Elbit: Exporting Oppression from Palestine to Latin America

Photo: Giles Thomas

Photo: Giles Thomas

By Scott Campbell
June 27, 2014
Upside Down World

Surveillance. It’s in the headlines and on the tips of tongues. As technology offers new possibilities for connection, it also offers new means to keep tabs on people. Surveillance has become seemingly ubiquitous, from the NSA reading emails to drones in the skies. As a nation that has for 66 years been ruling over an indigenous population by force, one of the main countries practicing surveillance is Israel. And it is the Israeli defense industry that has been reaping the profits off of the oppression and surveillance of the Palestinian people.

One of the top occupation profiteers in Israel is the defense firm Elbit Systems. The largest non-governmental defense company in the country, its revenue stood at $2.83 billion in 2010. Using knowledge and expertise gained from assisting in the occupation of Palestine, Elbit has made millions exporting surveillance and defense materiel worldwide – and increasingly so to Latin America. While Israel’s role in arming dictators and oppressive regimes in Latin America during the last century is well known, Elbit is at the forefront of a new wave of Israeli arms industry involvement in countries in the region. Elbit has a presence in at least five Latin American countries, as well as along the US-Mexico border. Far from being benign, the application of its technology should raise concern among those working for human rights in the area.

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Peace Police and Counterinsurgency in Salinas

Peace Police Distribute the “Rules of Conduct”

Peace Police Distribute the “Rules of Conduct”

By Bradley Allen

On Thursday, May 22, a “Massive March Against Salinas Police Brutality!!” was announced for Sunday, May 25 in response to the Salinas Police Department killing three people within the last three months. Some of the march organizers, in collaboration with nonprofit agencies, politicians, and the Salinas Police Department, worked to change the messaging of the protest, and the ‘March Against Salinas Police Brutality‘ became the pacified ‘March for Respect, Dignity and Justice.’

On March 20, SPD killed 42-year-old Angel Francisco Ruiz outside of a Wingstop restaurant, and on May 9, SPD killed 26-year-old Osman Hernandez outside of a Mi Pueblo Market. On Tuesday, May 20, police killed 44-year-old Carlos Mejia outside of Delícía’s Bakery at the corner of Del Monte and North Sanborn. Although videos show the police ruthlessly killing Mr. Mejia, Salinas Police Chief Kelly McMillin has been working to cover-up the truth of what really happened, and stated that Mr. Mejia was the aggressor and that he attacked the police.

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Justice for Galeano: Stop the War Against the Zapatista Communities!

Jose Luis Solis Lopez (Galeano)

Jose Luis Solis Lopez (Galeano)

On May 2, 2014, in the Zapatista territory of La Realidad, Chiapas, Mexico, the group CIOAC-Histórica [with the participation of the Green Ecological Party and the National Action Party (PAN)], planned and executed a paramilitary attack on unarmed Zapatista civilians. An autonomous Zapatista school and clinic was destroyed, 15 people were ambushed and injured and Jose Luis Solis Lopez (Galeano), teacher at the Zapatista Little School, was murdered. The mainstream media is falsely reporting this attack on the Zapatistas as an intra-community confrontation, but in fact this attack is the result of a long-term counterinsurgency strategy promoted by the Mexican government.

More Information: An attack on the Zapatistas is an Attack on Us All | Enlace Zapatista

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Breaking the Curse of Forgotten Places

On the Ground Analysis and Reflections from the Comunitario Movement in Michoacán, Mexico

Comunitario y barricada By Simón Sedillo

The first successful strategy for community based self-defense against the Knights Templar cartel in Michoacán came about on April 15th, 2011 in the indigenous Purépecha community of Cherán, Michoacán.  The implications of the success of this original uprising against the Knights Templar and the narco-government are immeasurable; however, what is evident today is that the strategy has spread contagiously throughout the state and has now even inspired non-indigenous mestizo communities to replicate it.  Since February of 2013 a variety of communities, both indigenous and mestizo, have risen up in arms, evicted municipal police from their municipalities, have evicted the Knights Templar cartel from their territories, and have begun to engage in self-governing strategies founded upon a consensus-based general assembly model.  Most non-indigenous mestizo communities in the state of Michoacán have been known to be racist towards indigenous peoples and communities of the state.  To now see these mestizo communities exercise indigenous strategies for community liberation is truly historic and ground breaking.

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Education students radicalize their actions in Oaxaca

ceneo-students-oaxacaBy Santiago Navarro F.
Agencia SubVersiones
March 17, 2014
Translated by Scott Campbell

After nearly a month of protests, members of the Oaxaca State Coordinating Body of Education Students (CENEO) have radicalized their actions. On February 3, they presented a list of 21 demands to educational authorities, not one of which has been resolved.

The protests have included: marches, blockades of streets and main thoroughfares, the taking of toll booths to allow motorists to pass freely, the commandeering of public buses – which they use to transport themselves – as well as of trucks carrying goods from multinational corporations, whose products have been distributed to people nearby and to those waiting for their sick relatives outside of public hospitals.

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Community leader Nestora Salgado’s life behind bars

nestora-salgado By Gloria Muñoz Ramírez
Desinformemonos
March 17, 2014
Translated by Scott Campbell

Day and night, Nestora Salgado García inhabits a dark world of artificial light. Fifteen days pass without seeing a ray of sunlight. She has no physical contact with anyone, she is only allowed a hug and cannot touch her daughter or her sister when they visit. Not even the guards speak to her. Instead of the four hours every 12 days for visits that she has the right to, after her family members pass the ordeal of security checks, they are left with only two and a half hours. She doesn’t have the recommended medication for the spinal problem she has suffered from for 12 years. In prison, Nestora lives in punishment for her bravery.

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