Paraguayan protest against raping 10-year-old girl, banning abortion


This video says about itself:

Pregnant 10-year-old ‘denied abortion after being raped by stepfather’

2 May 2015

Amnesty International is calling on Paraguay’s government to allow a 10-year-old girl to get an abortion for the sake of her health. Report by Sarah Kerr.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Paraguay march poised to draw record crowd after 10-year-old denied abortion

As authorities insist child rape victim must give birth, hundreds are expected to protest sexual abuse in Asunción: ‘Her case is emblematic’

Jonathan Watts, Latin America correspondent and Sarah Boseley, Health editor

Thursday 28 May 2015 12.00 BST

Fury over Paraguayan authorities’ refusal to allow an abortion for a 10-year-old rape victim is expected to bring unprecedented numbers of pro-choice protesters to the streets of the country’s capital, Asunción, this week.

The case has prompted outcry around the world and prompted a national debate about the prevalence of child abuse and underage pregnancies.

But that debate has focused more on adult violence than child health. And while many have called for tougher penalties for adults who abuse minors, few expect any change in the Catholic country’s strict abortion laws.

Despite a plea from the girl’s mother, Paraguayan authorities have ruled that the 10-year-old who is now 25 weeks into the pregnancy must give birth, unless she develops complications that put her life in danger. A medical panel is monitoring her condition.

Pedro Pablo Guanes, a gynaecologist based in Asunción, said the authorities are likely to release a tentative date for the birth soon. One option is for a cesarian section to be carried out in the next few weeks to avoid the biggest risk, which is that the girl’s body may not yet be developed enough to accommodate a fetus in its final stage.

On average, two girls under the age of 16 give birth each day in this country of 6.8 million, according to local media reports which have reflected fears that the rape of minors has become “normalised”.

Congressmen have proposed raising the maximum sentence for the rape of a minor to 30 years in prison, up from 10 years. But attempts to raise awareness over the issue of sexual abuse have been modest: the government has urged people to wear green ribbons on the National Day Against Child and Adolescent Sexual Abuse on 31 May.

A day earlier, hundreds of demonstrators are expected to attend a march from the Plaza Uruguaya to El Panteón in the capital with banners declaring “My body, my territory, not for use or abuse”. Similar small rallies have been staged every year, but organisers expected double the usual number of marchers this year because of the commotion caused by the 10-year-old’s pregnancy.

“Her case is emblematic and motivates many people,” said Rosana Ríos of the Grupo Luna Nueva, which is one of the participating organisations in the protest. “We are marching against the inaction of the state in the face of this problem.”

Petitions have been sent to the Ministry of Children demanding the government stop treating this problem as “normal” and asking for the establishment of a medical board to evaluate the options for the girl’s well-being. The global online campaigning organisation Avaaz presented a petition to the Paraguayan congress with half a million signatures calling for the decriminalization of abortion for women under 15 years of age.

This coincided with a public hearing in Asunción on whether to reform the nation’s abortion laws. Feminist and pro-choice groups argued that decriminalisation was long overdue because more than 50,000 illegal abortions are carried out each year for those who can afford them, while the poor have no choice but to bear the health and economic risks associated with an unwanted pregnancy.

The situation in Paraguay reflects that across Latin America, where abortion is illegal or severely restricted in most countries. Nicaragua, Chile and El Salvador ban abortion completely, even if the pregnancy threatens the life of both the mother and the foetus.

The World Health Organization has said botched abortions are a leading cause of maternal death worldwide, and in 2008 accounted for 12% of all maternal deaths in Latin America and the Caribbean.

But the strong influence of the Catholic church in the region makes reform unlikely. Earlier this week, Peru’s congress rejected a bill to decriminalise abortion in the case of rape. …

“This shows how the situation here has become normal, at least to those who work with these cases,” said Cecilia Caniza, a psychiatrist based in Asunción. “Everyone needs to understand that this is not normal. Just because there are lots of cases does not make the situation OK.”

International research suggests the potential hazards for very young mothers are considerable: even though a 10-year-old may be able to conceive, her pelvis is not fully developed, raising the likelihood of complications during birth.

“One big study in Bangladesh showed a five-fold increase in risk of death among 10- to 14-year-olds compared to women aged 20 to 24,” said Dr Mickey Chopra, Unicef’s global chief of health.

“Even if the mother doesn’t die, the physical complications of pregnancy can be quite severe, running from prolapses to being physically disabled,” said Chopra.

Young girls who become pregnant also experience higher rates of pre-eclampsia – dangerously high blood pressure – which can be life-threatening for mother and baby.

And even when rape is not an issue, adolescents can have difficulty adapting to motherhood when they are still growing up themselves, said Daghni Rajasingam, a consultant obstetrician and spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in the UK.

According to Unicef, the teen and adolescent birth rate in Paraguay is 63 per 1000 girls aged 15 to 19. In the UK, which has one of the highest rates in Europe, the rate is 25 per 1000 and in the US, which has the highest rates in the OECD, it is 39.

Religion is not the only factor. Some Catholic countries do not have high teenage pregnancy rates – in Italy it is seven per 1000 and in Ireland it is 16. “Access to abortion is obviously important, but it is also about social norms,” Chopra said.

Additional reporting by Shanna Hanbury

10-year-old raped girl forced into dangerous childbirth by Paraguayan government


This video from the USA says about itself:

Raped 10 Year Old Won’t Be Allowed An Abortion

2 May 2015

“A 10-year-old girl in Paraguay, who is five months pregnant after being raped by her stepfather, had been denied an abortion that could save her life.

The child was admitted to hospital with stomach pains and doctors later discovered she was 22-weeks pregnant after being raped by her stepfather, Amnesty International said.

The charity said despite the high risk of the pregnancy and her mother’s request, she has not been allowed to have an abortion.

Her mother’s request to abort the child was not granted by authorities in the South American country as abortion is illegal. The girl’s mother is now in custody facing charges of breaching duty of care and being an accomplice of sexual abuse.”

Read more here.

In Paraguay, there is a far Right government, based on a coup d’état against a democratically elected president.

Here is one of the horrible results of that; from daily The Guardian in Britain:

To make a 10-year-old give birth isn’t just horrifying – it’s life threatening

Jessica Valenti

A child raped by her stepfather in Paraguay is being denied an abortion, despite the high risks involved in carrying the pregnancy to term

Tuesday 5 May 2015 10.00 BST

Would anyone in their right mind think it reasonable that a 10-year-old carry a pregnancy to term? This is not a thought experiment but the horrible story of a real child in Paraguay: raped by her stepfather and now denied an abortion.

According to Amnesty International – which is leading the charge to obtain an abortion for the child – the young girl’s condition became public when she went to the hospital complaining of stomach pain and was found to be 21 weeks pregnant.

“The physical and psychological impact of forcing this young girl to continue with an unwanted pregnancy is tantamount to torture”, Guadalupe Marengo, Americas Deputy Director at Amnesty International said in a statement. (In fact, the United Nations has declared lack of access to abortion at any age a form of torture.)

Paraguay has very strict laws on abortion – the procedure is only permitted when a person’s life is at risk. There are no exceptions for rape or incest.

Antonio Barrios, the Health Minister of Paraguay, said: “there is no indication that the health of the [girl] is at risk … therefore we are not, from any point of view, in favor of the termination of the pregnancy”.

There are so many levels of horror here it’s hard to know where to begin but this, perhaps, is the most baffling: in what universe is a 10-year-old delivering a child not a risk to her life?

Childbirth is a risky enterprise for a healthy grown woman – a woman of reproductive age in Paraguay for example, has a one in 310 chance of dying from from complications from labor. For a child, the risks are exponentially worse.

Children’s bodies are not meant to give birth. Dr Dalia Brahmi, the Director of Clinical Affairs at Ipas told me: “It is cruel to force a 10-year-old girl to carry her pregnancy to term”.

Dr Brahmi, who once worked at the World Health Organization in the Department of Reproductive Health and Research, told me: “very young adolescents [under 15 years old] have a high risk of eclampsia, infection, preterm birth and intrauterine growth restriction” compared to adult women.

The dangers are clear – and it takes a whole lot of magical thinking or straight up denial to think otherwise. Pregnancy for a child risks not only her emotional and mental health, but her physical health and possibly even her life.

Paraguay’s decision to remain the course has nothing to do with the actual risk to the child involved, but is all about their adherence to an antiquated, tortuous law that would rather see a child’s life at risk than admit their anti-abortion policies are too strict.

If those who would see this young girl give birth are truly pro-life, whose life are they concerned about? Because it’s certainly not the ten-year-old at the center of this story who is being forced to carry her rapist’s baby to term.

This anonymous young girl – this child – has already been violated by a member of her family. Must she be violated by her country as well?

Paraguayan termites’ coup d’etat against coup d’etat president


This video says about itself:

Termites Attack Presidential Palace In Paraguay

12 May 2014

Architects say a termite infestation is threatening Paraguay’s presidential palace.

“They’re damaging the wood structure, the floors and the wooden covers, which support some parts of the palace,” architect Gustavo Glavinich said.

He said much of the iconic building’s west wing had been damaged.

Mr Glavinich also warned that other parts of the 19th-century building had not only been invaded by termites but also by bats.

“In 2012, we invested $5m (£3m) to save those parts of the palace which house the presidential office, the military cabinet, and the ceremonial room,” Mr Glavinich of the Public Works Ministry said.

But he warned that a lack of follow-up investment meant that other parts of the Palacio de Lopez been left to deteriorate.

The architect suggested taking immediate measure to tackle the termite infestation and to temporarily move the offices from the west wing to an annex.

The palace in the capital, Asuncion, is the seat of the Paraguayan government and home to the office of President Horacio Cartes.

Building work began in the 1850s under the direction of English architect Alonso Taylor, but the palace was not finished until 1892.

If the termites will manage to oust Horacio Cartes from the presidential palace, it would be the world’s first coup d’état by insects.

Horacio Cartes himself is in that palace due to a coup d’état by (oligarchic Right wing) humans. Elected President Lugo, accused of being too much on the side of poor people, was driven out by a coup d’etat, sharply condemned by elected governments in Latin America. Horacio Cartes is a member of the Colorado party, which used to be the party of infamous dictator Stroessner. Horacio Cartes has been accused of crimes several times, and spent time in jail.

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World Migratory Bird Day this weekend


This video is called World Migratory Bird Day 2013 – “Networking for migratory birds”.

From BirdLife:

World Migratory Bird Day 2013 highlights importance of site networks for migratory birds

Sat, May 11, 2013

This weekend 11-12 May World Migratory Bird Day 2013 is being celebrated in over 65 countries, including events held by BirdLife Partners around the world from Paraguay to Lebanon to China.

“I fully support the global campaign to raise awareness about the threats to migratory birds from habitat destruction, overexploitation, pollution and climate change,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “I call for greater international efforts to restore and preserve migratory birds and the network of sites they need to survive as an important part of the environment on which we all depend.”

“Very often migrant birds are under huge pressure at the exact points where they are most vulnerable,” said  Dr Marco Lambertini, Chief Executive, BirdLife International.

“Birds battling to reach the sea-shore descend into a limitless line of nets. Tiny falcons funnel through forests to be trapped in their thousands. Exhausted shorebirds find that the mudflats where they once refueled are now a sea of concrete, or circle wearily because their roosting sites have vanished.”

The Yellow Sea of north-east Asia is a very important araa for migratory shorebirds and is of particular concern to BirdLife International. The rates of decline in the region are among the highest of any ecological system in the world. At least 24 waterbird species using the East Asian-Australasian Flyway are heading towards extinction. The decline is mainly caused by the fast pace of coastal land reclamation occurring in this densely populated region, particularly around key coastal staging areas in the Yellow Sea. As much as  50% has been lost in the past 25 years due to human activities.

Another migratory bird hotspot is the capital of Paraguay, Asuncion and also faces increasing pressure.

“Sadly, the bay currently faces major environmental changes, which might severely alter habitat suitability for migratory birds which will affect their survival along the migration route network,” said Dr Alberto Yanosky , Guyra Paraguay CEO (BirdLife in Paraguay).

Guyra Paraguay is working in both conservation projects and educational campaigns in order to raise awareness on the importance of of the conservation of sites appropriate for birds, including  celebrating  World Migratory Bird Day. My hope is that we can create a true network across the Americas for migratory birds.

Similar to a human transport system of harbors, airports and roads, these migratory birds depend on international networks of natural sites for food, safety, breeding and moulting—as well as for stopover areas which act as refueling stations between breeding and non-breeding areas.

One of the main goals of BirdLife’s Important Bird Areas Programme is to identify a network of sites for migratory species.

See the WMBD Press Release.

New frog species discovery in Brazil


This video says about itself:

Dec 11, 2012

Trip into bamboo forest of Eastern Paraguay yields new tree frog.

From Zootaxa journal:

A new species of the Scinax catharinae group (Anura, Hylidae) from Serra da Canastra, southwestern state of Minas Gerais, Brazil

ANA CAROLINA CALIJORNE LOURENÇO1,4, ANDRÉ LUIZ GOMES DE CARVALHO2, DÉLIO BAÊTA1, TIAGO LEITE PEZZUTI3 & FELIPE SÁ FORTES LEITE3

1 Departamento de Vertebrados, Museu Nacional, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Quinta da Boa Vista, São Cristóvão, CEP
20940–040, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
2 Richard Gilder Graduate School, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY, USA, 10024.
3 Laboratório de Herpetologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Departamento de Zoologia, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
4 Corresponding author. E-mail:carolcalijorne@gmail.com

Abstract

We describe Scinax pombali sp. n. a new species of treefrog of the Scinax catharinae group from Serra da Canastra, municipality
of Capitólio (20o36’03’’S, 46o17’34.9’’W, 987 m a.s.l.), located in the Cerrado domains of the State of Minas
Gerais, Southeastern Brazil. The new species is characterized by its small size, blotches and color pattern on dorsal surface
and hidden regions of flanks and thighs, canthus rostralis lightly concave and well marked, absent nuptial pad, and lack
of externally differentiated inguinal gland. Additionally, we describe the tadpole of this new species, which is characterized
by the large-sized oral disc and presence of a large number of marginal papillae (two to three rows on its dorsal portion
and some rows in unorganized arrangement on its lateroventral portion).

Key words: Hylidae, Dendropsophini, Scinax pombali sp. nov., Serra da Canastra, Brazil