Thursday, 26 January 2012

Threats and Violence Continue against Salvadoran Environmentalists

Filed under: Business, Human Rights, Environment,Environment,Human Rights,Latin America & Caribbean — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 19:26 PDT

Violence and intimidation continue in El Salvador against environmental activists and human rights defenders who have publicly opposed metallic mining. The latest round of threats targetted a Salvadoran Catholic priest, Father Neftalí Ruiz, and a community radio station, Radio Victoria.

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Transit: A Photojournalist’s Quest to Tell the Stories of People on the Run

Filed under: Africa files,Art of Peacework — administrator @ 09:00 PDT

Espen Rasmussen, an Oslo-based photographer, has spent seven years documenting displaced people around the world for his Transit project, a multimedia work that includes photography, video, a website, and an exhibition at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo. The videos blend Rasmussen’s photographs and interviews, edited together by Anna Stevens at Panos Pictures, to tell the personal stories of people coping in the wake of devastating events. In this segment, he interviews women in a refugee camp in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where 1.9 million people have been displaced. The photographer reflects on the ongoing project in an interview below.

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It Takes Two to Engage

Filed under: Books, reports, sites, blogs,Dispute resolution and negotiation,Middle East — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:55 PDT

Just over three years have passed since President Barack Obama extended a hand to the Islamic Republic of Iran in the hope of stopping its quest for nuclear weapons. Today his policy of engaging Tehran is judged by many to be a disaster. The headlines daily reinforce this conclusion: As Iran’s nuclearization drive hurtles to the point of no return, the governing mullahs plot assassination on U.S. soil and threaten American aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf. A diplomatic resolution to the nuclear issue remains as elusive as it was when the Obama administration first assumed power.

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Judge in Argentina investigates Franco violations in Spain

Filed under: International Law: War,Transitional Justice — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:54 PDT

LIMA, Peru – An Argentine judge has opened a criminal investigation into human-rights violations committed in Spain during the 1936-1975 Franco dictatorship.

Maria Servini de Cubria, a federal judge in Buenos Aires province, has launched the case based on a complaint lodged by lawyers from both countries representing several Spanish human-rights groups including the Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory (ARMH by its Spanish initials).

The case marks a novel reverse of fortunes. Spanish prosecutors have in recent years pursued human-rights abusers from several of Latin America’s military regimes of the 1970s and 1980s, including Argentina…

Unlike many other countries transitioning from authoritarian or repressive regimes to democracy, including Chile, Argentina, Peru and Guatemala, Spain never held truth and reconciliation hearings.

Nor were there any prosecutions for human-rights violations, and in 1977, the country passed a general amnesty covering the Franco period and the preceding civil war, during which 113,000 disappeared or were killed, many buried in unmarked mass graves.

Separately, an estimated 30,000 children were taken from their parents, often socialist or communist opponents of the Franco regime.

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Truth & Reconciliation, Spanish Style

Filed under: International Law: War,Transitional Justice — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:53 PDT

I’m just back from 9 days in Madrid — my first visit, and it was great. Of course, while there I couldn’t ignore the international law-related story of the day. Judge Baltasar Garzón (of Pinochet, al Qaeda, and Eta fame) is at it again. This time he’s agreed to open a criminal investigation into thousands of disappearances and executions surrounding Spain’s half-century old civil war. It is a move that has some significant political support; it comes on the heels of recent legislative efforts to offer symbolic reparations to Republican victims of Franco-era atrocities…

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