Global South

1 December 2003Feature

During 1994 an estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 people were killed in the Rwandan genocide. Therole of radio broadcasts across the country in inspiring and encourag-ing individual and collective acts of violence has become one of the best-documented and most extreme cases of the use of media to fuel conflict.After being indicted in 1996 by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the trials of reporters allegedly central tothe hate broadcasts began in 2001. Radio Netherlands reporters have kept a close eye on developments.

Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM) is the most recent and widely reported symbol of "hate radio" throughout the world. Its broadcasts, disseminating hate propaganda and inciting the murder of Tutsis and opponents to the regime, began on 8 July 1993, and greatly contributed to the 1994 genocide of hundreds of thousands.

RTLM, aided by the staff and facilitiesof Radio Rwanda, the government-owned station, called on the Hutu majority todestroy the Tutsi minority. The…

3 September 2003Comment

From Amritsar to Depayin, Yeshua Moser-Puangsuwan offers a comparison between the experiences and methods of the Indian liberation struggle by the Congress Party and Mahatma Gandhi and the nonviolent campaign waged by the National League for Democracy (NLD) and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma.

Although not forseen by the political pundits of the time, the salt campaign launched by Mahatma Gandhi and the Congress Party in India became the key nonviolent direct action campaign to achieve freedom from British rule.

At the outset of the campaign, a New York Times correspondent asked Gandhi what he hoped to achieve by the campaign, and what would happen if he were arrested at the beginning of the campaign. Gandhi answered that it wasn't a matter of winning or losing that…

1 September 2003Feature

Although Brazil is not officially at war, the country has the one of the highest homicide rates in the world, with more than 35,000 firearm deaths every year. Brazilians are about four times more likely to die by firearms than the general world population.

Armed violence in urban Brazil is an epidemic, and we can think of guns as a vehicle of transmission that multiplies and aggravates violence; we can even identify the main risk group: young males from poor neighbourhoods (favelas…

1 September 2003Feature

The impact of small arms on communities takes many forms, from involvement in illegal production and trafficking as a means ofeconomic survival, to fuelling existing conflicts and creating a violent gun culture, where local disputes are invariably "resolved" using guns. Saswati Roy reports from India.

Since 9/11 the word “terror” has become known the world over-- its impact has become more vivid, glaring on us.

The television pictures of the air strikes on the “mighty” World Trade Centre, or some of the recent powerful explosions in many pockets of the world, turning human beings to disjointed bodies in a fraction of a second, are still very stunning to us. The sheer severity and suddenness of the incidents create a lasting impression in our minds. The magnitude and gravity of…

1 September 2003Feature

Tom Lansford argues that South Asia provides an example of the correlation between aggressive new marketing strategies by defence companies and heightened support for arms sales as a component of foreign policy by the major arms producing nations--exacerbating existing conflicts and tensions in the region.

South Asia remains one of the most volatile regions of the world. Continued arms sales and weapons transfers only exacerbate both ongoing and potential conflicts in the area.

However, significant declines in the overall volume and profits of the global defence industry have increased domestic pressure on national governments to expand their market-share and continue arms sales to regions in conflict. Since1985, the overall total of global purchases of major weapons systems has…

1 September 2003News

An itinerant exhibition of 27 photographs has been put together in an effort to share the process of dealing with the past alongside the relatives of the disappeared and those executed for political reasons in Chile.

The photos are from my personal archive. Some have been taken by me and some by Clem McCartney, Kenneth Jensen, Jose' Araya and others. On 11 September 2003 it will be exactly 30 years since Pinochet overthrew the democratically elected government of Doctor Salvador…

3 June 2003Comment

Writing from Harare, Keith Goddard, from Gays and Lesbians Zimbabwe, reflects on the long list of political and practical problems facing ordinary Zimbabweans, why "they" aren't out on the streets in outrage and how the international community may, or may not, help

Over the past three years, one of the most frequently asked questions in Zimbabwe (and often asked of me by my 79-year old mother) has been “why are they not taking to the streets and doing something about the situation?” My reply has generally been “who do you mean by they and why are you not on the streets yourself?” But then I am not either!

Many people explain away their inaction by claiming they are not part of the critical mass (in other…

1 June 2003Feature

Asian "tigers", nuclear weapons and US militarism meet migrant workers, peace activists and conscientious objectors. James Reilly introduces this issue's theme.

Despite being one of the world's most dynamic economic and political regions, North-East Asian security remains surprisingly dominated by the past. Half a century after the uneasy conclusions to massive conflicts that ripped apart China,Korea, and Japan, real peace in the region remains elusive.

Nearly 100,000 US soldiers are based in Japan and South Korea, with those in Korea on trigger-ready alert for war with the North. The region contains the world's second-most well funded…

1 March 2003Feature

The Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) started in 1990 and rose to international prominence in 1995 when it applied to attend the Zimbabwe International Book Fair which had as its theme that year “Human Rights and Justice”. The government banned the group's appearance and, at the opening of the fair, President Mugabe, uttered the first in a long line of vitriolic attacks on gays and lesbians which include the famous epithet, gays are “worse than dogs and pigs”. GALZ stood its ground and…

1 March 2003Feature

Writing from India, Subhadip Mukherjee argues that the "war on terrorism" is bringing inhuman suffering and misery to an already impoverished population, and that economic depravation and the threat of monoculture are driving forces behind certain acts of terrorism.

The world is in grave danger. The global scenario has completely changed since 11 September, with just one terrorist attack on the United States. In the name of wiping out terrorism from the world the US are now engaged in counter-terrorism with the large-scale killing and torture of innocent people. Those who were earlier considered freedom fighters are now branded terrorists.

Today the United States has assumed the role of a messiah with its disciple-like Great Britain delivering “…

1 March 2003News

On 15 January 2003, gunmen shot and beat Marcus Veron, a leader of the Guarani-Kaiowatribe in Brazil, after he attempted to reoccupy ancestral land. Veron, 70, was the third BrazilianIndian to be killed in two weeks.

Marcos Veron, chief of the evicted community of Caarapu village, Brazil. PHOTO: J RIPPER/SURVIVAL

In 2000, Veron toured Europe with tribal advocates' group Survival to publicise the history of his people, who have been forced off their land by ranchers. Now armed…

1 March 2003Review

Ocean Press, 2003; ISBN 1 876175 50 8, 80pp, £5.95

The value of this book, published through a radical history series, lies in the collection of essays, speeches, photographs and well known quotes of some of the protagonists and victims in Salvador Allende's socialist government which was overthrown by Pinochet's brutal dictatorship (as sponsored by the CIA). It also includes opinions and comments by well-known people who have expressed solidarity with the struggle against impunity.

As a Chilean who feels close to this history, it…

1 December 2002Review

Information Network of the Americas, 2002. ISBN 0 9720384 0 X, 91pp. Available from

The US describes Colombia as harbouring the hemisphere's biggest terrorist threat. Not surprisingly, the plan it supports to solve Colombia's social ills, Plan Colombia, will have a significantly detrimental effect on the region as a whole. Both these books not only provide a coherent critique of Plan Colombia and offer alternative proposals for dealing with the drugs issue, they delve beneath Colombia as merely an exporter of cocaine or a perpetrator of terrorism and explore the political,…

1 December 2002Review

Norma, 1999. ISBN 958 04 3892 7

This brief book was initially written by its Colombian author in order to explain to a US American friend the roots of the complex situation of violence in Colombia.

However, it is actually addressed to the population living there, as if the author could not hold back a need to urge a people despised for centuries by their own plunderers (aristocracy of unscrupulous political leaders, immoral world market and ever increasing military expenditure - utterly useless) to recover their…

1 December 2002Review

Oxford, James Currey, 2000. ISBN 0 85255 273 4

The wild and warlike - and mostly illiterate - Muslim tribesmen known usually as Pathans, who straddled the barren mountains between Afghanistan and British India, were an unlikely source for a nonviolent movement. The story of the movement's intrepid leader, six-foot-three Badshah Khan (Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan) and his redshirted Khudai Khidmatgar (Servants of God) has been told a number of times.

Unlike previous writers Mukulika Banerjee, while recognising the…