Internationally Brief

SERIAL KILLINGS IN MEXICO GO UNNOTICEDIn Ciudad Juarez and the city of Chihuahua, Mexico, many ‘serial killings’ directed specifically toward young females has been steadily increasing within the past 10 years. According to Amnesty International, within 10 years, 370 women have been murdered of which at least 137 were sexually assaulted prior to death. In many cases, women were abducted, subjected to humiliation, torture and horrific sexual violence. Mexican authorities have done little to fight these crimes since these women have no power in society and have no political cost to local authorities. The failure of Mexican authorities to take action to investigate these crimes has been manifested through either corruption, lack of will or inability. Bringing these crimes to international attention is a key step toward breaking down the barriers of human rights.

HUMAN TRAFFICKINGAccording to an annual study, conducted by the State Department, 800,000 to 900,000 men, women and children are being trafficked into slavery across international borders around the world every year. Human trafficking is a form of slavery and prostitution is the largest and fastest growing reason for trafficking in persons. Domestic servitude and forced recruitment of children as soldiers are just another two forms of human trafficking. According to John R. Miller, director of the U.S. State Department Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, “It [human trafficking] stretches into every country in the world; it poses human rights threats, health threats, security threats. We now believe that people trafficking is the third biggest source of revenue for organized crime after drugs and arms.” Some believe that countries are becoming more aware of the harms of human trafficking and are beginning to make improvements toward the fight against it.

IS SUPERSIZING SUPER GONE?McDonald’s has announced to take off its ‘supersizing’ option by December of this year. Instead, plans are to introduce more low calorie and lower-fat food options since the company has faced legal action over obesity in the US. A supersize Coke and fries with a Big Mac contains 1,302 calories and a total of 44.1g of fat. Cutting back on supersizing may reduce the amount of calories in each meal however, focusing too much on supersizing may leave one to neglect the high caloric value of other menu options. This is a step in the right direction but embracing skepticism in the process enables us to realize that this won’t solve obesity.

ANCIENT INCA MUMMIES FOUNDArchaeologists in Peru have recently uncovered an Inca burial site outside of Lima. One archeologist, Guillermo Cock, says that the burial site belongs “to the period of the Inca Empire, between 1472 and 1532.” In the burial site, 26 tombs of adult and child mummies were found as well as funeral artifacts. Archaeologists were allowed to search the area before the construction of a new road would take place. Before any further construction initiatives, Lima plans to transfer the newly discovered artifacts to a museum.

KILLINGS AT GAZA STRIPThe Hamas, Islamic Jihad and al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades are all radical Islamic fundamentalist organizations that use political and violent means, including terrorist actions, to reach the goal of establishing an Islamic Palestinian state in place of Isreal. Recently, these groups organized an attack on Israelis by disguising two jeeps as Israeli military vehicles, which eventually lead to car bombings. The vehicles drove up to the Erez crossing point and one exploded near the Palestinian checkpoint while the other exploded in the Israel boundary. Authorities say that at least 4 Palestinians have been killed and at least 20 people have been injured.

Write an email expressing your concern about any of these briefs to VT House Representative Bernie Sanders [email protected] or visit his website @ bernie.house.gov