When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Geopolitics

Human Rights Organizations Say 28,000 Civilians Missing in Syria

BBC, GUARDIAN, SYRIAN NETWORK FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (UK), AVAAZ (USA)

Worldcrunch

According to human rights organizations, at least 28,000 civilians have disappeared in Syria since the beginning of the protests last year, the BBC reports.

Most of them seem not to be militants but ordinary people who have been picked up by the regime of Bashar Assad, possibly for questioning. Their families receive no information about them, not even whether they have been arrested or detained. The Syrian Network for Human Rights, based in London, has been compiling long lists of individual cases of disappearances, massacres, arrests, torture and murders.

Online rights organization Avaaz says it has collected and confirmed with independent sources the names of 18,000 Syrians reported as having vanished, and that it has the names of 10,000 more.

Alice Jay, campaign director at Avaaz, said Syrians were being "plucked off the street by security forces and paramilitaries and being "disappeared" into torture cells,” reports the BBC. She said it was a deliberate strategy to "terrorize families and communities".

The organization is planning to hand over its dossier to the United Nations this week, according to the Guardian.

The UN and Arab League special envoy on Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, is expected to arrive in Damascus on Saturday. There are indications that he may be able to broker a temporary cease-fire between Assad’s regime and the rebels, possibly at the time of the Aid Al-Ahra, according to the Guardian. The Aid is a Muslim festival that takes place this year on Friday, October 26.

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

Sources

Indigenous Women Of Ecuador Set Example For Sustainable Agriculture

In southern Ecuador, a women-led agricultural program offers valuable lessons on sustainable farming methods, but also how to end violence.

Photo of women walking in Ecuador

Women walking in Guangaje Ecuador

Camila Albuja

SARAGURO — Here in this corner of southern Ecuador, life seems to be like a mandala — everything is cleverly used in this ancestral system of circular production. But the women of Saraguro had to fight and resist to make their way of life, protecting the local water and the seeds. When weaving, the women share and take care of each other, also weaving a sense of community.

With the wrinkled tips of her fingers, Mercedes Quizhpe, an indigenous woman from the Kichwa Saraguro people, washes one by one the freshly harvested vegetables from her garden. Standing on a small bench, with her hands plunged into the strong torrent of icy water and the bone-chilling early morning breeze, she checks that each one of her vegetables is ready for fair day. Her actions hold a life of historical resistance, one that prioritizes the care of life through the defense of territory and food sovereignty.

Mercedes' way of life is also one that holds many potential lessons for how to do agriculture and tourism better.

In the province of Loja, work begins before sunrise. At 5:00 a.m., the barking of dogs, the guardians of each house, starts. There is that characteristic smell of damp earth from the morning dew. Sheep bah uninterruptedly through the day. With all this life around, the crowing of early-rising roosters doesn't sound so lonely.

Keep reading...Show less

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

The latest