Campaign Rally Gets Down and Dirty in Venezuela
CARACAS, Venezuela – Some pretty raw things get shouted at political rallies. The one held here Saturday by supporters of Manuel Rosales, the lead opposition candidate to President Hugo Chavez in the upcoming Dec. 3 election, was no exception. We were riding the subway deep beneath the city Saturday afternoon when a throng of Rosales backers boarded our train and began chanting “Este es la ruta, para sacar al hijo de puta.” Translation: “This is the route we’re gonna take to sack this son of a bitch.” Their voices soon filled the subway car and, after a few rounds, the [...]
Private Security Sector Seeks Regulatory Changes
NAIROBI, Kenya — A global consensus is now emerging about the necessity for laws that will support and encourage, rather than stifle, the growing role of private, professional combatants and peace support personnel in conflict zones. But in Africa and elsewhere, the growing role of such private forces has been met with caution and relative hostility. In November, an international gathering will take place under the auspices of the Swiss government and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent (ICRC) to drum up international support for positive regulation of private military and security companies. Emanuela-Chiara Gillard, an ICRC legal advisor, [...]
An Unexpected Protest at Caracas’ Plaza Bolivar
CARACAS, Venezuela — We made our way to the famous Plaza Bolivar yesterday. As first-time visitors, it seemed important to stroll the smooth granite square nestled in the dense maze of street vendors that is the old part of downtown Caracas. The plaza has long been a meeting point for men of ideas and, given President Hugo Chavez’s revolution of the past eight years in Simon Bolivar’s name, it seemed equally vital to take a moment to gaze at the equestrian sculpture of the man who led the country to freedom from Spain some two centuries ago. The plaza was [...]
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