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WORLD
October 21, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Special prosecutors have arrested a former commander of Mexico's disbanded secret police in connection with the 1974 disappearance of six suspected guerrillas, officials said. The federal special prosecutor's office said Jorge Bustos, a commander with the defunct Federal Security Directorate, arrested six alleged members of the Brigada Lacandona who disappeared after Hidalgo state authorities turned them over to the federal intelligence agency. The fate of the men remains unknown.
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ENTERTAINMENT
December 20, 2012 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
It takes a lot of confidence, not to mention nerve, for a small German film to arrive in theaters in the heart of the holiday season and face off against the formidable behemoths of Hollywood. "Barbara," however, has a secret weapon: It's one terrific film, as smart, thoughtful and emotionally involving as just about anything that's out there. Winner of the Berlin Film Festival's Silver Bear for writer-director Christian Petzold and starring a luminous Nina Hoss, Petzold's frequent collaborator and one of Germany's top actresses, "Barbara" has another advantage: its Soviet-era, behind-the-Iron Curtain setting allows it to investigate the kinds of complex and compelling moral dilemmas endemic to that time and place.
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NEWS
March 17, 1990 | Reuters
Thousands of East Germans scrambled to buy a real-life Cold War thriller Friday as the newly published secrets of the disbanded secret police became that nation's best-selling book. Hundreds of people stood in line for hours to buy the little yellow volume, eager to know how they had been spied on and lied to in decades of hard-line Communist rule. The decision to publish was made by the interim government.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 27, 2012 | By Paula Woods, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Four years ago, "Child 44," Tom Rob Smith's debut thriller set in Stalinist Russia, was a literary sensation. An edgy, intense portrait of Russia's secret police and the lengths they would go to to protect their country's image as a crime-free society, "Child 44" managed to straddle a fine line between well-researched, absorbing historical fiction and propulsive thriller that would earn the book universal praise, sales of more than 1.5 million copies...
NEWS
July 29, 1990 | From Associated Press
Twenty-four members of Prime Minister Lothar de Maiziere's party in Parliament once worked for the Stasi, the now-disbanded secret police in East Germany, two newspapers reported Saturday. A key party official denied the reports. The East Berlin newspaper Der Morgen, in reporting on the alleged connection, said it based its information on a letter sent to 24 members of the Christian Democratic Union faction in Parliament.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 2, 2009 | Associated Press
Gen. Nicolae Plesita, a die-hard communist and ruthless chief of the Securitate secret police who arranged shelter in Romania for terrorist Carlos the Jackal and was tried for the bombing of Radio Free Europe, has died. He was 80. Plesita died Monday in a Romanian Intelligence Service hospital in Bucharest, where he was being treated for various illnesses including diabetes, the Agerpres and Mediafax news agencies reported, citing family members. Plesita commanded the Securitate's foreign intelligence service from 1980 to 1984.
OPINION
May 6, 1990 | Thomas Powers, Thomas Powers, a contributing editor to Opinion, is the author of "The Man Who Kept the Secrets: Richard Helms and the CIA" (Knopf)
In the bleak morning-after of the collapse of Soviet rule, the newly freed peoples of Eastern Europe have discovered two bitter lega cies--a poisoned landscape and a poisoned civic society. But while the damage to the environment is dramatic--dying forests and rivers, blackened skies, pockets of birth deformities--it is harder to see the damage done to the social fabric by 40 years of rule by secret police.
NEWS
May 25, 1992 | Reuters
President Vaclav Havel said Sunday that the Communist secret police tried to recruit him in the 1950s but gave up after three months. His remarks were an apparent reaction to the recent naming of journalists and other public figures as agents and informers of the once-dreaded secret police. The former leading dissident said he decided to declassify his own file.
WORLD
July 7, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
The former chief of Colombia's secret police was arrested on charges of colluding with paramilitary death squads. Jorge Noguera was freed from jail three months ago because of procedural errors. Colombia's chief prosecutor, Mario Iguaran, ordered Noguera held in a maximum-security jail on accusations of colluding with the banned paramilitaries, including providing them with information that led to several slayings.
NEWS
September 5, 2001 | From Times Wire Reports
Army units are working to find the director of the foreign branch of Colombia's secret police, who was abducted from his farm outside Bogota over the weekend, officials said. Ramiro Carranza of the Department of Administrative Security was abducted by three gunmen wearing camouflage fatigues Sunday morning near Quetame, 25 miles southeast of Bogota, the capital. Rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, operate in the area.
OPINION
December 20, 2011
According to his obituary in The Times, North Korean strongman Kim Jong Il hired a personal sushi chef from Tokyo and a personal pizza chef from Italy even as his country suffered through a famine that killed as many as 2 million of his people. He kept a library of 20,000 movies for his own entertainment although ordinary citizens could be sent to prison camps for watching South Korean or American movies. He beat back economic reforms and led North Korea's economy to the brink of collapse while building a nuclear weapons program opposed by the rest of the world.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 4, 2011 | Times wire reports
Christa Wolf, one of Germany's most celebrated writers for her depictions of life in the former communist East, but who was later damaged by revelations she collaborated with its secret police, has died. She was 82. Wolf died Thursday in Berlin, according to an announcement from her publisher, Suhrkamp Verlag, which gave no cause of death or further information. A committed Marxist in her early years, Wolf focused on life in the socialist state, exploring its ideals and the role of the individual in her novels such as "Divided Heaven" (1963)
ENTERTAINMENT
October 26, 2011 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
"Kawasaki's Rose" is about secrets and lies, about truths that have been hidden, then revealed, then hidden again. This intricate, powerful, unsettling film brings us into a world of profound moral complexities where facile judgments must be suspended because even the best people can become complicit in evil. Directed by the veteran Czech team of director Jan Hrebejk and writer Petr Jarchovsky (responsible for the superb Oscar-nominated "Divided We Fall"), "Kawasaki's Rose" peels away layers to reveal even deeper ones.
OPINION
June 29, 2011 | By Nazir al-Abdo
My older brother, Bashir, 26, is one of the thousands of people who have been detained by Bashar Assad's regime in recent weeks. At first, we didn't know what had happened to him. He and two friends had been missing since they went to the northern city of Jisr Al Shoughur on June 10 to secretly film the protests and the army crackdown there. Then, last week, I was watching Syrian state television when my brother suddenly came on the screen. A caption underneath his image said he had confessed to subversive activities.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 13, 2011 | By Susan Salter Reynolds, Special to the Los Angeles Times
The Beauty of Humanity Movement A Novel Camilla Gibb Penguin Press: 312 pp., $25.95 It begins and ends with pho ? in a noodle shop in Old Hanoi. Old man Hung is a true professional ? his delicious soup is a metaphor for a dying way of life. Each morning, he spoons the broth for customers, a broth that depends on his long-standing relationships with local butchers. He remembers the days back in the '50s when his shop was a gathering place for dissident artists, until many of them were taken to reeducation camps.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 1, 2010 | By Wendy Smith, Special to the Los Angeles Times
The World That Never Was A True Story of Dreamers, Schemers, Anarchists and Secret Agents Alex Butterworth Pantheon: 496 pp., $30 For more than 100 years, anarchism has been an embarrassing stepdaughter in the family of international radicalism, the one whose bad behavior makes it easy to dismiss the awkward questions she poses. Ever since Karl Marx got Mikhail Bakunin expelled from the First International in 1872, more disciplined revolutionaries have depicted anarchists as loose cannons incapable of building a new social order.
NEWS
February 6, 1986 | Associated Press
The new civilian government of President Vinicio Cerezo abolished a secret police unit accused of human rights violations under past military regimes, and its 600 officers were taken into custody Wednesday in an action called "Operation Surprise." Cerezo announced that the Defense Ministry and national police officers went to the headquarters of the secret police unit, known as the Technical Investigations Department (DIT), and escorted the 600 officers to a police barracks in Guatemala City.
NEWS
February 14, 1994 | From Reuters
Arab gunmen killed an Israeli secret police officer and wounded two others in an ambush in the West Bank on Sunday, the Israeli army said. "A General Security Services (commonly known as Shin Bet secret police) man, Noam Cohen, was killed this afternoon, and two other workers of the service were wounded," an army spokeswoman said. "During a GSS operation this afternoon in the center of Ramallah, there was shooting from an ambush at the GSS personnel who were in a vehicle," she said.
OPINION
October 26, 2009 | GREGORY RODRIGUEZ
Three weeks ago, when the Nobel committee awarded its literature prize to Romanian writer Herta Muller, it lauded her courageous and unflinching fictional portraits of "daily life in a stagnated dictatorship" in communist Romania. What they did not mention, however, was Muller's ongoing nonfictional critique of the leadership of post-communist Romania. Only days after she won the Nobel, Muller, who now lives in Germany, blasted her homeland for not having broken more completely with its communist past.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 2, 2009 | Associated Press
Gen. Nicolae Plesita, a die-hard communist and ruthless chief of the Securitate secret police who arranged shelter in Romania for terrorist Carlos the Jackal and was tried for the bombing of Radio Free Europe, has died. He was 80. Plesita died Monday in a Romanian Intelligence Service hospital in Bucharest, where he was being treated for various illnesses including diabetes, the Agerpres and Mediafax news agencies reported, citing family members. Plesita commanded the Securitate's foreign intelligence service from 1980 to 1984.
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