El Salvador Amnesty Law repeal & U.S. intervention

first_imgMembers of the FMLN guerrilla army pose with the flag of the movement.By a 4 to 1 vote, the Supreme Court of El Salvador repealed an Amnesty Law that they stated was “unconstitutional.” This July 13 decision argued that repealing the law would put closure to the civil war that lasted from 1980 to 1992 and claimed 75,000 lives, including 8,000 “disappeared,” from the country’s 5 million people.The roots of this issue stem from Jan. 16, 1992, when, after 20 months of intense negotiations, the government of El Salvador and the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) signed the Chapultepec Peace Accords in Mexico City, to be monitored and enforced by the United Nations.The parties agreed to cease the armed conflict and establish a U.N.-appointed “Truth Commission” to investigate crimes committed during the war.The commission found that human rights violations, which resulted in the deaths and torture of combatants as well as civilians, were caused by Salvadoran armed forces and paramilitary “death squads.” Washington gave financial, military and political support to these ­criminals.The right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) governed El Salvador from 1989 until 2009. The FMLN, which led the liberation struggle, became an electoral political party after the peace accords. The FMLN won national elections in 2009, and has since governed El Salvador, which remains a capitalist country.The Supreme Court ruling has generated suspicion among both civilians and the left, since many believe that the repeal of the law could be misused to carry out a witch-hunt on former FMLN combatants. El Salvador’s President Sanchez Ceren, who was a guerrilla commander of the FMLN during the war, said the court decision “does not address the real and current problems of the country, and far from helping to resolve day-to-day problems of Salvadorans, the court ruling can aggravate them.” (Reuters, July 16)U.S. funds, trains death squadsWhatever hand committed the actual torture and murder, responsibility for the crimes lies on the doorstep of U.S. imperialism, which has been the dominant military and economic power in Central America since the late 1800s.The local ruling class, a criollo (people of Spanish descent) minority that was maybe 2 percent of the population, owned 90 percent of the agrarian economy and supplied U.S. imperialism mainly with coffee. The vast majority of Indigenous peasants lived in a state of starvation and impoverishment.In 1932, Augustín Farabundo Martí, who was in the Communist Party of El Salvador, led an uprising that was brutally suppressed by the ruling elite and its military. He and other leaders were executed, and 40,000 Amerindians were killed.The resistance reemerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s with strikes by workers and students and protests by peasants. Fearing the guerrilla-led revolution would liberate El Salvador as it did Nicaragua in 1979, U.S. imperialism — with support starting under the Democratic Jimmy Carter administration and continuing through Republicans Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush — provided weapons and training to the Salvadoran Armed Forces and the paramilitary death squads.According to author William Blum in “Human Rights, Washington Style”: “The CIA and the U.S. military played an essential role in the conception and organization of the security agencies from which the death squads emanated. CIA surveillance programs routinely supplied these agencies with the information on and the whereabouts of various individuals [who became] death squad victims.”U.S. military assistance to El Salvador topped $5 billion between 1978 and 1992. Any illusion about a “peaceful transition” to a reform-minded Salvadoran government was soon discarded after a series of atrocities and war crimes by the Salvadoran regime, a few of which are listed here:• Major Roberto D’Abuisson, founder of both the ARENA party and a U.S.-trained intelligence officer, masterminded the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero on March 24, 1980, the day after he called upon Salvadoran soldiers not to follow orders and kill civilians. D’Abuisson was never arrested because of “legislative immunity.”• The National Guard, along with the paramilitary Democratic Nationalist Organization (ORDEN), carried out a massacre of Salvadoran peasants at the Sumpul River on May 14, 1980, which killed 600, mostly women and children. (Report of the U.N. Truth Commission, April 1, 1993)• The El Mozote massacre: In three days in January 1981, 1,000 people, almost the whole population of the town, were killed. A monument to the victims now stands in the town plaza. U.S. Special Forces trained and equipped the dreaded Atlacatl Battalion, which was responsible for the massacre.• The Salvadoran Army First Brigade, which had U.S. advisers, carried out assassinations of 74 “dissidents” between April and July of 1989. (Blum)The list goes on and on, but the point is that U.S. imperialism, no matter how it pretends to be a defender of human rights, supports and arms some of the biggest war criminals in the world, besides directly committing war crimes as it has in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Scotty Zwang Announced As The New Drummer For RAQ

first_imgImprovisational jam band RAQ has announced that NYC native Scotty Zwang (formerly of Dopapod, Sonic Spank, Greenhouse Lounge) will join the band on drums, starting with three upcoming Northeast dates. The drummer has a long musical history with members of RAQ, having played in several projects with Todd Stoops over the years, including BangBang, Grateful Dead tribute act Without A Net, Robert Banks Trio with members of Twiddle, as well as Frank Zappa tribute act Cosmik Playground with Marcus Rezak and original Zappa member Ed Mann. The former Dopapod drummer will be replacing Neal “Fro” Evans, former drummer of RAQ who is now playing with Dopapod. Quite the switcheroo!Zwang will join Todd Stoops (Keyboards/Vocals), Chris Michetti (Guitar/Vocals), and Jay Burwick (Bass/Vocals) for shows at the Westcott Theatre in Syracuse, The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, and Thunder Road Music Club in Boston beginning of December. See below for details.2016 RAQ Show Dates:12/15 – Westcott Theatre – Syracuse, NY (tickets)12/16 – The Capitol Theatre (w/ Twiddle) – Port Chester, NY (tickets)12/17 – Thunder Road Music Club – Boston, MA (tickets)last_img read more

Dodgers batter Rockies bullpen for 8 runs in 7th inning of a 12-4 win

first_imgThe Rockies pinned their hopes on a heavy offseason investment in their bullpen. They committed $106 million to relievers last winter and will pay more in salary to their bullpen than their starting rotation this season.You don’t always get what you pay for. The Rockies’ bullpen is one of the worst in the majors and the Dodgers have done their part to cement that standing over the past two days. They have scored 23 runs in the first two games of this series, 14 in seven innings against Rockies relievers.Saturday’s bullpen bashing began quietly. With the game tied 4-4, Chris Taylor and Justin Turner singled to start the seventh. Yasmani Grandal hustled to beat out a double play, allowing the go-ahead run to score.“If he doesn’t beat that out, we don’t have that big inning. I think we kind of fed off that,” Kemp said. “I think Grandal knows he’s not the fastest guy out there. But he busted down the line, trying to make something happen. He got a ribbie out of it and we just went from there.”Instead of coming up with two outs and the bases empty, Kemp followed with a two-run home run and the floodgates opened.The Dodgers sent 12 batters to the plate in the seventh inning and collected six hits and three walks against three Rockies relievers. When the order came around to him again, Taylor had a two-run triple. Breyvic Valera had a two-run single. Another run scored on a wild pitch.Joc Pederson had a single in the seventh-inning gluttony, one of four hits in the game for him including two home runs.Related Articles Dodgers’ Dave Roberts says baseball’s unwritten rules ‘have changed, should change’ Dodgers’ hot-hitting Corey Seager leaves game with back injury PreviousLos Angeles Dodgers left fielder Joc Pederson, left, celebrates with right fielder Yasiel Puig, right, as center fielder Enrique Hernandez follows the pair after the Dodgers retired Colorado Rockies’ Noel Cuevas for the final out in the ninth inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Denver. The Dodgers won 12-4. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor singles off Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Bryan Shaw during the seventh inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig tosses his bat as he breaks from the batter’s box after hitting a ground ball that drove in a run off Colorado Rockies starting pitcher German Marquez during the second inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Denver. Puig was out at first. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLos Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler delivers a pitch to Colorado Rockies’ Carlos Gonzalez in the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confers with players before facing the Colorado Rockies in a baseball game Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Matt Kemp, left, advances to third base on a double hit by Joc Pederson as Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado covers the bag in the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal, left, loses control of the ball as he tries to tag out Colorado Rockies’ Trevor Story (27) who scores on a single by Tony Wolters in the second inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)Colorado Rockies’ DJ LeMahieu (9) follows the flight of his double to drive in two runs off Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler in the second inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)Colorado Rockies’ DJ LeMahieu, right, claps after pulling into second base with a two-run double, as as Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Breyvic Valera stands near the base during the second inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler reacts after giving up an RBI-single to Colorado Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon in the second inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler, left, confers with pitching coach Rick Honeycutt and catcher Yasmani Grandal after Buehler gave up an RBI single to Colorado Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon during the second inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Joc Pederson circles he bases after hitting a solo home run off Colorado Rockies starting pitcher German Marquez in the fourth inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig, left, congratulates Joc Pederson as he heads back to the dugout after hitting a solo home run off Colorado Rockies starting pitcher German Marquez during the fourth inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)Colorado Rockies starting pitcher German Marquez reacts after walking Los Angeles Dodgers’ Matt Kemp in the fifth inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black gestures to starter German Marquez who struggles while pitching to Los Angeles Dodgers’ Justin Turner in the fifth inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Joc Pederson follows through with his swing after connecting for a solo home urn off Colorado Rockies starting pitcher German Marquez in the sixth inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Joc Pederson gestures after crossing home plate following his solo home run off Colorado Rockies starting pitcher German Marquez in the sixth inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Matt Kemp, left, follows the flight of his two-run home run with Colorado Rockies catcher Tony Wolters in the seventh inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Matt Kemp, left, celebrates with Cody Bellinger while passing the on-deck circle after hitting a two-run home run off Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Bryan Shaw in the seventh inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Matt Kemp runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run off Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Bryan Shaw during the seventh inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Matt Kemp gestures as he crosses home plate after hitting a two-run home run off Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Bryan Shaw in the seventh inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Breyvic Valera watches his two-run single off Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Mike Dunn during the seventh inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor follows the flight of his triple to drive in two runs off Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Harrison Musgrave in the seventh inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)Colorado Rockies first baseman Ian Desmond, left, waits with relief pitcher Mike Dunn as Dunn is about to be removed after giving up a two-run single to Los Angeles Dodgers’ Breyvic Valera during the seventh inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Daniel Hudson delivers a pitch to a Colorado Rockies batter during the eighth inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Denver. The Dodgers won 12-4. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)DENVER, CO – JUNE 02: Charlie Blackmon #19 of the Colorado Rockies is tagged out at home by Yasmani Grandal #9 of the Los Angeles Dodgers to end the first inning of a game at Coors Field on June 2, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)DENVER, CO – JUNE 02: Joc Pederson #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates after scoring a second inning run against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on June 2, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)DENVER, CO – JUNE 02: Joc Pederson #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates with Yasiel Puig #66 after hitting a fourth inning solo homerun against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on June 2, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)DENVER, CO – JUNE 02: Chris Taylor #3 of the Los Angeles Dodgers slides safely into second base under a tag attempt by DJ LeMahieu #9 of the Colorado Rockies for a steal in the fifth inning of a game at Coors Field on June 2, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)DENVER, CO – JUNE 02: Matt Kemp #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers watches the flight of a seventh inning 2-run homerun against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on June 2, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)The Dodgers’ Joc Pederson celebrates in the dugout after scoring a second-inning run during Saturday’s game against the Rockies in Denver. Pederson had four hits in the game, including two home runs and a double. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)DENVER, CO – JUNE 02: Breyvic Valera #33 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a 2-RBI single against the Colorado Rockies in the seventh inning at Coors Field on June 2, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)DENVER, CO – JUNE 02: Matt Kemp #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a seventh inning two-run homerun against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on June 2, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Joc Pederson, left, celebrates with right fielder Yasiel Puig, right, as center fielder Enrique Hernandez follows the pair after the Dodgers retired Colorado Rockies’ Noel Cuevas for the final out in the ninth inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Denver. The Dodgers won 12-4. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor singles off Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Bryan Shaw during the seventh inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)NextShow Caption1 of 33Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor singles off Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Bryan Shaw during the seventh inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)ExpandDENVER — The sky isn’t falling any more, if it ever was.Now, it’s the rest of the division falling, coming right back to a Dodgers team that survived being painfully mortal for the season’s first 40 games.The Dodgers scored eight runs in the seventh inning Saturday, thoroughly breaking open a tie game and handing the Colorado Rockies a 12-4 defeat. The eight-run inning was the Dodgers’ biggest scoring burst since another eight-run inning on August 16, 2016 in Philadelphia.And the win was the Dodgers’ 12th in their past 16 games. Depending on the outcome of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ game Saturday night, the Dodgers will finish the night 2 or 2 ½ games out of first place in the National League West. It is the closest the Dodgers have been to first place in the division since April 2. Whicker: Dustin May yet another example of the Dodgers’ eye for pitching Sign up for our Inside the Dodgers newsletter. Be the best Dodger fan you can be by getting daily intel on your favorite team. Subscribe here.“It means we’re playing good baseball right now and we made up for a month and a half of not so good baseball,” said Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp who had a two-run home run in Saturday’s big inning. “But we’ve got a long ways to go. I’m sure as we get healthier and healthier we’re going to get better.”At times over the past two months, it seemed like the Dodgers would never get healthy. It still seems that way. But Kemp is an optimist.“I hope so. That’s the plan,” Kemp said. “I think at some point we will be healthy. I pray to God.”Dodgers manager Dave Roberts defended the NL West before Saturday’s game. Only two teams in the division (the Rockies and Diamondbacks) have winning records and those two have been sinking towards .500 at a fast rate over the past few weeks. But Roberts said it’s too early to judge how tough the competition is when so many of the teams have been robbed of top players due to injuries.He might have a point. But a third of the way into the season, it’s starting to look like the Dodgers might eventually claim their sixth consecutive division title — even if Kemp’s prayers aren’t answered. Dodgers’ Justin Turner looking rejuvenated on defense Dodgers bench slumping Cody Bellinger for a day Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more