New White-Only South African Town Denies Allegation of Racism

South Africa's white-only town inhabitants deny allegations of racism. [Official sign during Apartheid era.]

By tS/vf - 5 May 2019

Since over 25 years the first white-only town of South-Africa - Orania - strives with presently just over 1,800 residents, 100 hundred businesses, and more than 300 children are in its schools, the town’s municipality manages a budget of around R30 million.

No Black South African or any other person who is not an Afrikaner is allowed to reside in Orania town, even if they speak Afrikaans or are married to an Afrikaner.

For many years, critics have accused Orania authorities of rejecting the concept of a Rainbow Nation and attempting to recreate the idea of White supremacy, more than two decades after the end of Apartheid.

Now a town called Eureka - also in the Northern Cape province of South Africa - is built by white Afrikaans exclusively for themselves but they deny the move is racist.

Colombian Environmental Activist Woman Survives Armed Attack

Francia Marquez's fight against illegal mining began when she was 13. | Photo: Goldman Prize website

By tS -  4./7. May 2019

Grenades and firearms were deployed to attack a meeting attended by Francia Marquez, a Colombian woman who was awarded the 2018 Goldman environmental prize.

Francia Marquez, a Colombian woman who was awarded the 2018 Goldman environmental prize, survived an attack with grenades and firearms on May 4 while she was attending a meeting held in Quilichao, a town at the South of Colombia, with the Association of Northern Cauca Community Councils (ACONC), the Association of Afro-Descendant Women (ASOM) and the Black Communities Process (PCN).

"While we, the black people of North Cauca, were at a meeting aimed at preparing the dialogues with the Colombian government... we were attacked with weapons and grenades by armed men," France said and reported that two members of the National Protection Unit - a governmental entity in charge of protecting people at risk were injured.

Ethical questions around returning Dadaab refugees “home”

Dadaab, established almost 30 years ago, hosts about half of Kenya’s refugees. Sadik Gulec/Shutterstock

The Kenyan government has ordered the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to close the Dadaab refugee camp. It has not stated its reasons for this, but in the past it ordered similar closures on security grounds, claiming Dadaab could host terrorists from the Somali militant group Al-Shabaab.

The camp, established almost 30 years ago, hosts about half of Kenya’s refugees – 230,000 of almost 500,000. The majority are Somali refugees who fled their country’s civil war in the 1990s, or came during the famine in 2011. Other refugees come from South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi.

On announcing the closure of the camp, the government said that the refugees would be relocated. For most this means being moved to other camps, but for some this means repatriation: being sent back to their countries of origin.

The government made a similar announcement in 2015 which led to over 80,000 refugees repatriating in three years. But violence and hunger led to 30,000 fleeing back to Kenya.

Press Freedoms, Safety in Media Under Threat in Kenya: Report

Security forces, politicians and their supporters are among journalists’ greatest threat, the Media Council of Kenya said. | Photo: EFE

By tS - 3 May 2019

The human rights organization denounced the country’s blatant disregard for the safety of its reporters who are currently suffering a growing level of violence.

There are dozens of cases of journalists in the field being ambushed, beaten, and their equipment completely destroyed. However, media personnel are completely without recourse, as security forces, politicians and their supporters are among journalists’ greatest threat, the Media Council of Kenya said in its latest report.

In January, eight reporters were injured in Turkana county, northern Kenya, in just such an attack during a press conference for the former ruling party, KANU. Despite filing a report, no one was ever arrested, the HRW reported.

Mexico: Indigenous Radio Founder, Educator-Journalist Murdered

Telesforo Santiago Enriquez RIP

ECOTERRA demands the immediate arrest of the killers together with their backers and much more protection for journalists in Mexico.

By vf/tS/PEN - 2. May 2019

The founder of southern Mexico Indigenous community radio station Estéreo Cafetal in San Agustín Loxicha, OAX, Mr. Telesforo Santiago Enriquez, was murdered Thursday, Mexican authorities have reported.

According to authorities from the state of Oaxaca, Enriquez, who was an educator and journalist, was ambushed and killed while driving his car in the city of Juchitan in the afternoon of May 2, 2019. He received multiple shots which led to him dying on the spot. A clear assassination.

Developing countries lead by example in mainstreaming biodiversity

Namibia comes out top for its national plans for mainstreaming diversity. ©Flickr, by JRC scientist Gregoire Dubois

Apart from the USA, which even hasn't signed up, Australia and Europe rank lowest in the integration of biodiversity protection into all economic sectors to halt current biodiversity loss.

By EU Science Hub -  02 May 2019
 

A recent Biological Conservation article that reviews 144 national biodiversity plans finds that developing countries, particularly those in Africa, score highest in mainstreaming biodiversity, and that developed countries need to do more to acknowledge the value of biodiversity to their production sectors.

Biodiversity is hugely important to life on Earth. Its ecosystem services provide food security, medicines, fresh air and water, shelter, and a clean and healthy environment in which to live.

RESISTANCE AT THE HELM OF SOUTH AMERICA

Donald J. Trump and his Warhawks Pence, Pompeo, Bolton and Abrams must be held responsible for the suffering of the Venezuelan People due to U.S. sanctions and the blockade.

No time to read and study? - in order to understand or to find an answer to the question: Why does the USA want to impose their kind of "democrazy" on Venezuela? - JUST WATCH 2:40 Minute CLIP, read this most important new STUDY and stand by the Venezuelan people in solidarity and friendship.

For updates <16.04.19 go to to THE VENEZUELA FILES III, THE VENEZUELA FILES II  and THE VENEZUELA FILES I and for later news >30.04.2019 go to

In situations of war, collective violence or atrocity there is no such thing as a neutral stance. Passive by-standing is aiding and abetting evil. Don’t be complicit. "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chose the side of the oppressor!" - Desmond Tutu

We received many requests from students and scholars, who want to use our Venezuela Files compilation for their project and also e.g. compare the events per timeline with the happenings in their own countries. All are permitted and encouraged to do so. If you feel an important piece in the puzzle of this timeline is missing, please send to info[AT]ecoterra[DOT]info.

LISTEN WHILE READING: They Don't Care About Us !

Update TUE 30. April 2019 (vf): BREAKING: Uproar outside the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington D.C., USA, after U.S. Secret Service agents and uniformed police had arrived with lots of handcuffs. SEE LIVESTREAM  So far the team - legally manning the embassy upon request of President Nicolas Maduro and the Venezuelan people - inside the encircled building is safe. The US-agents must protect the building and the embassy from right-wing wannabe followers of the far-right opposition from storming the building.

THE (not so) 'BLOODLESS' and FAILED COUP IN VENEZUELA

By teleSUR - 29 April 2019
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Congresswoman Joenia Wapichana of the Wapixana tribe and Indigenous Leader Sonia Guajajara of the Guajajara tribe during the Terra Livre camp, or Free Land camp, at the National Congress in Brasilia, Brazil April 25, 2019.
Brazilian Congresswoman Joenia Wapichana from the Wapixana people and Indigenous Leader Sonia Guajajara of the Guajajara people during the Terra Livre camp, or Free Land camp, at the National Congress in Brasilia, Brazil April 25, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Brazil's 850,000 indigenous peoples live on reservations that make up 13 percent of the territory.

Brazil's indigenous women have been overturning tradition to step into the spotlight and lead an international push to defend their aboriginal land rights, which are up against the greatest threat they have faced in years under right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro.

Claiming that indigenous populations lived in poverty, Bolsonaro is making legislative moves meant to allow development of their ancestral lands, currently protected by law.

The First Nation leaders are fighting back - in many cases, led by women. Traditionally, indigenous cultures excluded women from leadership roles that were played by male chieftains.

But that is changing, said Joenia Wapichana, who last year became the first indigenous woman elected to Brazil's Congress and has been seeking to block Bolsonaro's attempts to dismantle the indigenous affairs agency Funai.

The Genetic Editing of Human Life is “Big Business”

Last November, He Jiankui, a Chinese biology professor at Southern University of Science and Technology (SUST) in Shenzhen (Guangdong Province) announced that he and his team had created the World’s first “genetically edited babies”: twin babies Lula and Nana.
 

Dr. He Jiankui, used the CRISPR technology “to alter the embryos of seven couples [allegedly] to make them resistant to HIV”.  He Jiankui made his announcement at the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing held at the University of Hong Kong.  

Dr. He claims to have used CRISP “to tweak the DNA of human embryos during in vitro fertilization”. 

Saudi Savagery: Kingdom Beheads 16-Year-Old For Sending Whatsapp Message

Psychopath with a deadly smile: Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, known colloquially as MbS, must be stopped on all of his fronts, shunned internatioally and be brought to justice. The cruelties committed by the House of Saud and their rule must end.

The controversy over Saudi Crown Prince MbS's alleged orchestration of the murder of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi has largely subsided since the government insider-turned-critic walked into the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul in early October and never walked out. But a new controversy is brewing over one of the kingdom's most controversial practices: Its mass-beheadings of men convicted of 'terrorism' charges, typically members of the Shiite minority living in the eastern part of the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia has long practiced execution by beheading. But this year, the mass extermination of 37 of mostly Shiite men this week provoked condemnation from the UN and other human rights organizations, as several teenage boys were executed for crimes as seemingly petty a sending Whatsapp messages about government demonstrations.

Ecuador's Indigenous Win Landmark Case Against Drilling

Waorani community attend court hearing | Photo: Facebook: Amazon Frontlines

By TelSur - 26 April 2019

This is not the first time that Lenin Moreno’s government has been criticized for their approach to the Amazon.

The Amazonian Waorani community in Ecuador celebrated a significant legal victory Friday. A court in the Pastaza region ruled that the government had violated their rights when it sought to drill for oil on their land.  

"Today, the courts recognize that the Waorani people, and all Indigenous peoples, have rights over our territories that must be respected," was how the Coordinating Council of the Waorani Nationality of Ecuador Pastaza (CONCONAWEP) summed up the verdict.

Genocide Against the Tamil and Ecocide Countrywide

Sri Lanka's Bloody Legacy: A Country Ravaged by UK-Fueled 26-year Civil War

War crimes against the Tamil People had not to face justice until today. The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka - formerly Ceylon. | Photo: Google Maps

By tS - 24 April 2019

While both the Tamil and Singhalese speaking populations have nearly exterminated the aboriginal Veddha people of the island, the recent history of Sri Lanka is marred with bloodshed and a 26-year-old civil war caused by British colonial rulers pitting Sinhalese and Tamil against each other.

Located in the Indian Ocean south of India, the small island country of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka witnessed one of its deadliest attacks in recent history.

On Easter Sunday a series of suicide bombings claimed 359 lives (meanwhile disputed). However, the bloodbath is not uncommon in the island which was ravaged by a civil war spanning over two decades and ending in 2009.

The civil war in a country of 21.2 million population, was between majority Sinhalese and minority Tamilians. It was a war for recognition, respect, and basic rights.

To understand the aspects of the civil war, one needs to take a brief look at the country’s history.

UN Envoy: Indigenous Children Learn Best in Their Own Languages

[Do we actually need the UN to tell us that? It's common knowledge. But maybe we need the UN to get and maintain the rights.]

Permanent Forum vice-chair says studies show that children learn best in their native languages. | Photo: UNPFII

By teleSUR/et/un - 24 April 2019

'Let us honor the indigenous peoples who tirelessly fight for their rights and futures. Many here have traveled very far. Let us make this session meaningful for you and your peoples'

Forum participants made cases on behalf of traditional knowledge, culture, languages as well as land rights restoration, and environment preservation specifically regarding climate change. 

Vice-chair of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), Anne Nuorgam, highlighted that Indigenous children are “inextricably linked to their lands, territories and natural resources” and should be encouraged to connect to their communities and cultures.

The U.N. official noted that 2019 is the International Year of Indigenous Languages and added that “we have to celebrate our languages, but also take concrete action to preserve them and save those on the verge of extinction.”

6th Mass Extinction Event Already Underway: Draft UN Report

Shifts in the distribution of species will likely double if average temperature go up a notch from 1.5 degrees Celsius to 2C. | Photo: Reuters

Biodiversity loss and global warming are closely linked, according to the 44-page Summary for Policy Makers, which distills a 1,800-page UN assessment of scientific literature on the state of Nature.

Up to one million species face extinction due to human influence, according to a draft UN report obtained by AFP that painstakingly catalogues how humanity has undermined the natural resources upon which its very survival depends.

The accelerating loss of clean air, drinkable water, CO2-absorbing forests, pollinating insects, protein-rich fish and storm-blocking mangroves - to name but a few of the dwindling services rendered by Nature - poses no less of a threat than climate change, says the report, set to be unveiled May 6.

Japanese Gov't Enacts Law To Preserve Indigenous Ainu Culture

The Ainu lived for centuries in northern Japan and neighboring Sakhalin (a Russian island). | Photo: EFE file

The new law will allow the Ainu to observe and maintain traditional practices such as collecting wood from national forests and catching fish in rivers, using time-honored, traditional methods.

The Japanese government approved legislation to legally recognize and preserve the cultural practices of the country’s Ainu Indigenous people at an Upper House plenary session Friday.

The legislation, according to Kyodo news agency, aims to preserve the culture of the Ainu people through state-backed financial assistance at central and local levels of government as well as promote the group’s culture and heritage.

The new law will allow the Ainu to observe and maintain traditional practices such as collecting wood from national forests and catching fish in rivers, using time-honored, traditional methods.

Head of the Ainu Association of Hokkaido, Tadashi Kato, pointed out that the new law did not cover ways to improve the living standards of the Ainu people.

‘Where is justice?’

Vietnam demands Monsanto pay victims of US Agent Orange chemical warfare

FILE PHOTO: Hereditary victim of Agent Orange in Vietnam © Reuters / Damir Sagolj
 
Vietnam is again seeking justice for the victims of Agent Orange, inspired by the multimillion-dollar verdicts against Monsanto in California. The biotech firm had supplied the US military with the chemical during the Vietnam War.

The Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange (VAVA) has written a letter to a US court asking that it restart a class-action lawsuit by Agent Orange victims against American chemical firms, including Monsanto, which the Eastern District Court of New York dismissed in 2004, claiming a “lack of evidence” and asserting that “herbicide spraying.. did not constitute a war crime pre-1975.”