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State Violence

US Jury Finds Chiquita Guilty Of Financing Paramilitary Death Squads

In a historic first, an American jury has held a major US corporation liable for complicity in serious human rights abuses abroad. Specifically, the case has held banana giant Chiquita Brands International accountable for financing a brutal paramilitary death squad in Colombia. Chiquita In Colombia Between 1997 and 2004, Chiquita financed the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) to the tune of US $1.7m. The AUC was a coalition of right-wing death squads. The group of over 30,000 soldiers operated throughout two-thirds of the country, and manufactured war to prop up a series of illegal business activities. Primarily, the AUC ran what was then the largest drug trafficking cartel in the world. It also engaged in arms sales, human trafficking, and money laundering.

New Bill In Honduras Seeks To Rectify 1980s Human Rights Violations

In Honduras, family members of the victims of state violence in the 1980s have been marching for 40 years to demand justice for the disappearance and death of their loved ones. Now, there’s a chance they may see reparations. An unprecedented bill that would provide compensation for the family members of the victims is working its way through Congress. In June 1981, Bertha Oliva was three months pregnant and had only been married for four months when she witnessed the kidnapping of her husband by the country’s death squad. “I was there when they took him away from me,” she said, adding, “I am a witness to the brutality. I am a survivor of that moment.”

Palestinian Activist Tied Up, Beaten, And Arrested By Israeli Forces

On Monday morning in the occupied West Bank, just over 15 people of all ages, many still in their pajamas, were piled into Laila al Waraa’s living room in Aida refugee camp, Bethlehem. While the little room belonging to the 69-year-old family matriarch was accustomed to large gatherings, this time was different. It was about 5:00 in the morning, and everyone was trying to piece together what had happened hours before when the Israeli military conducted yet another overnight raid on the refugee camp. Around 3:00 a.m., the Israeli army loudly and without warning broke into her house, where she, her 20-year-old granddaughter, and her 42-year-old son had been asleep.

Act Now To Stop The Violence In Masafer Yatta

A group of human rights defenders from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), citizens from the above countries, are currently in villages of Masafer Yatta, South Hebron Hills, in solidarity with communities who are facing immediate threats to their lives and of displacement.  Israeli settlers and soldiers have taken advantage of the state of emergency during the current Israeli onslaught in Gaza to escalate their violence and displacement of Palestinians in the southern region of the West Bank. Armed settlers and soldiers have attacked villages of Masafer Yatta daily in recent weeks.

Palestinians Speak The Language Of Violence Israel Taught Them

The indiscriminate shootings of Israelis by Hamas and other Palestinian resistance organizations, the kidnapping of civilians, the barrage of rockets into Israel, drone attacks on a variety of targets from tanks to automated machine gun nests, are the familiar language of the Israeli occupier. Israel has spoken this blood-soaked language of violence to the Palestinians since Zionist militias seized more than 78 percent of historic Palestine, destroyed some 530 Palestinian villages and cities and killed about 15,000 Palestinians in more than 70 massacres. Some 750,000 Palestinians were ethnically cleansed between 1947 and 1949 to create the state of Israel in 1948.

‘Today Is A Good Day To Die’: Report From New RCMP Raid At Fairy Creek

Not long past the break of dawn, along a remote road deep in the unceded, forested mountains of southern Vancouver Island, the steady blaring of a conch shell sends a warning through the trees. A raid is coming. In the Savage Patch camp, a new front in a years-long struggle over the fate of some of the country’s oldest trees, a small group of forest defenders scurry to pack sleeping bags and douse the fire that kept them warm through the night. Uncle Rico, a Cree land defender, streaks her face with red warpaint. A young, broad-shouldered settler land defender, known as Sandstorm, beats a drum gifted to him by a Native ally.

Traffic Stops Should Not Be Death Sentences

Minneapolis, Minnesota - Around 2 a.m. on July 31, Minnesota State Patrol trooper Ryan Londregan fatally shot Ricky Cobb II, 33, during a traffic stop on Interstate 94 West near 42nd Ave. North. Cobb II is Black and Londregan is white. It’s yet another deadly incident in a long pattern of Minnesota authorities’ violent acts against non-threatening Black males during traffic stops. Instant outcry swept across social media and vigils, press conferences, rallies and protests have been held every day since the killing, starting with a vigil on Monday night at North Mississippi Regional Park near the Mississippi River off 49th Ave. North.

Cop City Aims To Transform Police Into A Paramilitary Force

Atlanta, Georgia, with the support of the police force, banks and corporations, is trying to build a paramilitary police base in the Weelaunie Forest on 300 acres that was promised as a recreation space to the majority-black community living nearby. The base will be used to house police from across the nation and internationally to train them in urban warfare. The local community is largely opposed to it. They have been using traditional tactics of education, demonstrations and holding space through an occupation of the forest. This has all been met with state repression - violence, the murder of a 26-year old forest defender, arrests and felony terrorism charges. Kamau Franklin, of Community Movement Builders, speaks about the efforts to stop Cop City and why it represents the next level in the escalation of the militarization of police that will impact all of us. A week of action is currently underway.

Political Repression Under Peruvian Coup Regime

As the coup against President Pedro Castillo continues into its third month, the political repression on the ground has been severe and growing. From a single mother who fundraised approximately 2000 soles (roughly under $500) to buy food, medicine, and other necessities for protesters coming to Lima from provincial regions, to community leaders from the FREDEPA (Front for the Defense of the People of Ayacucho)in Ayacucho taken to a military base to be tortured before being taken by helicopter to the capital city, it is the predominantly indigenous campesino populations and those in solidarity with them and the organized masses as a whole that are being targeted.

Peru – More Than Statistics

In today’s episode, WTF host Teri Mattson shares some of the key findings of the Preliminary Report of the International Mission of Solidarity and Human Rights Delegation which arrived in Peru on February 7, 2023 and deployed its work in the country until the 13th of the same month.  Teri was one of 19 human rights observers comprising the delegation.

Writing About A Joy That Invades Jenin

Israel calls its latest military campaign Operation Break the Wave, a lyrical description of a brutal reality. This year, 2023, will be the seventy-fifth year after the Nakba, the catastrophe of 1948 when Israeli troops illegally removed Palestinians from their homes and tried to erase Palestine from the map. Since then, Palestinians have resisted against all odds, despite Israel’s formidable backing by the most powerful countries in the world, led by the United States. Operation Break the Wave started in February 2022 with the assassination of three Palestinians in Nablus (Adham Mabrouka, Ashraf Mubaslat, and Mohammad Dakhil) and continued with terrible violence along the spine of the West Bank, spreading into brutalised Gaza. On 26 January 2023, Israeli forces killed ten Palestinians – including an elderly woman – in Jenin and in al-Ram, north of Jerusalem, and then shot at an ambulance to prevent it from assisting the injured – a clear war crime.

General Strike Declared In West Bank In Mourning For Nine Palestinians Killed

A one-day general strike was declared on Thursday in the occupied West Bank in mourning for the Palestinians who were killed during the brutal Israel aggression on the city of Jenin and camp this morning, the official news agency WAFA reported. The death toll of the Israeli army raid into the northern occupied West Bank city of Jenin rose to nine and the number of wounded to 20, according to the Health Ministry. The Palestinian Health Ministry said that nine Palestinians were killed by Israeli army gunfire and 20 others were wounded, including four seriously wounded, during the violent raid into the city and neighboring refugee camp. The fatalities included an elderly woman, identified as Magda Obaid, 60. Two of the slain youths were identified as Saeb Issam Mahmoud Izreiqi, 24, and Izzidin Yassin Salahat, 26.

Repression Of Dissent Following The Illegal Removal Of President Castillo

Following the illegal removal of Pedro Castillo, the now President of Peru, Mrs. Dina Boluarte, has responded to the popular protests that paralyzed the country as of December 7, 2022 with the suspension of constitutional rights. That means the police can now stop anyone without a warrant; enter any residence and prevent any citizen from traveling freely within or outside of Peru. In addition, gatherings of any kind are prohibited. In areas located in 7 regions of Peru, for several weeks, the population has been prohibited from going out into the street and obligated to stay in their homes day and night. The first protests had the unfortunate consequences of 30 dead and countless wounded and imprisoned. Why? Because the repressive forces have used lethal weapons; they have shot at the body of the protesters, at the head and sometimes from behind.

Stop The Violence Against The Peruvian People

The Peruvian people have been on the streets across the country to reject the coup that took constitutional president Pedro Castillo out of office on December 7. The Peruvian authorities have responded to these mass protests with brutal violence. As of today, Peruvian human rights organizations estimate that 48 people have been killed in the context of the protests and hundreds more have been injured. Mainstream, corporate media in Peru has helped reinforce the government’s narrative that those who are on the streets are “criminals”, “terrorists” and that their demands are illegitimate. Meanwhile, independent and alternative media outlets and journalists in the country who have been covering the protests, have faced threats, campaigns of slander and stigmatization, and physical attacks.

For Palestinians, 2022 Was A Year Of Renewed Tragedy And New Hope

The Russia-Ukraine war starting in February, pressured many political entities, including Palestinians, to take sides or, at least, to declare a position. Though the Palestinian Authority (PA) and various Palestinian political parties insisted on their neutrality, Russia’s deviation from the US-led political paradigm in the Middle East opened up new margins for Palestinians to explore. On May 4, a delegation of Hamas leaders met Russian officials in Moscow, and a few months later, PA leader Mahmoud Abbas defied Washington by holding a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Astana, Kazakhstan. Despite US anger at Abbas, Washington could do little to retaliate against the Palestinian leadership, considering the delicate geopolitical balances in the Middle East and around the world.
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