The Beginning of an End to Corruption in Miami

By Nathaly Duran

According to NBC, last year on April 8, Miguel Exposito, Chief of the Miami Police Department, announced the arrest of eight Miami Dade officials on corruption charges. These are the first arrests made by the newly formed corruption unit in the Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division.

Among the officials arrested are police officers Daniel Fernandez, a 16 years veteran; Christian Alvarez-Vega, a 12 years veteran; and David Valentin, an 8 years officer. Alvarez-Vega is facing allegation of stealing $460 using someone’s ATM card information after responding to a car crash and asking for the card as part of the procedure to write a report. While, Fernandez and Valentin are facing charges for using their badges to intimidate people at an apartment complex where they were property managers.

The new unit in the Police Department resulted from Mayor Tomas Regalado promise to end corruption in Miami, “This is the beginning of the end of the culture of corruption in the city of Miami,” Mayor Regalado said. “This is something we promised the people of Miami.”

Source:

NBC Miami. (August 8, 2010). “Three Cops, 5 Others Arrested in Miami Corruption Probe”. Retrieved March 20, 2011 from the NBC website:

http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Chief-to-Announce-Miami-Corruption-Busts-90216077.html

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Published in: on April 17, 2011 at 9:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Italy’s Prime Minister Berlusconi accused of having sex with an underage prostitute

By: Ana Milanes

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was accused of paying for sex with a minor. The 17-year-old Moroccan girl admitted to being paid by Berlusconi’s accountant Giuseppe Spinelli, but wouldn’t confess what for. There were also accusations of parties at his estate which included her, and other underage prostitutes. In Italy, prostitution is not illegal, only with those under 18.

The teen had a troubled past. She had a history of stealing and was arrested before for the theft of 3,000 Euros. The prime minister, 74, denied any sexual accusations and said other members of government simply wanted him out.

When Ruby was arrested, Berlusconi made a deal with a police officer to release her. When questioned about these actions, he responded that he thought the girl was a relative of the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Later, the now 18-year-old was interviewed about her relations with Italy’s prime minister and she said when they met, she lied about her age and her ethnicity. Parliament decided there was no right to search Berlusconi’s property on a 315-298 vote. Berlusconi rejected the plea for his resignation. However, there is talk of political reforms to distribute power onto more people.

Published in: on April 4, 2011 at 6:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Editor’s Note-Government Corruption

By: Amelia Gutierrez

Many countries end up with corrupt political leaders, who eventually influence others and help create a corrupt government. From prime ministers, such as Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert who ordered illegal actions to money laundering Hugo Chavez, Venezuelan President.

There has even been federal government corruption in the United States and it unfortunately exists today. For example, Operation Northwoods, which was a plan to earn support from other countries for a war against Cub. Another example of U.S. corruption would be the Iran-Contra affair in 1987 that had the U.S. government selling arms to the Iranian government.

Corruption in a country could be as small as journalists being paid by anti-Castro organizations in Miami, Florida to undermine Fidel Castro.

Published in: on February 21, 2011 at 11:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

Olmert aide: Prime minister ordered illegal actions

Jonathon Simmons

A new blow was struck against former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s legal defense on corruption charges on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011 when Olmert’s former aide, Oved Yehezkel, testified in Jerusalem’s District Court that he had carried out illegal actions at Olmert’s behest (1).

Olmert in Court. Photo by Gil Yohannan.

The former prime minister is currently the prime suspect in a corruption scandal that Israeli newspapers say may be Israel’s worst ever.  Israel’s National Fraud Investigations Unit has been investigating Olmert, for the most part quietly, for well over a year for his involvement in what has become known as the “Holyland affair,” a case in which senior state officials were allegedly paid millions of shekels in bribes to approve a controversial Jerusalem development project known as the “Holyland Estates.”

The case – and Olmert’s major role in it – were first made public in April of last year.  When police opened the corruption case against Olmert for his involvement in the Holyland affair, he was already facing multiple other corruption charges, which had led him to step down as prime minister in 2009 (2).  Yehezkel’s testimony undermines Olmert’s assertions that he had been too preoccupied with official matters while in office to notice the corruption in his administration.

Sources:

1. Weitz, Gidi.  Februay 15, 2011.  “Olmert aide says he carried out illicit acts at his boss’ behest.” Retrieved January 16, 2011 from the Haaretz website: http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/magazine/the-prosecution-never-rests-1.342760

2. McCarthy, Rory. April 15, 2010.  “Ehud Olmert the ‘prime suspect’ in Holyland bribery case.”  Retrieved January 16, 2011 from the Guardian website:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/15/ehud-olmert-prime-suspect-holyland-bribery-case.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Code Name: Operation Northwoods

By: Paige Johnsen

The United States government created a series of fake proposals in 1962 with the code name of Operation Northwoods.  These proposals called for the CIA to endure in violent events throughout the United States.  Operation Northwoods planned to blame all terrorist acts on Cuba.  In order to gain support for a war against Cuba, Operation Northwoods went to extremely radical extents. 

ABC news journalist, David Ruppe said,  “The plans reportedly included the possible assassination of Cuban émigrés, sinking boats of Cuban refugees on the high seas, hijacking planes, blowing up a U.S. ship, and even orchestrating violent terrorism in U.S. cities” (1).

Americans were outraged when Fidel Castro came into dicatorship in Cuba.  Operation Northwoods was considered the most efficient way to gain support for a war against Cuba.  The image above indicates how commercialized Operation Northwoods became after the threats began.

Ruppe said, “Operation Northwoods was organized Joint Chiefs of Staff, signed by Chairman Lyman Lemnitzer and sent to the Secretary of Defense” (1).

Although Operation Northwoods was never carried out, it stirred emotions in the United States.

Ruppe said, “The whole point of a democracy is to have leaders responding to the public will, and here this is the complete reverse, the military trying to trick the American people into a war that they want but that nobody else wants” (1).

Sources:

1.) Ruppe, David. (May 1 2001). “U.S. Military Wanted to Provoke War With Cuba.” Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=92662&page=1

Bolivian Controversy

Reason.com. Retrieved February 15, 2011. President Hugo Chavez to the left of Bolivian President Evo Morales.

South America’s Evo Morales met with leaders from Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela at an emergency summit called to discuss his decision to nationalize its natural gas fields and refineries. Bolivia’s plan is to send any foreign corporations to leave the country if they do not change their contract and allow for the government to take over production. There are two countries in particular that will be affected most and those are Argentina and Brazil because they import from Bolivia’s gas. Hugo Chavez was much in accordance with Morales’s decision saying, “We support Bolivia that is pointing the same direction that Venezuela is pointing. We have recovered the control of our natural resources and our mineral riches in a very long and difficult process that even cost us an attempted coup. I can tell you that the process in Bolivia will in no way be traumatic, and I’m sure that everything will turn out well.”

In response to an interview with Amy Goodman, Morales had the following to say about his decision:

“And we’re going to defend the natural resources. If before, Bolivia was no man’s land, now it is someone’s land. It is the land of Bolivians, especially the indigenous and original people. Private companies, oil companies, transnational companies, if they want to come here and they want to respect Bolivian laws, they are welcome. We are going to make them respect them, but the companies that don’t want to respect Bolivian laws, that don’t want to subordinate themselves to the state, the law, may bad things come to them. The natural resources must be liberated, which means the natural resources must pass to the hands of the Bolivian state under the control of the Bolivian people, and that has begun, and we are going to continue our work without any fear.”

Sources:

Democracy Now. (May 5, 2006). “Evo Morales Nationalizes Gas Resources in Bolivia.” Retrieved February 15, 2011 from the Democracy Now website: http://www.democracynow.org/2006/5/5/evo_morales_nationalizes_gas_resources_in.

Published in: on February 17, 2011 at 5:20 am  Leave a Comment  

Miami Herald Uncovers Journalist Working to Undermine Fidel Castro

By: Joeli Prieto

Retrieved February 14, 2011. Jesus Diaz Jr. Former Miami Herald publisher.

In September of 2008, The Miami Herald released a story about journalists in its sister paper El Nuevo Herald.  According to CBC in Canada, The Miami Herald had “combed through government documents and uncovered 10 South Florida Journalists who had been paid for work at stations aimed at undermining Fidel Castro’s communist regime.” The story resulted in the journalists being fired from El Nuevo Herald.

In the case study done by Columbia University, the journalists that were fired upset many people in the community, including journalists from both The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald and the passionate “anti-Castro” Cuban population of Miami.

According to Latinamericanstudies.org, the publisher of the two papers, Jesus Diaz Jr., thought that the acceptance of money by the journalists was unethical, and that was the basis of his decision to fire the journalists.

According to the article “Miami Herald Publisher Resigns over Cuba Scandal,” six more journalists were discovered to have worked for the U.S. supported stations. The article also stated that these six journalists had been working for these stations with the permission of Carlos Castaneda, founder of the papers and previous executive editor.

The journalist were soon rehired and Diaz later resigned because of this conflict.

Sources:

Lundberg, Kirsten. When the Story is Us: Miami Herald, Nuevo Herald and Radio Martí. Retrieved February 14, 2011 from http://casestudies.jrn.columbia.edu/casestudy/www/layout/abstract.asp?case_id=43&target=

CBC (Canada). Miami Herald publisher resigns over Cuba scandal. October 3, 2006 . Retrieved February 14, 2011 from http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/exile/diaz-resigns.htm

Published in: on February 17, 2011 at 5:11 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Suitcase Scandal

By: Ashley Williams

google images retrieved Feb 2011

Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, is known to many in his country as corrupt, who has many claims against him of being a corrupt politician. He was linked to one of the biggest election scandals in Venezuela, where he was accused of covering up money laundering, and secretly paying off and bribing candidates with money who were running in the election. (1)In the year of 2008 a unregistered agent by the name of Franklin Guerra conspired to seize money from a Florida business man, who toted 800,000 cash in a “suitcase” from Caracas to Buenos Aires, supposedly for the campaign of Cristina Fernandez the elected president of 2008. (2)

When Duran was arrested he implicated Chavez stating that the Venezuela intelligence agency was apart of covering up the money and Chavez was the central role player. In court recordings were played, witnesses testified, and evidence was presented that Chavez was laundering money and covering up dirty deeds, as well as making death threats against workers if caught. In 2006 Chavez was accused of paying governments to back his bid for a seat in the United Nations Council. (2) During trial in Miami, Guerra denied any involvement as well as Chavez who continued to lose his supporters due to the scandal. Guerra is still facing trial and is currently protected by the US government residing in key biscayne miami.

SOURCES:

1. Flores , M. (2008, September 3). Chavez and the Cash filled Suitcase. Retrieved February 14, 2011, from

Published in: on February 17, 2011 at 3:26 am  Leave a Comment  
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