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News Promo: October 2011 Archives

Baad justice haunts Afghanistan

Young women who escape Afghan marriages arranged to settle disputes (a practice called baad) hide in a secret safehouse, where they learn to sew. (Photo/Laura Lynch)

In Kandahar, Canadian troops are taking their base apart now that their combat role is over in Afghanistan.  

Afghans meanwhile, are still putting together the framework for justice and governance to keep the country together once western troops depart. 

Millions have already been spent training judges and building courthouses. 

But ten years after the war began, many Afghans still resort to old traditions which have cruel consequences for women, as we hear from Canadian journalist Laura Lynch at the jail where many wind up.  

 

Sohaila's father married her to a warlord to settle a dispute in an Afghan practice called baad. She escaped, married on her own, but she and her husband were captured and sent to jail. Her father says she has to kill her son to come home. (Photo/Laura Lynch)

  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Brigadier-General Richard Giguere, shown Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at Kandahar Airfield. (Photo: Colin Perkel/CP)

A Brigadier-General's dispatch

Brigadier-General Richard Giguere spent 18 months inside and outside the wire, practising this mantra: in an insurgency, get the people on your side.  Civilians are the centre of gravity.

Rick asked him about his thoughts on that, on challenges to the rule of law in Afghanistan and the mission still ahead.




Pro-Gadhafi Africans confront Canadian reporter

Rokupa's Freetown Central Mosque (aka Gadhafi Mosque) (photo: Ambrose Boani.)

The mosque that Gadhafi built

If Moammar Gadhafi still has friends in Libya, they're keeping their mouths shut. 

Not so in distant Sierra Leone, where they're holding an all-night vigil and mourning him at a mosque he constructed in the capital, one of the many he funded in various African states in a bid to become "Emperor of Africa." 

Gadhafi also funded rebels Charles Taylor and Foday Sankoh, who unleashed civil war and the blood diamond trade on the west African state in the '90s.  

But his mosque and other largesse since then seem to have erased the bad memories, and makes folks mad when Canadian journalist Damon van der Linde comes around asking questions. 

 

Sudan's "next" civil war in progress in Blue Nile

Hawa Jundi in a temporary camp where she sheltered after her village of Sally was bombed from the air. Photo/Jared Ferrie

       

Malawi this week refused to honor its obligation to arrest Sudan's visiting president, Omar al-Bashir, who's accused of genocide in Darfur. 

In Malawi, a spokesman said it was a matter of "brotherly co-existence."

Now, as it did in Darfur, Sudan has started an aerial bombing campaign against rebels in its southern border area.

President al-Bashir denies his government is bombarding the Blue Nile State. But Dispatches contributor Jared Ferrie hears different on the ground... 

Jared's dispatch

Here is a New York Times photo gallery.    Hear the full Dispatches episode here!

The Oct 20 Dispatches program

The View From Here Blog

  

Bailing out the Greeks' devalued psyche

In the fish halls of the Athens Central Market, customers can bargain for fresh fish -- but increasingly, CBC's Margaret Evans found, they can't afford the quality catch. (Photo: Margaret Evans)


What does the debt crisis mean to the average Greek? It means, for many, life will never be the same -- whether you're selling wine or buying fish.

Many have taken to the streets in protest, but there's little in their angry cries that will make it go away. 

For that, Greeks will have to look to themselves, as we heard from CBC Correspondent Margaret Evans in the capital. 

 

5 convicted in Argentina torture/murder

Rosa Gomez and Antonio Savone suffered at the hands of the same torturers. They reunited to try to jail their tormentors. Photo/Alison Crawford

Still cleaning up after Argentina's dirty war

Some guilty verdicts were handed down this week in a case that began many years ago in a very dark place in 1970s Argentina.

They called it "the Singing Room." And sometimes, "the Barbeque," which is closer to what it really was; a torture chamber in the basement of a Mendoza police station.

And it was bad, what they did to Antonio Savone. Much worse for Rosa Gomez, the woman whose eyes he could see -- and whose cries he could hear -- coming from the cell facing his.

Argentina was in the grip of a murderous dictatorship, and last March, Antonio headed back to meet Rosa face-to-face, and confront their captors.

The CBC's Alison Crawford begans our story in Antonio's Toronto home, as he packed to testify in Mendoza.

Listen to Alison's dispatch

The October 6 Dispatches program

This week, five of the six defendants in the D-2 case were convicted of crimes ranging from kidnap to torture and murder.  The judge called them all "crimes against humanity."  Four were given life sentences, including the man who killed Rosa's husband. A fifth got 12 years and another was acquitted, but is already convicted of crimes in another detention centre. All will go to prison; they had been under house arrest. Report in El Sol  (the Mendoza Sun)

And Antonio was in court to hear the verdict. He'll return next year to testify against those accused of sexually assaulting Rosa Gomez.

Meanwhile, two judges have been suspended as a result of the investigation into human rights violations, though the prosecutor, that signed off on the "confession" Antonio was unaware of until his trial, has skipped the country and is claiming refugee status in Chile.

Antonio has also been contacted by a novelist and a filmmaker interested in documenting his story.  And an artist who wants to draw his eyes. 

Finally, he tells us by email that he speaks with Rosa all the time. "I feel very close to (her)" he writes. She is now, "a part of my life."

Dispatches thanks CBC producer Mariel Borelli for performing the voice over translation for Rosa Gomez.

Guatemala's bombero volunteers pick up the bodies

A tarp baring the insignia of Guatemala City's "volunteers" covers a drug-trade murder victim. Photo/Myles Estey

Gruesome Guatemala

While covering the war in El Salvador back in the 80s, Rick remembers well bumping into a Canadian diplomat visiting the capital from his post in neighbouring Guatemala.

The city of El Salvador was under seige at the time.

The nights were a flickering horror show of screams and gunfire and phosphorous flares strobing wildly in the night sky. By day, there were running battles and bodies in the street.

So Rick asked, "why on earth would you choose to visit...this...when you could be in Guatemala City?"

He's never forgotten the answer.

"It's safer here" he said, kidding only a little. In his view, a war zone was safer than the Guatemalan capital. But if it was true then, it's unfortunately still true all these years later.

Drug-driven street violence is so bad, they have thousands of volunteers  driving around each night just tending to the carnage, and Canadian journalist Myles Estey is with them to witness it.  Listen to Myles' dispatch

Hear the rest of this week's Dispatches