Luisa González, of the Movimiento Revolución Ciudadana party, on Sunday took a lead in the first round of Ecuador’s presidential and legislative elections, which have been marred by political assassinations as the Andean nation struggles with a wave of violence that has brought homicide rates, under the Lasso administration, to record levels. Gonzalez is set to face the surprise second-place finisher Daniel Noboa in a run-off election in October, according to the National Electoral Council of Ecuador (CNE), as neither candidate won more than 50% of the ballot.
The President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, ordered the activation of the Peace Squads throughout the national territory to guarantee that "fascism does not impose the agenda of violence in the country." The head of state referred to the coup declarations of the former mayor of Caracas, Antonio Ledezma, who from abroad called for military intervention and a new coup against the Bolivarian government. "With these statements, Antonio Ledezma and all those who support him are exposed," said the national president while calling on the people of Venezuela to defend peace, sovereignty and internal unity.
Venezuela’s Attorney General Tarek William Saab announced that an arrest warrant was issued for the fugitive Antonio Ledezma due to his statements that called for deaths and confrontation between Venezuelans. “We have requested an arrest warrant for Antonio Ledezma for the crimes of treason, conspiracy, incitement to commit a crime, and association,” the prosecutor said at a press conference. In order to advance the proceedings, said Saab, national prosecutors #67 and #74, with full jurisdiction against organized crime, were appointed. At the press conference, he reported that technical expertise is being activated “for the purpose of requesting an arrest warrant against him.”
Once upon a time, Ecuador was considered an island of peace. Once upon a time, we were one of the safest countries in the continent. Once upon a time, the prisons worked, the Ministry of Justice functioned, and we felt that we had a government and a leader. A time when we saw our taxes turned into infrastructure, roads, hospitals, schools, and parks; there were fewer beggars in the streets and more children in schools. How did a country as beautiful as Ecuador become hell? Until recently, the hope of better winds for our nation made emigrants return with the promise of a brighter destiny, after the ferocious robbery of the bank crisis of 1999, which led to the exodus of thousands of Ecuadorians plunged into despair and poverty.
Five days after the 2020 murder of George Floyd, the Minneapolis Police Department’s SWAT unit drove down Lake Street, the corridor at the heart of the civil unrest that followed. “The first f***ers we see, we’re just hammering ‘em with 40s,” Sgt. Andrew Bittell ordered his team, referring to the 40mm plastic projectiles otherwise known as rubber bullets. Around 11 p.m., that’s exactly what the squad did to a group of people in a Lake Street parking lot. Some of the plastic rounds they fired hit Jaleel Stallings. Stallings, an army veteran, returned fire with a permitted pistol at the unmarked van he thought was dispensing real bullets.
The pervasiveness of trauma in American society is intimately linked to the ubiquity of sexual violence in our culture, and ultimately, the politics that buttresses this reality. In the second installment of a two-part discussion, acclaimed psychiatrist Dr. Judith Herman returns to The Chris Hedges Report for a discussion on the political implications revealed by her medical expertise: the need to confront the violence of our present system by reconstructing society itself. Dr. Judith Lewis Herman is a psychiatrist who studies trauma and developed the diagnosis for complex PTSD. She is the author of several books, including her most recent, Truth and Repair: How Trauma Survivors Envision Justice.
By July 2018, three months of violence—over 200 deaths on both sides, including 22 police officers, kidnappings, torture and destruction of property—had exhausted the Nicaraguan population, and they were desperate for the government to restore order. The calls for the government to clear the tranques (roadblocks) that had strangled the country became deafening. Daniel Ortega’s strategy had worked: had he removed the roadblocks too soon, the resistance might have been much more violent, and it would have left deeply divided communities. He had waited until he had the backing of most of the population.
Violence is ubiquitous in American life, and so is the trauma that follows in its wake. From the domestic sphere to the public sphere, interpersonal violence, particularly of a sexual nature, is all-too-common in the US. How does the resulting trauma manifest, and how does this trauma shape everything from our personal relationships to our politics? Specialist Dr. Judith Lewis Herman joins The Chris Hedges Report for an in-depth discussion on how trauma distorts the mind and the body politic alike. Dr. Judith Lewis Herman is a psychiatrist who studies trauma and developed the diagnosis for Complex PTSD. She is the author of several books, including her most recent, Truth and Repair: How Trauma Survivors Envision Justice.
Diosdado Cabello, the vice president of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), expressed disbelief that the Venezuelan opposition, after having requested sanctions be placed upon the country, would label Venezuelan citizens who were outraged by their actions as “violent.” Taking to his social media accounts, Cabello criticized the hypocrisy of those who had advocated for invasion; invoked the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR), a treaty imposed on the region by the US during the Cold War with functionality similar to that of NATO; and resorted to burning people alive, only to now brand those who voice their grievances and express discontent towards their local leaders as “violent.”
It was a bright sunny March morning in 1980. Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero was saying mass at a church hospital in San Salvador when a bullet from a sniper rifle ripped through his heart. He stumbled and fell to the ground, dead. Romero started life and ministry as a conservative. But, after his friend Rev. Rutilio Grande was assassinated to discourage other faith leaders from supporting Salvadorian peasants, Romero underwent a political and theological conversion. Picking up where Grande left off, Romero embraced a “theology of liberation,” a perspective that espouses G-d’s preference for the poor and oppressed.
Masaya, Nicaragua – The story begins a month before the incident I’m about to describe. I live in the city, and I’d written in my diary that “Saturday, May 12th must be counted as the worst day in Masaya since the earthquake in 2000.” During the previous night, opposition vandals had destroyed the house of the former deputy mayor, then went on to set fire to the town hall, an old colonial building that also housed Masaya’s Museum of the Heroes and Martyrs of the Revolution. Opposition roadblocks which had sprung up in Masaya’s streets in April had been cleared in early May, often by local people, but they were rebuilt, halting traffic across most of the city and putting the streets under opposition control.
From May 29 to June 8, 19 Brazilian Black movement leaders traveled to the US to meet with major international organizations to fight for an end to racist violence. These leaders, all of whom are women or people with diverse gender identities, have over 30 years of experience in Brazilian social movements. The delegates are all part of various groups within the Black Women Alliance to End Violence (Aliança Negra Pelo Fim da Violência), which aims to support “the strengthening of the national and international actions of cis and transgender Black women in their fight to end violence towards Black people.”
Rob McKenzie is a writer and former auto worker at the Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant in St. Paul, Minn., where he worked as an assembler, industrial electrician, and then as a full-time union representative for the United Auto Workers (UAW) until the plant closed in 2011. During his time as a steward at the Twin Cities plant in 1990, news hit of a deadly attack on a Ford plant in Cuautitlán, Mexico, a town just outside of Mexico City. The autoworkers in Cuautitlán were part of a radicalizing union reform movement due to their union’s management colluding with the company to undermine them.
As America’s gun crisis shows no sign of abating, there is some hope for reducing the number of mass shootings and killings. The emerging wave of lawsuits against gun makers echoes previous successes against the car industry, opioid companies and big tobacco. In New York, California, Delaware and other states, new laws aim to provide ways around a near 20-year immunity provided to gun manufacturers and distributors. In Indiana, a lawsuit brought by victims of the 2021 mass shooting at a FedEx facility aims to hold a gun manufacturer accountable for the horror wrought by one of its weapons.