Is Peru Next?!?

A BBC article announced the emergence of a left-leaning former military man in the bid for the presidential election in 2006 in Peru. Is this neo-socialist movement going to completely take over South America? Latin America? America?
That would be something. For some reason the ties to the military sound eerily haunting of some past regimes in the region. According to the article,
"The former army lieutenant colonel has said he will introduce what he describes as a more participatory form of democracy and will limit investment in Peru by companies from Chile.
He has called for tighter central control over Peru's energy assets and has pledged to cut the presidential salary."
Ollanta Humala is described as similar in philosophy to Chavez in Venezuela. These stories seem to developing all over America. The big question is whether or not this will continue to develop in a peaceful way.
What ever it is that is really going on, I present this post as number 100, from a place that I hold dear in my heart - beautiful Peru.

Apparently, there's a new agent to be captured and harnessed in the fight against evil. A USA Today article describes the heretofore untapped resource of the half-inch parasitic wasp -- from detecting bombs and explosives to crop fungus and cancer.

Is it just me, or does this seem like the metaphorical tip of a monstrous iceberg of unchartered exploitation? Perhaps it's just the subtle shades of malignancy in the closing comments of one of the engineers involved in the development and research of the Wasp Hound:
The "ability to capture nature and its marvels is ... revolutionary."
Moreover, "The sensitivity of animals (and insects) to chemicals in general is probably beyond what we can comprehend. We don't really know what the limits are."
But do we really want to explore those limits?

Bolivia has a new President. Cheers to what may come.

An article from In These Times describes Evo Morales as: "a proudly left-leaning indigenous activist who defends the traditional rights of peasants to grow coca and describes the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas as "'colonization.'"
The article goes on to describe the new president's background, and offers an interview with him from November - before he won the election.

Here's some of what Morales has to say:
"The majority of people in this country--people from more than 30 indigenous groups--did not participate in the foundation of Bolivia in 1825. We have to re-found Bolivia in order to end the colonial state, to live united in diversity, to put all our resources under state control, and to make people participate and give them the right to make decisions."

Morales on the Bolivian debt, and a call for compensation for the indigenous - a first from a head of state:
"We will ask for the total [forgiveness] of the debt, negotiating with the World Bank and the IMF. We are looking into the possibility of presenting a demand that Bolivia be compensated for genocide and 500 years of oppression and violations of human rights. It would be a historic thing to do, especially for an indigenous government."

And finally, Morales on the future for Latin America:
"If the 19th century belonged to Europe and the 20th century to the United States, the 21st century will belong to America, to Latin America. I have a vision of integration, like the European Union, with a single market and a single currency and with the corporations subordinate to the state."

"I am sure that America would be better off without the United States and the IMF controlling all of its resources."

And if you want more, check out this ZNet article - writen by Evo Morales!

It appears as if change is afoot down in South America.

How about a trip to the Caribbean

From the website of Ethan Persoff, comes this amazing post:
"What better way to celebrate the holidays than with an actual comic book produced and written by the CIA. How about a comic that was air-dropped during a US Invasion? "GRENADA" is just that thing. And we promise you it's the number one Real Deal. Acquired through amicable agreement with an actual recipient of the comic and former citizen of the island. This comic pulls no punches. Just look at the picture above of islanders getting their heads banged in by murderers designed to resemble Cubans. And that's just the front cover. Rape, Murder, Lies, Beatings. All tied up in a beautifully dishonest Pro-Reagan Anti-Castro message. George Bush Sr even takes time out his busy post-hurricane Humanitarian schedule to make an appearance. This comic was never meant to be read by anyone in the United States, or anyone outside the Caribbean for that matter. Here it is for you, Click to read."

Unbelievable: Indians Killed in Brazil

I just can not believe that I live in this world. In Brazil, what Survival International called an uncontacted tribe, was apparently wiped out - killed - murdered - disappeared. People are just unbelievably short sighted, ignorant, and self involved - but that's just my diatribe. The vastness of the Amazon continues to surprise me, as there are not many uncontacted peoples remaining on the planet. These people undoubtedly harbor extensive knowledge of their environment, including possibly thousands of medicinal plants and plant combinations. Is it possible that along with the people that were killed, a novel treatment for AIDS or cancer was destroyed as well? Read the short article from Survival International. At least it appears that there will be some repercussions for this unconscionable act - 29 Brazilians have been detained on charges that they participated in a genocide. I couldn't agree more with Survival's director Stephen Corry, who said,
‘It's shocking that in the twenty-first century, with so many of Brazil's tribes gone forever, those remaining are still in danger of genocide. Brazil must take immediate action to recognise and protect the land of the Rio Pardo Indians, before it is too late.'

This Isn't News

A Global Exchange Report identifies the corrupt practices of 14 American corporations. How long until this "news" has a perceptible impact on people?

Free Trade? NO WAY!!!

OK... Here's why the shaman may be more of a visible figure to the world bank. The AP released this article by Michael Casey explaining how free trade policies are hurting small farmers in 'developing' countries. Casey refers to a report on free trade by the group Friends of the Earth which states what just begins to tell a larger story:
"Free trade policies tend to benefit large, export-driven producers, drive down prices and hurt smaller producers. Small-scale farmers are particularly vulnerable to market opening pressures and often forced from their land when it is converted to plantations or planted with crops for export"

In Latin America, and other parts of the world, where multiple free trade programs are on the table, the small-scale farmers are typically indigenous peoples. These policies can be seen as continuing the legacy of racism and exploitation of the indigenous that began over 500 years ago in the Americas - a legacy being relived in the name of 'development.'
Finally, as comments in the previous post suggested, the shaman is perhaps one of the more visible and vocal figures within many indigenous communities. He has traditionally played a leadership role, and in the continuing crises of the current day, this role desperately needs to be maintained.

DC, shamans, and the world bank...

Someone tell me what this post is supposed to be about. I ask the world... the very small part of it that may read this... where are the connections here?