Saturday, September 08, 2007

A Rose by Any Other Name: The Story of Rosita

When Rosita, a 9 year-old Costa Rican, was raped and became pregnant four years ago, doctors said she was too young to survive a pregnancy. Costa Rica would not allow an exception to their no abortion law, forcing Rosita with her mother and stepfather to go to neighboring Nicaragua to get a life-saving abortion. Rosita became the poster child for therapeutic abortions before disappearing under the protection of the women’s network in Nicaragua. Now, Rosita has returned to the spotlight when her stepfather was sent to jail after impregnating her and the revelation that she has an 18-month-old child. The case of Rosita raises many important human rights issues. First, as the assistant police commission of the town Masaya, where Rosita was living, said, “There are many Rositas.” Just the past two-month in Masaya, four men have been put in jail for raping their daughters or stepdaughters. What needs to be done to stop this from happening? And why is this happening in such high numbers in Nicaragua? Secondly, many people are apprehensive about the way the government is handling this situation. Many people in the women’s network fear that the president, Daniel Ortega, will use this as an opportunity for payback for supporting the sexual abuse charges against Ortega by his stepdaughter in 1998. Others even believe the government will use this situation to weaken all civil society to replace it with party-controlled organizations. Can the women’s network, which is one of the sole means of defending women’s rights in this country, be run by the government? Can the government (which one of its problems has all ready been presented in the blog below) defend human rights justly? Lastly, since Rosita received her abortion, Nicaragua has outlawed all abortions. Rosita would have died had she not received that abortion. In situations like that, does the government have the right to choose the life of the baby over the mother and not allow abortions in any circumstances?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

An American's Kafkaesque Encounter With Nicaragua's Justice System

In an older article, (May 2007) Eric Volz a magazine editor from San Diego has begun a 30-year prison term for a disputable crime in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua. His family is still working to overturn the case with no avail, even though most of the facts point away from Volz. Eric Volz was convicted of murdering Doris Jimnez, his local Nicaraguan ex-girlfriend. "Interviews with witnesses and lawyers, suggest the verdict was heavily influenced by small-town passions and a desire for swift justice." Then why was Eric Volz's case not overturned, Did he really do it? Eric Volz had an alibi, with 10 witnesses claiming to be with him at the time of the murder. After a three-day trial Volz was found guilty, where they wrong? Is this a case of a corrupt South American judicial system and why didn't the United States intervene?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Three day blitzkrieg in Iran

According to 'Times Online', the Pentagon is making plans to launch a massive offensive that will annihilate Iran's military capability completely in a span of three days. The IAEA(International Atomic Energy Agency) has reported last week that Iran has taken steps to slow down uranium enrichment. The spokesmen of the National council of resistance of Iran has said that the IAEA has yet to visit many of Iran's nuclear facilities and are giving Iran the benefit of the doubt when this regime has clearly provened its stance towards Israel and worldwide affairs. Would the future decision of the US to go to war with Iran the right one? Obviously diplomacy seems to have made little or no impact. Is war the only option left for the US? Have the inspections of the Iranian nuclear facilities been effective till now? Can a regime that is giving munitions to the Iraqi insurgents be trusted? Is is right on the part of the US to take matters in their own hands?

Monday, September 03, 2007

Injustice In Iraq

Recent footage from prison camps in Baghdad uncovered harsh living conditions for those detained there. The prison camps consisted of outdoor tents made of wire mesh and covered with plastic sheets. Some of the prisoners were not even fully clothed and fervently protested their innocence, claiming that they had been in prison for years without even having been seen in a court room or by a judge. According to Iraqi Vice President Tareq al- Hashemi, these tented camps now hold 2,779 prisoners who were removed from over-crowded Iraqi prisons. Although the camps are said to have air-conditioning and 24 hour electricity, no official seems willing to take the responsibility in getting court dates for the prisoners. A General at the prison stated, "The prisoners arrived just a month ago. It is not our fault that some have been held for a year or two years without going before a judge." The situation seems slightly more hopeful in light of the fact that Hashemi visited the prison camps in an attempt to form some semblance of order and that his office gave footage of the injustices at the camps to a global television agency to be broadcast. But when will the situation be rectified? And why does it happen in the first place? If a large-scale public imprisonment occurred in the U.S. on these same terms it would be corrected immediately, or so I would like to think; at the very least people would be up in arms about the injustice happening around them. Why, then, are things so different in a country like Iraq- and will they ever change? Is this injustice proof that a new government is not enough to change the social ills in a society, or is Iraq actually on a slow progression toward a better system?