• A six-year inquiry by El Salvador Judge Jorge Guzman into the infamous 1981 El Mozote massacre committed by Salvadoran Army troops is falling apart. ProPublica reports that for 40 years victims and family members sought justice but have faced opposition from El Salvador’s military, the nation’s wealthy elite and reactionary President Nayib Bukele, seen by many as the Donald Trump of Latin America. In the inquiry former top Salvadorian officers, including the former Minister of Defense, face charges of kidnapping, rape and murder.
(“Survivors and Families of 1981 El Salvador Massacre See Justice Slip Away,” ProPublica, Sept. 13, 2021 )
• According to the Pandora Papers, an investigation into off-shore financial havens used by the rich and powerful, South Dakota has emerged as America’s leading tax haven, shielding the assets of billionaires and individuals who committed serious financial crimes. South Dakota, whose top Republican politicians are leading a drive to repeal the federal estate tax, now rivals nations such as the Cayman Islands, Switzerland and Panama as a place where the super rich hide their assets from government taxes.
(“Pandora Papers Reveal South Dakota’s Role in $367 Billion Tax Haven,” Guardian Oct. 4, 2021; “Why Do South Dakota Politicians Help Billionaires?” American Prospect, Oct. 5, 2021)
• In mid-November, 1.4 million members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters will elect a new union president which could foreshadow a new direction for organized labor, which faces immense challenges including the growth of anti-union giant Amazon, Covid19, and a controversial contract signed with United Parcel Service. It will be the first time in 20 years that James P. Hoffa will not be on the ballot.
(“Hoffa’s House Divided: The 2021 Teamsters Election,” In These Times, Sept. 28, 2021; “Divide Over Controversial UPS Contract Defines Teamsters Election,” Intercept, May 11, 2021)
This week’s News Summary was narrated by Anna Manzo.