The New York Times 2024-03-13 16:14:30


Middle East Crisis: Israel Allows U.N. Trucks to Take Food Directly Into Northern Gaza

Trucks enter northern Gaza as pressure grows on Israel to allow more food aid.

Israel has allowed a convoy carrying food aid to enter northern Gaza directly from an Israeli crossing for the first time since the war began, as global pressure intensifies to let more desperately needed aid into the territory.

The United Nations’ World Food Program said on Tuesday that it had delivered food for 25,000 people to Gaza City in its first successful convoy since Feb. 20 to the northern part of the enclave. Warning that northern Gaza was “on the brink of famine,” the agency called for “deliveries every day” and “entry points directly into the north,” in a signal that the convoy would provide only limited relief for hundreds of thousands of people facing extreme hunger.

Aid officials and some governments have called for Israel to open more border crossings into Gaza in order to alleviate the humanitarian crisis touched off by its five-month war against Hamas. Israel has maintained strict control over aid to Gaza, allowing aid to enter from only two border crossings in the south.

Almost no aid has reached northern Gaza for weeks after U.N. agencies mostly suspended aid operations there, citing lawlessness, poor road conditions and Israeli restrictions on convoys.

Weeks after the Hamas-led attack on Oct. 7, Israel invaded Gaza from the north and hundreds of thousands of Gazans fled south seeking shelter. Those who remained in the north have struggled to find food, many resorting to eating animal feed or wild plants. Thousands have converged on the few aid trucks that have gotten through.

Israel described the convoy it allowed into the north on Tuesday as a pilot project, but has not said when or if more trucks would be let in through that crossing. The Israeli military said that it had allowed six trucks carrying supplies from the World Food Program to enter through a crossing point in southern Israel, not far from the Be’eri kibbutz. The convoy cleared Israeli inspection and crossed into the territory through a gate on the security fence that had not previously been used for aid deliveries, the Israeli military said.

The United Nations has warned of a looming famine if access to food and other necessities does not improve, especially in the north. Multinational efforts have started to deliver food and other necessities by sea and air, though aid organizations and others have said that sea shipments and airdrops are cumbersome, inefficient and cannot come close to matching the amount that can come in by road.

The United States, Britain, the European Union and other governments said last week that they would establish a maritime corridor to take aid to Gaza from Cyprus, and the U.S. military has announced plans to build a floating pier to facilitate the deliveries because Gaza does not have a functioning port.

On Wednesday, Germany said it would join other countries — including the United States, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and France — in airdropping aid packages into Gaza. Germany’s defense minister, Boris Pistorius, acknowledged the risks of such drops, with dangers posed by failed parachutes and falling pallets.

“The airdrop is not without danger,” Mr. Pistorius said in a post on social media announcing the country’s effort. But he added that “the crews responsible are trained for such operations and are very experienced.”

About 100 trucks carrying food and other supplies entered Gaza each day in February, on average, through two open land routes. But that is a fraction of what was going in by land before the war began in October.

Isabel Kershner and Cassandra Vinograd contributed reporting.

Israel and Hamas are not near a cease-fire deal, Qatar says.

Prospects for a potential cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas remained dim on Tuesday, as Hamas reiterated its demand for a permanent end to the fighting in Gaza and an official from Qatar, which has been helping to mediate the talks, said the two sides were “not near a deal.”

Israel and Hamas failed to reach an agreement on a temporary cease-fire before the start of the first day of fasting for Ramadan on Monday, and even though efforts to do so continued, a deal was not imminent, Majed al-Ansari, a spokesman for the Qatari foreign ministry, told reporters.

“We are not near a deal, meaning that we are not seeing both sides converging on language that can resolve the current disagreements,” Mr. al-Ansari said, without going into detail. He added that he could not say when an agreement might be reached, adding that the situation in Gaza remained “very complicated.”

Negotiations — mediated by Qatar, Egypt and the United States — have been stalled for weeks. Hamas has demanded a comprehensive cease-fire and complete Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. Israeli officials have repeatedly rejected the demands and expressed openness only to a temporary pause in the fighting coupled with the release of some hostages in return for Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons.

On Tuesday, a senior Hamas official, Mahmoud Mardawi, said his group was holding firm to its demands.

“Hamas’s main demands have been known from the beginning and there is no change to them: a complete and total cease-fire, a withdrawal of the occupation army, the return of displaced people to their homes and the provision of aid to our people,” Mr. Mardawi said in response to questions from The New York Times.

Mr. Mardawi said Hamas also wanted a “just deal” that would result in the exchange of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons for hostages held by militants in Gaza.

The Israeli government has said it must wipe out Hamas’s military and administrative capabilities in Gaza before agreeing to end the war. It also has said a key goal of the war is the return of all the hostages taken in the Hamas-led attack on Israel on Oct. 7.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel also sent no signals on Tuesday that he was ready for a deal to halt fighting, even temporarily, as he again vowed to press a ground offensive into the southern Gazan city of Rafah, where some 1.5 million Palestinians are trapped, despite pleas for restraint from the United States and other allies.

“To win this war, we must destroy the remaining Hamas battalions in Rafah,” Mr. Netanyahu said. “If not, Hamas will regroup, rearm and reconquer Gaza, and then we’re back to square one. And that’s an intolerable threat that we cannot accept.”

In an interview with CNN later on Tuesday, Mr. al-Ansari said more pressure needed to be placed on both sides to help stop a spiraling humanitarian disaster in Gaza, where he said Palestinian civilians and hostages held by Hamas were “all living in the same conditions.”

Mr. al-Ansari said that Mr. Netanyahu was one of the people holding “the keys to securing a deal right now” and that pressure was needed from any country or entity that holds leverage over parties to the conflict, including the United States.

William J. Burns, the C.I.A. director, alluded to the difficulty of bridging the gap between the two sides when he spoke to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Monday after returning from his eighth overseas trip to negotiate the release of the hostages.

“I don’t think anybody can guarantee success,” he said. “What I think you can guarantee is that the alternatives are worse for innocent civilians in Gaza who are suffering under desperate conditions, for the hostages and their families who are suffering also under very desperate conditions, and for all of us.”

Maps: Tracking the Attacks in Israel and GazaSee where Israel has bulldozed vast areas of Gaza, as its invasion continues to advance south.

An Israeli strike kills a Hamas operative in Lebanon.

The Israeli military said on Wednesday that it had killed a senior Hamas operative in an airstrike in southern Lebanon, the latest in a series of targeted killings there following the deadly Hamas-led attacks against Israel on Oct. 7.

The man, Hadi Ali Mustafa, was “a significant operative in Hamas’s department responsible for its international terrorist activities,” the Israeli military said in a statement. It added that he had been involved in attacks “against Israeli and Jewish targets in various countries around the world.” It provided no further details, and its claims could not be independently verified.

In a statement, Hamas’s military wing confirmed that Mr. Mustafa had been killed but gave no indication of his role within the organization.

The Israeli airstrike, on a car near the southern Lebanese coastal city of Tyre, also killed a passing motorcyclist, Lebanese state media reported. Video from the scene that circulated on social media shows a body being loaded onto a stretcher and a vehicle burning amid panicked onlookers.

Several killings in Lebanon have targeted people whom Israel has called senior figures from Hamas and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, both of which are backed by Iran. In January, Hamas blamed Israel for a blast that killed Saleh al-Arouri, a senior official in the group, in the southern suburbs of Beirut, although Israel has not publicly claimed responsibility.

As it does in Gaza and the West Bank, Hamas has a sizable presence in Lebanon, where it operates largely out of Palestinian refugee camps. Since the war in Gaza began on Oct. 7, Hamas, along with Hezbollah and other allied militant groups, have continued to launch rocket attacks into northern Israel from within Lebanon’s borders.

Some Gaza aid was blocked for carrying scissors, a U.N. official said. Israel said he was lying.

A U.N. official said a truck carrying aid was turned around in Gaza this week because it contained scissors included in medical kits for children, calling attention to what aid groups have said is a laborious Israeli inspection process that is slowing down crucial humanitarian assistance.

Philippe Lazzarini, the head of UNRWA, the main U.N. agency providing support for Palestinians in Gaza, said the truckload had been refused because medical scissors had been added to a list of items the Israeli authorities consider to be “dual use,” or having both civilian and military purposes.

COGAT, the Israeli agency overseeing aid deliveries into Gaza, accused Mr. Lazzarini of lying, saying that it was in constant contact with the United Nations and had not been notified of the denial. The agency said 1.5 percent of aid trucks trying to enter the territory had been turned away.

Mr. Lazzarini is the latest official to say that the Israeli military’s inspections are keeping aid from getting to Gaza’s 2.2 million people. Last week, Britain’s foreign minister, David Cameron, said during a parliamentary debate that “too many” goods were being turned away for being dual use, including items that are medically necessary.

A member of the British Parliament said this month that Israel had turned away 1,350 water filters and 2,560 solar lights provided by the British government because they were considered a threat.

Miriam Marmur, director of public advocacy at Gisha, an Israeli nonprofit that works to protect the free movement of Palestinians, said Israel’s list included broad categories that can encompass thousands of items, making it difficult to know what is prohibited. Many items that have been turned away are not explicitly listed, she said.

“This uncertainty follows years of obfuscation on what exactly qualifies as dual use from Israel’s perspective, as well as when and how those items can be brought into Gaza,” she said.

Mr. Lazzarini said it was critical that supplies for Gaza be cleared faster. “The lives of 2 million people depend on that, there is no time to waste,” he wrote on social media.

Israel has maintained a list of dual-use items that require special permission to be brought into Gaza as a part of its blockade of the enclave, which began years before the Hamas-led attack on Oct. 7 prompted the current war. For many years, the list and approval process were shrouded from public view. The Israeli authorities disclosed the list only after a legal battle, according to Gisha, which petitioned the court to require that it be released.

Aid groups have said that a single item determined to be of dual use can get an entire truck turned away, and that groups are at times not told what the item was or why it was rejected.

COGAT has said that many of the trucks that are turned away are repacked and enter later, and that any bottleneck is a result of the aid groups’ capacity to handle distribution, rather than Israeli limitations.

In January, two U.S. senators who visited a border crossing between Egypt and Gaza said they saw a warehouse near the crossing filled with rejected items, including tents, oxygen concentrators, water-testing kits, water filters, solar-powered refrigerators and medical kits used for delivering babies.

Senator Jeff Merkley, Democrat of Oregon, said after the trip that Israel’s inspections were necessary but that the delays they caused had unacceptable consequences.

“If it takes a week when aid is desperately needed, that means people are shorted food, clean water and medical supplies,” he said on the Senate floor at the time.

Ramadan starts with ‘no joy’ for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank are welcoming Ramadan with little of the usual cheer. Amid Israel’s continuing attacks in Gaza and rising violence in the West Bank, the holy month’s festive decorations and celebratory mood are being replaced by feelings of helplessness and despair.

“There’s no joy,” said Hana Karameh, a mother of five from the city of Hebron.

Ramadan this year will be “incomplete,” she said. Usually, on the night before the first fast of Ramadan begins, they would pray together with their neighbors and gather for suhoor — the pre-dawn meal — while children shot off fireworks.

On Sunday night, as the holy month dawned, she said, “there was none of that.”

Even before Ramadan, Ms. Karameh said she had a hard time sitting down for meals knowing that many people in Gaza were starving. “I keep asking myself, did they eat? Did they drink? ” she said.

Ms. Karameh said that her husband would usually take their youngest children to the market to buy sweets and stock up on food the night before Ramadan began. Later he would take them to the mosque to pray Taraweeh, a daily Ramadan nighttime prayer. But this year, she said, the family could not do those things.

“We would usually be seven people at our iftar table,” she said, referring to the evening meal that breaks the fast. “But this year we will be five.”

Ms. Karameh’s husband, Jamal, 55, and her daughter Baraah, 19, were detained more than three months ago by Israeli forces and are being held in administrative detention, without charge or trial. They are among the more than 7,500 Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem who have been detained by Israeli forces since the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attacks, according to the Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited control over the West Bank.

Palestinians in the West Bank are also less likely to host lavish iftar meals this year because their economic situation has worsened over the last five months. Israeli restrictions and closures across the West Bank have left businesses struggling since Oct. 7.

“It’s a very different feeling compared to past years,” said Bassam Abu al-Rub, a journalist from the West Bank town of Jenin, who lives in Nablus. “I went to the supermarket and only bought basic ingredients because when we sit at the table to eat after seeing the scenes in Gaza, we feel heartbroken.”

Worsening violence and regular Israeli raids in the West Bank have killed more than 425 people there since Oct. 7, according to the Palestinian health ministry in Ramallah — and the toll continues to climb. The ministry said on Wednesday that Israeli forces had killed two people overnight near the town of Al Jib. The Israeli military has said that the raids are a part of their counterterrorism efforts against members of Hamas in the West Bank.

“On top of the war in Gaza, the West Bank has been living a war since 2021,” Mr. Abu al-Rub said, referring to the year when Israeli raids, detentions and settler violence began to rise sharply in the occupied territory. “Imagine when you are living this emotional state of daily incursions, sounds of gunfire and gas bombs and regular detentions,” Mr. Abu al-Rub said in a phone call. “Of course you will fear further escalation” during the holy month, he added.

Mr. Abu al-Rub said that every year he would look forward to Israel granting him a permit to visit Jerusalem and pray at Al Aqsa Mosque, one of the holiest sites in Islam. But this year, he did not have much hope that he would get to go.

Al Aqsa, which is on a site revered by Jews as the location of two ancient temples, has long been a point of contention, and in recent years Israel has exerted tighter control over it. On Monday, Israel’s agency overseeing policy for the Palestinian territories posted on Facebook that only men over the age of 55, women over the age of 50 and children under the age of 10 would be allowed to enter Israel from the West Bank to pray at Al Aqsa during Ramadan.

Gabby Sobelman contributed reporting.

The Israeli government restricts West Bank Palestinians’ entry to Al Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan.

The Israeli government said this week that children and older adults would be the only Palestinians allowed to enter Israel from the West Bank to pray at Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Muslim access to the mosque has long been a point of contention as Israel has exerted tighter control in recent years over the compound, one of many restrictions Palestinians living under decades of Israeli occupation have had to endure.

The latest constraints, imposed by Israel’s agency overseeing policy for the Palestinian territories, known as COGAT, dictate that only men older than 55, women older than 50 and children under 10 could pray on Fridays — the holiest day of the week for Muslims — at Al Aqsa, the third holiest site for Muslims, in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Ghassan Alian, an Israeli general who oversees COGAT, said in Arabic on Facebook on Monday that Palestinians coming from the West Bank would need a valid permit and confirmation of return, adding the arrangement would depend on the authorities’ assessment of the security situation.

Ofir Gendelman, a spokesman for the prime minister’s office, said in a news briefing on Tuesday that the “tense security situation” at Al Aqsa prompted the Friday restrictions, though he later clarified in a message to The New York Times that they would apply every day.

Since the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attacks and Israel’s ensuing bombardment of Gaza, heavily armed Israeli police forces that guard many of the Old City’s gates have stopped Palestinians from entering the compound. Many Palestinians have feared what, if any, other constraints Israel could impose on the mosque, which can draw 200,000 people in one day from not just Jerusalem but the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Israel as a whole. Al Aqsa is part of the compound sacred to Jewish people, who call it the Temple Mount.

Mirit Ben Mayor, a spokeswoman for the Israeli police, said at the briefing on Tuesday that it would expand its presence in Jerusalem, the old city and the entrances to Al Aqsa on Friday.

Raja Abdulrahim and Adam Rasgon contributed reporting from Jerusalem.

The White House says Biden has set no ‘red lines’ on Israel’s Gaza offensive but repeats warnings on Rafah.

The White House denied on Tuesday that President Biden had set any “red lines” for Israel in its campaign against Hamas in Gaza but warned again that Israel should not attack the city of Rafah, the southernmost city in the enclave, without protections for more than a million people sheltering there.

“The president didn’t make any declarations or pronouncements or announcements,” said Jake Sullivan, the president’s national security adviser, referring to an interview Mr. Biden gave over the weekend in which he was asked whether he had a “red line” Israel should not cross in its prosecution of the war.

In the interview, with MSNBC, Mr. Biden rebuked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel over the rising civilian death toll in Gaza, saying that “he must pay more attention to the innocent lives being lost” and that “he’s hurting Israel more than helping Israel.”

Mr. Netanyahu later dismissed that contention as “wrong,” and on Tuesday he again defended Israel’s efforts to minimize civilian casualties. Speaking by video to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobbying group based in Washington that is usually referred to as AIPAC, he said that Israel’s allies “cannot say you support Israel’s goal of destroying Hamas and then oppose Israel when it takes the actions necessary to achieve that goal.”

Mr. Biden, while trying to increase the pressure on Mr. Netanyahu, has insisted that U.S. support for Israel will remain steadfast. Mr. Sullivan, who met on Tuesday with Israel’s ambassador, Michael Herzog, declined to discuss reports that Mr. Biden, if Israel proceeded with the Rafah operation, might impose restrictions on how Israel can use the arms the United States is supplying it.

“We’re not going to engage in hypotheticals about what comes down the line, and the reports that purport to describe the president’s thinking are uninformed speculation,” Mr. Sullivan said.

But he repeated Mr. Biden’s view that Israel should not attack Rafah without explaining how it would protect the civilians who have taken refuge there.

The president believes there is a long-term path to stability and security for Israel, Mr. Sullivan said, but “that path does not lie in smashing into Rafah, where there are 1.3 million people, in the absence of a credible plan to deal with the population there. And again, as things stand today, we have not seen what that plan is.”

For his part, Mr. Netanyahu again vowed on Tuesday to attack Hamas in Rafah, despite warnings from the United States and other nations that a ground offensive there would have disastrous consequences for civilians in the city.

“To win this war, we must destroy the remaining Hamas battalions in Rafah,” Mr. Netanyahu said. “If not, Hamas will regroup, rearm and reconquer Gaza, and then we’re back to square one. And that’s an intolerable threat that we cannot accept.”

More than a million Palestinians who have fled from fighting in other parts of the Gaza Strip — many of them obeying Israeli directives to move south for their safety — have crammed into temporary, often squalid shelters in Rafah, which is on the border with Egypt. People there and aid workers have described worsening crises of hunger, disease and desperate conditions, and Israel’s allies have increasingly urged the country to scale back its military campaign and allow more aid into Gaza.

Israeli officials have said they are developing a plan to evacuate civilians from Rafah, and Mr. Netanyahu said on Tuesday, “We will finish the job in Rafah while enabling the civilian population to get out of harm’s way.”

Divisions over invading Rafah have also added to strains in Israel’s wartime emergency government. On Tuesday, the hawkish New Hope party announced that it would leave the fragile two-party alliance led by Benny Gantz, a member of Mr. Netanyahu’s war cabinet.

The leader of the New Hope party, Gideon Sa’ar, has argued that Israel should already have invaded Rafah, while senior members of Mr. Gantz’s faction have prioritized reaching a temporary cease-fire deal with Hamas to release hostages.

Although tensions between Mr. Biden and Mr. Netanyahu have increasingly emerged in public, analysts have questioned for months whether Israel can accomplish its objective of eradicating Hamas. In a report released Monday but written before the most recent tensions between U.S. and Israeli officials, American intelligence analysts raised doubts about the feasibility of that goal.

“Israel probably will face lingering armed resistance from Hamas for years to come, and the military will struggle to neutralize Hamas’s underground infrastructure, which allows insurgents to hide, regain strength and surprise Israeli forces,” the report said.

Adam Sella and Aaron Boxerman contributed reporting.

These Workers Are Risking Their Lives to Restore Gaza’s Phone Network

When Mohammed Sweirky prepared to leave for a work trip in January to repair telecommunications infrastructure that had been destroyed in northern Gaza, his wife and children pleaded with him not to go.

Fighting between Israeli troops and Hamas members was still raging in the area, said Mr. Sweirky, who is a technician for Paltel, the largest telecommunications company in Gaza, and his family worried he might not return. But he said he felt he had no choice given that residents there desperately needed their phone services restored.

“It was painful to say bye,” said Mr. Sweirky, 50, who fled Gaza City at the beginning of the war and is now sheltering with six family members in a garage in Rafah, the territory’s southernmost city. “They were crying, but I couldn’t abandon our mission.”

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In Germany, Fighting the Far Right Poses a Conundrum for Democracy

For Germany — a country that knows something about how extremists can hijack a government — the surging popularity of the far right has forced an awkward question.

How far should a democracy go in restricting a party that many believe is bent on undermining it?

It is a quandary that politicians and legal experts are grappling with across the country as support surges for Alternative for Germany, a far-right party whose backing now outstrips each of the three parties in the governing coalition.

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Putin, in Pre-Election Messaging, Plays Down Threat of Nuclear War

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia tried to play down fears of nuclear war in an interview released on Wednesday and denied having considered using weapons of mass destruction in Ukraine, aiming to bolster his domestic image as a guarantor of stability before the Russian presidential election this weekend.

In a lengthy interview released by Russian state television, Mr. Putin struck a softer tone than in his state-of-the-nation address last month, when he said that the West risked nuclear conflict with Russia if it intervened more directly in Ukraine. In the interview, Mr. Putin described the United States as seeking to avoid such a conflict, even as he warned that Russia was prepared to use nuclear weapons if its “sovereignty and independence” were threatened.

“I don’t think that everything is rushing head-on here,” Mr. Putin said when asked whether Washington and Moscow were headed for a showdown. He added that even though the United States was modernizing its nuclear force, “this doesn’t mean, in my view, that they are ready to start this nuclear war tomorrow.”

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From Moscow to Mumbai: Russia Pivots South for Trade

Ivan Nechepurenko traveled across Armenia and Azerbaijan, interviewing people running ports, railways and trading companies, as well as government officials and experts for this article.

For centuries, trade with Europe was the main pillar of Russia’s economy.

The war in Ukraine ended that, with Western sanctions and other restrictions increasingly cutting Russia off from European markets. In response, Moscow has expanded ties with the countries more willing to do business with it — China to the east, and, via a southern route, India and the countries of the Persian Gulf.

That southern route has now become a focus of Russian policymakers as they try to build infrastructure for their plans to pivot away from the West for good. The effort faces challenges, including questions over financing, doubts over the reliability of Russia’s new partners, and threats of Western sanctions targeting countries that trade with Russia.


Map locates train lines from Iran, Azerbaijan, and Armenia, north into Russia.

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Top French University Faces Yet Another Crisis as Leader Resigns

One of France’s most elite universities found itself without a leader for the second time in just three years on Wednesday after its director, Mathias Vicherat, resigned to face a court case over accusations of domestic violence.

The university, Sciences Po in Paris, has produced five of France’s last eight presidents and over a dozen prime ministers, as well as top business leaders, well-known journalists and scores of high-ranking civil servants. It has been striving to grow even stronger by diversifying its student body and competing internationally for students.

But the resignation of Mr. Vicherat, 45, who denied any wrongdoing and said he was stepping down to protect Sciences Po’s standing, was the latest in a series of episodes of internal turmoil that have tarnished the school’s reputation.

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Kenya Hits Pause on Police Deployment to Haiti

A deployment of 1,000 Kenyan police officers to Haiti to help quell gang-fueled lawlessness is on hold until a new government is formed in the Caribbean nation, officials in Kenya said Tuesday, as leaders tried to figure out a difficult question: Who is going to run Haiti?

Kenya had agreed to send a security force to Haiti, but that deal had been reached with Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who on Monday night agreed to step down once a new transitional government is formed.

Haiti’s embattled prime minister announced his intention to resign after being stranded for days in Puerto Rico following a gang takeover of much of the Haitian capital that made it impossible for him to return.

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Top Navalny Aide Attacked With Hammer Outside Home in Lithuania

The chief of staff to Aleksei A. Navalny, the Russian opposition leader who died last month in an Arctic penal colony, was attacked with a hammer and tear gas outside his home in Lithuania’s capital late Tuesday, according to Mr. Navalny’s press secretary, who said the police and an ambulance had been called to the scene.

Leonid Volkov, who served as one of Mr. Navalny’s top organizers, was pulling up to his house in Vilnius when the attack happened. At least one assailant smashed his car window, sprayed him with tear gas and began beating him with a hammer, Mr. Navalny’s press secretary, Kira Yarmysh, said in a statement released on X and in other comments she gave to Russian media.

Mr. Volkov survived the attack.

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‘Jamming’: How Electronic Warfare Is Reshaping Ukraine’s Battlefields

The Ukrainian soldier swore and tore off his headset. His video monitor had gone blurry at first, the landscape of shattered trees and shell craters barely visible, before blacking out completely. The Russians had jammed the signal of his drone as it was flying outside the town of Kreminna in eastern Ukraine.

“Some days everything goes smoothly, other days the equipment breaks, the drones are fragile and there is jamming,” said the soldier, who goes by the call sign DJ and was speaking from his underground outpost a few miles from the front line.

For a while, the Ukrainians enjoyed a honeymoon period with their self-detonating drones that were used like homemade missiles. The weapons seemed like an effective alternative to artillery shells for striking Russian forces.

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U.K. Conservative Party Under Fire Over Donor’s Alleged Racist Remarks

Britain’s governing Conservative Party was under pressure Tuesday to return more than 10 million pounds to a donor who reportedly said that Diane Abbott, a prominent lawmaker, “should be shot,” and that looking at her made him “want to hate all Black women.”

According to an investigation by The Guardian newspaper, Frank Hester, a health care technology entrepreneur, made the comments in 2019, at a meeting held at the offices of his company, The Phoenix Partnership. He has apologized but has not confirmed the Guardian’s account of what he said.

Mr. Hester said on Monday that he “accepts that he was rude about Diane Abbot in a private meeting several years ago but his criticism had nothing to do with her gender nor color of skin,” in a statement released by his firm that misspelled her last name.

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Zimbabwe, After Expelling U.S. Officials, Accuses Them of Promoting ‘Regime Change’

The government of the southern African nation of Zimbabwe detained, interrogated and deported officials and contractors working for the United States government last month, and this week accused them publicly of promoting “regime change” in their country.

The incident is the latest in the Zimbabwean government’s aggressive efforts to thwart both domestic and international challenges to its authority. The incumbent government claimed victory in a chaotic election last year that several independent observer missions said lacked fairness and credibility.

But it also points to a deeper tension over the United States’ proclaimed efforts to promote democracy around the globe. Some nations, including Zimbabwe, have accused America of meddling in their affairs and attempting to impose its values — as well as of hypocrisy, given the threats at home to its own democracy.

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The Royals Tried to Control Their Image Online. The Internet Had Other Ideas.

Trace back the digitally altered photograph of Catherine, Princess of Wales, and its roots lie in a tragedy of another Princess of Wales, Diana, whose death in 1997 predated the creation of Facebook by nearly seven years.

Diana’s fatal car accident, after a high-speed pursuit by photographers in Paris, left a lasting imprint on her sons, William and Harry. They grew up vowing not to take part in what they viewed as a pathological relationship between the royal family and the press, one in which they were the abused partners.

The rise of social media gave this younger generation of royals a way to bypass the tabloids they reviled, with popular platforms like Instagram and Twitter, where they could post carefully curated news and images of themselves, unmediated by the London papers or the lurking paparazzi.


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Citizenship Law That Excludes Muslims Takes Effect, India Says

Weeks before a national election, the Indian government has abruptly announced that it will begin enforcing a citizenship law that had remained dormant since late 2019 after inciting deadly riots by opponents who called it anti-Muslim.

The incendiary law grants Indian citizenship to persecuted Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsees and Christians from a few nearby countries. Muslims are pointedly excluded.

With a characteristic thunderclap, the government of India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, made a short declaration on Monday night that it had finalized the details that would bring the law, known as the Citizenship Amendment Act, into force.

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Three Is Best: How China’s Family Planning Propaganda Has Changed


For decades, China harshly restricted the number of children couples could have, arguing that everyone would be better off with fewer mouths to feed. The government’s one-child policy was woven into the fabric of everyday life, through slogans on street banners and in popular culture and public art.

Now, faced with a shrinking and aging population, China is using many of the same propaganda channels to send the opposite message: Have more babies.

The government has also been offering financial incentives for couples to have two or three children. But the efforts have not been successful. The birthrate in China has fallen steeply, and last year was the lowest since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

Instead of enforcing birth limits, the government has shifted gears to promote a “pro-birth culture,” organizing beauty pageants for pregnant women and producing rap videos about the advantages of having children.

In recent years, the state broadcaster’s annual spring festival gala, one of the country’s most-watched TV events, has prominently featured public service ads promoting families with two or three children.

In one ad that aired last year, a visibly pregnant woman was shown resting her hand on her belly while her husband and son peacefully slept in bed. The caption read: “It’s getting livelier around here.”

The propaganda effort has been met with widespread ridicule. Critics have regarded the campaign as only the latest sign that policymakers are blind to the increasing costs and other challenges people face in raising multiple children.

They have also mocked the recent messaging for the obvious regulatory whiplash after decades of limiting births with forced abortions and hefty fines. Between 1980 and 2015, the year the one-child policy officially ended, the Chinese government used extensive propaganda to warn that having more babies would hinder China’s modernization.

Today the official rhetoric depicts larger families as the cornerstone of attaining a prosperous society, known in Chinese as “xiaokang.”

For officials, imposing the one-child policy also meant they had to challenge the deep-rooted traditional belief that children, and sons in particular, provided a form of security in old age. To change this mind-set, family planning offices plastered towns and villages with slogans saying that the state would take care of older Chinese.

But China’s population is aging rapidly. By 2040, nearly a third of its people will be over 60. The state will be hard pressed to support seniors, particularly those in rural areas, who get a fraction of the pension received by urban salaried workers under the current program.

Now the official messaging has shifted dramatically, highlighting the importance of self-reliance and family support.

Under the one-child policy, local governments levied steep “social upbringing fees” on those who had more children than allowed. For some families, these penalties brought financial devastation and fractured marriages.

As recently as early 2021, people were still being fined heavily for having a third child, only to find out a few months later, in June, that the government passed a law allowing all married couples to have three children. It had also not only abolished these fees nationwide but also encouraged localities to provide extra welfare benefits and longer parental leave for families with three children.

The pivot has prompted local officials to remove visible remnants of the one-child policy. Last year, local governments across various provinces systematically erased outdated slogans on birth restrictions from public streets and walls.

In a village in Shanxi Province in northern China, government employees took down a mural with a slogan that promoted the one-child policy.

But the slogans that the government would like to treat as relics of a bygone era are finding new resonance with young Chinese.

On social media, many Chinese users have shared photos of one-child policy slogans as witty retorts to what they described as growing societal pressure to have larger families. Some of the posts have garnered thousands of likes and hundreds of comments.

For Car Thieves, Toronto Is a ‘Candy Store,’ and Drivers Are Fed Up

Vjosa Isai drove around Toronto in a Volkswagen Passat with 290,000 miles on it, a vehicle not coveted by car thieves, to report this article.

Whenever Dennis Wilson wants to take a drive in his new SUV, he has to set aside an extra 15 minutes. That’s about how long it takes to remove the car’s steering wheel club, undo four tire locks and lower a yellow bollard before backing out of his driveway.

His Honda CR-V is also fitted with two alarm systems, a vehicle tracking device and, for good measure, four Apple AirTags. Its remote-access key fob rests in a Faraday bag, to jam illicit unlocking signals.

As a final touch, he mounted two motion-sensitive floodlights on his house and aimed them at the driveway in his modest neighborhood in Toronto.

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Where Hostage Families and Supporters Gather, for Solace and Protest

A week after Hamas-led terrorists stormed his kibbutz and kidnapped his wife and three young children, Avihai Brodutch planted himself on the sidewalk in front of army headquarters in Tel Aviv holding a sign scrawled with the words “My family’s in Gaza,” and said he would not budge until they were brought home.

Passers-by stopped to commiserate with him and to try to lift his spirits. They brought him coffee, platters of food and changes of clothing, and welcomed him to their homes to wash up and get some sleep.

“They were so kind, and they just couldn’t do enough,” said Mr. Brodutch, 42, an agronomist who grew pineapples on Kibbutz Kfar Azza before the attacks on Oct. 7. “It was Israel at its finest,” he said. “There was a feeling of a common destiny.”

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An English City Gave Soccer to the World. Now It Wants Credit.

As far as the man in the food truck is concerned, the patch of land he occupies in Sheffield, England, is about as humdrum as they come. To him, the spot — in the drab parking lot of a sprawling home improvement superstore, its facade plastered in lurid orange — is not exactly a place where history comes alive.

John Wilson, an academic at the University of Sheffield’s management school, looks at the same site and can barely contain his excitement. This, he said, is one of the places where the world’s most popular sport was born. He does not see a parking lot. He can see the history: the verdant grass, the sweating players, the cheering crowds.

His passion is sincere, absolute and shared by a small band of amateur historians and volunteer detectives devoted to restoring Sheffield — best known for steel, coal and as the setting for the film “The Full Monty” — to its rightful place as the undisputed birthplace of codified, organized, recognizable soccer.


Map locates Sheffield, Manchester and London in England. It also shows where Wembley Stadium is in northwest London.

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How John Travolta Became the Star of Carnival

Jack Nicas and Dado Galdieri reported this article among the giant puppets of the Carnival celebrations in Olinda, Brazil

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It was near the start of one of Brazil’s most famous Carnival celebrations, in the northern seaside city of Olinda, and the town plaza was jammed with thousands of revelers. They were all awaiting their idol.

Just before 9 p.m., the doors to a dance hall swung open, a brass band pushed into the crowd and the star everyone had been waiting for stepped out: a 12-foot puppet of John Travolta.

Confetti sprayed, the band began playing a catchy tune and the crowd sang along: “John Travolta is really cool. Throwing a great party. And in Olinda, the best carnival.” (It rhymes in Portuguese.)

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‘Decolonizing’ Ukrainian Art, One Name-and-Shame Post at a Time

Hiding for days in the basement of a kindergarten in Bucha, the Kyiv suburb that became synonymous with Russian war crimes, Oksana Semenik had time to think.

Outside, Russian troops were rampaging through the town, killing civilians who ventured into the streets. Knowing she might not make it out, Ms. Semenik, an art historian, mulled over the Ukrainian artworks she had long wanted to write about — and which were now in danger of disappearing.

That time spent holed up in Bucha was during the early days of Russia’s full-scale invasion, but even then, two years ago, she had already seen reports of destroyed museums. Precious folk paintings by her favorite artist, Maria Primachenko, had gone up in flames. Moscow, she realized, was waging a war on Ukrainian culture.

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Murder and Magic Realism: A Rising Literary Star Mines China’s Rust Belt

For a long time during Shuang Xuetao’s early teenage years, he wondered what hidden disaster had befallen his family.

His parents, proud workers at a tractor factory in the northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang, stopped going to work, and the family moved into an empty factory storage room to save money on rent.

But they rarely talked about what had happened, and Mr. Shuang worried that some special shame had struck his family alone.

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Can Gabriel Attal Win Over France?

Gabriel Attal, 34, is a new kind of French prime minister, more inclined to Diet Coke than a good Burgundy, at home with social media and revelations about his personal life, a natural communicator who reels off one-liners like “France rhymes with power” to assert his “authority,” a favorite word.

Since taking office in early January, the boyish-looking Mr. Attal has waded into the countryside, far from his familiar haunts in the chic quarters of Paris, muddied his dress shoes, propped his notes on a choreographed bale of hay, and calmed protesting farmers through adroit negotiation leavened by multiple concessions.

He has told rail workers threatening a strike that “working is a duty,” not an everyday French admonition. He has shown off his new dog on Instagram and explained that he called the high-energy Chow Chow “Volta” after the inventor of the electric battery. He has told the National Assembly that he is the living proof of a changing France as “a prime minister who assumes his homosexuality.”

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Architect Embraces Indigenous Worldview in Australian Designs

Jefa Greenaway will never forget the first time he heard his father’s voice. It was in 2017, when he was watching a documentary about Indigenous Australians’ fight to be recognized in the country’s Constitution.

“It was poignant, surreal,” Mr. Greenaway recalled. “In one word: emotional.”

In the film, his father, Bert Groves, an Indigenous man and a civil rights activist born in 1907, recounts how he was prevented from pursuing an education because of the size of his skull, a victim of phrenology, the pseudoscience that lingered in Australia into the 20th century.

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The Friar Who Became the Vatican’s Go-To Guy on A.I.

Before dawn, Paolo Benanti climbed to the bell tower of his 16th-century monastery, admired the sunrise over the ruins of the Roman forum and reflected on a world in flux.

“It was a wonderful meditation on what is going on inside,” he said, stepping onto the street in his friar robe. “And outside too.”

There is a lot going on for Father Benanti, who, as both the Vatican’s and the Italian government’s go-to artificial intelligence ethicist, spends his days thinking about the Holy Ghost and the ghosts in the machines.

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Canadian Skaters Demand Bronze Medals in Olympics Dispute

Nearly a month after international figure skating’s governing body revised the results of a marquee competition at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, stripping Russia of the gold medal and giving the United States team a long-delayed victory, a new fight about the outcome erupted on Monday.

Eight members of the Canadian squad that competed in the team competition in Beijing have filed a case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport demanding that they be awarded bronze medals in the team event. The court announced the filing but revealed no details.

The Canadians, whose case was joined by their country’s skating federation and national Olympic committee, are expected to argue that figure skating’s global governing body erred when it revised the results of the competition in January after a Russian skater who had taken part, the teenage prodigy Kamila Valieva, was given a four-year ban for doping.

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In Latin America, a New Frontier for Women: Professional Softball in Mexico

Reporting from Mexico City and León, Mexico

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In many parts of Latin America, baseball is a popular and well-established sport with men’s professional leagues in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, among others. But women wanting to play baseball’s cousin — softball — professionally had only one option: to leave. They had to go to the United States or Japan.

Until now.

In what is believed to be a first in Latin America — a region where men often have more opportunities than women, particularly in sports — a professional women’s softball league has started in Mexico. On Jan. 25, when the inaugural season began, 120 women on six teams got to call themselves professional softball players, many for the first time.

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Why the Cost of Success in English Soccer’s Lower Leagues Keeps Going Up

Geoff Thompson knows there are plenty of people who want to buy what he has to sell. The phone calls and emails over the last few weeks have left no doubt. And really, that is no surprise. Few industries are quite as appealing or as prestigious as English soccer, and Mr. Thompson has a piece of it.

It is, admittedly, a comparatively small piece: South Shields F.C., the team he has owned for almost a decade, operates in English soccer’s sixth tier, several levels below, and a number of worlds away, from the dazzling light and international allure of the Premier League. But while his team might be small, Mr. Thompson is of the view that it is, at least, as perfectly poised for profitability as any minor-league English soccer club could hope to be.

South Shields has earned four promotions to higher leagues in his nine years as chairman. The team owns its stadium. Mr. Thompson has spent considerable sums of money modernizing the bathrooms, the club shop and the private boxes. There is a thriving youth academy and an active charitable foundation. “We have done most of the hard yards,” Mr. Thompson said.

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Playing Soccer in $1.50 Sandals That Even Gucci Wants to Copy

The wealthy pros of Ivory Coast’s national soccer team were resting in their luxury hotel last week, preparing for a match in Africa’s biggest tournament, when Yaya Camara sprinted onto a dusty lot and began fizzing one pass after another to his friends.

Over and over, he corralled the game’s underinflated ball and then sent it away again with his favorite soccer shoes: worn plastic sandals long derided as the sneaker of the poor, but which he and his friends wear as a badge of honor.

Shiny soccer cleats like his idols’? No thanks, said Mr. Camara, a lean 18-year-old midfielder, as he wiped sweat from his brow.

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FIFA Convictions Are Imperiled by Questions of U.S. Overreach

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Nearly a decade after police officers marched world soccer officials out of a luxury hotel in Zurich at dawn, revealing a corruption scandal that shook the world’s most popular sport, the case is at risk of falling apart.

The dramatic turnabout comes over questions of whether American prosecutors overreached by applying U.S. law to a group of people, many of them foreign nationals, who defrauded foreign organizations as they carried out bribery schemes across the world.

The U.S. Supreme Court last year limited a law that was key to the case. Then in September, a federal judge, citing that, threw out the convictions of two defendants linked to soccer corruption. Now, several former soccer officials, including some who paid millions of dollars in penalties and served time in prison, are arguing that the bribery schemes for which they were convicted are no longer considered a crime in the United States.

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Aparecen en EE. UU. nuevos sitios de noticias falsas vinculados a Rusia

En las últimas semanas han surgido, en medio de la crisis del periodismo estadounidense, una serie de sitios web cuyos nombres sugieren un énfasis en las noticias cercanas: D. C. Weekly, New York News Daily, Chicago Chronicle y, una publicación hermana más reciente, Miami Chronicle.

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En realidad, no son organizaciones de noticias locales. Son creaciones rusas, según investigadores y funcionarios gubernamentales, diseñadas para imitar a las organizaciones de noticias reales con el fin de difundir la propaganda del Kremlin intercalándola en una mezcla a veces extraña de historias sobre delincuencia, política y cultura.

Aunque Rusia lleva mucho tiempo buscando maneras de influir en el discurso público de Estados Unidos, estas recientes organizaciones de noticias falsas —al menos cinco, hasta ahora— representan un salto tecnológico en sus intentos de encontrar nuevas plataformas para embaucar a lectores estadounidenses desprevenidos. Según los investigadores y las autoridades, estos sitios podrían ser los cimientos de una red en línea preparada para difundir desinformación antes de las elecciones presidenciales estadounidenses de noviembre.

Patrick Warren, codirector del Centro Forense de Medios de la Universidad de Clemson que ha revelado las actividades furtivas de desinformación rusa, afirmó que los avances en inteligencia artificial y otras herramientas digitales “han facilitado aún más esta tarea y han hecho que los contenidos sean aún más específicos”.

El sitio web del Miami Chronicle apareció por primera vez el 26 de febrero. Su eslogan afirma falsamente haber ofrecido “las noticias de Florida desde 1937”.

Entre algunas noticias verdaderas, el sitio publicó la semana pasada una nota sobre una “grabación de audio filtrada” de Victoria Nuland, subsecretaria de Estado para asuntos políticos de Estados Unidos, en la que habla de un cambio en el apoyo estadounidense a la asediada oposición rusa tras la muerte del disidente ruso Alexéi Navalny. La grabación es una burda falsificación, según funcionarios de gobierno que solo aceptaron hablar de manera anónima para poder comentar temas de inteligencia.

La campaña, según expertos y funcionarios, parece implicar a restos del imperio mediático controlado en su momento por Yevgeny Prigozhin, un antiguo socio del presidente ruso, Vladimir Putin, cuya fábrica de troles, la Agencia de Investigación de Internet, interfirió en las elecciones presidenciales de 2016 entre Donald Trump y Hillary Clinton.

Prigozhin murió en un accidente aéreo a las afueras de Moscú en agosto tras liderar un breve levantamiento militar contra el ejército ruso, pero la continuidad de sus operaciones subraya la importancia que el Kremlin otorga a sus batallas informativas en todo el mundo. No está claro quién ha tomado el timón de esa operación.

“Putin sería un completo idiota si dejara que la red se desmoronara”, señaló Darren Linvill, socio de Warren en la Universidad de Clemson. “Necesita la red Prigozhin más que nunca”.

Los investigadores de Clemson revelaron las conexiones rusas detrás del sitio web D. C. Weekly en un informe en diciembre. Tras su revelación, empezaron a aparecer narrativas rusas en otro sitio que se había creado en octubre, Clear Story News. Desde entonces, han aparecido nuevos medios.

Los sitios web del Chicago Chronicle y del New York News Daily, cuyo nombre evoca claramente al famoso tabloide de la ciudad Daily News, se crearon el 18 de enero, según la Corporación de Internet para la Asignación de Nombres y Números, que supervisa los dominios.

Todos los medios utilizan el mismo software de WordPress para crear sus sitios y, por lo tanto, tienen diseños similares.

Los logotipos y nombres de los medios evocan una época pasada del periodismo estadounidense, en un intento por crear una apariencia de autenticidad. Un periódico real llamado The Chicago Chronicle funcionó de 1895 a 1907, antes de desaparecer por una razón muy familiar para los periódicos de la actualidad: no fue rentable.

Además, se actualizan periódicamente con las principales noticias de última hora, creando a primera vista la impresión de actualidad. Un artículo sobre la decisión de la Corte Suprema acerca de la elegibilidad de Trump para permanecer en la papeleta de las primarias en Colorado apareció en el sitio del Miami Chronicle pocas horas después de la decisión.

En otros aspectos, los sitios web están mal construidos, incluso incompletos en algunas secciones. Por ejemplo, la sección “Acerca de” del Miami Chronicle está llena de “Lorem ipsum”, el texto en latín que se utiliza como relleno estándar. Algunas imágenes del sitio tienen nombres de archivo del ruso original. (Ninguno de los sitios publica información de contacto que funcione).

El objetivo no es engañar a un lector perspicaz para que profundice en el sitio web y mucho menos que se suscriba, explicó Linvill. El objetivo es dar un aura de credibilidad a las publicaciones en las redes sociales que difunden la desinformación.

La labor sigue un patrón que el Kremlin ha utilizado antes: blanquear afirmaciones que aparecen primero en línea a través de organizaciones de noticias menores. Esas informaciones se difunden de nuevo en internet y aparecen en otras organizaciones de noticias, incluidas las agencias de noticias estatales y las cadenas de televisión rusas.

“La página solo está ahí con el fin de parecer lo suficientemente realista como para engañar a un lector ocasional haciéndole creer que está leyendo un artículo genuino, de marca estadounidense”, aseguró Linvill.

Según el estudio de Clemson, D. C. Weekly publicó varias narrativas del Kremlin a partir de agosto. Una de ellas incluía la falsa afirmación de que la esposa del presidente de Ucrania, Volodímir Zelenski, había comprado joyas con un valor de más de 1,1 millones de dólares en la tienda Cartier de Nueva York durante su visita a las Naciones Unidas en septiembre.

El sitio afirma contar con una plantilla de 17 periodistas, pero parecen ser personajes inventados. La biografía de la autora de esa nota, llamada Jessica Devlin, utilizó como imagen de perfil una fotografía de Judy Batalion, autora de un libro exitoso sobre mujeres judías que lucharon contra los nazis. Batalion dijo que nunca había oído hablar del sitio ni de la autora hasta que los verificadores de hechos se pusieron en contacto con ella.

Otros artículos que aparecen en los sitios parecen haber sido tomados de organizaciones de noticias reales, como Reuters y Fox News, o de agencias de noticias en inglés de medios de comunicación estatales rusos, como RT. Algunas historias han incluido por descuido instrucciones o respuestas de uno de los chatbots de OpenAI, según escribieron Linvill y Warren en el estudio.

Los artículos suelen recibir cientos de publicaciones en diversas plataformas, como X, antes conocida como Twitter; Facebook, y Telegram, así como Reddit, Gab y Truth Social, aunque es difícil medir el alcance exacto. En conjunto, en teoría podrían llegar a miles de lectores, incluso millones.

“Esto es sin duda un preludio del tipo de interferencia que veremos en el ciclo electoral”, concluyó Linvill. “Es barato, muy selectivo y obviamente eficaz”.

Jeanne Noonan DelMundo colaboró con este reportaje.

Steven Lee Myers cubre temas de desinformación para The New York Times. Ha trabajado en Washington, Moscú, Bagdad y Pekín, donde contribuyó a los artículos que ganaron el Premio Pulitzer por servicio público en 2021. También es autor de The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin. Más de Steven Lee Myers

La ciudad natal de Gabriel García Márquez espera su último libro y más visitantes

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Estatuas y murales llevan su imagen. Escuelas y bibliotecas tienen su nombre. Hoteles, barberías, clubes nocturnos y tiendas de reparación de bicicletas hacen referencias a su obra.

En la sofocante ciudad montañosa de Aracataca, en Colombia, es imposible caminar por una sola calle sin ver alusiones al más renombrado de sus viejos residentes: Gabriel García Márquez, el ganador del Premio Nobel de Literatura de 1982.

Por toda la ciudad se ven mariposas amarillas, un guiño a una de sus famosas imágenes literarias. La casa donde vivió de niño se ha convertido en un museo lleno de sus muebles originales, incluida la cuna donde dormía.

La biblioteca, llamada Biblioteca Pública Municipal Remedios La Bella, en honor al personaje Remedios, la bella, de su novela Cien años de soledad, tiene una vitrina que exhibe sus libros traducidos a varios idiomas.

Aracataca, que antes era una ciudad remota y pequeña de 40.000 habitantes asolada por el desempleo y la falta de servicios básicos, se ha transformado por su conexión con García Márquez, el autor más famoso de Colombia y uno de los titanes literarios del mundo.

Hace diez años, la ciudad no tenía mucho que ofrecer a los turistas y hacía poco por promocionar su conexión con el autor, más allá de un museo y una sala de billar que se denominaba a sí mismo como Billar Macondo, por el nombre de la ciudad ficticia de Cien años de soledad.

Pero desde la muerte de García Márquez, en 2014, ha aumentado el interés por él y por su ciudad natal, la cual inspiró algunas de sus obras más conocidas.

Muchos se refieren al escritor por su apodo, Gabo, y la ciudad se ha convertido en una especie de Gabolandia.

Si caminas por cualquier calle, encontrarás referencias evidentes al autor: carteles con su nombre, murales, estatuas, señales de tránsito y un montón de puestos que venden distintos productos, desde gorras de béisbol hasta tazas de café con la imagen de García Márquez.

Con la reciente publicación de su libro póstumo, En agosto nos vemos, los funcionarios y residentes de Aracataca tienen grandes esperanzas de que la nueva publicidad atraiga aún más turistas.

“Sí, se han visto cambios en todos los aspectos”, dijo Carlos Ruiz, director de un museo en el que el padre de García Márquez trabajó como operador de telégrafos. Él ha estado trabajando junto con el gobierno regional para impulsar el turismo literario en la ciudad.

“A través de Gabo lo que queremos es que Aracataca se fortalezca”, dijo Ruiz, y añadió que el año pasado la visitaron 22.000 turistas, frente a los 17.500 de 2019.

La ciudad celebra el cumpleaños de García Márquez todos los 6 de marzo, pero las festividades de este año fueron mayores, con más participantes y más actividades.

La celebración incluyó un concurso de relatos cortos y poesía y un espectáculo de danza a cargo de un grupo de niñas vestidas de mariposas amarillas. Una bibliotecaria se disfrazó de García Márquez para leer a los niños fragmentos de Cien años de soledad. Por la noche, un grupo de teatro representó El amor en los tiempos del cólera.

García Márquez no quería que se publicara su último libro, cuyos méritos literarios ya se están debatiendo. Pero, en su ciudad natal, la publicación ha generado un gran entusiasmo.

“Hay una expectativa grande, sobre todo porque en esta obra es una mujer la protagonista”, dijo Claudia Aarón, una maestra de escuela de 50 años.

“Qué bueno que la podamos disfrutar”, añadió, “que el gran nobel, nuestro maestro, todavía nos deja disfrutar su obra hasta después de fallecido”.

Aarón, quien iba vestida de amarillo chillón como muchos de los asistentes al concurso de poesía, recordó la última vez que el escritor vino a Aracataca, en 2007, y recorrió la ciudad en un carruaje de caballos.

“Eso fue apoteósico”, dijo. “Él con la esposa iban saludando como reina de pueblo y la gente se agolpaba”.

“Tantas cosas nos ayudan y nos motivan a seguir viviendo aquí, a luchar por esta cultura”, dijo Rocío Valle, de 52 años, otra maestra que asistió al concurso de poesía. “Gracias a Dios y gracias a Gabo”.

García Márquez nació en Aracataca en 1927 y fue criado por sus abuelos maternos hasta los ocho años, antes de mudarse a Sucre a vivir con sus padres.

Aunque su estancia en Aracataca fue relativamente breve, la ciudad se convirtió en la inspiración para la ciudad ficticia de Macondo. (En 2006 se realizó un referéndum para cambiar el nombre de Aracataca por el de Macondo, pero finalmente fracasó).

En sus memorias Vivir para contarla, el novelista recordaba que cuando regresó a Aracataca de joven “la reverberación del calor era tan intensa que todo se veía como a través de un vidrio ondulante”.

Hoy en día, en Aracataca, las obras de García Márquez se enseñan desde el preescolar, y se pide a los niños que hagan dibujos basados en sus cuentos, los cuales se leen en voz alta, dijo Aarón.

El miércoles, un grupo de adolescentes reunidos frente a una tienda dijeron que el legado del Premio Nobel de García Márquez los había inspirado a ser creativos e imaginativos en clase. También debatieron sobre cuál de sus obras era su favorita: La increíble y triste historia de la cándida Eréndira y de su abuela desalmada o Relato de un náufrago.

Alejandra Mantilla, de 16 años, dijo que se sentía orgullosa de ver a turistas de lugares tan lejanos como Europa y China visitar la ciudad, sobre todo porque Colombia sigue luchando por superar su reputación relacionada a las drogas y la violencia.

“Colombia es, de pronto, uno de los países que está como muy alejado por todo lo del narcotráfico y todo eso”, dijo. “Entonces, qué bueno que le dé una buena imagen al país”.

Iñaki Otaoño, de 63 años, y su esposa, que viven en España, se aseguraron de visitar Aracataca durante su viaje de un mes por Colombia. Otaoño dijo que ha leído todas las obras de García Márquez.

“Somos un poco monomaníacos de este señor”, dijo. “Había que conocer el sitio de lo que sale en el libro”.

También mencionó que pensaban comprar su nuevo libro cuando llegaran a Bogotá.

“Pues mejor comprarlo aquí en su país, ¿no?”, dijo.

El gobierno regional ha estado trabajando para reactivar un ferrocarril que pasa por Aracataca, que actualmente funciona solo para movilizar carbón, para transportar pasajeros como parte de una “ruta Macondo”. Además, se está construyendo un gran hotel con piscina y panadería.

El aumento del turismo ha proporcionado más oportunidades económicas.

Cuando Jahir Beltrán, de 39 años, perdió su empleo como minero del carbón, trabajó brevemente en construcción y agricultura, hasta que un amigo le sugirió trabajar como guía turístico.

Entonces empezó a estudiar la obra de García Márquez y contrató a un sastre que le hizo un uniforme para poder disfrazarse del coronel Aureliano Buendía, uno de los personajes más importantes de Cien años de soledad.

“Todo esos conocimientos, tanto del escritor como de la vieja Aracataca, me han servido para transmitírselo a los turistas”, dijo Beltrán, quien ahora trabaja a tiempo completo como guía turístico independiente.

Fernando Vizcaíno, banquero jubilado de 70 años, tuvo la idea de convertir su casa en un hostal hace unos seis años, cuando vio que empezaban a llegar un mayor número de visitantes. Lo bautizó como Casa Turística Realismo Mágico, y él y su esposa la decoraron con colores brillantes y muchas referencias a García Márquez.

Vizcaíno dijo que su padre era amigo de la familia del autor y llevaba y traía las cartas que los padres de García Márquez se escribían cuando eran jóvenes y perseguían un amor prohibido. Ese noviazgo inspiró El amor en los tiempos del cólera.

“Aquí en Aracataca es una persona que está viva todavía”, dijo.


La ayuda de World Central Kitchen de José Andrés podría salir a Gaza en unos días

El Times  Una selección semanal de historias en español que no encontrarás en ningún otro sitio, con eñes y acentos.

El primer cargamento marítimo de ayuda humanitaria a Gaza —asistencia alimentaria de la organización World Central Kitchen— podría salir del país insular mediterráneo de Chipre en unos días, dijeron autoridades de la Unión Europea.

Ursula von der Leyen, presidenta del organismo ejecutivo de la UE, describió el cargamento como un “proyecto piloto” para un corredor marítimo de asistencia a Gaza, pero ofreció pocos detalles sobre cómo se llevaría a cabo ni en qué ubicación del territorio se entregaría.

El célebre cocinero español José Andrés, fundador de World Central Kitchen, publicó el viernes en las redes sociales imágenes en las que se veían plataforma de carga cargadas en un buque con los nombres de su grupo y de Open Arms, un organismo de asistencia español. Dijo que los planes para el envío estaban “en las fases finales” y que “desembarcaría en las playas de Gaza con 200 palés”. No quedó claro cómo se recogería o distribuiría la ayuda, si llegaba a Gaza.

Desde octubre, organizadores y cocineros palestinos que trabajan con la World Central Kitchen han servido más de 32 millones de comidas en Gaza, según ha declarado el grupo. Sus esfuerzos podrían ser impulsados por los planes del ejército de EE. UU. para construir un muelle flotante para llevar más ayuda a Gaza, y los anuncios el viernes del Reino Unido, la Unión Europea y otros países indicando que establecerían un corredor marítimo de asistencia al territorio.

La medida le daría al grupo un acceso clave a un suministro constante de alimentos, el cual les serviría para más que duplicar las raciones que sirven diariamente y ayudar incluso más a la población de la zona norte de Gaza, dijo José Andrés en una entrevista el jueves, luego de que Estados Unidos anunció los planes del muelle flotante.

“Estamos intentando hacer lo imposible”, dijo. “Merece la pena intentar lo imposible para alimentar a la población de Gaza”.

La organización ha establecido 65 cocinas comunitarias en Gaza gestionadas por palestinos locales y tiene planes de añadir al menos 35 más, dijo José Andrés. Cada día se sirven unas 350.000 raciones, pero, añadió, le gustaría distribuir más de un millón.

Llevar alimentos y ayuda a Gaza ha sido desalentador, dijo. World Central Kitchen ha recurrido a enviar alguna de sus ayudas mediante lanzamientos aéreos con la Real Fuerza Aérea Jordana.

José Andrés fundó la organización tras el terremoto de Haití de 2010, en el que fallecieron unas 300.000 personas. Desde entonces, ha asistido en numerosas catástrofes naturales y guerras en Estados Unidos y en el extranjero. En 2017, la asociación sirvió millones de raciones de comida a los puertorriqueños afectados por el huracán María, a los ucranianos damnificados por la guerra contra Rusia y, más recientemente, a personas que se enfrentaban a incendios en Chile y Texas, entre otros lugares.

“Tenemos que apuntar a la Luna, porque donde sea que caigamos, merece la pena el esfuerzo”, dijo.

La asociación es el mayor programa de alimentación de emergencia creado por un grupo de cocineros: ha servido más de 350 millones de raciones de comida desde su fundación. Su impacto es inmediato, pues José Andrés y su personal pueden establecer redes rápidamente, organizar cocinas en condiciones difíciles y conseguir ingredientes y equipos.

Las cocinas, como las de Gaza, suelen estar gestionadas por lugareños, que preparan su gastronomía. Muchas de esas recetas se recopilaron en el libro de cocina del World Central Kitchen que se publicó en septiembre.


Christina Morales es reportera de alimentación para el Times. Más de Christina Morales.

Monika Pronczuk es una reportera radicada en Bruselas. Se incorporó al Times en 2020. Más de Monika Pronczuk.

Un estudiante de una escuela normal rural murió tras un tiroteo de agentes de la policía de México

Agentes de policía mexicanos mataron a tiros a un estudiante de una escuela normal rural el jueves por la noche en la parte occidental del país. El episodio se produce en un momento de creciente tensión entre el gobierno y los estudiantes de la escuela, vinculada a una de las peores atrocidades de la historia reciente de México.

El Times  Una selección semanal de historias en español que no encontrarás en ningún otro sitio, con eñes y acentos.

El tiroteo del jueves se produjo en el estado de Guerrero después de que agentes de la policía estatal intentaran detener una camioneta blanca que había sido denunciada como robada y fueran recibidos a tiros, según las autoridades estatales.

Las autoridades dijeron que, en el tiroteo que siguió, una de las personas que viajaba en el vehículo, Yanqui Kothan Gómez Peralta, de 23 años, recibió un disparo en la cabeza por parte de la policía y murió posteriormente en un hospital. Una segunda persona que viajaba en la camioneta fue detenida, y en el vehículo se encontraron un arma de fuego y drogas, según la policía.

El secretario general del gobierno de Guerrero, Ludwig Reynoso, dijo a la prensa tras el tiroteo que Gómez Peralta era estudiante de la Escuela Normal Rural Raúl Isidro Burgos, una escuela para formar profesores de una zona rural de Guerrero con un historial de activismo y protesta social.

En 2014, un grupo de 43 estudiantes de la escuela fue atacado por pistoleros, entre los que se encontraban agentes de la policía local cuyos mandos habían estado recibiendo órdenes directas de narcotraficantes locales, como demostró un conjunto de mensajes de texto, testimonios de testigos y archivos de investigación.

Los estudiantes fueron secuestrados y nunca se les volvió a ver. Una década después, solo se han identificado oficialmente los restos de tres cuerpos.

La escuela normal condenó el viernes la actuación de la policía en el encuentro con la camioneta, sugiriendo que fue un ataque no provocado.

“Acribillaron de manera cruel a uno de nuestros compañeros”, declaró la escuela en un comunicado. “Responsabilizamos de manera directa al gobierno estatal por el ataque armado”.

Funcionarios estatales dijeron que lamentaban la muerte ocasionada en el encuentro, pero explicaron que los agentes estaban respondiendo a un delito.

“No hay un ataque a un estudiante, puesto que no sabíamos que era un estudiante, sino a una persona que iba manejando un vehículo con reporte de robo y no se detiene ante el alto de la autoridad”, afirmó René Posselt, vocero del gobierno del estado de Guerrero.

El asesinato de Gómez Peralta se produjo días después de que un grupo de manifestantes embistiera las puertas de madera del Palacio Nacional, donde vive el presidente del país, exigiendo respuestas sobre la investigación del caso de los 43 estudiantes desaparecidos, que, según los manifestantes, el gobierno había paralizado.

El presidente Andrés Manuel López Obrador restó importancia a la protesta y la calificó de provocación.

Tras la muerte de Gómez Peralta, algunos estudiantes de la escuela normal protagonizaron una protesta en Chilpancingo, la capital del estado, prendiendo fuego a un vehículo policial.

José Filiberto Velázquez, sacerdote local y director del grupo de derechos humanos Minerva Bello en Guerrero, dijo que un tercer estudiante que se había bajado de la camioneta para ir a una tienda cercana alertó a la escuela de lo que había ocurrido.

Otros estudiantes llamaron entonces a Velázquez, quien rebatió la versión oficial de que los estudiantes atacaron primero a la policía.

“Es una ejecución extrajudicial para nosotros”, dijo Velázquez. “Resultado de una tendencia de abuso de autoridad, de brutalidad policíaca, que es ya una costumbre”

Santiago Aguirre, abogado principal que representa a las familias de los 43 estudiantes desaparecidos, afirmó que existe un patrón de uso desproporcionado de la fuerza letal por parte de las autoridades estatales de Guerrero, y añadió que las organizaciones de derechos humanos han documentado casos de agentes de policía que han plantado pruebas en las escenas de los crímenes.

“El llamado de cautela es a una investigación exhaustiva que no se realice con sesgos y que agote todas las líneas de investigación necesarias”, dijo Aguirre.

El viernes por la mañana, López Obrador expresó su consternación por el asesinato de Gómez Peralta y dijo que la fiscalía investigaría a fondo el incidente del jueves. También reiteró su intención de obtener respuestas sobre lo ocurrido a los 43 estudiantes desaparecidos.

“No vamos a responder con violencia de ninguna manera, por convicción, no somos represores”, dijo López Obrador, cuyo gobierno dirige la investigación sobre los estudiantes desaparecidos. “Saber lo que sucedió y castigar a los responsables y encontrar a los jóvenes, ese es mi compromiso y estoy en eso”.

La escuela normal y las familias de los estudiantes desaparecidos han criticado la gestión del gobierno en cuanto a esta investigación.

El año pasado, un grupo de expertos internacionales que había estado investigando el secuestro de los estudiantes anunció que ponía fin a su investigación y abandonaba el país después de que sus miembros dijeran que las fuerzas armadas mexicanas les habían mentido y engañado repetidamente sobre el papel de los militares en el crimen.

Un vocero del ejército mexicano dijo que la Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional del país ya no estaba autorizada a hablar sobre el caso de los estudiantes desaparecidos.

“El que habla es el presidente sobre esto”, dijo.

Emiliano Rodríguez Mega es investigador-reportero del Times radicado en Ciudad de México. Cubre México, Centroamérica y el Caribe. Más de Emiliano Rodríguez Mega


¿Cuáles son las pandillas que han invadido la capital de Haití y qué quieren?

El Times  Una selección semanal de historias en español que no encontrarás en ningún otro sitio, con eñes y acentos.

Haití, nación del Caribe con una larga historia de turbulencia, está atravesando uno de sus peores periodos de caos.

Las pandillas cerraron el aeropuerto, saquearon puertos marítimos, edificios públicos y tiendas, y han atacado casi una decena de comisarías. Las carreteras están bloqueadas, lo que corta el suministro de alimentos, y 4600 reclusos fueron liberados tras el ataque a las prisiones.

El primer ministro, Ariel Henry, está varado en Puerto Rico mientras los pandilleros causan estragos, exigen su dimisión y asaltan decenas de camiones llenos de provisiones del Programa Mundial de Alimentos.

El estado de emergencia en torno a Puerto Príncipe, la capital, se prorrogó un mes más.

Con el gobierno al borde del colapso, Estados Unidos y los países del Caribe están trabajando para llegar a una resolución —incluido un plan para un gobierno de transición— que restablezca cierta apariencia de orden en la atribulada nación y permita que Henry pueda regresar al país.

Los expertos calculan que en Haití operan hasta 200 pandillas, unas 20 de ellas en Puerto Príncipe. Van desde pequeños grupos de unas pocas decenas de jóvenes que comparten pistolas hasta cuadrillas de unos 1500 hombres con sueldos semanales y armas automáticas que pertenecen a organizaciones jerarquizadas con jefes.

Dos organizaciones principales de pandillas, el G-Pèp y la Familia G-9, controlan muchos de los barrios más pobres de la capital. Los grupos delictivos y sus aliados a veces trabajan en colaboración, pero más a menudo se enfrentan.

Los grupos han estado históricamente vinculados a partidos políticos: el G-9 está afiliado al partido gobernante Haitian Tèt Kale, mientras que el G-Pèp tiende a apoyar a los partidos de la oposición.

El G-9 y sus aliados se han apoderado en gran medida de los puertos y de las carreteras que rodean el principal aeropuerto del país. Ha sido casi imposible conducir desde Puerto Príncipe a las ciudades del norte porque las pandillas han tomado la autopista norte-sur.

Henry abandonó el país la semana pasada para dirigirse a Kenia, donde firmó un acuerdo que allana el camino para que una fuerza multinacional dirigida por esa nación de África Oriental viaje a Haití y se enfrente a las bandas.

En su lugar, en ausencia de Henry, los líderes de las pandillas anunciaron una alianza informal llamada “Vivre Ensemble” o “Vivir Juntos” en español. Lanzaron ataques coordinados contra instituciones estatales con el objetivo de derrocar al gobierno actual e impedir el despliegue de la fuerza internacional.

“Quieren engullir barrios uno a uno”, declaró Nicole Phillips, abogada de derechos humanos especializada en Haití. “Cualquier gobierno que les permita hacerlo, eso es lo que quieren”.

Las bandas también esperan establecer un consejo de gobierno para dirigir el país, y quieren ayudar a elegir a sus miembros para poder ejercer el control, dijo Robert Muggah, quien investiga Haití para varias agencias de la ONU.

Las bandas tienen varios jefes en distintos barrios, pero en los últimos días un jefe llamado Jimmy Chérizier, a quien se conoce como Barbacoa, se ha convertido en la cara pública de la alianza Vivir Juntos.

Exagente de policía conocido por su crueldad, ha sido acusado de dirigir masacres. Su alianza de bandas, el G-9, dirige el centro de Puerto Príncipe y ha sido acusado de atacar barrios aliados con partidos políticos de la oposición, saquear viviendas, violar a mujeres y matar a personas al azar.

La llamó “revolución armada”.

Esta semana trató de adoptar un tono más conciliador, pidiendo disculpas a las personas cuyos hogares habían sido saqueados por las pandillas, incluida su propia alianza, durante los recientes disturbios.

“Nuestro primer paso en la batalla es derrocar al gobierno de Ariel Henry, como siempre hemos dicho, y luego nos aseguraremos de que el país tenga un Estado fuerte con un sistema judicial fuerte para luchar contra los corruptos”, dijo durante una conferencia de prensa. “Vamos a asegurarnos de que tener un sistema de seguridad fuerte que permita a todo el mundo circular a la hora que quiera y regresar cuando quiera”.

“Nuestro objetivo es ver otro Haití”.

Aunque no estaba claro si el enfoque más comedido del jefe de la pandilla era sincero o calculado, Muggah señaló que no dejaba de ser una postura nueva para Chérizier.

“Hemos visto cómo Chérizier y el G-9 han evolucionado en las últimas semanas hacia una retórica más política”, dijo Muggah. “Además de llamar a la rebelión y amenazar con la guerra civil si no se cumplen sus exigencias, están tratando de proponer soluciones en las que mantendrían su poder si, como mínimo, se les absolviera y se les brindara amnistia por todos los crímenes que han cometido.”

Kenia fue uno de los pocos países que respondieron a la petición internacional de ayuda de Haití.

Haití lleva ocho años sin celebrar elecciones. Su presidente fue asesinado hace casi tres años. Henry, primer ministro designado, es considerado en general un gobernante ilegítimo.

El Estado ha perdido credibilidad y poder, y las bandas han intervenido para llenar el vacío.

El año pasado, casi 5000 personas fueron asesinadas y otras 2500 secuestradas, según la ONU, un nivel de violencia que duplicó el del año anterior. Enero fue el mes más violento en dos años, con más de 800 personas asesinadas, según la ONU.

A fines de 2022, Henry pidió a la comunidad internacional que interviniera. Algunas naciones, entre ellas Estados Unidos, manifestaron poco interés, dado el sombrío historial de anteriores intervenciones internacionales en Haití.

Estados Unidos accedió a financiar la mayor parte del despliegue de 1000 agentes de policía kenianos, más otros procedentes de otras naciones, pero se ha retrasado por resoluciones judiciales kenianas.

A medida que las pandillas haitianas han crecido en tamaño y armamento, han ganado más territorio e infraestructuras importantes. Cobran tasas por pasar por determinadas carreteras y por recuperar camiones secuestrados, y exigen rescates para liberar a las víctimas de secuestros.

En los últimos años, los grupos violentos han empezado a extenderse a zonas rurales como Artibonite, a unos 100 km al norte de Puerto Príncipe y una de las principales regiones agrícolas de Haití. Las bandas invaden las granjas y dificultan —si no imposibilitan— que los agricultores viajen y vendan sus productos.

Es una pregunta complicada de responder.

“Ahora utilizamos la palabra ‘pandilla’ porque es práctica, todo el mundo la utiliza y la conoce, pero no capta lo que está ocurriendo”, afirmó Romain Le Cour, quien investiga sobre Haití para la Iniciativa Global contra el Crimen Organizado Transnacional, con sede en Ginebra.

La mayoría de los miembros de las bandas son hombres de unos 20 años que proceden de barrios urbanos empobrecidos donde escasean las oportunidades. A menudo están alineados con empresarios y políticos de élite que les pagan por todo, desde asegurar la carga hasta reunir manifestantes. Los partidos políticos han utilizado a los miembros de las pandillas en las elecciones para atraer votos o suprimirlos.

“En Haití existe una larga tradición de élites que intentan crear y alimentar grupos paramilitares que, en las últimas décadas, les han ayudado a servir a sus intereses y a utilizar la violencia para mantener el monopolio de algún producto básico o para algunos intereses políticos”, afirmó Diego Da Rin, investigador sobre Haití del International Crisis Group.

En Haití, el concepto de grupos armados irregulares se remonta a décadas atrás y han existido varios tipos de actores violentos en el país.

Durante la dictadura haitiana de François Duvalier, los grupos paramilitares conocidos como Tonton Macoutes eran famosos por su violencia y represión. En 1995, el presidente Jean-Bertrand Aristide ilegalizó los grupos paramilitares y disolvió las fuerzas armadas haitianas.

Antiguos soldados que originalmente formaban parte del movimiento de Aristide crearon más tarde grupos locales de autodefensa conocidos como “baz”, que a menudo seguían a líderes carismáticos y llegaron a gobernar partes de Puerto Príncipe.

Otros grupos paramilitares del pasado son el Frente para el Avance y el Progreso de Haití, de extrema derecha, y los chimères, que estaban afiliados a Aristide.

Ahora bien, la línea que separa a un baz de una banda suele ser borrosa.

Las personas hartas de la violencia de las bandas se han unido a un movimiento conocido como “bwa kale”, que anima a la justicia por mano propia. Han cometido asesinatos extrajudiciales y, en general, persiguen a los delincuentes, a menudo con el apoyo de la comunidad local.

Además, muchos miembros de una brigada ambientalista sancionada por el gobierno, conocida como B-SAP, se han vuelto contra el Estado, con lo que se ha sumado otro grupo de personas armadas.

La Policía Nacional de Haití se ha visto impactada por la salida de unos 3000 de sus 15000 empleados en los últimos dos años. Aunque Estados Unidos ha invertido casi 200 millones de dólares estadounidenses en el departamento, actualmente presenta escasez de armamento y carece de personal. El departamento posee 47 vehículos blindados, pero en una reciente visita de los investigadores de la ONU, menos de la mitad estaban operativos.

Andre Paultre colaboró con reportería desde Puerto Príncipe, Haití.

Frances Robles es una reportera de investigación que cubre Estados Unidos y América Latina. Es periodista desde hace más de 30 años. Más de Frances Robles