Case against campesinos connected with coup d’etat in Paraguay in 2012 takes surprising turn

An important point of the aftermath of the parliamentary coup d’etat in Paraguay in 2012 was reached today — although with a rather surprising turn of events.

The case against former leftist President Lugo had started when police tried to remove land occupiers in Curuguaty, an rural area some 240 km from the capital Asunción, on the June 15, 2012. It ended with six police and eleven farmers shot and it was unclear who was behind it. Lugo exchanged his interior minister June 17, but a majority in parliament that had been against him for a while decided to remove him from power on June 22. This was possible due to the very vaguely  worded and contradictory constitution of Paraguay which tries to mix aspects of a presidential system with a parliamentary democracy, and because military and police would not oppose the removal of the president.

But what exactly happened in Curuguaty? Some have speculated that it was all just a setup with snipers from the outside intervening in order to have cause for removing the president from office. In the Paraguayan justice system, there is instead a case being build up against 13 land occupying farmers whose responsibility for having killed the police men they claim to want to try.

Ever since the case began in 2012, Paraguayan activists have build a campaign to obtain international attention to what is going on and to obtain justice for the small scale farmers who they argue are innocent. The high-profile activist defense lawyers Vicente Morales and Guillermo Ferreiro had been working for 11 of the farmers since.

Today, the trial was about to start. Observers from all over Paraguay and other parts of Latin America had gathered to follow how it would go and spread information about any irregularities in what was going on.

The campaing "Soy Observador de Curuguaty" (I am a an observer of Curuguaty) aims to make the world focus on what is going on in the case of the accused campesinos.
The campaing “Soy Observador de Curuguaty” (I am a an observer of Curuguaty) aims to make the world focus on what is going on in the case of the accused campesinos.

The observers were very surprised when during the start of the trial, all 10 accused represented by Morales and Ferreiro asked to instead be represented by Joaquín Díaz, the public defender of the 12th accused. A 13th accused was a minor during the events and will therefore be tried separately.

Díaz declared he could not work on defending all 12 cases. Due to these circumstances, the trial has been postponed for one day.

The accused explained later that they took the decision to change lawyers because they felt their life was on the line and Morales and Ferreiro had earlier been accused of “legal tricks” and were facing possible proceedings after the trial which may lead to them losing their license to practice law, so the accused were afraid they could not defend them well.

The activists who have been working with the case have declared that they accept the decision of the accused to decide by whom they want to be represented, but also that they do not trust Díaz, whom they on Facebook accuse of having collaborated with the prosecutor at an earlier stage of the process.

More information:

English: Read a recent article from Telesur

Spanish: Follow the solidarity group of the accused “¿Qué pasó en Curuguaty?” (What happened in Curuguaty?) who regularly post links to articles from all types of media: Web, Facebook

Some animals are more equal than others – on net neutrality and roaming charges in the European Union

“Don’t ever let a good crisis go to waste.” While all of Europe is starring at Greece, the European Union has finally come up with new rules for roaming and net neutrality.

And how do these rules look? Not as good as one would hope for, or at least they open exceptions that make them entirely useless.

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Why is a bad idea

5 years is a long time in terms of the internet.
Let’s assume that you have been on the it during this period. Chances are quite high that you are on Facebook together with the other 1.32 Billion monthly users. Chances are also that you have followed the issues of online privacy related to the NSA spying scandal.

Ello Noise view -- is mostly noise...
Ello Noise view — is really just mostly noise with few working functions…

For more than a year it is therefore understandable that a growing part of the wider public has begun to think about alternatives to publishing all their personal details on Facebook.

However, it is rather surprising that suddenly is celebrated as the great alternative to Facebook. So far what is known about Ello is that:

Continue reading Why is a bad idea

Is protection against online surveillance possible?

After the spying scandals of NSA and their European partner organizations, the question of how to product oneself and who to protect oneself from has become a primary concern for more than just IT experts. In the below interview with Seth Schoen of the Electronic Frontier Foundation tries to enlighten the reader about the possibilities and limits we are all facing. The interview was originally published in Norwegian on the site  Radikal Portal.

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Why does western media want a monarchy in the 21st Century?

As the king of Spain chose to resign, western media was quick to determine that the next king was ready to take over and that the monarchy would survive. Russian RT and Venezuelan Telesur, both at media war with western media were the first ones reporting on pro-Republican protest. The coverage of these early protests and preparations for protests may very well have been what created the larger protests that happened in Spain today.

Continue reading Why does western media want a monarchy in the 21st Century?

Against the expulsion of Erlin and Kely from the Honduran Pedagogical University!

At the end of April, I passed through Tegucigalpa, Honduras and spoke there with Kely Estefanie Nuñez and Erlin Guitierrez. Both are activists of the “Socialist Student Front” (FES), a group that emerged after the military coup in 2009 in the second public university, the National Pedagogical University Francisco Morazan (UPNFM). The FES has been one of the most active groups at the university since then.

Continue reading Against the expulsion of Erlin and Kely from the Honduran Pedagogical University!

Assange/Žižek not really all that leftist after-all?

Finally got to see the second episode of Julian Assange tv show in which he interviews David Horowitz and Slavoj Žižek. While the interview is certainly original and much better than what western tv has produced for the past few decades, it still seems as if all three take a bunch of conservative premises for granted. Some issues, such as that Latin American leftist leaders are "dictators" as Horowitz claims, are just left unanswered in the room and one can only imagine that Assange/Žižek did not refute such charges as they were simply too far out to be answerable.

Continue reading Assange/Žižek not really all that leftist after-all?

Norwegian anthropologist

Wow! My Nicaragua book is listed as a publication by a Norwegian anthropologist in 2011 by the corresponding Norwegian trade association. I thought the Norsk Antropologisk Forening had decided long ago that they wouldn’t touch me with a barge-pole because I’m too dirty/activist. Maybe I should actually sign up and pay member fees.

Norsk antropologisk forening :: Nye bøker on Antropologi

Bangstad, Sindre, Oddbjørn Leirvik og Ingvill Thorson Plesner (red.): Sekularisme – med norske briller. Oslo: Unipub. ISBN: 9788274775367. BIBSYS: Forlagsside: http://www.uni…