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. …

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

UN criticises Chile for using terror law on Mapuche

BBC News, Gideon Long, Santiago, 31 July 2013

Anti-terrorism law has been used against the Mapuche for more than 10 years

Related Stories

A senior United Nations lawyer has launched a blistering attack on Chile for its treatment of the country's Mapuche indigenous minority.

Ben Emmerson, the UN's special rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism, said a long-running dispute over land rights could boil over into serious violence at any moment.

He said Chilean police were guilty of "a systematic use of excessive force".

The Mapuche make up 9% of the Chilean population.

Mr Emmerson said the state had repeatedly discriminated against the Mapuche and used anti-terrorism legislation against them "in a confused and arbitrary fashion that has resulted in real injustice".

"The situation in the Araucania and Bio Bio regions is extremely volatile," Mr Emmerson warned, referring to the southern regions where the Mapuche have traditionally lived.

"In the absence of prompt and effective action at a national level it could quickly escalate into widespread disorder and violence."

Arson attacks

Before the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th Century the Mapuche inhabited a vast swathe of land in southern Chile.

Renowned for their ferocity, they successfully resisted conquest until the late 19th Century, when they were rounded up into small communities. Much of their land was sold off to farmers and forestry companies.

In recent years the Mapuche have waged a sometimes violent campaign to win back that land.

Protests have ranged from marches, hunger strikes and the occupation of public buildings to the setting up of road blocks, the occupation of disputed land, arson and the sabotage of machinery and equipment.

Police outside trial of Mapuche Indian leaders in Collipulli, Chile, Feb 12 2013

The UN rapporteur says the police has used violence during raids on Mapuche communities
The state has occasionally responded by invoking Chile's anti-terrorism law, drafted by General Augusto Pinochet in 1984 and designed to stamp out opposition to his rule.

The law is one of the harshest in the Chilean statute book. It doubles the sentences for some offences and allows for the conviction of defendants on the basis of testimony from anonymous witnesses.

Mr Emmerson made three recommendations to the Chilean government at the end of his two-week visit:

  • The adoption of a "national strategy" to deal with the Mapuche conflict "within a defined and relatively short timescale". He said this would require "a paradigm shift in political will".
  • An end to the use of the anti-terrorism law in cases involving Mapuche land protests. Mr Emmerson said those convicted in the past on the basis of testimony from anonymous witnesses should have their convictions reviewed.
  • The establishment of a new body to investigate claims of excessive police violence against the Mapuche. Mr Emmerson said the current body had "conspicuously failed in its duty to enforce the law".

The Chilean government has yet to respond to the recommendations.

The Mapuche conflict has been rumbling on for years in the south, with sporadic outbursts of violence.

In January this year, a group of assailants set fire to a house belonging to an elderly couple whose family has a history of poor relations with their Mapuche neighbours. The couple died in the blaze.

Three Mapuche protesters have been shot dead by the police in separate incidents over the past decade.

Mapuche prisoners have staged hunger strikes in protest at their conviction under the anti-terrorist law and what they regard as excessive police violence during raids.

In 2010, the government of Sebastian Pinera reformed the anti-terrorism law, but Mapuche activists say the changes did not go far enough.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mexican state of Colima allows same-sex civil unions

BBC News, 30 July 2013

Same-sex marriages have been legal in Mexico City for years, now
Colima allows civil unions

Related Stories

Colima has become the latest Mexican state to allow same-sex couples to enter into civil unions after a majority of local authorities passed a change in the state's constitution.

Legalisation on same-sex unions falls under state legislation, and a number of states have divergent rules.

Mexico City and the southern state of Quintana Roo allow gay marriages, while Coahuila allows same-sex civil unions.

Congress in Yucatan on the other hand banned same-sex marriage in 2009.

Seven out of ten authorities in Colima approved the constitutional change, which had been passed by the state's congress earlier this month.

Only two Congressmen voted against the change, arguing the state should legalise gay marriages rather than restricting same-sex couples to civil unions.

'More integration'

News of the change in the law in Colima came on the same day as Pope Francis told reporters that gay people should not be marginalised but integrated into society.

Speaking to reporters on a flight back from Brazil, the Pope reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church's position that homosexual acts were sinful, but homosexual orientation was not.

Gay marriage was legalised in Uruguay earlier this year, and in Argentina in 2010.

In Brazil, the Supreme Court in May voted overwhelmingly in favour of allowing same-sex couples the same legal rights as married heterosexuals, effectively authorising gay marriage.

However, full legalisation of gay marriage in Brazil still depends on the passage of a law in Congress.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pope tells Brazilian church to keep it simple and reach out to the poor

Francis implicitly criticises his predecessor and tells bishops the church looks like 'a prisoner of its own rigid formulas', Associated Press in Rio de Janeiro, Sunday 28 July 2013

Hundreds of thousands of people cram onto Copacabana beach in Rio
for the pope's vigil service. Photograph: Sergio Moraes/Reuters

Pope Francis drew hundreds of thousands of flag-waving faithful to Rio's Copacabana beach on Saturday for the final evening of World Youth Day, hours after he chastised the Brazilian church for failing to stem the "exodus" of Catholics to evangelical congregations.

Francis headed into the final hours of his first international trip riding a remarkable wave of popularity. By the time his open-sided car reached the stage for the vigil service on Saturday night, the back seat was piled high with football jerseys, flags and flowers tossed to him by adoring pilgrims lining the beachfront route.

The vigil capped a busy day for the pope in which he drove home a message he has emphasizsed throughout the week in speeches, homilies and off-the-cuff remarks: the need for Catholics, lay and religious, to shake up the status quo, get out of their stuffy sacristies and reach the faithful on the margins of society or risk losing them to rival churches.

In the longest and most important speech of his four-month pontificate, Francis took a direct swipe at the "intellectual" message of the church that so characterised the pontificate of his predecessor, Benedict XVI. Speaking to Brazil's bishops, he said ordinary Catholics didn't understand such lofty ideas and needed to hear the simpler message of love, forgiveness and mercy that he said was at the core of the Catholic faith.

"At times we lose people because they don't understand what we are saying, because we have forgotten the language of simplicity and import an intellectualism foreign to our people," he said. "Without the grammar of simplicity, the church loses the very conditions which make it possible to fish for God in the deep waters of his mystery."

Francis asked bishops to reflect on why hundreds of thousands of Catholics had left the church for Protestant and Pentecostal congregations that have grown exponentially in recent decades, particularly in Brazil's slums or favelas, where their charismatic message and nuts-and-bolts advice has been welcomed.

According to census data, the number of Catholics in Brazil dipped from 125m in 2000 to 123m in 2010, with the church's share of the total population dropping from 74% to 65%. Over the same period, the number of evangelical Protestants and Pentecostals skyrocketed from 26m to 42m, increasing from 15% to 22% of the population in 2010.

Francis offered a breathtakingly blunt list of explanations for the "exodus."

"Perhaps the church appeared too weak, perhaps too distant from their needs, perhaps too poor to respond to their concerns, perhaps too cold, perhaps too caught up with itself, perhaps a prisoner of its own rigid formulas," he said. "Perhaps the world seems to have made the church a relic of the past, unfit for new questions. Perhaps the church could speak to people in their infancy but not to those come of age."

The Vatican said Francis read the five-page speech in its entirety to the 300 or so bishops gathered for lunch in the auditorium of the Rio archbishop's residence. He was due to speak to the bishops of Latin America on Sunday before heading back to Rome, said the Rev Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman.

Copacabana beach was overflowing for the final vigil on Saturday night. Local media, citing information from the mayor's office, said 3m people were on hand for the vigil – three times as many as at the last World Youth Day vigil in Madrid in 2011.

Rio's mayor estimated as many as 3m people might turn out for Sunday's culminating Mass.

The Argentinian pope began his day with a Mass in Rio's beehive-like modern cathedral where he exhorted 1,000 bishops from around the world to go out and find the faithful, a more diplomatic expression of the direct, off-the-cuff instructions he delivered to young Argentinian pilgrims on Thursday.

In those remarks, he urged the youngsters to make a "mess" in their dioceses and shake things up, even at the expense of confrontation with their bishops and priests.

"We cannot keep ourselves shut up in parishes, in our communities when so many people are waiting for the Gospel," Francis said in his homily on Saturday. "It's not enough simply to open the door in welcome, but we must go out through that door to seek and meet the people."

Related Articles:

Pope Francis: Who am I to judge gay people?

"Recalibration of Free Choice"–  Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (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)

“ … Spirituality (Religions)

Number one: Spirituality. The systems of spiritual design on your planet are starting to change. This is not telling you that certain ones are going to go away. They're simply going to change. Some of the largest spiritual systems, which you would call organized religion on the planet, are shifting. They're going to shift away from that which is authority on the outside to authority on the inside. It will eventually be a different way of worship, slowly changing the rules while keeping the basic doctrine the same.

The doctrine of the Christ has always been to find the God inside. The teachings were clear. The examples of the miracles were given as an example of what humans could do, not to set a man up for worship as a God. So when that has been absorbed, the teaching of the Christ can remain the teaching of the Christ. It simply changes the interpretation. 

The teachings of the great prophets of the Middle East (all related to each other) are about unity and love. So once the holy words are redefined with new wisdom, the Human changes, not the words of the prophets. In fact, the prophets become even more divinely inspired and their wisdom becomes even more profound.

You're going to lose a pope soon. I have no clock. Soon to us can mean anything to you. The one who replaces him may surprise you, for his particular organization will be in survival mode at that point in time. That is to say that fewer and fewer are interested in starting the priesthood. Fewer and fewer young people are interested in the organization, and the new pope must make changes to keep his church alive. That means that his organization will remain, but with a more modern look at what truly is before all of you in a new energy. It is not the fall of the church. It is instead the recalibration of the divinity inside that would match the worship that goes on. It's a win-win situation. The new pope will have a difficult time, since the old guard will still be there. There could even be an assassination attempt, such is the way the old energy dies hard. That is number one. Watch for it. It's a change in the way spiritual systems work. It's a realignment of spiritual systems that resound to a stronger truth that is Human driven, rather than prophet driven.…”

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Energized by pope, young Catholics flood Rio streets

France24 – AFP, 27 July 2013

Hundreds of thousands of young Catholic pilgrims attend the start of
World Youth Day at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, on July 27, 2013. 

AFP - Heeding Pope Francis' call to shake up the Church, hundreds of thousands of young Catholics marched across Rio on Saturday, singing, beating drums and chanting "this is the pope's youth!"

They waved flags from around the world -- Brazil, Australia, South Africa, the United States -- and pitched tents on the crescent-shaped beach of Copacabana for an all-night vigil and final mass with the pope to cap World Youth Day festivities.

Since his election in March, history's first Latin American pope has sought to re-energize Catholics, using his Rio trip to urge young believers to spread the Gospel and "make a mess" in their dioceses.

Flanked by the Sugarloaf mountain and Christ the Redeemer statue atop a peak, the faithful reflected on the pope's message during a nine-kilometer (5.5-mile) pilgrimage to the beach.

Many agreed that the Catholic Church needs a dose of energy, lamenting that too many have lost interest in a religion that has been hurt by pedophilia scandals.

Pilgrims walk across Rio de Janeiro to
 reach Copacabana beach to join other
 young Catholics attending World Youth
 Day for a prayer vigil with Pope Francis
on July 27, 2013.
Some suggested that social media can help spread the Gospel, others said young Catholics needs to be more active, join missions and open up about their faith.

"Oh yeah! Shake it up, big time! You have to," said Adrian Antonio Flores, a 31-year-old from the US state of Minnesota who works for a website catering to young Catholics.

"We're alive, we're on fire. When people see others on fire, it's contagious," he said before a prayer with 33 other Americans. "The Church needs to say to young people, here's social media and there's a light in media."

Roque Sanchez, a 22-year-old mathematics student holding a flag of his native Mexico, said the Church "needs to adapt, use things like Facebook."

"The Church must renew itself, otherwise it will be like in the Middle Ages," he said.

While Yu-Chun Hung, a 25-year-old English teacher from Taiwan, agreed that the Church needs to adapt to a fast-moving society, she warned that social media must be used carefully.

"Young people can be easily seduced. Using social media could be bad or wrong, but it depends on how we use it. Like a gun, it can hurt people but a gun can also protect people," she said, wearing a conical straw hat.

Although many said the Church must stick to dogma, Priti Khatiwada, a 16-year-old Catholic school student from Australia, said it should consider allowing priests to marry.

Some of the sins committed by clergymen, she said, may be due to the fact that "they have been deprived of basic human necessities."

The Church has struggled with scandals that have alienated some faithful. Even Brazil, the world's biggest Catholic country, has seen its flock dwindle while Evangelical churches and secularism advance.

But Pope Francis has generated wall-to-wall news coverage of his visit.

Many pilgrims said the 76-year-old pontiff has connected with them with his charisma and tendency to break protocol to embrace people who have lined the streets to see him.

"I think he's lovely, really down to earth," Khatiwada said.

Argentine pilgrims wait outside the
 Municipal Theatre in Rio de Janeiro where
 Pope Francis is due to arrive for a meeting
 with leaders of Brazil, on July 27, 2013.
The mass of people at World Youth Day, however, has caused logistical headaches for organizers, who have come under fire over a metro breakdown and the sudden switch of venue for the vigil.

The grand finale was supposed to take place on a field west of Rio, but rain turned it into a mud pit, forcing authorities to move the events to Copacabana.

During Saturday's march, some pilgrims stood in huge lines for as long as three hours to receive a food box being distributed near a war monument. Some shouted at people trying to break in line.

"It's very chaotic," said Yolanda Chao, 48, of Vancouver, Canada.

But Chao and most pilgrims have remained upbeat despite the rain and logistical missteps.

"There are a million people so it will be hard for everything to run smoothly," said Australian student Bronte Dunne, 16. "People should understand and be patient."

And many were looking forward to spending the night on Copacabana, usually famous for curvacious women in tiny bikinis.

"God will work a miracle after we're gone," said Father Pierre Claver of Ivory Coast. "The girls in the sexy bikinis will see that the young people here today are giving another message, that Jesus is here and everywhere."

Caribbean nations take aim at the British, Dutch and French in slave-trader lawsuit

The Standard, Hong Kong, July 26, 2013

An exhibit on the slave trade at the
UN in March
Leaders of more than a dozen Caribbean countries are seeking compensation from three European nations for what they say is the lingering legacy of the Atlantic slave trade. 

The Caribbean Community, a regional organization, has taken up the cause of compensation for slavery and the genocide of native peoples and is preparing for what would likely be a drawn-out battle with the governments of Britain, France and the Netherlands, AP reports.

Caricom, as the organization is known, has enlisted the help of a prominent British human rights law firm and is creating a Reparations Commission to press the issue, said Ralph Gonsalves, the prime minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, who has been leading the effort.

Any settlement should include a formal apology, but contrition alone would not be sufficient.
“The apology is important but that is wholly insufficient,'' he said in a phone interview Wednesday with The Associated Press. “We have to have appropriate recompense.''

The notion of forcing the countries that benefited from slavery to pay reparations has been a decades-long quest. Individual countries including Jamaica and Antigua and Barbuda already had existing national commissions. Earlier this month, leaders from the 14 Caricom nations voted unanimously at a meeting in Trinidad to wage a joint campaign that those involved say would be more ambitious than any previous effort.

Each nation that does not have a national reparations commission agreed to set one up, sending a representative to the regional commission, which would be overseen by prime ministers. They agreed to focus on Britain on behalf of the English-speaking Caribbean as well as France for the slavery in Haiti and the Netherlands for Suriname, a former Dutch colony on the northeastern edge of South America that is a member of Caricom.

In addition, they brought on the British law firm of Leigh Day, which waged a successful fight for compensation for hundreds of Kenyans who were tortured by the British colonial government as they fought for the liberation of their country during the so-called Mau Mau rebellion of the 1950s and 1960s.

Attorney Martyn Day said his first step would likely be to seek a negotiated settlement with the governments of France, Britain and Netherlands along the lines of the British agreement in June to issue a statement of regret and award compensation of about US$21.5 million to the surviving Kenyans.

“I think they would undoubtedly want to try and see if this can be resolved amicably,'' Day said of the Caribbean countries. “But I think the reason they have hired us is that they want to show that they mean business.''

Caribbean officials have not mentioned a specific monetary figure but Gonsalves and Verene Shepherd, chairwoman of the national reparations commission in Jamaica, both mentioned the fact that Britain at the time of emancipation in 1834 paid £20 million to British planters in the Caribbean, the equivalent of £200 billion today.

“Our ancestors got nothing,'' Shepherd said. “They got their freedom and they were told `Go develop yourselves.’’

British High Commissioner to Jamaica David Fitton was quizzed on the issue Wednesday during a radio interview and said that the Mau Mau case was not meant to be a precedent and that his government opposes reparations for slavery.

“We don't think the issue of reparations is the right way to address these issues,'' Fitton said. “It's not the right way to address an historical problem.''

In 2007, marking the 200th anniversary of the British prohibition on the transportation of slaves, then British Prime Minister Tony Blair expressed regret for the “unbearable suffering'' caused by his country's role in slavery. After the devastating Haitian earthquake in January 2010, then French President Nicolas Sarkozy was asked about reparations for slavery and the 90 million gold francs demanded by Napoleon to recognize the country's independence. Sarkozy acknowledged the “wounds of colonization,'' and pointed out that France had canceled a 56 million euro debt to Paris and approved an aid package that included 40 million euros in budget support for the Haitian government.

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Chile lawyer seeks murder charge over Bachelet's father

BBC News, 27 July 2013

Related Stories

Evelyn Matthei says her father was
a friend of Mrs Bachelet's father
A Chilean lawyer wants charges brought against the father of the conservative presidential candidate for the murder of the father of her rival.

Gen Alberto Bachelet, father of centre-left candidate Michelle Bachelet, was tortured to death in 1974.

He died in a military facility directed by the father of centre-right candidate Evelyn Matthei, Gen Alberto Matthei.

Human rights lawyer Eduardo Contreras says new evidence shows that Gen Matthei knew about his death.

General Alberto Bachelet had been accused of state treason after refusing to join the military coup, led by General Augusto Pinochet, in 1973.

He died in a prison months later as a consequence of torture injuries.

This is the second time Mr Contreras, who represents families of political victims, has tried to prosecute Gen Matthei for the murder of Gen Bachelet.

However, Ms Bachelet has said she did not ask Mr Contreras to represent her.

'More than clear'

The lawyer says the testimonies given last month by two former officers compared with statements from Gen Matthei "make it more than clear" that he knew what was going on in the Air War Academy.

"He even took his time to classify the prisoners that should be questioned," Mr Contreras said.

Gen Bachelet's daughter Michelle, who
was tortured herself, is running for
a second term
But Gen Matthei's defence denies the accusations and says he had been given the post shortly before the events and was not there when the torture happened.

Ms Matthei, a former labour minister, has suggested that the move may be politically motivated.

"Everybody knows that they were friends and everybody knows that my father held a title given to him as director of the Air War Academy," the governing alliance candidate said.

The 88-year old retired general has not spoken publicly about the case and is hardly ever seen in public.

Evelyn Matthei replaced Pablo Longueira as presidential candidate for the centre-right after he resigned on grounds of depression.

An experienced politician, she is known for her outspoken rhetoric.

But her left-wing rival Michelle Bachelet is widely seen as the favourite, according to opinion polls.

The vote takes place on 17 November. A runoff will be held on 15 December if neither candidate obtains more than 50% of the vote.

Related Article:

Friday, July 26, 2013

Cuba's Raul Castro points to 'gradual power transfer'

BBC News, 26 July 2013

President Raul Castro paid tribute to his absent brother in his speech

Related Stories

President Raul Castro has said power in Cuba is being gradually transferred, in a speech at celebrating 60 years since the start of the revolution.

The revolutionaries were giving way to a new generation who would keep socialist ideals alive, Mr Castro said.

Several Latin American leaders gathered in Santiago to mark the failed Moncada barracks assault, seen as the start of Mr Castro's brother Fidel's revolution.

Fidel Castro stepped down from power in 2008 after a series of health issues.

He was absent from Friday's celebrations in Santiago.

Whereas in Fidel's time it was customary to make big announcements on 26 July, Raul Castro has been keeping a lower profile at the event.

'Serene confidence'

This year, President Castro - who's been pushing a string of economic and political changes in the country - paid tribute to his brother and the revolution.

"The historic generation is giving way to the new one, with tranquillity and serene confidence, based on the preparation and competence to keep the flags of the revolution and socialism flying high," he told the crowd.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega and Uruguay's Jose Mujica were among dignitaries in the audience.

Mr Mujica, who also took up arms with revolutionaries in his country, said the Cuban revolution had given other Latin American nations confidence.

"This was a revolution of dignity. It gave us dreams," he said.

On Wednesday, the former revolutionary had a personal meeting with Fidel Castro.

Following the talks, he said Mr Castro was weighed down by his age but remained brilliant and youthful in his mind.

The annual 26 July rally marks the anniversary of the first battle of the Cuban revolution when Fidel, along with Raul, led an attack on the Moncada barracks.

It was successfully repelled by the army of dictator Fulgencio Batista and the Castro brothers were sent to prison but later released.

Related Article:

Cuba: Comparing revolutionary goals with realities

Deutsche Welle, 26 July 2013

Exactly 60 years ago, Fidel Castro attempted to take power in Cuba for the first time. He expressed an ambitious revolutionary platform - but how does the Cuba of today measure up to his grand plan?

Cuba's revolution officially began on July 26, 1953, the day after the festival of Saint James. A year earlier, the US-backed dictator Fulgencio Bastista rose to power following a coup. Fidel Castro - at that time a little-known, young lawyer - had first unsuccessfully tried to displace the dictator by running against him in the 1952 elections. Voting was called off before Cuban’s had a chance to cast their ballot.

Castro garnered the support of some 130 people, and together they attempted to overtake the Moncada military barracks in Santiago de Cuba and seize weapons being stored there. He had hoped the 400 soldiers stationed there would be exhausted or absent after the previous night's festivities. But the plan failed, and many of the revolutionaries were executed, while the remainder were forced to stand trial.

Castro’s long and ambitious political agenda was well primed, even when he stormed the barracks in 1953. After taking over he wanted to distribute land more evenly, push for industrialization, reduce unemployment, improve the education sector and create a system that would allow all Cuban’s the opportunity to access healthcare – the framework of a democracy.

It was not until 1959 that the rebels finally achieved their revolution. Now, more than 50 years later, what's the situation with the reforms Castro dreamed of all those decades ago?

The Moncada barracks, with reconstructed bullet pockmarks, is now a museum

Between socialism, capitalism and market reform

"The Moncada program was more socialist than that of the old Communist Party," wrote Cuban historian Pedro Campos, an activist with a collective called Participatory and Democratic Socialism (Socialismo Participativo y Democrático).

Castro's original program "didn't promote state capitalism under party control, with some agricultural cooperation, like Stalinism," Campos said. Rather, Castro wanted to see workers directly participating in companies, self-governed agricultural cooperatives, and recovery of democratic citizen participation. All of which have still not been achieved, he added.

Carmelo Mesa-Lago, a former professor of economics and Latin American studies at the University of Pittsburgh in the United States, thinks this could be due in part to Cuba's political isolation. "Cuba gained and maintained only conditional sovereignty, because the country is not economically self-sufficient and has always depended upon an external actor - be it Spain, the United States, the Soviet Union, or now Venezuela," Mesa-Lago said.

By the end of the 1980s - just before the fall of the Iron Curtain - Cuba had attained its highest level of social and economic indicators in its history. But this all changed following the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, when Cuba lost support from its communist allies. The country was plunged into a time of hardship, which became known on the island as the "special period."

Fidel Castro (left) was succeeded by his brother Raul (right) after falling ill

Today, Fidel Castro's brother Raul Castro's economic reforms continue to challenge the country’s 11 million inhabitants. According to estimates, a million Cubans lack proper housing. The country's trade deficit and state debt have risen to record levels. Income disparity is increasing, and the numbers of poor and vulnerable has grown. Meanwhile, social welfare has been cut, with 70-percent less people receiving state benefits.

Agricultural production continues to stagnate due to centralized planning, with the state owning almost all land. Only 10-percent of the country’s farmers remain independent. Manufacturing continues to be subject to outflows of capital and a lack of industrialization. Raul Castro announced public sector layouts - which could lead to a third of Cuba's employable population losing their jobs, Mesa-Lago said.

Political stagnation and international image

Cuba’s social situation is ambivalent. On the one hand, Cuba has the lowest child mortality and highest life expectancy rate in all of Latin America. On the other hand, there's been a clear worsening of social security, education and health, said Cuban historian and political scientist Armando Chaguaceda, who lectures at the University of Veracruz in Mexico. Not only has the quality of these services been reduced, "but also access, because of cuts to funding in these areas," Chaguaceda added.

"Abandoning infrastructure for water and waste management" has also occurred, Mesa-Lago said, increasing a risk of an epidemic on the island. Trained doctors are leaving the island, leading to a shortage of professional medical services across the country, she added.

The Cuban medical system has a good reputation

The Cuban government has had to make do with less foreign assistance - Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Ecuador continue to reduce their financial support for the country. Internally, there's also a lack of citizen support. Above all, it's a problem of "political stagnation - which is continued in an authoritarian regime, a single party with very serious controls on freedom of expression, including no right to public protests or strike. Media, and labor unions,” Mesa-Lago added, “are an extension of the government.”

But things have changed somewhat. Recently, the opportunity for Cubans to travel or migrate from the island has increased, along with private investment. But even these reforms have authoritarian tones, Chaguaceda insisted. He believes that 60 years after Moncada, fundamental changes originally championed by Fidel Castro have not taken place.

"The citizenry is tired and civically disempowered, opinion is split, and there's a lack of reference points for peaceful civic protest," Chaguaceda said. Cuban citizens see themselves in opposition to "an elite rich who control information and the tools of power."

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Colombia admits rights violations in battle with leftists

Google – AFP, 25 July 2013

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos delivering a speech at the
 Constitutional Court in Bogota on July 25, 2013 (Colombian Presidency/
AFP, Juan Pablo Bello)

BOGOTA — Colombia admitted for the first time Thursday that the government has been guilty of "serious human rights violations" during its 50-year battle with leftist rebels.

President Juan Manuel Santos made the admission in a speech aimed at defending a constitutional amendment known as the "legal framework for peace," which is considered the legal basis for ongoing peace negotiations.

The Bogota government and rebels from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia since November have been engaged in talks aimed at ending the conflict, Latin America's longest running.

Santos said the government "has been responsible, in some cases by default, in other cases by direct action of some state agents, of serious human rights violations and breeches of international humanitarian law," since the conflict began.

"Our role, as agents of the state, is to guarantee and protect the rights of all citizens. For that reason, our responsibility is that much greater," he added.

But the president emphasized his admission did not absolve the rebels, who he said also are "responsible for human rights violations and international humanitarian infractions."

"If we are truly at the end of this conflict, members of FARC and the ELN and the demobilized fighters of the AUC (the far-right United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia) ... must also take on their own responsibility," the president emphasized.

"That is critical," he said.

Approved by Congress in 2012, the constitutional amendment still requires the endorsement of the constitutional court. It permits the suspension of sentences for rebel fighters who demobilize, among other statutes.

Formed in 1964, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC by its Spanish acronym, is the country's largest guerrilla group, with an estimated 8,000 fighters.

The smaller leftist National Liberation Army, or ELN, is also active in Colombia and has so far remained outside the peace process.

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"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)

“…  Government

Let us speak of government. We're not speaking of your government, but of any government - the way it works, how it survives, how it has survived, the way it campaigns, and how it elects leaders. It's going to change.

Years ago, I told you, "When everybody can talk to everybody, there can be no secrets." Up to this point on this planet, government has counted on one thing - that the people can't easily talk to each other on a global scale. They have to get their information through government or official channels. Even mass media isn't always free enough, for it reports that which the government reports. Even a free society tends to bias itself according to the bias of the times. However, when you can have Human Beings talking to each other all at once, all over the planet without government control, it all changes, for there is open revelation of truth.

Democracy itself will change and you're going to see it soon. The hold-outs, the few countries I have mentioned in the past, are doomed unless they recalibrate. They're doomed to be the same as they have been and won't be able to exist as they are now with everyone changing around them.

I mentioned North Korea in the past. Give it time. Right now, the young man is under the control of his father's advisors. But when they're gone, you will see something different, should he survive. Don't judge him yet, for he is being controlled.

In government, if you're entire voting base has the ability to talk to itself without restriction and comes up with opinions by itself without restriction, it behooves a politician to be aware and listen to them. This will change what politicians will do. It will change the way things work in government. Don't be surprised when some day a whole nation can vote all at once in a very unusual way. Gone will be the old systems where you used to count on horseback riders to report in from faraway places. Some of you know what I am talking about. Government will change. The systems around you, both dark and light, will change. You're going to start seeing something else, too, so let's change the subject and turn the page. …”

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Leonardo Boff: 'Pope Francis will change the church'

Deutsche Welle, 23 July 2013

Pope Francis will change the Catholic Church, says liberation theologian Leonardo Boff. DW spoke with him about mass demonstrations in Brazil and his expectations for the new pope.

DW: Why does Christianity need a pope in the 21st century?

Leonardo Boff: Basically we shouldn't need a pope. The church could build a network of religious communities which communicate with each other as it had when it was founded. But during the period of the Roman Empire, Christianity turned into an institution with political duties, so that it became a center of power. It is very characteristic for this pope that he refused to cover his head with the golden miter after his election. He said: “Carnival is over, I don't want this.”

Will this pope turn the Vatican upside down?

Pope Francis is a pope of change. This is new. His predecessors John Paul II and Benedict XVI wanted the church to maintain its continuity. Francis has now started to reform the papacy.

 Pope Francis' popularity stems
from his openness to the people
I think this pope will create a dynasty of popes from the Third World. Only 24 percent of the world's Christians live in Europe while 62 percent live in Latin America and the rest in Asia and Africa. Today, Christianity is a religion of the Third World which originated in the first world. It has its own sources and traditions, heroes, martyrs, prophets and personalities like the Bishop of Recife, Dom Helder Camara, or the people's saint Oscar Romero. These churches bring new life into Christianity.

Where does your optimism come from? The problems are still the same: divorced people who get re-married are excluded from the Eucharist, homosexuals suffer discrimination and women are not allowed to become priests or deacons.

The pope gave a clear example. When he heard that a priest in Rome would not baptize an illegitimate child he said, "There are no illegitimate daughters or sons - there are only children. The mother has the right to have her child baptized. The church must open its doors to everyone." Until now it's been forbidden to talk about sexual morality, celibacy and homosexuality. Theologians and priests who did not conform were censored. Nowadays these topics are open for discussion.

In recent weeks hundreds of thousands of Brazilians have been demonstrating against corrupt politicians and expensive football stadiums.  What was their goal?

They are simply unhappy with their country because of its extreme social injustice. Forty-three percent of the country's income is controlled by 5,000 Brazilian families. Even the Workers Party PT has reached its limits. It has the option of changing and renewing its relationship to the social movements, or of turning into a party like any other which is only after power and allows itself to become corrupt.

The Brazilian middle class do not seem enthusiastic about the social programs of the government. Do they feel neglected?

During Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's presidency the rich became richer but the poor were also taken out of poverty. It was a win-win situation. The Workers Party PT has been redistributing the wealth. Redistribution means taking from the well-off and supporting the poorer classes of the population with the proceeds. But in this case, this principle was not applied to those with the largest wealth: the government has taken the money from the middle-class who have lost income thereby.

Will the Brazilian politicians listen to the pope's words politely at World Youth Day and then forget them?

This pope's style is very important for Latin America. He puts poor people and social justice first. This will strengthen the new democracies which were created from the resistance to military dictatorship and have adopted successful social policies. The pope has an important political role. He can move masses. There is not one politician - not even Obama - who can bring more than a million people together.

But the Catholic Church has lost much influence, even in Latin America…

The Catholic Church in Brazil is going through a crisis as an institution. Measured by the number of Catholics, Brazil should have 100,000 priests, but there are only 17,000. The Evangelicals and the Pentecostalists have taken over the institutional vacuum left by the Catholic Church. The people are religious: they follow anyone who talks about God. After all there are many paths leading to God. Basically, the Catholic Church is in charge of baptism, weddings, and funerals; the life beyond the grave is looked after by Spiritualism; and people go to the Afro-Brazilian Macumba cults when it comes to matters of love and luck. Brazil is a huge religious supermarket where every one chooses his own product.

Leonardo Boff (74) is a Brazilian liberation theologian, author and campaigner for the rights of the poor and disadvantaged. The Vatican banned him from teaching in 1992 after he criticized the leadership of the Catholic Church. He's now a professor of theology, ethics and philosophy at universities all over the world.

At one point, a woman handed the pontiff a dark-haired baby, 
whom he kissed before handing it back. Photograph: 

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