Along with insight on Hambre Cero ('Zero Hunger'), cables released by WikiLeaks provide previously unreported dark sides in inner management of social welfare programs launched by the Ortega government. This article reports the way social welfare programs are dealt with in the midst of budget deficits based on the cables, mainly focusing on one of the major social welfare projects of Ortega government, Programa Amor ('Program of Love') and other social welfare programs for street children in 2007-2010.
What is Programa Amor?
Programa Amor is one of many social welfare programs that President Ortega and his FSLN party presented to the public in 2007. The stated goal of the program was to provide education and other opportunities to 25,000 street children to break away from some of the worst forms of child labor. Programa Amor has been headed by the First Lady Rosiario Murillo and Ministries of Family, Health, Education, and the government.
Cable: Concerns of Ministry of Family insiders on Programa Amor; It forces children to their home which drive them back to the street
09MANAGUA1318 reveals that people inside the Ministry of Family (MiFamilia), which is a focal point of implementation of Programa Amor, confessed their concerns on the program’s general operating style. The program sends children back to their home in the evening after daytime education courses of the shelters, and this poses a serious threat to the children, since most of them are forced to find places at night other than their homes, which they originally ran away from.
Hambre Cero (“Zero Hunger”) has been an ambitious social welfare program that president Ortega’s FSLN(Sandanista National Liberation Front) party declared in 2007. More than 3 years after that, cables released by WikiLeaks reveal hidden mechanisms and progression of the programs throughout 2007-2010.
Hambre Cero ‘veiled in secrecy’ in discriminatory selection of beneficiaries with no independent monitoring systems
Hambre Cero(“Zero Hunger”) is a state-led welfare program to help ‘eradicate poverty until 2012’ by providing Productive Parcels, which is a packet of livestock, goods, and services including various training needed to establish a self-supporting production of food in the poor areas. The government’s goal is to reach 75,000 families. And since the reported number of people living below the poverty line is 2,300,000 individuals in the country, the process of selecting beneficiaries is an important factor that should be impartial and transparent. However, recently released cables detail how the progression of planning the program and defining standards had been opaque since the first step.
Cables released from WikiLeaks provide important material in the ‘evidence war’ between ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo and Kenyan politician William Ruto.
The cables support Moreno-Ocampo’s arguments that exposing information about critical witnesses would be a severe threat to them and that allegations on Ruto’s involvement in the extrajudicial killings in 2007-2008 post-election violence are recognized by the U.S. embassy, which is far from ‘rubbish rumors picked up by rag blogs’ as Ruto criticized the evidences the allegation is based on.
William Ruto, the Waki Commission, and the tragedy of extrajudicial killings during 2007-2008 post-election violence in Kenya
Extrajudicial killings during 2007-2008 post-election period in Kenya has been condemned internationally, mainly by the UN Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial killings, Alston. WikiLeaks received the Amnesty 2009 New Media Award due to its notable work on leaking and reporting about the hundreds of extrajudicial killings tacitly approved by the Kibaki government and widely conducted by Kenyan Police force working with armed militias.
Among the leaked material is a report titled The Cry of Blood: Report on Extra-Judicial Killings and Disappearances, which is written by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR). The UN acknowledged the report’s credibility after confirming that the information found in the report is backed by investigation results of other civil society organizations and that of the preliminary research done by UN Special Rapporteur team in 2009.
Below are photographs taken as evidences of extrajudicial killings in the report:
El País: La corrupción policial en Ecuador es generalizada (Police corruption is widespread in Ecuador)
"La corrupción "es generalizada" en las filas de la Policía Nacional de Ecuador y quien fuera su comandante, Jaime Aquilino Hurtado, utilizó su poder como la máxima autoridad del cuerpo para extorsionar, acumulando así dinero y propiedades, facilitar el tráfico de personas y obstruir las investigaciones contra compañeros corruptos. (Corruption is widespread "in the ranks of the National Police of Ecuador and who was their commander, Jaime Aquilino Hurtado, who used his power as the ultimate authority to extort the police, accumulating money and property, to facilitate the trafficking and to obstruct investigations against corrupt colleagues.)"
El País: El fiasco de las pruebas de la CIA (The fiasco of the CIA evidence)
"El CD Rom facilitado por Microsoft Corporation a la CIA con los correos electrónicos de varios sospechosos de enviar desde España suicidas a Irak contenía información explosiva, pero en los tribunales españoles no sirvió de nada. (The CD Rom supplied by Microsoft Corporation to the CIA with the emails of several suspected suicide bombers sent from Spain to Iraq containing explosive information, but in the Spanish courts to no avail.)"
El País: "Los más buscados" por EE UU: el sandinismo antidemocrático y corruptor ("Most Wanted" by the U.S.: the Sandinistas undemocratic and corrupting)
"El gubernamental e izquierdista Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN), cuya revolución acabó en 1979 con la dictadura de Anastasio Somoza, prometió establecer la justicia social en Nicaragua, pero acabó siendo un movimiento corruptor, autoritario, que avasalló a la oposición y aceptó fondos del narcotráfico, según afirma un informe de la embajada de Estados Unidos en Managua. (The governmental and leftist National Sandinista Liberation Front (FSLN, Spanish acronym), whose revolution in 1979 ended the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza, promised to establish social justice in Nicaragua, but ended up being a spoiler movement, authoritarian, who overpowered the opposition and accepted funds drug trafficking, according to a report from the U.S. Embassy in Managua.)"
(Image Credit: Dali Rău)
El País: Daniel Ortega, en la lista estadounidense de "los más buscados" (Daniel Ortega, on the U.S. list of "Most Wanted")
"Nicaragua no es una democracia pues los poderes del Estado están controlados por dos personas, el presidente, Daniel Ortega, y el opositor Arnoldo Alemán, expresidente, que no cumplen cárcel porque en el país centroamericano no hay justicia independiente, según un cable de la embajada de Estados Unidos en Managua. (Nicaragua is not a democracy because the branches of government are controlled by two people: the president Daniel Ortega and the opponent Arnoldo Aleman, former president, who are not in prison because the Central American country has no independent judiciary, according to an U.S. embassy cable from Managua.)"
La Jornada: Falta el aval del Senado, pero ya votó Washington por Marisela Morales (The backing of the Mexican Senate is still lacking, but Washington already voted for Marisela Morales)
Cables on sex trafficking in Armenia reveal frank contempt toward victims and contradictory statements from the law enforcement officials on collusion in sex trafficking. The Republic of Armenia General Prosecutor's Office released an explanation on 14th February 2011 on the corruption allegation mentioned in a cable. The explanation in the official press release is contradicted by information on reports of Armenian investigative journalists and TIP reports published by the U.S. Department of State.
Concerning the information given to the US diplomats by the prostitutes that the employee of the RA General Prosecutor’s Office A. Yeremyan committed violations, it is informed that at that time the RA Prosecutor General tasked to conduct investigation, a interdepartmental committee was formed and all the appeals were checked which were not confirmed based on the conclusions of the interdepartmental committee and the results of the investigation.
The 'violations' mentioned above are mentioned in the cable 06YEREVAN1091, which was written in 2006. This assertion about the 'investigation' against complicity of an official A.Yeremyan has been proven to be false ever since 2006, the year the incident occurred, mainly by the Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP) published annually by the U.S. Department of State. The following are evidences that the General Prosecutor's Office did nothing meaningful on the allegation in 2006 until this day:
2006 TIP report:
The government failed to vigorously investigate and prosecute ongoing and widespread allegations of public officials' complicity in trafficking. Victim-blaming and lack of sensitivity for victims remain a problem among Armenian officials, particularly in the judiciary.
Aftenposten: FARYAB: A VIEW FROM MAIMANA
"Governor Shafaq, local Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) leaders, PRT Maimana military and civilian representatives all regard insurgency as the principal challenge facing Faryab province. They express their strongest concerns about Ghormach district, but see the entire "Pashtun belt," stretching northeast along the Turkmenistan border as a haven for anti-government fighters both the ideologically-motivated warriors and the "$10 a day" combatants simply seeking a paycheck. The weak performance of the Afghan Border Police (ABP) and the absence of Turkmenistan forces close to the border facilitate insurgent activity in this corridor. The Governor and the Afghan National Police (ANP) Chief favor the establishment of militias to enhance the counterinsurgency effort. From a governance and development perspective, Faryab presents a fragmented picture: a "Lone Ranger" Governor, a self-styled reformer with little confidence in other government officials; a newly-elected Provincial Council unsure of its role; and line ministry officials with differing approaches to incorporating popular wishes into the province's development plans."
Aftenposten: LIBYAN REACTION TO AQ-LIFG MERGER
La Jornada: Las armas más letales llegan al narco mexicano desde Centroamérica: EU (The Mexican drug cartels's most lethal weapons come from Central America: United States)
"Según el gobierno de Estados Unidos, las armas más letales y poderosas compradas ilegalmente por el crimen organizado en México, entre ellas equipo tipo militar de grueso calibre, no entran por la línea divisoria entre ambos países, sino provienen de los arsenales de los ejércitos de Centroamérica y son contrabandeadas por la frontera sur, a través de los cruces mal protegidos y peor vigilados por las autoridades mexicanas locales y federales. (According to the U.S. government, the most lethal weapons bought illegally by organized crime in Mexico, including team-caliber military-style, are not from the border line between the the US and Mexico, but from the arsenals of armies in Central America and are smuggled through the south border, poorly protected and poorly monitored by local and federal Mexican authorities.)"
La Jornada: Armamento importado por Sedena "se desvía" hacia grupos criminales (Weapons seized by Sedena "deviates" to criminal groups)
El País: Clinton y Moratinos sugirieron que Juan Carlos I llamara a Mohamed VI para resolver el 'caso Haidar' (Moratinos suggested that Clinton and Juan Carlos I called Mohamed VI to solve the 'case Haidar')
"En diciembre de 2009, con una opinión pública conmocionada por la huelga de hambre en la que se había embarcado la activista saharaui Aminetu Haidar, arreciaban las peticiones de que el Rey Juan Carlos mediara en la crisis que había comenzado cuando la autoridades marroquíes impidieron a la líder saharui aterrizar en El Aaiún, le requisaron el pasaporte y la confinaron en el aeropuerto de Lanzarote. (In December 2009, with a public shocked by the hunger strike in which the Sahrawi activist Haidar had embarked, the requests grew for King Juan Carlos to mediate in the crisis that began when the Moroccan authorities prevented the Sahrawi leader landed at Laayoune, seized her passport and confined her at the airport of Lanzarote.)"
El País: La exministra de Salud argentina comunicó a la Embajada de EE UU las carencias de la atención médica (Argentina's former Minister of Health informed the U.S. Embassy about gaps in health care)
The Telegraph: Charles Taylor may have $400 million out of reach
"Charles Taylor, the former Liberian president, could have as much as $400 million hidden away out of reach of prosecutors, according to leaked US diplomatic cables."
Aftenposten: ADDITIONAL DETAILS ON SYG,S MOSCOW TRIP ALLEGE PUTIN SPARRED ON MISSILE
"A usually reliable source on January 5 conveyed additional details to us about NATO SYG Anders Fogh Rasmussen,s December 17 interactions in Moscow with President Medvedev and PM Putin that were not reflected in the SYG,s report on the visit (reftel). Based on information from someone present at the Moscow meetings, the source reported that while Russian President Medvedev was polite, neither he nor PM Putin had expressed any real interest in cooperating with NATO. Putin allegedly told Rasmussen that NATO no longer has a purpose and it was in Russias interest that NATO no longer exist. 2. (S) The source claimed that in the SYG meeting with the PM, Putin had not let Rasmussen sit down before challenging him with the allegation that NATO planned to put missiles in Bulgaria, and demanding further information. This reporter threw the SYG off balance, although the source did not indicate how he responded."
Aftenposten: NATO SYG DROPS BOMBSHELL IN ABU DHABI RELATING TO MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS AND ALLIANCE POLICY
Next: A culture of vengeance
"Following clashes between Tiv and Jukun ethnic groups in Benue State in October 2001, President Olusegun Obasanjo took the customary step during our all too frequent periods of violent civic unrest and ordered in the army to maintain the peace.
But on Friday October 12 of that year, the bodies of 19 soldiers were found in the village of Zaki-Biam, victims of a local militia. In response, the Army deployed even more troops and subsequently exacted its revenge, with the result that more than 200 villagers, militiamen and innocents alike, were massacred. Local and international observers condemned the barbarous killings, though the military appeared unmoved."
(Image Credit: Dali Rău)
Next: Police admit no justice for Bola Ige
"Police spectacularly bungled the investigation into the brutal murder of Bola Ige, then the attorney general, from the very beginning, and have, to all appearances, given up trying to apprehend the killers. In the days immediately following the murder, the assistant inspector general directly in charge of the investigation confessed to American authorities that the police had already made a mess of their work, and compounded initial errors with even graver ones. The result is that the investigation has hit a dead end, and the police appear to have given up the search."
(Image Credit: Dali Rău)
Next: Ojo Maduekwe, an opportunist, says American official
"A former minister of foreign affairs, Ojo Maduekwe, is an opportunist who is willing to serve any administration in power irrespective of how it gets to office, according to a leaked United States diplomatic cable made available to NEXT.
In the October 19, 2007 cable to Washington, Lisa Piascik, the Charge d'Affairs of the US embassy in Nigeria, analysed the different contending groups pulling and pushing for the soul of the ruling People's Democratic Party."
Next: NIGERIA'S PDP - WHEN IS A PARTY NOT A PARTY?
-- David Mark (former Minister of Communications under Obasanjo, current Senate President)
-- Patricia Etteh (former hairdresser, romantic interest of Obasanjo, current Speaker of the House of Representatives)
-- Aliko Dangote (owner of the Dangote Group with substantial business interests in food processing, cement and freight, prominent funder of Obasanjo's 2003 re-election campaign)
-- Chris Uba (godfather of Anambra State, criminal ties)
Next: KADUNA GOVERNOR BULLISH ABOUT PRESIDENTIAL PROSPECTS
Next: America humiliates Waziri
"On March 14, 2009, Ojo Maduekwe, former minister of foreign affairs, placed a call to Robin Sanders, former United States ambassador to Nigeria. Mr. Maduekwe asked to have a lunch meeting with Ms. Sanders in his private residence in the posh district of Maitama, in Abuja, popularly called Ministers Hill.
The agenda, the minister said, was the African Union Mission in Somalia. As detailed in a US diplomatic cable made available to NEXT, Ms. Sanders hurried to the minister's home. But on arrival, she realized that Mr. Maduekwe had lied to her about the essence of the meeting. The minister had set up another meeting for the US ambassador, and the agenda was far from being about AMISOM, as the Somali peacekeeping mission was known."
(Image Credit: Dali Rău)
Next: The Ugly Truth
"Less than a month to the commencement of the next general elections, politicians appear to be scheming again to rig the polls. Attahiru Jega, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), told a beleaguered audience in Abuja that some high profile Nigerians were involved in double registration.
“We even caught some high profile double registrants, and we will start with them in the area of prosecution,” Mr. Jega said."
Next: 'Jonathan voted four times in 2007'
"He was only a candidate for vice president then but in 2007, Goodluck Jonathan took matters into his own hands — literally. According to US diplomatic cables leaked to the whistleblower site Wikileaks, and which were made exclusively available to us, Mr. Jonathan helped himself gain the vice presidency four years ago by voting illegally four times. The astonishing accusation against Mr. Jonathan, now a president seeking validation at the polls next month, came from Edo governor Adams Oshiomhole, in a December 2008 briefing with US diplomats."
(Image Credit: Dali Rău)
Romanian Insider: New round of Wikileaks cables on Romania: energy sector, political corruption
"Several confidential documents concerning Romania have recently appeared on Wikileaks and have made headlines in the Romanian media. According to a Wikileaks cable quoted by news website Hotnews.ro, EU advisor Onno Simmons “warned that some sources have said that there is an <
La Jornada: Bajo la mesa, Washigton culpa a México del tráfico de armas (Under the table, Washington blames Mexico for the traffic of weapons)
"El escándalo por el plan Rápido y furioso revela el diálogo de sordos que existe entre ambos gobiernos. (The "Fast and Furious" scandal reveals the deaf dialogue between both governments.)"
Aftenposten: FALUN GONG CRACKDOWN, DAY THREE
Der Spiegel: Die verkaufte Demokratie (The sold democracy)
"Indiens Regierung - eine Vetternwirtschaft, die sich aufs Schmieren versteht und politische Mehrheiten einfach kauft: So beschreiben Medienberichten zufolge US-Botschaftsdepeschen den indischen Staat. Premier Singh soll tatenlos zugeschaut haben. Die Beschuldigten weisen das zurück. (India's government - a partisanship that knows how to facilitate its ways and simply buy political majorities: so media reports describe the indian state, according to U.S. embassy dispatches. Premier Singh said to have watched passively. The defendants reject it.)"
The Telegraph: BP's German Khan sees Godfather films as 'manual for life'
"German Khan, one of the central figures in oil gaint BP’s operations in Russia, told executives that the Godfather films were his “manual for life”.
At the time, the reports on Mr Khan, the billionaire founder of the Alfa Group consortium, raised questions about the British company’s Russian associates."
Next: Aondoakaa is a thug, say US officials
"Mike Aondoakaa, the former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, is a thug who did the late President Umaru Yar'Adua's dirty work, a leaked US diplomatic cable, made exclusively available to NEXT, has said.
In the cable, dated December 24, 2008, American diplomats attached to the US embassy in Nigeria, also criticised the late Yar'Adua's anti-corruption fight citing his choice of people with questionable characters as ministers. The cable, classified by the then acting political counsellor, Cheryl Fernandes and endorsed by then American Ambassador, Robin Sanders, is a comprehensive biographical background check on some ministers that served under the late President. "Aondoakaa is an intelligent, politically savvy lawyer who is reputed to have done some of Yar'Adua's dirty work, including attempts to disgrace Economic and Financial Crimes Commission former chairman, Nuhu Ribadu," the US officials wrote in their dispatch to Washington. "He is considered to be a thug heavily involved in illicit enrichment and cannot be trusted. Yar'Adua keeping him on belies his commitment to the rule of law." Contacted yesterday, Mr. Aondoakaa said the assessment of him was nonsense. "Is it not the same woman who said things about the speaker, about the President?" Mr. Aondoakaa said. "The woman was just here carrying out the wish of her masters. The US doesn't have serious attachment to these cables. The Nigerian government has denied these cables. What she was saying, if she said them at all, is nonsense.""