Tag: crisis

Human rights in a state of perpetual emergency

How long will it take for the European ‘crisis’ to be re-framed as the new norm, and what are the potential consequences of that shift?

Transition, not crisis

When things go wrong, we generally tend to speak of crisis. Yet, the term ‘crisis’ refers to the ‘exceptional’, to a harmful turmoil that will sooner or later diminish to a parenthesis before returning to normality. Well, this is not the case anymore. The reality we live in is not a human rights crisis. It is a new era. It is a transition: nowhere as visible as in the collective condition of vulnerability that saturates global politics from Sub-Saharan Africa and South America to the Far and Middle East, Europe and Central Asia. Seeing the juncture as a transition, as a chain of causes and consequences, implies that we should conceptualise the ‘crisis’ as a meaningful movement away from and not toward democracy.

Peace in Colombia?

In a shock result, Colombians rejected a peace accord to end five decades of conflict. Does that mean a return to violence? Or can progressive forces build upon the innovations of the peace process? Tatiana Garavito takes stock.

The chief negotiator had been clear. If voters did not ratify the peace accord between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the government, then the country would be left staring into an ‘abyss’. There was no Plan B.

And on the night of 2 October it looked as if that abyss had opened up as the ‘no’ vote won by the narrowest of margins – 50.2 to 49.8 per cent.

Venezuela: Government Assails Critics as Crisis Deepens

The Venezuelan government has targeted critics of its ineffective efforts to alleviate severe shortages of essential medicines and food while the crisis persists, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Regional governments should press the administration of President Nicolás Maduro to adopt immediate measures to better address the profound humanitarian crisis, including by exploring avenues for increased international assistance.

The 78-page report, “Venezuela’s Humanitarian Crisis: Severe Medical and Food Shortages, Inadequate and Repressive Government Response,” documents how the shortages have made it extremely difficult for many Venezuelans to obtain essential medical care or meet their families’ basic needs. The Venezuelan government has downplayed the severity of the crisis. Although its own efforts to alleviate the shortages have not succeeded, it has made only limited efforts to obtain international humanitarian assistance that might be readily available. Meanwhile, it has intimidated and punished critics, including health professionals, human rights defenders, and ordinary Venezuelans who have spoken out about the shortages.

Nearly 1 Million S. Sudan Refugees Face Dire Conditions: UN

Nearly a million refugees fleeing the brutal conflict in South Sudan, most of them women and children, are suffering dire conditions in camps across the region, the UN said Monday.

Refugee agency UNHCR said arrivals in Uganda alone had peaked at “more than 8,000 in one day” last month after an outbreak of fresh fighting in the capital of neighboring South Sudan.

Ninety per cent of new arrivals were women and children, the UN added.

“With refugees fleeing South Sudan in their thousands, surrounding countries are straining under the weight of large numbers of displaced people and critically underfunded operations,” UNHCR said in a statement reported by AFP.

Venezuela’s President Threatens to Seize Factories With Halted Production

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro threatened to seize the country’s factories which are currently not working and put their owners in prison.

The announcement comes after the Polar Group food and beverages producer stopped making beer last month.
“We must take all measures to recover productive capacity, which is being paralyzed by the bourgeoisie. Anyone who wants to halt [production] to sabotage the country should get out, and those who do must be handcuffed and sent to the PGV [Venezuelan General Penitentiary],” Maduro said Saturday as quoted by the BBC.

On Friday, Maduro extended the economic state of emergency in the country for three more months.

Gasoline Shortage Looms in Oil-Producing Venezuela

Venezuelans have yet another hardship to overcome in trying to survive the country’s economic crisis, as it was announced Monday, May 9 that the El Palito Refinery — the main supplier of fuel in Venezuela — has halted operations with less than 10 days of inventory remaining.

The newspaper La Verdad reported that the stoppage will last 45 to 60 days.

Executive Secretary for the United Federation of Oil Workers Rober González told the newspaper that Venezuelan refineries may have been sabotaged by some contractors and managers.