Libya – This is what the British Government has helped create

Leave a comment

The justice minister of the Libyan rebels’ National Transitional Council (NTC) said on Friday a post-Gaddafi government would “not give any Libyan citizen to the west”, in an apparent blow to British hopes of putting on trial the suspected killer of Yvonne Fletcher, the police officer shot dead 27 years ago outside the Libyan embassy.

This is Murder and the Libyan Transitional Council are abetting murder….

May the soul of young Yvonne Fletcher find justice somewhere in this crooked, sleazy world of religious retards and warped nationalism. I do hope someone reads this and pressures the British Government to find her murderer in Libya and extradite the criminal to face charges in the U.K.

And if this is not possible then other means should be employed…

Breaking News – FBI New E-Scams & Warnings

2 Comments

In light of Hurricane Irene, the public is reminded to beware of fraudulent emails and websites purporting to conduct charitable relief efforts. To learn more about avoiding online fraud, please see “Tips on Avoiding Fraudulent Charitable Contribution Schemes”:

Intelligence Note

Prepared by the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)

March 11, 2011

TIPS ON AVOIDING FRAUDULENT CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTION SCHEMES

Recently several natural disasters, including tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes, have devastated lives and property. In the wake of these events that have caused emotional distress and great monetary loss to numerous victims, individuals across the nation often feel a desire to help these victims, frequently through monetary donations.

These disasters prompt individuals with criminal intent to solicit contributions purportedly for a charitable organization or a good cause. Therefore, before making a donation of any kind, consumers should adhere to certain guidelines, to include the following:

  • Do not respond to unsolicited (SPAM) e-mail.
  • Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as officials soliciting via e-mail for donations.
  • Do not click on links contained within an unsolicited e-mail.
  • Be cautious of e-mail claiming to contain pictures in attached files, as the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders.
  • To ensure contributions are received and used for intended purposes, make contributions directly to known organizations rather than relying on others to make the donation on your behalf.
  • Validate the legitimacy of the organization by directly accessing the recognized charity or aid organization’s website rather than following an alleged link to the site.
  • Attempt to verify the legitimacy of the non-profit status of the organization by using various Internet-based resources, which also may assist in confirming the actual existence of the organization.
  • Do not provide personal or financial information to anyone who solicits contributions: providing such information may compromise your identity and make you vulnerable to identity theft.

To obtain more information on charitable contribution schemes and other types of online schemes, visit www.LooksTooGoodToBeTrue.com.

If you believe you have been a victim of a charity related scheme, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud by telephone at (866) 720-5721, or by fax at (225) 334-4707, or by e-mail at disaster@leo.gov.1 You can also report suspicious e-mail solicitations or fraudulent websites to the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.gov.

1 National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) was originally established by the Department of Justice to investigate, prosecute, and deter fraud in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Its mission has expanded to include suspected fraud from any natural or man-made disaster. More than 20 federal agencies, including the FBI, participate in the NCDF, allowing it to act as a centralized clearinghouse of information related to relief fraud.

FBI warning on Common Fraud Schemes

2 Comments

A sucker is born every second. Don’t become one 😦

This is an important FBI missive and guideline to help you decipher fraudulent schemes that come your way through Telemarketing, Nigerian Letter, Identity theft, Advance Fee schemes, Health Care Fraud or Health Insurance Fraud, Redemption / Strawman / Bond Fraud, Letter of Credit Fraud, Prime Bank Note Fraud, “Ponzi’ Schemes, Pyramid Schemes…

COMMON FRAUD SCHEMES

The following are some of the most common scams that the FBI investigates and tips to help prevent you from being victimized. Visit our White-Collar Crime and Cyber webpages for more fraud schemes.

To report cases of fraud, use our online tips form or contact your nearest FBI office or overseas office.

Telemarketing Fraud

When you send money to people you do not know personally or give personal or financial information to unknown callers, you increase your chances of becoming a victim of telemarketing fraud.

Here are some warning signs of telemarketing fraud—what a caller may tell you:

  • “You must act ‘now’ or the offer won’t be good.”
  • “You’ve won a ‘free’ gift, vacation, or prize.” But you have to pay for “postage and handling” or other charges.
  • “You must send money, give a credit card or bank account number, or have a check picked up by courier.” You may hear this before you have had a chance to consider the offer carefully.
  • “You don’t need to check out the company with anyone.” The callers say you do not need to speak to anyone including your family, lawyer, accountant, local Better Business Bureau, or consumer protection agency.
  • “You don’t need any written information about their company or their references.”
  • “You can’t afford to miss this ‘high-profit, no-risk’ offer.”

If you hear these or similar “lines” from a telephone salesperson, just say “no thank you” and hang up the telephone.

Tips for Avoiding Telemarketing Fraud:

It’s very difficult to get your money back if you’ve been cheated over the telephone. Before you buy anything by telephone, remember:

  • Don’t buy from an unfamiliar company. Legitimate businesses understand that you want more information about their company and are happy to comply.
  • Always ask for and wait until you receive written material about any offer or charity. If you get brochures about costly investments, ask someone whose financial advice you trust to review them. But, unfortunately, beware—not everything written down is true.
  • Always check out unfamiliar companies with your local consumer protection agency, Better Business Bureau, state attorney general, the National Fraud Information Center, or other watchdog groups. Unfortunately, not all bad businesses can be identified through these organizations.
  • Obtain a salesperson’s name, business identity, telephone number, street address, mailing address, and business license number before you transact business. Some con artists give out false names, telephone numbers, addresses, and business license numbers. Verify the accuracy of these items.
  • Before you give money to a charity or make an investment, find out what percentage of the money is paid in commissions and what percentage actually goes to the charity or investment.
  • Before you send money, ask yourself a simple question. “What guarantee do I really have that this solicitor will use my money in the manner we agreed upon?”
  • Don’t pay in advance for services. Pay services only after they are delivered.
  • Be wary of companies that want to send a messenger to your home to pick up money, claiming it is part of their service to you. In reality, they are taking your money without leaving any trace of who they are or where they can be reached.
  • Always take your time making a decision. Legitimate companies won’t pressure you to make a snap decision.
  • Don’t pay for a “free prize.” If a caller tells you the payment is for taxes, he or she is violating federal law.
  • Before you receive your next sales pitch, decide what your limits are—the kinds of financial information you will and won’t give out on the telephone.
  • Be sure to talk over big investments offered by telephone salespeople with a trusted friend, family member, or financial advisor. It’s never rude to wait and think about an offer.
  • Never respond to an offer you don’t understand thoroughly.
  • Never send money or give out personal information such as credit card numbers and expiration dates, bank account numbers, dates of birth, or social security numbers to unfamiliar companies or unknown persons.
  • Be aware that your personal information is often brokered to telemarketers through third parties.
  • If you have been victimized once, be wary of persons who call offering to help you recover your losses for a fee paid in advance.
  • If you have information about a fraud, report it to state, local, or federal law enforcement agencies.

For More information: 
– Telemarketing Fraud Targeting Seniors

back to top

Nigerian Letter or “419” Fraud

Nigerian letter frauds combine the threat of impersonation fraud with a variation of an advance fee scheme in which a letter mailed from Nigeria offers the recipient the “opportunity” to share in a percentage of millions of dollars that the author—a self-proclaimed government official—is trying to transfer illegally out of Nigeria. The recipient is encouraged to send information to the author, such as blank letterhead stationery, bank name and account numbers, and other identifying information using a fax number provided in the letter. Some of these letters have also been received via e-mail through the Internet. The scheme relies on convincing a willing victim, who has demonstrated a “propensity for larceny” by responding to the invitation, to send money to the author of the letter in Nigeria in several installments of increasing amounts for a variety of reasons.

Payment of taxes, bribes to government officials, and legal fees are often described in great detail with the promise that all expenses will be reimbursed as soon as the funds are spirited out of Nigeria. In actuality, the millions of dollars do not exist, and the victim eventually ends up with nothing but loss. Once the victim stops sending money, the perpetrators have been known to use the personal information and checks that they received to impersonate the victim, draining bank accounts and credit card balances. While such an invitation impresses most law-abiding citizens as a laughable hoax, millions of dollars in losses are caused by these schemes annually. Some victims have been lured to Nigeria, where they have been imprisoned against their will along with losing large sums of money. The Nigerian government is not sympathetic to victims of these schemes, since the victim actually conspires to remove funds from Nigeria in a manner that is contrary to Nigerian law. The schemes themselves violate section 419 of the Nigerian criminal code, hence the label “419 fraud.”

Tips for Avoiding Nigerian Letter or “419” Fraud:

  • If you receive a letter from Nigeria asking you to send personal or banking information, do not reply in any manner. Send the letter to the U.S. Secret Service, your local FBI office, or the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. You can also register a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission’s Complaint Assistant.
  • If you know someone who is corresponding in one of these schemes, encourage that person to contact the FBI or the U.S. Secret Service as soon as possible.
  • Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as Nigerian or foreign government officials asking for your help in placing large sums of money in overseas bank accounts.
  • Do not believe the promise of large sums of money for your cooperation.
  • Guard your account information carefully.

For More information: 
– Related Online Rental Ads Scheme
– Related Spanish Lottery Scam

back to top

Identity Theft

Identity theft occurs when someone assumes your identity to perform a fraud or other criminal act. Criminals can get the information they need to assume your identity from a variety of sources, including by stealing your wallet, rifling through your trash, or by compromising your credit or bank information. They may approach you in person, by telephone, or on the Internet and ask you for the information.

The sources of information about you are so numerous that you cannot prevent the theft of your identity. But you can minimize your risk of loss by following a few simple hints.

Tips for Avoiding Identity Theft:

  • Never throw away ATM receipts, credit statements, credit cards, or bank statements in a usable form.
  • Never give your credit card number over the telephone unless you make the call.
  • Reconcile your bank account monthly, and notify your bank of discrepancies immediately.
  • Keep a list of telephone numbers to call to report the loss or theft of your wallet, credit cards, etc.
  • Report unauthorized financial transactions to your bank, credit card company, and the police as soon as you detect them.
  • Review a copy of your credit report at least once each year. Notify the credit bureau in writing of any questionable entries and follow through until they are explained or removed.
  • If your identity has been assumed, ask the credit bureau to print a statement to that effect in your credit report.
  • If you know of anyone who receives mail from credit card companies or banks in the names of others, report it to local or federal law enforcement authorities.

For more information: 
– Identity Theft webpage

back to top

Advance Fee Schemes

An advance fee scheme occurs when the victim pays money to someone in anticipation of receiving something of greater value—such as a loan, contract, investment, or gift—and then receives little or nothing in return.

The variety of advance fee schemes is limited only by the imagination of the con artists who offer them. They may involve the sale of products or services, the offering of investments, lottery winnings, “found money,” or many other “opportunities.” Clever con artists will offer to find financing arrangements for their clients who pay a “finder’s fee” in advance. They require their clients to sign contracts in which they agree to pay the fee when they are introduced to the financing source. Victims often learn that they are ineligible for financing only after they have paid the “finder” according to the contract. Such agreements may be legal unless it can be shown that the “finder” never had the intention or the ability to provide financing for the victims.

Tips for Avoiding Advanced Fee Schemes:

If the offer of an “opportunity” appears too good to be true, it probably is. Follow common business practice. For example, legitimate business is rarely conducted in cash on a street corner.

  • Know who you are dealing with. If you have not heard of a person or company that you intend to do business with, learn more about them. Depending on the amount of money that you plan on spending, you may want to visit the business location, check with the Better Business Bureau, or consult with your bank, an attorney, or the police.
  • Make sure you fully understand any business agreement that you enter into. If the terms are complex, have them reviewed by a competent attorney.
  • Be wary of businesses that operate out of post office boxes or mail drops and do not have a street address. Also be suspicious when dealing with persons who do not have a direct telephone line and who are never in when you call, but always return your call later.
  • Be wary of business deals that require you to sign nondisclosure or non-circumvention agreements that are designed to prevent you from independently verifying the bona fides of the people with whom you intend to do business. Con artists often use non-circumvention agreements to threaten their victims with civil suit if they report their losses to law enforcement.

For more information: 
– Work-at-Home Advance Fee Scheme 
– Cancer Research Advance Fee Scheme

back to top

Health Care Fraud or Health Insurance Fraud

Medical Equipment Fraud:

Equipment manufacturers offer “free” products to individuals. Insurers are then charged for products that were not needed and/or may not have been delivered.

“Rolling Lab” Schemes:

Unnecessary and sometimes fake tests are given to individuals at health clubs, retirement homes, or shopping malls and billed to insurance companies or Medicare.

Services Not Performed:

Customers or providers bill insurers for services never rendered by changing bills or submitting fake ones.

Medicare Fraud:

Medicare fraud can take the form of any of the health insurance frauds described above. Senior citizens are frequent targets of Medicare schemes, especially by medical equipment manufacturers who offer seniors free medical products in exchange for their Medicare numbers. Because a physician has to sign a form certifying that equipment or testing is needed before Medicare pays for it, con artists fake signatures or bribe corrupt doctors to sign the forms. Once a signature is in place, the manufacturers bill Medicare for merchandise or service that was not needed or was not ordered.

Tips for Avoiding Health Care Fraud or Health Insurance Fraud:

  • Never sign blank insurance claim forms.
  • Never give blanket authorization to a medical provider to bill for services rendered.
  • Ask your medical providers what they will charge and what you will be expected to pay out-of-pocket.
  • Carefully review your insurer’s explanation of the benefits statement. Call your insurer and provider if you have questions.
  • Do not do business with door-to-door or telephone salespeople who tell you that services of medical equipment are free.
  • Give your insurance/Medicare identification only to those who have provided you with medical services.
  • Keep accurate records of all health care appointments.
  • Know if your physician ordered equipment for you.

For more information: 
– Heath Care Fraud webpage

back to top

Redemption / Strawman / Bond Fraud

Proponents of this scheme claim that the U.S. government or the Treasury Department control bank accounts—often referred to as “U.S. Treasury Direct Accounts”—for all U.S. citizens that can be accessed by submitting paperwork with state and federal authorities. Individuals promoting this scam frequently cite various discredited legal theories and may refer to the scheme as “Redemption,” “Strawman,” or “Acceptance for Value.” Trainers and websites will often charge large fees for “kits” that teach individuals how to perpetrate this scheme. They will often imply that others have had great success in discharging debt and purchasing merchandise such as cars and homes. Failures to implement the scheme successfully are attributed to individuals not following instructions in a specific order or not filing paperwork at correct times.

This scheme predominately uses fraudulent financial documents that appear to be legitimate. These documents are frequently referred to as “bills of exchange,” “promissory bonds,” “indemnity bonds,” “offset bonds,” “sight drafts,” or “comptrollers warrants.” In addition, other official documents are used outside of their intended purpose, like IRS forms 1099, 1099-OID, and 8300. This scheme frequently intermingles legal and pseudo legal terminology in order to appear lawful. Notaries may be used in an attempt to make the fraud appear legitimate. Often, victims of the scheme are instructed to address their paperwork to the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.

Tips for Avoiding Redemption/Strawman/Bond Fraud:

  • Be wary of individuals or groups selling kits that they claim will inform you on to access secret bank accounts.
  • Be wary of individuals or groups proclaiming that paying federal and/or state income tax is not necessary.
  • Do not believe that the U.S. Treasury controls bank accounts for all citizens.
  • Be skeptical of individuals advocating that speeding tickets, summons, bills, tax notifications, or similar documents can be resolved by writing “acceptance for value” on them.
  • If you know of anyone advocating the use of property liens to coerce acceptance of this scheme, contact your local FBI office.

For more information: 
– Sovereign Citizen Movement

back to top

Investment-Related Scams

Letter of Credit Fraud

Legitimate letters of credit are never sold or offered as investments. They are issued by banks to ensure payment for goods shipped in connection with international trade. Payment on a letter of credit generally requires that the paying bank receive documentation certifying that the goods ordered have been shipped and are en route to their intended destination. Letters of credit frauds are often attempted against banks by providing false documentation to show that goods were shipped when, in fact, no goods or inferior goods were shipped.

Other letter of credit frauds occur when con artists offer a “letter of credit” or “bank guarantee” as an investment wherein the investor is promised huge interest rates on the order of 100 to 300 percent annually. Such investment “opportunities” simply do not exist. (See Prime Bank Notes for additional information.)

Tips for Avoiding Letter of Credit Fraud:

  • If an “opportunity” appears too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Do not invest in anything unless you understand the deal. Con artists rely on complex transactions and faulty logic to “explain” fraudulent investment schemes.
  • Do not invest or attempt to “purchase” a “letter of credit.” Such investments simply do not exist.
  • Be wary of any investment that offers the promise of extremely high yields.
  • Independently verify the terms of any investment that you intend to make, including the parties involved and the nature of the investment.

back to top

Prime Bank Note Fraud

International fraud artists have invented an investment scheme that supposedly offers extremely high yields in a relatively short period of time. In this scheme, they claim to have access to “bank guarantees” that they can buy at a discount and sell at a premium. By reselling the “bank guarantees” several times, they claim to be able to produce exceptional returns on investment. For example, if $10 million worth of “bank guarantees” can be sold at a two percent profit on 10 separate occasions—or “traunches”—the seller would receive a 20 percent profit. Such a scheme is often referred to as a “roll program.”

To make their schemes more enticing, con artists often refer to the “guarantees” as being issued by the world’s “prime banks,” hence the term “prime bank guarantees.” Other official sounding terms are also used, such as “prime bank notes” and “prime bank debentures.” Legal documents associated with such schemes often require the victim to enter into non-disclosure and non-circumvention agreements, offer returns on investment in “a year and a day”, and claim to use forms required by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). In fact, the ICC has issued a warning to all potential investors that no such investments exist.

The purpose of these frauds is generally to encourage the victim to send money to a foreign bank, where it is eventually transferred to an off-shore account in the control of the con artist. From there, the victim’s money is used for the perpetrator’s personal expenses or is laundered in an effort to make it disappear.

While foreign banks use instruments called “bank guarantees” in the same manner that U.S. banks use letters of credit to insure payment for goods in international trade, such bank guarantees are never traded or sold on any kind of market.

Tips for Avoiding Prime Bank Note Fraud:

  • Think before you invest in anything. Be wary of an investment in any scheme, referred to as a “roll program,” that offers unusually high yields by buying and selling anything issued by “prime banks.”
  • As with any investment, perform due diligence. Independently verify the identity of the people involved, the veracity of the deal, and the existence of the security in which you plan to invest.
  • Be wary of business deals that require non-disclosure or non-circumvention agreements that are designed to prevent you from independently verifying information about the investment.

back to top

“Ponzi’ Schemes

“Ponzi” schemes promise high financial returns or dividends not available through traditional investments. Instead of investing the funds of victims, however, the con artist pays “dividends” to initial investors using the funds of subsequent investors. The scheme generally falls apart when the operator flees with all of the proceeds or when a sufficient number of new investors cannot be found to allow the continued payment of “dividends.”

This type of fraud is named after its creator—Charles Ponzi of Boston, Massachusetts. In the early 1900s, Ponzi launched a scheme that guaranteed investors a 50 percent return on their investment in postal coupons. Although he was able to pay his initial backers, the scheme dissolved when he was unable to pay later investors.

Tips for Avoiding Ponzi Schemes:

  • Be careful of any investment opportunity that makes exaggerated earnings claims.
  • Exercise due diligence in selecting investments and the people with whom you invest—in other words, do your homework.
  • Consult an unbiased third party—like an unconnected broker or licensed financial advisor—before investing.

For more information: 
– Bernie Madoff Case
– Stanford Case 
– Wholesale Grocery Distribution Ponzi Scheme
– ATM Ponzi Scheme 
– Victims Turn Tables with Ponzi Scheme

back to top

Pyramid Schemes

As in Ponzi schemes, the money collected from newer victims of the fraud is paid to earlier victims to provide a veneer of legitimacy. In pyramid schemes, however, the victims themselves are induced to recruit further victims through the payment of recruitment commissions.

More specifically, pyramid schemes—also referred to as franchise fraud or chain referral schemes—are marketing and investment frauds in which an individual is offered a distributorship or franchise to market a particular product. The real profit is earned, not by the sale of the product, but by the sale of new distributorships. Emphasis on selling franchises rather than the product eventually leads to a point where the supply of potential investors is exhausted and the pyramid collapses. At the heart of each pyramid scheme is typically a representation that new participants can recoup their original investments by inducing two or more prospects to make the same investment. Promoters fail to tell prospective participants that this is mathematically impossible for everyone to do, since some participants drop out, while others recoup their original investments and then drop out.

Tips for Avoiding Pyramid Schemes:

  • Be wary of “opportunities” to invest your money in franchises or investments that require you to bring in subsequent investors to increase your profit or recoup your initial investment.
  • Independently verify the legitimacy of any franchise or investment before you invest.

Market Manipulation or “Pump and Dump” Fraud

This scheme—commonly referred to as a “pump and dump”—creates artificial buying pressure for a targeted security, generally a low-trading volume issuer in the over-the-counter securities market largely controlled by the fraud perpetrators. This artificially increased trading volume has the effect of artificially increasing the price of the targeted security (i.e., the “pump”), which is rapidly sold off into the inflated market for the security by the fraud perpetrators (i.e., the “dump”); resulting in illicit gains to the perpetrators and losses to innocent third party investors. Typically, the increased trading volume is generated by inducing unwitting investors to purchase shares of the targeted security through false or deceptive sales practices and/or public information releases.

A modern variation on this scheme involves largely foreign-based computer criminals gaining unauthorized access to the online brokerage accounts of unsuspecting victims in the United States. These victim accounts are then utilized to engage in coordinated online purchases of the targeted security to affect the pump portion of a manipulation, while the fraud perpetrators sell their pre-existing holdings in the targeted security into the inflated market to complete the dump.

Tips for Avoiding Market Manipulation Fraud:

  • Don’t believe the hype.
  • Find out where the stock trades.
  • Independently verify claims.
  • Research the opportunity.
  • Beware of high-pressure pitches.
  • Always be skeptical.

For more information: 
– Operation Shore Shells investigation

Eye on the Amazon: an urgent missive from the Amazon Rain Forest!

Leave a comment

Amazon Watch
August 2011

Dear Mark,

While it has been heartbreaking to see the recent photos of bulldozers and construction crews arriving on the banks of the Xingu River in Brazil, seeing the local people’s determination to continue their battle to stop the massive Belo Monte Dam moves me with great urgency.

These courageous forest defenders are leading one of the defining environmental battles of our time. President Dilma Rousseff has so far refused to hear that Brazil can avoid senseless destruction of forests and communities in the Amazon by choosing green energy alternatives like solar, wind and energy efficiency. But how long can she ignore the growing chorus of indigenous people, scientists, and even the ex-head of Brazil’s Electric Energy Agency urging Brazil to opt for alternatives to the Belo Monte Dam?

This coming Saturday, tens of thousands of people will be taking to the streets in 22 cities in Brazil in protest. On Monday, August 22nd, solidarity actions are being organized in 18 cities worldwide. We hope you will support the Xingu Urgent Action Fund, join the worldwide demonstrations, and sign the petition to President Dilma calling on her to cancel the Belo Monte Dam.

For the Earth and Future Generations,

Atossa Soltani
Atossa Soltani
Atossa Soltani
Executive Director


Watch Video and Join Brazilians in International Day of Action!

Watch Video and Join Brazilians
in International Day of Action!

With the Xingu River threatened by the Belo Monte Dam and Brazilian Amazon forests and forest defenders facing mounting attacks, the time has come to send a message to Dilma Roussef’s government that this assault must stop. On August 20th, protests will sweep across Brazil with actions planned in dozens of cites. Then on Monday, August 22nd, the international community will respond by organizing solidarity actions in 18 cities in 14 countries on 5 continents, including in San Francisco, DC, Paris, London, etc.! Watch our inspiring new video and join forces with this unprecedented movement.

WATCH & SHARE VIDEO »


Chevron Feels the Heat from Your Calls

Chevron Feels the Heat
from Your Calls

After oil giant Shell agreed to take responsibility for two major oil spills in the Niger Delta, Amazon Watch members responded enthusiastically to an appeal from our Clean Up Ecuador Campaign for a mass call-in to Chevron’s headquarters asking why, if Shell can do it in Nigeria, is Chevron still trying to evade accountability for its oil disaster in the Amazon? Thanks to the loads of supporters who sent us updates about their phone calls and emails to the company, and the whining of Chevron representatives over the bombardment of voices demanding justice.

TAKE ACTION »


Taking Ecuador to Human Rights Court

Taking Ecuador to Human Rights Court

Last decade, the Ecuadorian government made the mistake of trying to force oil exploration on the Kichwa, without any prior consultation. Last month Amazon Watch was in Costa Rica accompanying Kichwa communities from Sarayaku in Ecuador as they took their case to the Inter-American Court on Human Rights. For more than a decade, the Kichwa of Sarayaku have campaigned to force the Ecuadorian government to recognize rights violations perpetrated against the community associated with oil exploration.

WATCH & SHARE VIDEO »


Uncontacted Tribes Wiped Out by Drug Traffickers, Oil Companies?

Uncontacted Tribes Wiped Out
by Drug Traffickers, Oil Companies?

Brazilian officials fear for the survival of an isolated Amazon group after a remote guard post on the Peru-Brazil border was overrun by heavily armed suspected drug traffickers who crossed the border from Peru. The guard post was protecting the headwaters of the Envira river where stunning aerial photographs of an isolated tribe has made worldwide headlines in 2008.

LEARN MORE »


Thanks Willie Nelson & All for Fantastic Benefit Concert!

Thanks to Willie Nelson & All
for a Fantastic Benefit Concert!

Amazon Watch teamed up with the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance for an evening filled with fantastic live music and dancing at the beautiful Bently Reserve in downtown San Francisco. Thanks to all the artists who performed including Willie Nelson and to all of you who came out to support us; if you weren’t able to make it, be sure to join us for our annual fundraising luncheon in San Francisco with special guests on September 27th.

LEARN MORE »


Swimming the UK Channel for Amazon Watch!

Swimming the UK Channel
for Amazon Watch!

Lastly, a huge shout out to Amazon Watch supporter Edward Montgomery, who recently completed the 45 km swim across the UK Channel to raise awareness and over $9,500 for the work of Amazon Watch. Thank you for your inspiration and support, Edward!

LEARN MORE »

Breaking News – Pakistan occupied Balochistan – Genocide continues

Leave a comment

Flag of Independent Balochistan

Has anyone checked out the news from Baluchistan…Pakistan’s largest province?

Custodial deaths, torture, missing people and extra judicial killings by Pakistani security forces are the order of the day.

“The bodies surface quietly, like corks bobbing up in the dark. They come in twos and threes, a few times a week, dumped on desolate mountains or empty city roads, bearing the scars of great cruelty. Arms and legs are snapped; faces are bruised and swollen. Flesh is sliced with knives or punctured with drills; genitals are singed with electric prods. In some cases the bodies are unrecognisable, sprinkled with lime or chewed by wild animals. All have a gunshot wound in the head.”

2011/8/13 Occupied Balochistan: The Pakistani security forces and police raided the houses of Nawabzada Jamil Akbar Bugti and former chief minister of Balochistan Mir Humayun Marri during a search operation and claimed that huge amount of weapons and explosive materials were recovered; meanwhile Jamil Bugti said that the security forces are using these tactics to pressurize them to withdraw from Akbar Bugti killing case.

on 2011/8/12 Occupied Balochistan: Central spokesperson of pro-independence Baloch political party BRP (Baloch Republican Partry), Mr. Sher Mohammad Bugti, has rejected Pakistani government/Military’s claims that there was no operation taking place in Balochistan and military’s failed attempts to try to disassociate themselves form in-custody killings of Baloch activists across Balochistan. He termed such statement an attempt by the military to mislead the world about Balochistan’s issue.

2011/8/10 Occupied Balochistan: Another bullet-riddled body of a person, previously abducted by Pakistan FC during a raid on his house, was found dumped in the industrial town of Hub on Tuesday. Police took the body to a nearby hospital where the deceased was identified as 40-year-old Mir Khan Marri S/O Lal Jan Marri, a resident of Hub Chowki.

How long will this genocide continue in Balochistan?

Some Pakistani media have reported that US and Indian officials have been conducting meetings with Balochi leaders in exile in London. In fact the report is dated August 15, 2011. Even if this is true, which is doubtful, the Balochi are a oppressed people ever since they declared independence on August 15, 1947!. Many have died fighting for their freedom from the renegade State of Pakistan.

How long will the world be silent to this mass killing, torture, imprisonment and disappearance of innocent people?

How long will the world watch till Balochistan becomes another Afghanistan?

 

Breaking News – Trouble in Xinjiang Province – China

Leave a comment

China commandos in Xinjiang worries Pak

Aug 14, 2011, 05.57AM IST TNN[ Saibal Dasgupta ]


China on Saturday dispatched an elite commando unit to its restive Xinjiang province, which borders Pakistan, days after it blamed Islamabad for sending terrorists there.

BEIJING: Within days of pointing the finger at Pakistan as the source of strength for terrorists in its Xinjiang province, China on Saturday sent an elite military commando unit to the region bordering its western neighbour.

A worried Pakistan reacted by dangling the carrot of playing the role of a “conduit for China to reach out to the Muslim world”. The move suggests a possible crackdown by the military, which may be gradually losing confidence over the ability of Xinjiang’s local forces to tackle well-trained terrorists flowing in from across the border in Pakistan. The People’s Liberation Army’s Snow Leopard Commando unit is expected to carry out “anti-terrorist missions” in Kashgar and Hotan area, which were hit by deadly violence in recent weeks.

The elite force will focus on riot control, bomb disposal and be prepared to react to any possible hijacking attempts by the separatists, the official media said. The government is trying to ensure security at a forthcoming trade conference in the region, which saw killing of 30 people in July.

Pakistan appeared shaken since experts in government run think-tank came out openly saying Pakistan is the source of training and support to the terrorists seeking separation of Xinjiang from China to form an independent nation. The statement has caused serious harm to its public image as an “all-weather friend” of China.

“We will help China build a bridge to the Middle East and West Europe. We are also a conduit for China to reach out to the Muslim world,” Pakistani ambassador Masood Khan was quoted in the Chinese media as saying.

End of Report


Latest news from FBI – Civil Rights Program Update

1 Comment

We Take Our Role Very Seriously

08/09/11

Hand cuffs

Last month, a Tennessee man received a life sentence for the racially motivated killing 10 years earlier of a county code enforcement officer who had simply been doing his job.

The investigation of this murder was one of hundreds of civil rights cases the FBI opens each year. It’s a responsibility that—according to Eric Thomas, chief of our Civil Rights Unit at FBI Headquarters—“we take very seriously.”

During fiscal year 2010, said Thomas, we initiated more than 750 civil rights cases that fell into one of four categories—hate crimes, color of law violations, human trafficking, and Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act violations.

Thomas discussed each category in more detail:

“…Hate crimes, almost a quarter of our 2010 civil rights caseload, are motivated by a particular bias against the victim—like skin color, religion, ethnicity, or country of origin—and includes such things as threats, cross burnings, assaults, and murder. In 2009, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act added sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and disabilities to the list of biases. That law also allows us to prosecute violent hate crimes federally. Before that law, many violent hate crimes were prosecuted at the state level as traditional assaults, murders, etc.…”

Recent Case Highlights

Hate Crime
Two Arkansas men plead guilty to a federal hate crime for a cross burning.

Color of Law
Four California police officers are charged with assaulting a man in their custody.

Human Trafficking
Ten people are indicted in Houston for trafficking female Mexican nationals to the U.S. for prostitution.

FACE Act
Two New York men are found guilty of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.

“…Color of law violations, more than half of our civil rights investigations last year, involve actions taken by someone acting under the authority of the law—local, state, or federal. Most of these cases are initiated based on allegations of excessive force by law enforcement or correctional officers. However, there are others that involve allegations of sexual assault, theft, or deprivation of property…”

“…Human trafficking, just over 20 percent of our 2010 civil rights caseload, is a form of human slavery that cannot be tolerated. It’s a growing problem that includes forced physical labor, forced household service, and sex trafficking involving international victims or adult U.S. citizens. [Note: Sex trafficking of U.S. children is handled by the FBI’s Crimes Against Children program.] In early 2013, the FBI’s uniform crime reporting program will begin collecting data from our law enforcement partners on human trafficking offenses… ”

“…FACE Act violations account for a smaller percentage of our workload—just over 2 percent last year. These crimes—committed against those who seek to obtain or provide reproductive health care services—include threatening phone calls and mail, property damage, blockades, assaults, and murders. In recent years, we’ve also seen a rise in bio-terrorism threats, especially hoax anthrax letters…”

Intelligence plays an important role in our civil rights program. “For example,” explained Thomas, “we’ve established risk indicators for each of our subprogram areas to help field office agents and analysts better identify, assess, and ultimately address the civil rights threats within their regions.”

Collaboration plays a vital role as well, said Thomas. “Many of our civil rights investigations—in particular, hate crimes and human trafficking—are enhanced by joint efforts with law enforcement partners. Many field offices participate in task forces and/or working groups focused on major civil rights threats.” He also said the Bureau works closely with community and civic organizations at the local and national levels.

If you believe you’ve been the victim of or a witness to a civil rights crime, contact your local police department or FBI office.

Resources:
More on our civil rights program
Cold case initiative
U.S. Attorney’s Briefing Room

Older Entries