Tuesday, March 10, 2015

judicialización (take three)

I've posted twice before about this term, rendering it as first bogus/trumped up/false criminal charges and then malicious prosecution on trumped up charge.  What neither of those renditions conveys, however, is that this is a tactic used by the state against activists to discredit their activism (particularly those activists working for change in and by the state). I am now leaning towards "criminalization of activists" as a rendition.  I would love input and thoughts from those who have been translating this term regularly, particularly for the many cases of it ongoing in Colombia today. 

I went to a great talk last week by geographer Shiri Pasternak where she described how Chief Theresa Spence's fast in Ottawa, Canada for government attention to a serious humanitarian emergency in the Attawapiskat First Nation was discredited in this way by the Canadian state, who chose this time to make a big stink out of minor financial irregularities on her reserve. 

It reminded me that this strategy is actually one that has been promoted by the US army, something I failed to mention in my other two blog posts on the term.  The leaked training manuals of the US army's School of the Americas for Latin American military officers include this as one of the techniques to be used on activists, along with other lovely techniques like taking photos of and then threatening their children, as well as forms of more physical torture.  As Alfred McCoy has documented so well, those manuals were based on the CIA's Project X research at Fort Huachuca. 

As a US citizen and Canadian resident it makes me sick that we have exported these methods for crushing social movements not only South, but apparently also North.  But then, First Nations reserves are the global South inside the North. 

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