The International Criminal Court (ICC) released a statement on Nov. 17 saying it received a referral from Bangladesh, Bolivia, Comoros, Djibouti and South Africa regarding the Situation in the State of Palestine. ICC prosecutor Karim AA Khan KC affirmed that an investigation is currently ongoing with its own dedicated team. The five countries made the ICC referral in accordance with their powers under the Rome Statute. All five of the referring countries are party to the Rome Statute, as is the State of Palestine; Israel is not.
Within just five years, the Amazon rainforest could lose half the total forest cover that it lost in the first 20 years of this century, a recent study has revealed. Deforestation rates continue to accelerate in nearly all of the nine Amazonian countries, but especially in Brazil, Bolivia, Peru and Colombia—mostly due to road development, agricultural expansion and mining.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) Dec. 1 delivered its judgment in a water dispute between Chile and Bolivia. In the case formally referred to as the Dispute over the Status and Use of the Waters of the Silala, the court found that the Río Silala is governed by international law, meaning that Bolivia cannot assert complete control over the waterway, and that Chile is entitled to the "equitable and reasonable use" of its waters. The court further found that Chile is not responsible for compensating Bolivia for its past use of the Silala's waters.
In Episode 151 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg notes a tellingly ironic juxtaposition of simultaneous news stories: the COP27 global climate summit in Egypt and the World Cup games in Qatar—where mega-scale stadium air-conditioning betrays the fundamental unseriousness of our civilization in addressing the impending climate apocalypse. The COP27 agreement for a "loss and damage" fund stops short of demands for climate reparations—a critical question for island nations that stand to disappear beneath the waves, flood-devastated Pakistan, and indigenous peoples of the fire-ravaged Bolivian Amazon. Petro powers like Russia and Saudi Arabia formed a bloc to bar any progress on limiting further expansion of oil and gas exploitation, while the Ukrainian delegation called for a boycott of Moscow's hydrocarbons, and pointed to the massive ecological toll of Russia's war of aggression. Meanwhile, the world population reached 8 billion, providing an excuse for groups like PopulationMatters to proffer the Malthusian fallacy even as the rate of population growth is actually slowing. Worldwide indigenous and peasant resistance to hydrocarbon exploitation points to a revolutionary response to the crisis.
Bolivia's eastern lowland city of Santa Cruz has been rocked by roadblocks and street clashes since an indefinite paro (civil strike) was called by right-wing opposition groups Oct. 22. With the open support Santa Cruz departmental governor Fernando Camacho, strikers are demanding that a new census be held next year rather than in 2024, as is currently scheduled. The last census was in 2012, and the region's population has swelled with an influx of migrants since then. At issue is greater funding for the department, and more slated congressional seats ahead of the 2025 elections.
The pro-government Pact of Unity and Bolivian Workers' Central (COB), the Andean country's largest trade union federation, held a "March for Democracy" in La Paz on Aug. 25 to oppose what they called "destabilization" attempts and demonstrate their support for President Luis Arce. Thousands marched from the outlying working-class city of El Alto to Plaza Mayor de San Francisco in La Paz, where a mass rally was held. COB leader Juan Carlos Huarachi told the crowd: "All over the world, capitalism wants to destabilize progressive governments that protect the wealth of nations. Meanwhile, the oligarchies play into the Empire's game." (TeleSur, Telesur, EFE)
The UN Human Rights Council (HRC) on March 4 adopted a resolution to establish an Independent International Commission of Inquiry to investigate charges of gross violations by Russian forces in Ukraine. After holding a moment of silence for Ukrainian victims, HRC members passed the resolution overwhelmingly, in a 32–2 vote. Among the 32 countries voting in favor of the resolution were France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Ukraine, the UK, and the US. The only two countries voting against were Russia and Eritrea. Several other countries, including Bolivia, Cameroon, China, and Cuba, abstained.
Proclaiming that "change is coming," Pedro Castillo, a left-populist political outsider and former school teacher, was sworn in as Peru's new president on July 28—the bicentennial of the country's independence from Spain. The following day, a second symbolic inauguration ceremony was held at the Battlefield of Ayacucho, site of the 1824 battle that secured Peru's independence and put an end of Spanish colonialism in South America. (TeleSur, Reuters)