Berta Cáceres outside the US military base of Palmerola in Honduras, where she spoke against the US-backed coup regime in Honduras and against the US military presence in her country. July 4, 2011 photo by Roger D. Harris
March 2, 2021 was the five year anniversary of the murder of Berta Cáceres, who opposed the Agua Zarca dam in Honduras. That date was less than one month after the deaths of dozens of people from Tehri Dam disaster in Uttarakhand, India. The two stories together tell us far more about consequences of the insatiable greed of capitalism for more energy than either narrative does by itself.
The law of libel has been reformed to make it harder for those who say they have been defamed to win in court. But the world the law envisages is not always the real world.
In the real world, the costs of defending libel proceedings are prohibitive for all except the wealthy. And the financial stress of defending a claim can be unbearable. The consequence is that the threat of defamation proceedings can be used to harass those who seek to speak truth to wealth and power. And they can be, and are, used to force the withdrawal – and sometimes the humiliating withdrawal – of statements which are true or at the very least a reasonable opinion.
On a warm late February day in Santiago, I went to the grave of Victor Jara to pay homage to the man who was brutally killed on 16 September 1973. A theatre director, songwriter, and communist, Jara was arrested after the coup d’état against the socialist government of Salvador Allende. He was tortured and then murdered. At the rear of the Cementerio General in Recoleta, Jara was buried with other victims of the military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. In 2009, Jara’s body was exhumed as part of the investigation into this murder and he was reburied a short distance away. On the original tomb in simple paint are the words el derecho de vivir en paz (‘the right to live in peace’).
The so-called Great Reset amounts to little more than a campaign to turn humanity into datasets, which the world’s most powerful hedge funds and transnational corporations can use to create more profits for themselves and their clients.