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ANALYSIS

The president of Mexico promotes a ‘stick law’ that would have taken him to jail in the 90s

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  • Lopez Obrador participated in the 90s in several marches and blockades in Pemex oil wells to demand compensation from the indigenous population.
  • The new law establishes up to 20 years in prison for those who prevent access to companies and 13 years for those who prevent work in public works.
  • The approval of the law coincides with the construction of a Pemex refinery, a project of 7,177 million euros without an environmental impact plan.

López Obrador

The president of Mexico , a man who made himself known years ago during the blockade of facilities of Pemex (the state oil company) in the southeast of the state of Tabasco, his home state, is being criticized for showing his support for a state law which hardens the criminalization of this same form of protest.

On Monday, members of the MORENA party of Andrés Manuel López Obrador passed a law that applies severe penalties to social protest. With sentences of up to 20 years in prison for those who prevent access to companies and 13 years for those who prevent work in public works.

And this happens at the time that the man known as AMLO announces the beginning of the construction of a refinery in the state with an investment of 8,000 million dollars (€ 7,177 million), a project that does not want to see delayed beyond four years projected and of which the environmental impact plan is still pending.

The secretary of state government, Marcos Medina Filigrana has explained it as follows: “It is not an anti-protest law. It is a reform against extortion. It is clear.”

López Obrador has echoed the same point of view at a recent press conference, in which he explained that Pemex and its subsidiary companies have been extorted in the past by individuals charging land rights on the roads that lead to the oil facilities.

Those who criticize the measure qualify it as a hypocrite given the history of AMLO himself, a leader who has thrown his supporters into the blockade of streets or has refused to pronounce a condemnation of the dissident sector of teacher unionism, which in the past has blocked cities for The whole country and even the capital.

“It is hypocritical for someone who has based his entire career on his reputation for blockade and protest,” says Gerardo Priego, an opponent in Tabasco. “Who is going to define what is extortion and what is not? Won’t their allies be legitimate protesters and extortionists their opponents?”

The #LeyGarrote label linked to images of López Obrador, bloodied after clashes with the army in his youth, has become a trend in Mexican networks.

López Obrador began his political career as a state delegate of the National Indigenous Institute in Tabasco and as an activist alongside communities whose lands were affected by the pollution generated by PEMEX and received no compensation. He then led long marches to Mexico City to protest the electoral scandals of the mid-1990s. His own supporters camped the Paseo de la Reforma for six months in 2006 when they considered that the elections had been stolen.

López Obrador swept the 2018 elections by getting both the presidency and the majority in Congress after being able to capitalize on discontent with corruption and on promises to end repression against activists, human rights defenders, environmentalists and journalists.

The governors of several states like Quintana Roo, where Cancun is located, have been accused in the past of widespread corruption and have passed similar laws against social protest. His argument: It would affect tourism.

Popular support for AMLO remains firm above 60 percent, but discordant voices begin to be heard from the left, to which it claims to belong. They do not like announcements regarding the approval of austerity measures, the creation of a military police for the pacification of the country or their attacks on the most critical press.

The journalist Javier Garza, who directed the newspaper El Siglo de Torreón in the north of the country, believes that “[AMLO] benefited from marches, protests and investigative journalism that revealed cases of corruption and ineptitude of politicians he opposed. Now who is president, the protest and the journalistic investigation go against him. And he doesn’t like it.”

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ANALYSIS

More than half a thousand civilians died in Syria in July, according to the Observatory

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The month of July has become the bloodiest since the beginning of the year in Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which confirmed that at least 507 civilians lost their lives in the last 31 days.

EFE

In a report released today, the observatory noted that among the civilians killed there are 190 minors and that adding to the combatants the total number of fatalities reached 1,124 people in the middle of the escalation of military operations of the forces of Bachar al Asad and its allies in the northwestern provinces of Syria.

The NGO explained that of the 507 civilians, 301 died in attacks and bombings by the Syrian army and Russian aviation and that 41 died from attacks by factions operating in the provinces of Aleppo, Hama, and Idlib.

In addition, 52 lost their lives in explosions, 10 by murders and 9 at the hands of the Democratic Syrian Forces, the militias led by the Kurds who control the east of the country.

The count included 7 deaths from torture in the prisons of President Bachar al Asad’s regime, 6 from Israeli aviation and 2 in unknown circumstances.

The Observatory noted that some 78 civilians lost their lives in the Al Hol camp in northeastern Syria, where around 70,000 people are found, 90% of the children and women, relatives and suspects of having joined the jihadist group State Islamic (EI) in the country.

The London-based NGO, which has a large network of informants in Syria, counted a Turkish border guard on the list of deceased civilians.

The forces loyal to Al Asad have increased their operations in the northwest of the country since the end of April when they began an undeclared offensive and escalation of the fighting in the demilitarized zone agreed by Turks and Russians in September last year.

The pact then halted a potential government offensive against the region, the last stronghold of the opposition in Syria, and established a humanitarian belt for the nearly 3 million people estimated to live in Idlib.

However, in recent weeks military operations and violence have increased significantly especially against civilian targets.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, condemned last week the systematic attack against schools and health centers and rejected the “apparent international indifference” to these actions in the northwest of the country.

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ANALYSIS

Why Trump fights Sweden for a rapper: a racist president for the ‘black vote’

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The most rocambolesque story of the summer in the US is that of the diplomatic conflict with Sweden on behalf of a rapper.

Why Trump fights Sweden for a rapper

A $ AP Rocky is in pretrial detention in Stockholm for an alleged assault and, after his arrest, his good friend and also rap star Kanye West decided to make a call to the White House and ask for help. President Trump, who is not leftover by world-famous African-American supporters, then picked up the phone and spoke with the Swedish government. In Trump’s eyes, the Swedish Prime Minister has gone in just a few days from being “the very talented” Stefan Löfven to becoming “the very disappointing”Stefan Löfven. And all to tell the president that everything is fine, but that this is Sweden and that the government cannot tell a judge what it has to do. Trump is very angry because “with everything we do for Sweden”, but let’s rewind a bit: why the hell has Trump gotten into this mess?

This story begins in the last presidential elections when Donald Trump gets an overwhelming 8% of the ‘black vote’. His great argument to seduce them was “what the hell do you have to lose?” and its result is not particularly disastrous since the Democrats have been ravaging African-Americans for decades. The key, however, was the decline in black participation with respect to the Obama elections, a decline that did make a difference in some states. Trump’s campaign conducted several campaigns on Facebook with the stated objective that many black voters stayed at home on election day and, it seems, succeeded. But to be re-elected next year, Trump has higher ambitions: “Look what I have done for African Americans,” he said, presuming that unemployment between them is at record lows. He has declared that he wants to win the ‘black vote’  and, for that, he needs allies within the community.

If Trump is willing to fight with Sweden to remain friends with Kanye West, it is because few influential African-American figures are willing to take pictures with him. And of course none with the predicament of the musician/influencer/guru/idol of realities. His relationship with the African-American stars is opportunistic: Trump often praises black idols of sport, for example, but as long as they don’t talk about inequality, politics and, of course, they don’t criticize him. He seems to be more interested in the image of camaraderie with them than his opinions.

Trump always congratulates golfer Tiger Woods, for example, but obsessively claims the dismissal of American football players protesting police brutality. He boasts of his friendship with black boxers but calls stupid NBA star LeBron James for criticizing his policies. In fact, the president has a long history of questioning the intelligence of any African-American who faces him, from journalists to deputies: “The world’s dumbest,” “extremely low intellectual capacity,” “bitch” … A jewel.

That language may have to do with Trump being 73 years old and raised in an era where racism was much more publicly accepted. There is your history as an entrepreneur: The government had to force him to rent his apartments to more African Americans and many employees have accused him of discrimination. It also has a rosary of racist statements, among which shines an alleged explanation that blacks are lazy by nature although “it is not their fault.” But, beyond what Trump really thinks, by openly exploiting the most racist side of American society to reach the White House, it has caused a distrust that will be hard to overcome. He entered politics by doubting that the first black president was truly American and, as much as the strike goes down, it is difficult for the African-American community to forget his tributes to slavers or his argument that in a neo-Nazi march there were “very good people.” The vast majority of African Americans have been rooted in the United States for centuries, but it is also reasonable to believe that it will grind to hear him speak of Africa as “crap countries” and explain that African immigrants “do not want to return to their huts.”

Trump will continue to sympathize with Mike Tyson and promote some of his unconditional African-Americans like Diamond and Silk. Maybe even take  A $ AP  Rocky from Sweden and meet again with Kanye West. You can boast in the campaign not only the decline in unemployment among African Americans but also a legal reform of the prison system that has been very popular in the black community. But his intolerant and incendiary language will always create a gap with a group of people who have lived and live racism very closely. Trump may not call them “rapists and traffickers” like Mexicans, or accuse them of complicity with terrorism like American Muslims, but their flirtations with white nationalism and their tone outings, in addition to their furious attacks on African Americans who discuss him, are sufficient grounds for distrust.

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ANALYSIS

President Trump gives another meaning to the concept of ‘White House’

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  • Racism accusations against Donald Trump come from beyond the United States and even the US Congress passed a condemnation resolution
  • The opinion of Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan of Democracy Now!

President Trump

The president of the United States, Donald Trump, has given new meaning to the White House. From his chair, located at number 1,600 on Pennsylvania Avenue, in Washington DC, he launches racist epithets on Twitter while giving orders to armed agents to terrorize immigrant people at the border and in communities across the country.

The president of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, has summed it up very clearly in her comments about Trump’s attempts to include a question about citizenship in the next national census. Even after the measure was rejected by the Supreme Court. Paraphrasing Trump’s campaign slogan, Pelosi accused him of trying “to make the United States white again.”

Trump is known to be a voracious consumer of the Fox news network. On Sunday morning, just 20 minutes after the Fox & Friends program aired a segment in which congressmen Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Ilhan Omar, were attacked. Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib, Trump tweeted: “How interesting to see the ‘progressive’ Democratic congressmen, who come from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe … telling the United States to the cries and aggressively … how it should be exercised our government. Why don’t they come back and help fix those completely broken and crime-ridden places they come from? ”

Go back to where they came from? Three of the congressmen he attacked were born in the United States. Ocasio Cortez, a native of the Bronx, is the youngest woman to be elected to Congress, Pressley, born in Cincinnati, is the first African-American congresswoman to represent the state of Massachusetts. Tlaib, from Detroit, is Palestinian-American and along with Ilhan Omar, they are the first Muslim women to occupy seats in Congress.

Omar is also the first congressman to wear hijab. Born in Somalia, she arrived in the United States as a child as a political refugee. As a video that went viral indicates, Omar has been a US citizen for a longer time than Trump’s third wife, first lady Melania Trump, a native of Slovenia.

Trump’s racist tweets joined the fractured Democratic Party and quickly activated a demonstration of support for the four brand-new congressmen, now collectively called “the squad.”

By Tuesday, resolution 489 was being debated in the House of Representatives, entitled ‘In condemnation of President Trump’s racist comments addressed to members of Congress.’ Republicans managed to temporarily obstruct the debate by invoking an unclear issue present in the congressional rules that says: “References to racial or other discrimination by the president do not apply.”

The original rule book prohibiting the use of the word ‘racist’ was written by Thomas Jefferson, the same who owned slaves, but the irony of the fact was not perceived by the Republicans. The resolution was finally passed, with four Republicans who joined the Democratic majority. While it was the first formal reprimand of the House of Representatives towards a president in office in more than a century, Pelosi blocked a more serious motion that sought to censor Trump.

Trump redoubled his verbal attacks against the four congressmen by accusing them of socialists and communists. Trump’s use of typical attacks of the McCarthy era should not surprise anyone since his first mentor was Roy Cohn, who served as Senator Joseph McCarthy’s chief lawyer in the 1950s, at which time destroyed thousands of lives with its policy of anti-communist persecution.

President Trump traveled to North Carolina on Wednesday to participate in a campaign event. Once again, he pointed against his favorite victims: women and racialized people, revealing what is probably one of his campaign strategies, that of using racist rhetoric to ignite his white electoral base. In the midst of his long rant directed against Ilhan Omar, the crowd chanted: “Send her back! Send her back!”

In his book, Black History of the White House, the professor of the American University Clarence Lusane tells the story of the presidential mansion, from the time of its construction, raised with the forced labor of black slaves, to the first African-American presidential family, the Obama

“For many African Americans, the ‘white’ of the White House has implied much more than the color of the mansion. It has symbolized the tonality and source of dehumanizing cruelty, domination, and exclusion that have defined the long narrative of relationships of whites with people of color in the United States, “Lusane wrote.

On Monday, the four congressmen who so clearly threaten Trump gave a press conference, where they denounced the racism they experience and racialized people in general. They pointed out the president’s policies on the detention of immigrants, family separation and the threatening raids of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service. Not to mention Trump by name, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley made it clear who this country is from.

“Despite the attempts of the White House occupant to marginalize and silence us, know that we are more than four people. We follow the mandate to defend and represent those ignored, excluded and abandoned. Our squad is large. Our squad includes any person who is committed to building a more equitable and fair world. That is the job we want to return to. Given the size of this squad and this great nation, no one can silence us.”

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