In an article for the Guardian, Daniel Ellsberg (RLA 2006), the former military analyst who revealed secrets of the Vietnam war through the Pentagon Papers in 1971, explains why "there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden's release of NSA material."
Edward Snowden revealed himself as the source for a series of articles in the Guardian last week, which included a huge NSA (National Security Agency) intelligence system called Prism, which collects data on intelligence targets from the systems of some of the biggest tech companies.
"Snowden did what he did because he recognised the NSA's surveillance programs for what they are: dangerous, unconstitutional activity. This wholesale invasion of Americans' and foreign citizens' privacy does not contribute to our security; it puts in danger the very liberties we're trying to protect.", Ellsberg concluded.
Campaign Against Arms Trade (RLA 2012) has launched a new EU Arms Exports browser, which shows all known weapons transfers out of the EU from 1998 onwards, broken down by source, destination and type of equipment.
The browser uses data compiled by the European Commission and released in annual reports. While the reports are hard to navigate and highly technical, the browser provides a simple interface that allows the user to browse the data in an accessible format and quickly make comparisons between different exporters, destination countries, types of hardware and year. The app was produced in association with the European Network Against Arms Trade (ENAAT), and is available in four languages: German, English, Spanish and French.
The Right Livelihood Award prize money CAAT received in 2012 helped spur the development of this application.
The Guatemalan constitutional court has overturned the genocide conviction of former military dictator Efraín Ríos Montt. In a historic verdict earlier this month, Ríos Montt was sentenced to 80 years for genocide and crimes against humanity in the killings of more than 1,700 Ixil Mayan people in the early 1980s.
Helen Mack Chang (RLA 1992) spent 14 years bringing the officers and generals responsible for her sister's murder to justice. Her sister, Myrna Mack, a social anthropologist who had studied the problems of people displaced by the internal armed conflict in the country, had been brutally assassinated by a military commando on September 11, 1990. Helen Mack Chang recently attended and monitored parts of the Ríos Montt genocide trial.
In an interview with Amy Goodman (RLA 2008), Mack Chang said that the annulment was not unpredictable. According to her, it was very clear from the beginning that the defense did not want to discuss the charges. She states that, although the annulment was to be expected, it is a lost opportunity for Guatemala, and a disrespect for the victims.
On May 25, 2013, there will be a worldwide March against Monsanto, protesting the giant pesticide company's attempts to take over the world's food supply.
In a video, Vandana Shiva (RLA 1993) states that what Monsanto is doing is "a new form of dictatorship" and that the "March against Monsanto is a call to end the dictatorship over seeds, over life, over food and over our freedom."
All participating cities and countries can be viewed here.
Ecuador is the first South American country to reject the Dakar Rally race, raising questions about its environmental and archaeological impact. Government officials came to the conclusion after examining the environmental effects the 2013 edition of the race had on Peru, Chile and Argentina.
The decision is an important victory for Raúl Montenegro (RLA 2004, president of FUNAM, Argentina), who has been working with Luis Mariano Rendon from Chile and Klaus Hönninger from Peru to ban the race from the Latin American continent, highlighting the environmental and cultural damages caused by the race.
Last month, Montenegro launched a petition asking the Peruvian government to protect the life of Klaus Hönninger. Mr Hönniger was facing continuous death threats since he scientifically proved the damage done by the Dakar Rally in paleontological sites of the Ocucaje Desert, and communicated these findings to the media. The petition was signed by more than 50 RLA Laureates.