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This Happened

This Happened—January 11: It's Been 25 Years Since The Sidi-Hamed Massacre

The Sidi-Hamed massacre took place on this day in 1998, one of the bloodiest attacks of the Algerian Civil War.

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What was the Sidi-Hamed massacre?

The massacre took place in the town of Sidi-Hamed, 30 kilometers south of Algiers. It was one of the bloodiest attacks on civilians during the Algerian Civil War.

An estimated 50 gunmen participated, attacking children and adults. They bombed a cafe where films were being watched and a mosque nearby, killing those who fled, and entered houses to kill those inside.

 Who carried out the Sidi-Hamed massacre?

The massacre was generally blamed on the Armed Islamic Group of Algeria (GIA), which was one of the two main Islamist insurgent groups that fought the Algerian government and army in the Algerian Civil War.

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Geopolitics

The Trumpian Virus Undermining Democracy Is Now Spreading Through South America

Taking inspiration from events in the United States over the past four years, rejection of election results and established state institutions is on the rise in Latin America.

Two supporters of far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro dressed in Brazilian flags during a demonstration in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Bolsonaro supporters dressed in national colours with flags in a demonstration in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on November 4, 2022.

Ivan Abreu / ZUMA
Carlos Ruckauf*

-Analysis-

BUENOS AIRES — South Africa's Nelson Mandela used to say it was "so easy to break down and destroy. The heroes are those who make peace and build."

Intolerance toward those who think differently, even inside the same political space, is corroding the bases of representative democracy, which is the only system we know that allows us to live and grow in freedom, in spite of its flaws.

Recent events in South America and elsewhere are precisely alerting us to that danger. The most explosive example was in Brazil, where a crowd of thousands managed to storm key institutional premises like the presidential palace, parliament and the Supreme Court.

In Peru, the country's Marxist (now former) president, Pedro Castillo, sought to use the armed and security forces to shut down parliament and halt the Supreme Court and state prosecutors from investigating corruption allegations against him.

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