Menu

World Briefs

The Indypendent May 12, 2006

ZAPATISTA BASTION UNDER ATTACK, MARCOS SUSPENDS THE OTHER CAMPAIGN
In response to police violence, Subcomandante Marcos has suspended The Other Campaign, a national tour to unite leftist groups and draw attention to the Zapatista struggle. Marcos has vowed to stay in the embattled towns of San Salvador Atenco and Texcoco, Mexico, where police and farmers clashed when flower growers tried to set up a market in Texcoco on land that is believed to be coveted by Wal-Mart. The farmers are backed by Marcos as well as residents of nearby San Salvador Atenco, who successfully resisted the building of a new Mexico City airport in 2002. On May 3, San Salvador Atenco residents blocked the highway between the two towns to stop the onslaught of police. According to Narconews.com, police severely beat protesters, taking aim at their groins to maximize damage. Police shot and killed a 14- year-old boy, left dozens injured and arrested more than 100.

BOLIVIA RECLAIMS GAS RESERVES ON MAY DAY
Bolivia President Evo Morales (below) has ordered the nationalization of the South
American country’s gas reserves. Acting on pressure from his leftist base, Morales sent
the military into 56 gas facilities on May 1 and decreed that foreign companies have
six months to negotiate new contracts with the state. The nationalization of gas resources, not to be confused with expropriation of refineries and other assets, further aligned Morales’ Bolivia with Venezuela and Cuba. On April 29, Bolivia signed an alternative free trade pact with those two countries that will open new markets for Bolivia’s agricultural products and send thousands of Cuban doctors to Bolivia.

HUMALA LAGS, AMID QUESTIONS ON HIS POPULISM
Ollanta Humala, the left-wing populist who won the first round of Peru’s presidential
elections, now trails former president Alan Garcia in advance of a June 4 runoff. Polls show Humala trailing by 8 to 14 points as he continues to fend off questions about his family’s connections to a racial supremacist group and his role as an army officer during the Peruvian government’s 1980s war against the Shining Path guerrilla movement. But Humala is distancing himself from his family, and has won supporters by bucking free trade policies. “We’ve been exploited for more than 500 years by the Spaniards and now by the multinationals, some of which don’t even pay taxes or royalties. This has to change,” Humala said in a newspaper interview.

GLACIERS THAW INTO SAND
The glaciers of the Tibetan plateau in Asian are diminishing 50 percent every decade according to The Chinese Academy of Sciences. The breadth of the shrinkage is staggering, as the plateau contains 46,298 glaciers covering almost 60,000 sq. miles and its melted runoff could fill the Yellow River every year.

Under the tundra is a vast desert that has already begun to produce
blinding sand storms that cause air pollution and blanket entire provinces in dirt. “The melting glaciers will ultimately trigger more droughts, expand desertification and increase sand storms,” said academy scientist Dong Guangrong.