Chevron will pay $ 19 billion for Damages in the Amazon


A judge in Ecuadorian ordered authorities to confiscate assets that belong to American oil giant Chevron as part of a multimillion conviction for having caused environmental damages in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Judge Wilfrido Erazo, a judge in the province of Sucumbios issued and order against the assets of Chevron and its subsidiaries in Ecuador following a complain made by people who were harmed by the environmental damage caused by Chevron.

The oil company reacted immediately through its Communication Advisor for Latin America who strongly criticized the Court’s decision. James Craig said that both the legal counsel for the plaintiffs and the judge were wrong about the issue and that the ruling was “illegal”.

The same Court of Sucumbios is the same one that ordered Chevron to pay more than 19,000 million last year in what the decision said was compensation for the severe environmental damage caused during the period when Chevron extracted oil from the Ecuadorian Amazon. That period began in 1964 and went up until 1990.

The judge’s order states that the enforcement of the sentence will be a “tax on the entire estate of Chevron” until the entire amount of the judgment is paid in full. JUdge Erazo also called Chevron’s negative to pay ”rebellious”.

The embargo of Chevron’s assets includes a fine of more than $ 96 million fine imposed by a court of International Arbitration (ICSID) against the Government of Ecuador, issued after Chevron filed a lawsuit on another matter.

The court’s action also covers the seizure of fuel related products that are sold in the market and that belongs to Chevron and its subsidiaries: Chevron, Texaco, Ursa, Havoline, Doro and others.

The order issued by judge Erazmo means that Chevron’s profits obtained from the sale of these products will be immediately seized by the Ecuadorian government to be deposited in an account that belongs to the Court of Sucumbios. This move will ensure that the oil giant indeed pays its debt.

Besides the decision made by judge Erazo, the plaintiffs’ lawyers also took legal action against Chevron in Canada and Brazil. Last week, the US Supreme Court rejected a request by Chevron to block the sentence issued by the Ecuadorian courts. Now, the plaintiffs legal team believes that it will be possible to obligate Chevron to pay its debt and that no legal impediments will get in the way anywhere in the world.

For his part, the spokesman for Chevron said Erazo’s court order “is not surprising, since the applicants have demonstrated that they can get any order they want from the Court” of Sucumbios. ”I know that the plaintiffs’ lawyers have been involved in drafting secret prior orders of the court,” said Craig, but did not say on what occasions. The judge’s action constitutes ”a new violation of international law on the part of Ecuador”, said Craig, so Chevron “will seek to combat this illegal action” through “all available legal mechanisms, both inside and outside” the country.

Craig also said that Chevron has “no assets” in Ecuador, and that only the company’s subsidiaries had a ”minimum of assets”.

Chevron denies the validity of the Ecuadorian courts’ decision and has refused to pay the penalties imposed by the judge. The company has said that the court has committed ”fraud” and that the conviction is part of a plot created by the plaintiffs’ legal team.

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Slavery Incorporated: American Schools are Breeding Grounds for Compliant Citizens


“[P]ublic school reform is now justified in the dehumanizing language of national security, which increasingly legitimates the transformation of schools into adjuncts of the surveillance and police state… students are increasingly subjected to disciplinary apparatuses which limit their capacity for critical thinking, mold them into consumers, test them into submission, strip them of any sense of social responsibility and convince large numbers of poor minority students that they are better off under the jurisdiction of the criminal justice system than by being valued members of the public schools.”—Professor Henry Giroux

For those hoping to better understand how and why we arrived at this dismal point in our nation’s history, where individual freedoms, privacy and human dignity have been sacrificed to the gods of security, expediency and corpocracy, look no farther than America’s public schools.

Once looked to as the starting place for imparting principles of freedom and democracy to future generations, America’s classrooms are becoming little more than breeding grounds for compliant citizens. The moment young people walk into school, they increasingly find themselves under constant surveillance: they are photographed, fingerprinted, scanned, x-rayed, sniffed and snooped on. Between metal detectors at the entrances, drug-sniffing dogs in the hallways and surveillance cameras in the classrooms and elsewhere, many of America’s schools look more like prisons than learning facilities.

Add to this the epidemic of arresting schoolchildren and treating them as if they are dangerous criminals, and you have the makings of a perfect citizenry for our emerging police state—one that can be easily cowed, controlled, and directed. Now comes the latest development in the sad deconstruction of our schools: “smart” identification cards containing Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags that allow school officials to track every step students take. So small that they are barely detectable to the human eye, RFID tags produce a radio signal by which the wearer’s precise movements can be constantly monitored.

A pilot program using these RFID cards is being deployed at two schools in San Antonio, Texas’ Northside School District. In the so-called name of school safety, some 4,200 students at Jay High School and Jones Middle School are being required to carry these “smart” ID cards embedded with an RFID tracking chip which will actively broadcast a signal at all times.  Although the schools already boast 290 surveillance cameras, the cards will make it possible for school officials to track students’ whereabouts at all times.

School officials hope to expand the program to the district’s 112 schools, with a student population of 100,000. As always, there’s a money incentive hidden within these programs, in this case, it’s increased state funding for the school system. Although implementation of the system will cost $500,000, school administrators are hoping that if the school district is able to increase attendance by tracking the students’ whereabouts, they will be rewarded with up to $1.7 million from the state government.

High school sophomore Andrea Hernandez, who is actively boycotting the RFID cards, was told that “there will be consequences for refusal to wear an ID card.” Students who refuse to take part in the ID program won’t be able to access essential services like the cafeteria and library, nor will they be able to purchase tickets to extracurricular activities. Hernandez was prevented from voting for Homecoming King and Queen after school officials refused to verify her identity using her old ID card. According to Hernandez, teachers are even requiring students to wear the IDs when they want to use the bathroom.  School officials reportedly offered to quietly remove the tracking chip from Andrea’s card if the sophomore would agree to wear the new ID, stop criticizing the program and publicly support the initiative. Hernandez refused the offer.

This is not the first time that schools have sprung RFID chips on unsuspecting students and their parents. Schools in California and Connecticut have tried similar systems, and Houston, Texas began using RFID chips to track students as early as 2004. With the RFID business booming, a variety of companies, including AIM Truancy Solutions, ID Card Group and DataCard, market and sell RFID trackers to school districts throughout the country, claiming they can increase security and attendance. For example, AIM Truancy Solutions, a Dallas-based company, claims that its tracking system boosts attendance by twelve percent.

RFID tags are not the only surveillance tools being used on America’s young people. Chronically absent middle schoolers in Anaheim, Calif., have been enrolled in a GPS tracking program. As journalist David Rosen explains:

Each school day, the delinquent students get an automated ‘wake-up’ phone call reminding them that they need to get to school on time. In addition, five times a day they are required to enter a code that tracks their locations: as they leave for school, when they arrive at school, at lunchtime, when they leave school and at 8pm. These students are also assigned an adult ‘coach’ who calls them at least three times a week to see how they are doing and help them find effective ways to make sure they get to school.

Some schools in New York, New Jersey, and Missouri are tracking obese and overweight students with wristwatches that record their heart rate, movement and sleeping habits. Schools in San Antonio have chips in their lunch food trays, which allow administrators to track the eating habits of students. Schools in Michigan’s second largest school district broadcast student activity caught by CCTV cameras on the walls of the hallways in real time to let students know they’re being watched.

Some school districts have even gone so far as to electronically track students without notifying their parents. In 2010, it was revealed that a Pennsylvania school district had given students laptops installed with software that allowed school administrators to track their behavior at home. This revelation led to the threat of a class-action lawsuit, which resulted in the school district settling with irate students and parents for $600,000. Similarly, in 2003, a Tennessee middle school placed cameras in the school’s locker rooms, capturing images of children changing before basketball practice. Thankfully, the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the practice in 2008, ruling that students have an expectation of privacy in locker rooms.

Clearly, there’s something more sinister afoot than merely tracking which students are using the bathroom and which are on lunch break. Concerned parent Judy Messer understands what’s at stake. “We do not want our children to be conditioned that tracking is normal or even acceptable or mandatory,” she shared.

“Conditioned” is the key word, of course. As Richard Hackman and Greg Oldham recognized in their book, Work Redesign, laboratory animals, children, and institutionalized adults “are necessarily dependent on powerful others for many of the things they most want and need, and their behavior usually can be shaped with relative ease.” Taking those ideas one step further, psychologist Bruce Levine noted, “Behaviorism and consumerism, two ideologies which achieved tremendous power in the twentieth century, are cut from the same cloth. The shopper, the student, the worker, and the voter are all seen by consumerism and behaviorism the same way: passive, conditionable objects.”

To return to what I was saying about schools being breeding grounds for compliant citizens, if Americans have come to view freedom as expedient and expendable, it is only because that’s what they’ve been taught in the schools, by government leaders and by the corporations who run the show.

More and more Americans are finding themselves institutionalized from cradle to grave, from government-run daycares and public schools to nursing homes. In between, they are fed a constant, mind-numbing diet of pablum consisting of entertainment news, mediocre leadership, and technological gadgetry, which keeps them sated and distracted and unwilling to challenge the status quo. All the while, in the name of the greater good and in exchange for the phantom promise of security, the government strips away our rights one by one—monitoring our conversations, chilling our expression, searching our bodies and our possessions, doing away with our due process rights, reversing the burden of proof and rendering us suspects in a surveillance state.

Whether or not the powers-that-be, by their actions, are consciously attempting to create a compliant citizenry, the result is the same nevertheless for young and old alike.

Nanopatch Vaccine in the Mail

“We know that vaccines do not prevent disease, they GIVE the disease. As the vaccine industry becomes the main source of income for Pharma they will create disease they can vaccinate for because that is what makes them money. If you die while they make money then all the better. Did Bayer care when they shipped HIV contaminated Factor VIII around the world… no.  — Dr. Rebecca Carley, M.D.


In 2010, UK newspaper The Independent on Sunday reported that a collaborative research study undertaken by researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University in Atlanta had detailed a new way to deliver painless effective vaccines. [1]  Reporting on a study published in the online journal Nature Medicine, The Independent wrote that Mark Prausnitz, a professor at the Georgia Tech School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, had stated:

“We have shown that a dissolving microneedle patch can vaccinate against influenza at least as well, and probably better than, a traditional hypodermic needle.”

The Independent continued:

“The study’s lead author, Sean Sullivan, explained, ‘we envision people getting the patch in the mail or at a pharmacy and then self-administering it at home, because the microneedles on the patch dissolve away into the skin, there would be no dangerous sharp needles left over.’”


The Independent’s report appeared shortly after a study was published in the online edition of MBio, titled ‘Local Response to Microneedle-Based Influenza Immunization in the Skin’. [2] The report stated that Microneedle (MN) patches, provided a novel method of vaccine delivery to the skin, with the objective of targeting the large network of resident antigen-presenting cells to induce an efficient immune response.

Researchers believed that vaccinating patients using a skin patch could be beneficial to high-risk individuals such as infants, the elderly and the immune-compromised, stating:

Alternate routes of vaccination to the conventional intramuscular delivery have been found to produce enhanced immune responses, and in humans, a nasally administered live attenuated influenza vaccine has also proven to be effective. However, this vaccine is approved only for healthy individuals 2 through 49 years of age, which excludes those at highest risk for developing influenza-related complications, such as infants, elderly persons, and immunocompromised individuals.”

You may be wondering why I am writing on news reported in 2010. Well, far from being dead and buried, this scary prospect could soon become a reality.  An era in which vaccinations arrive in the post could be nearer than you think.


It was recently reported that Merck had agreed to work hand in hand with pharmaceutical company Vaxxas, Brisbane Australia, to help them develop their latest Nanopatch flu vaccine. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Vaxxas had made an announcement stating that Merck, the manufacturer of the HPV vaccine Gardasil, had not only agreed to pay an undisclosed fee up front, to help fund research evaluating the Nanopatch, but had also agreed to make additional payments tied in to the development of the vaccine’s technology. [3]

Bloomberg Busineesweek reported that the Nanopatch should be ready to test on humans within the next two years, stating:

Vaxxas plans to test the Nanopatch on humans within two years after tests on mice found it could protect them against flu with 1 percent of the antigen used in needle-administered shots, said co-inventor Mark Kendall, a professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Queensland. The deal with Whitehouse Station, New Jersey-based Merck will fund “several” scientists to conduct the research.”


According to Bloomberg, the micro patches are designed to deliver the vaccine to the immune cells just below the skin’s surface via approximately 10,000 projections, which are contained on the one centimeter patch. According to the report, this vaccine could potentially be self-administered, either on the arm or the shoulder, producing a protective immune response in a few seconds. Mark Kendall told reporters:

It wouldn’t need to be refrigerated and, if mass-produced, may cost less than $1. In the event of a flu pandemic, it might be mailed to people.”

The Nanopatch Influenza Vaccination Team has been achieving accolades of excellence for their invention of the Nanopatch since 2010.  They were finalists in the Australian Museum’s Eureka prizes. [4]

The team also received US $16.3 million investment to help them develop the Nanopatch in 2011. The Asian Scientist reported:

“The investment is led by OneVentures, with co-investors Brandon Capital, the Medical Research Commercialization Fund (MRCF), and US-based HealthCare Ventures.”


So, just how safe would it be to mail these vaccines to the public for self-administration?  In my opinion, vaccines arriving by post could potentially be very dangerous, especially in the UK, where all of the mail is delivered through letterboxes on the front door.  If small children or pets ingested them, this could surely be life-threatening.  Also, is the public fully equipped to deal with adverse reactions?

I asked two professionals, Dr. Rebecca Carley, M.D., a Court-Qualified Expert in VIDS and Legal Abuse Syndrome, and Dr. Kenneth Paul Stoller, M.D., FACHM, and the President of the International Hyperbaric Medical Association, for their opinions.

Interestingly, Dr. Carley had also researched the subject and shared many of my own concerns. She gave a factual, thought-provoking response, which included her own research.

I felt her answer to my questions needed to be given in full. She states that, in her opinion, the research being used to launch this vaccine is fraudulent. She gives strong examples to support this. She said:

My primary problem with the article [6] that claims this patch approach to vaccination is a huge leap forward has to do with problems in the research itself.

First of all, this “patch vaccine” article states that the patch is made of silicon wafers coated with gold, then coated with methycellulose and “dried vaccine” (i.e., dried virus).  The mouse study used Fluvax 2008, a trivalent combo of 3 viral strains:  H1N1, H3N2, and a type B flu virus from Florida.  Interestingly, on page 11 of the article it is stated that mice CANNOT BE INFECTED WITH THESE HUMAN STRAINS OF INFLUENZA…yet on page 9 it is stated that serum IgG antibodies to these strains that mice cannot be infected with were measured.  If the viruses cannot infect the mice, how can they cause an immune response?  This makes no sense.

They injected the mice with “mouse adapted influenza virus A/Pueuto Rico” proving they are playing with the flu virus to make a strain that CAN infect mice.  They claim that inoculation with this virus using a patch protected the mice by causing less weight loss that the mice who received no patch.  All 5 mice in each group were “challenged” with 4 times the lethal dose of the mouse flu virus.  How were they “challenged”?  This is not mentioned.  Direct inoculation is the best way to cause an infection, which is why vaccines are insane to begin with (be they injected by a poisoned syringe or a patch with “10,000 tiny projections”).

The patches were placed on the “inner ear lobes” of the mice.  On page 15 of the study, it states that the ear tissue was soaked for 10-20 minutes in a solution of DMSO, which readily crosses tissue membranes before immunostaining was done.  In my opinion, this is a fraud designed to alter the results to make them more significant. [7]

On page 13, it mentions that the “microprojections” can be retained in the skin, but alleges that they will be “sloughed off” (no proof they will be sloughed off however).

We know that vaccines do not prevent disease, they GIVE the disease.  In this article, they claim they do not need adjuvants, do not need to be refrigerated (so can be mailed to people), can use less virus, and will be easier for people who do not like needles.  The article you sent me was from Bloomberg Business week; therefore, it is intended to attract investors. But the “science” is extremely questionable, in my opinion.

Dr. C”

I believe that, given the in-depth research she has outlined, she is one hundred percent correct.


Dr. Stoller was also unimpressed with idea of vaccine patches being mailed to the public. Like Dr. Carley, he believes that this is yet more Big Pharma fraud to make money. He said:

“Vaccine is a medical intervention. What would people say if in a magazine there was something about helping you with you blood sugar and there was an insulin patch.  Would that be okay?

From Pharma’s point of view, it would be okay if they thought they could get away with it.

When a lab-created flu vaccine (and when I say lab-created, the evidence that the last swine flu outbreak was lab-created was uncontested) was released in a poor section of Mexico City, why was there no inquiry as to why or how that took place?

When Baxter put Bird flu virus in the seasonal virus vaccine they were shipping to Eastern and Central Europe, why was that just chalked up to a minor mistake? That was no mistake.

As the vaccine industry becomes the main source of income for Pharma they will create disease they can vaccinate for because that is what makes them money. If you die while they make money then all the better. Did Bayer care when they shipped HIV contaminated Factor VIII around the world… no.

Enough already. But Pharma buys academic institutions, they buy politicians, they buy the local governments, they bleed out federal agencies….. what a freaking mess!”


Dr. Carley and Dr. Stoller say it all.  Both professionals give excellent examples of fraudulent behavior that is being committed by the pharmaceutical industries. Bearing this in mind, the best thing that anyone can do if they receive a Nanopatch with their mail is to wrap it up securely, to protect wildlife, and put it out with the garbage.


  1. Independent on Sunday- Health in the Future: Mail Order dissolvable vaccine patches
  1. MBio – Local Response to Microneedle-Based Influenza Immunization in the Skin Maria del Pilar Martinet al
  1. Bloomberg Businessweek – Merck Acquires Licence for Experimental Skin Patch Immunization
  1. The Australian Museum – Research by an Interdisciplinary Team
    Nanopatch Influenza Vaccination Team
  1. Asian Scientist – Needle-Free Vaccine Delivery System, Nanopatch, Gets US$16.3 Million Investment
  2. Potent Immunity to Low Doses of Influenza Vaccine by Probabilistic Guided Micro-Targeted Skin Delivery in a Mouse Model
  3. DMSO Background Literature

Additional Reference:

Science Daily – Painless Needles? Self-Adminstered Skin Patches for Vaccines Under Development

About the writer:

Christina England is a UK journalist and an author with a Higher National Diploma in Journalism and Media. She is studying for a BA Hons degree in English Literature and Humanities. Read More…

Biofuel Industry Exterminating Guarani Kaiowá people in South Brazil


In how many ways can someone describe murder, corruption, crime, collusion, complicity to commit murder, thuggery, injustice? I struggled greatly to title this article because one or two lines cannot describe the shame I felt — even though I am not Brazilian — to see what the government of Brazil is doing to its native people. As you read this article, people from the Guarani Kaiowá indigenous tribe are being displaced from their lands illegally both by Brazilian Military Brigades as well as thugs hired by influential land owners in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul.

Although the prince of ‘social justice’, Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva, guaranteed the people of Brazil that he was in power to help the neediest, it was Lula himself who signed away the sovereignty of the country by allowing sugar cane multinational corporations to grab extensive portions of land all over the country in an effort to turn Brazil into the newest monoculture slave camp. In 2007 Lula da Silva signed an agreement with George W. Bush to boost biofuel production in Brazil. That day, Lula made it very clear who he really worked for. “This agreement may be a new starting point to the auto industry in Brazil and the world. It is a new beginning for the fuel industry in the whole world. I’d even say that this accord represents a new era for humanity.”

Before and after the signing of the agreement, all mainstream media began a conscious campaign to sell the public the idea that biofuels was the way to go. Like ignorant intellectual prostitutes, Brazil’s public figures appeared on TV programs and government ads preaching to the population the greatness of ethanol. From sports to entertainment shows, the prostitute media and their figures wrapped a green tape around the Brazilians eyes. From Gugu to Luciano Huck, every single known pop head took time from their TV shows to lie with a straight face saying that the biofuel industry would bring mountains of cash for everyone. But things did not turn out as they were told by these intellectual, ignorant prostitutes.

The only highlight of the birth of the biofuel industry in Brazil however, was the immediate displacement of some 40,000 indigenous people from the Guarani Kaiowá tribe, who now live on 1 percent of what used to be their land. The eviction from their natural habitat is endangering their very way of life. The Guarani can no longer plant food, fish or hunt for a living.

In the best case scenario, the Guarani Kaiowá are kicked out of their land in Mato Grosso do Sul by the Military Brigade every time a court determines that they have to vacate the land where them and their ancestors lived throughout all their lives. In the worst case scenario, heavily armed thugs shoot at their camps in an attempt to kill tribe leaders, so that the rest of the Kaiowá stop opposing their eviction. Nowadays, the indigenous live in a small area located to the south of the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, where large sugar cane plantations are erected around their small villages.

The dark side of the so-called green revolution, which has Brazil as the top producer of ethanol from sugar cane, has very little of that green, if any at all. Besides causing the illegal eviction of the Guarani Kaiowá, the plantation of sugar endangers the life of numerous species of plants and animals, whose habitat is being polluted every day by the smog, and sewage waters and waste materials generated by the plantation, burning and harvest of the sugar cane. Additionally, the Guarani Kaiowá have gone from being land owners to turning into land slaves. Given their inability to have enough land to develop their subsistence way of life, the Kaiowá are now slaves of the very same corporations that explore their land to produce ethanol.

The Guarani have to travel for hours to get to the plantations and work under the scorching sun only to receive miserable wages that aren’t even enough to survive. In an attempt to alleviate their lack of food, the Brazilian government now delivers basic grains so the Guarani Kaiowá can at least feed themselves. But the amount of food delivered is not enough. In fact, several Kaiowá indigenous children have died of malnutrition in the last few years due to the lack of decent quality food. On top of stealing their land, the corporations that now occupy Guarani Kaiowá lands illegally hire underage labor. They provide the children, who are as young as 14, fake identification cards with fake birth dates and ages.

The occupation of Brazilian lands by multinational corporations is not new. They started arriving in Brazil a while ago, after the government offered them tax exemptions and all the facilities it can come up with so that they ‘invest’ in the rising South American jewel. In the northeast, powerful individuals and corporations have acquired large portions of land to plant genetically modified corn, soy and wheat. Today, 76 to 80 percent of soy produced and consumed in Brazil is genetically modified. Much of this soy is exported to the European Union, but a lot of it is used for local consumption. As reported in numerous occasions, the environmental contamination with genetically modified organisms, due to consumption or the pollution of the air and the soil, has exponentially increased the incidence of disease.

In the case of the Guarani Kaiowá, they also suffer from the pollution caused by the massive plantation and harvest of sugar cane. Their land, rivers and air is heavily contaminated by this activity, which uses large amounts of water taken from local rivers and wells that once belonged to the Guarani Kaiowá. In Mato Grosso do Sul, the ancient tribe is public enemy number one. Even the high courts have ruled against their right to live where they’ve always lived. During the production of the “clean” fuel, the Federal Public Prosecutor of the state often sues the owners of the large plants because of their use of child and slave labor. But at the same time, law enforcement officials evict the indigenous people as often as those prosecutors rule in their favor.

With armed police on one side evicting them from their land and heavily armed thugs killing tribe leaders and shooting at women and children on the other, some Guarani Kaiowá have requested that they be put to death and buried next to their parents and relatives in what used to be their land. In a letter sent to the government, the Guarani Kaiowá plead for mercy and decry the violence with which they are treated by authorities and privately armed men. “… it is evident to us that the very action of the Federal Court generates and increases the violence against our lives, ignoring our rights to survive on the riverside and around our traditional territory Pyelito Kue/Mbarakay. We understand clearly that this decision of the Federal Court of Navaraí-MS is part of the action of genocide and historical extermination of indigenous people, native of Mato Grosso do Sul, ie, the action itself of the Federal Court is violating and exterminating our lives.”

According to the Guarani Kaiowá, the Federal Court of Mato Grosso do Sul is fueling the violence against the tribe. “We have evaluated our current situation and conclude that we will all die very soon,” reads the letter. “We camped here 50 meters from the riverside where already there were four deaths, two by suicide and two due to beating and torture of gunmen’s farmers.” Before ending the letter, the Guarani Kaiowá made it clear that the only way to survive is to be left alone on their land, which is where they can go about their lives with dignity and peace. Otherwise, they said, the state of Mato Grosso do Sul should simply officially declare their demise and their extinction.

“The ethanol industry and sugar cane industry are both booming sectors. We are going through a revolution,” says Geraldine Kutis, the International advisor for UNICA, the largest association of sugar manufacturers that operates in the sugar cane, ethanol business in Brazil. As many other endeavors, the ethanol industry is managed from Sao Paulo, the commercial capital of the country.  As explained by Ms. Kutis, the aim is to expand the green fuel fever around the world. That is why UNICA already has an office in Sao Paulo and Brussels and intends to open a new one in Beijing, China. The association also has a fourth office in Washington, DC, where it lobbies for the ethanol industry.

The government of Brazil has promoted and adopted policies that stimulate the production of sugar cane and ethanol, by giving incentives to large corporations and power groups to invest in the plantation and production. As Brazil becomes an attractive destination for foreign investment that wants to get away from the stock market and financial speculation, the production of ethanol and other commodities is shooting for the stars. “The sky is the limit,” says Kutis. But at what price? Brazilian environmentalists already blame sugar cane plantation and processing for the pollution of air and water resources around the country. According to Jeronimo Porto, a union leader in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, people who make a living off the land are simply soaking in a cocktail of pesticides and herbicides.

“Our air, our environment here is heavily polluted,” he says. Porto asserts that the arrival of new companies that open new processing plants as well as the expansion of sugar cane fields are compromising the health and well-being of the people. “It is terrible when sewage flows into the river,” says Porto. “The waste waters contaminate the river, kill the fish and causes a truly ecological disaster,” he insisted.

“The river is Earth’s blood, just as the blood we have in our veins. Without blood, no one survives. There is simply no way to survive without the river and without the forest,” says a Guarani Kaiowá leader. But water is not the only blood flowing through the land of Mato Grosso do Sul. Armed mercenaries hired by private interests have mercilessly fired shots at Guarani people. Some of the leaders have been killed, while women and children were wounded. In an instance, a bullet penetrated the back of a Guarani woman and exited through her breast, in what Roberto Martins, a tribe leader called a miraculous outcome. “Two gunmen aimed at us with powerful weapons,” he said. “They could have killed all of us.”

Most of the Guarani lands are towards the bottom of the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, and it is precisely there where the new plantations of sugar cane are appearing. “This means we will all be surrounded by gigantic sugar cane fields, and it will make it harder for the Guarani people to be able to plant what they eat,” says Antonio Brandt, professor at Mato Grosso do Sul University. The inability to plant their lands with the food they need to survive has made the Guarani Kaiowá almost fully dependent on the government to survive. Around 90 percent of them now receive food from shipments sent to them. But this aid is insufficient.

“Without land, the indian cannot live,” says Carlito de Oliveira, another tribe leader. “These food baskets are not going to keep coming forever. If we cannot plant what we eat, it will be very difficult to survive.”

For more information on the dire situation of the Guarani Kaiowá, watch the short film The Dark Side of Green.

The Real Agenda encourages the sharing of its original content ONLY through the tools provided at the bottom of every article. Please DON’T copy articles from The Real Agenda and redistribute by email or post to the web.

Birth defects in Iraq linked to weapons used by Western Militaries


It played unwilling host to one of the bloodiest battles of the Iraq war. Fallujah’s homes and businesses were left shattered; hundreds of Iraqi civilians were killed. Its residents changed the name of their “City of Mosques” to “the polluted city” after the United States launched two massive military campaigns eight years ago. Now, one month before the World Health Organisation reveals its view on the legacy of the two battles for the town, a new study reports a “staggering rise” in birth defects among Iraqi children conceived in the aftermath of the war.

High rates of miscarriage, toxic levels of lead and mercury contamination and spiralling numbers of birth defects ranging from congenital heart defects to brain dysfunctions and malformed limbs have been recorded. Even more disturbingly, they appear to be occurring at an increasing rate in children born in Fallujah, about 40 miles west of Baghdad.

There is “compelling evidence” to link the increased numbers of defects and miscarriages to military assaults, says Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, one of the lead authors of the report and an environmental toxicologist at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. Similar defects have been found among children born in Basra after British troops invaded, according to the new research.

US marines first bombarded Fallujah in April 2004 after four employees from the American security company Blackwater were killed, their bodies burned and dragged through the street, with two of the corpses left hanging from a bridge. Seven months later, the marines stormed the city for a second time, using some of the heaviest US air strikes deployed in Iraq. American forces later admitted that they had used white phosphorus shells, although they never admitted to using depleted uranium, which has been linked to high rates of cancer and birth defects.

The new findings, published in the Environmental Contamination and Toxicology bulletin, will bolster claims that US and Nato munitions used in the conflict led to a widespread health crisis in Iraq. They are the latest in a series of studies that have suggested a link between bombardment and a rise in birth defects. Their preliminary findings, in 2010, prompted a World Health Organisation inquiry into the prevalence of birth defects in the area. The WHO’s report, out next month, is widely expected to show an increase in birth defects after the conflict. It has looked at nine “high-risk” areas in Iraq, including Fallujah and Basra. Where high prevalence is found, the WHO is expected to call for additional studies to pinpoint precise causes.

The latest study found that in Fallujah, more than half of all babies surveyed were born with a birth defect between 2007 and 2010. Before the siege, this figure was more like one in 10. Prior to the turn of the millennium, fewer than 2 per cent of babies were born with a defect. More than 45 per cent of all pregnancies surveyed ended in miscarriage in the two years after 2004, up from only 10 per cent before the bombing. Between 2007 and 2010, one in six of all pregnancies ended in miscarriage.

The new research, which looked at the health histories of 56 families in Fallujah, also examined births in Basra, in southern Iraq, attacked by British forces in 2003. Researchers found more than 20 babies out of 1,000 were born with defects in Al Basrah Maternity Hospital in 2003, a number that is 17 times higher than recorded a decade previously. In the past seven years, the number of malformed babies born increased by more than 60 per cent; 37 out of every 1,000 are now born with defects.

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