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  • Archive for May, 2010

    Oaxaca: The Ongoing Extermination of San Juan Copala’s Autonomous Triquis

    2010 - 05.24
    Written by Nancy Davies
    Monday, 17 May 2010 20:16
    Twelve people were kidnapped and disappeared in San Juan Copala on May 16, following the ambush of a caravan on April 27, 2010 in which two human rights activists were murdered by Unión de Bienestar de la Región Triqui (Ubisort) paramilitaries. The twelve disappeared are women and children. The kidnapping appeared to be a reprisal for the call to send a second, international and larger caravan to San Juan Copala, scheduled for June 8. At the close of Sunday May 16, late information was received that all the women and children had been freed. Nevertheless the denunciation of their disappearance was published to illustrate the contempt the state government and the State Commission for Human Rights hold for the Triquis.

    Members of the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala denounced the kidnapping of seven women and five boys and girls who were captured at gun point by a group of men belonging to Ubisort under the command of Rufino Juárez in the nearby community of La Sabana, the site of the ambush. About thirty-five women and children left the town of San Juan Copala and were threatened with execution in case they tried to return with food and medicine. San Juan Copala has been without electricity, food, medicines and school services for more than five months; it was due to extreme hardship that the April 27 caravan responded to a call for help. The women and children who escaped the kidnapping remain in the community of Yosoyuxi.

    Members of the autonomous municipality hold Rufino Juárez responsible for the aggression. They add, based on the testimony of twenty-four women who escaped the attack, that two women of San Juan Copala were wounded, and that one of the children is only one year old.

    The Autonomous Municipality gave the names of some of the persons of the community who were kidnapped: Felipa de Jesús Suárez, Martiniana Aguilera Allente, Marcelina Ramírez and Lorena Merino Martínez. With them, the little girls are Rosario Velasco Allente, Josefa Ramírez Bautista plus another small girl, additionally two children of four and one year of age respectively.

    The towns’ residents have been reported variously to number 700 people or 700 families; authorities of San Juan Copala state 70 people remain there at present. It is agreed that they are defenseless and that the paramilitary barricading them have the backing of the governor of the state of Oaxaca. (more…)

    Kimia Ghomeshi: Redeeming the Copenhagen climate fiasco in Cochabamba

    2010 - 05.22

    The Cochabamba conference was held in response to the failure of the Copenhagen summit.

    By Kimia Ghomeshi

    Last week, something historic happened in Bolivia, and I got to be a part of it. Remember the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen last December? Highly anticipated as the most important United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change summit in our lifetimes, Copenhagen was instead a treaty-less fiasco. It only intensified the mistrust between the world’s biggest polluters in the global north and the rest of the world, which is being disproportionately affected by the climate crisis. And to boot, Obama tried to save the day by proposing the undemocratically produced and fluffy Copenhagen Accord in the final hours of the conference.

    The accord basically counts on the voluntary commitments of governments with no real measures of accountability, encouraging our very own Canadian government to further lower their emission reduction targets. Even if all commitments under the accord are kept, it has been estimated that the global temperature rise will be roughly twice the 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius tipping point for global disaster. Nevertheless, countries are even being bullied into signing onto the accord or else sacrifice climate financing from the U.S.

    So after refusing to be bribed into endorsing the Copenhagen Accord, the Bolivian government instead hosted the first World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba, Bolivia, from April 19 to 22. The Cochabamba conference was a space for over 35,000 people, including academics, scientists, trade unionists, and social movements, to come together and build alliances—a space for the world’s indigenous peoples and poor, who were effectively silenced in Copenhagen, to be part of a democratic, inclusive process to find real solutions to global injustice and inequality that has been worsened by climate change. I was one of a handful of young people from Canada who attended the conference in hopes of understanding what climate justice (and injustice) looks like from the perspective of those on the front lines of the crisis, and bringing these new insights home to share with the burgeoning climate youth movement in Canada. (more…)