Monday, May 25, 2009

se ve, se siente, el pueblo esta presente

se ve, se siente, X esta presente (often los estudiantes, las mujeres, etc): You can see it, You can feel it, We the X are here.

Often said to stand out as a block in a protest. As in, the students section when the minga marched in to bogota last November was shouting this. This photo is also from the minga - but these guys weren't shouting ambientalistas presentes. maybe because there weren't so many of them y no se sentia tanto! The closest cultural equivalent for this phrase would be something like 'students are here. loud and proud', but I think more literal is more appropriate here.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

falsos positivos

falsos positivos: false positives/ extrajudicial killing

Extrajudicial Killing In Colombia from Witness For Peace on Vimeo.

The above is great solidarity video work and incredibly brave and powerful testimony and video footage by Martha, the daughter of José, a campesino who was killed by the Colombian army, who then concocted a scenario to present him as a guerilla - ie, a "false positive" - a hideous euphemism if ever there was one. But because the term is widely used though to describe this scandal I would use the term, and then add the more descriptive extrajudicial execution to it.

The trial against a soldier indicted in this case began ten days ago. I am horrified and outraged to report that Martha's uncle--a key witness in the case--was shot in the head on Sunday in an apparent attempt to disrupt the trial and scare the other witnesses, including Martha. He is in intensive care awaiting neurosurgery.

MARTHA IS IN IMMEDIATE DANGER. She and her family need your support. They simply ask for protection and justice in the cases of Martha's father and uncle. Please take one minute to send a letter to U.S. Ambassador William Brownfield, asking him to stand up for justice in this case.

You can also send Martha and her family a message of support, in English or Spanish. They are incredibly brave and these letters mean a lot to them.

Friday, May 8, 2009

ni perdon, ni olvido!

ni perdon, ni olvido! : never forgive! never forget!

Yes, the exclamation marks are necessary since this is usually shouted with great passion at rallies - strangely there are two in English, and the cadence is different.

A nod to Andy Klatt for this one. Kathy Ogle suggested "never pardon, never forget", because it is often used in the context of amnesty laws - but I think the alliteration is useful for catching the flavor of it.

In Colombia it's usually said ni perdon, ni olvido - but in this video from Argentina the order is reversed. I would still render this as above in English, since this is how we're used to hearing it.

(warning, disturbing testimony and images in this video)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

a great read

This one not only explains the differences between different legal systems, but has handouts (in the appendixes) that can be used by attorneys to explain these differences to their clients. I wish I had the resources to give this as a gift to each and every public defender.