I wrote an article with Keane Bhatt on NACLA. Check it out there: As Al Jazeera Americas Launches, Concerns Over Corporate-Driven Agenda Persist.
From Brigitte Gynther of SOAW:
Tomorrow at 10:30 am, there is a hearing against Berta Caceres, Tomas Gomez, and Aureliano Molina of COPINH as part of the judicial persecution aimed at breaking the Rio Blanco Lenca people's resistance to the Agua Zarca dam being illegally constructed in their territory. The Lenca people of Rio Blanco now have 135 days blocking the entrance to the dam. The struggle is emblematic of the territorial struggles all over Honduras as the government makes more and more and more concessions of rivers, mining, etc. especially with the new law to privatize "idle" resources to pay the internal debt -- against which there is a mobilization by the FRNP tomorrow at 3pm as well.
In the hearing against COPINH tomorrow, the judge could rule to issue an eviction order of the Lenca roadblock in Rio Blanco (despite the fact that they are on their own land) and prohibit Berta, Tomas, and Aureliano from setting foot in Rio Blanco. The charges against Berta, Tomas, and Aureliano are usurping land, coercion, and damages of over $3 million to the company, which can result in several years in jail, and there are additional accusations pending. The reality that the land belongs to the Lenca people of Rio Blanco is ignored as the whole thing is entirely political. Also, the provisional dismissal of the fabricated gun charges against Berta has been reversed so those are active again in a separate legal process.
Click title below for original on the London Review of Books blog, with proper formatting and lots of links:
Enjoy your Nutella
John Perry 13 August 2013
Earlier this year the WWF announced that Nutella, the chocolate spread, would soon be produced only from sustainable palm oil. This sounds like good news. Millions of hectares of rainforest have been cleared to make way for palm plantations. In Borneo and Sumatra, this could soon mean the extinction of the orangutan. The smog that recently enveloped Singapore was caused by fires used to clear forests.
Sustainability is vetted by a body called the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), supported by the WWF and other conservation NGOs. Sainsbury’s, Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts are among the firms that use its certificates. But ‘sustainable’ palm oil may still come from farms that have displaced tropical forests. Last year 200 scientists wrote to the RSPO urging it to adopt stricter standards. In April they got their reply when the RSPO’s latest standards merely ‘encouraged’ growers to avoid forest clearance. The WWF admitted that RSPO-certified palm oil is not necessarily sustainable, but refused to pull the plug, saying it would be voting for the revised standards within RSPO as the best compromise available.
Featuring the indefatigable Dr. Dana Frank. Click here to see full transcript.
Click title to see original article on Al Jazeera's site with proper formatting and links:
Honduras: Where The Blood Flows And The Rivers Are Dammed
Dams Funded By Foreign Investors Are Threatening The Cultural Heritage And Livelihood Of Honduras Indigenous Peoples
By Lauren Carasik
Below is the English translation of the article Honduras: Misión de Observación y Solidaridad Internacional con la Resistencia Hondureña visitó comunidades en resistencia, courtesy of Greg McCain. Please click link to see original with photos.
Honduras: International Observation and Solidarity Mission with the Honduran Resistance Visited Communities in Resistance
A delegation of the Joint Social Movements of ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas) conducted an Observation and International Solidarity Mission with the Honduran Resistance.
The delegation met with different Honduran social movements, especially with those communities in conflict, facing violent actions of expropriation of their lands, of their common property, of their rights as peoples, and of their lives.
Together with members of Honduran social movements, the delegation visited the communities of Rio Blanco who, together with COPINH (Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras), are confronted with the decision to install a hydroelectric dam at Rio Gualcarque. This is one of many concessions the government of Porfirio Lobo has made to transnational corporations who are "buying up" Honduras, both the common property of the people and their territories. In order to do this, they need to repress the people who defend their rights to the land. In this case it has been handed over to the Chinese transnational Sinohydro which is joined by the Honduran company DESA.
LIBRE Youth Communique: Temporary Kidnapping and Threats to General Secretary of LIBRE Youth
(translation from Brigitte Gynther, SOAW)
Friday, August 9, 2013
Yesterday, Thursday, August 8th during the evening, Darwin Barahona, the General Secretary of LIBRE Youth, was kidnapped for a few moments in the Kennedy neighborhood of Tegucigalpa. Then he was abandoned and stripped of his car. When he was kidnapped, he was accompanied by Nelson Colindres, Secretary of Political Formation in the Department of El Paraiso.
Felix Corea died from his injuries yesterday after being run over by a car that witnesses identified as belong to the AZUNSA sugar company. Below is the alert sent out by Convergencia Refundacional (the Refoundational Space):
URGENT!! URGENT!! URGENT!! URGENT!! URGENT!!
FELIX COREA, MEMBER OF CNTC OF EL PROGRESO, WAS MURDERED YESTERDAY BY INDIVIDUALS WHO DROVE A CAR WITHOUT LICENSE PLATES WHICH ACCORDING TO WITNESSES BELONGS TO THE AZUNOSA COMPANY.
Tegucigalpa, 09 August 2013
Urgent Alert: LGBTI Human Rights defender is attacked on a public street (translation from PROAH)
APUVIMEH (Association for a Better Life) would like to alert the national and international community to the following: