The Observer view on Brazil

Yesterday the British Observer newspaper (the Sunday version of The Guardian newspaper) published an editorial on the Brazilian crisis that reached the following conclusion: Democracy in Brazil, restored in 1985 after 20 years of military dictatorship, is not such a robust plant that it could not be uprooted afresh by a combination of wholesale political failure … Continue reading The Observer view on Brazil

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Cemeí Verdía looks to new governor for support

A judge has now determined that the indigenous autodefensa leader Cemeí Verdía has a case to answer on the murder charges brought against him by the state government prosecutor. He will therefore remain in the Mil Cumbres gaol. Cemeí and his lawyer have argued that the case is "political in nature", and the indigenous leader … Continue reading Cemeí Verdía looks to new governor for support

Ostula under siege

In an interview broadcast in full on YouTube, the commander of Ostula's communal police, Germán Ramírez, has described the indigenous community as "under siege". In addition to the military, a growing concentration of federal police agents has gathered in the surrounding area, suggesting that an operation to disarm the communal and municipal self-defence forces is … Continue reading Ostula under siege

Michoacán es otro?

In his final report to the state congress, outgoing interim governor, Salvador Jara Guerrero, insisted that he was leaving Michoacán in a more secure condition than he found it. "Hoy el estado es otro". Really? The state's public prosecutor has now brought the anticipated murder charges against coastal autodefensa leader Cemeí Verdía, former communal police … Continue reading Michoacán es otro?

Ostula demands

The indigenous community of Ostula has now presented a series of public demands to the state and federal authorities. These go beyond the demand for the immediate release from prison of Cemeí Verdía, former commander of Ostula's communal police and the autodefensas of Aquila, Coahuayana and Chinicuila, and the dropping of charges against him, which … Continue reading Ostula demands

More news from Ostula

Journalist Laura Castellanos has just produced a detailed report on the situation on the Michoacán Coast on the Aristegui Noticias website. It confirms things about the context and recent events that I have already written about in English in this blog and in my recent book The New War Against the Poor, but there is … Continue reading More news from Ostula

Justiça Global takes the Cabula case to the UN

The NGO Justiça Global, responsible for a devastating analysis of extra-judicial killings by the police of São Paulo in 2006, has now taken the case of the killing of twelve men in the Cabula neighbourhood of Salvador, Bahia, to the office of the UN special rapporteur on extra-judicial, summary and arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns. As I … Continue reading Justiça Global takes the Cabula case to the UN

Michoacán’s government refuses to turn. Ostula resists.

The state government of Michoacán has announced that the Ostula leader Cemeí Verdía will not be released from gaol despite the apparent collapse of the remaining charge of theft. They are still working on further charges, including a new effort to make homicide charges stick. The story so far suggests that the accusations on which … Continue reading Michoacán’s government refuses to turn. Ostula resists.

The final charge against Ostula’s self-defence force leader collapses

As explained in an earlier post, after the Ostula leader Semeí Verdía was absolved by a judge of the charges of illegal carrying of weapons, he was re-imprisoned on charges of homicide and theft, with the backing of the current state government of Michoacán. Another judge has dismissed the homicide charges as unfounded, leaving only … Continue reading The final charge against Ostula’s self-defence force leader collapses

Persecution of Ostula leader continues. Why?

Despite a federal judge's ruling that there was no case to answer on the charges originally brought against him, Semeí Verdía will now remain in prison. He was immediately rearrested him as he left the federal prison in which he was incarcerated in Nayarit, after the prosecutor's office of the state government of Michoacán issued … Continue reading Persecution of Ostula leader continues. Why?