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Civil War Separates Peuhl Children from their Parents in Yaloke, Central African Republic

aloke Boys Reunited with Their Family via UNICEF_CAR twitter account - Public Domain

Yaloke Boys Reunited with Their Family via UNICEF_CAR twitter account – Public Domain

Peuhl minorities of Islamic confession have been trying to escape anti-balaka militia since the beginning of the civil war in in the Central African Republic.  One of the camps where displaced Peuhl can find protection is the Yaloke camp by the Cameroonian border in the western region. The health situation in the Yaloke camp is critical where death rates is three times higher than other cities in the region. The refugees are not allowed to move out of the Yaloke Camp which has made it difficult for families to reunite.  The Reseau Des Journalistes pour les droits de l'homme EN RCA (The Journalist Network for Human Rights in CAR) reports on the situation:

Pour Moussa Saidou, deux de ses enfants l’ont quitté et se retrouvent aujourd’hui à Gamba. « Ils sont partis le jour de l’attaque qui a conduit à la perte de nos bétails. Ils ont fui dans la brousse pour se retrouver à Gamba avant de rejoindre Goré au Tchad, où ils séjournent pour le moment»

Moussa Saidou explains that two of her children have escaped and now find themselves in Gamba. “They left the day of the attack that led to the loss of our livestock. They fled into the forest to find themselves in Gamba before joining Gore in Chad, where they stay for now”.

Ecuadorians Take to the Streets to Protest Government

La marcha recorriendo la Avenida Universitaria en Loja Foto: Gina Yauri

Protest taking place on Avenida Universitaria in Loja, Ecuador.
Photo: Gina Yauri

Despite the rain, on March 19 citizens participated in a protest in Loja, Ecuador, which spread over seven blocks, to express their discontent of the current government. Labor code reforms, extended reelections, free access to education, and the recent exchange rate safeguards on imports were some of the issues that caused hundreds of demonstrators from several Ecuadorian cities to take to the streets. 

El rechazo a la reelección indefinida por parte de los manifestantes de oposición. Foto: Gina Yauri

Opposition demonstrators reject extended reelections.  
Photo: Gina Yauri

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. No to extended reelection!” 

Several organizations gathered in Plaza de San Sebastián de Loja; from there, they marched through the streets of Bernardo Valdivieso, Azuay, Avenida Universitaria, Colón, and Bolívar, finally arriving at Plaza Central where government sympathizers were found to be assembled. 

Simpatizantes del oficialismo en los bajos de la Gobernación de Loja, resguardados por la Policía Nacional Foto: Gina Yauri

Regime sympathizers, protected by the National Police, outside government offices in Loja.
Photo: Gina Yauri

There was a gathering of around 600 regime supporters waving green flags, of which represent the ruling party, Alianza País, in addition to police protection outside government buildings. Fortunately, neither group was reported to have caused any incidents.  

Publicist Stefany Rivera (@StefyRivera) compares the March 19 (19M) demonstrators to government sympathizers. 

Protests were also carried out by both opposition and government sympathizers in other cities from around the country such as Quito, Guayaquil, Cuenca, Loja, Ambato, Latacunga, Ibarra, Portoviejo, and Orellana.  

However, in Quito, the nation's capital, demonstratos caused unrest, of which included assulting media outlets such as Teleamazonas and Gamatv that were covering the march. 

Anchorwoman Diana León (@Diana_LeonRe) uploaded a photo to her Twitter account depicting the aggression. 

In this march, Andre Aguirre (@AndreRakoon) expresses her euphoria. 

Psychologist Lilith לילית (@LilithdBeauvoir) tweeted the following: 

Eerie Similarities Between Germanwings Tragedy and Argentinian-Spanish Film ‘Wild Tales’

More than once, screenwriters have found inspiration in reality for their fiction. This time, it seems reality was inspired by fiction. The news that the co-pilot of German airline Germanwings‘ Flight 9525 is suspected of intentionally crashing the plane, taking the lives of 149 people with him, seems to be one of these cases.

The tragedy shares some similarities with Argentinean-Spanish film “Wild Tales“, directed by Damián Szifrón. The movie compiles six episodes connected by the topic of the relief of anger and the violence contained by different characters. The first of these stories is about a mentally disturbed pilot named Pasternak, who decides to commit suicide by crashing an airplane — which is filled with everyone who has harmed him since childhood — into his parents’ home:

On Twitter, several users from different countries could not help but notice the similarities between the air disaster and the movie:

For those who have watched the movie @rsalvajes_ok it is inevitable that they remember the first scene. Reality always exceeds fiction

The tragedy is more and more reminiscent one of the episodes in the movie Wild Tales #unconceivable #Germanwings

Prisoner of Conscience Pedro Canché's Letter to Journalist Carmen Aristegui

From jail, Pedro Canché wrote a letter to fellow journalist Carmen Aristegui after her recent and controversial exit from media group MVS. This letter was published on his Tumblr blog “Diary of a prisoner of conscience“.

15 de marzo de 2015 Carta a Carmen AristeguiA propósito del consumado golpe al equipo de investigación de MVS, en específico a tu equipo de noticias, Carmen Aristegui, ¿cuándo tendremos en México un canal de televisión o cadena de radio nacional exclusivo de periodistas?
¿Qué necesitas?
Si don Julio Scherer demostró con la revista Proceso la independencia del poder plutocrático y oligárquico del periodismo auténtico ahora le toca a una mujer aterrizar un proyecto nacional al estilo Aristegui. Todo nuestro apoyo. Es hora y tiempo de que los nuevos vientos soplen en favor del viejo arte del periodismo honesto.
Toda mi solidaridad con Daniel Lizarraga e Irving Huerta. Pero no basta con ser solidarios y pronunciarse cómodos desde el celular o la computadora ¿Qué necesitas Carmen Aristegui?
Basta con apelar a la buena voluntad de todos los mexicanos, esa minoría. Pero de férrea voluntad que lee y a la que Televisa y Tv Azteca no le han logrado chupar el cerebro y convertirlos en zombies, todo un manjar para la clase política, en especial al PRI. El PRI maldito.Todos le entramos a la cooperación Carmen Aristegui. Es muy incómodo hacer periodismo desde la palestra de la oligarquía. Bastante incómodo. Como mexicana, y sobretodo como periodista, considéralo.
Aterriza el proyecto ¿dinero? todos le entramos. Todos. Todos los que no queremos ver arder a nuestro México.

March 15, 2015. Letter to Carmen Aristegui. On behalf of the coup done to the MVS research team, specifically to your news team, Carmen Aristegui, when will we have a TV or radio channel just for journalists in Mexico?

What do you need?

If Mr. Julio Scherer while at Proceso magazine showed independence from plutocratic and oligarchic power for authentic journalism, now is the time for a woman to land a national project, Aristegui style. You have all our support. It is time for new winds to blow in favor of the old, honest art of journalism.

All my support to Daniel Lizarraga and Irving Huerta. But supporting is not enough, nor is taking a stance comfortably from your cell phone or your computer. What do you need, Carmen Aristegui?

It should be enough appealing to the good will of all Mexicans, that minority with iron will who reads and to whom Televisa and Tv Azteca have not yet brain washed and turned into zombies, into a nice feast for the political class, PRI especially. That dreadful PRI. We all cooperate, Carmen Aristegui. It is very uncomfortable to make journalism from the arena of oligarchy. Quite uncomfortable. As a Mexican woman, and above all a journalist, think about it.

Start the project, money? We all will help out. Everybody. Everybody who doesn't want to see our Mexico burn.

Pedro Canché was detained on August 30, 2014, accused of sabotage, after covering a protest against the rise in water service fees at Felipe Carrillo Puerto city hall in Quintana Roo, Mexico. As he awaits sentencing, he regularly publishes on his blog images, videos, phrases and thoughts about freedom of expression with the help of organizacion Article19.

Bermuda's 99%

The economic gap appears to be widening in Bermuda and one blogger has been paying attention. A week ago, after the Bermuda Telephone Company announced that it was considering introducing new – and more expensive – residential high speed broadband internet products and a high-end restaurant launched a $1000 per plate “private dining experience”, BeachLime.com noted that “the disconnect between big-ups and the common man remains steadily high.”

In a follow-up post at the beginning of this week, the blogger suggested that “once again, the less well off have to make up the slack.” He was referring to the government's decision to increase bus and ferry fares in an effort to take a bite out of the national debt, saying that it has “the undesired effect of targeting the people least able to handle further dents to their savings or earnings”:

Yes, on the surface it's probably not a substantial cut; a 5 dollar increase in a book of 15 tickets isn't a killer move, but when it comes to who gets to pay more, think about it. Who catches buses on a regular basis in Bermuda?

According to the blogger, the rate hike will have the greatest impact upon students, the elderly, the disabled and low income earners:

The people who are more likely to be able to afford a small dent in their earnings are the ones less likely to use that service!

Sad situation all around. Meanwhile the politicians continue to find ways to inconvenience Bermudians just a little bit more, every time.

Bus Users Fight Over Seat in Peruvian Bus and You Can't Imagine How This Ends

Captura de pantalla de video publicado en Facebook.

Screenshot of the video posted on Facebook.

A video posted on Facebook by user PeruRec show two men almost coming to blows over a seat in a bus of the Metropolitano, Peruvian capital public transportation system. At one point, the stockier guy sits over the other guy, while other bus users laugh out loud. Immersed as they were in their quarrel, none of them realize there is an empty seat just in front of them.

On Facebook, some made fun of that and others got to some conclussions:

Johnny Jecs Si estaban jugando a las sillas , en que momento fue que paro la música ? XD

Johnny Jecs If they were playing musical chairs, when did the music stop? XD

Juan Carlos Ortiz esos son un par de choros, hacen un “quilombo” para robarle la cartera a la señorita de azul

Juan Carlos Ortiz those two are “choros” (petty burglars) that make a fuss to steal the purse from the lady in blue.

Other users took to Twitter to express themselves:

LOL! This is ridiculous! Such old guys…

Are they really fighting over a seat in the Metropolitano? Underclass.

So idiotic: I fight over a seat in the Metropolitano while there is another one free.

The Media's Role in Mexico's ‘Warped’ Democracy

Fotografía extraída del blog de Fernando Vazques Rigada, utilizada con autorización

Photo from Fernando Vazquez Rigada's blog, used with permission

Blogger Fernando Vázquez Rigada reflects on the role of the media in Mexico, a country where he says democracy is “warped” because it only works on a formal level, and society isn't adequately represented by the political institutions.

He adds that Mexican media bear a huge responsibility in this issue. There are a variety of media in Mexico, however, quantity does not always goes hand in hand with quality, especially considering that the political power is closely linked to the media system:

El estado mexicano gasta una cantidad descomunal de recursos anualmente en pago a medios de comunicación. Sabemos que el poder ejecutivo federal invierte alrededor de 6 mil millones de pesos al año. Esa cifra, sin embargo, excluye a los otros poderes, a los 31 estados, al DF y a los 2,457 municipios y a las 16 delegaciones del DF. Tampoco incluye al gasto de los partidos políticos. La cifra debe multiplicarse al menos por diez.

Así, los medios en México deben recibir de dinero público algo así como 70 mil millones de pesos anuales. 191 millones de pesos cada día. Casi 8 millones de pesos cada hora.

Eso explica la enorme laguna informativa que ahoga a México.

The Mexican state spends an enormous amount of money in payments to media outlets. We know that the federal executive branch invests about six billion Mexican pesos a year. That figure, however, excludes other powers, the 31 Mexican states, Mexico DF, 2,457 municipalities and 16 delegations in Mexico City. Nor does it include the expenditure of political parties. So, that figure should be multiplied at least, tenfold.

Thus, the media in Mexico should receive annually from public money around 70 billion Mexican pesos. 191 million pesos every day. Nearly 8 million pesos per hour.

That explains the huge information gap in Mexico.

Vázquez Rigada concludes that its links with political power and its economic dependence prevent the media from reporting freely and fulfilling its role of monitoring those in power, pointing out flaws and opening political debate.

You can follow Fernando Vázquez Rigada on Twitter.

This post was part of the 44th #LunesDeBlogsGV (Monday of blogs on GV) on February 23, 2015.

German Company's Videos Imagine Modern Women as Passive and Dependent

Screenshot from a video, showing how a women cooks the favorite meal for her husband. A scene that seems to belong to the 1950s.

Screenshot from one of the videos, showing how a women cooks her husband's favorite meal. A scene that seems to belong to the 1950s.

Women in Germany are outraged over one insurance company's videos explaining different types of policies, in which women are described as passive and naive — a role more in line with the expectations of the 1950s than 2015.

Birte Vogel writes on her blog Thea – Frauen in Sprache, Medien und Gesellschaft (Thea – Women in Language, Media and Society):

Die Rolle der Frau in den Augen der Alten Leipziger ist die der passiven Mutter und Tochter, des Mädchens, das selbst nicht Skateboard fährt, sondern den Jungen anhimmelt und ihn fotografiert, der gut situierten Ehefrau, die keinen Job hat und deshalb den lieben langen Tag am Gartenzaun stehen und tratschen kann, die keine Ahnung hat von Versicherungen, die sich gerne vom altväterlichen Gatten aufklären und belehren lässt und aus Sorge vor einer Scheidung gleich zurück an den Herd rennt, um dem Herrn etwas zu kochen. Eine Frau, die vollkommen abhängig ist vom Mann – wenn der sich scheiden lässt, bleibt ihr gar nichts mehr. Ganz klar: 50er Jahre.

According to the insurance company Alte Leipziger, the role of women is that of a passive mother and daughter, of a girl, who doesn't skateboard and adores and takes pictures of boys, of a wife, who doesn't have a job and has nothing else to do than to stand next to the garden fence all day chitchatting with her neighbour, who has no idea about insurance and doesn't mind being educated by her fatherly husband and who returns to the kitchen to cook him his favourite meal because she is worried over a divorce. A women who is completely dependent on her husband — if he wants a divorce, nothing will be left for her. This is definitely the 1950s.

Following the uproar, the company removed the videos. 

Sigi Lieb tweeted in response to the controversy, using the hashtag #aufgewacht (#wakeup):

#aufgewacht im Jahr 2015. Selten dummes Werbevideo stellt Frauen als dümmlich dienend und passiv dar: http://t.co/9xAjhi6P8t

— Sigi Lieb (@gespraechswert) March 15, 2015

#wakeup in the year 2015. Amazingly stupid commercial video depicts women as dumbly serving and passive.

A Trinidadian Falls in Love with Jamaica

Trindadian diaspora fashion blogger, Afrobella, grew up “steeped in reggae music and [with] a love for Jamaican culture” – so why did it take her so long to actually visit the island? She's not sure she can answer that question, considering that her first impression was that “Jamaica is an intoxicatingly beautiful place with unique culture and cuisine”:

Jamaican culture is appreciated around the world, but it’s a whole ‘nother thing to go there, be there, and experience the lifestyle.

That said, she has posted her Top 5 reasons to visit Jamaica. Of course her list includes things like the warm weather and ambiance of the popular vacation spot, Montego Bay – but it also waxes poetic about the country's reggae music, food and drink and – no surprise for a fashion blogger – the shopping.

The Collapse of Civilisation Is Already a Reality for the Children of Ambovombe, Madagascar

Children in Ambovombe, Madagascar. Photo by John Strauss Kotovaoarivelo, posted on Facebook.

Children in Ambovombe, Madagascar. Photo by John Strauss Kotovaoarivelo, posted on Facebook.

A scientific publication in the Journal of Ecological Economics argues that “over-exploitation of either Labor or Nature will result in a societal collapse” if nothing is done to prevent it.

Based on a mathematical model, the study explains (via The Guardian) that the convergence of ” the stretching of resources due to the strain placed on the ecological carrying capacity” and “the economic stratification of society into Elites [rich] and Masses (or “Commoners”) [poor]” will increase the likelihood of the fall of society as it was observed for previous human civilizations.

That collapse is already a reality in the south of Madagascar, a region that has suffered recurrent bout of famine over the past decade. 300,000 people are at risk of famine in the region because of a severe and prolonged drought since November 2014. 90% of the Malagasy population live with less than 2 USD/day, a stark reminder of the growing inequity on the African continent. John Strauss Kotovaoarivelo is an accountant manager from the region. He visited the city of Ambovombe and could not hold back his tears from what he saw. He hesitated but felt compelled to share the urgency of the situation by posting photos of children fighting for their lives because of lack of food. Kotovaoarivelo writes :

Je ne peux pas me taire et faire comme si de rien n’était devant la gravité de la situation vécue au quotidien par nos compatriotes dans le sud. Ces photos parlent d’elles même. Je ne vais pas vous prendre la tête pour ces photos, mais quand même en vous bousculant juste un peu pour réfléchir avec moi sur les pourquoi et les comment de toutes ces choses qui font chaque jour le calvaire de ces pauvres gens. Je vais vous révéler là des photos pour ne pas dire des informations qui passent presque inaperçues [..]  Nos dirigeants sont occupés ou aveuglés par d’autres choses qu’ils ne pourront jamais déchiffrer le message sur les regards de ces pauvres enfants

I cannot keep quiet any longer and pretend as if nothing is happening in the face of  the grave situation that our countrymen in the south face on daily basis. These photos speak for themselves. I will not bludgeon your head with these photos, but I hope they will jost your awareness a little and help you reflect with me about the plight of these people. I am merely sharing my pictures so that their suffering will not go unnoticed [..] Our political leaders are so busy or so blinded by other things that they cannot feel the message in the eyes of these children, seeking help. 

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