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Abstract: Hezbollah, Lebanon‘s Iran-sponsored Shi‘i Muslim terrorist organization, has established global networks in at least 40 countries. Its growing presence in South America is increasingly troublesome to U.S. policymakers, yet there are few experts on Hezbollah and fewer still on Hezbollah Latino America. Hezbollah‘s operatives have infiltrated the Western Hemisphere from Canada to Argentina, and its activity is increasing, particularly in the lawless Tri-Border Area (TBA) of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay. This research was conducted to expose the actions and objectives of Hezbollah in the TBA. The majority of US officials and operators believe that Hezbollah‘s terrorist wing is separate from its political wing, but these are misconceptions from people who "mirror-image" the American experience when assessing Hezbollah. Unfamiliarity with the organization makes these assessors vulnerable to its propaganda, which is a severe problem that permeates the US government and its operatives. People who think Hezbollah is or could be compartmentalized or disunited are not familiar with the organization and perceive Hezbollah through the lens of the organization‘s extensive propaganda effort. Hezbollah has a large operational network in the TBA, which generates funds for the party, but its primary mission is to plan attacks and lie dormant, awaiting instructions to execute operations against Western targets. The following is a look at Hezbollah‘s modus operandi, an analysis of how operational its networks in the Tri-Border Area are, as well as some possible solutions to this threat. First, is an examination of how Hezbollah traditionally operates to establish the context.
Abstract: This report updates the topic of Iran’s Growing Relations with Latin America [page 5]. Over the past several years, U.S. officials and other observers have expressed concerns about
Iran’s increasing activities in Latin America, particularly under the government of President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. For example, in January 2009 congressional testimony, Secretary of
Defense Robert Gates maintained that he was concerned about the level of “subversive activity
that the Iranians are carrying on in a number of places in Latin America, particularly South
America and Central America.” There has been some contention, however, over the level and significance of Iran’s linkages with
the region. One view emphasizes that Iran’s relations with several Latin American leaders who
have employed strong anti-U.S. rhetoric and its past support for terrorist activities in the region
are reasons why its presence should be considered a potential destabilizing threat to the region.
Another school of thought emphasizes that Iran’s domestic politics and strategic orientation
toward the Middle East and Persian Gulf region will preclude the country from sustaining a focus
on Latin America. Adherents of this view assert that Iran’s promised aid and investment to Latin
America have not materialized. Some observers holding both of these views contend that while Iran’s activities in Latin America do not currently constitute a major threat to U.S. national
security, there is enough to be concerned about to keep a watchful eye on developments in case it
becomes a more serious threat. On October 27, 2009, the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on
the Western Hemisphere held a hearing on “Iran in the Western Hemisphere” that reflected these
range of views.
Abstract: At least 71 journalists were killed across the globe in 2009, the Committee to Protect Journalists announced Tuesday, the largest annual toll in the 30 years the group has been keeping track.
Twenty-nine of those deaths came in a single, politically motivated massacre of reporters and others in the Philippines last November, the worst known episode for journalists, the committee said.
But there were other worrisome trends. The two nations with the highest number of journalists incarcerated — China had 24 journalists imprisoned at the end of 2009 and Iran had 23 — were particularly harsh in taking aim at bloggers and others using the Internet. The number jailed in Iran has since jumped to 47, the committee said. Of the 71 confirmed deaths, 51 were murders, the committee said. The report noted that 24 additional deaths of journalists remained under investigation to determine if they were related to the journalists’ work. Previously, the highest number of journalists killed in a single year was 67, in 2007, when violence in Iraq was raging.
Abstract: During the 1970’s, political violence in Argentina resulted in massive violations of human rights
that included thousands of deaths, prolonged and arbitrary arrests, disappearances, unfair trials,
pervasive torture, in addition to cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. Since the restoration
of democracy in 1983, there have been various obstacles to prosecution of such crimes committed
by security forces and paramilitary groups. Such obstacles were eventually overcome, and
Argentina currently offers an important example of the positive results of both domestic efforts
and international advocacy to achieve justice for past crimes against humanity. Due to its recent
and ongoing success in the prosecution of human rights criminals, it is arguable that Argentina
has one of the best records of transitional justice in the world. It has fostered transitional justice
developments in the region, and offers critical insights for other communities struggling with the
past which are following Argentina’s efforts with deep interest. The repressive campaign that resulted in massive human rights violations peaked in March 1976,
as the commanders-in-chief of Argentina’s three armed forces ousted democratically elected
President Isabel Perón and proclaimed a de facto regime. During the seven years of military
rule, the military fought what was referred to as a Marxist subversive threat. The most notorious
feature of repression by the military dictatorship was the practice of disappearances: possibly up
to 30,000 people were abducted by security forces. They were sent to hundreds of secret detention
centers, where they were interrogated under barbaric methods. Ultimately, the vast majority
of the desaparecidos were systematically, but secretly, murdered. In 1983, before democracy was
restored, the military granted itself immunity from prosecution and issued a decree ordering the
destruction of all documents relating to military repression.
Abstract: The data in this report is derived from country submissions when possible,
and estimates when necessary. Estimates are extrapolated from each country’s
identified procurement, highest modern personnel totals, and strategic doctrine.
Except where noted, the military small arms and light weapons data
presented here is not official, comprehensive, or conclusive; it is for general
evaluation and comparison only. The complete methodology used here is described
in Chapter 2 of the Small Arms Survey 2006.
Small arms are state-owned handguns, submachine guns, rifles, shotguns,
and light and medium machine guns. Firearms are civilian-owned handguns,
submachine guns, rifles, and shotguns. Long at the forefront of international small arms issues, public debate and
activism in South America have largely focused on matters surrounding civilian
firearms, estimated here to total between 21.7 and 26.8 million. The reasons
for this civilian preoccupation are principally linked to chronic gun violence.
South America has 14 per cent of the global population, and roughly 3.5 to 4 per
cent of the world’s civilian firearms, but it suffers from roughly 40 per cent of
all homicides committed with firearms.
Military small arms are rarely part of public debate, largely because of a
strong culture of national security secrecy in South America. But military
small arms policy has attracted much closer scrutiny in recent years, especially
as military small arms and light weapons are diverted to criminals and
guerrillas, fuelling insurgencies and civil violence. This report focuses primarily
on issues surrounding surplus military small arms and light weapons in
the region. Law enforcement and civilian firearms inventories and issues are
recognized here as well, to ensure a balanced overall perspective.
The region’s military establishments do not have a strong record of identifying
or eliminating their surplus small arms, light weapons, or ammunition.
South America holds some of the world’s largest military small arms and
light weapons surpluses. Military inventories are not exceptionally large in
absolute terms, but they are a major element in global surplus problems. Among
the 12 independent countries of South America, there are an estimated 3.6
million military small arms as of 2007, 1.5 per cent of the global total. Of these,
approximately 1.3 million, more than one-third, are surplus.
Abstract: The international terrorist presence in Latin America is concentrated in several "hotspots" where terrorist organizations have found financial and logistic support, as well as a supporting base. Among these areas are Venezuela and its Margarita Island, Trinidad and Tobago, the Iquique area in Chile, and the Tri-Border Area (TBA, or Triple Frontera) in South America. The TBA, which includes the Brazilian city of Foz de Iguazú, the Argentinean Puerto Iguazú, and Ciudad del Este in Paraguay, has served in the past twenty years as an operational and logistic center for international terrorist groups, such as the Lebanese Hezbollah, as well as transnational criminal organizations. This area has a population of approximately 700,000 people; including roughly 30,000 inhabitants of Arab descent. The Arab community, which constitutes one of the largest immigrant groups in the region, is predominantly Lebanese, especially in Ciudad del Este and Foz de Iguazú. The local Lebanese population is largely Shia. The Triple Frontera is one of the most important commercial centers of South America, with approximately 20 thousand people transiting on a daily basis from the neighboring states to the free-trade area of Ciudad del Este in Paraguay. The intense volume of people and goods entering the TBA, together with its porous borders, are two important factors that originally attracted criminal and armed groups to this area. Additionally, the relative ease with which money is locally laundered and transferred to and from regions overseas constitutes a very powerful incentive to maintain a base of operations in the TBA. Therefore, transnational criminal groups such as the Mexican and Colombian drug cartels, Chinese and Russian mafias, and the Japanese Yakuza all appear to have a strongly rooted presence in this South American region. Within the TBA, the epicenter of organized crime is Ciudad del Este - an important hub of drug and human trafficking, and the smuggling of goods, weapons, contraband and counterfeit products.
Abstract: Although all countries, in theory report their authorized transfers - and
such information may even be available in certain public databases - the
task of providing an overview of SALW transfers, their parts and
munitions, is an arduous one. Nonetheless, despite the difficulties, we
have some extremely positive initiatives on a global scale, such as for
example, the Small Arms Survey, recognized as an important source of
information, especially on SALW production and transfers, as well as the
Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers (NISAT) which has a
database containing transfer records going back to 1962.Despite these
important initiatives, themselves when researchers, activists and policy
makers try to understand a regional market, such as Latin America and
the Caribbean, they encounter a dearth of information. With the intent of addressing this shortcoming, En La Mira has, since 2007, dedicated an
issue to transfers of SALWs, parts and ammunition in this region. Further, according to statistics from the United Nations Commodity Trade
Statistics Database (UN-Comtrade or Comtrade), USD 6.7 billion were
exported between 2004 and 2006, while USD 6.5 billion were imported.
Despite the fact that Latin America and the Caribbean represent 6% and
3%, respectively, of total transfers worldwide during this period, 42% of
firearms related homicide is committed in the region. This discrepancy
between the international transfer volume share and the levels of armsrelated
violence in Latin America and the Caribbean calls attention to
itself, above all because of the tragic and startling number of homicides.
Obviously, far from wishing to increase arms transfers in order to be more
in sync with homicide rates, we decided, a year ago, to study this issue
and periodically monitor its development based on our interest in
understanding the primary legal entry and exit routes of firearms and
ammunition. The result is a report - based on customs information as
stated by Latin American and Caribbean countries and their respective
partners - whose objective is to describe the movement of the SALW
imports and exports, as well as ammunition and parts, during the present
decade. Based on this data, we answer the following questions: who
exported and who imported? From whom? What? And when?
It is worth restating that the intent of this report is not to explain the
cause of arms imports and exports by Latin American countries. Beyond
merely providing information, we do indeed wish to awaken, by means of
the information presented here, the curiosity of other researches, activists
and government staff members such that they may continue to perform research in their countries regarding the transparency of this information,
on who is using the transferred SALW, and how.
The data used for this report came from the NISAT database, which
contains more than 800,000 entries for SALW transfers worldwide since
1962. The NISAT database gets its information from different sources,
COMTRADE among them. In this study we decided to restrict ourselves
to data from this latter source because, in theory, all countries report
transfers to the UN. This data is declared in accordance with the
Harmonized System (SH) merchandise classification system. The HS has
existed since 1988and, in 2007, was revised for the fourth time; previous
revisions were in 1992, 1996 and in 2002. Regarding the period analyzed,
we are looking at data up until 2006, since at the time the study closed
this was the most recent year available on NISAT.
Abstract: Lorsqu’en 1992, l’ambassade d’Israël en Argentine fut victime d’un
attentat terroriste et que deux ans plus tard ce fut au tour de l’AMIA
(Association mutuelle Israël-Argentine) de s’écrouler sous les bombes, l’hypothèse
stipulant que des cellules terroristes islamiques soient présentes en
Amérique du Sud prit tout son sens. Parmi les endroits soupçonnés, la Triple
Frontière, zone où convergent les frontières du Brésil, de l’Argentine et du
Paraguay, vint à figurer en tête de lice. Il est vrai que cette zone, située en
plein coeur de la forêt sud-américaine, est reconnue pour la porosité de ses
frontières et pour le faible contrôle étatique qu’exercent les trois pays sur ce
territoire. Aujourd’hui, la Triple Frontière a la réputation d’être un endroit
dangereux où se déroulent activités illégales et criminelles. Plusieurs émettent
l’hypothèse que des cellules terroristes islamiques se serviraient de ces
activités illicites pour amasser des fonds afin de financer leurs activités.
Existe-t-il vraiment un lien entre ces activités illégales et le financement
de réseaux terroristes qui pourraient menacer la sécurité de l’Occident ?
C’est ce qui semble avoir justifié la visite à Asunción en août 2006 du secrétaire
américain à la Défense, Donald Rumsfeld, visite ayant engendré bien des critiques
de la part des pays voisins et des mouvements sociaux, certains y voyant le
début d’une intervention directe des États-Unis en Amérique du Sud.
Abstract: The Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), established in accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 5/1 of 18 June 2007, held its first session from 7 to 18 April 2008. The review of Argentina was held at the 16th meeting on 16 April 2008. The delegation of Argentina was headed by H.E. Mr. Eduardo Luis Duhalde, Human Rights Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Security and Human Rights. For the composition of the delegation, composed of 11 members, see appendix below. At its 17th meeting held on 18 April 2008, the Working Group adopted the present report on Argentina.
Abstract: On March 24, 2006, people in the city of Buenos Aires, like the majority of the Argentinean population, assembled in the streets. Congress declared the day an official holiday. The President delivered a speech in the Colegio Militar de la Nación (the military academy for training officers) and unveiled a plaque that read: “Never again coups and state terrorism.” In the first row was an assortment of people, ranging from the major leaders of the Madres de Plaza de Mayo to schoolchildren, sitting side-by-side with high-ranking military officers. Later, 100,000 people—carrying various banners, flags and photographs—marched in remembrance of those people who had disappeared. The occasion was the 30th anniversary of the military coup
of 1976. The weeks before that date were saturated with information concerning the military coup: exhibitions, lectures and seminars, special issues and supplements of magazines and newspapers, films and television programs, as well as statements by survivors, victims, political leaders and parties, universities, and cultural agents. Public life was consumed by the anniversary and the commemoration. However, it was not entirely a peaceful event; discord and opposition were manifest in a few street incidents, and there was even disagreement about the statement that was to be read at the most important public rally, resulting in an open conflict at the podium.
Abstract: Récemment, le CRDI a examiné pourquoi et comment il avait travaillé, au cours des trois dernières décennies, dans des pays en transition — transition de la dictature à la démocratie, d'une économie planifiée à l’économie de marché, de la guerre à la paix. L’objectif du CRDI était de mieux comprendre comment il recueille et diffuse l’information destinée à éclairer l’élaboration de la programmation et les prises de décisions. Comment le Centre avait-il été informé de l’imminence d’une transition? Comment s’était-il renseigné sur la situation ? Comment était-il intervenu?
Des études de cas ont été préparées sur l’Algérie, la Birmanie, le Cambodge, le Kenya, l’Afrique du Sud, les pays du cône Sud, le Vietnam et la Cisjordanie et Gaza. Ces huit études de cas et le texte d’introduction qui les accompagne montrent que le CRDI est depuis longtemps capable de travailler dans les situations à haut risque que l’on retrouve avant les transitions et dans la phase initiale de celles-ci. Il en ressort également qu’il a joué un rôle distinct dans l’aide à la recherche et à la conception de politiques axées sur le développement et qu’il a su habituellement adapter sa programmation à des contextes mouvants.
Abstract: Récemment, le CRDI a examiné pourquoi et comment il avait travaillé, au cours des trois dernières décennies, dans des pays en transition — transition de la dictature à la démocratie, d'une économie planifiée à l’économie de marché, de la guerre à la paix. L’objectif du CRDI était de mieux comprendre comment il recueille et diffuse l’information destinée à éclairer l’élaboration de la programmation et les prises de décisions. Comment le Centre avait-il été informé de l’imminence d’une transition? Comment s’était-il renseigné sur la situation ? Comment était-il intervenu? Des études de cas ont été préparées sur l’Algérie, la Birmanie, le Cambodge, le Kenya, l’Afrique du Sud, les pays du cône Sud, le Vietnam et la Cisjordanie et Gaza. Ces huit études de cas et le texte d’introduction qui les accompagne montrent que le CRDI est depuis longtemps capable de travailler dans les situations à haut risque que l’on retrouve avant les transitions et dans la phase initiale de celles-ci. Il en ressort également qu’il a joué un rôle distinct dans l’aide à la recherche et à la conception de politiques axées sur le développement et qu’il a su habituellement adapter sa programmation à des contextes mouvants.
Abstract: This document aims to give an account of the presence and absence of policies on reparation, truth and justice in Spain from a comparative perspective. First of all, the main rules on material reparation that have been approved in Spain since Franco's death will be introduced. This will be followed by a comparison of the transitional measures of justice adopted in Spain, Chile and Argentina. The intention is to examine how different countries have responded to the similar challenges that emerge in the inevitably awkward and uncertain process of transition to democracy.
Abstract: U.S. attention to terrorism in Latin America intensified in the aftermath of the September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, with an increase in bilateral and regional cooperation. In its April 2007 Country Reports on Terrorism, the State Department highlighted threats in Colombia, Peru, and the tri-border area of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. There were no known operational cells of Islamic terrorists in the hemisphere, but pockets of ideological supporters in the region lent financial, logistical, and moral support to terrorist groups in the Middle East. Cuba has remained on the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism since 1982, which triggers a number of economic sanctions. In May 2007, for the second year in a row, the Department of State, pursuant to Arms Export Control Act, included Venezuela on the annual list of countries not cooperating on antiterrorism efforts. Congress fully funded the Administration’s FY2008 request for $8.1 million in Anti-Terrorism Assistance for Western Hemisphere countries in the Consolidated Appropriations Act for FY2008 (P.L. 110-161). In the first session of the 110th Congress, the House approved H.Con.Res. 188, which condemned the 1994 bombing of the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association in Buenos Aires, and H.Res. 435, which expressed concern over the emerging national security implications of Iran’s efforts to expand its influence in Latin America, and
emphasized the importance of eliminating Hezbollah’s financial network in the triborder area. The Senate also approved S.Con.Res. 53, which condemned the hostagetaking of three U.S. citizens for over four years by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, while a similar resolution, H.Con.Res. 260, was introduced in the House.
Abstract: En ce 21e siècle, l’un des plus grands défis est de veiller à ce que le mouvement accru des investissements internationaux et de l’activité des grandes entreprises ne fasse pas obstacle à notre engagement envers les droits humains. Il ne s’agit pas là d’une question théorique. La complexité de la tâche de concilier les droits humains et les investissements devient apparente lorsqu’on songe à la privatisation de l’eau en Argentine, aux opérations minières aux Philippines, en République démocratique du Congo et au Pérou ou encore à l’usage des technologies de l’information en Chine.
Abstract: Christian Federico von Wernich, who was born in 1938 and who is of German origin, became chaplain of the Buenos Aires Provincial Police in 1976. Von Wernich is accused of having abused his position in the clergy in order to obtain information from political prisoners during confession. One of the most atrocious crimes in which von Wernich is said to have participated was that of the "group of seven" (Grupo de los siete) students who he allegedly "broke" through confession and who were later killed. It is alleged that he often visited the relatives of the seven students asking for money and telling them that their children were going to be released soon if they cooperated. He allegedly promised the same to the students, as in the case Cecilia Idiart, who later was killed.
Abstract: During the "dirty war" which caused havoc during the period 1976-1983 under the military dictatorship of Jorge Rafael Videla, between 13'000 and 30'000 people went missing in Argentina. One of the methods used to get rid of opponents to the regime without trace was to organise "flights of death" during which the people who had been abducted were thrown out of the aircraft, naked and unconscious, into the ocean thousands of metres below. Scilingo was an Army officer at the dreaded Esma (Argentine Army's High School for Mechanics). In this position, he is said to have taken part in two flights of death, during which around thirty people were killed.
Abstract: Concern for human rights must be at the heart of any foreign investment project, says a new report by Rights & Democracy. The report documents the effect of five such projects - three of which are Canadian - on communities in Africa, South America and Asia.
Human Rights Impact Assessments for Foreign Investment: Learning from community experiences in the Philippines, Tibet, Democratic Republic of Congo, Argentina, and Peru, also introduces an assessment methodology designed specifically for use by communities affected by foreign investment.
"Our research shows that attention to human rights must be integrated into all phases of project planning and implementation if foreign investment is to achieve its promise of social and economic development," said Jean-Louis Roy, President of Rights & Democracy. "Adopting a practical approach to community-led human rights impact assessments will help to reduce the gap between legal standards and practice on the ground."
The five case studies presented in the report are: mining operations in Mindanao, Philippines (TVI Pacific, Canada); communications technology on the Gormo-Lhasa railway, Tibet (Nortel, Canada); mineral refining in the Katanga region, Democratic Republic of Congo (SOMIKA, Canada-DRC); water privatization in Buenos Aires, Argentina (Aguas Argentina); mineral refining in La Oroya, Peru (Doe Run Resources, USA).
Abstract: The arrest in Spain of Argentine Rodolfo Almiron has brought back memories of a dark chapter in Argentina's history - that of the death squads that targeted left-wingers before the 1976 military coup. Mr Almiron is wanted in his home country for murders committed in the 1970s by the Argentine Anti-Communist Alliance, or Triple A - a far-right organisation responsible for hundreds of deaths between 1973 and 1975.