“Give me a lift as far as Chichigalpa. I am going to sleep there tonight because I have to leave at the crack of dawn tomorrow.” The march of the sick banana workers—the bananeros—from Nemagon to Chinandega had just finished. It was a march to celebrate the homecoming of thousands of people after more than eight months of camping out in Managua and the signing of an accord with the government and parliament. Wilfredo Martinez—“Will” to his friends—had just boarded the van that had brought us to the capitol. As always, he took part in the march as a leader of one of the many groups of workers disabled by pesticides. He was not well. He was skinny, pallid and even weaker than usual. But, undaunted, he carried on attending to details like a worker ant intent on his work.
The hunger strike by four Mapuche activists, condemned to prison terms of ten years following an accusation of arson, has reached forty days. The four stopped taking food on March 13 to denounce the conduct of Chilean authorities, who are applying Pinochet-era laws against terrorism.
In Brazil health care for the indigenous population is undergoing a crisis and it is mainly the children who are getting sick and dying, according to the Survival organisation which bases its facts on information gleaned from indigenous groups.
The 28th of April marked the deadline of the ultimatum which the International Agency for Atomic Energy has imposed on Iran for suspension of uranium enrichment. The government of Teheran has already let it be known that it will not stop its nuclear programme.