All Notebook Entries
- Posted by Bill Conroy - June 25, 2005 at 8:19 pmThe Federal Hispanic Law Enforcement Officers Association (FHLEOA) has posted some dismal statistics on its Web site with respect to the Bush Administrations track record on hiring Hispanic federal employees.
The figures are taken from a semi-annual report to the president prepared by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The report provides data on Hispanic employment and hiring in the federal government.
From the report:
In FY 2004, the permanent Federal workforce included 123,207 Hispanics compared to 115,600 in FY 2003. This represents a 6.6 percent increase in the number of Hispanics government-wide. In terms of representation, Hispanics represented 7.3 percent of the Federal workforce in FY 2004, compared to 7.0 in FY 2003.
The percentage of Hispanic new hires decreased from 9.7 percent in FY 2003 to 8.5 percent in FY 2004. The number of Hispanics hired decreased from 9,090 in FY 2003 to 7,896 in FY 2004. This trend is partly explained by the decrease in the total number of government-wide new hires in FY 2004.
What isnt explained, though, is why only 7.3 percent of federal employees are Hispanic, up a paltry .3 percent from the prior year, when Hispanics represent nearly 13 percent of the work force overall nationwide.
- Posted by Bill Conroy - June 24, 2005 at 8:38 pmAccused anti-Castro terrorist Luis Posada Carriles will have to sit in a jail cell in El Paso, Texas, a bit longer. His bail hearing before U.S. immigration judge Lee Abbott has been postponed until July 25, according to news reports.
Strangely, the major mainstream media outlets have been slow to pick up on the news.
If you recall, Posada Carriles was arrested in Miami in mid-May after allegedly entering the United States illegally via the Texas/Mexico border. He then claims to have taken a bus from Texas to Miami.
Well that tall tale may be coming back to haunt the long-time CIA operative who is accused of blowing up a Cuban airliner in 1976, snuffing out the lives of some 73 innocent people. Of course, that is just the tip of the ice pick in terms of the crimes Posada Carriles stands accused of in the eyes of the world. Venezuela, in particular, wants justice served up to Posada Carriles and is seeking his extradition in connection with the airline bombing.
The 77-year-old Posada Carriles is a native of Cuba but later also became a citizen of Venezuela, where the airline-bombing plot was allegedly masterminded. Now, he is seeking to wrap himself in the U.S. flag in a bid for political asylum part of a desperate attempt to protect himself from the fate his past deeds have thrust upon his future.
But its tough to beat fate when youre playing against the house.
- Posted by Stephen Peacock - June 24, 2005 at 12:54 amThe U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is reviewing proposals to help it carry out its latest economic development strategy for Jamaica, a five-year joint initiative whose stated, primary goal is to "improve the education of targeted Jamaican youth." The agency began soliciting proposals in late May, and has set a July 15 deadline for proposal submissions.
Among the many segments of the USAID plan which is formally known as the Sustainable Development Strategy for Jamaica 2005-2009 are initiatives to get parents more involved in their childrens school systems, to reduce violent and disruptive behavior of young men, and to increase government accountability to control corruption.
- Posted by Al Giordano - June 23, 2005 at 3:20 pmRecién llegó esto. El vocero del presidente mexicano Vicente Fox, en respuesta a preguntas de los medios, ha apenas confirmado que la reciente incautación militar en los campos de marihuana en Chiapas no tuvieron lugar en territorio zapatista:
El vocero presidencial, Rubén Aguilar Valenzuela, reconoció que hubo un error en las declaraciones del secretario de Relaciones Exteriores, Luis Ernesto Derbez, sobre los plantíos de droga que se encontraron en diversas zonas del estado de Chiapas, lo cual, aclaró, no estaban dentro de la zona de influencia zapatista.
Vean nuestra nota, México: La falsa calumnia de narcos contra los zapatistas, para más detalles.
- Posted by Al Giordano - June 23, 2005 at 3:14 pmLa veloz secuencia de comunicados en días recientes, desde algún lugar en las montañas del sureste mexicano, del Subcomandante Marcos a nombre del Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacionl (EZLN), especialmente el comunicado del lunes pasado que anunció que los rebeldes indígenas de Chiapas han lanzado una alerta roja, han dejado a varios actores de todas partes en ascuas.
El buzón de entrada de mi correo electrónico se llenó con pedidos de más información o para explicar lo que realmente está pasando, y me doy cuenta qué tan cínicos consumidores de noticias se han vuelto. La sociedad no está acostumbrada a generadores de noticias que hacen lo que dicen, y eso solamente hace a los zapatistas difíciles de entender. Mi respuesta es: ¡Lean los comunicados! Son bastante explicativos.
Por otra parte, los gobierno, a diferencia de los zapatistas, nunca hacen lo que dicen y raramente dicen lo que hacen. La alerta roja zapatistas llega en un momento de despliegue masivo de tropas mexicanas alrededor de los 38 municipios autónomos y las alrededor de 1,111 comunidades abiertamente declaradas como rebeldes y autogobernadas con los zapatistas.
Los movimientos de tropa en Chiapas, de hecho, están relacionados a la nueva campaña de simulación antidrogas del Presidente Vicente Fox, México Seguro
- Posted by Stephen Peacock - June 23, 2005 at 11:00 amThe U.S. State Dept. has created a new Security Advisor position to assist the Colombian National Police (CNP) in repelling attacks on police stations and counterdrug bases throughout the country. Whereas most U.S. advisors in the recent past have been deployed to oversee aerial drug-interdiction operations, this newly developed position clearly indicates a level of stepped-up U.S. involvement in ground-based conflicts.
- Posted by Al Giordano - June 23, 2005 at 9:37 amThis just in: The press secretary for Mexican President Vicente Fox, in response to questions from the media, has just confirmed that the recent military raid on marijuana fields in Chiapas did not occur on Zapatista lands:
"The presidential spokesman Ruben Aguilar Valenzuela admitted that there had been an error made by Secretary of State Luis Ernesto Derbez regarding the drug plantations that were found in various areas of the state of Chiapas, which, he clarified, were not inside the Zapatista zone of influence.
See our related story from yesterday, Mexico: The False Narco-Smear Against the Zapatistas, for more details.
- Posted by Al Giordano - June 23, 2005 at 12:44 amThe Guayaquil, Ecuador daily El Universo reports:
President Palacio Will Not Approve Immunity for U.S. Soldiers in World Court
This is potentially large. Read on...
Ecuador's President Alfredo Palacio has decided not to sign an immunity treaty for U.S. military and civilian officials before the World Court, confronting Washington, which considers (the Ecuadoran capital of) Quito as important to its war on drugs...
It's about the Manta, Ecuador, U.S. military base, the key "Forward Operating Location" (FOL) for the U.S. military intervention named "Plan Colombia." And Washington is now trying to blackmail Ecuador's new (60-days-old) President, Alfredo Palacio with threats of cutting aid.
"Absolutely no one is going to frighten me," Palacio told the press. "Neither the government, nor Alfredo Palacio, nor the Ecuadoran people should be afraid."
The outgoing U.S. Ambassador is freaking out...
- Posted by Al Giordano - June 22, 2005 at 11:41 amThe rapid-fire sequence of communiqués in recent days "from somewhere in the mountains of the Mexican southeast" by Subcomandante Marcos in the name of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation (EZLN, in its Spanish initials), especially the Monday communiqué that announced that the indigenous rebels of Chiapas had called a "Red Alert," has placed various actors on all sides on tenterhooks.
My emailbox runneth over with pleas for "more information" or to explain "what is really happening" and I realize how cynical news consumers have become. Society is not used to newsmakers who do what they say, and that, alone, makes the Zapatistas difficult for many to understand. My response is: Read the communiques! They're self-explanatory. I'll place links to English translations of the recent Zapatista comms below the jump.
On the other hand, governments, unlike the Zapatistas, never do what they say and rarely say what they do. The Zapatista "Red Alert" comes on the heels of a massive redeployment of Mexican military troops surrounding the 38 Autonomous Municipalities and 1,111 or so villages that openly declare themselves to be in rebellion and self-government with the Zapatistas.
The troop movements in Chiapas, in fact, are related to President Vicente Fox's new "Mexico Seguro" ("Safe Mexico") simulation of an anti-drug campaign...
- Posted by Al Giordano - June 21, 2005 at 11:21 amThere is a very interesting column in today's El Diario, New York's Spanish-language daily, by Vicki Pelaez.
The original in Spanish appears at this link: Dos Periodistas, Dos Destinos.
Although I quibble with some of her details (particularly the suggestion that my friend and yours Gary Webb did not commit suicide, her overly simple description of his groundbreaking CIA-cocaine reports, and I can't confirm the veracity of all the details she offers about Bob Woodward's role as "an agent" of the system, although it is undisputable that he was a man of the system) her essential point about how the simulation of "journalism" operates in the United States is an important basic truth that all journalists and citizens ought to better understand.
I'll translate some key excerpts here:
Two Journalists, Two Fates
by Vicki Pelaez
El Diario/La Prensa
Only he who has no fear of dying for telling the truth is dignified to speak it
- José María Vargas Vila, founder of El Diario/ La Prensa
The fate of two North American journalists, Bob Woodward and Gary Webb, shows us how things work in this country. Both denounced grave governmental sins but the one who was already part of the group in power became the most spoiled and enriched pressman in the United States, whereas the other, a reporter who pursued the truth lost his life...
More at the jump...
- Posted by Gissel Gonzales - June 20, 2005 at 1:52 pmEl sábado 18 de junio en Cochabamba se realizo el Encuentro Nacional de Organizaciones Sociales, donde participaron diferentes sectores sociales del país, entre ellos las FEJUVES de Santa Cruz, La Paz y Cochabamba.
El Encuentro Nacional Histórico de las Organizaciones Sociales, Cívicas, Populares, Patrióticas y Sindicales.
Después de un análisis profundo sobre los temas de interés Nacional como:
Los Recursos Naturales, la Asamblea Constituyente, Referéndum Autonómico, Juicio de responsabilidades a Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada.
Resuelve lo siguiente:
- Posted by Stephen Peacock - June 16, 2005 at 2:17 pmThe Andean Counterdrug Initiative would get $735 million under a bill that a U.S. House panel approved today, a proposal that matches the Bush Administration's fiscal year 2006 request and represents a $9 million increase over the FY 2005 level. The revised bill would carve out $512 million specifically for Colombia.
The House Appropriations Foreign Operations Subcommittee, which referred the bill to the full committee for consideration, also marked up a separate $437 million proposal for International Narcotics Control programs -- an increase of $111 million over last year. Although this request is $89 million less than the Bush Administration's overall proposal request for the international counterdrug programs, it is proposing to boost the President's $30 million request for Mexico by an additional $10 million.
- Posted by Al Giordano - June 15, 2005 at 10:05 pm
No estamos en la era de Al Capone o de la Prohibición.
-Jefe de policía Alejandro Domínguez, antes de su muerte
Es un sueño húmedo para los periodistas de los medios comerciales: el nuevo jefe de la policía mexicana en la ciudad fronteriza de Nuevo Laredo (Tamaulipas) llegó al cargo el pasado miércoles. Nueve horas después fue balaceado. El embajador de Estados Unidos en México, Tony Garza, rápidamente emitió un comunicado de prensa, tocando las notas de la canción de se los advertí: Hace unas semanas le pedí al Departamento de Estado que publicara un aviso público sobre la violencia imperante en la región de la frontera.
- Posted by Irene Roca Ortiz - June 15, 2005 at 7:50 pmSegún el informe de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas de lucha contra la Droga y el Crimen (ONUDC) presentado hoy en Viena, la producción de coca en Perú, Colombia y Bolivia conoce un aumento global que, por primera vez en cuatro años, llega al 3% en 2004. (para mayores detalles, ver la versión en francés o el comunicado de prensa en inglés).
Sin embargo, la producción global de coca ha disminuido de un tercio desde el año dos mil Narconews nos ha contado muchas veces como. En Colombia, la producción global se habría reducido a la mitad desde el año 2000. Pero en Perú y Bolivia (principalmente en el Chapare), habría aumentado de 14% y 17% respectivamente en 2004 (respecto al 2003, me imagino, porque parece que las cifras se leen solas ). Por supuesto, esta situación les parece preocupante. Ya sabemos, para ellos, coca es cocaína.
- Posted by Dan Feder - June 15, 2005 at 7:41 pmRicardo Sala writes of the human costs of a military incursion into northern Mexico that is unlikely to make much of a dent in that regions drug supplies. Another unavoidable, ugly result of this increased militarization is one the Mexican government is well aware of: a stepped-up arms race between and among narcos as they face more and better-armed enemies. And where do those gangsters get their guns? The same place everyone else does from the United States arms industry.
- Posted by Ricardo Sala - June 15, 2005 at 6:30 pmI just finished the editorial message for our website Vive Con Drogas. This is an English version for the Narcosphere.
The war on drugs has escalated in Mexico since January this year and especially in the past two weeks (see Al's account in the narcosphere.) On Saturday the President announced the activation of Operativo México Seguro in three states. On Monday Presidencia delivered an Informe detailing its purposes and strategy.
In the cities where the operativo will take place, the involved forces have scattered in streets, city squares, avenues and neighborhoods in order to reinforce security and dissuade and avoid the commitment of all kinds of illicit acts. The Operativo México Seguro also plans to take preventive actions as well as searching outside of restaurants, bars, discos and night clubs in these cities...
- Posted by Irene Roca Ortiz - June 15, 2005 at 6:30 pmIn an exclusive interview with the BBCs Spanish service on Monday, Bolivias former president, Gonzalo Goni Sánchez de Lozada, let shine his great analytical abilities, combined with an extraordinary discourse looking to create his version of truth. This meant not just linking the Bolivian political crisis to Colombian drug trafficking, but also giving a quite original version of the events that obligated him to resign and hide himself in Miami
- Posted by Jean Friedsky - June 15, 2005 at 3:35 pmThe images of a returning "normality" in the capital of Bolivia are seductive. Fleets of oversized pick-up trucks filled with thousands of gas cisterns roll out of the Senkata Gas Plant in El Alto, past police guards who stand chatting next to the burned tires, rocks and barbed wire remnants of blockades that had shut down the facility for the past two weeks. The trucks zoom down the cleared Autopista highway that connects El Alto to La Paz towards the eager masses. On residential streets, rusted yellow gas cisterns snake along the pavement while neighbors visit, waiting to refill their supply of liquid cooking gas that had run out the week before. A few blocks away, a gas station owner crosses his arms across his chest, nods and smiles, watching the line of thirsty cars grow as word spreads that he has gotten his shipment of fuel. On the Prado, cars and minibuses chug along past open store fronts and happily shopping tourists, unencumbered by angry protesters or the fog of tear gas. Abel Mamani, President of Fejuve (the El Alto neighborhood organization), shakes hands with the new President, who has vowed to bring about new general elections. Cut to scenes of campesinos clearing away boulders and tree trunks on the roads that connect Bolivia to neighboring Chile and Peru. And, for the mainstream media: fade to black.
- Posted by Colleen Glynn - June 14, 2005 at 11:53 pmWith chants of "Extradite Posada now!" and "No Asylum for Posada", demonstrators across the U.S. and in Vancouver, Canada, on Monday, June 13, 2005, made clear their opposition to Luis Posada Cariles' recent appeal for political asylum in the United States.
Posada has a long and bloody history in the pay of the American CIA for his work in Central America. Declassified documents attest to the fact he was involved in the Iran-Contra scandal as well as pursuing murderous policies in El Salvador and Venezuela. He was imprisoned in Panama for conspiring to assassinate Cuba's president Fidel Castro but was pardoned by an outgoing Panamanian president with strong ties to the U.S.
A brief hearing on June 13, 2005 in El Paso, Texas resulted in Posada receiving a date for a bail hearing as well as a hearing for his asylum request, slated to be held in August of this year.
Venezuela is requesting that the United States extradite Posada to Venezuela to stand trial on charges relating to the bombing of a civilian Cuban airliner in 1976, which killed 73 people. The American government will be hard pressed to grant this self-admitted terrorist asylum, given their "anti-terrorist" policies. Public opinion across the U.S. and around the world is already building against such an action.
- Posted by Manuela Aldabe - June 14, 2005 at 7:20 pmEntrevista a Mario Martinez
(entrevista audio a pie de pàgina)
Mario Martínez es el tesorero de la Asociación Campesina Valle del Río Cimitarra que ha propuesto el encuentro nacional e internacional "Coca, derechos humanos y conflicto en la zona de reserva campesina del valle del río Cimitarra" en Vereda Puerto Matilde, 29 de julio-agosto 1, que pretende abrir un espacio de discusión y debate sobre la crisis humanitaria que se vive en la región del Magdalena Medio colombiano.
- Posted by Irene Roca Ortiz - June 14, 2005 at 5:37 pmEn una entrevista exclusiva con la BBC publicada ayer, Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada hizo brillar su gran capacidad de análisis, combinada de fuertes discursos mas que alucinógenos buscando crear « verdades » a su medida. Así, no solamente vincula la crisis política boliviana al narcotráfico colombiano también da una versión bastante original de los hechos que lo obligaron a renunciar y a esconderse en Miami
- Posted by Al Giordano - June 14, 2005 at 3:40 pmSundays broadcast of Venezuela President Hugo Chávezs popular weekly TV show, Alo Presidente, brought a strong response by the Venezuelan president to the tantrum thrown last week by US Ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS) Roger Noriega, in which Noriega, bombastically, blamed Chávez for the strife in Bolivia.
Durante la emisión del pasado domingo de su popular programa de televisión, Alo Presidente, Hugo Chávez lanzó una fuerte respuesta a la rabieta que tuvo la semana pasada Roger Noriega, el embajador para la Organización de los Estados Americanos (OEA), en la que, escandalosamente, culpo al mandatario venezolano del conflicto en Bolivia.
En las ocho horas de emision del programa, Chávez devolvió el golpe, diciendo que el presidente George W.Bush y sus propuestas capitalistas de libre-mercado son culpables de la severa crisis política que atormenta a Bolivia.
El contraataque incluyó algunas inusuales palabras en ingles del presidente Venezolano:
"No, Mister Bush. No, Sir. Im sorry for you..."
Mas citas de la alocucion informal del presidente Chavez, ademas de algunos interesantes palabras del presidente saliente de Bolivia, Carlos Mesa, a continuación
- Posted by Al Giordano - June 14, 2005 at 9:47 am
"We are not in the era of Al Capone and Prohibition.
- Slain Police Chief Alejandro Domínguez Cuello, prior to his death
Its a wet dream for Commercial Media journalists: The new police chief of the Mexican border city of Nuevo Laredo took office last Wednesday. Nine hours later he was gunned down. US Ambassador to Mexico Tony Garza quickly issued a press release harping a song of I-told-you-so: A few weeks ago, I asked the State Department to re-issue a public announcement about the on-going violence in the border region.
By Saturday, Mexican President Vicente Fox sent in a convoy of federal police who, on an access road to a country club near the city, ended up in a shootout with local police. Newspaper editorialists salivated: Until Mexico takes aggressive measures to fight crime and combat the violence that has spilled into the streets, the country will remain unsafe for residents and tourists, lectures one such boilerplate text in the San Antonio Express-News, which in a careless turn of the pen declares the country an entire nation, not just the border city unsafe.
But as a US Customs agent admitted yesterday in a rare moment of candor, none of this grand show of force is going to make anybody any safer
- Posted by Stephen Peacock - June 13, 2005 at 6:21 pmSeveral documents detailing the use of Central American and Caribbean airports by counter-narcotics units of the United States Air Combat Command were published today on the Internet, an action undertaken specifically for the benefit of companies seeking to do business with the U.S. government.
- Posted by Al Giordano - June 13, 2005 at 9:40 amSundays broadcast of Venezuela President Hugo Chávezs popular weekly TV show, Alo Presidente, brought a strong response by the Venezuelan president to the tantrum thrown last week by US Ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS) Roger Noriega, in which Noriega, bombastically, blamed Chávez for the strife in Bolivia.
In a record-breaking eight hour broadcast, Chávez hit back, saying that US President George W. Bush and his capitalist free-market proposals are to blame for the severe political crisis that plagues Bolivia.
His counter-attack included some rare words in English from the Venezuelan leader:
"No, Mister Bush. No, Sir. Im sorry for you..."
More excerpts from Chávez's fireside chat, plus some interesting words from outgoing Bolivian president Carlos Mesa, at the jump...
- Posted by Mike DAllaire - June 13, 2005 at 7:27 amJust a tidbit of information for Narconews, that you may or may not want to publish, but tidbits ad up to a full bowl after a while. We live in Northern Ontario Canada in a small village of about 1200 population. We have a small municipal dump that recycles, which just received a 12 page memo from Atlantic Corporation demanding that the Manager of this dump install cameras and a security guard to monitor the cardboard that's being recycled. This cardboard goes to Toronto, where it is processed and then sent to the U.S. "Homeland Security" is mentioned more than once in the document. Seven pages of this document are employer/employee profiling questions, ie. nationality and physical description of each employee, blood types, illnesses. BIG BROTHER IS HERE!
- Posted by Stephen Peacock - June 13, 2005 at 1:02 amThe U.S. House of Representatives last week forwarded to several congressional committees a bill (H.R. 2672) known as the North American Cooperative Security Act, legislation that, in the words of its original cosponsors, seeks to establish "a framework for better management, communication, and coordination between the governments" of Canada, Mexico, and the United States.
Among its many provisions is a vague proposal to increase information sharing among the three nations; a slightly more detailed proposal to develop "national" biometric databases to track suspected terrorists, smugglers, and illegal aliens; and the suggestion to identify opportunities "to increase cooperation" in the detection of smuggled nuclear and radioactive materials.
Upon closer inspection of the bill is a segment focusing on a "security" issue that deviates from the usual terrorist/alien/smuggler concerns.
That issue involves oil production.