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Organizaciones campesinas, listas para dar la batalla contra el maíz transgénico

Con semillas nativas mejoradas buscan evitar la dependencia de productores ante corporativos

La Jornada

Organizaciones campesinas dieron a conocer que ante la determinación gubernamental de permitir la siembra experimental de maíz transgénico en el país –vía la publicación, la semana pasada, de un decreto modificatorio del reglamento de la Ley de Bioseguridad de Organismos Genéticamente Modificados–, impulsarán acciones legales, y políticas para frenar dicha situación, debido a que la presencia del grano transgénico contaminará las variedades criollas.

Alfonso Ramírez Cuéllar, líder de El Barzón, señaló en entrevista que el próximo 25 de marzo diversas agrupaciones campesinas se reunirán para analizar posibles acciones legales en contra de esta medida y delinear un plan de actividades, entre las que se podría incluir paralización de maquinaria, así como interponer quejas internacionales, por ejemplo ante la Organización de las Naciones Unidas Para la Agricultura y la Alimentación (FAO), entre otras.

Max Correa, líder de la Central Campesina Cardenista (CCC) comentó que en conjunto con otras agrupaciones del Consejo Nacional de Organizaciones Rurales y Pesqueros (Conorp) discuten la realización de protestas ante la Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación (Sagarpa), entre otras. También expuso que promoverán iniciativas legislativas que obliguen a las empresas que comercializan productos derivados de maíz transgénico, tales como harinas y mieles, a informar al consumidor sobre el origen de ese grano.

Agregó que se pedirá la expedición de leyes mediante las cuales las autoridades sanitarias obliguen a las empresas que trabajen con estas variedades transgénicas a que informen sobre las investigaciones que se han realizado sobre los impactos en la salud que originan esas semillas.

De igual forma, apuntó, difundirán entre sus afiliados el uso de semillas de variedades nativas mejoradas para evitar la propagación de cultivos transgénicos, que harán dependientes a los campesinos de esta tecnología y de las empresas que la desarrollan.

Instituciones como el Inifap han desarrollado semillas mejoradas nativas, las que tienen buena productividad, a veces superior a las semillas transgénicas, pero no dañan el germoplasma ni el ambiente, menos la economía campesina, porque son más baratas.

Ramírez Cuéllar detalló que en la reunión del 25 de marzo elaborarán también un documento argumentando la oposición a la siembra experimental de maíz transgénico, y apuntó que entre las acciones de protesta podría contemplarse retirar el maíz transgénico producido, tal y como se hizo en Chihuahua con este grano sembrado ilegalmente, caso en el que se presentó también una denuncia penal.

Mexico's Drug War Bloodbath: Guns from the U.S. Are Destabilizing the Country

Mexico's Drug War Bloodbath: Guns from the U.S. Are Destabilizing the Country

By Silja J.A. Talvi, AlterNet


A minute is all the time that it takes for an employee in one of almost 7,000 gun shops dotting the U.S./Mexico border to accept a wad of cash from an eager customer, fill out a triplicate sales slip, and slide a nice, new Taurus .45 caliber pistol across the counter. Or two, or three, or twenty, as the case may be. Add those handguns to the countless tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of pistols, sniper and assault rifles, semi-automatic machine guns, shield-piercing bullets, grenades, plastic explosives, as well as anti-tank weapons outfitted with self-propelling rockets passing illegally through the hands of drug cartel foot soldiers and assassins. Throw in the array of weapons favored by DEA and CIA agents, Mexican federal police and military units, and other 'drug warriors,' of one sort or another. These are all people who are ready, willing, and able to use violence to get what they want. If it looks like you’ve got a battle on your hands, you do -- the Mexican drug war has hit boiling point.

Mexican authorities have been quite vocal in the past year about the role that the U.S. is playing in the escalation of gun violence in Mexico. Last year, no less than 20,000 weapons were seized in drug-related actions, raids, arrests, and shoot-outs; nearly all of them were sold in the U.S. (The Mexican government has finally been given electronic access, by the U.S. Department of Justice, to be able to trace the origins of registered weapons, but only if they are used in the commission of crimes.)

Last month, the U.S. government’s own Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, released its policy-shaping “2009 International Narcotics Strategy Report.” As the bureau had to admit, “U.S.-purchased or stolen firearms account for an estimated 95% of the Mexico’s drug-related killings.”

Nowhere in the report was it emphasized, however, that there are at least 6,600 licensed gun dealers in the four states adjacent to the Mexico border. Or that legal loopholes grant thousands of other unlicensed gun "enthusiasts" and collectors across the country to sell their wares, without inspection or oversight, at weekend gun shows across the country.

“A vast arms bazaar is rampant along the four border states, enabled by porous to nonexistent American gun laws,” The New York Times editorialized on February 27, 2009, after the indictment of George Iknadosian, a gun-shop owner facing federal charges for knowingly providing weapons to members of the Sinaloa cartel. “There should be immense shame on this side of the border that America’s addiction to drugs is bolstered by its feckless gun controls.”

The shame is warranted, and worth pondering. The action that needs to be taken, on the other hand, can afford no such luxury, because the people who have the misfortune to live in one of Mexico’s deadly drug war zones have already become the casualties of our demanding drug habits, our orgiastic worship of guns, and our obsession with profit without concern for consequence.

In the international munitions and intelligence-gathering marketplace, the U.S. is the #1 supplier/dealer of arms, military transport, law-enforcement and detention equipment, surveillance technology, and “non-lethal” weaponry. On the higher end, weapons deals are usually on the up-and-up, insofar as they’re attached to complex military aid packages, contracts with private contractors, and international “drug interdiction” agreements of the sort that Mexico has with the U.S. through the $1.3 billion Merida Initiative. Other times, the large-scale transfer of weaponry is far less "legitimate," as in the urban battleground that Mexican law enforcement and military forces now find themselves contending with, courtesy of the weaponry provided to Reagan and Bush-era Central American “allies.” These weapons of war have found their way back up north -- and into the hands of Mexican drug cartels.

Nearly every governing body or law enforcement entity imaginable (including Mexico’s equivalent of the FBI, its federal drug control agency, and Attorney General’s office) has been infiltrated by the cartels and wracked with espionage, graft, and corruption scandals. But Mexico is right to insist that the U.S. truly acknowledge the extent to which its own citizens (and policies) create and sustain the consumer market for illicit drugs. There’s no getting around the fact that Americans have the highest illicit substance use and abuse rates in the world, and Mexican drug cartels are but the latest of our transnational network of “suppliers.”

In the 21st century, the drug trade is like any other major industry in that it has been fully globalized -- sin fronteras, without borders. In just so happens that Mexico’s narco-cartels are now in the lucrative position of picking up where other players in the transnational drug trade have left off -- or, more to the point, were temporarily or permanently forced out because of individual arrests, sting operations, asset seizures, or other interdiction efforts. Even if the Gulf, Sinaloa, Juárez, and Tijuana cartels were to be completely dismantled tomorrow, there will always be some enterprising individual, group, or full-fledged criminal syndicate to step in where others have been derailed. Why? Americans have a seemingly insatiable appetite for mind-altering substances, whether in the form of cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, tranquilizers, uppers, downers, and painkillers of all kinds. And what a profit-generating market this is. According to the National Drug Intelligence Center, wholesale drug profits amount to somewhere between $18 billion and $39 billion annually for the Colombian and Mexican drug cartels. Internationally, the illicit drug trade is estimated to generate at least $320 billion per year.

In light of that, the international drug war coordinating agency known as the United Nations on Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), has become a bit more forthcoming about pointing out the causal and interconnected variables linking the U.S. with their “supplier” nations.

Leading up to the International Commission on Narcotic Drugs, which was called into session on March 11th in Vienna, UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa oversaw the preparation of several reports to measure the extent of progress toward a “drug-free” world, as outlined by an United Nations meeting and strategy in 1998. These reports, “The Threat of Narco-Trafficking in the Americas” (October 2008), and “Organized Crime and its Threat to Security: Tackling a disturbing consequence of drug control” (March 2009), are unsurprisingly opposed to the decriminalization or legalization of drugs. But they do, somewhat surprisingly, sing a different tune about the U.S. role in the international drug trade than in previous years.

Noting that 95% of the world’s population does not engage in illicit drug use, and that there are far more deaths attributable to alcohol, tobacco, and legal drugs, the “Organized Crime” report highlights a “disturbing consequence of drug control,” by way of “creation of a lucrative black market for controlled substances, dominated by powerful crime cartels and resulting in unprecedented violence and corruption.”
“Drugs are a commodity,” as the UNODC states. “Profits are ploughed back into increasing the capacity for violence and into corrupting public officials. Together, violence and corruption drive away investment and undermine governance to the point that the rule of law itself becomes questionable.”

In his preface to “The Threat of Narco-Trafficking in the Americas,” Costa makes another bolder-than-expected statement: “Tackling the threat of narco-trafficking in the Americas is a shared responsibility. No country is immune from the problem: all participate, either as a source of drugs, a transit country for trafficking, or an importer.”

On this point, Costa is absolutely right. By now, it has been clearly and abundantly demonstrated that Americans aren’t just the biggest consumers of illicit drugs in the world, but that the sheer number of our gun shops -- and the ease with which weapons can be purchased -- are significantly responsible for the level of gun violence in Mexico. Still, as recently as August 2008, by comparison, FBI Director Mueller’s speech at the 5th Annual Border Security Conference made no mention whatsoever of the role of American-sold weaponry in the violence on Mexican streets. (Instead, he attributed the situation, as many American drug warriors do, to “gangs,” “stronger border security,” and “progress” by the Mexican government in taking down drug cartels.)

The cartels are swimming in money, while everyday Mexican citizens in several parts of the country are swimming in terror and fear, edged in between violence between the narco-traffickers (and their School of Americas-trained assassins, The Zetas), the federal police, and the military. But never mind all of that, because there are bigger things for Americans to worry about.

For the past month, the crisis of drug-related violence in Mexico has (finally) become the focal point of numerous Congressional subcommittee hearings, press conferences, and high-level Cabinet meetings. (It took nearly 6,300 murders last year, and more than 1,000 since the beginning of 2009, to get this country to start paying attention.) U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has called Mexican drug trafficking cartels “a national security threat,” while President Obama met with Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Admiral Michael Mullen to discuss options to support the Mexican government, including surveillance and reconnaissance. And last week, Roger Rufe, director of operations for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), appeared before a Congressional subcommittee to explain that DHS is ready to act, if necessary, to secure border towns. The Defense Department and National Guard would only be called in, he assured members of the House, if a “tipping point” were reached -- without explaining what such circumstances would entail.

For their part, television news networks ranging from FOX to CNN have set about creating a hysterical flutter of speculation about the likelihood of about teenage Latino “sleeper cells;” hypothetical collaborations between Hezbollah and drug cartels; the “nightmare scenario” of a crazed, drug-fueled invasion from Mexico; and the perceived need to militarize our border to new heights.

None of this would seem to be of particular comfort to the people of Ciudad Juárez. They wouldn’t have much time to contemplate why CNN anchorman Don Lemon would take the time to argue with a Texan mayor about the “spillover effect” that the town of McAllen knows isn’t taking place; or why FOX News’ Geraldo Rivera turned to “terrorism expert” Bernard Kerik (disgraced Homeland Security nominee, former Taser-executive, and multiple felony-charged former NYC police commissioner), for his opinion on whether the U.S. federal agencies and military forces should be moving into Mexican territory to get the situation under control. (Although the connection was never made clear, Kerik and NYC comrade Rudy Giuliani were hired in Mexico City, several years ago, as high-level policing and counterterrorism preparedness consultants to the government.)

And that’s because, across the border from El Paso, Texas, the people of Ciudad Juárez (pop. 1.5 million), exist for this moment in time underneath the unyielding thumb of Mexican military occupation. Daily life is being dictated by the commands and checkpoint interrogations of nearly 8,000 federales (black-riot-gear-clad federal police officers) and fatigue-green-clad military troops (nicknamed the “green tsunami” by Juárez media), who have taken complete control over local law enforcement agencies. Stationed across the state of Chihuahua, but concentrated in Juárez, most of these troops are exclusively trained in wartime offensive strategy and tactical maneuvers that leave little or no room for anything but a violent outcome. Although barely reported in the U.S. press, citizens of Juárez (and other cities or towns) have accused the military of serious human rights violations since President Felipe Calderón launched his 2006 crackdown on narco-trafficking, including beating people for “confessions,” electrical torture, rape, and the practice of enclosing heads in plastic bags filled with water to simulate (or achieve) drowning.

Calderón wasn’t without public support for the crackdown on drug cartels, who were battling each other—with increasing displays of public violence--for dominance in the drug business. Indeed, crime had long since been an issue in border cities like Juárez owing, in large part, to the constant influx of hopeful migrants and dislocated workers looking for employment in one of the legions of foreign-owned factories, assembly plants built by foreign companies looking to cash in on the low-wage workforce handed to them by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Among other developments in the post-NAFTA border region, hundreds of young women have disappeared, raped, and been murdered in Juárez, by the hundreds, and they still do. Drugs are readied for cross-border journeys here in ways that are both mundane (e.g., kilos of cocaine hidden in the frame of a car) and mind-boggling (e.g., 140 pounds of marijuana strapped to the back of a man flying, in darkness, in an “ultralight,” a motorized aircraft resembling a hang glider.) Increasingly, many of the drugs stay in Juárez, and other parts of Mexico, something that has led to large-scale addiction the likes of which the nation has never seen.

But just as the acts of gruesome sexual violence, murders and disappearances of young women in Juárez have gone beyond the realm of random sexual violence, so, too, have the escalating cartel v. cartel-military v. cartel battles over ‘narco-turf’ gone beyond what anyone would reasonably consider “drug-related crime.” In this border city, nearly 2,000 drug-related murders have occurred since January 2008, including more than 200 murdered in the first two months of 2009.

In this sense, the people of Juárez are the actual, immediate victims of (our very own) drug war “spillover effect.” It’s too late for the thousands of people who have already lost their lives to related violence, but it’s not too late to pull the plug on the easy flow of weaponry to Mexico. And it’s certainly not too late for the American people to recognize and resolve, once and for all, that this is a war that cannot be won: not under any circumstance, not by any country, not by any political leader, and not with all the firepower in the world.

For the sake of Mexican people, the welfare of all of our global neighbors, and yes, for ourselves, it’s time to close this ill-begotten book on the war on drugs, once and for all.

Silja J.A. Talvi is an investigative journalist and the author of Women Behind Bars: The Crisis of Women in the U.S. Prison System (Seal Press: 2007). Her work has already appeared in many book anthologies, including It's So You (Seal Press, 2007), Prison Nation (Routledge: 2005), Prison Profiteers (The New Press: 2008), and Body Outlaws (Seal Press: 2004). She is a senior editor at In These Times.
© 2009 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at: AlterNet





La revolución va a estallar de un momento a otro. Los que por tantos años hemos estado atentos a todos los incidentes de la vida social y política del pueblo mexicano, no podemos engañarnos. Los síntomas del formidable cataclismo no dejan lugar a duda de que algo está por surgir y luego por derrumbarse, de que algo va a levantarse y algo está por caer.
Ricardo Flores Magón.

A los pueblos de Oaxaca
A los pueblos de México

El año 2008 fue, a luces vistas, un año en que el gobierno estatal de Ulises Ruiz y el gobierno federal del espurio Calderón criminalizaron la protesta social y con esto escalaron aún más la guerra de baja intensidad (GBI). Y para muestra un botón: los constantes patrullajes de la policía y del ejército federal, así como los constantes retenes en la ciudad de Oaxaca y en las carreteras federales y estatales, violando nuevamente la ya maltrecha Constitución Política.

La violencia desatada en el estado y en el país, justificando con ello el elevado presupuesto que recibe el ejército federal y las corporaciones policiacas y de “inteligencia”, la adquisición de tecnología de punta y entrenamiento por parte de EEUU, Israel y otros países que violan los derechos humanos, hacen guerras por intereses económicos y reprimen manifestaciones sociales, demuestra que la guerra contra el narco no es tal sino una estrategia de intimidación del cártel en el poder en contra de la población civil que se organiza a pesar de los pesares.

En Oaxaca el asesinato de dos comunicadoras de San Juan Copala demuestran nuevamente el temor que el gobierno tiene a la organización popular, pero por otra parte nos muestra el entramado de complicidades entre los gobiernos estatal y federal que no permite sean aprehendidos y juzgados los autores materiales e intelectuales de tan despreciable hecho aunque sea de conocimiento público quienes son dichos autores.

Así mismo nos demuestran, en su más puro estilo caciquil priista, la impunidad de la que gozan, dentro de los gobiernos estatal y federal, los cárteles del narcotráfico y diversos giros negros como la trata de blancas, la prostitución, la pornografía infantil, la pedofilia, todo bajo conocimiento y venta de protección del gobierno de Ulises Ruíz.

La falta de castigo a los culpables de los asesinatos de 26 activistas de la APPO en 2006 por parte de los escuadrones de la muerte comandados por Franco Vargas a petición del genocida URO y solapado por el gobierno federal panista y los partidos estatales, haciendo de los agredidos y ofendidos de siempre, el pueblo, los agresores a los que hay que castigar para que no se atrevan nuevamente a reclamar lo que por derecho nos pertenece.

La encarcelación, en contra de toda lógica del appista Juan Alejandro por la imputación de homicidio en contra del reportero de Indimedia, cuando los servicios periciales que se apegan a la verdad y no las investigaciones sesgadas de la PGR, señalan que el disparo fue hecho por pistoleros priistas al servicio del edil, priista para no variar, nótese nuevamente como es que el gobierno estatal y federal encubren a los asesinos, siendo con esto, nuevamente, cómplices del hecho.

La desaparición forzada de luchadores sociales, practicado por el gobierno estatal y federal, crimen de lesa humanidad, es hoy, nuevamente, un método más para golpear al movimiento social aglutinado en las diversas organizaciones sociales que no han sido cooptadas, mediatizadas o compradas con dinero del erario público y que dignamente resisten.

Después de la represión masiva vivida por los pueblos de Oaxaca en el 2006, la represión selectiva es hoy por hoy, el método de coerción que le permite al gobierno detener la reagrupación y organización de nuestros pueblos. Debemos estar atentos a los intentos de cooptación e infiltración que el Estado mexicano por medio de sus servicios de inteligencia intenta en contra de las organizaciones.

El recuento de hechos y ofensas hacia el pueblo son excesivas, lesivas y genocidas, los poderosos de ayer y hoy siempre impunes, creen que nada pasa y que podrán mantener su despótica manera de gobernar sin que nuestro pueblo digno y harto del desprecio, la intolerancia, la violencia, la explotación… levante su voz, se una y se organice para construir junto su futuro.

Las condiciones de pobreza y marginación que vivimos en Oaxaca y en el país en general hacen de esto un polvorín y más temprano que tarde será insostenible para los poderosos e insoportable para nosotros, pueblo en general.

Debemos de entender que no se puede construir organización sobre castillos de arena, que las bases que cimienten el trabajo de construcción de cada uno de nosotros, sea quien sea y en el ámbito en el que se encuentre, debe estar basada en principios que compartamos y que rijan nuestra vida y nuestras actividades políticas, rechazando todo aquello que nos oprime, divide y confronta, evitando fortalecer al enemigo común

Necesario es decir que debemos, pero imprescindible es hacer lo que decimos y el esfuerzo es construir desde aquí y desde ahora una nueva patria con una nueva visión, que nos incluya a todos que articule a todo el pueblo en un frente único contra la hegemonía neoliberalfascista de la burguesía imperialista y de la oligarquía nacional, en torno a un nuevo proyecto de Nación, que fusione las voluntades dispares en una sola voluntad colectiva nacional, mediante una Línea Política Común, una dirección política compartida, una nueva cultura incluyente y solidaria, una nueva economía y una ética crítica, disruptiva y libertaria en la construcción del Poder Popular.

El tiempo apremia y la paciencia se agota, a construir Poder Popular.




Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca, febrero de 2009

40 Years of Youth Liberation

Commentary, Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez

New American Media

In my class, History of Red-Brown Journalism & Communications, at the University of Arizona, I see the future mayor of Tucson. I see it in her eyes. In another student, I see the next Sandra Cisneros. I hear it in her Xochitl In Cuicatl – in her poetry and song. I also see the next Ruben Salazar. In others, I’m not sure if I’m seeing Malcolm X, Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta or Barack Obama. In still others, I see temixtianis or great teachers, members of the noblest profession.

These same students are found in every corner of the nation. Some of them are former students of Raza Studies at Tucson Unified School District. Others are direct descendants of the 1969 Chicano Youth Liberation Conference, convened by Denver’s Crusade for Justice. Others are members of Movimiento Estudiantli Chicano de Aztlan or MEChA, also founded 40 years ago.

I can proudly say that I was part of that movement in its incipient Stages. Not as a founder, but simply as a youngster who was swept up in this youth liberation movement. I was not even Chicano, but what one of my students terms a Mexican Mexicano. I never got be a Mexican American, much less Hispanic. In spirit, this volcanic political eruption was akin to the Mexican Independence Movement of 1810 and also the Mexican Revolution of 1910. We rebelled, not simply because of a war or because of the daily denigration in the schools, the streets or the factories, in the cities and fields; more than anything, we rebelled against dehumanization.

Often missing from history’s pages is preeminent American-Indian scholar Jack Forbes, who was part of the founding of another movement in the early 1960s: Movimiento Nativo Americano or the Native American Movement, which at its core called upon people of Mexican, Central and South American origin to reclaim their Indigenous roots. This was the antecedent for the Chicano Movement.

And now, we know that Mexican youth in this country had actually rebelled in the previous generation, creating the Mexican American Movement. Pioneer University of Southern California journalism professor Felix Gutierrez, whose parents were part of this national organization, recalls that they did not use acronyms in those days. But they, too, fought for their human rights.

If you did deep enough, you find that Mexicans in this country have been rebelling against oppression since 1848. That’s what the students in my class are finding out. Particularly, they are finding writers from the 1800s and early 1900s – many of them women – who led and/or documented many of these struggles. But it is said that the rebellions actually started even earlier, when the first arrow was shot at the Spanish conquistadores.

This 1960s Movement was tumultuous and convulsive. Some of what was created was romantic or idealistic. And some of it was not very liberating. Chicanas had to rebel to assert Chicana Power! Mexicanos/Mexicanas, Central/South Americans, Indigenous peoples, or peoples from the LGBT community weren't included in the liberation, either.

All these communities continue to have to assert their rights as full human beings. Yet, it cannot be denied that a tornado-like force was unleashed that created something unique, including the discipline of Raza or Chicano/Chicano Studies. Where once people denied their Mexicanness and/or their Indigeneity – and meekly accepted their subjugation--people began to grasp for anything that affirmed our right to exist.

Whereas a generation ago young Chicanos, including Mechistas, competed to see who was the most Chicano/Indigenous and revolutionary, we now see them express more clearly a broader concern for all of humanity. I see it in their opposition to yet another interventionist war, their fight against the criminalization and incarceration of youth of color and in their battles against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (who is now being investigated by the feds for racial profiling). I have seen it when these youth, some as young as 10, testify before bureaucrats in defense of and for the expansion of Raza Studies. They fight not simply for their rights, but the rights of all peoples.

Forty years later, the fire remains. So, too, the courage, love and intelligence. And it continues to evolve. It’s called Ollin or movement. Wisdom or 52 years is around the corner, and with it, human liberation. Not simply resistance, but Creation.

Rodriguez, who writes columns for New America Media, including Arizona
Watch, can be reached at:

El triunfo del FMLN en El Salvador significa el fracaso de la política del miedo

Los grupos ex guerrilleros llegan al poder

Augusto Zamora R.


Hay hechos que trascienden el pequeño espacio donde se producen. Como el resultado electoral en El Salvador, bastión de una de las oligarquías más reaccionarias del continente. Bastión también de uno de los pocos ejércitos que ha rehusado entonar el más elemental mea culpa por la riada de crímenes perpetrados en una década de guerra, entre ellos los asesinatos de monseñor Romero y de los jesuitas en la Universidad Centroamericana; sin olvidar los cientos de pueblos campesinos que fueron arrasados, dentro de la brutal estrategia de tierra quemada.

La firma de la paz, en 1992, dejó a las fuerzas de izquierda entre la amargura y el desconcierto. La derecha (cúpula militar, oligarquía, empresarios), agrupada en Arena, el partido creado por DAbuisson, autor intelectual de decenas de crímenes, se convirtió en una máquina de ganar elecciones.

El trauma de la desmovilización y el desarme después de resistir con heroicidad sin límites diez años de guerra pasó factura al FMLN. Creado casi con fórceps a principio de los ochenta, bajo el impulso de la triunfante revolución sandinista, los grupos que formaron el Frente Farabundo Martí vivieron un proceso difícil de unión.

Con la paz, muchas fisuras revivieron, agravadas por rupturas, deserciones y luchas internas. Ganaban alcaldías, algunas tan importantes como la de San Salvador, pero Arena les derrotaba una y otra vez en legislativas y presidenciales.

De fondo, las terribles campañas de miedo, advirtiendo de las represalias que tomaría Washington si ganaba el FMLN, en un país con dos millones de emigrantes en EEUU. Similares eran las campañas en Guatemala y Nicaragua. El triunfo del FMLN significa el fracaso de la política del miedo, que durante decenios ha paralizado a los pueblos.

La victoria de la izquierda salvadoreña llega en un momento especial, pues halla en el Gobierno a sus dos organizaciones hermanas: FSLN, en Nicaragua, y URNG, en Guatemala. Por eso el triunfo del FMLN se celebra como propio en esos países, que ven cómo por vez primera las naciones con mayor tradición guerrillera son gobernados por coaliciones nacidas de las organizaciones que protagonizaron la lucha contra las tiranías.

Aherrojados en su debilidad, los países centroamericanos necesitan unos de otros para sacar adelante proyectos políticos progresistas. Desde la afinidad y la hermandad fraguada en la guerra y en la paz, la suma de gobiernos de izquierda hará más fácil la aplicación de estrategias que combatan la desigualdad y la violencia, dos de las mayores lacras de la región.

Ha costado sangre, dolor y una perseverancia infinita, pero con el triunfo del FMLN, Centroamérica, traspatio del patio trasero, tierra de gamonales y tiranos, bautizada despectivamente banana republic, tiene ahora la oportunidad de avanzar en dos sueños históricos: su reunificación y la construcción de sociedades menos injustas. Los pueblos han votado. Toca ahora que los gobiernos de izquierda cumplan su parte.

Political Prisoners Struggle for Justice

News Report, Saeed Shabazz

Final Call

Defenders of Native American activist Leonard Peltier, 64, are turning their attention to President Barack Obama hoping that the new administration will move the issue of his incarceration to the front burner.

Supporters of Native American activist Leonard Peltier hope that the Obama administration will do justice in his case.

Supporters from around the nation gathered Feb. 6 in Denver, Colo., to commemorate the 33rd anniversary of Mr. Peltier’s 1977 conviction in the murder of two FBI agents during a shootout on a South Dakota Indian reservation.

Over the years Mr. Peltier has garnered worldwide support from political leaders, organizations such as Amnesty International, the Dalai Lama and various celebrities. Observers say the underlying themes of whether he received a fair trial—and acknowledgement of historical abuses against Native Americans, huge poverty on reservations, horrifying suicide rates and high unemployment—fuel Mr. Peltier’s support base.

David Hill, 65, of Oklahoma, national coordinator for the Leonard Peltier Defense-Offense Committee joined the American Indian Movement with Mr. Peltier in the 1970s. He explained to The Final Call that Mr. Peltier’s supporters are turning to President Obama for executive clemency.

“We believe now more than ever in Leonard’s innocence and he has been a model prisoner. So why not free him?” Mr. Hill asked.

Former 2008 Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney in a letter to President Obama said, pardoning Mr. Peltier “is but a down payment on the path of justice and reconciliation our country so sorely needs. Peltier should be released. He has become a global symbol of injustice and prison abuse; a man who was never given a fair trial,” Ms. McKinney stated in her letter.

Amnesty International acknowledged Mr. Peltier’s status as a political prisoner in actions before the United Nations in 1992 and in a statement commemorating the 33rd anniversary of his incarceration noted that they recognize a retrial is no longer a feasible option. “Leonard Peltier should be irrevocably and unconditionally released,” Amnesty International said.

Attorney Michael Kuzma of Buffalo, N.Y., has become Mr. Peltier’s lead counsel and he informed The Final Call that he just visited his client at the Lewisburg Federal Facility on Feb. 21. “He is in good spirits, and he wants to thank all of his supporters for standing with him during those difficult days when he had been transferred out of Lewisburg to the Canaan facility. He wants to get support for a transfer closer to his South Dakota home, where he believes the atmosphere would be more conducive to possible parole after his December hearing,” Mr. Kuzma said.

Mr. Kuzma also said supporters believe they have a friendly ear in the White House now.

President Obama on Feb. 10 appointed Jodi Archambault Gillette, a member of the Sioux Nation, as deputy associate director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, which was held by a non-Native American during the days of the Bush administration.

First lady Michelle Obama made an historical visit to the Interior Dept. on Feb 10, saying, “Barack has pledged to honor the unique government to government relationship between tribes and the federal government.”

But developments have also occurred with other political prisoners. News concerning Mumia Abu Jamal’s case came in an e-mail message from his San Francisco-based attorney, Robert R. Bryan. “On Feb. 4, the U.S. Supreme Court docketed and accepted for filing the ‘Petition for Writ of Certiorari’ that had been submitted on Dec. 19, 2008,” Mr. Bryan said.

Mr. Abu Jamal was sent to death row in 1983 for the 1981 murder of a Philadelphia police officer during a traffic stop. Mr. Abu Jamal was well known as an activist with the Black Panther Party and for his hard-hitting investigative community journalism.

“The central issue in this case is racism in jury selection. The prosecutor systematically removed people from sitting on the trial jury because of the color of their skin,” said Mr. Bryan.

Mr. Bryan warned that the city prosecutor was attempting to overturn the ruling by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which found that the death penalty ruling was incorrect and ordered a new trial on the question of the death sentence. The attorney said that he had filed a brief of opposition with the Supreme Court on Feb. 13.

“Now what occurs in the Supreme Court will determine whether Mumia will have a new trial or die,” Mr. Bryan stressed.

Another important hearing concerning a political prisoner will take place March 3 before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Albert Woodfox, one of the Angola 3 inmates in Louisiana. Herman Wallace, Robert King and Mr. Woodfox were convicted of killing a prison guard in 1973 at the 18,000 acre former slave plantation known as Angola state prison. The men were held for 36 years in solitary confinement and in 2001, Mr. King was freed. The three had become outspoken critics of the conditions at Angola, which began to receive attention from Black Louisiana politicians and prison activists. In July 2008, a federal judge over turned Mr. Woodfox’s conviction after a state judicial magistrate ruled his trial was unfair due to inadequate legal representation, prosecutorial misconduct, suppression of exculpatory evidence and racial discrimination in the grand jury selection process.

Each side will argue on March 3 for 20 minutes after which the court could take from one to six months to render a decision. If the jurists uphold the ruling, the state has 120 days to decide to re-try Mr. Woodfox or release him, according to his supporters.

The trials and tribulations of Imam Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin continue and Karimah Al-Amin, his attorney and wife, reported that towards the end of 2008 her husband was transferred from a Georgia state prison to a supermax facility in Florence, Colo. “This stems from a March 1990 agreement between Georgia and the federal prison system that people they cannot handle could be sent to a federal facility, and Georgia would pay for it,” Ms. Al-Amin explained to The Final Call.

She said the imam was recently “stripped searched and placed into a cell with no bed, no shower and no control over the lights. They have also taken his Qur’an,” Ms. Al-Amin said. “When he asked a guard when he could make a phone call, the guard told him in 90 days.”

Imam Al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown, was a founder of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He was convicted in 2002 of killing a Georgia sheriff’s deputy and wounding another while they attempted to serve a warrant for a traffic ticket.

“The continued harassment of the imam is a continuation of the government’s COINTEL program,” Ms. Al-Amin said. The government is also angry that he continues to preach Islam whenever he enters the prison population, she said. “It’s just the way they have treated him over the past 40 years,” Ms. Al-Amin said.

In 2001, neo-conservative columnist, Daniel Pipes wrote concerning the imam: “Even as he sits in a Georgia jail, the Washington-based American Muslim Council hails him as a leader in the American Muslim community.”

To support Imam Al-Amin’s release from solitary confinement please write: Warden Ron Wiley, USP Florence ADMAX, U.S. Penitentiary, P.O. Box 8500, Florence, Colo. 81226. The imam’s prison ID number is 99974-555.


El zapatismo inauguró una nueva forma de acción política

Ángel Vargas

La Jornada

El alzamiento del Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (EZLN) representó no sólo la renovación de la esperanza y la utopía en el mundo. También significó el nacimiento de un nuevo paradigma internacional de organización, resistencia y lucha.

Así lo sostiene la periodista y académica Guiomar Rovira, quien aborda dicho aspecto en Zapatistas sin fronteras (Ediciones Era), su libro más reciente, que fue presentado en la unidad Xochimilco de la Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, con los comentarios de Raymundo Mier, Carmen de la Peza y Elisa Benavides.

Mandar obedeciendo

En entrevista con La Jornada, la docente e investigadora catalana Guiomar Rovira sostiene que el zapatismo creó la simiente de una posibilidad de lucha dentro de los movimientos sociales desde estructuras horizontales, del mandar obedeciendo.

Ha sido, especifica, un detonador que ha impregnado el discurso de la izquierda y de los movimientos libertarios y sociales en el mundo.

“Cuando ya nadie pensaba que era posible una guerrilla o un movimiento armado, apareció el zapatismo diciendo ‘Ya basta’. La gente en el mundo simpatizó directamente con eso, con la idea de que es posible luchar a pesar de las circunstancias tan adversas. Es un movimiento que interpeló esa emoción y que creció en redes y luego en el movimiento antiglobal”, indica.

“En un momento en que ya no había referentes a los cuales adherirse, cuando las ideologías viejas ya no convocaban, surgió en Chiapas un discurso con el que se identificaron y simpatizaron un sinfín de personas y diversos movimientos sociales y de resistencia en el mundo.”

Así, las personas comenzaron a difundir la información y el entusiasmo por su cuenta. Se valieron de las nuevas tecnologías, en particular de Internet, que en esos años apenas comenzaba a extenderse por el mundo, explica.

De esa manera se inauguró una nueva forma de acción política: la posibilidad de estructurarse en red, una estructura sin estructura, abierta en todos los canales y que tiene capacidad de acción colectiva con incidencia real, a la cual la especialista denomina zapatismo trasnacional.

“No fue algo planeado ni decidido por el EZLN, al contrario de lo que se creía, que Marcos estaba en medio de la selva con su computadora generando sus comunicados y manteniendo informado al resto del mundo.”

Según Guiomar Rovira, con la aparición de Internet los círculos activistas en México y el resto del planeta vieron la posibilidad de la revolución horizontal, el triunfo de la posibilidad de una rebelión libertaria, sin jefes ni estructuras, sino que cada quien desde su trinchera, sin el sacrificio de la militancia: una rebelión de la comunicación.

“Nació con el zapatismo un nuevo ciclo de protestas que tuvo su parte culminante con el altermundismo, con todo lo que ha sido el movimiento antiglobalización, toda esa capacidad de impugnar el modelo neoliberal, la cual se clausura a mediados de esta década de 2000 con la guerra de Irak, ante el fracaso de todas las movilizaciones que se realizaron en el mundo para evitarla”, agrega.

“De cierta manera acabó ese optimismo que despertó con el zapatismo de las posibilidades de actuar en común y concertadamente en muchos lugares diversos del planeta, desde muchas trincheras distintas, y que se encadena con la resistencia global.

“En realidad, esta nueva forma de lucha comenzó a perder fuerza en 2001, con el ataque a las Torres Gemelas y las repercusiones que acarreó, entre ellas la criminalización de la protesta, la idea de terrorismo, la tecnología usada para la vigilancia, la guerra y la destrucción.”

Promesas utópicas de redención

Si bien ubica al zapatismo como un movimiento social vigente y contemporáneo, la periodista Guiomar Rovira observa la situación mundial con “un pesimismo absoluto.

“El activismo social es más realista, se ha dado cuenta de que esas promesas utópicas de la redención mediante la tecnología y la comunicación, pues quedan en eso: en promesas. Eso ya se vio rebasado por el comercio, la criminalidad, la pornografía, incluso basura virtual”, asegura.

“La tecnología, en el fondo, se ha desarrollado, no tanto para la liberación, sino para el control absoluto. Ante ello, el activismo social tiene que pensar y buscar por dónde. Y actualmente se encuentra en esa etapa de reflexión y reconsideración.”

Has a Comedian Just Saved America?

Jon Stewart's Epiphany



As testimony to how Orwellian life has become under the outrages of Wall Street hubris, last week saw a comedian, who poses as an anchor on a fake news show, grab the reins of the Wall Street investigation from the actual investigators in Congress.

Either Jon Stewart is the smartest man in America or he has incredible instincts. In a week’s time, he has zeroed in, like a heat-seeking missile, on the core of Wall Street’s malady. How insightful of Stewart, host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” to rationalize that the core of Wall Street’s corruption might well be the same core that it has drawn the darkest curtain around: trading.

Stewart is the son of an educational consultant mother (Marion Leibowitz), physicist father (Donald Leibowitz) and trading technology guru brother (Larry Leibowitz) an executive at the New York Stock Exchange. He’s got a smart family and he’s equally smart, advancing the national debate on a comedy channel.

After a week of explosive commentary and video clips of questionable reporting at the cable business network, CNBC, Stewart interviewed Jim Cramer on Thursday, March 12. Cramer hosts CNBC’s “Mad Money” show which promotes itself as an advocate for the small investor while, at the same time, suggesting lots of buying and selling of specific stocks. Stewart used the highly anticipated interview to show a devastating clip revealing Cramer to be the embodiment of the market manipulators that he rails against on his show. Acknowledging on the clip that he would never say something like this on TV, Cramer states:

“You know, a lot of times when I was short at my hedge fund and I was positioned short, meaning I needed it down, I would create a level of activity beforehand that could drive the futures. It doesn’t take much money.”

Allow me to translate:

You know, a lot of times when I was making a large bet that prices would decline in a specific stock or bond or derivative when I worked in the largely unregulated world of private money called hedge funds, and I needed to give that decline a little unseen assistance to make my bets profitable, I would go into the futures market to trade. That’s because I could put down as little as 4 to 10 percent of the money I needed for the trade and borrow the balance in what is called a margin account.

The academics and economists (none of whom ever worked a day on Wall Street) have been telling us in OpEds and speeches and testimony before Congress that the crumbling Wall Street structure results from bundled subprime mortgages, collateralized debt obligations, credit default swaps, and asset backed securities.

Trillions of dollars of taxpayers’ funds have been spent on the premise that these toxic assets are the problem. The fate of a nation has been staked on that analysis: that if we get these assets off the balance sheets of the major firms, the credit spigots will begin to flow once again, the banks will once again trust each other and lend to each other, and investors will resume buying stocks and bonds with their confidence in the system restored.

Stewart’s weeklong commentary and clips helped to dramatically expose this logic as bogus. None of the toxic instruments would have grown to a problem capable of collapsing the country’s financial system if their trading had been regulated, transparent and fairly reported on by mainstream media. The security instruments were never the problem; how they were traded was the problem. For example, the mortgage and debt securities were, in reality, junk bonds but they were tradedas triple A. They were not traded on an exchange where price discovery would have shown them to be junk bonds, they were traded in an opaque over the counter market. In the case of credit default swaps, they were traded in a market created by the very firms who needed to hide for as long as possible (while executives reaped windfall compensation and bonuses) the dubious pricing of the securities and gargantuan amounts being issued. (See CounterPunch column How Wall Street Blew Itself Up.)

Wall Street is supposed to have an early warning system that if something is amiss it will self correct in time to avoid a collapse of the system. That early warning system is known as price action. In other words, the trading price of Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and AIG should have begun a downward trajectory years ago as these firms loaded up on leveraged junk. There is only one possible scenario, in my opinion, to explain why this did not happen: trading in the market was rigged. Thanks to Jim Cramer, the public now knows how easy it is to get stock prices to move up or down. (As one more example, see Wall Street Powerhouses Invested Alongside Madoff.)

To be a fair marketplace, the trading price of stocks and bonds must represent the composite wisdom of all market participants who have the same opportunity to ferret out information from public sources. When trading is internalized at the big Wall Street firms (meaning they are allowed to match customer stock orders in-house), when they are able to create and clandestinely operate their own trading venues off the radar screens of the regulators, when they are able to create offshore vehicles like Structured Investment Vehicles to hide bets gone bad, there is no longer any composite wisdom. There is only dumbed down information which the public possesses from CNBC and the superior information available to those operating inside the clandestine system. (See Maria Bartiromo and the Co-Branding of CNBC and Citigroup.)

The big Wall Street firms that taxpayers are bailing out even gobbled up some of the largest specialist firms. Those are the folks who are required to maintain fair and orderly markets on the regulated stock exchanges. But here’s what the specialists are really doing, according to charges disclosed on March 4, 2009 by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC):

“…from 1999 through 2005, the firms violated their basic obligation as specialists to serve public customer orders over their own proprietary interests. As specialist member firms on one or more of the regional and options exchanges, the firms had a duty to match executable public customer or ‘agency’ buy and sell orders and not to fill customer orders through trades from the firm's own accounts when those customer orders could be matched with other customer orders. However, the firms violated this obligation by filling orders through proprietary trades rather than through other customer orders, thereby causing millions of dollars of customer harm.”

The $70 million in disgorgement and penalties the SEC charged 14 specialist firms (some of which are owned by Wall Street powerhouses like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup) is now effectively coming out of the taxpayers’ pocket since these are two firms enrolled in the taxpayer cash for toxic asset trash bailout bonanza. In other words, the public investor is now paying back the money that was stolen from the public investor in the continuing Wall Street saga of heads I win, tails you lose. Is it any wonder it takes a comedian to deal with this stuff.

The speed at which Congress begins daily sessions investigating trading of both toxic and non toxic securities will determine the speed at which this country begins to rebuild from the ashes.

After the 1929 crash and as the nation entered the Great Depression in the early 1930s, the Senate convened hearings by the Committee on Banking and Currency that peeled back month after month from 1932 to 1934 previously impenetrable layers of trading fraud. Each layer of fraud opened a window into the next layer. The hearings did not focus on assets, toxic or otherwise, it focused on the trading of assets: how Wall Street created dark pool operators (today’s hedge funds) to trade on inside information and manipulate prices; how some of the most respected men on Wall Street had participated in trading frauds; how some of the largest firms were secretly manipulating stock prices; how respected business columnists were taking bribes from Wall Street players to move trading prices.

I’ve often pondered just how it was that every large brokerage firm had the same idea at almost the same time in the early 1990s: to put a TV set airing CNBC in every stockbroker’s office. The managers came around and offered the broker a deal they couldn’t refuse: a deeply discounted price on the TV and the firm would install it hanging from the edge of the ceiling so it wouldn’t take up precious desk space. Out of 55 brokers in my office at the time, only myself and one other broker declined. Can you think of any other industry that wants its workers sitting around watching TV instead of working? Unless, of course, what CNBC is telling brokers to buy and sell is actually considered part of the work day by the Wall Street masters.

As you ponder that, consider this excerpt from testimony given at the Friday, June 3, 1932 Senate hearings:

William A. Gray, Counsel to the Committee: So that the committee may understand the matter which I am now going to present, permit me to say that I am going to show by Mr. Lion himself that he is a publicity man, and that for a period of three years he was acting for numerous brokerage houses in the city of New York, that he furnished through various journals, including radio speeches, publicity for certain stocks, pools which were then being operated by the brokerage houses, he being paid for such by cash and by being given calls on the particular stocks in questions, at prices that he could sell them to his advantage, the brokerage house of course giving him credit for same in an account which he carried and settling with him the same as they would settle with any other person who had actually bought and sold, he not being required to put up any cash at all. Now, Mr. Lion, please give us your full name.

Mr. Lion: David M. Lion…

Mr. Gray: What is your business?

Mr. Lion: Financial publicity.

Mr. Gray: How long have you been engaged in that business?

Mr. Lion: Five years or more.

Mr. Gray: Prior to engaging in that business and for the past five years have you at any time conducted a paper of your own?

Mr. Lion: Yes.

Mr. Gray: What was the name of that paper?

Mr. Lion: The Stock and Bond Reporter…

Mr. Gray: How long did you continue the use of the radio for the purpose of disseminating information about stocks?

Mr. Lion: I used it all of 1929…

Mr. Gray: Now, you did not do your own radio talking, did you?

Mr. Lion: No, sir.

Mr. Gray: What was the name of the man you employed to do your radio talking?

Mr. Lion: I employed William J. McMahon…

Mr. Gray: Who is he?

Mr. Lion: He was an economist…

Mr. Gray: Each of his talks was devoted to a particular stock, wasn’t it?

Mr. Lion: No.

Mr. Gray: Sometimes only one stock?

Mr. Lion: Yes, sir…

Mr. Gray: But when he ended up his talk as a usual thing he referred to a particular stock and boosted it. That is true, isn’t it?

Mr. Lion: Yes, sir.

Mr. Gray: And he was a salaried man on your staff for that purpose, wasn’t he?

Mr. Lion. Yes, sir.

Jon Stewart has opened the floodgates. Let the hearings begin.

Pam Martens worked on Wall Street for 21 years; she has no security position, long or short, in any company mentioned in this article. She writes on public interest issues from New Hampshire. She can be reached at

“La CIA fracasó en tergiversar y comercializar el Diario de Ernesto Che Guevara”

Mario Casasús

El Clarín de Chile

Hernán Uribe Ortega (Chile, 1924) preside la Comisión Investigadora de Atentados a Periodistas (CIAP-FELAP), en representación del Comité Ejecutivo al ser cofundador de la Federación Latinoamericana de Periodistas. En entrevista con El Clarín de Chile habla del rescate del Diario del Che, recuerda su primer trabajo como secretario personal de Neruda y defiende la querella de Punto Final en contra del Estado chileno “ por el derecho a opinar diferente” .

Autor de: Fulgor y muerte de Pablo Neruda (1983); Ética periodística en América Latina (1984); Operación Tía Victoria. Cómo entregamos el Diario del Che a Cuba (1987); La guerra secreta de las noticias (1988); El Periodismo en la Formación Histórica de los Pueblos Iberoamericanos (1988); La hora fatal de los agoreros (1999) y La invisible mordaza. El mercado contra la prensa (2000).

Durante su paso por Cuba –invitado como Jurado del Premio Casa de las Américas- Hernán Uribe declaró en exclusiva el origen del seudónimo Operación Tía Victoria, la ruta de Bolivia a Chile y de México a Cuba para editar el Diario de Ernesto Che Guevara: “Hay dos razones por las que se llamó así mi libro: la consigna ‘Hasta la Victoria siempre’ y -primera vez que lo digo- porque en una comunicación que teníamos que enviar a La Habana utilizamos la treta para hablar en clave: ‘Viaja la tía’ en referencia a que el periodista Mario Díaz llevaba el microfilm del Diario del Che con destino a Cuba”.

“Fui la primera persona –en Chile desde luego y seguramente en todo el ámbito periodístico- en saber que el Ministro del Interior de Bolivia quería hacer entrega del documento según su mensaje a Fidel Castro, el mérito -en realidad la suerte- fue saber la intención de Arguedas y haberle creído a su mensajero. Me favoreció que yo estuve en Bolivia en mayo de 1967 en plena guerrilla –mi visita no era inocente- habíamos más de 50 periodistas extranjeros en La Paz, todos interesados en el juicio contra Ciro Bustos y Régis Debray (ambos colaboradores -no guerrilleros- del Che Guevara) de manera que había muchas personalidades, como la mamá de Régis, Janine Debray era concejal en París; el gobierno boliviano, mejor dicho la dictadura, negaba la existencia del Che en Bolivia, incluso un general dio por muerto al Che antes de tiempo; había una gran preocupación porque proclamaban que la guerrilla tenía de 300 a 500 integrantes y esa era la explicación de por qué el ejército no podía extinguir a la guerrilla; logramos entrevistar al dictador Barrientos y en esa conferencia de prensa reconoció -por primera vez- que Debray estaba preso. En Bolivia no existía la pena de muerte, de manera que no daban a conocer el encarcelamiento porque la idea era matar a Ciro Bustos y a Régis Debray –como ocurrió con el propio Che Guevara- no podían afrontar un juicio de ninguna naturaleza; el segundo mérito es haber escrito los entretelones de cómo el Diario del Che llegó a Cuba, fue un desarrollo sin inconvenientes, una de las características de este episodio en que logramos burlar a la CIA, el espionaje norteamericano conoció el Diario del Che antes que los militares bolivianos, así era el dominio de la CIA (…) Me dio muchísima emoción -cuando se publicó el Diario- ver que el Che escribe a propósito de las preguntas que yo le hice al dictador René Barrientos, en ese sentido quisiera subrayar cuál es la importancia de la publicación del Diario: antes de que se produjera su envío a Cuba, la CIA había publicado pedacitos y se difundían mentiras, por ejemplo que el Che hablaba muy bien de los militares bolivianos, de su capacidad operativa (sic) eso es completamente falso, no hay ninguna frase. Fracasó la idea primitiva de la CIA para comercializar y tergiversar el Diario del Che”.

MC.- Ha publicado cinco ediciones de Operación Tía Victoria. ¿Qué diferencias existen de la primera impresión en México a la cuarta editada por Ernesto Carmona?

HU.- La primera desde un punto de vista técnico es una muy bella edición, la tapa era el afiche de la famosa fotografía del Che en colores, no tiene fallas de impresión; en Chile también se editó bajo el sello Emisión de la revista Análisis, pero eso no lo conté aquí, fue una edición semi-secreta porque todavía estaba Pinochet (1987), sin embargo el dictador había terminado con la prohibición de editar sin el permiso del Ministerio de Defensa –lo cual es demostrativo de cómo eran las cosas en el Chile de aquella época- tampoco hubo presentación, de manera que pasó inadvertida; hasta el año 1997, precisamente, Ernesto Carmona hizo la segunda edición chilena que se llamó El Che: Rescate del Diario -bastante decorosa, sin embargo no circuló mucho porque no teníamos un aparato de distribución adecuado- Manuel Cabieses prologó la edición, 10 años después, con el título: La historia se escribe mañana y como epílogo Ernesto Carmona publicó su investigación sobre los Chilenos en la guerrilla boliviana. La primera edición cubana (1993) la imprimió el sello Pablo de la Torriente Brau, con una tapa muy bonita que incluía el mapa de Bolivia y la figura del Che en el trasfondo. Esta última edición cubana –que tú bien conoces- se presenta con la fotografía del Che caracterizado como el uruguayo “ Adolfo Mena González” , lo cual no le costaría mucho trabajo por el acento.

MC.- ¿El Ministro de Bolivia les informó de otras pertenencias del Che? lo pregunto porque en Sierra Maestra solían leer el Canto general de Neruda y en 2007 Paco Taibo II publicó el Cuaderno verde, con poemas de Vallejo, Guillén, Neruda y León Felipe transcritos por el Che…

HU.- No, el único trofeo de guerra que tenían los militares bolivianos era el Diario; lo que conocí es que en la mochila estaba una antología de Neruda, el Comandante Ernesto Guevara era un buen lector de poesía.

MC.- Continuando con la poesía, alguna vez –en Cuernavaca- me contó que usted trabajó con Neruda. ¿Cómo fue aquella experiencia?

HU.- Muy interesante porque Neruda ya era un ídolo poético de la juventud, yo tenía 20 años, fui un secretario clásico: él me dictaba, yo participaba un poco en ordenar la biblioteca y me daba algunas tareas, lo que hace alguien que necesita un secretario. En casa de Neruda conocí al poeta cubano Nicolás Guillén y a Ilya Ehrenburg, el gran escritor ruso. Tengo una anécdota con Neruda: yo fui el primero que digité Alturas de Machu Picchu (1944) Neruda me lo dio para que lo escribiera a máquina porque necesitaba enviarlo a Venezuela para su publicación en una revista de la Universidad Central, cuando Neruda recibió la noticia de que se había publicado me dio un cheque y dijo: -‘Hernán este es su primer sueldo, así que gástelo bien’ (risas).

MC.- Durante el exilio publicó su primer libro: Fulgor y muerte de Pablo Neruda (1983). Háblenos de su relación con México…

HU.- Conservo un gran cariño por México, no olvidaré la solidaridad ante el exilio latinoamericano; tú sabes que me quitaron la nacionalidad chilena en el año 1974 y el gobierno de México de inmediato me dio un documento –se llamaba de Identidad y viajes- que me permitió moverme por el mundo con algunas dificultades.

MC.- Al presidir la Comisión Investigadora de Atentados a Periodistas de la FELAP. ¿En qué lugar se ubica México en el riesgo del ejercicio periodístico?

HU.- Mira, México es el lugar con mayor número de periodistas asesinados, desde el año 2007 los atentados se ha incrementado notoriamente; durante el sexenio de Fox fueron asesinados 23 periodistas . Nosotros hacemos informes anuales, en ambos casos -2007 y 2008- México triplica el número de crímenes contra periodistas en relación a otros países de Latinoamérica, rebasó en esta lamentable estadística a Colombia, que antes era el país con mayor riesgo.

MC.- Finalmente, ¿qué avances presenta la querella de Punto Final en contra del Estado, El Mercurio y La Tercera?

HU.- Permanece el Juicio en el Tribunal de Defensa de la Libre Competencia y todavía no hay un fallo; yo califico a la prensa chilena, como un periodismo desastroso que ha bajado su calidad a raíz del sistema que protege: el neoliberalismo. Al no tener un contradictor, esa prensa hace lo que quiere, porque es la única.

The Blackout of the March 21 Mobilizations

Redbaiting on the Left



The War on Iraq drags on with no clear end in sight. The war on Afghanistan is being escalated. The war on Pakistan has also been stepped up, a war undeclared by Congress, therefore unconstitutional and the basis for an impeachment. All this has happened since Obama took office.

And yet with one exception, no national antiwar demonstration has been called. Worse, to a large degree the one demonstration called, for this coming weekend, March 21, has been blacked out on the “respectable Left.” This ugly fact was brought home to me quite strikingly yesterday at a meeting of single-payer activists, most also antiwar activists. No one with whom I spoke knew about the coming demonstration! Part of the reason is that some have tried to characterize this action as a fringe event, because it has been called by A.N.S.W.E.R., about which more below and with which this writer is not affiliated.

This mobilization has a list of endorsers which are cannot readily be dismissed. For starters: Cindy Sheehan, Code Pink, Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), Ron Kovic, Edward Asner, Mimi Kennedy, Ramsey Clark, School of the Americas Watch, San Francisco Labor Council (AFL-CIO) and many other labor locals as well as Green Party locals.

Despite this, the official peace movement, sock puppets of the Democrat Party, like MoveOn and UFPJ, is refusing to join or even to publicize this effort in any substantial way.

And this was predicted some time back by no less a monster than neocon McCarthyite David Horowitz who wrote in the Wall Street Journal not so many weeks ago as he gazed fondly on Obama’s inauguration:

“Consider: When President Obama commits this nation to war against the Islamic terrorists, as he already has in Afghanistan, he will take millions of previously alienated and disaffected Americans with him, and they will support our troops in a way that most of his party has refused to support them until now. When another liberal, Bill Clinton went to war from the air, there was no anti-war movement in the streets or in his party's ranks to oppose him. That is an encouraging fact for us…

And so it has come to pass.

Now some in UFPJ have characterized A.N.S.W.E.R. as loony lefties because a leading member is a group calling itself “Marxist-Leninist.” Zowie, kids! That is really scary! I remind such people that Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King were not deterred from allying with “Marxist-Leninists,” nor were any of those who joined in the fight against Nazism and Colonialism. What is the big deal? If A.N.S.W.E.R. is the only group willing to organize a loud and clear street opposition to the Obama version of war and empire, I for one will not be deterred from joining in by a pathetic bit of redbaiting. And if only those who call themselves “Marxists-Leninists” are willing to call such an action, then perhaps there is something in the wisdom of Marx, and Lenin, that remains of value.

So the question really is, Which side are you on? That of the Obamanation and the Democrat Party version of war and empire? Or on the side of public, mass opposition to the war? I hope that as many as possible choose the latter course – in D.C., L.A or S.F.

John Walsh can be reached at