this year, a record number, and more than 1,800 in the past nine years, who
died crossing the Arizona desert while trying to enter the US illegally.
Volunteers have begun leaving water in the desert.
The first street demonstrations in support of imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange were in Spain, and I think I stumbled across the reason why.
Leaked US State Department documents detail how the US government enlisted the Spanish government's aid to obstruct a criminal case in which three US soldiers in Iraq were charged in a Spanish court with the death of a Spanish photographer working in Baghdad.
I had not read anything about those particular cables in the US media, but Daniel Samper Pizano, a columnist for the Columbian newspaper El Tiempo, outlines the unseemly affair in an excellent column dated Dec 5 and apparently posted Dec 4, which I just now came across in translation at the web site Watching America. Which, despite its ominous sounding title, is a great web site itself. Volunteers translate articles from newspapers around the world that are about the US, either as it regards that country's relations with the US, or US actions that affect them, or just whatever is big news in the US at the time. You can read the translated article, and the original -- it provides another, often very enlightening perspective.
The cables Pizano has seen, which somehow every reporter in the US appears to have overlooked, mainly have to do with the efforts of US ambassador to Spain under George W Bush, Eduardo Aguirre, to derail the case against the soldiers.
You know from the first sentence it's not going to be like anything you'll read in the US mainstream media:
"It is understandable that Washington considers the revelation of secret documents about the Iraq war more serious than the illegal war itself."
Here are web addresses of the translation, and the original article at El Tiempo, if you are fortunate enough to know Spanish.
It's a delight to read Pizano, even in translation. He knows machinations of the lackeys of empire when he sees them, and isn't afraid to point it out with passion and conviction, whether they are deeds done by the US or his own government. I leave you with his final sentence, and the hope that we, here in Gringolandia, will one day have columnists with his guts working in our mainstream media.
"If these things go on in Spain, a country which has traditionally tried to distance itself from the United States, and whose president Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero withdrew from the U.S. coalition, one can only imagine the abuse, pressure and intervention perpetrated by the gringo delegation in the vice-royalty of Colombia."