Should the UN Security Council launch a military intervention in Syria?

Last weekend’s massacre in Hula put the discussion of a military intervention of the UN Security Council on motion again. Russia and the U.S. hold back.

By Alejandro Gonzalez, Deborah Jeggli, Jaime Carro and Susana Andres.

A year ago Barack Obama was proud that the U.S. and its allies in Libya had intervened quickly and decisively. In the 90ties in Bosnia, it has taken more than a year, until the international community had intervened with air strikes to protect the civilian population. “It took us 31 days,” Obama said. The conflict in Syria takes almost 15 months and is running far bloodier. But even after the massacre in Hula at the weekend, the U.S. as well as Russia is not moving to intervene militarily.

Therefore the comparison with the Yugoslavia war is increasingly relying on the U.S. president. Syria would be “Obama’s Bosnia,” wrote the “New York Times,” and the “Wall Street Journal” Hula compared with the massacre of Srebrenica. Some U.S. politicians are fed up; they say its is embarrassing that the U.S. had not taken any resolute steps to help the people in Syria.

White House: No Military Intervention in Syria

 

Also, analysts warned that Syria was a far more difficult case than Libya. Bashar Assad’s kingdom is an ethnically and religiously complex structure in a strategically sensitive region. Stronger army, weaker opposition. The Syrian army is considered to be significantly stronger than the forces of Muammar Qaddafi in Libya. A no-fly zone would therefore associate with high risks. The same applies to air attacks, which are further complicated by the fact that the fights played out mainly in residential areas. The probability that civilians get hit is high and this should hardly be bypassed. And the use of ground troops is already off limits.

Conversely, the opposition is weaker than in Libya. There is no clear leadership, its structure is unclear, and some elements among the rebels are regarded as allies of the terrorist network Al Qaeda. Not least because of this scare, the U.S. reluctant to arm the rebels. In addition, there is a risk that Assad will respond to an arms deal with even greater brutality.

Last week’s massacre of 108 people, including 49 children, in the Syrian area of Hula, was unanimously judged by the Security Council. And this is very important, because the violence against the innocent must be stopped soon. Are the tables about to turn against President Bassar al-Asshad?

“Despite clear evidence of repeated detentions, torture and indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas by Syrian government forces, it has taken the horror of Hula to finally drive home to the world what has been obvious for months,” writes Ali Khaled in the Abu Dhabi-based newspaper The National. Assad’s “regime has crossed the Rubicon; it is inconceivable a negotiated settlement could be implemented now.”

America is still behaving passively, while the world calls for leadership. Even Russia and Germany do not want to make the case for an military intervention. They want to solve the problem politically, and do not support further military force. Whether a political solution is possible is unclear. But it is absolutly clear, however, that the violence has to be stopped and a political structure must be created. A state is required by one you can live without the daily fear for life.

“Every country must do its utmost to prevent a civil war in Syria”, urged Angela Merkel. “The massacre of Hula has shown once again how “horrible” the human rights situation in Syria is”, said Merkel further and she is absolutly right. The UN Security Council must “with all power and all the emphasis,” ensure that the peace plan of the Syrian envoy Kofi Annan would be implemented, she demanded.

A draft of the resolution to be put to the Human Rights Council that circulated on Thursday condemned “the wanton killing of civilians by shooting at close range and by severe physical abuse by pro-regime elements.” It also condemned a “series of government artillery and tank spellings of a residential neighbourhood.” The draft would require that commission of inquiry set up by the Human Rights Council last year to “publicly identify those responsible for these atrocities and hold them to account.” Free Syria.

Six Journalist killed in Mexico in less than a month.

Freedom of expression still under attack.

By Alejandro Gonzalez, Deborah Jeggli, Jaime Carro and Susana Andres.

Marco Avila was the last journalist to be killed in less than a month, he was found stuffed in a garbage bag on a road sideline in the northwestern state of Sonora.

 

His death came just a few days after another journalist was found dead in a car´s boot in Cuernavaca, which is a central Mexican city, not just that, several days before, three more journalists were discovered in the state of Veracruz.

 

These deads, plus the dead of the correspondent for the news magazine “Proceso” on April 28th make a total of 6 murders in less than one month, becoming not just a simple problem which needs to be solved by Mexican authorities, but a problem that has called the attention of important International Organizations such as Amnesty International.

 

“Mexican state and federal authorities must redouble their efforts to protect journalists and human rights defenders and stop the targeted killings, which present a grave threat to freedom of expression”, claimed Rupert Knox, Amnesty International´s Mexico researcher.

“The authorities rarely identify or bring to justice those responsible for attacks on journalists, creating a climate a fear and vulnerability amongst those still brave enough to continue their work. It is vital that full and impartial investigations are carried out immediately, including making use of new federal investigative powers, into each of these cases, to ensure the killers are brought to justice.”

 

The persistent drug war in Mexico and corruption among government authorities and police in the different states, which compose the country, have made the profession of journalism, a very dangerous profession to exert.

At least 81 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 2000 (according to Mexico´s National Human Rights Commission), with a further 14 disappeared, being perpetrators rarely brought to justice.

 

The latest killings represent an ongoing wave of violence against the journalist collective across Mexico. Organized criminal groups have killed over a 50.000 individuals in the last five years.

 

All these facts mentioned above have led some media organizations stop tracking information and covering organized crime, among them is the newspaper “El Mañana”, located in the border city of Nuevo Laredo. The newspaper announced its decision to self-censor after its offices were sprayed with bullets earlier this month.

 

This problem is asking for international intervention.

 

Interview with Jair Martinez Gonzalez, Mexico

This interview is taken with Jair Martinez Gonzalez. He is 25 years old and a real Mexican. Jair grow up in Guadalajara, a city with approximately 1,6 million inhabitants situated in the western high plateau of Mexico. He graduated university two years ago in fields of international business. Since then Jair likes to travel and to see the world. Eight months ago he moved to Spain. He previously used to live here five years ago and like it a lot. That was the reason why he came back to Europe. He is enjoying his time in Madrid and works in a Hostel close to Tirso de Molina, where we meet to have the interview. Jair is a very open-minded and talkative person that is why it was great fun to talk to him even if the topic was serious.

Jair and me talked about the drug traffic issue, which is a hot topic in Mexico. Since the election of current president Felipe Calderon the drug war called about 50,000 victims; and it is not about to decrease. It is about 4.5 % of the Mexican population that got killed by drug traffic. When asking Jair if he ever experienced this war going on in his country he told me that he heard several times about grenades blow up in nightclubs and people died. But Guadalajara, as he told me, used to be a safe and quit place. That was mainly because, he explained, the children and families of one of the biggest cartels in Mexico “La Familia” are living there. Therefore they hardly tried to keep Guadalajara as safe as possible. “But now everything changed”, he said.

When asking Jair why it is becoming dangerous in Guadalajara, he announced that earlier there were three powerful cartel’s ruling Mexico; La Familia, Los Zetas and the Sinaloa Cartel. “But when the new president got elected he declared to fight against the drug traffic. He primary wanted to stop the distribution inside Mexico.” As Jair told me, the Mexican president Felipe Calderon appointed the army instead of the national police to control key distribution points. “I don’t trust these guys, because there is a lot of corruption going on”, Jair said. Furthermore the president tries to clean the federal police from bad men. He dismisses policemen in important positions and replaces them with trustful person. To quote Jair: “Nobody wants to take over this positions, because you will get killed. One shot doesn’t mean anything for the drug bosses”.

The election of president Felipe Calderon in 2006 was the start of the drug war in Mexico, but his approach definitely failed. His strategy to fight against the drug cartels with army could not be realized. The government of Mexico more lost control then gained any. Furthermore the cartel’s spread out and a real war began. That is the main reason why also safe cities like Guadalajara suddenly got dangerous.

I asked Jair if he thinks that also the current president or generally the government is involved into corruption and drug traffic. He thought about it for a moment and then started telling me: “Well, you don’t know it exactly, but years ago the biggest drug boss “El Chapo” escaped from jail very easily. So you can ask yourself how such an important person can run away so simply without getting stopped. I really think there are some deals going on between the government and the drug cartels.” Furthermore he told me that the current president want to keep just one cartel. Thus every cartel tries to fight the others. All of them want to be the most powerful. They are randomly killing people to intimidate the Mexican and to show up their power.

I was interested in Jairs opinion about a potential solution for the drug war going on in Mexico. He is sure that drugs will exist as long as humans will. But to solve the problems in Mexico he expressed that it is important, that the government first changes the bottom. That means the education, the infrastructure and the social system. It is important in his opinion to change people’s minds, if anything should change one day. “I think politics and corruption must also be changed first. Make a big clean. Mexico is always been with corruption. Money is the power. This attitude has to be improved”, he says.

My last question to Jair was if he still is proud to be a Mexican. He assured me “yes, I am and I always will”. Furthermore Jair said: “Mexico is a very beautiful country with a lot of nice people, I love it and I will go back for sure. It’s not just about drugs.”

Bohemiam interview

INTERVIEW “Victor Carro Balin”

 

 

 

     Victor Carro Balin; he was born is 1957 in San Antonio, Texas(E.E.U.U); while his father was in the US Air Force; when he was 4 years old he moved to Spain, to another base in Moron de la Frontera, in Sevilla. He finished highschool and he decided to become a lawyer, he studied in Madrid in the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, in his second year he went to New York to continue there his studies but he had to come back to Spain because of personal issues. He graduated and he studied a Master in Barcelona in the IESE. Although he studied that and he was one of the best lawyers in his área, his real dream was to become an artista.

He began to draw for magazines as Vogue, Marie Claire, The European.

     In 1975 after Francos death he moved to San Francisco, but he only stayed there for 3 months and then went to New York and he worked for a gallery in the Soho, 4 years later went back to Spain, to work in decoration magazines as a stylist for magazines in Spain and all around the world focusing in the United Estates.

     In 1984 he went back to Florida to work  as a decorator in parties for famous people.

     He has never voted in the United States but neither in Spain because he doesnt believe in none of the governments, but because of his sexuality he is more a democrat than a republican.

     In 2000 he went to Portugal, while he was working in Lisboa for a magazine called Casa y Campo, he had a neurism and he went into a deep coma for 14 months, and since then he hasnt been able to work or further more,a dn he has been painting and selling and exhibition of all his work.

     Nowadays he lives in Madrid(La Moraleja) working as a painter, taking care of his sick father.

 

What do you miss the most of the United States?

–       The bohemian life style that i lived and a realy enjoyed in New York and in San Francisco and Miami, and most of my friends that they are still living there.

 

What do you think about the political ideas of the Republican Party and the way they acted and above of it the way that the expresident George W. Bush acted?

–       “ I throw up on Bush face”

–       I think that their ideas are old, that they have not modernised at all and that they pressure the minoritarian gropus,(inmigrants< homosexuals, black and por people. And about the way they have acted i think that they have really influence other countries as Spain, its like if it was the law of the stronger, that in this case was George Bush.

 

Do you support any of the wars that were carried by the United States during the last decades?

–       Absolutely no! Peace instead of war, I think that the wars werent to prevent comunism but to get to control Natural Resources as Petrol, Gas… And about the Cold War i think that the government acted reaaly good by not to enter in another world conflicto, that why i support the power of the Word instead of the power of the weapons. In fact i was in all the manifestation against the war and to defend the freedom and the workers.

 

What do you think about Obama’s Health Care program?

–       I support him because ive got Cancer and if it wasnt because of the spanish Health Care and if i was living in the US, i would have died because not many people are able to afford to pay that much that costs the treatment. I think that is much like the european model of health care and im really calm that he wants top ut the same system back in the States.

 

What do you think about Obamasidea to support homosexual marrieges and furthermore?

       -I agree but only in the marrieges, but the adoptions i think that they would have to be studied each case always to look after the benefit of the child. But i  think that the society has to improve a lot for the adoptions, in much other countries, the homosexuals are supported, but they dont have the chance to adopt.

I think this way because how can a five year old kid, its gonna be able to explain in class to the rest of his classmates that he hasnt got a mother or a father or that he has 2 fathers or two mothers, this is difficult, because the society hasnt developt till there yet, i think that the marrieges are the first step to keep on with this contemporanious idea.

 

 

 

I choose him because he has lived a lot of experiences, he was born in the United States and he has been living there too; and above of it because is a person that i really respect and which i enjoy his company a lot. And i can always talk to him about anything.Image

The last goodbye to Carlos Fuentes.

By Alejandro Gonzalez, Deborah Jeggli, Jaime Carro and Susana Andres 

Carlos Fuentes

Carlos Fuentes

Carlos Fuentes Macías a Mexican novelists and essayist, died the past 15th of May with 83 years old from a massive hemorrhage.

The New York Times described him as one of the best writers in the Spanish-speaking world. He was also really important in “El boom”, the explosion of Latin American literature in the 70’s.

He was probably the most important Mexican novelist.

He has been award for many literary honors as the “Miguel de Cervantes Prize” in 1987 and the “Belisario Dominguez Medal of honor” in 1999, Mexico’s highest award.

He is a really known candidate for the Nobel Prize for literature but he never won this award.

Fuentes main writings, narratives, essays and romans were talking about Mexico’s daily life and history. With the use of stylistic mediums he tried to point out the daily issues of the Mexican living. This is why he became so important and loved in Mexico.

He published his first narrative in 1954; it was called “Los dias enmascarados”. It became a best seller in Mexico. Also his first roman “La region mas transparente” became a best seller.

His most interesting and important work is the roman “Terra nostra” which was published in 1975. A further important work of Carlos Fuente might be the 1962 published novel “ La muerte de Artemio Cruz”, as well as his work “La frontera de cristal”, published in 1996 which it is a political short story.

Carlos Fuentes death leaves a void in the lives of many people, conquered many of its readers through its ecumenical vision of literature as a reflection of the turbulent history of our America overall, which, using the imagination, the writer should not only be a bold and adventurous chronicler, compelled to see everything and tell everything. Always taught throughout his life as a writer one incontestable ethical quality of youthful rebellion, never willing to shut up. His word as a constant exercise of freedom.

He was influenced by some other authors, philosophers and other intelectual, as Baltzac; but he has also influence new writers from all the parts of the world( Nicaragua, Paris, Chile..)
Although the flow of readers this well below Gabriel García Márquez and Mario Vargas Llosa for example, had great influence on the readers that read, especially between 40 and 50, and least among the young.

Fuentes received a state funeral on May 17th in the “Palacio de Bellas Artes” attended by the President Calderon.

His readers, family and friends will miss him as we can see already in their testimonies.

Mario Vargas Llosa, writer and Nobel Prize in Literature (2010) wrote; “With his parting disappears a writer whose work and whose presence has left a profound mark. His short-stories, novels and essays were primarily inspired by Mexico’s problems and history but he was a universal man.”

 Felipe Calderon, President of Mexico made his own goodbye by twitter; “I deeply lament the death of our beloved and admired Carlos Fuentes, a universal Mexican writer.”

Enrique Krauze, Mexican historian cited; “Author of lasting novels and short stories, a vigorous, enriching presence. I think the center of his literary creativity was language. The renovation of language.”

Jorge Volpi, Mexican writer sorry his death; “I’m terribly sorry for the death of Carlos Fuentes, Mexico’s greatest novelist, a generous friend.’’

Goodbye Fuentes.

Filipino community in the United States

Interviewing Mark Gómez.

by Alejandro González

Mark Gomez

Mark Gomez

Background: Mark is a friend of mine who I met when I moved to my actual neighbourhood in the outskirts of Madrid, aproximately at the age of fourteen. He was born and raised in Las Vegas, however, his parents and relatives are from Philippines.

When he was about twelve years old he moved to Spain, living there for six years, then he went back to the US after finishing high school.

Right now he is attending his college lessons in Florida.

My region is North America and I thought it could be interesting to ask him about the filipino community established in the US especially in the state of California.

Filipinos represent 1.1% of the country´s population and it is also one of the major sources of inmigration into the United States.

Mark you said that your parents are from Philippines, how and why did they come to the EEUU?

They came to the united states because the job that they were being offered was located in the united states and that is one of the main reasons why they moved there. Secondly was because there is a better environment for living compared to the philippines.

What your parents did was not an ocasional situation given, a big amount of people coming from Philippines followed the same path right?

Yes, there are many other filipinos who took this path due to that they will be in a better environment and most likely get a job that will pay more than if they stayed in the Philippines.

Why do think this happened?

One of the main reasons why I believe that this happened is because Philippines has never been in a good position economically and does not help being a third world country either. Not only but since there is a high population in the country there is a lot of competition always.

What does the term Filipino American say to you?

The term filipino american means that I am both filipino and american in citizenship and culture. I do not think that there is more to the term as it is only used as an identification rather than anything else.

There is a huge community of filipinos living in the US, how deeply do you think they are integrated into the US society?

A lot of the filipinos who move here or are born here are very integrated into the society as through out time they blend into the culture and environment. Although in my opinion I do not agree with this sort of integration due to that they tend to forget where they came from and their culture. I believe that it is important that we always remember where we came from.

With the pass of the years have they returned back to Philippines or they have just continued their lifes in the United States?

I think through out the years depending on how comfortable they have integrated themselves into the society they tend to stay in the united states and once in a while go back to the Philippines to just visit relatives. I do not see a lot of filipinos who return and do not come back to the united states.

As a second filippino generation, are you planning to return at some point of your life or you´d rather stay in the United States?

I think for me it would be very hard to go back due to the fact that since I was small we have already moved out of the philippines and have lived in different countries over the years. I can only see myself returning if I am visiting any relatives but if not I do not see myself returning to live there.

Do you think there is racism in the United States or at least, have you ever experienced it somehow?

There is definitely racism in the united states and it usually is targeted to the minorities which usually are black, asian and hispanics. Since the Philippines falls underneath the asian category we as a minority are targeted as well. Racism is something that is very hard to avoid especially in a country where the “White man” believes that he has the right to do what ever he wants. Even though Dr. Martin Luther King jr died to push the civil rights movement to prevent racism and to end it, we can factually say that this is not true. Personally I have not been target with any sort of racial comments but I do have friends who have experienced it. Racism happens daily in the United States and even you will be able to see it on a daily basis.

Till the elections do us part.

A tingling statement of world’s most powerful men, US president Barack Obama, has brought new momentum in the ongoing election campaign of the United States of America. He now officially supports same-sex marriage, what has been a controversial topic in the US over a long time.

By Alejandro Gonzalez, Deborah Jeggli, Jaime Carro and Susana Andres.

The US election campaigns let the candidates, as usual, run up to peak performance. This time in the middle of the running pre-elections, Barack Obama, has spoken out for same-sex marriage. This is the first time that a US-president openly advocates this issue. Gays and lesbian worldwide, for sure, very appreciate this act. Moreover young Americans seem to be very positively voted historical confession of world’s most powerful men. This at least can be pronounced through current polls.

He is opposite political opponent, the republican Mitt Romney, took this statement as an opportunity to reinforce the conservative party. He therefore reacted with a clear statement against same-sex marriage.

For a long time Obama also disapproved the legalisation of marriage between gay and lesbian couples. But, as he said, his attitude towards this topic has been developed. In an interview (shown above) with the ABC, Obama said: “At a certain point, I’ve just concluded that for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” Furthermore Barack Obama said interviewed by Robin Roberts in the Cabinet Room at the White House: “I had hesitated on gay marriage in part because I thought that civil unions would be sufficient. I was sensitive to the fact that for a lot of people, the word marriage was something that invokes very powerful traditions and religious beliefs.” Although he added “I’ve always been adamant that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally.”

 

 

Barack Obama’s clear opinion was initiated by an Interview of the US vice-president Joe Biden. He heralded that he would definitely agree with marriage of men and men women and women. This clear statement set a big media debate in motion. Gay and lesbian organizations worldwide asked Obama therefore for a plain expression about the issue.

Moreover voters in North Carolina confirmed a new law in large numbers for a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriages, partnerships and civil unions. This way it became the 30th state in the US and the last in the South to include a prohibition on same-sex marriage in the state constitution. Besides the state of North Carolina is one of the most contested between democrats and republicans.

Therefore political observers in Washington expect the topic of same-sex marriage as becoming an essential topic on the elections campaign for the next US president. Especially the republicans, means the conservative, will show a strong resistance against Barack Obama’s new position. Nevertheless current survey shows a slight majority of voters supporting the same-sex marriage.

However the current US president Barack Obama pointed out that his statement just shows his personal opinion and will not have a further impact on his current political path. The elections in November 2012 will demonstration how meaningful this event will have been.