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Inter Press Service News Agency (IPS)

Latin America Deepens Israeli Isolation

Guyana became thursday the seventh Latin American state to recognise an independent Palestinian state. Although the official recognitions are largely nominal, they have irked the State of Israel as they expose its growing diplomatic isolation in the face of the current peace deadlock. -* Read more read

date of on-line publication : 26 January 2011

The battle of Oaxaca

> ALAI, Latin America in Movement (...)

While the People of Oaxaca prepared to partake in the traditions that are repeated from year to year, spending the day in the cemeteries sharing food, flowers, pains and joys with their deceased, “operation Juárez 2006” unfolded around the Independent University Benito Juárez de Oaxaca (UABJO).
Just as in Iraq, the Ramadan is an opportunity to execute military operations that take advantage of the lowered guard of the resistance movement, the Day of the Dead in Oaxaca, with its rituals and the general demobilization due to the long break (November 1-5), was the occasion that was chosen for taking control of what the military commanders, after having occupied the main square (Zocalo), have considered to be the center core for activities of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO).
The treatment of this conflict, which in previous months had managed, though with many difficulties, to remain within a largely political framework, registered a rapid shift, as of October 28th, towards the military plane. The change was announced after a gloomy day on which groups of irregular forces, presumably linked to the governor Ulises Ruiz, mobilized to create a scene of disordered and uncontrolled violence. The scene was used to justify the presence of the Federal Preventative Police (PFP), a body of military police created for internal security, and whose statue is, by the way, unconstitutional. The military intelligence, under direct orders from the commanders of the Center of National Research and Security (CISEN) which form the High Command (or Joint Command), has taken control of Oaxaca after the incidents of violence (that caused the death of American journalist Bradley Will, among others), thereby turning a political dispute into an issue of national security, for which military operations are put in place.
The operation put in practice is defined by the Minister of the Interior as one of “occupation” in which the PFP works together with the Federal Agency of Investigations (AFI), homologous to the North American FBI. Meanwhile, the Navy and the Army are placed on guard for potential intervention (troops prepared in the military and coastal sectors) and keep watch.
Taking control of the main square was the first step in a strategy apparently thought of as a star which, once having occupied the center, unfurls itself in lines of irradiation towards the peripheries and outside the capital, where evidently exist the roots and deeper origins of a movement that emanates from the peoples of Oaxaca.
Paradoxically, the operation was not intended for the demobilization of the irregular groups responsible for the confusion and deaths on the 29th, but is directed specifically to the places where the APPO maintained a public presence.
The immediate goal consists, then, of dismantling the positions in the main square and in disabling the means of communication that the Oaxacan people would use to communicate among themselves and with the world. But just as in Iraq the delicate operation planned by the Pentagon failed, the taking of the main square in this case only spatially displaced what has never been a just a group of leaders, but an entire people mobilized. The first planning error in this operation is that, being conceived in military terms, it identifies with the enemy as a fixed and delimited being, when its nature is diffused, extended, interwoven and impersonal, because it has a collective and not an individualized personality. The bases of the APPO shifted, creating a sort of strip around the main square that, at one point, inspired an image of the besieger being besieged; but they actually disintegrated into the whole city, recreating their territoriality according to the new circumstances.  read

date of on-line publication : 9 November 2006

Groups in Africa, Latin America condemn World Bank biosafety projects

> Libération Afrique (...)

The World Bank is set to secure funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for two projects that will undermine public debate and aggressively drive GM crops into the heart of peasant agriculture. The two projects, one in West Africa and the other in Latin America, will hasten the spread of GM crops into farmer seed systems and even into certain centres of origin.
The projects are clearly being driven by an outside agenda. At their core is a longstanding strategy pursued by the World Bank and the US government to harmonise regulations for GM crops across regions in order to override national processes that are more susceptible to local opposition. The idea is to establish favourable regulations in a few countries whose governments are open to GM crops and then to use these regulations as a model that can be imposed on neighbouring countries by way of regional policy bodies. In this way, harmonisation side-steps any possible democratic debate and provides corporations with a large, one-stop shop for their GM crops.  read

date of on-line publication : 5 July 2006

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