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Judi Lynn

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In Peru's Inca capital, indigenous leaders struggle for recognition of their heritage

In Peru's Inca capital, indigenous leaders struggle for recognition of their heritage

PRI's The World
May 24, 2016 · 4:45 PM EDT

By Maria Murriel

A group of indigenous mayors, historians and activists gather for a candlelight vigil in Cuzco's main square to commemorate the 235th anniversary of freedom fighter and martyr Tupac Amaru, who was dismembered by Spanish colonists on the square.

Maria Murriel

Abigaíl Cárdenas Izquierdo thinks Cuzco is one of Peru's most revolutionary cities.

"It's not for nothing," the 18-year-old says, "we have Inca blood. I think Cuzco is one of the strongest cities, with the most conviction. ... We know what it is to fight."

Th city of Cuzco, once capital of the Inca empire that spanned most of western South America, has seen many fights. And the state of Cuzco is considered by some locals to be the birthplace of freedom from colonial rule, thanks to a man whose death was commemorated on the city's main square last week.

Tupac Amaru II, considered the last of royal Inca blood, led a rebellion against the Spanish and was drawn and quartered on the square in 1781. Amaru, his wife and children were dismembered, their limbs scattered through the region.

The people holding a vigil on the 235th anniversary of Amaru's death consider themselves his ethnic and ideological descendants.


May the Inca people finally build back their own world, and live in freedom.

Peru: Authorities Launch Money Laundering Probe Against Presidential Candidate

Peru: Authorities Launch Money Laundering Probe Against Presidential Candidate

Published: Wednesday, 25 May 2016 00:03

Authorities extended a preliminary investigation into alleged financial irregularities surrounding presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori, according to media reports based on leaked documents.

The probe was quietly launched in March, but a report last week in the Lima-based newspaper El Comercio brought new attention to the allegations, Voice of America said. Authorities are looking into her campaign contributions and land deals by her US citizen husband that total almost US$ 1 million. Some of the transactions that were flagged include two cocktail fundraisers and wire transfers from a company registered in the US, Deutsche Welle said.

Fujimori said at a news conference that citizens should not be deceived by the allegations, and added that she “found it interesting that these types of reports…are revealed two weeks from the presidential election.”

The allegations come just days after an ally of Fujimori resigned over a separate money laundering investigation. Media reported in mid-May that Congressman Joaquin Ramirez was being investigated by the US Drug Enforcement Agency. An informant allegedly taped a conversation in which Ramirez said that Fujimori gave him US$ 15 million to be laundered, Bloomberg said. According to the DEA, Fujimori is not under investigation in the case.


Quechua in the City

Quechua in the City

15 May, 2016 | Amy Booth


Photo: Amy Booth

The switch is instant. I’m in a dry river bed with my tour guide, David. One moment, he is explaining in clear, relaxed Spanish how fossilized dinosaur footprints are formed. The next, another tour guide passes and he switches into a swift, lilting chat punctuated by explosive little sounds, entirely unintelligible to me. He is speaking Quechua. David is one of several million Bolivians who are bilingual in Spanish and an indigenous language.

In the undulating, dusty national park of Torotoro, in northern Potosí, everyone from the shopkeepers to the toddlers speaks Quechua. Spanish feels like the language of tourists and outsiders, a lingua franca used to communicate but not to crack jokes or declare love.

We are four hours' drive on unpaved roads from Cochabamba, the nearest city. On the bus during the journey here, we passed small ramshackle huts made of adobe, the dried-earth building material traditional in the area. Small children spurred large herds of goats and sheep at the side of the road. Every so often, I would see a sign marking projects completed under the government's drive to eradicate extreme poverty.

Quechua – technically a family of languages given the difference between the varieties – is the most widely spoken indigenous language family in South America. Famously, it was the language of the Inca empire. Estimates vary, but the number of speakers is thought to be over 8 million – more than Danish, Finnish or Slovak.


Brazil: Social movements denounce 'institutional coup'

Brazil: Social movements denounce 'institutional coup'

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Brazil's Federal Senate voted on May 12 to proceed with the impeachment process against Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff in a move that many see as an attempt by the right-wing opposition to carry out an “institutional coup”.

In response, the Popular Brazil Front, a broad coalition that includes the Unified Workers' Central (CUT) and the Landless Rural Workers' Movement (MST), said in a statement that the senate had “capitulated in the face of the oligarchy's coup against the Constitution, and become an accomplice in the flagrant breach of the democratic order”.

The Front insisted: “The popular vote has been usurped by parliamentarians seeking to seize political power. Acting without the backing of elections, they are part of the coalition of conservative forces that came together to establish an illegitimate government at the service of large local and international economic groups.

The statement described Dilma's “temporary removal” as “nothing more than a farce: with no crime of responsibility having been committed, it is simply a means towards inflicting heavy setbacks on … Brazilian workers.

“The intentions of the coup leaders have been openly declared: cut wages, end the policy of increasing the minimum wage, cut spending on social programs, eliminate civil rights, privatise state enterprises, reduce public investment, annul constitutionally-imposed expenditure on health and education, abdicate national sovereignty in the face of imperialist centres.

“To fulfil this anti-people and anti-national program, they will not hesitate to go beyond the institutional coup in progress, adopting measures of criminalisation and repression against democratic resistance, social movements and progressive parties.”


Kasskara: Sunken Land of the Hopi Ancestors/Oraibi and Hopi History in North America

Life Arts 5/22/2016 at 07:07:37
Kasskara: Sunken Land of the Hopi Ancestors/Oraibi and Hopi History in North America

By Shawn Hamilton

* The first Americans DID NOT come over the Bering Strait south, but north from Kasskara, a sunken continent in the Pacific, via Easter Island, South America and Mexico.

* The current Hopi 'Aasa Clan' is related to a group formerly called the 'Astak', a group of Hopi ancestors the Spanish called the 'Aztec'.

*Hopi 'Kachinas' represent actual embodied beings that used technological equipment. The dolls bought by tourists today are for children and tourists. Kachinas are actual beings who came here to Earth in ancient times, helped the Hopi ancestors migrate, then eventually returned to their planet, according to the Hopi.

*Tiwanku was the first city built by Kachinas in the new South American continent as a home for the refugees of Kasskara. This continent has been called 'Lemuria' and in India 'Mu-Rutas'. The Hopis call it Kasskara, and they consider it their original home.

*It's time, perhaps, to rethink our cherished paradigms!

Oraibi is the oldest village on the North American continent and has been continuously inhabited since its foundation. Archaeologists have analyzed wood used in constructing Hopi houses and determined the village was created at about 1150 A.D., which White Bear said is off by thousands of years. Scientists didn't realize that the buildings they analyzed sat atop other villages lying below the current ruins. White Bear explained:

"The first village was founded 4.000 years ago. Oraibi was not the first village in this area. The very first one was called Shungopovi and was on the second mesa at the foot of the cliff, below the current village which bears the same name. At some point there was an argument between two brothers regarding a woman. The younger brother, Machito, decided to leave the village and to create his own village, which was called 'Oraibi' (Orayvi) , and it is still called this today. Machito, belonging to the Clan of the Bear and knowing all the traditions of his ancestors, brought to Oraibi something which today represents the most valuable of Hopi possessions--the four sacred boards, which his parents gave to him when he decided to create his village.

White Bear explained that several hundred years had elapsed before all the clans that were to come had arrived. Long before the creation of Oraibi, the clans that were to settle there had been selected, and even these selected clans could not come whenever they wished it. "Their Kachinas had to say to them, 'Now it is time for you to go there,' and then they came. It was the last time that the human beings could see their divinities. After that other Kachinas were designated to stay with the clans, but only in a spiritual form and not as a body," White Bear said. "Don't forget it."

He said each clan that wished to come to Oraibi had to settle initially within a few miles of the village. Many ruins in the surrounding area served as such provisional sites. After some time the clans could send their representatives to meet the chiefs in order to request permission to permanently settle. They were asked to explain the history of their migrations--where they had gone, what they had done, and whether they had followed the divine laws. Their complete history had to be reported to the leaders of the Clan of the Bear (this clan had authority due to its non-involvement in the destruction of Kasskara). In order to be accepted, however, it was not enough to have simply finished the migration; the clans were also required to specify how they envisioned participating in the ceremonies. 'There exists an annual cycle of ceremonies, which is complete only if all the ceremonies of each clan are represented,' White Bear said. "Consequently, a clan wanting to settle in Oraibi had to contribute to our cycle with its own ceremony."


EXCLUSIVE: Brazil, the World’s Second-Largest Black Nation, Has Been Taken Over by an All White Male

EXCLUSIVE: Brazil, the World’s Second-Largest Black Nation, Has Been Taken Over by an All White Male Cabinet — Here’s What’s at Stake for Its Afro-Descendants

May 22, 2016 | Posted by David Love

Brazil has the fifth-largest population and the sixth-largest economy in the world. And if the nation’s new government of all white men has its way, Black power will be erased. Brazil’s majority African-descended population will be shut out of the process, losing the socioeconomic and political gains they have made in recent years.

Aside from Nigeria, no other country has as many Black people as Brazil. And yet, one would not know this solely by looking at the recently installed cabinet. Although this is a story unto itself, it is only the beginning of the story.

When Brazil’s Senate voted to impeach leftist President Dilma Rousseff of the Worker’s Party — who was imprisoned and tortured in 1970 under the nation’s former military regime — it used charges of corruption as a pretext, a smokescreen for what has been called a coup d’etat, observers say. Rousseff is accused of manipulating the government’s financial accounts and hiding a budget deficit for political gain, as the BBC reported.

Meanwhile, Vice President Michel Temer — who is of Lebanese descent and served as a U.S. diplomatic informant, according to Wikileaks — has replaced Rousseff and appointed a cabinet of 22 white men. Temer and six of his new ministers also face corruption charges in connection with a scandal at Petrobas, the state-owned oil company, according to The Guardian.


Protests in Brazil's 2 biggest cities against acting leader

Source: Associated Press

Protests in Brazil's 2 biggest cities against acting leader

May 22, 5:28 PM EDT

Associated Press

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) -- Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Brazil's two biggest cities Sunday to protest acting President Michel Temer, trying to keep up pressure on his interim administration only 10 days after he was sworn in.

A march in Sao Paulo headed toward Temer's residence, but police blocked roads near the house and the interim president left for the capital of Brasilia hours earlier. Organizers estimated 2,000 people participated in the demonstration.

In Rio de Janeiro, about 1,000 protesters staged a march calling for Temer to resign.

Some protesters want suspended President Dilma Rousseff back. Temer replaced her after the Senate voted to suspend the president and put her on trial for allegedly breaking fiscal laws. If 54 of the 81 senators agree that she should be impeached, she would be permanently removed from office and Temer could hold the presidency through 2018.

Read more: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/L/LT_BRAZIL_PROTEST?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2016-05-22-16-39-56

Inequality drives our journalism

Inequality drives our journalism

Note from the Center

Inequality is an underlying issue in much of what we cover, whether it is the contribution tax avoidance makes to global inequality uncovered by the Panama Papers or the growing erosion of the middle class in the United States, as exposed by much of our money-in-politics-led reporting.

Net access as a human right

One coverage area that has enabled us to link policy to inequality is access to broadband in the United States. Rather than look at it through a purely speed or net neutrality lens, Allan Holmes has written about the social and economic implications of poor U.S broadband quality and access.

This week Allan launched a series – combined with an entirely new data set on the problem from Ben Wieder – showing how high-quality broadband availability mysteriously stops on the border of poorer suburbs across America. It’s a story built on reporting, a human narrative and importantly on data. The national perspective on the problem cannot be ignored if you look at the amazing national map of broadband access developed by Chris Zubak-Skees. I suspect that map, based on a new compilation of data described here by Ben, will become a definitive resource.

The video on the story by Eleanor Bell Fox is a strong exposition of the problem in a different medium.

Why do we care? Because, as one of the sources in the story says, access to broadband is now a necessity, not a luxury. “Internet access…is the civil rights issue of our time.” Huffington Post, our co-pubishing partner on the story recognized the importance of the piece with "front page" treatment.


A Secret Tunnel Found in Mexico May Finally Solve the Mysteries of Teotihuacán

A Secret Tunnel Found in Mexico May Finally Solve the Mysteries of Teotihuacán

The chance discovery beneath a nearly 2,000-year-old pyramid leads to the heart of a lost civilization

The Temple of the Plumed Serpent is adorned with carved snake heads and slithering bodies. (Janet Jarman)

By Matthew Shaer; Photographs by Janet Jarman
Smithsonian Magazine
June 2016

In the fall of 2003, a heavy rainstorm swept through the ruins of Teotihuacán, the pyramid-studded, pre-Aztec metropolis 30 miles northeast of present-day Mexico City. Dig sites sloshed over with water; a torrent of mud and debris coursed past rows of souvenir stands at the main entrance. The grounds of the city’s central courtyard buckled and broke. One morning, Sergio Gómez, an archaeologist with Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History, arrived at work to find a nearly three-foot-wide sinkhole had opened at the foot of a large pyramid known as the Temple of the Plumed Serpent, in Teotihuacán’s southeast quadrant.

“My first thought was, ‘What exactly am I looking at?’” Gómez told me recently. “The second was, ‘How exactly are we going to fix this?’”

Gómez is wiry and small, with pronounced cheekbones, nicotine-stained fingers and a helmet of dense black hair that adds a couple of inches to his height. He has spent the past three decades—almost all of his professional career—working in and around Teotihuacán, which once, long ago, served as a cosmopolitan center of the Mesoamerican world. He is fond of saying that there are few living humans who know the place as intimately as he does.

And as far as he was concerned, there wasn’t anything beneath the Temple of the Plumed Serpent beyond dirt, fossils and rock. Gómez fetched a flashlight from his truck and aimed it into the sinkhole. Nothing: only darkness. So he tied a line of heavy rope around his waist and, with several colleagues holding onto the other end, he descended into the murk.


Dear Senator: Do You Really Want Cancer Drugs To Be Super-Expensive?

Dear Senator: Do You Really Want Cancer Drugs To Be Super-Expensive?

Public health organizations are asking GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch why he seems so protective of pharmaceutical profits in Colombia.

5/19/2016 06:20 pm ET

Zach Carter 
Senior Political Economy Reporter, The Huffington Post

WASHINGTON — In late April, a Colombian diplomat sent two letters to leaders in Bogotá warning that efforts to lower the price of a major leukemia treatment could undermine a peace plan designed to end a half-century of conflict with Marxist rebels. After talks with both Obama administration trade officials and a key aide to Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Andrés Flórez of the Colombian embassy became convinced that the U.S. government was willing to cut off $450 million in peace funding to retaliate if Colombia curbed profits on Gleevec, a breakthrough cancer drug.

Neither Hatch nor the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative have denied pressuring Colombia over the medication or invoking the peace program in private talks. The Flórez letters were first published by the nonprofit group Knowledge Ecology International more than a week ago.
Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis currently charges nearly double Colombia’s per-capita income to provide a single patient with a one-year supply of Gleevec, also marketed as Glivec. By issuing a so-called compulsory license, the Colombian government could allow a generic competitor to provide a copy of the drug at a dramatically lower price.

On Thursday, Knowledge Ecology International and three other public health organizations wrote a letter to Hatch asking him to explain his position. Hatch chairs the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees U.S. trade policy for Congress.

“If these letters sent by the Embassy of Colombia are accurate, this is a highly inappropriate and wholly objectionable attempt to interfere with the right of the Colombian government to proceed with this compulsory license through threats and distortions,” the letter reads. “In our view it is particularly unconscionable that this be tied in any way to funding ... to support the peace process.”

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