RSF sounds alarm on violence against media in Guatemala

first_img News Follow the news on Guatemala RSF_en Guatemala. Don’t put the Guatemalan press in quarantine! August 21, 2020 Find out more June 8, 2016 RSF sounds alarm on violence against media in Guatemala Based in the eastern city of Chiquimula and host of Chiquimula de Visión, a cultural programme he had presented for the past 27 years, Víctor Hugo Valdez Cardona was gunned down on a Chiquimula street by two helmeted individuals on a motorcycle. He was also a doctor. The local police have begun an investigation.Chiquimula Journalists’ Association president Gerson Rodas said Valdez had never received any threats and that his murder could be an “attempt to intimidate all of the media in Chiquimula department.”This year’s three other broadcast journalism victims were all radio presenters. No suspects have so far been identified and the motives have yet to be determined. The three victims were:- Roberto Salazar Barahona, 32, the manager of Estéreo Azúcar. Hitmen gunned him down on 17 March in Asunción Mita, in the southeastern department of Jutiapa (near the border with El Salvador).- Winston Leonardo Túnchez Cano, a Radio La Jefa presenter who was gunned down on 8 April in a grocery in the southern department of Escuintla.- Diego Salomón Esteban Gaspar, a presenter on Radio Sembrador, who was shot by three gunmen on 30 April in the northern city of Ixcán. Radio Sembrador’s director reported last year that the station was a frequent target of harassment.“How many more journalists will have to be murdered in Guatemala before the authorities start worrying about their protection,” said Emmanuel Colombié, the head of RSF’s Latin America desk.“The justice system must identify and try those responsible for this violence and stop the flood of murders. And, as a matter of urgency, the authorities must ratify the creation of a national mechanism for the protection of journalists that has been discussed since November 2013. Guatemala’s journalists cannot continue to work in this climate of fear and self-censorship, which has silenced many media outlets.”Armed violence is unfortunately not the only form of intimidation to which media personnel are subjected in Guatemala. The prosecutor’s office for crimes against journalists said on 1 May that a total of 256 cases of threats, intimidation and aggressive behaviour towards journalists had been reported since January 2015.In a recent case, journalists with the weekly Contra Poder were the target of insults and threats on false Twitter accounts after it published a story on 22 April about fraudulent activity by former presidential candidate Manuel Baldizón. Contra Poder editor Luis Font and Asier Andrés, the article’s author, were both directly threatened on social networks.Grupo A, the company that owns Contra Poder, said such attacks and smear campaigns against its journalists have become routine since 2013. A complaint has been filed with the Office of the Human Rights Prosecutor and with the special rapporteur for freedom of expression at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).In a report published in March about the situation in Guatemala, the IACHR said journalists are finding it very hard to work properly, especially those who try to cover corruption and human rights. Intimidation of independent journalists and media outlets is restricting free speech, the report said.Guatemala is ranked 121st out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index that RSF published in April. GuatemalaAmericas Condemning abusesProtecting journalists Violence January 7, 2021 Find out more Red alert for green journalism – 10 environmental reporters killed in five years to go further Receive email alerts News Organisation Help by sharing this information Reporters Without Borders urges the Guatemalan authorities to move quickly to rein in the spiral of violence against journalists and provide them with lasting protection after local TV host Víctor Hugo Valdez Cardona yesterday became the fourth broadcast journalist to be killed this year in Guatemala. Guatemala: 51 Signatories Call For Authorities To Drop Criminal Charges Against Indigenous Journalist Anastasia Mejía News News May 8, 2020 Find out more GuatemalaAmericas Condemning abusesProtecting journalists Violence last_img read more

PHOTOS: Rod Stewart, Khalid, Jack Johnson, Bonnie Raitt & More Hit On Jazz Fest Day 2

first_imgLoad remaining images Photo: Ron Valle New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival forged on with another fantastic day of music, including performances by Rod Stewart, Khalid, Bonnie Raitt, Jack Johnson, Common, Big Freedia, Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars, The Fabulous Thunderbirds featuring Kim Wilson, The Last Bandoleros, Bonerama, Nigel Hall Band, Sonny Landreth, Eddie Cotten, and many more, as well as a special tribute to the late, great Fats Domino.Aside from the diverse stage performances, genre-specific tents, and various performers on the race track, the overall vibe of Jazz Fest is accentuated by the cultural food offerings, the colorful costuming, and the artisan arts and crafts that line the festival’s walkways.Photographer Ronald Valle was on the scene to capture the magic that is New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, as you can see in the full gallery below. Stay tuned for more photos from throughout the rest of the festival, and follow us along on Instagram for real-time posts!Live for Live Music will be in New Orleans this year for Jazz Fest, where we’ll be putting on a series of late night and daze between shows at clubs across town. You can check out our late night guide for a comprehensive list of what New Orleans has to offer during Jazz Fest, and you can take a look at our own late night calendar below. New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 2018 | Day 2 – Saturday, 4/28/18 | Photos: center_img Photo: Ron Valle Photo: Ron Vallelast_img read more

Alternative vacation

first_img Piping along Working on a section of PVC pipe for the new manual water pump are, from left, Christopher D. Coey ’12, project co-leader (and former Harvard boxer) Toby Norman ’10, and Min Lee ’13. Photo by Sebastian Velez Does two weeks in the Caribbean sound inviting?Maybe not, if you have to bring work boots, floppy sun hats, mosquito repellent, and malaria pills.“A lot of socks,” added Matthew Mulroy ’12, “a lot of underwear.”A group from Harvard — mostly undergraduates, with Mulroy as a co-leader — toiled from Aug. 8 to 22 in the remote, impoverished Las Mercedes region of the Dominican Republic. It was a vacation, but with attitude.After deplaning in Santo Domingo, the party of 12 drove southwest in a crowded van. The six-hour drive toward the Haitian border delivered tantalizing views of the blue Caribbean, along with lush forests and verdant mountains. But conventional pleasures were not on the agenda.Instead of tourism, the group chose the joy of work, volunteering with Children of the Border, a nonprofit founded by Harvard graduate student Sebastian Velez. He prefers the term “voluntourism” for this kind of travel — a combination of new places and righteous work.Children of the Border’s clientele are the impoverished Haitian sharecroppers living along the Haitian-Dominican border. Alcoa Inc. built villages for the workers. By 1982, bauxite mining had ceased. Now Los Mercedes is riven by chronic disease, illiteracy, high infant mortality, and poor access to clean water.Some of the Harvard volunteers helped local laborers to refurbish a village well. They bought PVC piping and other materials with a $10,000 Projects for Peace grant written by Min Lee ’13.Other volunteers did house-to-house surveys on water use, contraception, and nutrition, part of a longer-term project to assess villagers.“Some people go to London or Paris or drink coladas on the beach,” said Velez, a seventh-year doctoral student in organismic and evolutionary biology. “But this type of student wants to do something real.”Language skills smoothed the way. Andrea Rivera ’13 translated for Spanish-speaking Dominicans working on the well. In villages of Haitian sharecroppers, Trisha Mathelier ’13, who speaks Haitian Creole, did some heavy linguistic lifting.The workdays, counting evening meetings on lessons and logistics, stretched to 14 hours or more. One night, for a few volunteers, work continued until 3 a.m., when a new manual pump finally sprayed water from 250 feet down. Ecstatic villagers, to celebrate the end of six weeks of labor, roasted a pig.The students and other Harvard participants paid their own way, about $900 each for flights, food, and lodging. They ate local cuisine (“delicious,” said participant Maureen George), slept three to a room, and got by — just fine, thank you — with tepid showers.Her shirts were soaked through in the first hour every day, said George, director of development for the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard, “as wet as if you were standing in the rain.” At 67 and a nonstudent, she was the trip’s outlier.“I was glad to get home to have a real washing machine, with hot water,” said George, “to get the red mud out.”Mulroy had his own cravings after getting back to the United States. “I wanted fast food,” he said.But in the end, these temporary workers ignored the trip’s discomforts. There were compensating rewards: working for a just cause (fresh water), getting a glimpse at another culture, and learning how to get along with others.“It’s probably more influential to me than 99 percent of the things I have done at college,” said Mulroy of the trip, which he co-directed with Toby Norman ’10. “The biggest thing is working with people.”That meant working with each other, as when, for the first two days, the van needed a group push to get jump-started. “Instead of taking it as a burden,” said Velez, “the students took it as an opportunity to bond.”Then there are issues surrounding working with people in the field, said Mulroy, given that language difficulties, cultural differences, and long travel times can lead to snags.To prepare, those going on the August trip attended a series of weekly “field preparation” workshops. Starting last fall, organizers also recruited students with expertise in international development, Spanish, Caribbean cultures, and Haitian Creole. “There was a lot of experience in this group,” said Mulroy.It helped, he said, that many of the volunteers were affiliated with the Harvard Project for Sustainable Development (HPSD), a multi-School Harvard group of which Mulroy is co-president.Some of those on the August visit were also veterans of a January work trip to Las Mercedes for DRwater, a purification and water-access project overseen by HPSD and Children of the Border. Months ago, said Mulroy, “We saw how well a volunteer group could do.”Preparation for the August trip also had a technical side. How do you fix a well’s diesel-fired electrical pump? How do you install a manual well beside it — one that villagers can afford to use? That took weeks of research by the undergraduates, said Velez, including consultations with experts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.The work paid off. For one thing, the students devised a water level sounder, which is used to detect water levels, for $20. The usual cost is $1,000.Velez, Mulroy, and others have already started planning the next doing-good adventure, a trip in January to build a school in the same border region. A dozen Harvard volunteers will pay their own way, said Velez. “These are projects they feel good about,” he said.During the August trip, George wrote her family regular reports, including recounting the sadness she felt at experiencing a corner of the world that has so little and struggles “against so many odds.”“You can only do a little bit at a time,” said George. “But not to do that would be a crime.” Hospital bound Trip organizer and Harvard doctoral student Sebastian Velez (with wristwatch, center) gets ready to transport a child with minor burns to the hospital. He is founder of Children of the Border, a nonprofit in the Dominican Republic. Tight fit Dominican welder Yorky Segura Pérez makes a new well cap for the new manual water pump. Photo by Sebastian Velez Pipelines Helping Dominican workers with the well project are Christopher D. Coey ’12 (left, in white) and Toby Norman ’10 (back turned). Photo by Sebastian Velez School talk In Fond-Jeannette, Haiti, across the border from the Dominican region of Las Mercedes, village leaders discuss building a new school next year. It’s the latest project of Harvard’s Sebastian Velez, seated to the left. Photo by Christopher D. Coey ’12center_img First sip Nighttime, under diesel-powered electric lights, the newly installed manual pump sprays its first water. It took five hours of hard pumping and was the climax to six weeks of work. From left to right are Dominican workers Yorky, Salvador, and Julio. The celebration was a 3 a.m. pig roast. Photo by Sebastian Velez Lunchtime Two Haitian sharecroppers in Las Mercedes, Dominican Republic, get ready to make lunch for workers. Manita Disseron holds the fresh-killed chicken. Helping hands Tower of power The water tower at the well, where Harvard volunteers helped install a manual pump and repair a diesel-powered electrical pump. To the far right, in glasses, is project co-leader Matthew C. Mulroy ’12. Photo by Adrianna Stanley ’13last_img read more

6 steps to creating a winning people plan

first_imgIt’s a puzzle. Employers are well aware that people are a key differentiator between one organization and the next. Too often, however, when you take a look at what those employers are doing to develop and retain their key talent, there’s nothing to see.Unfortunately, many organizations believe that having a dedicated, expert HR professional is an aspirational “nice to have” rather than an essential “must have.” After all, your organizational leaders possess strong industry and product knowledge, and that “people stuff” is just fluffy common sense! Why pay someone to tell you what you already know?Why indeed.The Purpose of HR StrategyAccording to research, turnover rates among tellers can be around 20% – 30% annually. Turnover has long been viewed as a key indicator of effective people policies; so clearly, more efficient hiring and training processes are in order. Lower turnover isn’t the only benefit of good people strategy, however. Focusing on your biggest asset and often biggest expense – people – will make your organization more productive and profitable, and that’s what it’s all about.Think about people strategy as you would any other type of business strategy—a way to get from A to Z. Just like solid financial planning is less about avoiding financial ruin and more about creating the financial resources needed to achieve a vision, a solid HR strategy is an essential step in the journey toward a thriving, healthy business that looks and acts like you want it to.It’s Not Just for the Big Guys“HR strategy” may sound like insider jargon, but it’s not. Simply put, your human resources strategy is your people plan. Managing people (that is, moving them in the direction you want them to go so they’ll perform as desired), isn’t something that happens by accident. Your staff comprises unique individuals with varying motivations, wants, and needs. Sure, there are commonalities, but one-size management does not fit all.So whether you have five employees or 5000, you need a people plan.Getting Your People Plan in Place: The BasicsSo, what about it? Is good management just common sense? No, no it isn’t.While nearly every aspect of a workplace is shaped by the quality of its leadership, one Gallup poll found that only 1 in 10 managers have the natural ability to succeed in the job. What’s more, companies choose the wrong person to manage more often than not. But there’s good news. Those who do possess some “functioning” talent (2 in 10) to manage benefit greatly by development opportunities, as do the organizations they serve and the people they direct.And that brings us to the steps for getting your people plan in place: Step #1—Face facts. Managing is hard, and most of us don’t have the natural ability to do all part of it well. We need expert help, and HR professionals are the people experts. Step #2—Work with your HR expert to identify gaps in your talent acquisition, development, and retention processes. Research trends, talk with others in your industry, and poll your staff and members. What processes need attention?Step #3—Work with HR to develop a strategy to fill those gaps. How are you bringing new talent into the organization? Where are you advertising and what are your minimum requirements? Are you doing any prescreening or behavior assessments? Is your compensation within market? Do employees have regular opportunities for coaching and mentoring? Is anyone in the company taking a personal interest in their professional development? Step #4—Get buy in. Let your staff know where you’re headed, what needs to be done to get there and by whom, and how you’ll reward them for helping you achieve your goals. While you’re at it, keep those doors of communication open. People strategy should be ongoing and change as the business and your business objectives change.Step #5—Celebrate successes. Don’t take your employees’ efforts for granted. Thank them for their hard work. Find ways to motivate and engage them continuously.Step #6—Repeat Steps #1 through #5 as necessary.What’s your people plan? If you don’t know, it’s time to find out. 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Carletta Clyatt Carletta Clyatt, a popular seminar speaker, is the SVP at The Omnia Group.  She offers clients advice on how to manage more effectively and gain insight into employee strengths, weaknesses … Web: www.omniagroup.com Detailslast_img read more