On the morning of December 27, a simple e-mail alert to my cell phone confirmed my worst fears for the indomitable and courageous woman leader I knew as a former reporter covering politics in Pakistan: `BB Killed'. It did not matter that Benazir Bhutto, campaigning to return to power for a third time, would have merely stayed a symbolic leader. Her tragic murder has cut short the dream for Pakistan's impoverished millions and increased their sense of desperation.
On December 29 - 31 women from all five Zapatista Caracoles (centers of resistance) gathered in the community of La Garrucha, Chiapas to meet with women who had come from all around the world to hear their stories of struggling, organizing, and participating in the Zapatista movement, and to share their own experiences. It was the Tercer Encuentro de los Pueblos Zapatistas con los Pueblos del Mundo - the Third Encounter/Gathering between Zapatista Peoples and Peoples of the World.
Outside the Bishop's residence about a hundred Tamil women are crying and wailing, many of them clutching copies of death certificates or missing person's reports to their chests. Crumpled up in their fists are photocopies of ID cards belonging to their husbands, their sons, their fathers-all murdered, abducted, or officially classified in a log somewhere as 'missing.' These women have all come here with the same intention: to try and gain an audience with the visiting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, to tell their story and to plead for justice. In Jaffna, when someone disappears, they unfortunately have a way of never turning up again. Making the atrocities known is often the only solace these women can have.
Since 1983 when a Guatemalan refugee sought sanctuary in a
The extreme right National Party of the