Colombia: Alarmante aumento de niños y niñas combatientes
Por Ángela Castellanos Aranguren (1.020 palabras/3.510 caracteres) Pese a los informes y resoluciones de la Organización de Naciones Unidas, el reclutamiento forzado de menores en Colombia por parte de los grupos armados al margen de la ley no sólo continúa, sino que ha aumentado y la edad de enrolamiento de niñas y niños es cada vez menor. "A través de nuestro trabajo en terreno y con desplazados, vemos un reclutamiento intensivo de menores de edad por las FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) en algunas regiones del país", afirmó a SEMlac Jorge Rojas, presidente de la Consultoría para los Derechos Humanos y el Desplazamiento.
Venezuela: La masculinidad hegemónica en tela de juicio
Por Ángela Castellanos Aranguren (945 palabras/4.888 caracteres) - "Mi expectativa de lo que debe ser un hombre es uno sensible, comprometido, revolucionario, en contraposición al machista, irresponsable, descuidado, misógino y homofóbico. En Venezuela estamos lejos de lograr que haya hombres con un sentido de la masculinidad diferente y, aunque puede haber cada vez más de ellos que quieren ser así, siguen siendo, lamentable y gravemente, una minoría". Quien habla no es una mujer soñando con su hombre ideal sino el asesor de planes y proyectos del área de equidad de género y masculinidades del Instituto Nacional de las Mujeres en Venezuela, Héctor Gutiérrez García.
Chile: Congreso aprueba entrega gratuita de anticoncepción de emergencia
Por Tamara Vidaurrázaga (521 palabras/2.763 caracteres) La Cámara de Diputados de Chile aprobó por amplia mayoría la distribución gratuita de la Píldora de Anticoncepción de Emergencia (PAE) en los servicios públicos de salud, en medio de los gritos a favor del movimiento de mujeres y en contra de organizaciones conservadoras. Un total de 73 votos a favor, 34 en contra ,de los sectores de derecha, y dos abstenciones, fue el resultado de una larga y tensa sesión, en la que se discutió el proyecto de ley enviado por el gobierno para regular la entrega de información y distribución de los métodos anticonceptivos en general, incluyendo a la PAE. ".
Paraguay: Polémica por contratación de gay y transexual en la función pública
Por Marta Escurra (571 palabras/2.869 caracteres) Jenny Lovera y Eduardo Figueredo ni se imaginaban el revuelo que causarían en esa fría mañana en la que fueron presentados a la prensa paraguaya como dos nuevos empleados de la Secretaría de Acción Social (SEN). El propio ministro de la SEN, Camilo Soares, lideró el acto de presentación. ¿Qué tenía de "novedosa" la contratación? Se trataba de la primera vez que un ente estatal unía a sus filas a dos personas abiertamente declaradas transexual y gay, respectivamente.
Cuba: Hemingway, Leopoldina, María Ignacia y yo (II parte)
Por Ilse Bulit (1.127 palabras/5.635 caracteres)Ernest Millar Hemingway nació en Oak Park, Illinois, en julio de 1899. María Ignacia, en La Habana, Cuba, en septiembre de 1890. El invisible lazo de una piel olivo los comunicó. Un budista sen, más poeta que budista, dijo: "el aleteo del ala de una mariposa mueve las estrellas". En vocabulario científico lo afirman ahora los estudiosos de la Física Cuántica. José Martí, el misterioso cubano del siglo XIX, lo resumió en esta frase: "las ciencias confirman lo que el espíritu presiente". Y yo presiento que las palabras de una mujer admirada, traídas al recuerdo de un cerebro enfermo, pueden inducir al suicidio.
Basiji tells all: Abuse, rape, forced marriage/ An Iranian militiaman says women are being sexually abused on the streets of Tehran – by Tracy Clark-Flory for Salon.com, Jul. 22, 2009 | Sexual harassment, forced marriage and rape -- it's just par for the course for Basiji militiamen. In a provocative article in the Jerusalem Post, an anonymous member of Iran's paramilitary details widespread abuses against young women amid the recent crackdown on opposition protests, as well as violence he previously committed against women awaiting execution.
Pentagon Enlists Feminists for War Aims - by Tom Hayden, Published on Monday, July 20, 2009 by Huffington Post - Over a decade ago a young woman approached me on the California Senate floor with a petition against the Taliban. Women are being repressed, tortured and killed by religious fundamentalists, she said. I signed on. The Taliban seemed like a Ku Klux Klan aimed at women. I was disgusted that the State Department and oil companies would negotiate with them over pipelines, with cursory regard for women's rights. I still feel that way. But I had no idea then that I was joining The Feminist Majority in a coalition with the Pentagon to invade and occupy Afghanistan.
US Military Presence Continues To Imperil Lives of Afghan Women - by Lucinda Marshall, Published on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 by CommonDreams.org - I have a vintage 1960’s poster on my wall that says, “War is not good for children and other living things.” Those sentiments were true then, have always been true and and are certainly still true today. As the Feminist Peace Network website has noted since it began in 2001, military actions of all kinds also perpetrate specific forms of violence against women, including:
Everything That Happens in Afghanistan Is Based on Lies or Illusions - By Ann Jones, Tomdispatch.com. Posted July 20, 2009 - Kabul, July 2009 -- I've come back to the Afghan capital again, after an absence of two years, to find it ruined in a new way. Not by bombs this time, but by security.
Protecting the Rights of Afghan Women is AlterNet's Top Take Action Campaign This Week -By Byard Duncan, AlterNet. Posted July 21, 2009. - The Afghan parliament is expected to soon approve revisions to its marriage law that will do very little in the way of improving women's rights. Despite recent demands that the country radically rework its policies on issues such as polygamy and a woman's right to work, Afghanistan's government is signaling a continued adherence to regressive traditions.
When the Women of Afghanistan Speak, Does Howard Dean Listen? - By Siun Posted on July 18, 2009 - Governor Howard Dean was just on Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now! to discuss healthcare and did a great job of explaining the need for a public option – but sadly he fell back on tired pro-war propaganda when he addressed Goodman’s questions on Afghanistan (transcript from Rethink Afghanistan – full rush transcript will be available later at Democracy Now):
Not a Victim, but a Hero - By Nicholas D. Kristof for The New York Times, July 26, 2009, Meerwala, Pakistan - After being kidnapped at the age of 16 by a group of thugs and enduring a year of rapes and beatings, Assiya Rafiq was delivered to the police and thought her problems were over. Then, she said, four police officers took turns raping her. The next step for Assiya was obvious: She should commit suicide.
Crisis in the Operating Room - By Nicholas D. Kristof for The New York Times July 30, 2009- Karachi, Pakistan - Afterward, they comforted each other with the blasphemy: “It was God’s will.” It was the first pregnancy for Shazia Allahdita, 19. I was in the operating room at a public hospital here in Karachi as surgeons performed a Caesarean section on her to try to save her life
Surgeon General Pick's Stance on Abortion May Clash With Church's - By Cheryl W. Thompson
for Washington Post , Saturday, July 18, 2009 - Regina M. Benjamin grew up in the Roman Catholic Church and attended a Catholic elementary school in her home town of Daphne, Ala., nestled along the Gulf Coast. Benjamin, President Obama's pick to be surgeon general, attends Mass regularly and has received an award from Pope Benedict XVI and another inspired by Mother Teresa. But the Alabama country doctor also backs Obama's position on reproductive health issues, a position that potentially could put her at odds with the Catholic Church.
An Abortion Battle, Fought to the Death - By David Barstow for The New York Times, July 26, 2009 - Wichita, Kan. — It did not take long for anti-abortion leaders to realize that George R. Tiller was more formidable than other doctors they had tried to shut down. Shrewd and resourceful, Dr. Tiller made himself the nation’s pre-eminent abortion practitioner, advertising widely and drawing women to Wichita from all over with his willingness to perform late-term abortions, hundreds each year.
Rachel Maddow: 87% Of U.S. Counties Have No Access To Abortion Clinic
By Tana Ganeva, AlterNet - Maddow breaks down all the obstacles to getting an abortion in the U.S. Readmore»
Right-Wing Lobbyists Try Scare Tactic of Abortion to Thwart Health Reform - By Dana Goldstein, The American Prospect. Posted July 15, 2009. - "I certainly would like to prevent, if I could legally, anybody having an abortion, a rich woman, a middle-class woman, or a poor woman. Unfortunately, the only vehicle available is the -- Medicaid bill." Those were the words of Illinois Sen. Henry Hyde, on the floor of Congress in 1977. Just four years earlier, Roe v. Wade had legalized abortion across the country. Almost immediately, opponents of reproductive rights began seeking out ways to limit access to the procedure
Fox Refuses to Air "Family Guy" Abortion Episode - By Amanda Terkel, Think Progress - The episode will likely be distributed on DVD. Read more»
White House Focuses on Violence Against Women - By Susan Loubet, The Women's Media Center. Posted July 13, 2009.- The Obama Administration announced a new position on June 26 -- White House advisor on issues of domestic violence and sexual assault. Fittingly, the announcement came from Vice-President Joe Biden, who, when he was senator and chair of the Judiciary Committee, had been the original drafter of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Named to the new position is Lynn Rosenthal, who was key to galvanizing support across the country for the reauthorization of VAWA in 2005.
His Maternal Instinct - By Nicholas D. Kristof for The New York Times, July 19, 2009 - Karachi, Pakistan - She is an illiterate woman from the tribal areas of Pakistan who almost died in childbirth a year after marrying at the age of 12. She suffered a horrific injury during labor called a fistula that left her incontinent and smelly, and for the next 13 years she was confined to her house — never stepping outside for shame at the way she was leaking wastes.
The Senate voted yesterday to extend hate crimes legislation to include "people attacked because of their sexual orientation or gender." The bill will also "make it easier for federal prosecutors to step in when state or local authorities are unable or unwilling to pursue hate crimes." The House passed a similar bill in April.
FROM MEDIA MATTERS - Crazy uncle Pat goes after Sotomayor : Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearings took place this week, which provided one final opportunity for her conservative critics to dust off the same set of attacks they unsuccessfully employed shortly after her nomination was announced. It also provided MSNBC's Pat Buchanan with an opportunity to once again test how much vitriol and hatred the peacock-branded cable network is willing to broadcast under the label of "political analysis."In the span of a few days, Buchanan declared Sotomayor to be a "militant liberal Latina" of limited intellect who had never written any law review articles and who harbored "a lifelong resolve to discriminate against white males." (White men are never prejudiced, in case you were wondering.) After again explaining how Sotomayor is nothing more than an "affirmative action" pick who had been "appointed because she's a Latina, and a Hispanic, and a woman," Buchanan said he didn't "understand" the idea of affirmative action for Hispanics, seeing as they had never suffered through slavery. "This has been a country built, basically, by white folks," he finally told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, for which she roundly rebuked him. "You're playing with fire," she said during a heated exchange, adding, "[Y]ou're living in the 1950s." Which brings us back to the question Media Matters' Jamison Foser posed just six short weeks ago: What would Pat Buchanan have to say to get himself fired from MSNBC?
Pat Buchanan: "This Has Been A Country Built, Basically, By White Folks"- Last night, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow debated her colleague Pat Buchanan on the role of affirmative action in the Supreme Court nomination of Sonia Sotomayor. When Maddow pointed out that 108 of 110 Supreme Court justices have been white, Buchanan responded, "White men were 100 percent of the people that wrote the Constitution, 100 percent of the people that signed the Declaration of Independence, 100 percent of the people who died at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, probably close to 100 percent of the people who died at Normandy. This has been a country built basically by white folks."
Shatner's dramatic reading of Palin – By Alex Kopelman for salon.com, July 28, 2009 - There really was only one man up to the task of reading former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's farewell speech the way it should have been read:William Shatner, of course. So God bless Conan O'Brien for giving him the chance.
Palin’s Resignation: The Edited Version (Vanity Fair) - Palin’s Resignation: The Edited Version-If you watched Sarah Palin’s resignation speech, you know one thing: her high-priced speechwriters moved back to the Beltway long ago. Just how poorly constructed was the governor’s holiday-weekend address? We asked V.F.’s red-pencil-wielding executive literary editor, , together with representatives from the and departments, to whip it into publishable shape. Here is the colorful result.
Palin Legal Donations May Have Violated Ethics Law, Report Finds - By Kimberly Kindy and Phillip Rucker for Washington Post , July 22, 2009 - An independent investigator has determined that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) may have violated state ethics laws by soliciting and accepting private donations to pay $500,000 in legal debts.
Behind Sarah Palin's Wacky Pentecostal Faith - By Anthea Butler, Religion Dispatches. Posted July 25, 2009.- When God is treated like "on-demand cable," the most fervent believers will have trouble adhering to basic rules of propriety, let alone values. Read more»
Naomi Klein: Let's Put an End to Sarah Palin-Style Capitalism - By Naomi Klein, The Progressive
Capitalism can survive this crisis. But the world can't survive another capitalist comeback. Read more»
Sex and power inside "the C Street House" / Sanford, Ensign, and other regulars receive guidance from the invisible fundamentalist group known as the Family - By Jeff Sharlet for Salon.com, Jul. 21, 2009 - Editor's note: Sharlet is the author of the bestselling "The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power." | I can't say I was impressed when I met Sen. John Ensign at the C Street House, the secretive religious enclave on Capitol Hill thrust into the news by its links to three political sex scandals, those of Gov. Mark Sanford; former Rep. Chip Pickering, R-Miss., who allegedly rendezvoused at the C Street House with his mistress, an executive in the industry for which he then became a lobbyist; and Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev.
Twelve Women Who Changed the Way We Look at Sex- by Melanie Berliet for Vanity Fair, July 22, 2009 - Are Americans prudes? Some people think so. After all, the country that gave the world Elvis’s hips, free love, and Porn Valley is also a land founded by Puritans, given to legislating what goes on in the bedroom, and perpetually outraged by the sexual dalliances of politicians (though, to be fair, even the Italians are getting fed up with presidential philandering).
The Joy of Sex Toys: How Vibrators Stopped Being 'Shameful' Secrets - By Liz Langley, AlterNet
Once considered shameful, the vibrator has become a common part of most people's sex lives. Turns out we like sexual pleasure. Read more»
Million-Dollar Baby: How Much Would You Pay for a Baby If You Couldn't Have One?0- By Vanessa Richmond, AlterNet - Is there a fairer way to compensate surrogate mothers? Too often, surrogacy is about a wealthy couple hiring poor a woman to breed for them. Readmore»
Women and Power: Connecting Across the Generations - By Marianne Schnall, Patty Goodwin, AlterNet - The media narrative of different generations of feminists being at each other's throats could not be more wrong. Read more»
Beyond Attica: The Untold Story of Women's Resistance Behind Bars - By Hans Bennett, AlterNet
As the incarceration rate of U.S. women skyrockets, an important book shines new light on the struggles of women prisoners. Read more»
FROM THE PROGRESS REPORT: During her visit to India, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that stereotypes perpetuated by our respective entertainment industries create false impressions. "If Hollywood and Bollywood were how we all lived our lives, that would surprise me," Clinton said. "People watching a Bollywood movie in some other part of Asia think everyone in India is beautiful. And they have dramatic lives, and happy endings. And if you were to watch American TV and our movies," she said with a twinkle in her eye, "you'd think we don't wear clothes and we spend a lot of time fighting each other."
GAY AND LESBIAN RIGHTS
According to a report by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), HBO scored highest among 15 networks for its representation of gay characters last season. "Television shows that weave our stories into the fabric of the series present richer, more diverse representations," said Rashad Robinson, GLAAD's senior director of media programs.Citing discouraging poll numbers, proponents of marriage equality are considering delaying a campaign to overturn California's ban on same-sex marriage until at least 2012. "[W]e will step up to the plate -- with resources and talent -- when the time is right," said philanthropist David Bohnett. "The only thing worse than losing in 2008, would be to lose again in 2010."
Democracy Now! Broadcast Exclusive: Declassified Docs Reveal Military Operative Spied on WA Peace Groups, Activist Friends Stunned *Newly declassified documents reveal that an active member of Students for a Democratic Society and Port Militarization Resistance in Washington state was actually an informant for the US military. The man everyone knew as "John Jacob" was in fact John Towery, a member of the Force Protection Service at Fort Lewis. The military's role in the spying raises questions about possibly illegal activity. The Posse Comitatus law bars the use of the armed forces for law enforcement inside the United States. The Fort Lewis military base denied our request for an interview. But in a statement to Democracy Now, the base's Public Affairs office publicly acknowledged for the first time that Towery is a military operative. "This could be one of the key revelations of this era," said Eileen Clancy, who has closely tracked government spying on activist organizations.
Reports on U.S. Detention Policy Will Be Delayed - By Peter Finn for Washington Post y, July 21, 2009 - The Obama administration is delaying completion of reports examining U.S. detention and interrogation policy, officials said Monday, in a sign of the formidable issues it faces in grappling with how to handle terrorism suspects as it prepares to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay.
Army Adding 22,000 Soldiers To Meet War Needs, Gates Says - By Pauline Jelinek and Jason Straziuso for Associated Press, July 21, 2009 - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates announced Monday that the size of the Army is being increased temporarily by 22,000 soldiers to help meet the needs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other missions around the world.This is the second time since 2007 that the military has determined it doesn't have a large enough force. Gates had already increased the size of the Army and Marine Corps shortly after taking the Pentagon job.
Obama Admin Expands Law Enforcement Program 287(g), Criticized for Targeting Immigrants and Increasing Racial Profiling * The Obama administration has expanded the controversial 287(g) program, which allows local law enforcement agencies to enter into agreements with Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, effectively giving local police the powers of federal immigration agents. The agreements have been widely criticized for increasing racial profiling and singling out immigrants for arrest without suspicion of crime. We speak to Aarti Shahani of Justice Strategies and Roberto Lovato of New America Media.
Byzantine World of Immigration Detention - by William Fisher, Published on Thursday, July 23, 2009 by Inter Press Service - New York - Duarnis Perez, a native of the Dominican Republic, became a U.S. citizen at 15 when his mother was naturalised. But he didn't know that meant he was also a citizen. He thought he was an illegal immigrant, and so did the authorities. He was deported and subsequently arrested trying to sneak back into the U.S. from Canada. Perez spent almost five years in prison for unlawful reentry. But when he was released in 2004, an official of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) reviewed his file and told him he had been a citizen all along.
The Obama administration is vastly expanding a federal effort, started in Houston under President Bush, "to identify and deport illegal immigrants held in local jails." The program is being used in 70 counties across the country, though "federal officials say that while they are pleased with their new ability to identify illegal immigrants, they do not have enough agents to deport all of those identified."
Obama Accused of Continuing Bush's Racial Profiling of Immigrants - By Roberto Lovato, AlterNet-
While Obama's racial diplomacy with Skip Gates is making the headlines, rights groups say that he has expanded Bush's racist immigration policies. Read more »
Immigration and Obama: Change We Can Believe in or More of the Same? - By Roberto Lovato, AlterNet - Rights groups say that the Obama administration's continuing the racial profiling begun by his predecessor. Read more»
National Exclusive...Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, Wife of Ousted Honduran President, Calls on US to Aid Her Husband's Return Home: "We Want Justice, We Want Peace, We Demand the Return to Democracy" * After a failed attempt to return to Honduras over the weekend, ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya has complained that US condemnation of the coup against him is waning. Zelaya had tried to cross back into Honduras from Nicaragua on Friday but stayed for less than an hour. We speak with the wife of the ousted Honduran president, First Lady Xiomara Castro de Zelaya. She's spent the past day trying to get to the border with Nicaragua, and she joins us now from the town of Jacaleapa.
US Revokes Visas for Honduran Coup Officials; Human Rights Abuses Escalate *The US has revoked the visas of four officials serving in the Honduran coup government. Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya had asked the Obama administration to revoke the visas in order to increase international pressure on the coup regime.
Despite Pledge to Cut Military Ties to Coup Regime, US Continues to Train Honduran Soldiers at School of Americas *While the European Union cut off aid to the coup regime in Honduras, the United States continues the money flow, and while the US says it has cut military ties, the National Catholic Reporter reveals Honduran army officers are still receiving military training at the notorious School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia.
"From Arbenz to Zelaya: Chiquita in Latin America" * "When the Honduran military overthrew the democratically elected government of Manuel Zelaya two weeks ago there might have been a sigh of relief in the corporate board rooms of Chiquita banana," writes journalist Nikolas Kozloff. "Earlier this year the Cincinnati-based fruit company joined Dole in criticizing the government in Tegucigalpa which had raised the minimum wage by 60%." Kozloff goes on to trace Chiquita's "long and sordid" political history in Central America.
Listen/Watch/Read : http://www.democracynow.org/2009/7/21/from_arbenz_to_zelaya_chiquita_in
Time for President Zelaya to Return to Honduras - by Medea Benjamin, Published on Thursday, July 23, 2009 by CommonDreams.org - It’s been almost a month since the military rousted Honduran President Zelaya from his bed at gunpoint and whisked him away--in his pajamas--to Costa Rica. It’s been almost a month since the Organization of American States called for Zelaya’s unconditional return. The efforts at mediation by Costa Rican President Arias have come to naught. It’s time for Zelaya to go home and get back to the job he was elected to do: President of Honduras. And the U.S. government should help him do that.
School of Coups - by Father Roy Bourgeois & Margaret Knapke, Published on Thursday, July 23, 2009 by Foreign Policy In Focus - The day after Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was deposed, President Barack Obama cautioned against repeating Latin America's "dark past," decades when military coups regularly overrode the results of democratic elections. Obama went on to acknowledge, in his understated way, "The United States has not always stood as it should with some of these fledgling democracies."