Writer, analyst, and blogger

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Colombia, oil, and sheer coincidence

A Colombian friend passed me an article from El Tiempo (Colombia's daily) today, but it was published May 7. The report is that ExxonMobil will be recommencing its exploration in the Colombian Caribbean region, in a consortium with two state oil companies: Brazil's Petrobras, and Colombia's ECOPETROL.

Colombian Miners...

There was a bombing attack on the Colombian mining worker's union office in Bogota on May 2, 2004, according to a communique distributed by the union and translated by the UK Colombia Solidarity Campaign. The union, SINTRAMINERCOL, has its offices in the the building belonging to MINERCOL, the state mining company.

Attack in Cauca

El Tiempo reports that one of FARC's pipe-bomb attacks in Toribio (which is occupied by the Colombian police, who really do act like an occupying Army) seriously wounded a woman, Yolanda Yulucue, and two children. I was in Toribio earlier this year, and plan to publish a photo essay on Northern Cauca soon.

Haiti investigation turned over to Dept. of Colonies

The Inter Press Service reports that CARICOM has agreed to turn the 'investigation' of Aristide's 'ouster' (let's be polite for once) over to the Organization of American States (OAS, which Che Guevara called 'the department of colonies') instead of the United Nations. CARICOM has been under tremendous pressure from the US and Canada to accept the coup and stop asking questions, and this can probably be viewed as the first sign that the pressure is working.

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More Bolivia: a coup in the offing?

Folks might recall that in October of last year there were massive mobilizations in Bolivia (you can look back through ZNet Bolivia Watch for lots of material) that led to the ouster of President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, a fellow nicknamed the 'gringo' for his American accent and his propensity for selling the country off to US Multinationals (to be fair, he wasn't alone in it, nor did he invent the practice, even in Bolivia).

Bolivia

For North American watchers of Latin America the work of Forrest Hylton is as indispensable on Bolivia as the work of Gregory Wilpert is on Venezuela (you can find Forrest's work on Bolivia at ZNet's Bolivia Watch and Wilpert's at Venezuela Watch or, of course, Venezuelanalysis.com.

What makes a scandal, scandalous?

This is a question that's been puzzling me.

This morning, Rahul Mahajan's blog provided a link to the video footage of the helicopter pilots murdering helpless Iraqis from a distance with heavy machine guns. Rahul has also been scrupulous about republishing the photos of the abuse (don't call it torture, whatever you do) that have been coming out in the mainstream media.

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Canadians torture too...

Just a little note to remind Canadians -- in case anyone doubted it -- that Canada shares the same racism, militarism, and machismo that the US has. The many macabre photos of the torture of Iraqi prisoners by US troops and mercenaries ought to have instantly brought to mind the photos of Canadian soldiers torturing to death Somali teenager Shidane Arone in 1993, and the execution of others.

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Write letters to York's Presidnt

Yes, I spelled Presidnt without the 'e', because that's how York University's President's email address is: presidnt@yorku.ca. If you are going to write a letter to help Daniel Freeman-Maloy, the Jewish activist who was expelled from the campus for his use of a megaphone while he was being shouted down by large groups of counter-protesters, please be courteous and civil. I believe this is a case where pressure will help, but though the expulsion is absurd, writing emails proportionate to the absurdity unfortunately won't help, in my assessment anyway.

The War on the Indigenous of Colombia

Some news from Colombia's indigenous.

In Cali, 5 days ago a member of the indigenous reserve of San Francisco, in Northern Cauca, Colombia named Aparicio Nuscue Nuscue died of wounds in a hospital in Cali. The wounds were taken courtesy of the Colombian Army, who shot him while he was performing a traditional ceremony at a sacred site on April 5 of this year. Northern Cauca is being steadily militarized, occupied by the National Police and Army, who commit a regular grind of abuses against the remarkable indigenous movement of the Nasa in that region.

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