Ecuador

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  • #245778
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    https://www.npr.org/2023/08/11/1193402600/ecuador-assassination-villavicencio-presidential-candidate-elections

    LIMA, Peru — For years, Ecuador has experienced vicious political infighting, including coups and the persecution and exile of opponents and critical journalists.

    But throughout its modern history, the small South American nation has, until this year, been almost entirely free of significant political violence. That has made the assassination of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio all the more shocking and traumatic.

    PS Ex president Correa is going thru the same judicial process as Lula who was sent to prison and the Vice President of Argentina. The new trend is to remove political opponents thru the legal system

    #245781
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2023/08/12/nfmx-a12.html

    State of emergency declared in Ecuador after killing of presidential candidate

    Less than two weeks before the August 20 snap election in Ecuador, presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio was killed on Wednesday after a campaign rally at a high school in Quito. An alleged perpetrator was killed in the ensuing confrontation between hitmen and security forces, while six suspects were subsequently arrested. All the suspects are Colombian nationals.

    Villavicencio was a right-wing legislator whose campaign was based on anti-corruption rhetoric, condemnations of gang leaders and proposals for a militarized, law-and-order response to organized crime and a purge of criminal elements in the police. He had reported death threats in recent days by “Fito,” a local leader of the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel, which uses Ecuador as a key logistics hub for drug trafficking to the United States and Brazil. A video from alleged gang rivals surfaced claiming responsibility, which was followed by another video denying this.

    Ecuador’s incumbent president, the wealthy right-wing banker Guillermo Lasso, had dissolved Parliament last month and convoked snap elections to forestall his impeachment on corruption charges. He has responded to the murder by declaring a 60-day state of exception enforced by the military, which will suspend the right of assembly, movement, free speech and other democratic freedoms. The elections will effectively be held at gunpoint.

    #245782
    ALB
    Keymaster

    ”The new trend is to remove political opponents thru the legal system.”

    Seems to have spread to North America too.

    #245785
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    It is also taking place within the leftwing movement in Latin America. ‘Socialists’ versus ‘Socialists”. It is going to be similar to the Russian Opposition during the time of Stalin

    PS I had another message with several links that went to the Spam folder

    #245789
    Lizzie45
    Participant

    ”The new trend is to remove political opponents thru the legal system.”

    Seems to have spread to North America too.

    So all the criminal charges against Trump have been ‘trumped-up’?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-61084161

    I thought you people eschewed conspiracy theories.

    #245790
    ALB
    Keymaster

    No. Just because the courts are used against political opponents doesn’t mean that the charges are simply invented. Prosecutors need to find something to go on and generally can. They would be stupid to mount a case against someone unless they had some evidence that could seem credible to a jury or judge.

    My point was that recourse to the law, rather than an appeal to voters, to deal with opponents was a new step in US politics, a further widening of the already wide “democratic deficit” there.

    Nothing to do with conspiracy theories, only evidence of a deterioration of political democracy in the US.

    #245794
    Lizzie45
    Participant

    My point was that recourse to the law, rather than an appeal to voters, to deal with opponents was a new step in US politics, a further widening of the already wide “democratic deficit” there.

    Voters are not in any position to cast judgement in criminal cases – that function rightly resides with the law courts.

    The SPGB, however, takes an entirely different view.

    Imagine a world without law

    Fortunately not every SPGB’er shares this outlook. In a pamphlet entitled Socialism and Law the late Pieter Lawrence argues that the above article, which appeared in the November 2000 edition of the Socialist Standard, does not state the socialist position on law but rather an anarchist utopian position. He went on to claim that it is in direct conflict with the socialist object and principles and is highly damaging to the socialist movement.

    #245795
    DJP
    Participant

    Contrast that article with this one:

    “[… ] a society without any enforceable norms of behaviour would amount to a kind of tyranny of the individual and, as such, would not meet the definition of a civilised society. Socially-useful rules regulating human relationships and our relationship with the broader environment will persist in socialism. Enforceable rules and regulations which prohibit certain conduct towards environmental destruction and such things as violence, rape, drunk driving, child abuse and similar will continue in a socialist society, but its purpose will be to serve the interests of society as a whole, not the capitalist class. Such rules and regulations will be conceived and administered by members of the community as part of its democratic structures and adjudicated by ordinary people, perhaps through an expansion of the jury system, or similar. They will not be punitive, but rather restorative and rehabilitative to facilitate social inclusion.”

    Law and Order: Reactionary Fantasies

    Is the position on “law” one that is fully worked out?

    #245796
    DJP
    Participant

    “In a pamphlet entitled Socialism and Law the late Pieter Lawrence argues that the above article, which appeared in the November 2000 edition of the Socialist Standard, does not state the socialist position on law but rather an anarchist utopian position.”

    I’m presuming you’re talking about this:
    https://www.marxists.org/archive/lawrence/2006/6socialism_law.htm

    But I can’t see any reference there to what you are talking about…

    #245797
    Lew
    Participant

    Is the position on “law” one that is fully worked out?

    It can’t be fully worked out because we can’t lay down the law about what “laws” will exist in socialism, if any. Ultimately, it will be up to the people in a socialist future to democratically decide.

    #245798
    Lizzie45
    Participant

    “In a pamphlet entitled Socialism and Law the late Pieter Lawrence argues that the above article, which appeared in the November 2000 edition of the Socialist Standard, does not state the socialist position on law but rather an anarchist utopian position.”

    I’m presuming you’re talking about this:
    https://www.marxists.org/archive/lawrence/2006/6socialism_law.htm

    No, not that one. The pamphlet I’m referring to doesn’t appear to be available online. Quite fortuitously I came into possession of a hard copy to which this link refers.

    https://groups.io/g/spopen/message/13041

    #245801
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    Lizzie, I would be very grateful if you could let me have a copy of that pamphlet.

    Pieter’s work was wonderful, he was a very talented writer, and an even better speaker. When I was a youngster (too many years ago, sadly) he was very kind (as was Phylis) to me, whilst also being a informative on me. Given the professional work I have been involved in I continue to be very much drawn to his thoughts and his writings.

    Having thought through the technical issues involved in getting a copy to me, and thinking about all of the apps, electronic formats, messages, that might be involved whilst also taking into issues such as data breaches, GDPR, etc. I came up with an idea that fits in to Pieter’s view (things don’t really need to change that much and we don’t need to become too over complicated). So if you would be kind enough to photocopy it for me and then post it on to Head office, with the title to be forwarded on to “Bijou Drains”, I’m pretty sure they’s know who I am and forward it on to me.

    If you could do that, I’d be grateful. If it was too much chew for you, I would also understand.

    #245802
    pgb
    Participant

    ALB (#245790) says “…recourse to the law, rather than an appeal to voters, to deal with opponents was a new step in US politics, a further widening of the already wide “democratic deficit” there.”
    ———————————————————————————
    It is unclear to me what you are saying here ALB. Is it that you believe the pursuit of Trump through the US legal system (eg: via. the recent grand jury indictment) is being done for the primary purpose of destroying Trump as a political opponent of Joe Biden? Are you saying that this amounts to a corruption of democratic process – because it widens the “democratic deficit” ? How would your alternative of an appeal to voters actually work in this case? I thought voters had already made their voice heard when they chose Biden over Trump as the President in 2020, a fact denied by Trump. What recourse do you think the Feds should have taken if they were true to their claim that they have acted in accord with democratic principles in prosecuting a former President who has fairly clearly acted in breach of democratic principles?

    Recourse to the law isn’t a “new step in US politics.” It’s not so long ago that George W Bush was declared the winner of the 2000 Presidential election when the Supreme Court stopped the count in Florida in the “hanging chads” dispute and declared Bush the winner and Al Gore the loser even though Gore won the popular vote. Using the judicial system in the US – the world’s most litigious nation – is a fairly regular event in US politics but in itself says nothing about the degree of democracy involved.. The prosecution of Trump on the charge that he attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 election is a clear case where democratic principles are alive. It was after all a jury of twenty or so ordinary citizens (read: workers) that indicted him. What’s undemocratic about that?

    #245803
    ALB
    Keymaster

    You are right. Gore did win that election but chose not to pursue the matter further before the US Supreme Court because he knew there was a majority of his political opponents on it. Another example of the “democratic deficit” in the US. The only good thing about the US constitution is that it enshrines the right to “free speech” probably more than any other state.

    #245804
    ALB
    Keymaster

    The whole question of law was discussed in the Party in the early 1990s and here is the resolution on the subject carried by Conference in 1991

    “That this Conference recognises that rules and regulations, and democratic procedures for making and changing them and for deciding if they have been infringed, will exist in socialist society. Whereas a ruling class depends on the maintenance of laws to ensure control of class society, a classless society obtains social cohesion through its socialisation process without resorting to a coercive machinery. However, in view of the fact that in socialist theory the word “law” means a social rule made and enforced by the state, and in view of the fact that the coercive machinery that is the state will be abolished in socialist society, this Conference decides that it is inappropriate to talk about laws, law courts, a police force and prisons existing in a socialist society.” (Carried 87-30) (1991).

    This motion had been proposed in otder to clarify the position following the rejection of the following motion proposed by Pieter Lawrence’s branch in 1990 and rejected by 113 votes against and 28 votes for.

    “That concerning democratic organisation in socialism it is anticipated that most behaviour will be self-regulated on the basis of individual responsibility. This Conference also affirms that any problem caused by individuals or groups acting against majority decisions or engaging in other anti-social conduct will be dealt with through appropriate institutions, which may be adapted from existing legal bodies such as courts, and which would act from a basis of democratically-decided rules, regulations or laws. In view of the possible misleading impression that socialism will allow individuals or groups to act in an anti-social manner, on no account should any of our arguments imply that no formal system of accountability will exist, or that force, in the form of public powers of coercion will never be used; nor should it be suggested that ‘moral persuasion’ would be sufficient in all cases, or that arbitrary, unauthorised responses would be tolerated” (Lost 28-113) (1990).

    Pieter Lawrence vowed to fight, fight and fight again against the 1991 resolution and for a number of years the branch he was in tried to get the Party to commit to the position oulined in the first part of their 1990 motion (the second part was accepted as read). To no avail. The 1991 resolution remains the Party’s position on the matter.

    You could argue that it was a question of semantics. That members were agreed that there would be rules and regulations (and bodies to decide if they had been infringed) in a socialist society but were arguing over what to call them.

    ps. I am afraid BD you are going to be a bit disappointed with his pamphlet on Law as it’s not up to his usual standard. Take this for instance:

    “The assertion that in socialism there will be no law and therefore no courts and no civic powers of restraint can only be taken to mean that the rapist will not be called to account for his actions before the community but will remain free to carry on.”

    Of course it means no such thing. The 1991 resolution clearly states that “rules and regulations, and democratic procedures for making and changing them and for deciding if they have been infringed, will exist in socialist society.” It just says that they shouldn’t be called “laws” and “law courts”.

    Incidentally, “Gary Jay” who wrote the article Pieter criticised was, under his real name if Gary Slapper, a legal academic who wrote many textbooks and articles on law. See his obituary here:

    Obituary: Gary Slapper

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