Journalist Elena Rodriguez Attacked

On the night of Wednesday September 16th, the TV journalist Elena Rodriguez was attacked by three armed men, beaten, pistol whipped and left in the streets of Quito, Ecuador. A stencilled death threat was left on the windscreen of her car that make it clear the attack was politically motivated and said she wouldn’t be so lucky next time. Her injuries were not life-threatening but the pistol-whip knocked her cold and drew blood and the punches left her bruised all over and confined to bed on medical orders for 72 hours.

I pass this on because as Otto says the attack was on a journalist who worked for Telesur, so far little or no English reports have been made about the attack. Recently Ecuador said goodbye to the US military base there, I think we can be reasonably assured that if a US or UK journalist was attacked for political reasons our media would be very swift in reporting it.

Rafael Correa Romps To Victory

(Reuters) – Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa cruised to a re-election victory on Sunday as voters ignored a sputtering economy to make the charismatic socialist the OPEC nation’s most powerful leader in a generation.

Correa won 51 percent of the vote and had a 20 point lead over his nearest rival, a quick count authorized by electoral authorities showed. He is the first president to avoid a run-off election since Ecuador returned to democracy in 1979.

Supporters packed Correa’s party headquarters in Quito waving green flags and shouting “Just one round, Ecuador.”

“This revolution is on the march, and nobody and nothing can stop us,” the 46-year-old president said in his home town of Guayaquil. “The people … have given us the most splendorous victory of probably the last 50 years.”

He vowed to protect the poor from the global financial crisis in his second, four-year term and said Ecuador’s economy, which depends heavily on oil exports and is the world’s largest banana exporter, was healthier than most.

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Magic Laptops Of Death Aren’t What They Used To Be

Or- Dead men tell no tales, but laptops can sing any tune the authorities want.

So…the Magic Laptop of Death procured via a cross border raid into Ecuador by Colombian ‘special’ forces, CIA ahem, (just to distinguish it for the Magic Laptop of Death the Bush regime procured which according to them show Iran has a super top secret nuclear weapons program that the 16 US intelligence agencies found no evidence of, ahem) hey wait a minute…seeing any common threads here. Anyways, the Magic Laptop of Death that was meant to be full of emails tying deceased (as in they whacked him & 25 others in the raid/ambush, most in their pj’s) FARC leader Raúl Reyes to the Empire’s public enemy Number 1, a Mr Huge Chávez along with various other nemeses of Washington & Uribe. Well, the thing is…um how shall I put this…Captain Ronald Hayden Coy Cortiz an anti-terrorism investigator of the Colombian police said under oath before the prosecution lawyers-

“We haven’t seen any e-mails, I haven’t found them so far. They found a large number of e-mail addresses, but Reyes kept these in a Word document and other Microsoft documents,” the investigator said in his testimony.

Coy Cortiz made the statements in the investigation of an Ecuadorean politician with alleged ties to the guerrillas. Several journalists and politicians are accused of having ties to the guerrillas.

Reyes was killed on March 1st, so there’s been plenty of time to find any emails on a laptop, even the shittiest IT support could manage that. So…that leaves the supporters of the Magic Laptop of Death super incrimination device a bit…fucked?

BoRev- (click for links) Yeah, so…this raises some questions, like–Christ where to begin?–what exactly were the “huge caches of Emails” the Colombians leaked to the Economist last March, that formed the basis for their big hyperventilating profile thingy here? And what was the “leaked Email” that Guardian reporter Rory Carroll intercepted in May, showing that the FARC might be about to secure money from the Venezuelans? And then what were the “dozens of e-mails in the rebel computers” that were shown to narcissist-retardist Miami Herald columnist Andres Oppenheimer last July? And what were the emails that Human Rights Watch said “raised serious questions about Venezuela’s relationship with the Colombian guerrillas”?

I guess the thing is when you get away with WMD lies about the most serious thing on Earth- a war, faking up shit on the odd laptop comes pretty easy as does slavish reporting on it by sympathetic hacks. Otto @ Inca Kola News who led the way on this also noted the suspiciously shiny newness of the 3 procured laptops-

It does remind me of the pristine condition of those laptops, as shown by Colombia to the world in May. That’s the official police photo above….I mean, just look at it. There’s not a scratch on those machines. Don’t you find that slightly weird for three pieces of computer equipment carried round the jungle by a bunch of terrorists? Don’t you find it weird after Reyes and his cohorts had the crap bombed out of them by several bombing runs and then commandos piling in to give them lesde grace a few minutes later? And then there was this story uncovered by Daniel Denvir.…the one about how the photos that Colombia leaked as from the FARC machines were proven to be Colombia intelligence snaps.

So will our news organs apologise (Carroll *cough*), mea culpas all round or as Otto says-

I find it amazing that yesterday’s revelation (no other word will do) there were no e-mails on the Raul Reyes FARC laptop computer hasn’t made any headlines this morning. I’ve just checked on Google and nobody’s running this story outside of fringe media in the Spanish language.

Surely you remember how world publications up to and including The Economist told us about the “huge caches of e-mails” that implicated the world and his wife (most notably Chávez, but natch natch and thrice natch, yeah?). In fact that Economist note is shown to be a very large crock, as it makes constant references to e-mails that (and get this very clear) do not exist.

This is, of course, precisely why the media won’t be dwelling much on this story. The news that the “thousands of e-mails” they used to whack those nasty lefty people over the head with do not exist is rather embarrassing. So in true style, the story will be ignored and spiked in newsrooms around the world. Not a single apology, not a single correction.

More background from The Real News Network back in May, who were somewhat more diligent in their reporting-

Murder On The Dancefloor

Well only injuries because the woman the Black Eagles, right wing Colombian paramilitaries, went into an Ecuadorean disco to execute wasn’t there, so they made do with injuring three people before sneaking back over the border. Not wholly surprising as Washington backs Uribe, who backs the paramilitaries and as the attack on Syria showed borders are not an issue when the Empire is in any way involved. And as Otto notes, only 1 English language report-

Ecuador demands Colombia to increase security on their joint border after paramilitaries allegedly entered Ecuadorean territory and assaulted people in an Ecuadorean disco.

According to Ecuador’s Ministry of Defense, twenty members of paramilitary organization Águilas Negras (Black Eagles) “armed with rifles, machine guns and high caliber guns” entered a disco in Borbón close to the Colombian border to look for a woman they allegedly planned to kill.

The paramilitaries injured three people present in the disco, including the owner, the Ministry said. Ecuador has repeatedly told Colombia to secure its border.

Oh you think maybe I’m being unfair on those upstanding Black Eagle fellas? That perhaps all they wanted was a pint and a dance and the machine guns were for…erm…duck hunting? Yeah Alex James would probably buy that.

This recent death threat by the Colombian paramilitary death squad Aguilas Negras may be quite shocking for Americans, but it represents a chilling everyday reality for many Colombian labor leaders and human rights activists. Where is the outrage in the American press over the fact that the United States government has funded and continues to fund the militarization of this country through Plan Colombia? Why are major newspapers across the United States now adding insult to injury by editorializing in favor of President Uribe and a pending investor rights agreement that will lock in the existing conditions of state supported violence and terror?

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Jim Haynes Employs Torture, Chevron Employs Jim Haynes

Philipe Sands recent articles and interviews preceding his book- Torture Team have revealed the large group of Whitehouse operators who proposed, drew up and instigated torture including Bush and Cheney, one leading advocate of torture is Jim Haynes. Chevron has now employed Jim Haynes. Draw your own conclusions.

Jim Haynes emerges as a central player in The Torture Team. He was involved throughout, at each stage of the decision-making. I have come to appreciate that he has–at best–a semi-detached relationship with truth. His propensity to mislead was evident from his first public intervention on the issues I have addressed, in June 2004, when the administration relied on him and Alberto Gonzales to spin a false narrative on the beginnings of the abuse at Guantánamo, and its relationship to Abu Ghraib. The catalogue of untruths was added to during his appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, in July 2006, when he was still trying to get himself nominated to a federal Court of Appeals.

Korova @ Mask of Anarchy has been posting about Chevron’s activities in Ecuador and their recruitment of Haynes and he has enjoyed visits from both the Pentagon and Chevron.

It seems to me that employing a man who drew up and implemented a torture program that has led to over a hundred people being tortured to death may…how can I put this…reflect badly on a corporation. I’m sure the huge profits help but when these war criminals are brought to justice those institutions who choose to associate with them will come under a great deal of scrutiny too. In the UK Chevron is Texaco, maybe they like alliteration Torture Texaco, Texaco Torture. A lot of people need to buy fuel, but they do not want buy fuel from an organisation that employs torturers and is aggressively attacking attempts to find redress for massive environmental damage in Ecuador. Now of course it is awfully hard to find an ethical oil corporation but make an informed decision and steer your custom elsewhere.