Nicaragua; Lori Berenson

Louis Proyect lnp3 at SPAMpanix.com
Fri Aug 25 09:11:29 MDT 2000


>From the current Nation magazine, http://www.the.nation.com:

AFTER A BRUTAL ATTEMPT TO CRUSH THEIR UNION, WORKERS REACH OUT TO US ALLIES.

Countdown in Managua

by ROBERT J.S. ROSS and CHARLES KERNAGHAN

6 am, July 13, Las Mercedes Free Trade Zone, Managua, Nicaragua

A river of people, 19,000 workers, packed ten or twelve across, pours
slowly through a bazaar of hawkers toward the gates of the Las Mercedes
Free Trade Zone, about a mile from Managua's airport. Headed for
twenty-three factories that open at 7 am, the people will work until at
least 5:15 pm; many will be forced to work until 7, and others until 9, for
firms that are free from most tariffs. The hawkers sell them fried bread,
fruit, meat sandwiches, caffeine and vitamin-B pills. The workers suck
neon-colored sweet drinks from sandwich bags as they flow through the gates.

We are at the Zona Franca at the request of the Managua union confederation
(CST-JBE) to verify its charges of violations of internationally recognized
labor rights and Nicaraguan labor law, especially at the Chentex factory,
the last of two Las Mercedes factories with functioning unions. This year,
Nien Hsing, the Taiwanese company that owns the Chentex plant, two others
in the zone and three in Mexico, launched a brutal offensive to crush the
union. The Chentex management has fired workers who are members of the
union and even those seen as friendly to it, and it has charged union
leaders with serious criminal offenses carrying potential seven-year
sentences. In response, the union is reaching out to allies in North
America, including the National Labor Committee, the AFL-CIO, the United
Steelworkers, the apparel workers' union UNITE, Witness for Peace and the
Campaign for Labor Rights…

===

The Lori Berenson Papers

On January 11, 1996, a young American woman was sentenced to life in prison
in Peru for treason. Now documents have surfaced that shed new light on her
case.

by JONATHAN LEVI and LIZ MINEO

The house at No. 1049 Alameda del Corregidor fits in well with the rest of
Lima's upper-middle-class neighborhood of La Molina. Partially screened
from the street by a pair of olive trees, with a large garage and four
floors on a plot of 500 square meters, the house is big enough to hold,
say, a childcare center or a college-prep outfit, as it has for the past
few years. Only a few bullet holes in the stucco bear witness to the fiery
events of November 30, 1995. On that night, members of the DINCOTE, Peru's
antiterrorism police force, fought a pitched battle with the inhabitants of
the house. By morning, one person was dead, three critically wounded, four
hostages rescued and twenty-one purported members of the Movimiento
Revolucionario Túpac Amaru (MRTA) arrested. The prize catch was one of
Peru's Most Wanted--Miguel Rincón Rincón, second in command of the MRTA,
one of Peru's two armed guerrilla organizations...



Louis Proyect

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