Human rights organizations fought for decades to find the whereabouts of tens of thousands of people forcefully disappeared.

August 30 marks the International Day of Enforced Disappearances. The day was inaugurated to commemorate all of the victims of forced disappearances and was created following a UN Resolution approved in 2010.

The term enforced disappearances refers to victims forcefully abducted as a strategy to intimidate and spread fear throughout a population. Although most of the victims are actually killed, others were tortured or smuggled to another country, making it very difficult to determine their whereabouts. Some reported as disappeared might never be found and their bodies never recovered. 

The proposal for commemorating the day of enforced disappearances was brought forward by the Latin American Federation of the Detained-Disappeared, a regional organization which unites all of the human rights bodies struggling to find out the truth.

In Latin America, tens of thousands were disappeared.


While the United States was a victim of attacks on September 11, 2001, on the same date 41 years prior Washington helped orchaestrate the violent overthrow of Chile's elected government, paving the way for a brutal 17 year dictatorship.

The date September 11 is interwoven in the history of both North and South America. In South America, the date has been significant for 41 years as the date marking the coup against democratically elected Salvador Allende in Chile, and the day that country's first socialist president was found dead after intense bombing of the presidential palace.

Since 2001, the date is synonymous with the fateful day when hi-jacked planes plowed into Manhattan's World Trade Center, one of the United States' most recognizable tourist attractions and business centers, killing almost 3,000 people.

As 500 people commemorate events of September 11, 1973 in Chile's La Moneda presidential palace, some 180 people are in Washington D.C. paying respects to their dead from the same day in 2001. Both services include relatives of the dead, and in Chile's case, disappeared.


First week of instruction dedicated to psychological care

About half a million children in Gaza returned to school on Sunday after the devastating Israeli assault on the enclave that killed over 2,100 Palestinians.

Schools are starting with a two-week delay because of the damage they sustained during the Israeli attacks. Moreover, some 50,000 Gazans are still housed in UN-run schools after the attacks destroyed their homes.

Over 10,000 houses were shelled by Israel. More than 200 schools were targeted, including UN-run schools, despite the Israeli military receiving their coordinates from the UN before the attacks.

The Israeli blockade on Gaza, which bars building materials, is making it difficult to rebuild schools and other civilian infrastructure.

The Education Ministry of Gaza said the first week of instruction will be dedicated to psychological counseling. Thousand of teachers have received special training to this end. According to the UN, about 400,000 Gazan children need psychological care given the horrors they witnessed.

The fighting between Israel and Hamas ended with an open-ended ceasefire on August 26. Israel and the Palestinians are negotiating a long-term settlement.


Symposium of Solidarity with Cuban Five Comes to a Close

The conference in Havana calls for the release of the Cuban Five political prisoners along with the denunciation of all forms of terrorism.

The Tenth International Symposium of Solidarity with the Cuban Five and Against Terrorism finished up on Friday, at the Convention Center in Havana, attended by some 300 delegates from 50 countries.

The symposium is part of the World Day for the freedom of the Cuban men who are still unjustly imprisoned in the United States.

Also, since September 4 and running until October 6 marches and public demonstrations will take place in 47 nations.