Tag Archives: Latin America

Peru: Electoral peace promoted in 4 native languages

. . DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION . .

An article from Los Andes

The National Election Jury (JNE) has initiated the “Choose a culture of peace” campaign as part of its actions to reinforce the prevention of electoral conflicts that could occur in the context of the Extraordinary Congressional Elections of January 26, 2020.

In this way, it seeks to promote among citizens, as well as in political and social organizations, the construction of a democracy based on the values ​​of respect, tolerance and dialogue, rejecting all types of violence during the electoral process.

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Question related to this article:

How should elections be organized in a true democracy?

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To this end, the Central of Operations of the Electoral Process (COPE) of the JNE will disseminate graphic and audiovisual material at a national level with contents on the approach to the culture of peace during the ongoing elections.

The messages will be disseminated, in addition to Spanish, in six native languages, thus benefiting members of the Aymara, Asháninka, Awajún, Quechua, Shipibo and Wampis communities.

With these actions, the JNE seeks to reinforce its work of prevention and management of situations of electoral conflict, through a sensitization crusade with an inclusive approach to the different cultures existing in the country.

This work seeks to guarantee not only respect for life, fundamental rights and freedoms, but also the exercise of popular will in a peaceful environment that allows the strengthening of democratic values ​​and respect for the rule of law.

(Click here for the original Spanish version of this article.)

 

Querétaro, Mexico: Mediation has benefited almost 8 thousand people in the capital

… EDUCATION FOR PEACE …

A article by Gonzalo Flores in am de Queretaro

Since its creation in March of this year to date, the Mediation Directorate of the Municipality of Querétaro has treated 4,870 citizen conflicts, benefitting 7,850 people who have resorted to this unit for conflict resolution , informed Joaquín Gerardo González de León, head of the Directorate of the Interior and coordinator of the mediation area.


Interview with Joaquín Gerardo González de León

According to the official, only 20 cases out of the total have been sent to the civil courts, when mediation did not work and some of those involved reoccurrent actions of the dispute, although he said that these cases are minimal and correspond to administrative failures.

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(click here for a version in Spanish).

Question for this article:

Is there progress towards a culture of peace in Mexico?

Mediation as a tool for nonviolence and culture of peace

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González de León added that in March of this year the operation began with 8 offices in the municipality and 18 mediators who were trained by the State Superior Court of Justice.

Of the total files created for mediation, he said that in 60 percent of the issues conflicts have to do with neighborhood issues, including noise, parking issues, trash on public roads and pets, which he listed as the main reasons for complaints

Mediation Directorate has resolved more than half of the conflicts between individuals.

He also revealed that in 60 percent of the cases they have reached agreements between neighbors, “and although the problems are not resolved in depth, opening the dialogue is already an advance and on that agreements are made that both parties must respect.”

In the remaining cases, he stressed that no agreements are reached due to the denial of any of the two parties involved, or because they do not attend mediations.

“The high percentage of conflict resolution indicates that the population is interested in solving their conflicts through dialogue,” he said.

Peace advances in Michoacán, Mexico: Fermín Bernabé

. DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION .

An article from Michoacan en concreto

Through a reform of the Law for a Culture of Peace and Prevention of Violence and Crime in Michoacán, Deputy Fermín Bernabé Bahena will concentrate his legislative action on a firm objective: to move towards the reconstruction of the social fabric of the community.

The legislator, who comes from Morena, has managed to reform the Law of Peace in Michoacán. He stressed that he will work to strengthen the bases of promotion of the culture of peace and coordination in the field of social prevention of violence and crime, in order to achieve and preserve peaceful and respectful coexistence among the Michoacán.

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Question for this article:

Is there progress towards a culture of peace in Mexico?

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He said that the reform he proposes will include the family as a socio-cultural nucleus, through the application of actions that strengthen human values ​​and, in turn, condition an environment of healthy social development.

“We will promote comprehensive programs that promote the strengthening of human values ​​in families and society,” said the local deputy for District 10.

He added that education and awareness strategies will be set in motion for families and students of schools located in the region with the highest rates of violence in order to improve the quality of life of those who live there.

Fermín Bernabé concluded by pointing out that peace is the social value that motivated him to present a reform to the Law for a Culture of Peace and Prevention of Violence and Crime in Michoacán. As a member of the Legislative Power, he said:

“We are responsible for the progressive reform of the law and it is not a dream, but the rational and possible purpose of achieving a culture of peace through compliance with the rule of law and the strengthening of family values, the basis of the society; in order to build a society that is solid in values ​​”.

(Click here for the original Spanish version of this article.)

Parents should buy peace toys for their children

.. EDUCATION FOR PEACE ..

An article from El Dia

After spending the Christmas holidays and those of Reyes approaching, as an expert in Alternative Conflict Resolution and Mediation, I invite parents to purchase peace toys for the entertainment, recreation and reflection for children and adolescents in the coming Kings Day.


Alexis Peña Céspedes, special event guest.

It all started through a campaign in 1999, at the initiative of civil society organizations and the Attorney General’s Office of the National District, so that the family should not give games to their infants that incite violence and aggression in the community, school and family.

The “Let’s play for peace … with life toys” campaign influenced the owners of toy companies to avoid traditional violent games; such as guns, submachine guns, tanks of wars; which have an impact so that the minor can learn from them to handle conflicts aggressively.

I have argued that to prevent domestic violence, the “Christmas Campaign Give Toys of Life”, can help initiate a process of awareness among citizens to promote a “culture of peace” through the media and a wide range of activities in the communities.

It is unfortunate that adults (fathers / mothers, parents, teachers and tutors) have favored a culture of violence due to their ignorance in relation to toys. In addition, this has a strong unfavorable influence on the harmonious development of minors. It is the population of “adults” that most often buys war toys.

This campaign invites the promotion of greater awareness among fathers, mothers, adults and family groups, of the need to promote a climate of harmony and peace within the family to foster a culture of Peace, discarding every type of domestic violence.

I congratulate the importing entrepreneurs, since they are aware thanks to the Let’s Play Peace campaign, where personalities from journalism, arts, social leaders and entrepreneurs have been empowered together to promote a culture of peace in the Dominican Republic.

What boys and girls learn with toys

As an expert in conflict mediation, I understand that minors require age, play and recreation. The toys used by the boy, girl and adolescent can influence the type of person that they will be when adult.

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(Click here for the Spanish original of this article)

Questions for this article:

Do war toys promote the culture of war?

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I recognize that forever, boys and girls of all ages and all peoples have played, responding to the need for activity, the need to move, browse, to pick up objects that are close to them, manipulating and experimenting with them.

I understand that as the boy, girl and teenager develop, the game changes. According to their stage of development, the young person may substitute real action for imaginary action, creating a world to suit him, between his imagination and the world of adults, to which he wants to belong.

It is through play that the child can express himself and communicate freely. As the girl and the boy grow older, they will adapt their game to that of others, taking common symbols and rules that will respect, exercising their capacity for self-control and autonomy and thus be peaceful and tolerant people with others.

From this approach, the game, in addition to being the activity that gives the child the most pleasure, helps him to develop all his psychic, physical and social functions, allowing him to get to know the outside world better and become aware of the role he will play and affirm his own particular personality.

In general we need to respect the time and space for the child’s play and be very aware of the role it has in his personality development. We need to take into account that through toys we can channel negative energies towards the positive one that the human being possesses.

In the first 18 months of development of the minor, his reality is seen through the senses and at the same time, is seen acting on it. He does activities with a pacifier, moving with dolls, stuffed animals and crafts.

We should encourage toys that motivate construction, that motivate children to be aware of the nature of their context and games that encourage cooperation in the community, family, school, club and churches.

Through play, children tend to achieve a peaceful organization, management and resolution of conflicts; as well as valuation of the environment, cooperation, solidarity, teamwork and, above all, understanding of rules and respect. In addition, attention and creativity can be positive results of games.

I suggest that in these times of violence and aggressiveness in school and school, it is possible to promote a culture of peace and coexistence through toys. For example, the educational entity can build a mural with student participation where the values ​​of peace are contemplated, recognizing the heroines and heroes of peace in humanity and the country.

I also recommend encouraging the educational community to work in teams, cooperation and communication as effective tools to solve and improve coexistence in school or college.

Also as some school have found, you can use recycling material to build toys.

The school can also promote the reading of stories, fables, stories that promote peace as a value for living together and for personal development. We may encourage in addition, that at Christmas parties and kings, cildren can write to the child Jesus and the kings about their lives and requests for games.

Parents can exchange violent toys for life toys through neighborhood and church organizations. These activities are supported by the Ministries of Education, Culture and Sports.

Xalapa, Mexico: International Film Festival for a Culture of Peace

EDUCATION FOR PEACE .

An article from Expression Veracruz

To help reverse the situation of violence that affects the community, the International Film Festival for a Culture of Peace (Ficcpaz) will be held from December 19 to 22, through which more than 140 films will be shown from 32 countries

The film director and coordinator of the event, Ricardo Braojos, explained that the official selection includes fiction and documentary short films that will serve to promote a dialogue about the similarities and opportunities of different societies, including the history of the city of Xalapa.

He added that works from Mexico, Spain, Iran, India and Brazil will be shown. Six feature films will also be screened and there will be four keynote lectures on production, production, cinematography and distribution.

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(Click here for the original Spanish version of this article.)

Question for this article:

Film festivals that promote a culture of peace, Do you know of others?

Is there progress towards a culture of peace in Mexico?

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The head of Dissemination, Promotion and Development of Culture, Jorge Acevedo Olguín, said that for the City Council it is important that a festival of this magnitude occurs in Xalapa, and especially in spaces located in neighborhoods of the periphery, where people are living in situations of vulnerability.

To bring cinema to the public that normally does not have access to these events, the functions will be carried out in spaces such as the Community Management Centers (CGC) Constituents and Las Minas, and the Village Meced, in addition to La Central, La Casa de Nadie, Carmela Rey Cinema, 4 Regions Cafe and Flavia.

The coordinator of the event, Territorios sin Descanso, Rodrigo Zárate, said that experiences on the culture of peace will be shared through art. They highlight the Puro Borde project, which addresses the problem of migration on the border between Ciudad Juárez and El Paso, as well as Tepito Peace School, which explains how education contributes to creating less violent environments in that neighborhood of the City of Mexico.

Accompanied by participant Mitzy Plasencia, actress and jury member Pilar Ixquic Mata said that the RallyHCX will be held, an event where five teams will have 72 hours to make and present short fiction films that will be screened and awarded at the conclusion of the festival.

This Thursday, at 12:00 noon, at La Casa de Nadie, the RallyHC flag will be raised. At 4:00 pm, short films will be screened at the CGC Constituents, Las Minas and Aldea Meced; at 17:30 a theater improvisation meeting will be presented at the CGC Constituents, and at 6:30 pm a film exhibition will be offered in this same space and the Meced Village.

Despite destabilizing actions Venezuela lives a peaceful Christmas

. .DISARMAMENT & SECURITY. .

An article from Prensa Latina

Despite the US blockade and hostile measures, and destabilizing actions by the Venezuelan opposition, the Government of President Nicolas Maduro fulfills its commitment to guarantee for the nation a peaceful and stable year end.


The Government has deployed police force throughout the country to guarantee law and order, supplied basic foodstuff for Christmas and decorated squares and parks.

Undoubtedly, one action that foreigners and nationals appreciate alike is the Beautiful Venezuela Program to embellish cities. Hundreds of public squares, streets, highways have been repaired and decorated, as well as public lighting restored.

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Question for this article:

What is really happening in Venezuela?

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Those programs are an answer to plans by the extreme right to destroy the country through an escalation of violence to disturb peace and calm of the Venezuelan people, leaders and officials have said.

At the same time, other programs are being implemented like New Neighborhood, Tricolor Neighborhood, Culture Mission which are being supported by local governments.

Last week, President Maduro wrote in Twitter that ‘Christmas time is beautiful, full of glow and happiness for our people.
The cities are illuminated, colorful and beautiful with all the splendor of our traditions.’

He also highlighted the Venezuelan people deserved to celebrate Christmas in peace, following a hard year of economic war waged by Washington and political instability due to violent actions by the extreme right.

[Editor’s note: Another article in Prensa Latina, Venezuelan Armed Forces ready to defend national peace, points to the essential role of the military in defending against US intervention. This was not the case in Bolivia recently where President Morales was ousted in a military coup.]

Mexico: Inauguration of the campaign “Game as an Instrument for the Culture of Peace”

.. EDUCATION FOR PEACE ..

An article by Isaura López Villalobos for UDG TV

Guadalajara has launched the itinerant and permanent campaign “The Game as an Instrument for the Culture of Peace” on the Fray Antonio Alcalde Promenade with the objective of promoting the culture of peace and nonviolence, as well as the peaceful resolution of conflicts in society.


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Questions for this article:

Do war toys promote the culture of war?

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On the day of the Abolition of Slavery in Mexico, the municipal president Ismael Del Toro Castro, expressed to girls and boys that today there is a social crisis.

During this Friday, in the Paseo Fray Antonio Alcalde, various educational workshops were held and the children exchanged war games for other kinds of games.

(Click here for the Spanish original of this article)

Londrina, Brazil: 9th edition of “A Weapon is not a Toy”

.. DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION ..

An article from the World March for Peace and Nonviolence

The COMPAZ Municipal Council for the Culture of Peace and the OSC Londrina Pazeando, invited the community of Londrina to the ninth edition of the event “A weapon is not a toy”.


(click on image to enlarge)

The act was held on November 21 at 2:30 pm in the Municipal Chamber of Londrina.

This year 45 toy stores received the Seal of the Prefecture and City Hall, in a solemn ceremony that was held in the City Hall. Representatives of all stores attended, including those that received the Seal in 2018.

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(Click here for the Spanish original of this article)

Questions for this article:

How can culture of peace be developed at the municipal level?

Do war toys promote the culture of war?

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Sociologist Rangel Bandeira was honored for his book “Weapons for what.” The book includes a chapter that mentions the city of Londrina as the only one in Brazil that has a public policy regarding the disarmament of children and the control of the sale of toy weapons.

(Editor’s note: The first edition of this event was described by CPNN in 2011: Londrina encourages its merchants not to sell toy weapons.)

Another theme at the event was the presentation of the 2nd World March for Peace and Nonviolence

The Base Team of the 2nd World March for Peace and Nonviolence will arrive in Londrina on December 17, 2019, carrying the proposal of A World without Weapons and A World without Wars.

Several activities have taken place in the city in the framework of the March. See more on the march at  http://londrinapazeando.org.br/2-marcha-mundial-pela-paz-e-nao-violencia/ .

The Seal Delivery event is part of the Program of the II Municipal Week of Restorative Justice in Londrina (Law No. 12.624/17) that takes place from November 12 to 21, 2019.

Bolivia: Post-Coup Update

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

An article by Eric Zuesse from the Transcend Media Service

 With every passing day, it becomes clearer that the military coup in Bolivia on November 10th was masterminded in Washington DC. This reality will create yet a new difficulty in relations between the U.S. regime and Mexico to its direct south, because the Mexican Government, under progressive President Lopez Obrador, took the courageous and very meaningful step of providing refuge to the U.S.-couped Bolivian President Evo Morales and therefore posed overtly a resistance to the U.S. dictatorship.


President Evo Morales

Unlike the U.S. itself, which has abandoned the substance of democracy while adhering to its fascist Supreme Court’s interpretations (distortions) of the original intent of the democratic America’s Founding Fathers in their U.S. Constitution, Bolivia’s imposed regime isn’t even nominally legitimate in any democratic sense, because it has abandoned that country’s Constitution, ever since it grabbed power there.

One of the first indications that this was another U.S. coup was that on November 10th, the New York Times, which along with the Washington Post is one of the regime’s two main mouthpieces, refused to call it a “coup” at all, though it obviously was. Headlining on November 10th with the anodyne “Bolivian Leader Evo Morales Steps Down”, they lied and alleged that “Mr. Morales was once widely popular” — as if there were any objective measures, such as polls, which indicated that he no longer was. Their concept of ‘democracy’ was like that of fascists everywhere: violent mob actions against a democratically elected Government. “Angry mobs attacked election buildings  around the country, setting some on fire.” Far-right mobs are ‘democracy to ‘journalists’ such as at the New York Times.  

The next day, November 11th, that fascist ‘news’-paper headlined an editorial “Evo Morales Is Gone. Bolivia’s Problems Aren’t.” Here is how they expressed their contempt for democracy: “When a leader resorts to brazenly abusing the power and institutions put in his care by the electorate, as President Evo Morales did in Bolivia, it is he who sheds his legitimacy, and forcing him out often becomes the only remaining option. That is what the Bolivians have done.” ‘Bolivians’ — meaning there that extreme-rightist minority of Bolivia’s electorate. The NYT even had the gall to say contemptuously: “Predictably, Mr. Morales’s left-wing allies across Latin America, including President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela, President-elect Alberto Fernández of Argentina and President Miguel Díaz-Canel of Cuba, joined by the British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, cried ‘coup’.”

Britain’s BBC, on November 11th, was considerably more circumspect in their anti-democratic propaganda: for example, in this video, at 13:00, the BBC  asks
“Why are so many of the people out there on the streets now then do you think [demonstrating against Morales]?” and the respondent didn’t say that this is the way practically every CIA coup is done. So, the desired implication was left with gullible viewers, that this was an expression of a democracy instead of the expression of a fascist mob.

It was left to governments which are resisting U.S. rule to express more honestly, as the Turkish Government’s more honest propaganda-organ, the newspaper Yeni Safak, did finally on November 17th, “Bolivia’s Morales was overthrown by a Western coup just like Iran’s Mosaddeg”. Their columnist Abdullah Muradoğlu wrote:

There are indications that the U.S. was involved in the ousting of Bolivia’s first indigenous president, Evo Morales, in a military coup. Secret talks between American senators and Morales’ opponents were brought up before the elections on Oct. 20. The talks, which were leaked to the public, discussed action plans to destabilize Bolivia if Morales won the elections. It was stated that the Evangelical Church would support the coup attempt. The fact that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, known as “Tropical Trump”, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are passionate Evangelicals, points to the ideological link to the Evangelical architects of the Bolivian coup. …

Bolivia has abundant resources of tin, copper, silver, gold, tungsten, petroleum and uranium, as well as large quantities of lithium. Lithium is a strategic mine for space technology. Morales became the target of a pro-U.S. military coup, and policies aimed at allocating the country’s resources to the poor rather than a small group played an important role in his demise. …

But it wasn’t only foreign news-media but also a very few honest alternative-news media which were reporting the realities. For example, on November 11th, The Gray Zone headlined “Bolivia coup led by Christian fascist paramilitary leader and millionaire – with foreign support”. The next day, on November 12th, Moon of Alabama’s anonymous blogger bannered “Lessons To Learn From The Coup In Bolivia” and he summarized the popular democratically elected and re-elected overthrown leader Evo Morales’s enormously successful record of leadership there, such as:

During his twelve years in office Evo Morales achieved quite a lot  of good things:

Illiteracy rates:
2006 13.0%, 2018 2.4%

Unemployment rates
2006 9.2%, 2018 4.1%

Moderate poverty rates
2006 60.6%, 2018 34.6%

Extreme poverty rates
2006 38.2%, 2018 15.2%

It’s no wonder, then, that Morales is so popular in Bolivia.

Then, further about the fascist character of the U.S.-imposed regime, Mint Press News headlined on November 18th, “Media Silent as Bolivia’s New Right-Wing Gov’t Massacres Indigenous Protesters”.

On November 19th, Peoples Dispatch bannered “Hatred of the Indian. By Álvaro García Linera”, and presented a statement by Linera, who was Morales’s Bolivian Vice President. He opened:

Almost as a nighttime fog, hatred rapidly traverses the neighborhoods of the traditional urban middle-class of Bolivia. Their eyes fill with anger. They do not yell, they spit. They do not raise demands, they impose. Their chants are not of hope of brotherhood. They are of disdain and discrimination against the Indians. They hop on their motorcycles, get into their trucks, gather in their fraternities of private universities, and they go out to hunt the rebellious Indians that dared to take power from them.

In the case of Santa Cruz, they organize motorized hordes with sticks in hand to punish the Indians, those that they call ‘collas’, who live in peripheral neighborhoods and in the markets. They chant “the collas must be killed,” and if on the way, they come across a woman wearing a pollera [traditional skirt worn by Indigenous and mestizo women] they hit her, threaten her and demand that she leave their territory. In Cochabamba, they organize convoys to impose their racial supremacy in the southern zone, where the underprivileged classes live, and charge – as if it were a were a cavalry contingent – at thousands of defenseless peasant women that march asking for peace. They carry baseball bats, chains, gas grenades. Some carry firearms.

On November 26th, the Libya 360 blog headlined “Bolivia: they are killing us, comrades!” and reported:

We are receiving audios all the time, from different parts of Bolivia: Cochabamba, El Alto, Senkata, La Paz… They bring desperate cries from women, from communities that resist with dignity, under the murderous bullets of the military, police, and fascist groups armed by the oligarchies with the support of Trump, Macri, and Bolsonaro. They also bring voices that denounce, voices that analyze, voices that organize, voices that are in resistance. There are weeping voices that are remade in slogans. The united peoples will never be defeated!

The racist, fascist, patriarchal, colonial, capitalist coup d’etat seeks to put an end to all these voices, silence them, erase them, make them inaudible. The communicational fence seeks to crush and isolate the words of the people. The conservative, capitalist restoration, goes for lithium, goes for the jungle, goes for bad examples.

The voices continue to arrive. New spaces of communication are generated. The social and family networks, the community radio stations, the home videos made from cell phones are functioning by the thousands. It is heartbreaking to hear bullets. To see their journey through the flesh, invading the bodies that rise from all humiliations. It generates anger, impotence, indignation, rage.

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Question related to this article:

Why was Morales ousted from Bolivia by a coup d’etat?

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On the same day, that same blog bannered “The People Will Not Allow the Coup in Bolivia, says Venezuelan Ambassador”. This opened:

One of the first ‘promises’ made by the self-proclaimed, de-facto government of opposition senator Jeanine Áñez was to “hunt down” ex-minister Juan Ramón Quintana, Raúl García Linera – brother of vice-president Álvaro García Linera -, as well as the Cuban and Venezuelan people that live in Bolivia.

The threat was publicly declared by the interior minister Arturo Murillo, designated by Áñez.

Later on, the communications minister of the de facto government, Roxana Lizárraga, accused Cuban and Venezuelan diplomats of being responsible for the violence unleashed in the country.

The statements came after an attack on the Venezuelan diplomatic office in La Paz on November 11. Armed paramilitaries surrounded the embassy with explosives and threatened to invade the building.

However, the aggression did not begin with the coup. According to Crisbeylee González, who served as the Venezuelan ambassador in Bolivia for more than 10 years, since 2008, the embassy has suffered threats from the organizations in opposition to Evo Morales and Álvaro García Linera.

During the days of tension, Crisbeylee, who is also a personal friend of Morales, decided to protect her team and she returned to her country.

On November 17, the Venezuelan diplomatic staff, made up of 13 functionaries and their family members, flew with the Venezuelan state company Conviasa from La Paz to Caracas.

Upon returning to her country, the ambassador spoke to Brasil de Fato and denounced the terror she suffered in the last couple of days.

Brasil de Fato:

How did you all take the news that you would have to leave the country? Was there any hostility before the coup?

Crisbeylee González:

For a while now, the opposition has talked about a “Chavista bunker” referring to the Venezuelan embassy, where we would supposedly be “ideologically orienting” the Bolivian people’s movements and youth. They even talked about us supposedly exerting pressure on Evo so that he would not abandon the socialist, Bolivarian proposal.

There were always certain times when the xenophobia increased, especially during elections. Every time that there were elections or a coup attempt, the principal target is always of course president Evo Morales but right after that, it’s the Venezuelan embassy. The diplomatic mission has always been an element that must be combated.

Since 2012 when there was a coup attempt by the police, they began to say that our embassy carried out military training with the Bolivians. A very similar discourse to what was created in Chile against the Cubans during the rule of Salvador Allende.

And with this, they were able to create a strong expression of xenophobia within the Bolivian middle classes against Venezuelans. The media also helped to create this adverse discourse against Venezuelans.

In these past couple of days [since the coup], one of the first things that they did was to say that the Venezuelans had to leave and that they were going to attack the Venezuelans. Before the elections on October 20, they already talked about attacking the embassy. …

The next day, on November 27th, they headlined “The U.S. Launches Itself in the Most Violent Way Imaginable to Definitively Seize Bolivia”. They interviewed Argentine sociologist Atilio Boron, one of the most internationally renowned political analysts today, so that in just three questions he can give us his vision of the crisis Bolivia is going through.

How would you characterize the coup d’état in Bolivia?

Without a doubt, the coup d’état in Bolivia is part of the tradition of the old military coups sponsored by the United States since the end of World War II. However, this practice dates back even further, as the history books show us. That means that the soft coup that was applied against Manuel Zelaya in Honduras, Lugo in Paraguay and Dilma Rousseff in Brazil, has been abandoned and the old formulas have returned. In Bolivia, the old formulas were applied, because in reality there was no possible propagandistic basis for the coup. There was no fraud in Bolivia and therefore the OAS avoided using that expression, instead making euphemistic recommendations.

Furthermore, recent studies from the United States convincingly prove that such fraud did not exist. The University of Michigan study (which is the most important center for electoral studies) confirms this. However, the coup plan was not going to stop in the face of these details. They wanted to get Evo out and take revenge. It was a very clear lesson against those Indians who, as they did in 1780, revolted against the Spanish viceroyalty. Somehow what is happening now is a replay of Túpac Katari’s deed. The scenarios have changed and imperialism is different, but the essence is the same. And now, as yesterday, it is being repressed with unprecedented ferocity. …

On November 28th, Peoples Dispatch and Libya 360 simultaneously headlined “Bolivia: What Comes After the Coup?” and opened:

It has been over two weeks since the coup d’état which forced the resignation and exile of President Evo Morales and Vice-president Álvaro García Linera. Since then, thousands of working-class and Indigenous Bolivians have been resisting on the streets the coup and the illegitimate government of Jeanine Áñez. They have been met with extreme violence from the Armed Forces and the National Police, over 30 have been killed, hundreds injured and hundreds have been arrested.

On Monday night, a new agreement was announced reached between the de facto government of Áñez and the legislators from the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) to hold elections in the country in the next 3-4 months.

Peoples Dispatch spoke to Marco Teruggi, an Argentine sociologist and journalist who spent several weeks in Bolivia before and after elections were held in order to understand the agreement reached on elections and the state of resistance in the country.

Peoples Dispatch:

Starting with the most recent, what do you think about the agreement that MAS made with the de facto government of Jeanine Áñez? Did they have another option? Was there enough force on the streets and in the Assembly to achieve anything else?

Marco Teruggi:

The first thing to keep in mind is that in the design of the coup d’état, from the beginning, the possibility of an electoral solution was always contemplated in order to gain legitimacy.

If you had to arrange it in steps, there is the first step which is the overthrow, a second step which is the creation of a de facto government, and all of this accompanied by persecution, repression and massacres. The third moment is the call for elections and the fourth moment is when the elections themselves happen.

This was always proposed in the basic design, it was never about an old-style coup d’état where a de-facto government is installed for an undetermined amount of time, but precisely part of its presentation was to show itself as a democratic process, recognized internationally, under the condition that later they would go to elections.

It was always expected, the question was in what moment, with what conditions, both for the coup supporters and for those who are confronting it. In this sense, this issue was being discussed in the Assembly, where MAS has a majority, and as they had been announcing, they gave the OK for an agreement, in law, to call for elections, wherein the results of the elections of October 20 are also annulled.

I think that just as it was clear that the coup strategy counted with an electoral resolution to legitimize itself, it also was clear early on that the strategy of the MAS legislators was to hold these elections in the most favorable conditions possible. Basically that MAS could present itself in the elections, which it achieved, and with guarantees for Evo, not to participate, but to prevent political-juridical persecution. And also the retreat of the soldiers, for them to return to their barracks, and that the decree which exempts them from penal responsibility in operations of “re-establishing order” is withdrawn.

As such, it is not surprising that MAS has said yes to the elections because it was not going to be possible to remove Áñez through street pressure, even though the actions on the streets conditioned the initial strategy of the coup. It is very important to keep this in mind because otherwise, one could think that MAS proposed a change of tactics, of strategy. But no, it was always the electoral solution, and either way, the streets were an important component to accelerate this process on both ends. …

So, in short: rigged ‘elections’ will be held, in which Evo Morales is to be excluded, and in which there will be no repercussions against the U.S.-stooge-regime participants if their side fails to win those ‘elections’. The Bolivian people won’t have any legal right to hang the coupsters. The U.S. regime will see to that.

Catholic church denounces ‘attacks’ on Amazon people and forest

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . .

An article by Chloé Farand from Climate Change News

The Catholic church in the Amazon has denounced attacks on the environment and the life of indigenous people — setting out on a collision course with Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro.

Catholic bishops from the Amazon region committed to a more active role in the world’s most important forest following three weeks of discussions at the first Amazon synod in Rome.


Pope Francis with indigenous representatives in Rome for the first Amazon synod. (Photo: Amazon Synod of Bishops)

In a statement  concluding the synod on Saturday, they called on countries to stop considering the forest as “an inexhaustible pantry” and to end large scale extractive activities such as mining and forest extraction, large infrastructure projects and the promotion of monoculture and extensive livestock farming.

Bishops agreed that “one of the main causes of destruction in the Amazon is predatory extractivism that responds to the logic of greed,” which they said had been “at the root of conflicts” in the region.

“In this way,” the statement said, “the church undertakes to be an ally of the Amazonian people to denounce the attacks on the life of the indigenous communities, the projects that affect the environment, the lack of demarcation of their territories, as well as the economic model of predatory and ecocidal development.”

The synod, which was called by Pope Francis in 2017, was the result of a two-year consultation process by the Catholic church across the Amazon basin, asking more than 80,000 people how the church should engage in the region.

Bishops agreed the need for an alternative development plan for the Amazon, focused on indigenous rights and environmental protection – in stark opposition to Brazilian president Bolsonaro’s own plan for the forest.

The Amazon basin is located across nine countries but about 60% of the forest cover is contained within Brazil’s borders, the country with the largest Catholic population in the world.

Bolsonaro was elected on a campaign pledge to open-up the Amazon for mining and developments. Although land disputes across the Amazon are not new, his rhetoric against indigenous people has emboldened land-grabbers, loggers and miners to encroach indigenous territories, leading to violence and murders.

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Question for this article

Indigenous peoples, Are they the true guardians of nature?

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spike in deforestation  and the degradation of the world’s largest tropical rainforest has also sparked serious concerns the Amazon is releasing more carbon than it is absorbing. Indigenous communities have been widely recognised as the most effective guardians against the destruction of the forest [See Brazil’s indigenous tribes protest Bolsonaro assimilation plan].

Under the UN declaration on the rights of indigenous people, indigenous communities have a right to “own, use, develop and control” their lands and states must “give legal recognition and protection to these lands”.

Across the Amazon region, these rights have come under growing pressure from farming and extracting industries, something the synod described as “scandalous”.

In Brazil, the constitution entrenches indigenous land rights in law but Bolsonaro is expected to announce a raft of draft measures  to revise indigenous demarcations in favour of the agribusiness industry.

Paulo Moutinho, a co-founder and senior scientist at the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM), told Climate Home News the synod’s proposals had “potential to create a conflict between the church and the Brazilian government administration” but also the “potential to reach a great audience” given the church’s presence across the region.

“If the Bolsonaro administration will listen to what the church is saying, that is another story,” he said.

Under the church’s plan, a development model would be established in partnership with Amazon communities and scientific institutions to support “sustainable economy, circular and ecological” projects, such as bio-production cooperatives and sustainable forest reserves.

Reverend Augusto Zampini, director of development and faith at the Vatican who was involved in the organisation of the synod, told Climate Home News the meeting was focused on concrete actions the church could take “to respond to the destruction of the biological heart of the planet and its people”.

“There is no way you can respond by doing the same thing that we have been doing for ages,” he said, citing the need for cross-border structures across the region. “We have to change and we want the world to change as well.”

Proposed changes also include the ordination of married men as priests and to re-open the debate on ordaining women as deacons to address the scarcity of clergy in the region.

For the church to become “an ally” of the indigenous people also means that it has to take into account “their own knowledge and their own wisdom,” Zampini said. “We want a model that creates value for the land, for the people and for the economy.”
While he acknowledged the move was in direct contradiction with Bolsonaro’s policies, he insisted the church was “not against anybody nor against the right of nations to decide what they want for their countries”.

“Countries have the right to develop themselves but they don’t have the right to destroy their own people. There are laws in Brazil that need to be respected,” he added. “If we don’t save the Amazon, we won’t save the planet.”