Over Easy

(Picture courtesy of mhaithaca at flickr.com.)

The Thursday tradition that carries on Southern Dragon’s practice of focus on media and news outside our usual sphere has particular poignance today, in a week of intensely localized reports on the Patriot’s Day marathon atrocity.   While we are horrified by the waste of life here, much has escaped our notice while our media zeroed in on this event.

The Venezuelan election produced results that the opposition and other countries, including the U.S., called to have reviewed.   New Secretary of State Kerry asked that the election of Chavez’ successor Maduro be reviewed before making it official.

“We think there ought to be a recount,” he told the foreign affairs committee in reference to Venezuelan opposition demands for a full audit of the vote.

At least seven people have died in the protests that have riven Venezuela following Sunday’s narrow presidential poll. The National Electoral Council declared Maduro the winner by 262,000 votes out of 14.9m cast.

The Constitution Project concluded that the crime of torture was committed by U.S. officials in conducting its war on Iraq.

It was led by a former Republican and member of George W Bush’s cabinet; and a former Democrat congressman.

The report will make uncomfortable reading for members of both the Bush and the Obama administrations.

It concludes that “the kind of considered and detailed discussions, involving the president and his top advisors on inflicting pain and torment on some detainees in custody” were unprecedented.

Moreover, the taskforce found ‘no firm or persuasive evidence’ that torture produced valuable information and that the policy ‘damaged the standing of the US’.

Mexico’s long reign of lawlessness has led to the rise of local vigilante forces from the ranks of everyday, frustrated, civilians who need order for daily functions.  In Guerrero state, there has developed an ease of authority that ignores local, generally corrupt, existing police officials.

Since they became a force to be reckoned with earlier this year, this is just one of dozens of arrests made by untrained, armed civilians from Ayutla and its surrounding pueblos. But they have no legal authority, and they should not be carrying their guns in the street.

This does not seem to be of concern to the steady stream of locals who come to the HQ to report crime. Dona Juana, a frail elderly woman, is having problems with a neighbour. He is trying to steal her land.

The law can be corrupted, but the need for order can prevail.   Never.Give.Up.