IACHR condemns prison conditions

Sunday, October 23, 2016 IACHR condemns prison conditionsThe Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR) published a report last week condemning the complicity of the media and the judiciary in the irregular detention of citizens, as well as prison conditions violating international human rights standards. “Daily we overturn pre-trial detention orders which were imposed as a punitive prevention measure as opposed to meeting the requirements for pre-trial custody,” a Cassation Court Judge reported. Around 50 percent of the prisoners in the different prison systems are being held in pre-trial detention. In the Buenos Aires provincial prison system, 37,895 are being held and 22,965 are in pre-trial detention, representing 56 percent of the province’s prison population. The IACHR has a long history of monitoring human rights situations throughout Latin America and Argentina.

October 23, 2016 03:22 UTC

Fiscal deficit up by 80 percent in September

Annual comparison without financial revenue Saturday, October 22, 2016 Fiscal deficit up by 80 percent in SeptemberArgentina posted a primary fiscal deficit of 38.9 billion pesos in September, up from 37.2 billion pesos in August, the Finance Ministry said yesterday. In comparison to the same month last year, the deficit has widedned by 80 percent. Those figures do not include revenue from financial sources liked to Central Brank or by the ANSES FGS sustaimnability gfunds. With those sources of revenue included, the deficit is nine percehnt larger than in the sme month last year. The government has set a reduction of the budget deficit to 4.8 percent of GDP, but recently upped its primary fiscal deficit projections for 2017 to 4.2 percent of GDP, greater than 3.3 percent promised earlier this year.

October 22, 2016 04:42 UTC

Trump keeps sowing doubt over US democracy

Friday, October 21, 2016 Trump keeps sowing doubt over US democracyUS Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump smiles after making what he said was a major announcement, that he’d abide by the election results if he won, to supporters at a campaign rally in Delaware, Ohio, yesterday. DELAWARE, Ohio — Mocking his critics, Donald Trump pledged yesterday to fully accept the outcome of next month’s presidential election — if he wins. Trump’s comments came a day after his stunning refusal in the final presidential debate to say whether he would concede to Clinton if he loses. I will keep you in suspense.”Clinton slammed Trump’s comments as “horrifying,” and fellow Democrats piled on yesterday. In Pennsylvania, Senator Pat Toomey said Trump’s comments were “irresponsible.”US elections are run by local elected officials — Republicans, in many of the most competitive states.

October 21, 2016 01:30 UTC

Britain to posthumously pardon thousands of gay and bisexual men once considered criminals

So-called ‘Alan Turing Law’ will clear convictions Friday, October 21, 2016 Britain to posthumously pardon thousands of gay and bisexual men once considered criminalsBy Max BearakThe Washington PostBy all accounts, Alan Turing was a genius. Tens of thousands of gay and bisexual men were convicted of “gross indecency.” On Wednesday, the British government announced that it would posthumously pardon those who had been convicted. Dubbing it the “Alan Turing law,” the pardons would be achieved through an amendment to a bill that originally criminalized homosexuality. The gross indecency law ruined peoples’ lives. As Alan Turing received a pardon, it is absolutely right that those who were similarly convicted should receive a pardon as well.

October 21, 2016 01:30 UTC

The Indy Eye: Argentine Women March Against Gender Violence

One of these women responding on behalf of the many women murdered in the past few weeks was university student Gaita, who had ‘Enough’ painted on her cheek. “For some young women, abuse is now seen as a normality, and it shouldn’t be that way. They told the Indy that their decision to use ‘Puta feminista’ was their way of regaining power over bad perceptions of women. 9 de Julio, women lay motionless with plastic bags over their faces to represent the dead bodies of the victims of femicide. It was a small demonstration, but powerful and moving: the only thing separating these women from the reality of Lucía Pérez and the 226 women murdered this year was the rise and fall of the plastic bags in time with their breathing.

October 20, 2016 18:10 UTC

France to release dictatorship-era files

Thursday, October 20, 2016 France to release dictatorship-era filesHuman Rights Secretary Avruj says President Hollande made decision after visit to BAFrench President François Hollande has ordered the release of classified documents from the French state relating to the last military dictatorship in Argentina (1976-83), Human Rights Secretary Claudio Avruj and Argentine Ambassador to Paris Jorge Faurie announced yesterday. Speaking to the EFE news agency, Avruj said the French declassification would “strengthen democracy.”“We all win when more information sees the light of day,” the human rights secretary said. He added that the large number of Argentines with ties to France, including those who fled there during the period of military rule, meant that the forthcoming release of documents would yield large amounts of previously undisclosed information. “There were many exiles and there is a lot of documentation,” Avruj said, adding that it would be necessary to “label and catalogue” the documents prior to their release. French helpThe human rights secretary also confirmed that the French government had contacted the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo human rights group ahead of the announcement via French Ambassador to Buenos Aires Pierre Henri Guignard.

October 20, 2016 01:18 UTC

Women stage first-ever general strike in Argentine history

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 Women stage first-ever general strike in Argentine history#NiUnaMenos (“Not One Less”) demonstrators were expanding their demands on the government today as the first women-only general strike in local history takes place. Under the new slogan “We Strike (Nosotras Paramos)”, the unprecedented protest started at 1pm when women halted all activities for an hour, to carry out a “ruidazo” (noise-making protest). We are not the organizers of it, but we agree with protests by social organizations,” said CGT leader Carlos Acuña. In places such as kindergartens and schools, teachers will participate in the strike by giving special lessons on sexual education and gender issues. Behind femicides there is an economic frame that makes women more vulnerable to violence, but also human-trafficking and drug-dealing,” activist María Florencia Alcaraz told the Herald.

October 19, 2016 20:37 UTC

Brazil: Dozens Killed in Prison Riot

Authorities are investigating after up to 25 inmates were killed during a riot at Monte Cristo Agricultural Prison in northern Brazil. At 3pm, prisoners from wing 14 broke the locks and invaded wing 12 in a vicious, gang-related attack. In one of the wings there was no forced entry, the prisoners released the hostages. Figures from the National Survey of Penitentiary Information detail a 167% increase in the country’s prison population in the last 14 years. During this time, the figure increased by nearly 400,000 to reach the current total of over 620,000 – a number that constitutes the fourth largest prison population in the world.

October 19, 2016 18:45 UTC

Argentine Women Call National Strike for Gender Equality

Women’s rights organisation Ni Una Menos, alongside approximately 50 other groups and unions are leading a ‘National Women’s Strike’ today. Ni Una Menos have been referring to today as ‘Black Wednesday’ and momentum has been building online with the use of hashtags #NiUnaMenos (Not One Less) and #NosotrasParamos (We Women Stop). Despite the heavy rain, there is still expected to be a large turnout of women today, and men are also encouraged to protest too. Mercedes D’Alessandro, co-founder of Economía Feminista, an organisation with strong ties to Ni Una Menos, explained these economic factors to the Indy. Godoy credits this popularity to the work Ni Una Menos has done to raise awareness and unite women to oppose gender violence and learn more about the issues that affect them.

October 19, 2016 15:00 UTC

Industrial decline continues in August as sector plunges by 6.6% on the year

mild improvement on monthly comparison Wednesday, October 19, 2016 Industrial decline continues in August as sector plunges by 6.6% on the yearIndustrial output registered another plunge in August, the Argentine Industrial Union (UIA) said yesterday in a report measuring activity in the sector. The year-on-year comparison with August 2015 showed a 6.6 percent decline, the latest indication of how the sector has struggled so far in 2016. That drop was bigger than the average so far this year, as industrial output has declined by 4.7 percent since January when compared to the same months last year. The report showed that no sector is really safe from the current industrial struggle, as they all recorded declines in the yearly comparison. Industrial production has been in decline in the country for some years now, with several factors explaining the fall.

October 19, 2016 05:18 UTC

Avruj denies claims of human rights budget cuts

After complaints from activists Wednesday, October 19, 2016 Avruj denies claims of human rights budget cutsHuman Rights Secretary Claudio Avruj denied yesterday that the Let’s Change (Cambiemos) administration is cutting funds to human rights organizations, in the face of claims to the contrary by activists. It’s a reorganization,” said Avruj yesterday. Several human rights organizations accuse the government of wanting to cut funding to such groups by 15 percent in the government’s 2017 budget. Yet Avruj denied the claim, alleging that the 2016 budget had been overestimated. “The Haroldo Conti Cultural Centre only needs seven million pesos to function, but the 2016 budget gave it 28 million pesos, the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo University was given 75 million pesos, but it only needs 18 million,” he said.

October 19, 2016 02:37 UTC

Macri ratifies the end of state-run soccer

Domestic League Wednesday, October 19, 2016 Macri ratifies the end of state-run soccerThe government said yesterday that free broadcasts of Argentine League soccer will end in January 2017. Macri has already said that he will try to include this clause in the new agreement with private partners. The confirmation was known amid the battle between soccer club officials and the AFA normalizing commission, whose members are accused by some club presidents of acting according to what the Pink House orders them to do. “The reason to name a normalizing commission was to put the administration in order, but I don’t see any improvement. The normalizing commission had specific commitments: to reform the rules and call for elections.

October 19, 2016 02:03 UTC

Fears for civilians as battle for Mosul begins

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 Fears for civilians as battle for Mosul beginsSmoke rises as people flee their homes during clashes between Iraqi security forces and members of the Islamic State group fightng for control of Mosul, in Iraq, yesterday. Islamic State militants were preventing people fleeing Mosul, they said, and one said they directed some towards buildings they had recently used themselves. In Washington, Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said that it was known that civilians were being used as human shields. The Syrian Army, meanwhile, accused the coalition of planning to allow Islamic State militants to flee across the border. US President Barack Obama said it would be a difficult fight but Islamic State “will be defeated in Mosul.”Obama is hoping to bolster his legacy by seizing back as much territory as he can from Islamic State before he leaves office in January.

October 19, 2016 01:18 UTC

Concern Over Planned Spending Cuts in 2017 Budget

Rights groups have expressed concern over a proposed 15% decrease in funding for human rights issues in the 2017 budget. According to the draft budget bill presented by Finance Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay, the Human Rights Secretariat will receive $110m less than it was assigned in 2016. The draft budget only delegate 0.6% of total expenditure to the Ministry of Science and Technology, whereas the budget allocation oscillated between 0.7% and 0.8% between 2009 and 2016. Last Thursday, 12 officials from the Ministry of Agroindustry resigned over proposed budget cuts to small-scale “family agriculture”. In the budget draft, the projected GDP growth for 2017 is 3.5% (up from an estimated -1.5% this year), with inflation forecast to come between 12% and 17%.

October 18, 2016 19:07 UTC

Real Salaries Down, Unemployment Up According to INDEC

Latest figures released by statistics office INDEC show significant job losses and a declining average real salary for workers. More than 118,000 jobs in the formal have been lost since President Mauricio Macri took office representing the Cambiemos coalition, with the official unemployment rate ticking up to 9.3%. Wages were up by just over 35% compared to the same period of the previous year, but annual inflation was 43.5%, leading to decreased purchasing power for workers and a decline in real salaries of nearly 10%. Macri has vowed to reform INDEC, the national institute for statistics and the census, which had come under fire for providing unreliable data during Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s government. Unions Debate StrikeThe latest labour market data was released as the country’s leading umbrella unions debate whether to take action against the government.

October 18, 2016 13:30 UTC

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