"A woman cries as she speaks of her fear that her ex-boyfriend will kill their children. A member of one of the [Colombian paramilitary] successor groups, he wounded her in a knife attack after she left him. She is afraid of walking outside because members of his group control many neighborhoods, and if they see her they may report back to him. She is in hiding in a safe house in Barrancabermeja, Santander." Photo by Stephen Ferry / Human Rights Watch
Singer and right-wing groups spoke person Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, best known as Shakira, has strong ties to corrupted groups and right-wing politicians in Latin America, the U.S. and Europe.
This explains her silence on the brutal human rights violations occurring in her country Colombia during the government of president Alvaro Uribe, a man with ties to drug trafficking and paramilitary groups.
Last week, Shakira visited Washington, DC. The press releases talked about Shakira coming to town “to launch a $300 million initiative for early child education”. This program is possible thanks to an agreement between the ALAS Foundation, Columbia University's Earth Institute and the World Bank. The event was held at the infamous World Bank headquarters in downtown DC.
President Obama received Shakira and her ex-fiance Fernando de la Rua at the White House last week. Photo by CN-Argentina
While in DC, Shakira also visited the White House where she met with several U.S. advisers on National Security (?) and also with president Barack Obama:
The Barranquilla-born star visited the White House to meet representatives of the National Security Council and the Domestic Policy Council, and was able to drop in on the president for a brief private meeting, according to the Associated Press.Shakira talked about Immigration Reform to president Obama during her meeting:
While meeting in the Oval Office, Shakira also took the opportunity to push President Obama to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation, another cause near and dear to her heart.This is something that makes no sense to me. As an undocumented immigrant in the United States, I care about Immigration Reform deeply because the current legislation violates human rights and it is worsening a nationwide humanitarian crisis. I know people who are in this country without proper immigration documents, struggling every day to make a living and to keep their families together.
When I read that Shakira talked about Immigration Reform to president Obama, I thought it was a positive action, but I have to wonder if Shakira's intentions were honest considering her record on Colombia, where she has remained silent on the atrocities happening there to poor people.
It seems that Shakira might have talked about the pending controversial U.S. - Colombia Free Trade Agreement, or the destructive, corrupting and polluting Plan Colombia. Both are strategic deals for the current Uribe administration, which was recently cut short of running for a third-term as president by the Colombian Constitutional Court.
Silent about Colombia
Shakira is a well admired singer for many, including myself. However, her actions as an activist and public advocate for interest groups, made me distrust the real intentions of this Colombian-Lebanese artist. I have some questions in mind.
How come a mediocre singer and composer of sexist songs is a worldwide role model for children? Shakira, who based much of her success on exposing her body, is now a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
Why is that Shakira tries desperately to look White-Caucasian? Who named Shakira a leader for millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States? Why is Shakira a leader for youth?
How can we explain Shakira's enormous success in the U.S. being such a mediocre artist?
Shakira has a good talent for dancing and she looks good, but she lacks of singing skills and a good voice, and her songs are mostly forgettable. Regardless, she has suddenly become the "icon" of the Latino culture in the U.S., where supposedly she represents millions of Brown people who certainly do not look like her, nor listen to her music as much.
All of this "success" might have to do with her connections to certain people.
This beautiful woman of of Arab and Spanish heritage has changed her appearance to fit into the "U.S. Latino media" whitened version of what we Brown people should look like.
Shakira has been used as a "Latino / Hispanic" icon since she endorsed Barack Obama's candidacy during the 2008 presidential elections in the U.S. That was a great publicity move, or perhaps she was paid for to do that by the Democratic Party.
After Obama’s election, Shakira was invited to sing at the Inauguration Concert in Washington, DC. She became something as the Colombian connection to the White House.
Colombia is the strongest ally of the U.S. military machine in South America. This country receives the second biggest U.S. military funding in the world, after Israel, thanks to president Clinton's designed Plan Colombia. Immerse in a civil war for the last four decades, two-thirds of Colombia are said to be occupied today by leftist guerrillas and drug cartels.
In one way or another, the failed Plan Colombia has promoted violence, corruption, the displacement of about 4-5 million people, the pollution of lands and rivers by poisoning of entire communities and the funding of armed right-wing paramilitary groups.
Shakira has spoken against the violence of the guerrilla group FARC, and in support of the liberation of hostages held by those rebels. This is a legitimate demand, but there is not excuse for Shakira’s silence about the crimes of the Colombian paramilitary groups, the military and the drug mafias.
But as a Colombian citizen, Shakira also should protest against the abuses occurring in her home country, but she has never spoken out against the horrendous human rights violations committed by Colombian president Alvaro Uribe during his seven years in power.
Shakira has never protested against the killings of union organizers, as Colombia is the world's leading nation with more unionists assassinated. Also, Shakira has never protested against the 4-5 million displaced Colombians, the worst humanitarian crisis in the world after Congo and Sudan.
She has reasons to remain quiet.
Charities for profit
Shakira has created several “charity” foundations, including the Pies Descalzos Foundation which says works in behalf of poor children in Colombia. This foundation has received strong support from the Uribe administration, and big donations from the former U.S. president William "Bill" Clinton.
Bill Clinton is also a strong "Free" Trade advocate, he is close friend with Alvaro Uribe and a lobbyist for U.S. and Canadian mining companies in Colombia and Peru. Shakira has learned well from Clinton's experience on making charity a profitable business.
Another strong supporter of Shakira's charity work is the corrupted Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world who owns a big part of the economy of Mexico, a country where over 50% of the population live in extreme poverty. Shakira and Slim are both of Catholic Lebanese origins.
Bill Clinton’s role as a lobbyist for multinational corporations, has to do with his friendship with Carlos Slim and Canadian mining money-man Frank Giustra. Please read this post I wrote when Clinton visited Peru last year.
Another of Shakira’s charity projects is ALAS, or the America Latina en Accion Solidaria Foundation. Among its founders, again is Carlos Slim. In its website, ALAS also says they care about children's education:
ALAS is a nonprofit organization created by the most prominent Latin American artists, business leaders and intellectuals to mobilize Latin-American society towards the implementation of integrated early childhood public policies, so that every child from zero to six years old has access to health plans, education and nutrition.Wonderful, we can only support a better educating our children, especially in the most unequal and racist Latin America, where only the rich gets access to quality education. I just wonder if children should have sexist-stripper like dancer Shakira as a role model. You think about it.
Shakira loves right-wing politicians, and they love her back. Among the strongest supporters of ALAS are included the non-elected king of Spain, Juan Carlos Bourbon, who was appointed by fascist Spanish dictator Francisco Franco.
Also, a former vice-president of ALAS is Carlos Clemente Aguado, a Spanish Congress member from the right-wing Partido Popular, who left the ALAS post under corruption charges. Clemente is said to have boycotted an international convention of Afro descendant women in Madrid, back in 2006.
Another close friend of Shakira is the former Hispanic Justice minister Jose Maria Michavila, of also a rightist of the Partido Popular and ALAS’ founding director.
There is more. Among ALAS advocates are included several right-wing activists including: Spanish singers Alejandro Sanz and Miguel Bose, Peruvian comedian and right-wing writer Jaime Bayly, Colombian singer Juanes, and others.
These are all well-paid activists who campaign openly against left-wing governments in Latin America, and most of them are connected to the oligarchy of Venezuela, Cuba, Colombia, Peru, Argentina and Mexico.
Let’s not forget about Shakira’s fiancé Antonio de la Rua. He is an Argentinean lawyer and publicist, the son of a former right-wing president who was forced to leave power during the 2001 Argentinean financial debacle.
De la Rua –of Spanish heritage- has been Shakira’s manager and the author of her contract with Live Nation, the biggest music producer in Europe and perhaps in the world. De la Rua is one of the founders of ALAS, and rumor has it that he owns an entire island in the Bahamas, which he is developing and selling to the world’s richest.
In her meeting with Obama at the White House, Shakira was accompanied by Antonio de la Rua.
"Jorge Morett, father of Lucia Morett, holds up a poster of Colombia's President Alvaro Uribe during a protest near where the Latin American leaders summit is taking place, in Cancun February 23, 2010. Mexican Lucia Morett was wounded when Colombia bombed a Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) camp in Ecuador on March 2, 2008. Colombia has accused Morett of cooperating with militants and has requested her extradition, but Morett claims she was visiting the guerrilla camp for academic research. The words on the poster read, 'Alvaro Uribe Velez, Wanted'." Photo by Reuters
Shakira has also some connections to the paramilitary politics in Colombia. Learn this, the current president of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe along his close family and friends, have a long history of close ties with groups involved in the production and trafficking of illegal drugs, and right-wing paramilitary death squads as well.
In 2003, Uribe announced that he was demobilizing the paramilitary groups, in an effort to bring peace to Colombia. In reality, these violent groups became legalized political parties, known today as the parapolitica parties, which are strong supporters of Uribe’s policies. One of those parties is the Movimiento Apertura Liberal (MAL).
This year, Shakira’s uncle and her father's brother, Felipe Mebarak Chadid, run as a candidate to the Senate with MAL. This party has included in the past politicians linked to paramilitary groups, including Jorge Luis Caballero and others, among its leaders.
Instead of ending violence, the presence of paramilitary groups have increased it in some regions of Colombia. This week, Human Rights Watch has called the Colombian government to act in order to protect civilians and to prosecute paramilitary "successor" groups and their accomplices. The report denounces:
The successor groups regularly commit massacres, killings, forced displacement, rape, and extortion, and create a threatening atmosphere in the communities they control. Often, they target human rights defenders, trade unionists, victims of the paramilitaries who are seeking justice, and community members who do not follow their orders.Colombia has a critical problem of racism, most of the victims of this violence are Black and Indigenous populations, or mixed Indigenous often called mestizos. The country's population is 30% African descendant, and most of them are now victims of racist displacement, killings and torture.
These abuses are committed mostly by right-wing paramilitaries connected to multinational corporations and the Uribe government, which Shakira seems to be fond of. They take people's lands for agro-business, mining, oil, drug production and other extractive industries.
Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, or Shakira, has never stood up and protests against these crimes or against the genocide of hundreds of Indigenous peoples in Colombia, which is another of Uribe’s saddest legacies. Why the silence?
Long are the days of the young Shakira who sang about love, passion and hope with a strong U.S. musical influence. Back then she sang about "an old race of barefoot people with white dreams", she was the rebellious, romantic and strong teenager.
As today, there is more to say about Shakira’s connections to rightist and racist groups in Colombia, Spain, Argentina, Mexico, England and the United States. These are groups of mostly economic, political and religious interests, and they are interested in our children.
These are exactly the same people who are to blame for Latin America's brutal reality, as one of the most racist and unfair regions in the world.
There is a reason why they call "Latin" to a region of the Americas that is mostly populated by Indigenous and Afro descendant peoples. This beautiful part of the world is controlled by corrupted and racist groups of European descendants, and they love having Shakira as their tool for mass manipulation.
Will Shakira ever stop acting like a stripper dancer and break the silence about Colombia?