Human Rights Watch Statement on World Day against the Death Penalty

11 10 2011

October 10, 2011 — The cornerstone of human rights is respect for the inherent dignity of all human beings and the inviolability of the human person. Human Rights Watch opposes capital punishment in all countries and in all circumstances because the inherent dignity of the person is inconsistent with the death penalty. This form of punishment is unique in its cruelty and finality, and it is inevitably and universally plagued with arbitrariness, prejudice, and error.

October 10, 2011 is the ninth annual World Day against the Death Penalty, and this year marks 35 years since the United States reinstated capital punishment in 1976. In that time, 1,271 people have been electrocuted, shot, hanged, gassed, or put to death by lethal injection. In September, the state of Georgia executed Troy Davis despite significant doubts about his guilt. Texas executed its 475th prisoner since 1976. During that time, Texas has by far executed the largest number of people of any US state.

Those responsible for serious crimes should be fairly and appropriately brought to justice, and the victims of crimes and their families should have access to the mechanisms of justice and redress. But it is increasingly recognized around the world that the death penalty is a fundamental assault on the right to life found in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights treaties.

Innocent people have been sentenced to death in the United States. Since 1973, 138 prisoners have been released from death rows around the country after they were shown to be innocent of the crimes for which they had been sentenced to die. Some of them were released just days before they were scheduled for execution. The inherent fallibility of all criminal justice systems assures that even when full due process of law is respected, innocent people are likely to be executed. Because an execution is irreversible, such miscarriages of justice can never be corrected.

Race, poverty, and geography are inexorably intertwined with the death penalty. Defendants whose victims were white are more likely to be sentenced to death than those whose victims were members of a minority group. Poor defendants are generally represented by government-appointed counsel, who are often overworked and underpaid for the weighty responsibility of defending a person faced with the possibility of execution. Prosecutors in certain counties are more likely to seek the death penalty than those elsewhere in the same state. The accident of geography, and no other aspect of a particular crime, can mean the difference between life and death for the defendant.

The United States stands increasingly alone among democratic countries in its continued use of the death penalty. By retaining capital punishment in a world that has largely turned its back on this barbaric practice, the US damages its reputation, causes friction with its closest neighbors and allies, and undermines its efforts to promote human rights at home and abroad.

For all of these reasons, the death penalty is becoming increasingly rare in the United States. The numbers of executions and death sentences per year have decreased by half in the last 10 years. Four states have abolished the death penalty in the past four years, raising the total number of states prohibiting capital punishment to 16, plus the District of Columbia. Death as a punishment is becoming more and more unusual because it is increasingly recognized as inherently cruel.

Human Rights Watch urges all jurisdictions in the United States to reject the death penalty, and in doing so, to reaffirm fundamental principles of human rights.

Human Rights Watch Press release


Plataforma Ciudadana en el Noroccidente de Asturias en defensa de la Sanidad Pública

30 03 2011

La Plataforma Ciudadana en el Noroccidente de Asturias en defensa de la Sanidad Pública viene funcionando desde hace unos meses para defender la calidad de la sanidad en el ala occidental asturiana. Periódicamente viene reuniéndose recorriendo los diferentes municipios para darse a conocer, facilitar el acceso a todas las personas interesadas y practicando la participación y transparencia que piden de la administración asturiana en temas de sanidad.

El viernes 8 de abril a las 18:30 horas va a proyectar la película Sicko en el Liceo de Navia para luego mantener un debate en torno al tema de la sanidad.

 Blog de la plataforma.

Noticias relacionadas con la plataforma:

La plataforma pide participar en el debate sobre el modelo sanitario.

La plataforma defiende la calidad del Hospital de Jarrio frente a la centralización en Avilés.


2004 Madrid train bombings

11 03 2011

From Wikipedia

The Madrid train bombings consisted of a series of coordinated bombings against the Cercanías (commuter train) system of Madrid, Spain on the morning of 11 March 2004 (three days before Spain’s general elections), killing 191 people and wounding 1,800. The official investigation by the Spanish Judiciary determined the attacks were directed by an al-Qaeda-inspired terrorist cell although no direct al-Qaeda participation (only “inspiration”) has been established. Spanish miners who did not carry out the attacks but who sold the explosives to the terrorists were also arrested. Controversy regarding the handling and representation of the bombings by the government arose with Spain’s two main political parties (Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) and Partido Popular (PP)), accusing each other of concealing or distorting evidence for electoral reasons. The bombings occurred three days before general elections which resulted in the defeat of the incumbent José María Aznar’s PP, which had obtained a small but narrowing lead in the opinion polls. Immediately after the bombing leaders of the PP claimed evidence indicating the Basque separatist organization ETA was responsible for the bombings, an outcome generally thought favorable to the PP’s chances of being re-elected, while Islamist responsibility would have had the opposite effect as it would have been perceived a consequence of the PP government taking Spain into the Iraq War, a policy very unpopular with Spaniards.. Nationwide demonstrations and protests followed the attacks. The predominant view among political analysts is that the Aznar administration lost the general elections as a result of the handling and representation of the terrorist attacks, rather than the bombings per se. After 21 months of investigation, judge Juan del Olmo ruled Moroccan national Jamal Zougam guilty of physically carrying out the attack, ruling out any ETA intervention. The September 2007 sentence established no known mastermind nor direct al-Qaida link.

Tim Friend reports on the Madrid train blasts verdict-31 Oct

Al Jazeera’s Tim Friend reports on the October 31, 2007, verdict in the Madrid train bombings case

Inside Story – Madrid bombings verdicts – 01 Nov 07

Inside Story discusses the jail sentences handed down to 21 people involved in the Madrid train bombings.
All the sentences put t Inside Story discusses the jail sentences handed down to 21 people involved in the Madrid train bombings.
All the sentences put together run into thousands of years, but are tough sentences and strict security doing the job in the fight against terrorism?

El caso “Marea”

25 01 2011




 Público: Detenido un Consejero de Asturias por contrataciones ilegales.

La Nueva España: Detenidos el ex consejero Riopedre, dos altas funcionarias y dos empresarios por corrupción.

El Comercio: Detenidos el ex consejero Riopedre, dos altas funcionarias y dos empresarios por corrupción.

RTPA: Prisión provisional y sin fianza para el exconsejero, José Luis Iglesias Riopedre.

RTPA:  Migoya asegura que el Gobierno regional colaborará con la justicia en todo lo que sea necesario.

20 minutos: BA sostiene que la detención de Riopedre demuestra que la política asturiana necesita “regeneración y aires nuevos”

Europapress: Gobierno asturiano dice que la detención de Riopedre es un paso más en el proceso contra la funcionaria Marta Renedo.

Escandalera: Detenido el ex-consejero José Luis Iglesias Riopedre.

Miércoles 26 enero

  – El País: Ingresa en prisión preventiva un ex consejero de Educación de Asturias por supuesta corrupción.

La Razón: Detenido un ex consejero de Asturias por supuestas adjudicaciones irregulares.

TPA: Primer día de Riopedre en Villabona.


La Nueva España: El filósofo gallego de fidelidades rocosas.

El Comercio: María Jesús Otero, la mano derecha del exconsejero.

La Nueva España: Las dos caras de «la que repartía les perres».

La Voz de Asturias: Una fiel escudera siempre en segundo plano.

La Nueva España: La fiscalía solicita prisión sin fianza para María Jesús Otero y para Marta Renedo.

La Nueva España: La juez investiga los movimientos bancarios de la número dos de Educación desde 1999

La Nueva España: La juez manda a prisión a Iglesias Riopedre y sospecha que la trama corrupta es más amplia.

La Nueva España: Triunfadores sobre el papel.


Gobierno asturiano: El Gobierno niega tres veces a Riopedre (La Nueva España).

FSA: La FSA actúa con contundencia y suspende de militancia a Riopedre (La Voz de Asturias).

Partido Popular Asturias: Espinosa: ´Esto es la demostración de la falta de control en la Administración regional´ (La Nueva España).

Partido Popular Asturias: El PP denuncia las implicaciones de las empresas presuntamente corruptas con el socialismo gijonés (La Nueva España).

Izquierda Unida: Izquierda Unida pide controles más férreos en las contrataciones (La Nueva España).

CSI: CSI cree que carrera política de Areces ha de acabar junto a la de Riopedre (

Decisión de la Audiencia al mes del encarcelamiento

Declaraciones de Riopedre tras su salida de la cárcel

El lunes 7 de marzo Riopedre sale de la cárcel tras el pago de la fianza por la plataforma que le apoya. El martes 8 de marzo, realiza unas declaraciones ante la prensa: La Nueva España La Voz de AsturiasEl Comercio


Información resumida

La Administración asturiana, investigada (La Nueva España)

Caso Renedo (El Comercio Digital)

Basque Group Makes Peace Offer “Wall Street Journal”

29 12 2010

Wall Street Journal – December 28, 2010 

MADRID—The leader of ETA’s political wing said in an interview from jail that the terrorist group is ready to give up violence and pursue a peaceful strategy to create an independent Basque state.The remarks by Arnaldo Otegi, a key negotiator in past peace talks with the Spanish government, come as the country prepares for an expected statement from ETA in which it could pledge to lay down arms for good.In written answers to questions sent by The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Otegi stopped short of confirming that ETA is preparing to announce such an end to its 42-year campaign of violence. But he hinted that unspecified “coming developments” will ratchet up the pressure on the government to negotiate an end to the Basque conflict.In any case, he said, his movement now rejects “any violence that seeks to attain political objectives.”Mr. Otegi’s remarks, while generally in line with recent statements by ETA’s political supporters, represent one of the strongest indications yet that Basque terrorism may be nearing an end.Still, many Spaniards will likely question whether the group is sincere in its peace offer. The group has announced several cease-fires in the past, only to return to violence when its demands haven’t been met. ETA declared its latest cease-fire in September. Skeptics also point to recent activity by ETA as evidence that it isn’t preparing to disband. French authorities blamed ETA for an armed assault on a company there this month in which masked gunmen stole equipment to make fake identification cards.In the interview, Mr. Otegi, who is serving a jail sentence for trying to reconstitute ETA’s political wing, which was outlawed in 2003, appeared to recognize that ETA would have to provide significant new assurances if it is to be taken seriously.”It seems logical to me that the Spanish government would demand guarantees to preserve the security of its citizens,” he said. “We are willing to provide as many guarantees as are necessary to prove that our stance is firm and irreversible.”He didn’t specify what those guarantees could be, but ETA supporters have hinted that they are willing submit to the supervision of international monitors, as the Irish Republican Army did during the peace process in Northern Ireland.The Spanish government declined to comment on Mr. Otegi’s remarks but has recently dismissed statements by ETA and its supporters as insufficient.ETA has killed 829 people during a four-decade violent campaign for an independent Basque homeland in northern Spain and southwestern France. It is classified as a terrorist organization by the U.S., Spain and the European Union.The collapse of the latest peace process in December 2006 was a blow to the government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who had staked much of his political capital on an ETA peace deal.But despite its failure, the effort now appears to have put the government in a stronger position since many Basques blamed ETA for the breakdown. That appears to have eroded support for ETA and its political allies among the Basque population.Polls show that little over one-half of Basques reject ETA completely, up from under one-quarter at the beginning of the 1980s.Since the latest peace talks broke down four years ago, Spain’s center-left Socialist Party government has been using a carrot-and-stick approach in an effort to push ETA toward laying down arms. With the aid of French security forces, Spain has cracked down on ETA members and their political allies, arresting more than 400 suspects in the past four years.At the same time, the Spanish government has quietly granted benefits to ETA prisoners who break ranks with the group, moving some to jails nearer home.Critics say ETA is merely seeking to allow its political allies to take part in local elections in May, sidestepping a Spanish law that bans ETA supporters from running for office. “They want to be in the elections to get access to local financing, control of town-level budgets and attract electoral support to justify their struggle,” said Mikel Buesa, an anti-ETA activist and former Basque politician.Even if the rump of ETA is sincere, itmay not be able to force all of its members to abide by its cease-fire. The group has repeatedly splintered in the past, with older members laying down arms while younger members continue the violence.The Basque region has its own distinctive culture and language, which is unrelated to the Latin-derived tongues spoken around it. It is famous for its picturesque mountainous landscapes and Michelin-starred restaurants; it is one of the wealthiest regions in Spain and enjoys more political autonomy than any other.Around one-third of Spanish Basques favor independence, according to a recent poll by the regional government.ETA was born in the waning days of the dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco, who banned regional languages like Basque in an effort to forge a single, Spanish national identity. Its most famous operation—assassinating Franco’s handpicked successor in 1973—is credited by some with hastening the end of the dictatorship.But instead of laying down its arms when democracy returned to Spain in the late 1970s, ETA killed hundreds politicians and civilians in the 1980s and ’90s during the bloodiest stretch of its campaign.

See also:

– Euronews: ETA ready to give up violence (news & video).

La AVT recuerda al “Wall Street Journal” que Otegi es “un terrorista” y  censura su lenguaje al hablar de ETA.

– “Who are ETA” (BBC – September 5, 2010)

Audio Files:

– Interview to Jerome Socolovsky with audio (2006)

NPR March 26, 2006

Wikileaks sirve al ciudadano

12 12 2010

Me gustó un artículo que aparece en El País titulado “Wikileaks sirve al ciudadano” donde se entrevista a Daniel Ellsberg, el hombre que filtró “los papeles del Pentágono” al New York Times en 1971  a raíz de la guerra de Vietnam. También él sufrió entonces un acoso similar al que se le está sometiendo al creador de Wikileaks, Julian Assange, acusado ahora mismo de violación contra dos mujeres suecas.

      El fenómeno de wikileaks está levantando un gran polvareda en cuanto a la libertad de expresión se refiere. Hay mucha gente que piensa que todo esto no es más que un intento de controlar la red.

      Del citado artículo me quedo sobre todo con la siguiente frase: “Defiendo a Wikileaks porque creo en el servicio que está haciendo a los ciudadanos”.

      En la red están apareciendo muchos movimientos de apoyo a wikileaks. -destaco el de que es un blog donde se está movilizando a la gente para manifestarse en contra de este movimiento de censura.

      Los documentos secretos se pueden consultar en la página de El País.

      A continuación, el artículo:

Todos los ataques que reciben ahora Assange y Wikileaks fueron dirigidos contra mí cuando publiqué los Papeles del Pentágono“. Es uno de los últimos mensajes de Daniel Ellsberg en Twitter. El más famoso filtrador de todos los tiempos ha estado muy activo en Internet esta semana. La red de mensajes cortos le ha servido para convertirse en uno de los mayores partidarios del fundador de Wikileaks, detenido en Londres y acusado de delitos sexuales en Suecia. También le ha ayudado a difundir sus recuerdos de aquellos años y contar cómo se convirtió de la noche a la mañana en un héroe de la libertad de prensa.

Él fue lo que los ingleses llaman un whistleblower (denunciante); literalmente, el tipo que hace sonar las alarmas; el que avisa. Él fue quien avisó de que la mayor parte de lo que su Gobierno había contado sobre la guerra de Vietnam era una sarta de mentiras.

“Recuerdo perfectamente la fecha en que decidí que los documentos debían publicarse. Fue el 30 de septiembre de 1969”, dice Ellsberg al otro lado del teléfono. “Ese día, el Ejército retiró los cargos contra seis boinas verdes acusados de matar a un traductor al que creían agente doble. La CIA les denunció ante los mandos del Ejército pero todo se amañó para que nadie testificara. Yo conocía todas las mentiras del proceso y decidí que no quería formar parte de ese sistema”. Al día siguiente, Ellsberg comenzó a fotocopiar las 7.000 páginas de documentos que después se conocerían como los Papeles del Pentágono.

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Adiós a Labordeta

20 09 2010

Labordeta nos ha dejado.

El poeta de la libertad, el viajero mochilero que hablaba con cariño a la gente de los pueblos por los que pasaba, el profesor con vocación que educaba con cariño, el aragonés orgulloso de su tierra, el político de verdad que cantaba las cuarenta en el parlamento…Ha muerto una buena persona. Muchos son los que nos sentimos hoy más huérfanos. Pero a la vez, nos sentimos interpelados por su vida. Por eso, su ejemplo, el de toda la gente que como él fue auténtica, sigue entre nosotros. Y como decía otro cantante, de otro país, de otro estilo,…el show tiene que seguir.

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