Chilean Pinochet officers charged with murdering singer Victor Jara

This 1973 music video is called Victor Jara: El derecho de vivir en Paz.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Chile: 10 former soldiers charged with Victor Jara murder

Friday 24th July 2015

TEN CHILEAN former military officers have been charged with the 1973 murder of legendary folk singer Victor Jara.

The charges, announced late on Wednesday by Judge Miguel Vazquez, include the murder and kidnapping of Mr Jara and former military police director Littre Quiroga Carvajal.

Communist Party member Mr Jara was one of thousands of people rounded up after General Augusto Pinochet’s US-backed coup against socialist president Salvador Allende on September 11 1973.

Opponents of the coup were herded into a stadium in Santiago de Chile to be tortured and murdered.

Mr Jara played a borrowed guitar and sang songs for the detainees until soldiers broke his hands. He kept singing until his death.

The announcement of the charges against the officers came a day after seven former soldiers — two former officers and five former non-commissioned officers — were arrested for burning a teenage photographer to death during 1986 protests against Pinochet’s regime.

Soldiers doused Rodrigo Rojas, 19, and Carmen Quintana, 18, with petrol and set them on fire during a street demonstration.

Ms Quintana thanked a former soldier, identified as Fernando Guzman, for coming forward with new information on the case.

She said the soldiers involved were also victims of the dictatorship because they had received death threats to intimidate them into keeping silent.

Chilean dictator Pinochet covered up 1986 burning of activists, report shows. Declassified US documents indicate Pinochet suppressed police report that fingered military officers in burning alive of Rodrigo Rojas and Carmen Quintana: here.

Ichthyosaurs, why did they become extinct?

This video says about itself:

Prehistoric News: The Ichthyosaur Graveyard

23 June 2014

Dozens of nearly complete skeletons of ichthyosaurs have been uncovered near a melting glacier in southern Chile.

From LiveScience:

An Asteroid Didn’t Wipe Out Ichthyosaurs — So What Did?

by Laura Geggel, Staff Writer

July 23, 2015 08:05am ET

During the dinosaur age, ichthyosaurs — large marine reptiles that look like dolphins — flourished in prehistoric oceans, living in all kinds of watery environments near and far from shore. But as competition in these areas grew, ichthyosaurs lost both territory and species before gradually going extinct, a new study finds.

In fact, the ichthyosaur extinction has stumped scientists for years. Ichthyosaurs likely evolved from land reptiles that dove into the ocean about 248 million years ago, researchers said. After living along the coast for millions of years, they left for the open water. They disappeared about 90 million years ago, going extinct about 25 million years before the dinosaur-killing asteroid slammed into Earth.

So, if the asteroid didn’t kill the ichthyosaurs, what did? To learn more, researchers looked at ichthyosaur fossils and determined what kinds of specialized environments, or niches, the animals likely inhabited. [In Images: Graveyard of Ichthyosaur Fossils Found in Chile]

“In most studies, the niche of the animal is predicted based on a single trait, usually the shape of the teeth,” said lead researcher Daniel Dicks, a doctoral student in paleontology at the Natural History Museum in Stuttgart, Germany. In the new study, the researchers looked at several traits, he said.

For instance, they analyzed the ichthyosaurs’ body sizes and teeth shapes. They also determined each animal’s feeding strategy, such as whether ichthyosaurs were ambush predators (less powerful swimmers) or pursuit predators (fast swimmers), Dicks said.

Ichthyosaur arrangements

After examining 45 ichthyosaur genuses, Dicks and his colleague Erin Maxwell, a vertebrate paleontologist at the museum, used an analysis that grouped the ichthyosaurs into seven categories, called ecotypes.

For instance, the ichthyosauriform genus, Cartorhynchus, is so unique that it has its own ecotype. It was likely a small suction feeder and lived in shallow water, Dicks told Live Science.

Another ecotype represents the majority of the genuses that lived during the Early to Middle Triassic period, he said. Animals of this ecotype were less than 6.5 feet (2 meters) long, and had robust and blunt teeth, suggesting they ate hard-shelled prey, such as coral and shelled mollusks, Dicks said. They didn’t have elongated bodies, so they probably didn’t live in the open water, where they would have needed to swim far distances, he added.

Two genuses — Eurhinosaurus and Excalibosaurus — owe their unique ecotype to their swordfishlike jaws, which indicate they used a slashing method to demolish prey, Dicks said. Their long bodies also indicate they lived in the open water, far from shore, he said.

Not all seven ecotypes existed at once, although five existed simultaneously during the Early Jurassic period, when ichthyosaurs experienced a boom in diversity.

By the Middle Jurassic, the number of ichthyosaur ecotypes decreased. Specialized feeders, such as the swordfishlike Eurhinosaurus, and apex predators, including Temnodontosaurus, went extinct, leaving only two ecotypes, both of which lived in the open water.

These last two ecotypes included ichthyosaur genuses with large bodies and robust teeth for crushing bony fish or hard cephalopods, such as ammonites. The other ecotype was more dolphinlike; it had small teeth and likely ate soft prey, such as squid (also cephalopods), Dicks said.

Ichthyosaur extinction

Ichthyosaurs eventually met their end during the Cenomanian-Turonian extinction event, in which spinosaurs (carnivorous swimming dinosaurs), plesiosaurs (long-necked marine reptiles) and roughly one-third of marine invertebrates (animals without a backbone) also went extinct, Dicks said. [In Images: Digging Up a Swimming Dinosaur Called Spinosaurus]

With only two ecotypes of ichthyosaurs left, they would have been easily wiped out, Dicks said.

“It’s a slow ecological war of attrition, where they become more and more stranded on a single niche, and then the entire [group] is depending on that niche remaining sustainable,” he said. “And if that became unsustainable, then the entire group would become extinct.”

It’s unclear why ichthyosaurs lost their earlier niches, but they were likely “replaced, outcompeted by other species that adapted better,” Dicks said. For instance, plesiosaurs took over many of the near-shore niches, he said.

The study sheds light on ichthyosaurs’ evolution and extinction, said Neil Kelley, a postdoctoral research fellow of paleobiology at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., who was not involved in the new research.

According to the study, “[ichthyosaurs] get more and more confined to a specialized lifestyle,” Kelley said. “Ultimately, they can never seem to re-evolve some of these more transitional lifestyles and body types that you see early on.”

However, the study takes a broad view encompassing roughly 158 million years, so it loses some nuance in how these animals lived and why they went extinct, Kelley told Live Science. Furthermore, “just one weird fossil could totally rewrite that picture of what happened,” by adding another ecotype, Kelley said.

The study was published online July 8 in the journal Biology Letters.

United States General Wesley Clark attacks civil liberties

This video is called The Pinochet File: How U.S. Politicians, Banks and Corporations Aided Chilean Coup, Dictatorship.

By Thomas Gaist in the USA:

General Wesley Clark calls for putting “disloyal” Americans in internment camps

21 July 2015

Retired US Army General Wesley Clark called for the internment of persons deemed “disloyal” to the United States government in an interview with MSNBC last Friday.

Warning of the threat posed by “lone wolf” attacks similar to last week’s mass shooting in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Clark advocated stepped-up surveillance of US communities and pre-emptive detention of persons suspected of ideological or political opposition to US government policies.

“We have got to identify the people who are most likely to be radicalized. We’ve got to cut this off at the beginning,” Clark said.

“On a national policy level, we need to look at what self-radicalization means, because we are at war with this group of terrorists,” the former top military commander added. “They do have an ideology. In World War II, if someone supported Nazi Germany at the expense of the United States, we didn’t say that was freedom of speech, we put him in a camp, they were prisoners of war.”

He continued: “If these people are radicalized and they don’t support the United States and they are disloyal to the United States, as a matter of principle, fine. It’s their right, and it’s our right and obligation to segregate them from the normal community for the duration of the conflict.

“And I think we’re going to have to increasingly get tough on this, not only in the United States, but our allied nations like Britain, Germany and France are going to have to look at their domestic law procedures.”

Clark’s recommendations, proclaimed openly on national television, amount to a recipe for mass detention of political opponents of the American state.

His assertion of the “right and obligation” of the US government to conduct round-ups and mass internment operations against political opposition, specifically citing as his model the methods employed against ethnic Germans and Japanese during the Second World War, provides a chilling insight into the thinking of powerful sections of the US ruling establishment.

Clark’s insistence, moreover, that such measures remain in force “for the duration” of Washington’s temporally and geographically limitless “global war on terrorism” amounts to advocacy of the permanent imprisonment of individuals deemed guilty of no actual crime, but merely being “radicalized” and “disloyal.”

These are not the ravings of some television talking head or military crackpot. Coming from a figure of Clark’s pedigree, such comments necessarily reflect views widely discussed within the US state.

As supreme commander of NATO, Clark held one of the most senior and politically influential posts in the US military. While serving as Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), Clark oversaw the NATO bombing campaign against Yugoslavia, Operation Allied Force, beginning in March 1999.

In both the 2004 and 2008 presidential campaigns, Clark was considered among the Democratic Party’s leading contenders. He would likely have gained a senior position in the Obama administration had he not backed Obama’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton after dropping out of the 2008 primary campaign.

His role as a high-profile supporter of Hilary Clinton’s latest presidential bid suggests, however, that Clark’s political ambitions have only been placed on hold. Under a Clinton presidency, Clark could well get the chance to implement his proposals for mass “segregation” of dissidents.

Preparations for the sort of measures advocated by General Clark are clearly well advanced.

In recent weeks, as videos shot in locations from Arizona to New York show, US military units have conducted training exercises, practicing military internment and crowd control techniques at mock internment camps, with military personnel posing as detainees.

Clark’s statements, made last Friday on the major cable news outlet MSNBC, have been met with total silence from the corporate-controlled media, failing to receive even a passing reference in the pages of the New York Times, Washington Post, or the Wall Street Journal.

This silence in the face of an open call for internment of domestic political opponents, issued by one of the country’s leading political generals, underscores the fact that the entire political and media establishment has decisively broken with centuries-old bourgeois democratic norms. The media silence will no doubt serve to encourage forces within the US military and intelligence apparatus to intensify the drive toward dictatorship.

For decades, the military and intelligence bureaucracies have developed the administrative, infrastructural and police components of an embryonic totalitarian state. Congressional hearings in 1987 on the Iran-Contra covert operations conducted by the Reagan administration exposed the existence of a plan developed by the Pentagon, codenamed Rex 84, to detain hundreds of thousands of immigrants and political dissidents and imprison them in militarized prison camps.

One Rex 84 sub-component, Operation Cable Splicer, envisioned the replacement of existing bourgeois political institutions by a shadow dictatorship controlled by a select group of some 100 executive branch cadre.

In the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, the Bush administration staged a dry run of updated Continuity of Government (COG) plans for a “shadow government, deploying dozens of pre-selected officials to a network of secret command-and-control bunkers across America,” the Washington Post reported in March of 2002.

The George W. Bush administration made further preparations for new prison camps in 2006, signing a $400 million contract with KBR to build up the Department of Homeland Security’s “detention and processing capabilities.”

The Obama administration has expanded the authoritarian legal and policy framework developed under previous administrations. Since taking office, Obama has issued annual decrees renewing the state of emergency declared by the Bush administration after 9/11 and further entrenching emergency powers granted to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

In a series of annual National Defense Authorization Acts, the Obama administration has codified the anti-democratic measures implemented under Bush, asserting unlimited power to indefinitely detain or kill individuals without trial.

The preparations for mass detention are part of broader efforts to tighten the grip of the ruling elite over society, using the pretext of an unending “national emergency.” Plans for dictatorial rule have found concrete expression in the imposition of de facto martial law in Boston following the Boston Marathon bombings of 2013 and last year in Ferguson, Missouri following the outbreak of protests against the police murder of Michael Brown.

In March of 2012, President Obama issued an executive order, “National Defense Resources Preparedness,” that empowered the DHS to assume dictatorial control over the US economy, including any and all actions considered “necessary to ensure the availability of adequate resources and production capability, including services and critical technology, for national defense requirements.”

Last week, the Senate Intelligence Committee approved legislation granting the US government new powers to demand regular reporting from social media platforms about individuals suspected of ties to “terrorist activity.”

Wesley Clark’s internment proposal: The specter of military dictatorship: here.

Britain: TORY Prime Minister Cameron yesterday stepped up his war against ‘extremism in all its forms’ both ‘violent and non-violent’, announcing measures to shut down organisations, facilities and even entire TV stations that do not share his system of ‘British values’: here.

US Pinochet ally prosecuted for murder, 2011

This video says about itself:

Was U.S. Journalist Charles Horman Killed by Chile’s Coup Regime With Aid of His Own Government? 1/2

9 September 2013

As we continue our look at the 40th anniversary of the U.S.-backed military coup in Chile and the ongoing efforts by the loved ones of its victims to seek justice, we turn to the case of Charles Horman.

A 31-year-old American journalist and filmmaker, Horman was in Chile during the coup and wrote about U.S. involvement in overthrowing the democratically elected president, Salvador Allende. Shortly after, he was abducted by Chilean soldiers and later killed. Horman’s story was told in the 1982 Oscar-nominated film, “Missing,” which follows his father, Edmund Horman, going to Chile to search for his son.

We’re joined by Charles Horman’s widow, Joyce Horman, who filed a criminal suit against Pinochet for his role in her husband’s death, and established the Charles Horman Truth Project to support ongoing investigations into human rights violations during Pinochet’s regime. We’re also joined by Peter Weiss, vice president of the board of the Center for Constitutional Rights, who represented the Horman family in their case against Kissinger and others for Charles Horman’s death.

And this video is the serquel.

5 December 2011: A judge in Chile has issued an indictment against a retired US Navy officer in connection with the arrest and murder of two American journalists, Charles Horman and Frank Terrugi, in the wake of the CIA-backed military coup that toppled the government of President Salvador Allende: here.

Pinochet dictatorship in Chile and the USA

This video from the USA says about itself:

Uncovering Pinochet‘s Secret Death Camps

7 April 2014

Facing the Past: Revealing the truth about Chile’s dirty war.

For more information visit here.

In Chile, the murderous past under dictator general Augusto Pinochet is slowly coming under scrutiny. With new evidence of extermination camps, the families of the disappeared are yearning for justice.

“I started to testify and began to get rid of those pangs of guilt”, confesses Jorgelino Vergara. Aged only 15, Jorgelino worked as waiter at the secret Simon Bolivar extermination centre witnessing horrific torture and murder. More than 3000 people were kidnapped and killed after the army general seized power in 1973. After a long investigation, charges are being laid against more than seventy people accused of involvement in the brutality at Simon Bolivar.

One of them is a member of the much feared Lautaro Brigade, Adriana Rivas. From the safety of her Australian exile, she denies charges but her views on torture remain chilling: “Everyone knew they had to do that in order to break them because Communists would not talk. It was necessary”. The secrets and brutality of the Pinochet regime are laid bare at Santiago’s memory museum. The daughter of one of Rivas’ victims, who was beaten to a pulp and then injected with a lethal poison, is now a curator there. As she fights for remembrance and justice, she wonders: “How can a human being be part of this machinery of exterminating people?”

By John Green:

The conflicted alliance which brutally devastated Chile

Monday 29th June 2015

Reagan and Pinochet: The Struggle Over US Policy Towards Chile by M Morley and C McGillon (Cambridge University Press, £22.99)

IT IS one of the real tragedies of history that unpalatable truths invariably only come out many years after the events when we can do little about them.

This is certainly true of the criminal and blatant involvement of the US in the affairs of Chile that was instrumental in ousting a democratically elected socialist president and for the loss of the lives of many wonderful people.

In this book, the first comprehensive study of the Reagan administration’s policy towards Chile, the authors state: “During the first three decades of the 20th century, the United States transformed itself from a dominant regional into a competitive global power, all the while projecting its power abroad driven less by a desire ‘to make the world a safer place for democracy’ than to put down nationalist threats to an expanding US capital and commerce.” Chile came into that category.

Returning from leave a few days after president Allende’s 1970 election victory, a US official said that the White House “had gone ape. They were frantic, beside themselves.”

President Nixon immediately instructed the CIA to prevent Allende taking power and, although they were unsuccessful they did, with Henry Kissinger’s help, destroy his government in a brutal military coup led by their puppet General Pinochet.

The authors demonstrate how over the years — even for the US — the brutality and vehemence, with which Pinochet used to stamp on democracy in Chile, was damaging its image as an upholder of democracy and human rights.

The Chilean example was replicated throughout Latin America with terrible and long-lasting repercussions. Under Ronald Reagan the US made efforts to bring Pinochet to heel and put pressure on him to moderate the malevolence of his dictatorship, while at the same time being happy to have a right-wing authoritarian regime in control in Chile.

Reagan is shown by the authors to be an effete and ignorant individual, certainly in terms of world affairs. He was happy to let his presidential team do all the detailed negotiations and footwork for him. He was the ideal front man for a cabal of right-wing ideologues — the jovial and avuncular movie screen president behind whom the ruthless conspirators could hide.

The book is dense, and of course only covers the Reagan years, after much of the dirty work had been done. It also largely ignores what the US was doing in the other Latin American countries at the time but, even so, its meticulous and illuminating research makes it a highly useful reference work.

Blue whale Isabela’s long journey, new research

This video is called [New Animal documentary 2015] Ocean Voyager Whale Documentary – The Biggest Sea Creatures.

From the Wildlife Conservation Society today:

Scientists studying blue whale DNA uncover an epic journey by ‘Isabela’

14 hours ago

Scientists studying blue whales in the waters of Chile through DNA profiling and photo-identification may have solved the mystery of where these huge animals go to breed, as revealed by a single female blue whale named ‘Isabela,’ according to a recent study by the Chile’s Blue Whale Center/Universidad Austral de Chile, NOAA and the Wildlife Conservation Society.

The researchers have discovered that Isabela—a female animal named after the lead author’s daughter and a major Galapagos Island of the same name—has traveled at least once between Chile‘s Gulf of Corcovado and the equatorial waters of the Galapagos Islands, a location more than 5,000 kilometers away and now thought to be a possible blue whale breeding ground. The journey represents the largest north-south migratory movement ever recorded for a Southern Hemisphere blue whale.

The study titled ‘First documented migratory destination for Eastern South Pacific blue whales’ appears today in the online version of the journal Marine Mammal Science.

‘Efforts to protect blue whales and other ocean-going species will always fall short without full knowledge of a species’ migratory range. Moreover, with this kind of findings we encourage eastern south Pacific governments to think about the creation of a marine protected areas network for the conservation of this and other migratory species’ said lead author Juan Pablo Torres-Florez of the Universidad Austral de Chile and the Blue Whale Center. ‘Isabela points us in the right direction for further research.’

‘The discovery emphasizes the benefits of collaboration between scientists and research organizations from different countries,’ said Paula Olson of Southwest Fisheries Science Center.

‘The discovery of Isabela traveling between southern Chile and the waters of Ecuador is important and very timely as we work to promote the recovery of the largest species to ever inhabit the earth,’ said Dr. Howard Rosenbaum of WCS’s Ocean Giants Program. ‘The movement of this one whale provides important information that will enable us to look further at these important areas for blue whales with goal to ensure their long-term protection.’

It is unknown how old Isabela is, or if she has produced any young, but she is at least 82 feet in length and may weigh up to 100 tons.

Seeking to establish links between populations of blue whales in the Gulf of Corcovado and other regions, the researchers examined DNA collected from the skin of blue whales with biopsy darts fired from crossbows across the eastern South Pacific. The team also used data from recorded sightings and photographs in their attempt to connect individual animals to different locations.

The analysis produced a genetic match between a female whale observed and sampled off the coast of southern Chile in the Austral summer of 2006; it turned out the same whale sampled the waters of the Galapagos eight years earlier by NOAA scientists. The team then found that photographs taken of both whales revealed the same distinctively curved dorsal fin and blotchy blue-gray patterns on the back, confirming that both whales were in fact the same animal.

The authors note that blue whales are frequently observed in equatorial Pacific just west of the Galapagos and that a more detailed study might confirm the location as a wintering and breeding ground for at least some of the blue whales of southern Chile.

Reaching nearly 100 feet in length, the blue whale is thought to be the largest animal that ever existed. Blue whales were nearly hunted to extinction by commercial whaling fleets before receiving international protection in 1966. A calf can measure between 23 and 27 feet in length at birth and weigh almost 3 metric tons.

Explore further: Study on world’s biggest animal finds more than one population in the southeastern Pacific

More information: First documented migratory destination for eastern South Pacific blue whales

Journal reference: Marine Mammal Science

Provided by Wildlife Conservation Society

See also here.

Tell President Obama: Protect Blue Whales: here.