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21 Jun, 2021 06:17

Global Peace Index 2021: Peace deteriorating, military spending & violence on the rise (E1026)

On this episode of Going Underground, we speak to Steve Killelea, founder of the Institute for Economics & Peace, about the Global Peace Index 2021 report. He discusses the deterioration of peace through the coronavirus pandemic, the increase of violent mass demonstrations against inequality and racial discrimination, the most violent countries in the world being in Latin America, and much more! Finally, we speak to Barnaby Phillips, author of ‘Loot: Britain and the Benin Bronzes’, about a colonial-era theft of some of the most awe-inspiring art in Africa from modern-day Nigeria. Phillips discusses the ongoing battle for formerly colonised countries to get their national treasures back from colonial powers.

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Statement from the British Museum:

The British Museum works in partnership with colleagues, communities and organisations across the world. We are currently collaborating with The Legacy Restoration Trust (LRT) in Nigeria and Adjaye Associates on major new archaeology project, linked to the construction of the Edo Museum of West African Art (EMOWAA). This innovative collaboration will investigate the archaeology of the Kingdom of Benin, including archaeological remains buried below the proposed site of the new museum. The EMOWAA will reunite Benin artworks from international collections. The Benin Dialogue Group, of which the BM is a member, will work with EMOWAA to help develop this new permanent display of Benin works of art.

The devastation and plunder wreaked upon Benin City during the British military expedition in 1897 is fully acknowledged by the Museum and the circumstances around the acquisition of Benin objects explained in gallery panels and on the Museum’s website.

We believe the strength of the British Museum collection resides in its breadth and depth, allowing millions of visitors an understanding of the cultures of the world and how they interconnect over time – whether through trade, migration, conquest, or peaceful exchange.

Statement from the embassy of El Salvador: 

El Salvador’s Government strategy is focused on laying the foundations for growth based on justice, economic reactivation, and generation of opportunities, environmental sustainability, efficiency, and competitiveness; particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government has identified economic reactivation as one of its priorities. 

The Government of El Salvador is committed to the implementation of public policies that aim to prevent and fight crime and reintegrate individuals that have been incarcerated. Since the beginning of the Territorial Control Plan (on June 20th, 2019) a historic decrease in the number of homicides and other crimes such as extortions or disappearances has been achieved. At the end of 2020, the National Police registered only 1,332 homicides, almost 45 percent less compared to 2019, whichmarked a historical record and led to the murder rate falling by more than half, reaching 19,7 per 100,000. 

The Plan is based on 4 components: (1) Territorial recovery; (2) Prisons control, including external communications with the outside (decreasing extortions and orders provided by inmates); (3) Tackling the financing of organized crime, through greater territorial control in places where gangs collect money from extortions; (4) Strengthening of the security enforcing bodies.