Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Yes, My Book Is On Kindle, Amnesty Targets Police Brutality

The following message came into my blog, but I will answer it here in case others are interested. Yes, my book is available on Kindle, in Amazon’s electronic version. I’d appreciate it if anyone who gets the Kindle version lets me know how it reads and whether the photos came out OK.

Hi Barbara;
Really enjoy your posts. Please keep them coming.
How about some details on your book. Would like to read it. As I am into eBooks is there any chance to get an electronic version?

For people who want to get a preview of the book’s contents, there are always the Amazon reviews and would-be readers can also access a random page on Amazon. Anyone who would like to see a couple of reviews, one from the Washington Post, the other from Peace Corps Writers, can just contact me via my Yahoo address (listed on this blog) and I will send them as attachments.

Another commentator says: From the favorable things said about him that you posted earlier, Insulza seemed to have been a statesmanlike figure who was passionate about moving the South forward, out of poverty and ignorance and away from corruption and great wealth. He may see himself as the only such leader around.

It's not easy to come up with a happy ending for Honduras in the near future. I'm sure your [Latin American] correspondent is right that no matter what happens next, things will only get worse. I'd been under the impression for years that U.S. influence in the region was waning, as evidenced by the failure of OAS members other than the U.S., and sometimes Canada, to speak out against human rights and other abuses of the Castro regime. If the U.S. had so much clout, wouldn't the many aid-seeking Central and South American countries be more interested in making a favorable impression on Uncle Sam than on supporting a dictatorial regime on a little island that was not a threat to them? Obviously I've missed something here.

Your correspondent has called it exactly with the statement that if the U.S. continues an even-handed policy (i.e., no sanctions), it will be criticized by the left; if it moves a millimeter in the direction of the Micheletti government, there'll be accusations of hypocrisy. More than a millimeter, and the cries of "U.S.-backed coup!" will start up again. It will be interesting to see how Obama, who's shown himself majorly indifferent to domestic criticisms of being too chummy with the likes of Chavez, will react to chastisement from the left.

Film preview: NEW YORK (Reuters) - With a rolled-up mat slung over his back, Honduran 14-year-old Kevin climbs aboard a Mexican freight train for a 1,450-mile (2,330-km) journey to the U.S. border -- a perilous ride spotlighted by a new documentary. "What I've always dreamed of was to be in the United States. Most of the children in Honduras, they grow up with that idea," Kevin says in "Which Way Home," a film that will be broadcast on U.S. cable network HBO Monday.

Barbara talking again here.
I've heard before about brutality being meted out to Honduran protesters, but give more credence now when Amnesty is behind the report, as per the one below, issued via CNN. Unfortunately, in such a standoff, clashes are inevitable and, frankly, given the level of violence "normal" in Honduras, I'm actually surprised they haven't been even worse. Not that it is to be brushed aside, only that it is not unexpected.

(CNN) -- In the seven weeks since the military-backed bloodless coup in Honduras, several hundred people protesting against the de facto government have been arbitrarily arrested and beaten by government forces, a new Amnesty International report says. The report, released Wednesday, said the beatings were meant to punish those who opposed the ouster of President Manuel Zelaya in June. It includes testimony from, and photographs of, several people who were baton-whipped and detained by police officers who sometimes wore no visible identification and hid their faces behind bandanas as they broke up demonstrations.

"They beat us if we raised our heads; they beat us when they were getting us into the police cars," said a student whom Amnesty International interviewed in late July at the police station where he was being detained."They said, 'Cry and we'll stop.'"
Multiple requests to the government for comment went unanswered. The government has said in the past that the demonstrators were arrested for engaging in violence and provoking authorities.

The Honduran political crisis stems from Zelaya's defiant push to hold a referendum that could have led to extending term limits by changing the constitution. The country's congress had outlawed the vote and the supreme court had ruled it illegal. He was ousted in a coup on June 28. The congress named Roberto Micheletti provisional president shortly after the military detained Zelaya and sent him into exile. Micheletti and his supporters deny that a coup took place, calling the action a constitutional transfer of power.

The coup resulted in unrest throughout the country, with frequent clashes between police and military on one side and civilian protesters on the other. At least two people were shot to death, Amnesty said.

Among several examples, the Amnesty report quotes F.M., a 52-year-old teacher, who said he was demonstrating peacefully when police descended on the rally. "They grabbed me and shouted, 'Why do you (all) support Zelaya's government?' They beat me. I have not been informed as to why I am detained." He showed deep-red imprints on his back, which he said were from a beating with a baton.

"Detention and ill treatment of protesters are being employed as a form of punishment for those openly opposing the de facto government and also as a deterrent for those contemplating taking to the streets to peacefully show their discontent with the political turmoil the country is experiencing," said Esther Major, Amnesty's Central America researcher.

The following article entitled “Micheletti shuts the door on Zelaya” from the Spanish version of the Miami Herald quotes Micheletti as saying that Zelaya may return only if he submits himself to the judicial system.

Micheletti le cierra las puertas a Zelaya, publicado el martes 18 de augusto del 2009

El presidente de facto de Honduras declaró el lunes a McClatchy que no aceptará ninguna propuesta que permita el regreso al poder del derrocado presidente Manuel Zelaya, como parte de las negociaciones para solucionar la crisis política de su país.

Roberto Micheletti, que fue nombrado presidente interino después de que el alto mando militar envió a Zelaya por la fuerza a Costa Rica el 28 de junio, dijo que si Zelaya regresa lo arrestarían y acusarían de 18 cargos por infringir la Constitución. "La única forma de que el presidente Zelaya puede regresar es si se entrega al sistema judicial'', dijo Micheletti.

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