapping of babies from activists.

Mr Menéndez surrendered Argentine troops in the Falklands in June 1982, despite having received contradictory orders from Leopoldo Galtieri, head of the military junta.

He has long been accused of overseeing the maltreatment of Argentine conscripts during the 74-day conflict, though no case has ever been brought against him.

Many soldiers have told of how they were beaten, starved and humiliated by their superiors.

Mr Menéndez's cousin, former army Colonel José María Menéndez, was also arrested.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Orlando Cruz: 'I wanted to take out the thorn inside me and have peace'

The Puerto Rican, who became the first boxer to declare publicly that he was gay, explains his long and traumatic struggle against fear and prejudice and his fight to be true to himself

The Guardian, Donald McRae in Puerto Rico, Thursday 18 October 2012

'There is suicidal death – when a gay man cannot stand being unaccepted
 and takes his own life,' says Orlando Cruz. 'And there is homophobic murder.
 In both I want to be a force for change.' Photographs: Herminio Rodriguez
for the Guardian

"I decided to be free," Orlando Cruz says with piercing clarity as he looks out across his home city of San Juan. The Puerto Rican fighter, who this month became the first boxer to declare publicly that he was gay, remains on the balcony of his condominium as a blue and humid sky darkens. Cruz ignores the drops of rain that glisten on his bare torso as he whistles to Bam-Bam, a cheerful sausage dog who jumps on to his lap. The 31-year-old then talks with increasing passion about his new-found liberty.

"They can call me maricón, or faggot," he says with a wry smile as he tickles Bam-Bam behind the ears, "and I don't care. Let them say it because they can't hurt me now. I am relaxed. I feel so happy. But to make this announcement to the whole world I had to be very strong."

Cruz flexes his tattooed arms while deflecting Bam-Bam's urge to lick his face. He might usually be besotted with his little dachshund but, now, Cruz is fiercely concentrated. On Friday night, in Kissimmee, Florida, he faces the most testing bout of his career, a WBO world featherweight title eliminator, but he needs first to explain the far harder struggle he has finally won over fear and prejudice.

"I have done well as a boxer," he continues before switching to Spanish so he might speak more evocatively. "I've only lost two of my 21 fights. I won those other fights but, all this time, I have been living with this thorn inside me. I wanted to take it out of me so I could have peace within myself."

Cruz glances down and it's easy to imagine him searching for an invisible wound. "You can't see it," he says of his hurt, "but it was here."

He taps his heart and recalls his bleakest moment. "People have died because of this," he says as he details the murderous aspects of homophobia on the lush and sweltering island he loves. "I am proud to be Puerto Rican, just like I am proud to be a gay man. But I was sad and angry a long time because there are two doors to death over this one issue. There is suicidal death – when a gay man cannot stand being unaccepted and takes his own life. And there is homophobic murder. In both these situations I want to be a force for change."

Cruz is such a warm and friendly man, and an unassuming fighter, that these words carry a jolting impact. He makes it sound as if he has personal experience of tragedy. "Si, si," he murmurs. "I lost one friend who was murdered by people who hated gay men. I was very angry then because homophobia ended his life in the most violent way. But I was also angry because, at the time, I was hiding this secret of mine."

The rain falls harder and Cruz stands up, almost reluctantly, as if not wishing to break the spell of his confession. "Let's go inside or we will look crazy – sitting in the rain." He gathers his boxing paraphernalia – scooping up the gloves and headguards, his trunks and socks – and ushers us inside the condo.

Cruz sits on his kitchen worktop. He cannot quite believe how his life has changed in the last few blurring days. "It's emotional for me, but I am also excited. I think I can be an example for people who are in the same position. I have received letters from people saying they have been afraid to come out of the closet because of what their families might think of them. Now, they say, I have given them courage."

He looks still more moved when asked who helped him find the bravery he needed to tell the world the truth about himself. "One person is very important to me. I've known him four-and-a-half years and he taught me to value myself. I won't say his name but he is like my angel. We discussed this whole situation and he told me about the positive impact it would have for me. In boxing it has been great and, in Puerto Rico, the reaction has been 90% good. So I owe him a lot."

Cruz might say that one word, "angel", in English, but he shakes his head when asked if he's thinking of his partner? "No. We separated but we still have this closeness. I am on my own now and he always tells me to focus on boxing. He's a good guy and he'll be at the fight in Kissimmee on Friday."

Kissimmee might sound a sweetly coy name for a gay fighter called Cruz to make his first appearance in the ring as a self-confessed homosexual. But boxing's brutal undertow cannot be forgotten. While Bam-Bam crunches his dog biscuits and laps noisily from his water bowl, Cruz licks his own dry lips. Boiling down to the 126lb featherweight limit, and only days from fighting Jorge Pazos, a durable and still ambitious Mexican, Cruz has to ration every morsel of food. And, despite his raging thirst, he'll soon step into the rustling sweatsuit that will help him shed more ounces during afternoon training.

Cruz poses with his dog Bam-Bam for a portrait in his apartment at
Carolina Puerto Rico. Photograph: Herminio Rodriguez for the Guardian

Cruz's life has been turned inside out by his revelation and it seems strange that he should have invited such scrutiny so close to a fight of this magnitude for him. If he wins on Friday his hopes of fighting the world's best featherweight, the WBO world champion, Orlando Salido, will feel deliciously close to fruition. But a loss to Pazos would be disastrous. Was it difficult to come out so close to an important fight?

"No," Cruz says. "I wanted the whole world to know the truth about me. I have been a professional fighter for 12 years [having made his paid debut with a first round knockout win in December 2000] and I have been hiding this secret all that time. Now there is no secret. There is only the truth. Believe me: that means there is so much less pressure on me. It is so much better. I have been thinking about this moment for 11 years. All the time I was fighting and thinking when would be the best time to show my real self. It started in 2001 when I told my parents."

Cruz laughs as a way of easing his emotions. "You should have seen me," he says, remembering the moment he told his mother he was gay. "I was crying! She was crying! I am emotional and I am so close to my mother. She said: 'It doesn't matter. You are my son. I love you.' That made me cry some more."

Cruz pauses before addressing his father's reaction. He sighs, his breath leaving him in a muted hiss of resignation. "My dad is more difficult because of the macho thing. Now, it's better. He supports me but… there is always a 'but'..."

The fighter raises his eyes and there is no need for him to explain more. "My parents are separated. My dad lives in Miami but I'm glad he will be at the fight to support me. And my mother and I will fly together to Orlando. She was always more sympathetic – she's a special friend. And my sister and brother are the same. They have been great. They have all known for a long time."

His phone rings repeatedly but Cruz has been so engrossed that he waves dismissively at it. Eventually he picks it up on the caller's fourth try. "Oh," Cruz says in English, looking at his phone in surprise. "It's my trainer. The two o'clock call…"

On a public holiday in Puerto Rico, Cruz's usual gym has been shut for the day. Yet he had still set his alarm for 4.30 that morning. Thirty minutes later he had slipped out into San Juan's sultry blackness. What did he think about on his long and lonely 5am run? "I thought about the fight against Pazos. October 19 holds my future because if I win then the next fight is for the world title. So I go through the fight in my head, round by round, and I see myself knocking him out.

"Sometimes my team runs with me. But this morning it was just me. I had the space to think about everything. I moved to New Jersey two years ago because my manager wanted me to get disciplined. There are too many distractions in Puerto Rico. And when I was in New Jersey I started the psychological process of being able to come out."

Cruz seems briefly pensive as he charts the arduous journey he has taken to reach this point of release. "After a while the psychiatrists say: 'Are you ready?' I say: No, not yet.' A few months later they ask the same question. I shake my head. I was nervous a long time because it's a big step to be the first in history. Even six months ago I was worried how people would take it. I had to wait until I was physically and emotionally prepared.

"It was still a big surprise to a lot of people in boxing. But the response was good. Miguel Cotto [the great Puerto Rican light-middleweight who is the same age as Cruz and his former team-mate on the national amateur team] said some beautiful things in support of me. Miguel suspected I was gay but I could never discuss it with him. But I always knew Miguel would support me. I never doubted that."

Does Cruz believe that his coming out will help other gay boxers follow the same path? "I don't know. Probably in other sports it will happen. But boxing will still be difficult because it is so macho."

Cruz's face grows sombre and he nods when asked if he knows the tragic story of Emile Griffith and Benny Paret. "Of course," he says. Fifty years ago, in April 1962, at the weigh-in before their third bout in a bitterly ferocious series, Paret taunted Griffith as a maricón. Griffith beat up Paret so badly that the Cuban welterweight was reduced to a punching bag in the 12th round – absorbing 29 unanswered blows. Paret fell into a coma and died 10 days later. Griffith was haunted for decades afterwards.

"Griffith was gay," Cruz says, "but he could not do what I did. It was only years later he could admit to being bisexual. I understand."

Cruz listens intently while I read a quote from Griffith – who said these words before he succumbed to dementia: "I kill a man and most people forgive me. However, I love a man and many say this makes me an evil person."

He sinks back into his chair, a strange expression flitting across his face. "It shows the hypocrisy of the world," he murmurs in Spanish. "He probably wanted to say those words 50 years ago but he was not living in the moment we are now. He was not as lucky as me."

Cruz carries a sense of boxing history inside him and cites Muhammad Ali as his favourite fighter. He covers his face in embarrassment when I suggest that, in his own humble way, he has made the kind of history that usually belongs to fighters as monumental as Ali. Cruz has not risked jail, like Ali did in refusing to serve in the US Army in Vietnam, but he has broken the last great taboo in boxing.

"Thank you," he says before lightening the moment with a quip. "Even women here in Puerto Rico were surprised. They used to say to me: 'Oh, you are beautiful!' Now they say: 'Oh my God! You are gay! I'm sorry!' But they accept it. They are still nice and warm."

When did Cruz realise he was gay? "Before the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney I tried to deny it to myself. I dated girls as a straight man. I had sex with girls. It was only after I came back from the Olympics that something changed inside me and I took another path. But, still, I didn't want to accept the truth about myself. It's been a long, painful journey."

At the sound of his doorbell Cruz jumps up. "You're going to meet my father-in-law," he says. Jim Pagán is a veteran of the ring, having trained Puerto Rican fighters like Eric Morel and Cruz for years, and he arrives at the condo with a weathered face and a quiet gravitas. Cruz tells me how Pagán, who speaks little English, has trained him since he was seven years old. "Twenty-four years," Cruz exclaims, as he reflects on their bond.

Cruz jumps rope during his training prior to his fight with Orlando Salido.
 Photograph: Herminio Rodriguez for the Guardian

Another more emotive bond ties the two men together. "I went out with Jim's daughter for five years," Cruz says. "Her name is Daisy-Karen and she has supported me. Just like Jim."

With Cruz acting as translator I ask the trainer how he feels now that his daughter's former boyfriend has come out as a gay man. "We have great respect for each other," Pagán says in soft but gravelly Spanish. "I have always known Orlando is a very good person."

Cruz laughs. "Not always," he says, switching back into English. "He once told me to fuck off and leave his gym. I had no discipline as a kid. But I always came back to him. He's my second father."

Walking in tow with Pagán's two young sons – one who hopes to become a professional fighter while the other dreams of playing baseball for a living – Cruz leads us to a gym at the far end of the complex. It is neat and clean and without any of the grit and stink of Pagán's boxing gym in downtown San Juan.

Inside, Cruz skips with a rope and then smacks his fists into Pagán's raised pads. They make eerie shadows when silhouetted against the fading afternoon light; but the old tattooed beat of their pad-work calls up a shared and enduring love of boxing. Cruz is now just a fighter preparing for a dangerous battle.

During a brief break, I ask if he feels nervous. "Not yet," he says. "The worst is two hours before the fight. Oh my God! Then there are big nerves. I go very quiet. But as soon as the knock comes on the locker-room door I am fine. And on Friday I will be ready."

Once the fight is over, and he has hopefully secured his crack at Salido's world title, Cruz will party a little in Kissimmee. "And then," he grins, "I go to Disneyland in Orlando with my mom. She loves it."

Cruz might get hurt or pushed to the edge of his ability against Pazos. Yet he insists that, after the greater struggle he has just won in real life, he will prevail in the ring. "Pazos is a tough, typical Mexican fighter. We respect each other. When they asked him about me he says he doesn't care about my sexual preference. He knows I am a good fighter and that's his main concern. I am the same towards him. I keep my private and professional life separate but for one thing..."

Cruz looks up, his eyes shining in his sweat-streaked face. "If I am inside or outside the ring I just want to be me. And, now, I'm happy I can do it. I can be true to myself."

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Out of the closet and on to the pitch

About the Challenges of Being a Gay Man – Oct 23, 2010 (Saint Germain channelled by Alexandra Mahlimay and Dan Bennack) - “You see, your Soul and Creator are not concerned with any perspective you have that contradicts the reality of your Divinity – whether this be your gender, your sexual preference, your nationality – or your race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, or anything else.”

"The Akashic System" – Jul 17, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: Religion, The Humanization of GodBenevolent Design, DNA, Akashic Circle, (Old) Souls, Gaia, Indigenous People, Talents, Reincarnation, Genders, Gender Switches, In “between” Gender Change, Gender Confusion, Shift of Human Consciousness, Global Unity,..... etc.)  - (Text version)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Uruguay legalises abortion

BBC News, 17 October 2012

The measure was approved by a narrow margin in both houses
of the Congress

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Uruguay has become the second country in Latin America, after communist Cuba, to legalise abortion for all women.

With a 17-14 majority, the Uruguayan Senate approved legislation that allows women to have an abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

The measure has divided opinion in the predominantly Roman Catholic country.

Pro- and anti-abortion campaigners have criticised the compromise that sealed the deal expected to be signed into law by left-wing President Jose Mujica.

The proposal had already been approved by the lower house of Congress and the Senate, but politicians from both sides of the debate agreed further changes and held another vote.

Abortions versus adoptions

Pro-abortion campaigners say many lives will be saved with the end of clandestine, high-risk terminations. 

The vote has split opinion in the
Roman Catholic country
"With this law, we are joining the ranks of developed countries that have largely adopted a stance to liberalise, recognising the failure of criminal laws to avoid abortions," said government Senator Luis Gallo.

Pro-abortion campaigners reject changes to the proposal that forces women to justify before a panel of experts why they wish a termination.

After that, they will need to wait for several days - a period of reflection - before being able to state their final decision.

Anti-abortion politicians said the government should have adopted measures to encourage adoptions, rather than change the law.

"Abortion is not a medical act. It does not seek to protect and preserve a patient's health," said opposition Senator Alfredo Solari.

Abortion is legal and available on request in Cuba.

Abortion is also allowed up to the 12th week of pregnancy in many Mexican states and in the area of the capital, Mexico City.

In other Latin American countries, it is only allowed in cases of rape or health risk for the woman.

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"Recalibration of Knowledge" – Jan 14, 2012 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: Channelling, God-Creator, Benevolent Design, New Energy, Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) SoulsReincarnation, Gaia, Old Energies (Africa,Terrorists, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela ... ), Weather, Rejuvenation, Akash, Nicolas Tesla / Einstein, Cold Fusion, Magnetics, Lemuria, Atomic Structure (Electrons, Particles, Polarity, Self Balancing, Magnetism, Higgs Boson), Entanglement, "Life is necessary for a Universe to exist and not the other way around"DNA, Humans (Baby getting ready, First Breath, Stem Cells, Embryonic Stem Cells, Rejuvenation), Global Unity, ... etc.) - (Text Version)

"... I want to define life for you - not biological life, but spiritual life. So for all those intellectuals, just hold on, for many won't like this. Spiritual life, as measured by Spirit, is when a Human has free choice. When is that? It's when they take their first breath. Not in utero. There will be those who will say, "That's wrong, that's wrong. The soul in the woman's body is alive!" Just wait. I'm talking about spiritually. That which Spirit sees, and it's when you come from the other side of the veil and take your first breath.

A child with the mother has no free choice. That child is linked to the choice of the mother until it is born. It is, indeed, a soul in preparation for free choice, and there are many attributes that are spiritual that we have discussed before about how that soul reacts. But now I'm discussing life with polarity [duality], free choice.

But let's discuss that "child inside" for a moment, for there is a process I want you to know about. I want to talk about 240 days into the pregnancy. At about that time, the child has perfect DNA. It hasn't taken its first breath. The DNA hasn't measured the energy of the planet yet, since it is contained. Did you realize that? Inside the womb is a perfect child. The child's DNA has all the attributes of the Akash and also the parent, but it's different in a way you have not been told. The DNA is 100% as designed.

The quantum instructions within the DNA are all talking to the biology of the child,, getting ready for the first breath. ..."