portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting global

government | human & civil rights

Guatemala Elections Updates

Included here is a press release forwarded to the PCASC listserve, sent out by the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala, and the coverage given to this momentous moment by Between the Lines in audio form, and some other issues, including the recent media reform conference that was held in Madison WIsconsin, & a piece from many groups against the war in Iraq, now in it's 4th day as a revived imperialist full-on war.
Guatemalan Elections Update Nov. 11, 2003

Below are the most recent updates on the Gutemalan elections. The people were faced with the possibility of having former Guatemalan dictator, Rios Montt, as their next president. Votes were bought and pre-electoral violence was severe, but the peoples voices of opposition were loud and clear. This is great news for the people of Guatemala, and the world, but it by no means signifies the end to ruthless dictators, that threat is always present.

En Solidaridad~

Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala

Press Statement:
For Immediate Release

Contacts: Sarah Aird, Executive Director (202) 518 7638;  sarah_aird@igc.org
Matthew Kennis, National Organizer (202) 518 7638;  nisgua@igc.org

November 11, 2003

Former Guatemalan Dictator, Ríos Montt, Third Place in Elections; Will Lose Immunity; Candidates in Run-Off Must Promise to Fulfill Peace Accords and End Impunity.

On November 9th, over half the voting population turned out for Guatemala s general elections and rejected the Guatemalan Republican Front s (FRG) presidential candidate, former military dictator Efraín Ríos Montt. By early Tuesday evening, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) had tallied 96% of the vote. Based on the TSE s figures, presidential candidates Oscar Berger, of the Great National Alliance party (GANA), and Alvaro Colom, of the National Unity for Hope party (UNE), will move forward to the second round on December 28th, having obtained 35% and 27% of the vote, respectively.

Despite FRG attempts to guarantee Ríos Montt s election through bribery, vote buying, and intimidation, on November 9th, the Guatemalan people said Enough. It s time Ríos Montt pays for the atrocities that took place under his leadership twenty years ago. His electoral defeat finally makes his prosecution for genocide and crimes against humanity viable, said Sarah Aird, Executive Director of NISGUA.

Nevertheless, Guatemala s future remains uncertain. For the last four years, State personnel at the highest levels have been involved in rampant corruption, abuse of State funds, and the burgeoning of organized crime. With crime and human rights abuses on the rise, and more than half the Guatemalan population living below the poverty line, the incoming president will need to focus on meeting the needs of the Guatemalan people if he wants to avert complete social chaos, explained Aird.

It will be particularly important to keep a sharp eye on the entering government to ensure it addresses longstanding issues of impunity. In this respect, the second round of elections is worrisome. The two leading candidates have ties to the military, organized crime, and parallel powers, noted Matthew Kennis, National Organizer at NISGUA. The international community, in cooperation with Guatemalan organizations, must be vigilant so that Guatemalan State promises to dismantle the notorious Presidential General Staff (EMP) and uphold the Peace Accords are not reneged, said Kennis. It is also vital that the incoming administration support the creation of a special United Nations investigative commission (CICIACS) to identify and prosecute individuals involved in human rights violations, drug trafficking, organized crime, and corruption, he added.


Military Families Speak Out; Guatemala Rejects Former Dictator for President; Media Reform Conference

Syndicated Radio Newsmagazine
--Weekly Summary --


Note to our broadcast subscribers/radio stations:
We are now offering FTP access for faster, more
reliable download of our
broadcast quality audio files. Please call Anna
Manzo at (203) 268-8446
ext. 2, to register for FTP logon access.

Listen to RealAudio version of program:
AOL listeners: <a
HREF=" http://www.btlonline.org/btl112103.ram">Click
(Needs RealPlayer)

Listen to MP3 version of program:
AOL listeners: <a
HREF=" http://www.btlonline.org/pub/btl112103.mp3">Click

1)Military Families With Loved Ones
in Iraq Oppose the War
While Supporting U.S. Troops

Interview by Scott Harris

Larry Syverson of Richmond, Va. has four sons who
have served in the U.S. military. Syverson is a
member of the group, Military Families Speak Out,
discusses his concern for his sons serving in
Iraq and the reasons he opposes the Bush
administration's war.

Related links and contact information on our
website at  http://www.btlonline.org for week ending

- Bring Them Home Now at www.bringthemhomenow.org
- Veterans for Peace at www.veteransforpeace.org
- Citizen Soldier at www.citizen-soldier.org
- Veterans Against the Iraq War at
- Veterans for Common Sense at

2)Guatemala Rejects Former Dictator
and War Criminal Who Sought Presidency

Interview by Melinda Tuhus

Sarah Aird, director of NISGUA, the Network in
Solidarity with the People of Guatemala, based in
Washington, D.C. Aird, who fears that through
violence and fraud, Rios Montt could still make it
into the runoff election, expressed NISGUA's view
on whether the election was a victory for
democracy and profiles the two candidates who will
compete in the December ballot.

Contact NISGUA by calling (202) 518-7638, or
visit the group's website at www.nisgua.org

Related links and contact information on our
website at  http://www.btlonline.org for week ending

- Council on Hemispheric Affairs at www.coha.org
- North American Congress on Latin America

3) Activists Strategize at National Conference
to Democratize U.S. Media System

Speech recorded by Scott Harris

Robert McChesney, research professor at the
University of Illinois and author of the book "Rich
Media, Poor Democracy," is the co-founder and
president of the group Free Press which organized the
conference in Madison, Wis. Nov. 7 through 9.
Here he addresses a crowd of nearly 2,000 conference
attendees in Madison's ornate Orpheum theater.

Related links and contact information on our
website at  http://www.btlonline.org for the week
ending 11/21/03:

- Selected speeches from the National Conference
on Media Reform in Madison, Wis. Nov. 7-9 can be
found at www.squeakywheel.net:
- Al Franken, author of "Lies and the Lying Liars
who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the
- Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., on media reform
movement in Congress
- Robert McChesney, conference organizer and
professor of journalism, on the history of the media

Other links:

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, www.fair.org
"Plan to Loosen Network Rules Goes to F.C.C"
"Media Monopolies Have Muzzled Dissent"
"Holding the Line at the FCC"
"FCC: Public Be Damned"

4) This week's summary
of under-reported news

Compiled by Bob Nixon and Brita Brundage

-Vice President Dick Cheney hires
neo-conservative David Wurmser to his national security staff.
Wurmser, like other neo-cons in the White House,
advocates a grand imperial strategy in the Middle
-Dow Chemical, Shell, and Dole Foods refuse to
pay Nicaraguan court-ordered
$489 million settlement to 468 cancer victims who
say they were poisoned by
pesticides sprayed at banana plantations where
they worked.
-Fire retardant used to fight forest fires is
poisoning large numbers of fish.


"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated
radio news magazine that
each week features a summary of under-reported
news stories and interviews with
activists and journalists who offer progressive
perspectives on international,
national and regional political, economic and
social issues.
Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all
publications, media networks
or political parties, we are able to bring a
diversity of voices to
the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by
the major media. For more
information on this week's topics and to check
out our text archive listing
topics and guests presented in previous programs
visit:  http://www.btlonline.org
AOL users: <a
HREF=" http://www.btlonline.org">www.btlonline.org</a>

Contact Scott Harris at (203) 268-8446 or email:
 betweenthelines@snet.net for
more information on how to subscribe via CD
delivery, MP3 download or
Pacifica Radio Network satellite feed.


For an email subscription of "Between The Lines
Q&A," which features a weekly
"Between The Lines" interview transcript, email
btlqa-subscribe@ btlqa-subscribe@lists.riseup.net

For an email subscription of "Between The Lines
Weekly Summary," email
**Please pass along these under-reported news
stories and interviews to
your friends and colleagues! **
Help Support Between The Lines' Distribution

In this era of corporate media monopolies, it's
vital to maintain an informed
democracy by disseminating diverse viewpoints to
the public. Squeaky Wheel
Productions ( http://www.squeakywheel.net), which
distributes Between The Lines
is part of this effort. Your contribution will
help support Between The Lines'
syndication and distribution of our projects to
over 35 radio stations and
Webcast sites, as well as the world at large
through the Internet.

Please help us by sending your check made out to
"The Global Center," to:
Squeaky Wheel Productions
P.O. Box 110176
Trumbull, CT 06611

All contributions to "The Global Center" (also
known as the International
Center for Global Communications, a 501(c)3
nonprofit organization based in
New York City) are tax-deductible. Proceeds
benefit Squeaky Wheel
Productions, created by the producers of the
syndicated "Between The Lines"
radio newsmagazine, for the support of community
media information resources.
If you have any questions, please feel free to
call us at (203) 268-8446.

Plain Text Attachment [ Download File ]

If you are interested in Between The Lines Q&A, a
weekly interview transcript with RealAudio link,
email  btlqa-subscribe@lists.riseup.net.

To subscribe to Between The Lines Weekly Summary,
e-mail  btlsummary-subscribe@lists.riseup.net.
To unsubscribe, email