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The "Natural" Presence of US Armed Forces in Latin America

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  • Some figures illustrate the degree of dependency of the Latin American Armed Forces: the sale of US arms to Latin America and the Caribbean in 2014 amounted to 1,606’861,326 dollars and in 2012 was 2,408’527,664 dollars. The Latin American military who received training in 2013 were 12,157 effectives, while in 2014 they were 14,600.
  • Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador largely responsible for some of the highest murder rates in the world.

Silvina M. Romano, Latin America in Movement / Upside Down World

http://upsidedownworld.org/main/images/stories/0-1-0-honduras-us.2.jpgHonduras. (photo: Latin America in Movement) 

2016 January 18 | The discourse on freedom, democracy, diplomatic contacts and friendly relations with Latin America, so characteristic of the Obama administration in their eagerness to reinforce the "soft power" of his foreign policy, finds its real limits in the need for "order" and "stability" (watchwords that were familiar during the implementation of the National Security Doctrine in Latin America). Currently, the US Armed Forces in the Hemisphere are present not only in more than 70 military bases, but also through various multi- and bilateral security agreements: Plan Colombia, the Andean Regional Initiative, the Mérida Initiative, the Initiative for Regional Security of Central America, among others. These pacts include training programmes, capacity building courses, the sale of arms and equipment involving the companies providing these materials and US security agencies such as the DEA and the FBI, as well as the governments, companies and police forces of Latin American countries [1].

The reason for this presence is the "security of the United States", that implies by definition security and "stability" in territories that could constitute a threat to the United States. In the training manuals of the end of the 1960s, one can clearly read the link between them: "The lack of political stability and socio-economic order in a Latin American country puts in check US national security. Consequently, in matters of training and programs of military aid, the United States should adopt tactics destined to avoid the risks of such instability, through economic development and the imposition of order" [2].

Silvina M. Romano is a researcher with the Instituto de Estudios de América Latina y el Caribe, UBA, CONICET, Argentina.

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Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador largely responsible for some of the highest murder rates in the world, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • Concerns over the safety of justice advocates have heightened since the arrests. The former military men arrested today have close ties to Guatemala’s organized crime networks. 
  • Bloodshed in El Salvador
  • Part 1: 18 Former Guatemalan Military Officers Arrested for Crimes Against Humanity
  • Part 2: El Salvador is on pace to become the hemisphere’s most deadly nation

Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador largely responsible for some of the highest murder rates in the world.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/World%20Banner_0.jpg

  • Concerns over the safety of justice advocates have heightened since the arrests. The former military men arrested today have close ties to Guatemala’s organized crime networks. 
  • Bloodshed in El Salvador
  • Part 1: 18 Former Guatemalan Military Officers Arrested for Crimes Against Humanity
  • Part 2: El Salvador is on pace to become the hemisphere’s most deadly nation

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 



Part 1: 18 Former Guatemalan Military Officers Arrested for Crimes Against Humanity

Concerns over the safety of justice advocates have heightened since the arrests. The former military men arrested today have close ties to Guatemala’s organized crime networks. Criminal groups in complicity with politicians operate regionally in Central America’s “Northern Triangle” of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, and are largely responsible for some of the highest murder rates in the world.

Annie Bird, CIP Americas Program

http://www.cipamericas.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/f17a9026-196d-434e-973a-b76cfb22a3d0_750_497-300x199.jpg7 / January / 2016 | Guatemalan authorities have arrested at least 18 high-ranking Guatemalan military officers yesterday on charges of crimes against humanity and forced disappearance, according to local press reports.

The arrests include retired generals Benedicto Lucas Garcia, head of the military under his now-deceased brother and former dictator Romeo Lucas Garcia, and Manuel Antonio Callejas y Callejas, long known for his high-level positions during the dirty war and his concurrent management of organized crime networks.

Annie Bird is Director of Rights and Ecology [annie@rightsandecology.net / twitter: @rights_ecol / Rights and Ecology listserv] and a frequent contributor to the CIP Americas Program

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Part 2: El Salvador is on pace to become the hemisphere’s most deadly nation

Bloodshed in El Salvador

Joshua Partlow, Washington (DC) Post

https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_606w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2015/05/17/Others/Images/2015-05-16/FI-salvador7701431826152.jpg  In El Salvador, violence is surging, the homicide rate has spiked to its highest level in a decade, and the police have launched a fierce crackdown on gangs.  

May 17, 2015 | Most nights now, men in black masks are sweeping through this city, house to house, rousting shirtless boys from their mattresses, shining flashlights across their torsos, looking for tattoos.

The police officers rummage for drugs and guns but will settle for Nike Cortez sneakers — a gang favorite — or any symbol of affiliation, like a little grim reaper scribbled on a bedroom wall. Then it’s into zip-cuffs and down to the station, with maybe a shove or a twist of the cuffs on the way. Because for the 500 members of El Salvador’s anti-gang police force, this has become personal.

Joshua Partlow is the Post’s bureau chief in Mexico. He has served previously as the bureau chief in Kabul and as a correspondent in Brazil and Iraq.

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U.S approves $800 million sale of Hellfire missiles to Iraq

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America sold Iraq $Billions of dollars worth of new and improved WMD just last year ...

Reuters

Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader/contributor Chante Wolf for this contribution. 

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Graphic%20%7C%20Arms%20at%20the%20Statue%20of%20Liberty.jpg Thu Jan 7, 2016  | The U.S. State Department has approved the sale of 5,000 Hellfire missiles to Iraq worth $800 million, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

Lawmakers have 30 days to block the sale, although such action is rare. 

The prime contractor on the deal would be Lockheed Martin Corp.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which oversees foreign arms sales, told lawmakers the government of Iraq had asked to buy 5,000 of the air-to-ground missiles and 10 training missiles.

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Government Needs You to Dehumanize Foreigners

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  • It’s How They Control You and Justify Killing Them
  • Refugees Are Not the Enemy

John Vibes, Free Thought Project

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http://tftppull.freethoughtllc.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Govt-Needs-You-to-Dehumanize-Foreigners.jpgDecember 20, 2015 | It seems that in Western countries, the people who follow the mainstream media and public school narrative have a pretty twisted outlook on how people in other countries live. They like to focus on the absolute worst things that happen in that society, and act like that defines the society. The perception is that people in non-NATO countries are primitive savages who are constantly attacking and hurting one other, but this type of behavior occurs to a certain degree in nearly every society.

The mainstream western narrative does not pay any attention to the actual daily lives of the people who live in foreign countries. Instead, only they only focus on the tragedies. Just like in the US and Europe, people in the middle east, Africa, and other areas of the world have thriving music scenes, talented artists, brilliant philosophers, exceptional athletes, and children that play games similar to those played by western children. In fact, National Geographic Traveler recently named Iran as the #1 tourist destination in the world.

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Refugees Are Not the Enemy, Sarah Arnold, the Nation

Politicians across the United States have responded to the attacks in Paris with callous and xenophobic calls to block Syrian refugees from entering the United States. In response, writers Reza Aslan, Teju Cole, Aleksandar Hemon, Marlon James, Phil Klay, Laila Lalami, Yiyun Li, Maaza Mengiste, Gary Shteyngart, Geraldine Brooks, Tom Lutz, and Jane Smiley have signed onto an open letter calling on Congress to act with humanity and take in Syrian refugees. We published the letter at TheNation.com and are asking our readers to sign on in support.

 

 

Refugees Are Not the Enemy

Politicians across the United States have responded to the attacks in Paris with callous and xenophobic calls to block Syrian refugees from entering the United States. In response, writers Reza Aslan, Teju Cole, Aleksandar Hemon, Marlon James, Phil Klay, Laila Lalami, Yiyun Li, Maaza Mengiste, Gary Shteyngart, Geraldine Brooks, Tom Lutz, and Jane Smiley have signed onto an open letter calling on Congress to act with humanity and take in Syrian refugees. We published the letter at TheNation.com and are asking our readers to sign on in support.

Sarah Arnold, the Nation

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Migrants%20walk%20to%20Roszke%2C%20Hungary%2C%20Sep.%2C%202015.jpgMigrants walk to Roszke, Hungary, Sep., 2015

November 23, 2015 | The letter ends:

Refugees are not the enemy. Refugees are our spouses, our parents, our grandparents. Some among us are refugees themselves; others have experienced the violence of war. But we are all writers. As such it is our duty to bear witness. Together we call upon the government of the United States to take in Syrian refugees, to act with humanity, and to honor Emma Lazarus’s words, chiseled on the Statue of Liberty: “A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles.”

http://movetoamend.org/sites/default/files/sign-btn.png Click here to read the full letter and to add your name. We also hope that you’ll share the call on Facebook and Twitter.

All the best,

Sarah Arnold: Digital Communications Manager at the Nation

Venezuela, France, U.S.: Responsibility Is Ours

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Is it any wonder France, the U.S., and even Venezuela suffer what appears to be modern day goose stepping thugs in suicidal celebratory array?

Michael Albert, ZCommunications.org 

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December 8, 2015 | When failures occur, progress requires taking responsibility for what one could have done differently and then making changes. After all, going forward, one can change what one does – but one cannot magically cause others, with opposite agendas, to change what they do. Nonetheless, instead of assessing ourselves to find where we can make changes too often we blame those we abhor, where changes are out of reach.

In France, fascists are racking up major gains. We blame the fascists for doing what they are conceived, constructed, and disposed to do, and for what we can easily predict they will do. We blame the voters, as well – for acquiescence to the thuggish appeals. But as the horrific votes mount up, even in poor regions, do we who have humane and much more than simply anti-fascist agendas acknowledge that it means we haven’t reached the people in those regions with even a rudimentary understanding of the forces arrayed against them and of the social and moral implications of their supporting fascist policy?

Michael Albert is a founder and current member of the staff of Z Magazine as well as staff of Z Magazine's web system: ZCom. Albert is the author of 21 books. Most recently these include: Fanfare for the Future (ZBooks), Remembering Tomorrow (Seven Stories Press), Realizing Hope (Zed Press) and Parecon: Life After Capitalism (Verso). 

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Obama’s Speech, Translated into Candor

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  • Here is a condensed version of President Obama's speech from the Oval Office on Sunday night, unofficially translated into plain English

Norman Solomon, Common Dreams

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Jim Fuller

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http://www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/cd_large/public/views-article/obama_speech.jpg?itok=j8jdEWxz "Here’s what I want you to know," said President Obama on Sunday night to the American people: "The threat from terrorism is real, but we will overcome it." (Photo: Reuters/Pool)

Monday, December 07, 2015 | I kind of realize we can’t kill our way out of this conflict with ISIL, but in the short term hopefully we can kill our way out of the danger of a Republican victory in the presidential race next year.

As a practical matter, the current hysteria needs guidance, not a sense of proportion along the lines of what the New York Times just mentioned in passing: “The death toll from jihadist terrorism on American soil since the Sept. 11 attacks—45 people—is about the same as the 48 killed in terrorist attacks motivated by white supremacist and other right-wing extremist ideologies.... And both tolls are tiny compared with the tally of conventional murders, more than 200,000 over the same period.”

Normon Solomon is an American journalist, media critic, and antiwar activist. Solomon is a longtime associate of the media watch group Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting and is a co-founder of RootsAction.org, an online action initiative.

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Related:

Special Report | Nightmare in Paris, Week Ending December 5, 2015, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • After Paris, politicians and pundits clamor for more force and repression -- just as ISIS wants them to.
  • 8 New items including:
    • After Paris: A World That Has Lost Its Ethical Direction
    • How Western Militarists Are Playing Into the Hands of ISIS
    • We Are All France! Though We Are Never All Lebanon or Syria or Iraq!
    • America Created Al-Qaeda And The ISIS Terror Group
    • “The Terrorists R Us.”
    • Time Is Running Out For Pax Americana’s Apologists
    • Special Report | Nightmare in Paris, Week Ending November 14, 2015
    • Our terrorism double standard: After Paris, let’s stop blaming Muslims and take a hard look at ourselves
    • Abby Martin | The Censored Reality Of The Refugee Crisis

 

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