MOISES CASTILLO, Associated Press
October 05, 2012
TOTONICAPAN, Guatemala — Thousands of indigenous Guatemalans shouted in anger Friday and some threw themselves at the coffins of six local people who were shot to death during a protest over electricity prices and educational reform in a poor rural area.
President Otto Perez Molina acknowledged that government forces had opened fire during the protest Thursday, after saying earlier that police and troops on the scene had been unarmed and the protesters had provoked the clash.
Human rights groups condemned the government’s actions and charged they were part of a pattern of excessive use of force against protesters.
The protesters were blockading a highway near the town of Totonicapan, about 90 miles west of Guatemala City, when two vehicles carrying soldiers arrived to help police who had been ordered to evict the demonstrators. Gunfire erupted after the troops came. Bullets killed six people and wounded 34, officials said.
“We were protesting right next to them when they opened fire on us,” said Rolando Carrillo, a 25-year-old protester with a bandaged arm and lacerated face that he said resulted from being hit during the clash.
[A wounded man sits on the ground during clashes with peasants protesting against the cost of electricity in Santa Catarina Ixtahuacan, west of Guatemala City on Thursday Oct. 4, 2012. At least two people have been killed and dozen others seriously wounded in the confrontation between protesters and security forces. (AP Photo)] Continue reading
Suicide among young Army personnel rose 80% between 2004 and 2008, with 255 soldiers taking their lives in 2007 and 2008 alone.
Suicide among young Army personnel rose 80% between 2004 and 2008, according to the Los Angeles Times. In the last two years that had data available for the study — 2007 and 2008 — 255 soldiers took their lives. The authors of the study, the Army Public Health Command (APHC), estimated that 25% to 50% of the suicides were directly related to combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Suicide rates among active US Army personnel were decreasing between 1977 and 2003.
The number of suicides is “unprecedented in over 30 years of US Army records,” according to the APHC, and the increase in deaths parallels the increasing rates of depression and other mental health conditions among soldiers, reported The Daily Mail.
The study’s authors called the high presence of mental health disorders among enlisted personnel “sentinels for suicide risk,” according to The Baltimore Sun. From 2000 to 2008, adjustment disorders, mood disorders, anxiety disorders and substance-abuse disorders have soared among Army personnel. During the same time, the number of visits for mental health disorders in the Army nearly doubled.
“This study does not show that US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan cause suicide,” said Dr. Michelle Chervak, one of the study’s authors, a senior epidemiologist at the APHC, to ABC News. “This study does suggest that an Army engaged in prolonged combat operations is a population under stress, and that mental health conditions and suicide can be expected to increase under these circumstances.”
African leaders ignore Amnesty’s call to arrest Bush
Radio Netherlands Worldwide, December 6, 2011
ADDIS ABABA, Dec 6 – RNW correspondents in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia went in search of supporters and detractors of Amnesty International’s call to arrest former US president, George W. Bush, during his recent visit to the continent.
Aiding and abetting in Addis Ababa
Ethiopians have had a good laugh about Amnesty International’s appeal, which most say is a ‘foolish’ publicity stunt to win African support for the rights group.
“This is a ridiculous attempt to show us that they are not a biased organization,” Mikael Atsbeha, a cameraman, said. “They abuse the opportunity of Bush’s visit to Africa to buy support.”
He also said the arrest is “never going to happen,” because of the strong ties Ethiopia had with the Bush administration. Ethiopia has been a loyal ally in Bush’s ‘war on terror’, fighting Islamic extremism in a US backed incursion into neighboring Somalia from 2006 to 2009. It even earned Ethiopia’s leader Meles Zenawi the nickname ‘America’s poodle’. Continue reading
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Monday September 19, 2011 – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced plans to discuss with the Haitian government, the gradual reduction of MINUSTAH’s peacekeeping force in the country.
This follows violent protests about a sexual assault on an 18 year old resident, allegedly by five Uruguayan peacekeepers who left the country on Friday.
In a broadcast, Ban apologized for the incident, which he termed “totally unacceptable.”
While he praised MINUSTAH’s contribution to the country since 2004, he said he also understands the frustrations of the Haitian people. Continue reading
Army chief hit over human rights remark
Sun Star, Saturday, June 25, 2011
ARMED Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief General Eduardo Oban drew flak from a militant group for saying that the government’s counter-insurgency program is founded on “human rights.”
Karapatan chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez said initial results of “Oplan Bayanihan” show that some Filipinos were “displaced from their homes and communities, harassed, arrested and detained, tortured and killed” due to the policy.
The group has documented 17 persons killed through extrajudicial means from January to mid-June this year, bringing the number of people killed under President Benigno Aquino III to 45. Continue reading
Noynoy Aquino’s ‘undeclared Martial Law’ would aggravate human rights violations
Jorge “Ka Oris” Madlos
Spokesperson, NDF Philippines, Mindanao
September 21, 2010
Today, September the 21st, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines — Mindanao (NDFP-Mindanao) joins the Filipino people in recollecting the tens of thousands of victims of grave human rights abuses upon the declaration of Martial Law. It was the Dictator Marcos’s virulent edict that plunged the nation into the darkest period of its history — 14 years of brutality when the people’s national democratic aspiration was single-handedly snuffed out through unrivalled and widespread repression.
Today, 23 years since the ouster of the fascist Marcos, and after the rule of four almost equally brutal regimes from Corazon Aquino to Gloria Arroyo, the symptoms of those dark years remain with us as summary executions, enforced disappearances, barefaced militarism and other appalling forms of human rights violations continue to persist.
On account of the newly installed Aquino government, it has carried on the infamous militarist legacy of the vile period of Martial Law despite the euphoria created by Mr. Aquino’s pre-programmed victory in the recent presidential elections and its hard sell campaign for ‘change.’ Continue reading