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Honduras - 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections May Pivot On Substance
In The U.S.A. We Vote The Politics Of Fear, The Prevailing Mythology:
Vote Your Fears Not Your Values – but wait Bernie Supporters!
What is it people are afraid of? This isn't Honduras. Former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya recently announced on August 26, 2016, that his wife Xiomara Castro will run for the left-wing LIBRE Party in the 2017 presidential elections.” This is the second time that Castro will run for the presidency. She did so in 2013, but lost to Hernandez in a controversial election that she and her supporters called “a fraud of incalculable proportions” even 18 members of Castro's LIBRE party were murdered in the final year of the campaign. All we have to fear is more Al Gore.
Honduras - 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections May Pivot On Substance
Bernie Supporters Could Take Their Lead From Honduras
Curiouser and Curiouser, and scarily better than a Netflix Season of Crime Dramas: “Wikileaks Releases The Hillary (and Bill) Clinton Body Count” spanning more than 30 years, with archived news excerpts and case details, autopsy reports, stated crime scene evidence – all containing irregular inconsistencies throughout - the shut down of a Task Force and Federal Grand Jury, confiscation of evidence, etc.
There is stunning artwork throughout, some satire, and comedy relief; (as with the comic book version of a job application of DWS for the DNC). Among the 2016 Election Year Death Toll: John Ashe, death June 22, 2016 - former UN General Assembly President - remember the barbell incident. Seth Rich, DNC Staffer; Voter Expansion Data - Election Fraud Whistleblower – it appears his life was taken for no apparent reason. He was simply headed home.
Shawn Lucas, Process Server for One Source Process; died, single car accident, August 2, 2016… Sean Lucas served papers at the DNC Services Corp. against then-Chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz (DWS) at the Washington, D.C. headquarters for the DNC. The lawsuit was a fraud class action against the Democrat Party for how they treated Bernie Sanders supporters.
As learned from the WikiLeaks emails, everything Sanders supporters said about the DNC is true, and Sanders had the election stolen from him. Now, Shawn Lucas has been found dead:
On July 25, 2016, there was the death of Joe Montano, the 47 year old former Chairman of the DNC before Debbie Wasserman Shultz. With no history of heart problems, Joe died of a heart attack immediately after the WikiLeaks DNC email dump (20,000 emails – which later caused DWS to resign).
Not much is known at this time how Shawn Lucas died but it’s interesting to note this comes less than a month after the DNC’s own voter expansion data director Seth Rich was shot to death. Seth Rich’s death is still an unsolved mystery and is it a coincidence it was so close to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia less then a week before?
Following Seth Rich’s death, another DNC employee Joe Montano was found dead of an apparent heart attack. In addition to these two DNC staffers’ deaths, there has also been the death of a prominent American Free Press Clinton reporter and researcher Victor Thorn, who according to authorities was found with a self inflicted gun shot wound in the mountains and committed suicide.
Another coincidental untimely death that many might have been missed is the death of Assange’s lawyer John Jones QC, on April 19th, right after Wikileaks launched Hillary Clinton’s searchable email archive.
His official cause of death was “suicide by a train,” which authorities didn’t find suspicious at all despite a spokesman for British Transport Police saying “it was called to West Hampstead rail station in north London at 7:07am after a man was struck by a train.” So, no investigation into whether he was pushed, fell or jumped?
Headlines, at the time, read: “One of Britain’s top human rights lawyers who represented Julian Assange and war criminals has died in an apparent suicide. Married dad of two John Jones QC, 48, who worked alongside Hollywood actor George Clooney’s wife Amal, passed away on Monday. He acted for Wikileaks founder Assange, 44, holed-up for four years in the Ecuador Embassy in London, when the Swedish government initially tried to extradite him for questioning on rape charges. John Jones specialized in extradition, war crimes and counter-terrorism, taking cases from the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Lebanon and Cambodia.”
On With The Body Count: An American Free Press Journalist
Victor Thorn, independent journalist and top-selling book author, died August 1, 2016. A mountaintop suicide. Victor was a strong Hillary and Bill critic, his most recent book was just purchased for foreign distribution. Prolific author, AMERICAN FREE PRESS writer and seasoned Clinton researcher Victor Thorn was found at the top of a mountain near his home, the apparent victim of a gunshot wound. Family and some close friends contend Thorn took his own life on his birthday, August 1, 2016.
“Thorn would have been 54. At the peak of his writing career, the author of some 20 books and 30 chapbooks, Thorn had reported for this newspaper for over a decade, writing thousands of articles on myriad subjects from conspiracy to health-related topics. Best known for his investigate research on the Clintons, Thorn wrote the Clinton trilogy; three definitive works that delved into the history of the power couple including their sordid scandals, Bill Clinton’s sexual assaults of multiple women, and the drug running out of Mena, Arkansas while Clinton was governor of the state.”
The release of “Crowning Clinton: Why Hillary Shouldn’t Be in the White House” and the “Hillary (And Bill) Trilogy”, which has been selling off the shelves at AFP recently - exposing all the dirty secrets the Clintons have tried so hard to conceal over the years - certainly provides a motive for murder.
Thorn recently had some startling success with his research and writing. At the end of 2015, coauthors Roger Stone and Robert Morrow dedicated their book “The Clintons’ War on Women” to Victor, and in the early part of 2016, a prominent publisher in Poland purchased the rights to translate and sell Thorn’s “Clinton trilogy”.
“The Not So Secret Bill & Hillary Clinton Body Count” website:
Published August 23, 2016
Toward a better understanding:
The following film was hand delivered to each member of Congress in 1994.
“The Clinton Chronicles” produced by Citizens For Honest Government
Black and White Documentary, 1 hour 45 minutes
The Arkansas days, and the Clinton's rise to infamy and power. ADFA, Mena, Cocaine (Lasater), money laundering, Whitewater, tax funded sexual liaisons, and the Presidential Election of 1992, lawsuits, beatings, break-ins – the story as told by ex-cops, judges, lawyers, Clinton staff, and surviving witnesses. A Governor and his circle of power; the Tampa branch of (BCCI) was actually closed and employees jailed.
The Rose Law Firm (Hillary) and Foster (Senior Partner with Hillary) subpoenas – all the shredding of Whitewater documents, constantly disappearing evidence and dead bodies. (Whitewater special prosecutor) Fiske was hired to subpoena evidence and bury it. Finally he couldn't even try the case due to conflict of interest. White House Special Counsel Fiske was later fired. Others involved in the film were jailed, harassed, poisoned, journalists were beaten, one instance of castration and sentenced to jail on false charges. An investigation into Foster's death was launched.
The BCCI saga still ranks as one of the biggest banking scandals of all time. Britain's Bank of Credit and Commerce International went bust owing more than ($18bn) to its creditors.
The bank had lost money hand-over-fist from its lending operations, its foreign currency dealings, and its deposit accounts. It was also the bank of choice for money-launderers and terrorists. Drug money from Colombia and Panama, funding for the Mujahideen in Pakistan, and Abu Nidal in the Middle East all flowed through the bank's coffers. After barely 14 years, in 1988, the Tampa branch of BCCI was closed due to losses and money-laundering charges.
While the medical examiner ruled Casolaro’s bloody death – deeply slashed wrists – as a suicide, many people believe Casolaro was murdered for the information he was piecing together, not unlike the deaths of other American investigative journalists including J.H. Hatfield (2001) and Gary Webb (2004), conservative online media figure Andrew Breitbart (2012) and conspiracy artist Mark Lombardi (2000). And that’s just the short list. Oh, and we can’t forget Octopus co-author Jim Keith, who perished during surgery following a fall at 1999’s Burning Man festival. Casolaro’s amazing and tragic story was featured in Kenn Thomas and Jim Keith’s excellent book “The Octopus: The Secret Government and the Death of Danny Casolaro” published in 1996 by Feral House.
Recent International Developments
Berta Cáceres, Indigenous Environmentalist; died March 3, 2016 - murdered in her sleep in her own home after revealing that Hillary was complicit if not partly responsible for the murder of the Democratically elected President of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya in 2009.
(Guardian August 31, 2016)
Monday, May 2, 2016, published in International Rivers; From La Prensa - Tegucigalpa, Honduras: “The environmentalist Cáceres was shot dead early on March 3 by unidentified assailants who entered her home in the city of La Esperanza, after an armed attack by two men who forced open the door. According to Gustavo Castro Soto, the only witness, who was in another room, the indigenous leader grappled with the attackers, one of whom suffered a broken hand and left foot.”
The L.A. Times on April 25, 2016 reported that “As part of the political fallout, a $750-million package of U.S. aid designated for northern Central America, the largest such aid plan for the region in more than a decade, may also be in jeopardy.”
“Numerous members of Congress signed letters to Secretary of State John F. Kerry to protest the Cáceres killing and to demand an independent investigation. The strongest letter, signed by nearly 60 lawmakers, demanded some aid be suspended pending a review of the case.”
Historic - the Democracy Now! Amy Goodman Interview with Ex-President of Honduras Manuel Zelaya who speaks on Hillary Clinton's role in his ouster in the 2009 Honduran Coup and the continued large scale protests in Honduras (Published on July 2015).
“It was international Right Wing movements and a restoration of the right wing as of 2009, supported by the Hawks in Washington - there was a coup attempt in Ecuador, a coup detat in Paraguay, and the first one was the coup in Honduras. This process of coups, was thought to improve the situation of our peoples, our countries, to bolster trade and industry, but these coups have destroyed the scant institutional framework that we had, the debt has grown, our poverty has grown, corruption has grown, and crime and violence have expanded.”
As Secretary Of State, Hillary Clinton Enabled The Coup In Honduras
Robert Naiman wrote in Truthout of how then “Secretary of State Clinton enabled the coup in Honduras, and the subsequent descent into the abandonment of the masses by a military, a restored oligarchy, and eventually a corrupt president elected in a sham vote that the US used to try to save face:”
“Why wasn’t US aid to Honduras suspended following the coup? The justification given by Clinton’s State Department on August 25 for not suspending US aid to Honduras was that events in Honduras were murky and it was not clear whether a coup had taken place. Clinton’s State Department claimed that State Department lawyers were studying the murky question of whether a coup had taken place.”
Hillary Lied, Berta Cáceres Was Right
“Hillary Clinton’s State Department knew this was a lie and by July 24, 2009, her State Department, including herself, knew the intention to remove President Zalaya by the Honduran military was a coup. On July 24, US Ambassador to Honduras Hugo Llorens wired the U.S., namely Secretary of State Clinton, with the subject line:”
“Open and Shut: The Case of the Honduran Coup,” thoroughly documenting the assertion that “there was no doubt” that what happened in Honduras on June 28 “constituted an illegal and unconstitutional coup.”
Just 2 years later, by 2011, sixty-two percent of all US Defense Department funds for Central America, went to Honduras.
By June 2012, it was known that:
“US corporate interests in Honduras are enormous, including mining and hydroelectric investments, Dole’s and Chiquita’s expansive banana operations (employing 11,000 people), and apparel, auto parts and other manufacturers that employ more than 110,000, including 3,000 at a Lear Corporation factory in San Pedro Sula that makes electrical distribution systems.”
“The military coup made possible what Hondurans call the 'Second Coup': the deeper economic agenda of transnational investors and Honduran elites, now given almost free rein to use the state as they choose. At the top of their list is privatization of basic state functions. Laws are moving through Congress privatizing the country’s electrical systems, water systems and ports. In an overt attack on Honduras’s powerful and militant teachers unions, Congress in March 2011 passed a law opening the door to privatization of the entire country’s schools.”
“Labor rights are under intense assault as part of this economic agenda. In November 2010 a law went into effect encouraging employers to convert permanent, full-time jobs into part-time and temporary employment, under which workers will no longer be eligible for healthcare and will lose the right to organize a union. A complaint to the US Labor Department filed by the AFL-CIO under the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) this past March documents a sea of systematic violations of the most basic labor rights since the coup, including the firing of hundreds of workers for attempting to organize unions, failure of employers to pay the minimum wage and failure to pay workers altogether.”
In the fertile Aguán region along the country’s north coast, peasant organizations have occupied twenty-six farms on 3,000 hectares of land. Since 2010, they count more than 113 assassinations of community members, some of which they attribute to private security working for palm oil magnate Miguel Facussé, as well as the Honduran Army.
Now, in other news immediately following the 2009 coup in Honduras:
Three New US Naval Bases Along The North Coast Of Honduras
“Honduras’ Soto Cano continues to be the pillar of the U.S.’s Central American military presence. The base has always been on Washington’s radar, as exemplified by President Clinton’s trip to the facility in March 1999, and the Bush-Zelaya discussions on its future. When Honduran President Manuel Zelaya visited Washington in June 2009, he had two security-related requests for President Bush. The first was to convert the Colonel Enrique Soto Cano airbase (also commonly known as Palmerola) into a commercial air cargo terminal, while the second was to deploy U.S. Special Forces along the Mosquitia region in eastern Honduras to help combat drug-trafficking along the Caribbean coast.”
(In 2009) “Should plans move forward to turn Soto Cano into a commercial airline hub, it is unclear what the U.S. military will do to restructure its presence in the region. Withdrawing from the country would be out of the question, due to Washington’s geostrategic interests and the extremely cooperative attitude of Honduran officials.”
Prior to the 2009 military coup d’etat, President Manuel Zelaya had declared that he would turn the base into a civilian airport, a move opposed by the former U.S. ambassador. What’s more Zelaya intended to carry out his project with Venezuelan financing.
Palmerola, has the best runway in the country at 8,850 feet long and 165 feet wide. The airport was built more recently in the mid-1980s at a reported cost of $30 million and was used by the United States for supplying the Contras during America’s proxy war against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua as well as conducting counter-insurgency operations in El Salvador. At the height of the Contra war the U.S. had more than 5,000 soldiers stationed at Palmerola. Known as the Contras’ “unsinkable aircraft carrier,” the base housed Green Berets as well as CIA operatives advising the Nicaraguan rebels.
“In 2006 it looked as if Zelaya and the Bush administration were nearing a deal on Palmerola's future status. In June of that year Zelaya flew to Washington to meet President Bush, reportedly Bush said the idea was wholly reasonable and Zelaya declared that a four-lane highway would be constructed from Tegucigalpa to Palmerola with U.S. funding.”
“In exchange for White House help on the Palmerola facility, Zelaya offered the U.S. access to a new military installation to be located in the Mosquitia area along the Honduran coast near the Nicaraguan border. Mosquitia reportedly serves as a corridor for drugs moving south to north. The drug cartels pass through Mosquitia with their cargo en route from Colombia, Peru and Bolivia. And it was apparently not to the liking of eventual coup leader and U.S. School of the Americas graduate Vsquez who had also traveled to Washington to discuss future plans for Mosquitia. Contradicting the Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, Vsquez wanted to establish a “permanent military base in the zone which would house aircraft and fuel supply systems.”
No Place To Land
“In May, 2008 a terrible crash occurred at Toncontn airport when a TACA Airbus A320 slid off the runway on its second landing attempt. In the wake of the tragedy Honduran officials were forced at long last to block planes from landing at the notoriously dangerous Toncontn.”
“All large jets, officials said, would be temporarily transferred to Palmerola. Touring the U.S. airbase himself Zelaya remarked that the authorities would create a new civilian facility at Palmerola within sixty days. Bush had already agreed to let Honduras construct a civilian airport at Palmerola, Zelaya said. But Honduran-U.S. relations had deteriorated considerably since Zelaya's 2006 meeting with Bush and Zelaya had started to cultivate ties to Venezuela while simultaneously criticizing the American-led war on drugs.”
Anatomy of a Coup
“Assistant Secretary of State John Negroponte, a former U.S. ambassador to Honduras, said that Honduras could not transform Palmerola into a civilian airport from one day to the next. In Tegucigalpa, Negroponte met with Zelaya to discuss Palmerola. Speaking later on Honduran radio the U.S. diplomat said that before Zelaya could embark on his plans for Palmerola the airport would have to receive international certification for new incoming flights.”
“According to Spanish news agency EFE, Negroponte also took advantage of his Tegucigalpa trip to sit down and meet with the President of the Honduran Parliament and future coup leader Roberto Micheletti.”
When in 2009 Zelaya announced that the Honduran armed forces would proceed with construction at Palmerola the military rebelled. Led by Romeo Vsquez, the army overthrew Zelaya and deported him out of the country.”
The Aguán, like other conflict zones in Honduras, has been increasingly militarized since the 2009 coup. US Special Operations Command South are active in the Aguán and elsewhere, as is the US Joint Task Force-Bravo, which maintains a permanent presence at the Soto Cano base near Tegucigalpa. In August, construction on three new US naval bases along the north coast was announced. Eliminating drug trafficking has been used as the Pentagon’s justification for increased militarization, something critics say hides Washington’s true intentions.
Honduras is the second-poorest country in the Americas and one of the most unequal. It is rich in resources, but most of its wealth is controlled by a small elite. The military coup ousted the Democratically elected Zelaya, who in his term, “oversaw modest economic and social reforms. He introduced a minimum wage, gave away energy-saving light bulbs, and pledged to finally resolve longstanding land conflicts between peasant farmers and agribusinesses.”
“In June 2009, Zelaya had called a referendum to decide whether an extra vote should take place in November – alongside the general election – to reform the constitution. If approved, the reform would have allowed presidents to stand again for re-election. Two days before the vote, the army refused to deliver the ballot boxes. Zelaya tried to push on with the vote, but on the night of 28 June he was forced, still in his pajamas, on to a military plane and taken to Costa Rica.”
Arrested Development: Violence And Land Grabs For Palm Oil In Honduras
“From bananas to biofuels Honduras was/is the original, archetypal banana republic: a small, poor, fertile country controlled by a small group of wealthy families with ties to transnational business interests such as Chiquita, formerly the United Fruit Company.”
“By the 1980s the Aguán was one of the most diverse crop regions in Honduras, producing coconuts, pineapples, grapefruits and almost half of all the country's bananas. Over the next several decades, cooperatives and smallholders were coerced into selling their land to powerful landlords, often through intimidation and manipulation, from bribes of peasant leaders to threats and outright violence – tactics that continue to reign in the region to this day. Peasant farmers in the Aguan again found themselves as day laborers on large plantations, working hard for little pay. In a few years in the early '90s, more than three-quarters of the land in the Aguan Valley was re-concentrated into the hands of a few Honduran oligarchs. One of these landlords was Miguel Facussé.”
“African palm plantations in Honduras have increased by almost 50% in the past three years, and now dominate the Bajo Aguán landscape, having replaced bananas and other edible crops. African palms, the saturated oil of which is a staple ingredient in processed foods and biodiesel, are now the most profitable crop in Honduras.”
"According to civil society sources," the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) investigation states, "there were at least 102 killings of people affiliated with the peasant movement in the Bajo Aguán between January 2010 and May 2013, with specific allegations being made linking 40 of these to Dinant properties, Dinant security guards or its third-party security contractor. Allegations in relation to the killing of at least nine Dinant security personnel by affiliates of the peasant movement have also been made."
Still, the World Bank and IFC have rejected several of the CAO findings. And despite a list of demands sent to the World Bank by 70 civil society groups, the World Bank has yet to withdraw funding from the project.
Instead, the IFC put in place an "enhanced action plan, which requires Dinant to adopt voluntary security protocols and to engage stakeholders in order to better understand the issues currently impacting communities and to bring strategic focus and overall coordination to Dinant's existing corporate social responsibility programs, such as funding for school teachers, clinics, and conservation programs."
View original article published in December 2014 by Jeff Conant (FOE) “Palm Oil and Extreme Violence in Honduras: The Inexorable Rise and Dubious Reform of Grupo Dinant”
Jeff Conant directs Friends of the Earth's international forests campaign; he is co-author of “A Community Guide to Environmental Health” (2008) and author of “A Poetics of Resistance: The Revolutionary Public Relations of the Zapatista Insurgency” (2010).
“The Honduran coup was condemned throughout the hemisphere including, it seemed initially, by the United States. President Barack Obama called the coup "not legal" and warned that it could set a terrible precedent. But the United States rapidly dropped such criticism and never severed its close ties with the Honduran military - as US law required. More than that, this country recognized and currently supports the government of Porfirio Lobo, who was installed as president of Honduras after a highly dubious election in November 2009 that was managed by the coup plotters themselves. US backing for Lobo ignored a wave of popular protests against the coup within Honduras, protests answered by lethal violence from military and police that left dozens dead or disappeared and many hundreds beaten or arrested by the end of 2009. Few other nations joined the US in recognizing Lobo's election."
Honduras: Repression, Resistance and Hope (2011)
By John Lamperti, Truthout News Analysis
Grupo Dinant, a Honduran palm oil company, produces about 60 percent of the palm oil in Honduras, and is at the center of what has been called "the most serious situation in terms of violence against peasants in Central America in the last 15 years.” Yet Grupo Dinant, has been awarded international environmental certifications for its achievements in environmental management and occupational health and safety!
“Owned by Miguel Facussé, one of the wealthiest men in Honduras, Dinant has been associated with the killings of over 100 peasant farmers, and appears to be involved in a virtual terror campaign to ensure control of a large swath of land in the Lower Aguan Valley near the Caribbean coast of Honduras.”
Credible human rights groups like Human Rights Watch denounce the killings and note that "virtually none of the crimes are properly investigated, let alone solved."
Just two years ago this month, Manuel Zelaya, in an interview stated: "Since the coup d'état there have been murders, massacres and barbarous acts. We have made complaints to every international organization and nobody does nothing to stop this brutal and criminal subjugation of which the people of Honduras are victims," explains Zelaya.
“Campesino leader Margarita Murillo was murdered by three heavily armed men while she was working her land in Villanueva, in the northern region of the country. Her assassination is one of the latest in a long string of murders against members of the Honduran Resistance Front. Former Honduran president Manuel Zelaya, one of the principal leaders of the Resistance, confirms that since the 2009 coup d’etat, which removed him from office, the political repression and persecution against members of the resistance has only increased.”
About Murillo's murder, Manuel Zelaya expressed that "the death of Margarita Murillo, a campesino and workers' leader and a coordinator of the Resistance and the LIBRE Party is a crime that we emphatically condemn, because it touches the most intimate fiber of all of the Honduran people. With her murder, more than 300 resistance members have been assassinated. In five years, 36 journalists have been killed, as have 80 lawyers, and more than 73 campesino leaders. And more than 1,500 complaints of human rights violations that still have yet to be investigated".
“Masked men shot and killed Honduran campesino movement leader Margarita Murillo the night of Aug. 26, 2014 on land she farmed in the community of El Planón, Villanueva municipality, in the northern department of Cortés. Murillo reportedly began working for campesino rights at the age of 12. During the 1980s she was a founder of the Campesino National Unity Front (FENACAMH) and the General Confederation of Rural Workers (CNTC).”
“After the military removed then-president José Manuel Zelaya Rosales (2006-2009) from office in June 2009, she was both a local and a national leader in the broad coalition resisting the coup, the National Popular Resistance Front (FNRP), and then in the center-left party that grew out of it, the Freedom and Refoundation Party (LIBRE).”
“Mrs. Murillo, 56, was the mother of four children. One of her children, 23-year old Samuel, was kidnapped on July 26 by soldiers from his home in the village of Marañon, just south of the city of San Pedro Sula. His whereabouts remain unknown. Mrs. Murillo’s husband, Oscar, was shot in the leg by a soldier during a protest in which peasants were blocking the highway in the city of Choloma.”
Stolen Elections In Honduras, And Another Body Count
“Xiomara Castro, wife of ousted President Manuel Zelaya, ran against right-wing candidate Juan Orlando Hernández. According to election officials, with more than half of precincts reporting, Hernández won 34 percent of the vote, while Castro had 29 percent. The campaign was marred by violent attacks in a country with the highest homicide rate in the world. At least 18 members of Castro’s LIBRE party were murdered in the run-up to the election, more than all other parties combined.”
From Central America To Africa: Palm Oil And The Clinton Global Initiative
Grupo Dinant, is the Honduran palm oil company at the center of what has been called "the most serious situation in terms of violence against peasants in Central America in the last 15 years, continues to enjoy financing from the World Bank's International Finance Corporation, and support from the United Nations Clean Development Mechanism (CDM):
“Dinant also continues to enjoy brand relationships with multinational consumer goods companies such as Mazola Oils. Dinant holds the license to use the Mazola trademark in Central America, but it is unclear whether the North American Mazola brand has any legal ties to Dinant that make it susceptible to consumer pressure.”
“Most of Dinant's palm oil is exported to Mexico where it is bought by Grupo Bimbo - the commodity food conglomerate largely responsible for a vast increase in Mexican consumption of palm oil in junk foods.” For it's part, Grupo Bimbo, the leading global baking company, became a TFT (The Forest Trust) member, committing to No Deforestation and No Exploitation in their palm oil supply chain. Based in Mexico, Grupo Bimbo encompasses leading brands in Latin America and the United States, with over 10,000 products and operations in 22 countries in the Americas, Asia and Europe.” Visit the Transparency Hub:
The Palm Oil Industry Landscape (of) Transformation: TFT’s Perspective One Year Later
Quoting TFT: “One year later, the palm oil industry landscape has changed significantly! There is a risk that requests for traceable oil alone, without the broader discussion of how to strategically move towards fully traceable and No Deforestation - No Exploitation palm oil, will just lead to expensive short-term solutions based on segregated supply chains that exclude smallholders. So then, how much has the palm oil industry landscape actually changed?”
A study by Sustainalytics, a leading provider of environmental, social and governance (ESG) research for investors and financial institutions made the news in July 2015.
“Three-quarters of the 20 biggest publicly traded producers, refiners and traders have pledged to have all of the large-scale oil palm plantations under their management certified as sustainable by 2020, according to an analysis Sustainalytics performed for Bloomberg BNA. Today, just over half of those companies certify some portion of their plantations. The analysis excluded smallholders and companies that operate plantations of 100,000 hectares or less.”
I'm pretty sure the 'excluded groups' are the same ones promoted as being responsible for somewhere around 45 percent of the global production! That's supposed to be acceptable to consumers - like what you don't know can't be hurting anyone.
(From) Consumers Demand Action Against Conflict Palm Oil
More on Grupo Bimbo in a few paragraphs...
Next Door To Honduras, Palm Oil In Ecuador
“In 2013, ANCUPA launched Ecuador’s national interpretation of the RSPO’s governing principles and criteria - with exclusionary and problematic results. Over the course of a 60-day “public consultation” period, members of civil society organizations, government ministries, palm oil companies along with palm oil growers were expected to review the proposed industry standards and provide feedback on their clarity and effectiveness.”
“The features of the process were extremely uneven, as only a little more than 20 people participated in the supposed consultation, many of whom were ANCUPA members and not part of local indigenous or Afro-Ecuadorian communities affected by palm plantation expansion. And commentary could only be given by inputting personal identification information into an online system.”
“According to ANCUPA, the National Palm Oil Cultivator’s Association, there are a total of 280 thousand hectares of palm currently under cultivation in Ecuador. A brief review of RSPO activities in Ecuador raises more doubt than certainty about whether the palm oil industry can be improved. About 7 thousand people are palm growers.” (From) “Ecuador’s National Interpretation of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO): Green-Grabbing through Green Certification” - Adrienne Johnson Journal of Latin American Geography Volume 13, Number 3, 2014
Palm Oil Poverty
“In 2008, the former US President Bill Clinton delivered an enthusiastic opening speech at the launch ceremony for an anti-poverty event being run by an organization called All for Africa. All for Africa was starting a “Palm Out Poverty” campaign, and Clinton gave it his full support. “As you may know, Clinton said, “tomorrow we open this year’s annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative.”
“All for Africa is a New York-based but Delaware-registered non-profit organization co-founded in 2008 by Bruce Wrobel, who is also its current chairman and executive director. Wrobel is also the chairman and CEO of Herakles Farms, an agribusiness company. All for Africa aims to work with the private sector to support projects that generate socio-economic benefits to communities throughout Africa. At the 'Palm Out Poverty' campaign launch, All for Africa committed to reducing poverty, preventing illness, and promoting education across Africa by planting one million oil palm trees, primarily in Cameroon, and using the profits to fund community-based projects in Africa.”
“Herakles Farms supports the 'Palm Out Poverty' campaign by providing 'All for Africa' with subsidized land and oil palm seeds and assistance with marketing and sales. Herakles Farms’ numerous African and international critics continue to argue that its project in Cameroon has serious environmental, social and legal problems.”
From January 28, 2014 “For The Love Of Palm Oil”
Nowhere in the Honduras USAID documents does the word “coup” appear.
“Honduras Convive,” was designed by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to reduce violent crimes in a country that had simultaneously become the murder capital of the world and a staging ground for one of the largest deployments of US Special Operations forces outside of the Middle East.”
“This was all about erasing memories of the coup and the structural causes of violence,” says Adrienne Pine, an assistant professor of anthropology at American University who spent the 2013-14 school year teaching at the National Autonomous University of Honduras. “It’s related to the complete absence of participatory democracy in Honduras, in which the United States is deeply complicit.”
Honduras Convive (“Honduras Coexists”) was the brainchild of the Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI), a controversial unit of USAID that operates overseas much like the CIA did during the Cold War. Sanctioned by Congress in 1994, OTI intervenes under the direction of the State Department, the Pentagon, and other security agencies in places like Afghanistan, Haiti, and Colombia to boost support for local governments backed by the United States.
A key part of the project was subcontracted to a company owned by David Kilcullen, who was the senior counterinsurgency adviser to Army General David Petraeus in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
The players in Honduras Convive provide a glimpse into the privatized world of covert operations managed by USAID and OTI, and how they dovetail with broader US foreign-policy goals of supporting governments friendly to US economic and strategic interests. They also show how Hillary Clinton might manage US foreign policy as president.
TESTIMONY OF SAMUEL FLORES DAVID MURILLO
March 28, 2016
From the son of Margarita Murillo, Samuel David Flores Murillo. “I would like to thank the New York City Counsel for supporting the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project who fought for the rights of farmers and for human rights in Honduras. I immigrated to the United States in 2005 to escape the political persecution I was facing due to my mother’s work. In 2006, I was arrested by immigration. I was deported, because I didn’t have anyone to represent me in that case. All that they did was put me in a room with a judge; I didn’t understand much, I was too young to understand what was going on, and there was not a translator. I only understood that they were going to deport me because I had entered illegally; they made me sign a paper and that was it. Later I returned to the U.S. for the same reason, and I was deported again in 2009. Two months after I was deported to Honduras in 2009, there was the coup d’état, where the military of Honduras kidnapped President Manuel Zelaya Rosales, and took him out of the country.”
“After being detained nearly a year by immigration, the prosecutor finally conceded that we proved my case, and the judge stopped my deportation. She also helped my family – she helped my sister and niece, who came to the US recently, after our mother was assassinated, to find an attorney, and she helped my brother, who is in deportation proceedings, too, find an attorney. All of this is to say, that the work of my attorney extends far beyond her work in the courtroom.”
“About two weeks after the coup, some unknown men kidnapped me from my house at gunpoint during the middle of the night, and they kept me captive for about a month. They interrogated me about my mother’s work. When I didn’t cooperate with them, they tortured me. After they tortured me, they took my body and dumped it in the countryside. I had nearly lost consciousness because of all of the injuries I sustained. They tossed me away and left me, believing that I was dead, I even heard one of them say- “Give him a bullet in the head to make sure he’s dead,” and the other one replied, “he’s already dead.”
“Thank God, I survived this assassination attempt. I escaped, recovered, and returned to the United States, but I was living in the shadows because I was undocumented. In July of 2014, once again I fell into the hands of immigration. They detained me and were planning to deport me again; but this time I went to a “Know Your Rights” presentation and I learned about the legal defense available to people who are victims of persecution in their countries.
While I was waiting for the date of my interview with the asylum officer, I learned the terrible news that my mother, Margarita Murillo, was assassinated in Honduras. I was devastated; felt completely powerless to respond; and I felt even more pressure about trying to defend myself with the news of her assassination.”
“Arriving in court, I found an attorney from Brooklyn Defender Services. I can say, with 100% certainty, that if I did not have an attorney in my immigration case, I firmly believe that I would be dead in Honduras today.”
The Berta Cáceres Human Rights in Honduras Act!
Since June 15th, 2016 around 30 US Representatives have signed on as co-sponsors to H.R. 5474, the Berta Cáceres Human Rights in Honduras Act! Take action to get your representative to co-sponsor this important bill?
“Introduced by Rep. Johnson (GA), H.R. 5474 calls for suspension of U.S. military and police aid to Honduras until human rights violations committed by Honduran security forces cease and their perpetrators are brought to justice.”
“Around the world, people are mobilizing to demand a fair investigation into the murder of Berta and to topple the systems that lead to violence against those defending their communities and territories. In the US, people are organizing to support the passage of this historic bill. There was a people’s caravan at the Democratic National Convention to demand justice for Berta and “all the other Honduran activists whose lives have been taken violently because of their organizing to defend Indigenous people, the Earth and women, and their struggle for self-determination”.
H.R.5474 - Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act
Sign the petition demanding that the US State Department pressure the Honduran government to allow for an independent investigation into the murder of Berta Cáceres, led by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
“Berta was outspoken against the US State Department-backed 2009 coup, which ousted the progressive President Manuel Zelaya, and directly heightened conditions for repression against activists protecting their communities. Women who have been at the forefront of grassroots and Indigenous movements also bear the brunt of violence to their communities, lands, and bodies. The assassination of Berta Cáceres and the continued harassment and violence on environmental and human rights activists puts a spotlight on US policies abroad. The US State Department trained and aided the military, and admits that a coup did take place in 2009.”
SUPPORT IS NEEDED
The Berta Cáceres Human Rights in Honduras Act (H.R. 5474), introduced by Representative Hank Johnson of Georgia in mid-June, would suspend all U.S. funding to Honduras’ police and military forces, including equipment and training, until the Honduran government investigates credible reports indicating the police and military are violating citizens’ human rights.
“In response to the murder of Berta, five members of Congress are calling on the United States to suspend all military aid to Honduras until the country addresses its gross human rights violations, sending a powerful message to Honduras.”
Hillary Lied, Berta Caceres Was Right - Berta Caceres, Indigenous Environmentalist; died March 3, 2016 - murdered in her sleep in her own home after revealing that Hillary was complicit if not partly responsible for the coup of the Democratically elected President of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya in 2009. (Article, Guardian August 31, 2016)
The L.A. Times on April 25, 2016 also reported:
In The U.S.A. We Vote The Politics Of Fear, The Prevailing Mythology;
Vote Your Fears Not Your Values – but wait!
"Reject the Lesser Evil, Fight for the Greater Good ... Like Our Lives Depend On It, Because They Do." Jill Stein
What is it people are afraid of? This isn't Honduras.... If it was, no one would be giving up. Systemic lies and the voting results would be contested to the last day, even the day after, in the streets, in the courts, in the Congress, there would be a stand up challenge.
The people of Honduras stayed strong for four years to be able to vote their conscience and voted for Xiomara Castro, wife of ousted President Manuel Zelaya. Xiomara ran against a leader of the coup of 2009. In the last year of the 2013 campaign, 18 members of Castro's LIBRE Party were murdered (Nov 2012-Nov 2013) while all told more than 100 campesino supporters and community leaders were also killed between 2010-2013).
Hernandez stole the Honduras Presidential Election in 2013. But barely, and at gun point.
This year marks the Seven Year Anniversary Of The Coup In Honduras
(Associated Press in Tegucigalpa)
After conceding, all Gore could do was write a book and profit from his investments.
As reported in Latino Fox News:
“Xiomara Castro buscará por segunda vez convertirse en la primera presidenta en la historia de Honduras, luego de haber sido derrotada en las elecciones generales de 2013 por el actual presidente, Juan Orlando Hernández.”
“Castro reafirmó que en la nueva contienda electoral, que iniciará en marzo de 2017, cuando los diferentes partidos celebren elecciones internas previo a los comicios generales de noviembre de ese mismo año, seguirá en su objetivo de convocar una Asamblea Constituyente.”
Former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya said in August 2016, that his wife Xiomara Castro will run for the left-wing Libre Party in the 2017 presidential elections.”
“Manuel Zelaya, who was ousted in a 2009 U.S.-backed military coup based on unfounded accusations that he was trying to do away with term limits, said his wife’s candidacy will be registered on Saturday before the electoral court in the capital of Tegucigalpa. This is the second time that Castro will run for the presidency. She did so in 2013, but lost to Hernandez in a controversial election that she and her supporters called “a fraud of incalculable proportions.”
“After the 2009 coup against the progressive government of Zelaya, millions of people in have been hoping that a new electoral process would help restore the social and political stability in the impoverished nation, where the crime and violence levels are critically high.”
All we have to fear is more Al Gore. Donny Boy is a lying windbag. Look at Hillary Clinton's track record. I'm not voting for Hillary Trump or Donald Clinton. (I borrowed that from Lee Camp)
I'm voting for Jill Stein this November 2016.
Confront your fears. All the great teachers say this. What we think, what we say, affects this vibrational reality. I do remember when thousands went to DC and meditated around the Capital. Stats prove that the crime rate dropped by more than 23 percent. Even the Chief of Police acknowledged the change and credited the 'experiment'.
That was 1993. What are invocations, thoughts, prayers....
To vote for either of the two party candidates is a vote against hope.
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