Archive for the ‘South America’ Category

Greenpeace apologises to people of Peru over Nazca lines stunt.

December 11, 2014 2 comments

By   11th December 2014.         Find Article Here:-

Culture ministry says it will press charges against activists for damage to world heritage site as UN climate talks began in Lima.

Greenpeace's 'time for change' message next to the hummingbird geoglyph in Nazca.
Greenpeace’s ‘time for change’ message next to the hummingbird geoglyph in Nazca.

Greenpeace has apologised to the people of Peru after the government accused the environmentalists of damaging ancient earth markings in the country’s coastal desert by leaving footprints in the ground during a publicity stunt meant to send a message to the UN climate talks delegates in Lima.

A spokesman for Greenpeace said: “Without reservation Greenpeace apologises to the people of Peru for the offence caused by our recent activity laying a message of hope at the site of the historic Nazca lines. We are deeply sorry for this.

“Rather than relay an urgent message of hope and possibility to the leaders gathering at the Lima UN climate talks, we came across as careless and crass.”

Earlier Peru’s vice-minister for culture Luis Jaime Castillo had accused Greenpeace of “extreme environmentalism” and ignoring what the Peruvian people “consider to be sacred” after the protest at the world renowned Nazca lines, a Unesco world heritage site.

He said the government was seeking to prevent those responsible from leaving the country while it asked prosecutors to file charges of attacking archaeological monuments, a crime punishable by up to six years in prison.

The activists had entered a strictly prohibited area beside the figure of a hummingbird among the lines, the culture ministry said, and they had laid down big yellow cloth letters reading “Time for Change! The Future is Renewable” as the UN climate talks began in Peru’s capital.

“This has been done without any respect for our laws. It was done in the middle of the night. They went ahead and stepped on our hummingbird, and looking at the pictures we can see there’s very severe damage,” Castillo said. “Nobody can go on these lines without permission – not even the president of Peru!”

Peruvian authorities are also seeking the identity of the archaeologist who led the activists to the site and the plane from which the photos of the stunt were taken, he said. “It was thoughtless, insensitive, illegal, irresponsible and absolutely pre-meditated. Greenpeace has said it was planning this action for months.”

Tina Loeffelbein, a Greenpeace spokeswoman at the summit, said she was not aware of any legal proceedings being brought against the group. She said Greenpeace was cooperating with the Peruvian authorities and seeking to clarify what took place.

In a statement Greenpeace said it was concerned that it could have caused “moral offence to the Peruvian people”.

The statement read: “Our history of more than 40 years of peaceful activism clearly shows that we have always been most respectful with people around the world and their diverse cultural legacies.”

Castillo responded: “Disrespecting humanity’s cultural heritage – I don’t think that’s the message this summit or Greenpeace is trying to spread to the world! Most of us in the cultural sector agree with the message. But the means don’t justify the ends.”

“We took every care we could to try and avoid any damage. We have 40 years of experience of doing peaceful protests,” Kyle Ash, Greenpeace spokesman, told the Guardian. “The surprise to us was that this resulted in some kind of moral offense. We definitely regret that and we want to figure out a way to resolve it. We are very remorseful for any offense that we’ve caused and we’re very remorseful for that.”

He said Greenpeace met on Wednesday with Peru’s minister of culture, Diana Alvarez. He said the organization hoped to maintain a dialogue with the Peruvian government. He added Greenpeace would take “total responsibility” if any permanent damage had been caused to the archaeological site.

“It’s not a matter of money. The destruction is irreparable,” Ana Maria Cogorno, President of the Maria Reiche Association named after the German archaeologist whose groundbreaking research on the Nazca Lines from 1940 onwards saw them gain recognition and protection, told the Guardian.

The hummingbird etching on which the Greenpeace stunt was laid was the “only one of the lines which was completely untouched and perfectly conserved”, she said. “It’s one of the symbols of Peru,” she added.

Last week Greenpeace projected a message promoting solar energy on to Huayna Picchu, the mountain that overlooks the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, another protected archaeological site in Peru.


Venezuela prison deaths: Suspicions of government cover-up grow as death toll rises.

By Freddy Mayhew   29th November 2014.           Find Article Here:-

Thirty-five inmates reported dead due to drug overdose at overcrowded jail.

The rising death toll at an overcrowded prison, said by authorities to have been caused by widespread drug overdosing, has raised suspicions among human rights activists.

Pressure is mounting on Venezuela’s government to launch a full investigation into 35 deaths within a week at David Viloria prison, in the west of the South American country,

The trouble began on Monday with inmates going on hunger strike for better conditions, according to prison officials.

They said a violent group stormed an infirmary and drank a lethal concoction of pure alcohol and drugs used to treat epilepsy, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Another 100 prisoners are said to be in comas as they continue to receive treatment for intoxication.

Politician William Ojeda, a member of the country’s ruling Socialist Party, visited the jail on Friday. He said a number of the inmates had been former drug addicts suffering from withdrawal symptoms.

Prisoner rights activists are sceptical of the official version, with a lack of information and access for family members leading to suspicions that inmates might have been poisoned to restore order.

Ligia Bolivar, a human rights expert at Andres Bello Catholic University in Caracas said government information was so incomplete that “counting the deaths now requires going to the morgue”.

The relative of an inmate tries to find out information about her loved one.

President Nicolas Maduro has yet to comment on the incident, despite calls for a thorough investigation from Roman Catholic Church leaders and the UN’s human rights agency.

Government officials have said the situation is now under control after it called in the National Guard and transferred hundreds of prisoners to other facilities.

Mr Ojeda said all prisoners’ rights were being respected in the handling of the incident.

Police arrested the jail’s warden, Julio Cesar Perez, on Thursday. He is expected to be charged in connection with the deaths.

Venezuela’s 32 prisons are among the world’s most violent and overcrowded, housing almost three times their intended capacity according to the International Centre for Prison Studies.

The number of inmates has doubled since 2008 as a result of rampant crime and stuffer mandatory sentences. Last year 506 died in the Venezuela’s jails, according to prison watchdog groups.

David Viloria prison, previously called La Uribana, is named after a guard who was one of 58 people killed there last year during the second-deadliest prison riot in the country’s history.

It was built to hold 850 inmates, but was believed to be holding around 3,000 when the latest disturbances broke out.

Additional reporting by Press Association.

DNA Results For The Nephilim Skulls In Peru Are In And The Results Are Absolutely Shocking.

By Michael Snyder, on February 10th, 2014.               Find Full Article & Video Here:-

Elongated Skull Peru - Red Hair

How can we explain elongated skulls that are thousands of years old that contain genetic material “unknown in any human, primate or animal known so far”?  For months, many of us have been eagerly awaiting the results of the first DNA tests to ever be performed on the famous Paracas skulls.  The results for one of the skulls are now in, and the scientist that did the testing is declaring that this skull represents a “new human-like creature” unlike anything that has ever been discovered before.  So are these actually Nephilim skulls?  Do they come from a time when the world more closely resembled “the Lord of the Rings” than most people living today would ever dare to imagine?  There are those who believe that extremely bizarre hybrid races once roamed the planet.  With each passing year, the scientific evidence continues to pile up on the side of those that are convinced that the Nephilim actually lived among us.  As the knowledge of this evidence becomes more widespread, what is that going to do to the commonly accepted version of history that all of us have been taught?

If you are not familiar with the Paracas skulls, the following is a pretty good summary from a recent article by April Holloway

Paracas is a desert peninsula located within the Pisco Province in the Inca Region, on the south coast of Peru.  It is here were Peruvian archaeologist, Julio Tello, made an amazing discovery in 1928 – a massive and elaborate graveyard containing tombs filled with the remains of individuals with the largest elongated skulls found anywhere in the world. These have come to be known as the ‘Paracas skulls’. In total, Tello found more than 300 of these elongated skulls, which are believed to date back around 3,000 years. A DNA analysis has now been conducted on one of the skulls and expert Brien Foerster has released preliminary information regarding these enigmatic skulls.

As Holloway noted, it is researcher Brien Foerster that has been leading the charge in reviving interest in these elongated skulls.  Now that the DNA results are in, interest in these skulls is almost certainly going to skyrocket.  The following quote from the geneticist that conducted the DNA analysis comes from Brien Foerster’s Facebook page.  Please keep in mind that this geneticist was not told the history of these skulls in advance.  So he was able to examine them without any preconceived notions.  What he found was absolutely shocking…

Unease among Brazil’s farmers as Congress votes on GM terminator seeds.

By in Rio de Janeiro and     12th December 2013.

Find Full Article Here:-

Brazil national congress

Brazil’s national Congress is under pressure from landowning groups to green light GM ‘terminator’ seeds. Photograph: Ruy Barbosa Pinto/Getty Images/Flickr RF

Brazil is set to break a global moratorium on genetically-modified “terminator” seeds, which are said to threaten the livelihoods of millions of small farmers around the world.

The sterile or “suicide” seeds are produced by means of genetic use restriction technology, which makes crops die off after one harvest without producing offspring. As a result, farmers have to buy new seeds for each planting, which reduces their self-sufficiency and makes them dependent on major seed and chemical companies.

Environmentalists fear that any such move by Brazil – one of the biggest agricultural producers on the planet – could produce a domino effect that would result in the worldwide adoption of the controversial technology.

Major seed and chemical companies, which together own more than 60% of the global seed market, all have patents on terminator seed technologies. However, in the 1990s they agreed not to employ the technique after a global outcry by small farmers, indigenous groups and civil society groups.

In 2000, 193 countries signed up to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, which recommended a de facto moratorium on this technology.

The moratorium is under growing pressure in Brazil, where powerful landowning groups have been pushing Congress to allow the technology to be used for the controlled propogation of certain plants used for medicines and eucalyptus trees, which provide pulp for paper mills.

The landowning groups want to plant large areas with fast growing GM trees and other non-food GM crops that could theoretically spread seeds over wide areas. The technology, they argue, would be a safeguard, ensuring that no second generation pollution of GM traits takes place. They insist that terminator seeds would only be used for non-food crops.

Their efforts to force a bill to this effect through Congress, ongoing since 2007, have been slowed due to resistance from environmentalists.

The proposed measure has been approved by the legislature’s agricultural commission, rejected by the environmental commission, and now sits in the justice and citizenship commission. It is likely to go to a full Congressional vote, where it could be passed as early as next Tuesday, or soon after the Christmas recess.

Environment groups say there would be global consequences. “Brazil is the frontline. If the agro-industry breaks the moratorium here, they’ll break it everywhere,” said Maria José Guazzelli, of Centro Ecológico, which represents a coalition of Brazilian NGOs.

This week they presented a protest letter signed by 34,000 people to thwart the latest effort to move the proposed legislation forward. “If this bill goes through, it would be a disaster. Farmers would no longer be able to produce their own seeds. That’s the ultimate aim of the agro-industry,” she said.

The international technology watchdog ETC, which was among the earliest proponents of a ban on terminator technology in the 1990s, fears this is part of a strategy to crack the international consensus.

“If the bill is passed, [we expect] the Brazilian government to take a series of steps that will orchestrate the collapse of the 193-country consensus moratorium when the UN Convention on Biological Diversity meets for its biennial conference in Korea in October 2014,” said executive director Pat Mooney.

But Eduardo Sciarra, Social Democratic party leader in the Brazilian Congress, said the proposed measure did not threaten farmers because it was intended only to set controlled guidelines for the research and development of “bioreactor” plants for medicine.

“Gene use restriction technology has its benefits. This bill allows the use of this technology only where it is good for humanity,” he said.

The technology was developed by the US Department of Agriculture and the world’s largest seed and agrochemical firms. Syngenta, Bayer, BASF, Dow, Monsanto and DuPont together control more than 60% of the global commercial seed market and 76% of the agrochemical market. All are believed to hold patents on the technology, but none are thought to have developed the seeds for commercial use.

Massive protests in the 1990s by Indian, Latin American and south-east Asian peasant farmers, indigenous groups and their supporters put the companies on the back foot, and they were reluctantly forced to shelve the technology after the UN called for a de-facto moratorium in 2000.

Now, while denying that they intend to use terminator seeds, the companies argue that the urgent need to combat climate change makes it imperative to use the technology. In addition, they say that the technology could protect conventional and organic farmers by stopping GM plants spreading their genes to wild relatives – an increasing problem in the US, Argentina and other countries where GM crops are grown on a large scale.

A Monsanto spokesman in Brazil said the company was unaware of the developments and stood by a commitment made in 1999 not to pursue terminator technology. “I’m not aware of so-called terminator seeds having been developed by any organisation, and Monsanto stands firmly by our commitment and has no plans or research relating to this,” said Tom Helscher.

On its website, however, the company’s commitment only appears to relate to “food crops”, which does not encompass the tree and medicinal products under consideration in Brazil.

• Additional research by Anna Kaiser

Brazil’s treatment of its indigenous people violates their rights.

By   Wednesday 29th May 2013.        Find Full Article Here:-

International pressure must be brought on Brazil to protect its native peoples against industrialisation of the Amazon.

Belo Monte dam protest

Representatives of the local indigenous communites and environmental activists demonstrate in Sao Paulo against the construction of Belo Monte dam at Xingu river in the Brazilian state of Para. Photograph: Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images

These are challenging times if you happen to be an indigenous inhabitant of South America’s largest democracy. Not since the dark days of Brazil’s military dictatorship, when the indigenous people were regarded as “obstacles to progress” and their lands were opened to massive development schemes, have they faced such an assault on their rights.

The fortuitous discovery of the landmark Figueiredo report, which documented appalling crimes against Brazil’s tribal peoples during the 1940s, 50s and 60s and led to the creation of the tribal rights organisation Survival International in 1969, has re-ignited debate, and serves as a warning at a time when the denial of land rights and killing of indigenous people continues.

On one side is an intransigent president whose unilateral view of development looks set to turn the Amazon into an industrial heartland to fuel Brazil’s fast-growing economy. On the other there are Brazil’s 238 tribes, determined to defend their hard-won constitutional rights and protect their lands and livelihoods for future generations. Tellingly, Dilma Rousseff is the only president since the fall of the dictatorship in 1985 who has not met with indigenous peoples.

This is a battle for the rule of law and the right to self-determination, a cornerstone of the UN declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples. As the Coordination of Indigenous Organisations of the Brazilian Amazon, or COIAB, recently stated: “The current government is trying to impose its colonial and dominating style on us … [it] has caused irreversible harm to indigenous peoples using bills and decrees, many of them unconstitutional.”

One bill under discussion would prohibit the expansion of territories occupied by indigenous people and will affect villagers living in the rich agricultural mid-west and south, where violent land conflicts are most acute and where Brazil’s powerful rural lobby includes politicians who own ranches (many now selling sugar cane to supply Brazil’s burgeoning biofuels industry) on land due to be returned to the indigenous people.

It will be particularly disastrous for the Guarani in Mato Grosso do Sul state, living in roadside camps or overcrowded reserves. Their leaders and shamans are systematically attacked and murdered by ranchers’ gunmen as they attempt to regain their ancestral land, tired of waiting for the federal authorities to take action.

A proposed constitutional amendment would give congress (dominated by the agricultural and mining lobby) the power to participate in the process of demarcating land occupied by the indigenous population, causing further delays and obstacles to the recognition and protection of territories. This would put the wolf in charge of the sheep.

Further north, in the mineral-rich Amazonian state of Roraima, politicians are backing a draft mining bill. If approved by congress it would open up indigenous territories to large-scale mining for the first time. The Yanomami people’s land, the largest forested indigenous territory in the world, is subject to 654 mining requests alone. A Yanomami spokesman, Davi Kopenawa, said to Survival International that mining “will destroy the streams and the rivers and kill the fish and kill the environment – and kill us”.

American dies trying to dribble soccer ball to Brazil.

By Associated Press 15th May 2013.     Find Article Here:-

Richard Swanson was making 10,000-mile attempt to reach World Cup for football charity when he was hit by pickup truck.

Richard Swanson, who has been hit by a pickup truck and killed while trying to dribble a soccer ball to Brazil in time for the 2014 World Cup.
Richard Swanson, who has been hit by a pickup truck and killed while trying to dribble a soccer ball to Brazil in time for the 2014 World Cup. Photograph: Bill Wagner/AP

A Seattle man trying to dribble a soccer ball 10,000 miles (16,000km) to Brazil in time for the 2014 World Cup has died after being hit by a pickup truck on the Oregon coast.

Police in Lincoln City, Oregon, said 42-year-old Richard Swanson was hit at about 10am on Tuesday while walking south along US highway 101 near the city limits. He was declared dead at a local hospital. The driver has not been charged.

Lieutenant Jerry Palmer said investigators found materials among Swanson’s possessions listing his website, Swanson set out on the trek to promote the One World Futbol Project, based in Berkeley, California, which donates durable soccer balls to people in developing countries.

“We are deeply saddened to learn about Richard’s death,” Lisa Tarver, chief operating officer of the One World Futbol Project, said in a statement. “He was a very inspiring man who in a very short time walked his way into many lives. Our thoughts are with his family.”

Police said Palmer’s soccer ball was recovered.

In an interview with the Daily News newspaper in Longview, Washington, Swanson had said he was a private investigator looking for an adventure while between jobs. An avid runner, he started playing soccer five years ago and played on club teams and supported the Seattle Sounders.

“I felt destined that I should go on this trip,” he said.

His website said he left Seattle on 1 May and the trip would take him through 11 countries before reaching São Paulo, Brazil, where the World Cup will be played.

“It will be a trip of a lifetime where I will push myself further than I ever thought possible,” he wrote. The website includes a map showing his route.

A note was posted on Swanson’s Breakaway Brazil Facebook page announcing his death.

Kristi Schwesinger, a Seattle interior designer and close friend of Swanson, said he had been a private investigator for many years and switched to a new career as a graphic designer, but was laid off recently and went looking for an adventure.

“He was at a point in his life where he had raised his kids,” she said. “Both his boys [Devin and Raven] had graduated from high school. He had no mortgage. He had sold his condo recently and was between jobs.

“And he loved the game of soccer,” she said. “He stumbled on this great organisation, One World Futbol, and decided this would be his passion the next year.”

Swanson started out in flip-flops but switched to hiking sandals in Portland, Oregon, Schwesinger said. He stayed two nights in Vancouver, Washington state, with his son Devin but otherwise had been able to sleep on the couches of one stranger after another who befriended him and helped him on his journey.

“It was all by word of mouth, Facebook, media contacts, friends and family who put the word out,” Schwesinger said.

Swanson spent Monday night in Lincoln City, where he was able to soak in a hot tub and eat a gourmet breakfast, before he set off for Newport, not knowing where he would stay, she added. He posted photos and stories about his new friends on a Facebook page chronicling his journey.

Friends were talking about creating a foundation in Swanson’s memory and sending his two sons to Brazil for the World Cup, Schwesinger said. “The hardest thing is he was so young,” he said. “Just today we were planning his surprise birthday party for Sunday. He was so young, so full of life, so excited by the journey he was on. To be taken from us so soon is really heartbreaking.”

Japanese Submarine discovers signs of legendary Atlantis in Rio de Janerio.

Published on May 7th, 2013.                                   Watch Short Video Here:-

A large mass of granite has been found on the seabed off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, suggesting a continent may have existed in the Atlantic Ocean, the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology and the Brazilian government announced.
A Brazilian official said the discovery of the granite — which normally forms only on dry land — is strong evidence that a continent used to exist in the area where the legendary island of Atlantis, mentioned in antiquity by Plato in his philosophical dialogues, was supposedly located.

According to legend, the island, host to a highly developed civilization, sunk into the sea around 12,000 years ago. No trace of it has ever been found.

The finding was made using a Shinkai 6500 manned submersible operated by the Japanese agency. The seabed where the granite mass was discovered is estimated to have sunk into the sea several tens of million years ago. No man-made structures have been found there.

It is the first time such research using a manned submersible has been conducted in the South Atlantic. In late April, the agency used the device to explore the Rio Grande Rise, a seabed more than 1,000 km southeast of Rio de Janeiro. At a depth of 910 meters, it found a rock cliff around 10 meters in height and breadth.

After analyzing video data, the agency concluded it was granite. Also discovered in the area around it was a large volume of quartz sand — which is also not formed in the sea. The bedrock is believed to consist mainly of basalt rock.

The rise itself stretches around 1,000 km at the widest point, and is considered part of the continent left behind when South America and Africa split apart more than 100 million years ago. The agency said it assumes the area was above sea level until about 50 million years ago but became submerged over a period spanning several million years, based on fossils found in the nearby seabed and other data.

According to the agency, the Rio Grande Rise is the only plausible area that could possibly have been dry land in the past.

Despite the latest discovery, however, experts remained cautious about jumping to conclusions about Atlantis.

Shinichi Kawakami, a professor at Gifu University versed in planetary sciences, said the granite could have been a part of a big continent before it separated into what is now Africa and South America.

“South America and Africa used to be a huge, unified continent. The area in question may have been left in water as the continent was separated in line with the movements of plates,” he said.

Kawakami said researchers must look further into the composition of the granite and see if it matches the granite now found in Africa or South America.

“The concept of Atlantis came way before geology of the modern age was established. We should not jump to the Atlantis (conclusion) right away,” he said.

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