Thursday, 5 November 2009

Killing civilians triggers demonstration in S Afghan province



An Afghan man accompanies a dead Afghan boy as the vehicle heads to Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009. Villagers in southern Afghanistan claimed an overnight air strike by international forces killed several civilians, including children. (AP Photo/Abdul Khaleq)

November 5, 2009

KABUL, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- A crowd of Afghans came to the streets of Helmand's provincial capital Lashkargah in south Afghanistan Thursday and denounced what they described arbitrary killing of civilians.

"Around 100 people carrying some dead bodies in Lashkargah Thursday morning accused NATO-led forces of killing nine civilians and calling on the government to investigate and punish those responsible," a protestor and demonstrator Hajji Hafizullah Khan told Xinhua.

He added that a NATO plane dropped a bomb on a family who were busy harvesting corn in their land in Babaji area outside Lashkargah, killing nine persons, including three children.

Meantime, spokesman of provincial administration Daud Ahmadi in talks with Xinhua confirmed the incident but said that all those killed were Taliban insurgents.

Taliban purported spokesman Qari Yusuf Ahmadi in talks with media via telephone from undisclosed location claimed that all those killed in the bombardment were not Taliban fighters.

A similar incident, which claimed the life of a civilian in the eastern Khost province, also took hundreds of people to the street on Thursday.

:: Article nr. 59766 sent on 05-nov-2009 15:31 ECT

NATO strike kills nine civilians in Helmand (Photogallery)


LASHKARGAH , Nov 5, 2009 : The body of a teenager killed by a rocket attack of the NATO-led soldiers lies in a vehicle after the residents of Babaji brought the body to the provincial capital, Lashkargah, as a protest against the killing of nine civilians. PAJHWOK/Zainullah Astanakzai

LASHKARGAH , Nov 5, 2009 : Two civilians killed by foreign troops in southern Helmand province late Wednesday night. Relatives of the victims brought the dead to provincial capital as a protest. PAJHWOK/Zainullah Astanakzai

The dead body of a local civilian lies in a civilian vehicle after he was killed in a rocket attack in the southern Helmand province late Wednesday nigh. PAJHWOK/Zainullah Astanakzai

An Afghan man accompanies a dead Afghan boy as the vehicle heads to Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009. Villagers in southern Afghanistan claimed an overnight air strike by international forces killed several civilians, including children. (AP Photo/Abdul Khaleq)

Afghan men peer into a car carrying a dead Afghan man in Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009. (AP Photo/Abdul Khaleq) 

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Mexico must investigate torture of two peasant farmers

Amnesty International

28 October 2009
The Mexican authorities must carry out an impartial investigation into the torture of two members of a peasant organization in Chiapas State, after they were arrested without a warrant, Amnesty International has said.

Roselio de la Cruz González and José Manuel de la Torre Hernández , who are currently held in a state prison, were blindfolded, bound and beaten during their interrogation, their lawyer said.

Roselio de la Cruz was beaten and threatened with death, while officials held a plastic bag over the head of José Manuel de la Torre until he almost suffocated. He was then forced to inhale water until he passed out.

Both men were forced to sign papers which they were not allowed to read.

Amnesty International also expressed its concern for a third member of the same organization, José Manuel Hernández Martínez, who is being held 2,000km away, where he is unable to see his lawyer and family.

All three men are accused of illegally occupying land in 2005.

Roselio de la Cruz González and Manuel de la Torre Hernández were both detained by Chiapas state police on 24 October.

The arrests took place during a raid in the Venustiano Carranza municipality on the homes of several members of Organización Campesina Emiliano Zapata (“Emiliano Zapata” Peasant Organisation, OCEZ).

José Manuel Hernández Martínez, a fellow OCEZ member, was arrested on 30 September.

On 16 October he was moved to a federal prison 2,000 km away. This is too far for his family and lawyer to visit him, meaning he is effectively held incommunicado.

Amnesty International has urged the Mexican authorities to:
  • guarantee  that Roselio de la Cruz and José Manuel de la Torre will not be tortured further or otherwise ill-treated;
  • conduct an impartial investigation into their torture, with those responsible brought to justice;
  • ensure that the two men are either released immediately, or charged promptly with a recognizably criminal offence and tried fairly according to international standards, with any evidence obtained through torture ruled inadmissible;
  • ensure that José Manuel Hernández Martínez has immediate access to his family and lawyer.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Venezuelan Farmer Activists March Against Killings by Estate Owners

"With Chavez, Homeland, Socialism, or Death," reads a banner at Thursday's march (FNCEZ website)
Mérida, October 3rd 2009 ( -- Thousands of farmer rights advocates marched in Guarico, Venezuela on Thursday to demand an end to impunity for the killings of 220 farmer organizers since the 2001 Land Reform Law was passed. The march was sparked by two recent attacks presumed to have been planned and paid for by large estate owners against well-known land reform activists.
Just outside the state headquarters of the National Land Institute (INTI) on September 11th, two unidentified men on a motorcycle shot José Pimentel, a leader of the Simon Bolivar National Farmers Front, in the body and the head, placing Pimentel in critical condition in a hospital emergency room.
Two weeks later, eight armed men attacked a group of 28 families who had collectively occupied idle sections of a large estate and were in the process of obtaining legal land titles from INTI. The assailants beat several people, destroyed property, shot one leader of the group twice in the legs, and ordered the group to leave the estate, according to a report by the Ezequiel Zamora National Farmers Rights Front (FNCEZ), which is named after the legendary 19th Century land reform fighter.
Since 2001, the government has redistributed more than two million hectares (5 million acres) of idle or underused land to small farmers and state-owned enterprises for food cultivation, for the most part by opening up state-owned land and also by expropriating some idle privately owned land.
During this process, however, hundreds of prominent land reform organizers have been attacked, illegally detained, or killed, in what appears to be a campaign led and financed by large estate owners to exterminate those who challenge their privilege and dominion in rural areas.
Following the September attacks, the president of the Farmer Federation of Venezuela, Miguel Moreno, declared that his organization and many other national farmer organizations were in a state of emergency, and remain on 24-hour vigil to protect the lives of their comrades.
Moreno praised the government's efforts to redistribute land, but criticized the judicial system, saying only a handful of investigations of the attacks against farmers have proceeded, and there have been no convictions thus far.
"We accompany the commander and president [Hugo Chavez] in his policy against the large estates," said Moreno. "We do not want to move toward an open confrontation or war in rural zones... we firmly believe in the institutions, we believe in our government [...] But we are tired of being the ones who die."
National Assembly Legislator Braulio Alvarez, who is also a national farmers' rights organizer, connected the killings of farmers to the infiltration of paramilitary groups from Colombia into Venezuela. "We denounce with revolutionary morale the paramilitary activities and hired killings," he said in a press conference in the Foundation for Training and Innovation to Support the Agrarian Revolution (CIARA).
Alvarez also demanded that the Ministry of Justice and Internal Affairs and the Attorney General's Office open a special investigation and provide protection to farmer rights activists. "How long is the flagrant impunity going to continue?" Alvarez asked.
Officials from INTI, CIARA, the Agriculture and Land Ministry, and the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), as well as all major farmers rights fronts echoed his demand.
The Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV) also called for "an exhaustive review of the proceedings on the farmers' cases, through the agrarian courts," but warned that the "opposition sectors" which are responsible for the crimes are in some cases "embedded in the structures of the state." These culprits "utilize police functionaries from the [national investigative police] CICPC," said Eduardo Linarez, the National Secretary for Agrarian and Farmer Affairs of the PCV.
In addition to demanding action by the state, several farmer rights fronts have gradually united forces on the regional and national level. With the support of national PSUV officials, including Agriculture and Land Minister Elias Jaua and Guarico Governor William Lara, these new federations plan to hold a series of assemblies and form armed militias in order to organize and defend themselves against attacks.
"We already have our own organization. What we're going to do now is grassroots reinforcement in the communities and rural settlements," said Argimiro Berroterán, a spokesperson for the National Farmers Front in Miranda state. "The idea is to travel around the whole country to discuss the concerns expressed by different farmer groups, in addition to re-launching this front as an organizational tool in defense of our achievements and for the deepening of the revolutionary process," he added.
Minister Jaua, who is also a regional vice president of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), spoke to the crowd at Thursday's march. "We must consolidate popular strength in rural Venezuela and among the fishers... in order to prepare the conditions for the formation of a great popular and revolutionary organization in the National Fishers and Farmers Front, to concretize the deepening and construction of the Bolivarian Revolution," said Jaua.
According to Jaua, farmer militias may be formed as early as this December for the purpose of farmer self-defense in rural Venezuela. "The Bolivarian government is willing to confront the oligarchy and the large estate owners by way of the law... but if they insist on continuing to act on the fringes of the law, violating our Bolivarian Constitution and murdering farmers, then there will be an armed response," said the minister.
Many farmers' fronts, including the FNCEZ, have advocated armed self-defense for years. The invitation to Thursday's march that the FNCEZ posted on its website calls for, "THE PEOPLE IN ARMS, conscious popular power organized into farmer militias and coordinated by the National Bolivarian Militia and directed by our Bolivarian Armed Forces, in socialist patrols directed and coordinated by our PSUV... with the indisputable leadership of our partner, President Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias."

Saturday, 19 September 2009

MEXICO: Farmer murdered, family is accusing a group afiliated to the PRD party

Farmer and landowner of a small piece of land Manuel Cadena Gonzáles, 35 was assassinated on the 14th of September. His family and the People's Front of Anahuac are accusing the group Fransisco Villa Popular Front, (FPFV) which is affiliated to the moderate leftist Revolutionary Democratic Party (PRD). Four days earlier his mother was injured during an attempt of the FPFV to occupy the piece of land.
Following the assassination there were protests against the PRD government of the Federal District.

Farmers Under Fire (Worldwide)

sources: indymedia mexico [2] , Enlace Zapatista

Monday, 14 September 2009

Loliondo is Burning

Loliondo is Burning provides documentary evidence, testimony, and background information surrounding the recent eviction of Massai in Loliondo, northern Tanzania. This is a two-part video.

In July 2009, during one of the worst droughts in recent Tanzanian history, the government of Tanzania began to forcefully evict the Maasai from their traditional lands. Eight villages were burnt to the ground, along with crops and traditional places of worship. As a result, some 3,000 people were left without any shelter, food or water.

As Loliondo is Burning explains, the evictions were carried out on behalf of the Ortello Business Company (OBC) and the Royal Family of Dubai, who claim the Maasai land as their own. Employees of OBC reportedly took part in the eviction.

Several abuses were also reported to have taken place, including the rape of Masaai women. Overall,

  • More than 200 bomas (homesteads of extended families) have been totally burnt.
  • Food stores and maize fields have been burned.
  • It is estimated that up to 3,000 people have been made homeless without food and shelter.
  • Several maize farms, which were ready for harvest, were set ablaze exacerbating an already alarming hunger situation.
  • More than 50,000 cattle have been pushed into areas hit by extreme drought with no water and grass. Some cattle have been lost and some burned to death.
  • Property worth millions of Tanzania Shillings has been destroyed.
  • Other women who were chased from their homes have had miscarriages.
  • Many people are now suffering from psychological traumas.

It should be noted that the eviction is ongoing. Other burnings have reportedly taken place since July. Further, more than two dozen Maasai have been arrested, some as recent as 7 days ago.

More information

For more information on the current situation, please read the report “Gross violations of human and citizenship rights in Tanzania” by the Feminist Activist Coalition. You may also want to see:

What You Can Do

If you would like to speak out in support of the Masaai, send an email to:

  • President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, United Republic of Tanzania – State House Luthuli Road, Box 9120, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania 00 255 22 2 116 898 / 22 2 116 899 00 255 22 2 113 425
  • Private Secretary to Mizengo Pinda, Prime Minister of Tanzania, Email:;
  • Mr. Yacoub El Hillo, UNHCR Representative to Tanzania,
  • Tanzanian Embassy in your country:

Thanks to Derek Wall for his reporting on Another Green World

West Papua Photo News Shocking images Indonesian military burnt down Papuan Village in Bogolame.

By WPNews Bolgolame
Sep 8, 2009, 22:59

Intervew by WPNews
WPNews Good morning Mr. Yugum could you tell us about situation in Bogolame?

Yugum Tabuni : thank you very much situation in Bogolame today my peoples are all hiding in the juggles mostly Children, woman, elderly and man all hiding in the juggles because military burnt down our village.

WPNews Can you tell us how many houses burnt down by Indonesia Military?

Yugum: I need to tell you today that 25 houses burn down and 5 pig kill by indoensia Military.

WPNes : How important your house and pig

Yugum : as you know we all Papuan house and Pig is part of the our live. Because Pig is very important value in West Papuan Economic and House is were we live time to time year to year we don’t have any thing else here in the village but the house is most important then any other.

WPNews: can you tell us how many peoples been kill by Indonesia military?

Yugum : until today peoples still hiding in the juggles so very difficult to tell you military still patrol the area. but we found lot of bullet from Indonesia Military when they shooting to the peoples.
I will tell you how many peoples are been kill because all the road blocked by military very difficult we are dangerous.

WPNews : How the peoples in the juggles could survive especially children, woman and elderly peoples.

Yugum: we need help because there is no food, no medicine, and our garden already been destroy by military. we can not go back to our house or garden peoples are hiding.

WPNews: what you expecting peoples outside world specially international community.

Yugum: only one We want Independence from Indonesia. If we still with indoenesia they destroyed our rice from this planet so before to late peoples help us. Tell peoples in Europe, United Kingdom , America, Australia and Pacifica we need support put pressure to Indonesia to stop operation in Bogolame and Tinginambut.

This is my message to you to tell them we need help.

WPNes Thank you very much for your time speaking to us Mr. Yugum.

© Copyright by w@tchPAPUA

West Papua Bogolame Interview Exclusive and Photo News Before the Indonesia Military and Police Attack.

WPNews: Can you tell us what happening in your village

Yugum Tabuni : I need to tell you that today Indonesia Military and Police about 400 Personnel from Wamena and tolikara come to our Village with heavy weapon Attack our Villager.

WPNews: who are the come to your village

Yugum Tabuni: this Military and Police are come from two direction Wamena and Tolikara about 400 personnel they bourn our Village we still hiding in the Juggles.

WPNews : why the Military and Police attack your Village

Yugum Tabuni: they attack our Village because we rising morning star flag in Our village peacefully and we not disturb Indonesia Militari and Police we rising in Our village not Indonesia Land.

WPNews How many Peoples been kill and how many village are bourn

Yugum Tabuni : today I can report to you but because Military still surrounding us I will report latter but I sow from mountain that one Village call Munak already bourn down on the ground. We still hiding so I don’t know how many peoples are kill.

WPNews: why you rise morning star flag in the Village

Yugum Tabuni: we raise the morning star Flag in the Village because this is our identity and our national Flag. So we could raise any were we like we not go to Indonesia land and raise but this our land to raise the morning star but now Military and Police attach. We need international community to help us because they if not they will continue to kill many of us like what happen in 1977 here some district hundred thousand kill.

We need now very urgently need help put pressure to Indonesia Government please.

Thank you for your time Mr. Yugum Tabuni
Interview directly from WPNews United Kingdom

© Copyright by w@tchPAPUA

Friday, 21 August 2009

BRAZIL: Landless peasant worker assassinated

Landless peasant worker Elton Brum da Silva was murdered by policemen of the "Brigada Militar" during the evacuation of landless farmers that had occupied the farm Southall in Santa Casa, São Gabriel, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul.

Farmers Under Fire (Worldwide)

source: MST

Monday, 17 August 2009

Police face murder charges in killing of indigenous protesters in Peru
August 16, 2009

A federal prosecutor in Peru filed murder charges against two police generals and 15 other officers over the deaths of indigenous protesters at a roadblock in June, reports the Associated Press. The Indians were protesting new rules that would have made it easier for foreign developers to exploit oil and gas, timber, and minerals in Peru's Amazon rainforest. The skirmish left 23 police and at least ten protesters dead.

The charges come several weeks after dozens of civilians, including indigenous leaders, were charged with homicide over the deaths. Some are expected to be arrested once they are discharged from hospitals were they are recovering from injuries suffered during the protest.

The protests

Oil and gas blocks in the western Amazon. Solid yellow indicates blocks already leased out to companies. Hashed yellow indicates proposed blocks or blocks still in the negotiation phase. Protected areas shown are those considered strictly protected by the IUCN (categories I to III). Image modified from Finer M, Jenkins CN, Pimm SL, Keane B, Ross C, 2008 Oil and Gas Projects in the Western Amazon: Threats to Wilderness, Biodiversity, and Indigenous Peoples. PLoS ONE 3(8): e2932. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002932
Indigenous groups have fiercely opposed what they see as encroachment on their traditional lands. In May thousands of protesters blocked roadways and rivers in opposition to a set of presidential decrees that would have made it easier for foreign firms to develop Amazon land. President Alan Garcia responded by sending in federal police, quickly leading to a heated standoff that ended in bloodshed — in addition to the deaths, at least 82 protesters were suffered gunshot wounds and another 120 were injured. The escalation was widely condemned by human rights groups and environmentalists.

Garcia has since rescinded two of the most controversial decrees and shuffled his cabinet. But the government has since indicated in public statements that it intends to move forward on oil and gas development despite the controversy.

Green groups and indigenous rights' organizations say the rainforests slotted for oil and gas exploration is home to a wealth of biodiversity and "uncontacted" tribes. The Peruvian government maintains there is but a single isolated tribe and that development will bring vast sums to the treasury.

High resolution versions of these images can be requested at