James Jordan

The Colombian National Police massacred between 8 and 16 people, and wounded more than 50, in the municipality of Tumaco, Narino on October 5. The attack was directed against protesting coca growing families demanding the government fulfil its commitments to voluntary eradication programs.

Then, on October 8, the National Police attacked an international team sent to investigate the massacre. The police used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse representatives from the United Nations, the Organization of American States, and a journalist from the Colombian weekly, Semana.

Unionists, rural workers and environmentalists are coming together in Arequipa, in southern Peru, to halt the proposed Tia Maria copper mine. The mine project belongs to Southern Copper Corporation, a subsidiary of Grupo Mexico.

Mine opponents are demanding respect for workers' rights, community democracy and involvement in development decisions, and protection for the ecosystem and rural farmers.

The International Network in Solidarity with the Political Prisoners (INSPP) received the wonderful news on February 29 that Colombian labour activist, human rights defender and political prisoner Liliany Obando was to be released on bond the next day.

Obando had been in jail for three years and seven months on charges of "rebellion".

Obando was arrested on August 8, 2008 while serving as the human rights coordinator for Agricultural Workers Union Federation of Colombia (Fengasuagro), Colombia's largest organisation of peasant farmers and farm workers unions and associations.

Much coverage of the Venezuelan revolution in the corporate-owned media presents a severely distorted picture of what is occurring in Venezuela and the nature and actions of the government of President Hugo Chavez. James Jordan, the emergency response coordinator for the US-based Venezuela Solidarity Network (<http://vensolidarity.org>), attempts to answer some of the key lies and distortions.

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