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July 18, 2020 to September 30, 2020
On the morning of Saturday, July 18, Garífuna leader Snider Centeno and other three members of the Triunfo de la Cruz community (plus one man from Belize) were kidnapped and disappeared by a group of men wearing bullet proof vests and uniforms of the Military Police and the Police Investigations Directorate (DPI). Snider is the president of the elected community council in Triunfo de la Cruz. His community received a favorable sentence from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in 2015. The Honduran state, however, has still not respected the court's judgment. The kidnapping and disappearance of Snider and four others is another attack against the Garífuna community and their struggle to protect their ancestral lands and the rights of Afro-indigenous and indigenous people to live. Join us to demand a full investigation and action to save the lives these men: Milton Joel Martínez Álvarez, Suami Aparicio Mejía García, Gerardo Misael Trochez Calix, Alber Sentana Thomas, and Snider Centeno.
September 21, 2020
The increasing push for global militarization directly impacts billions of women and gender nonconforming folks around the world each day. These voices, experiences and perspectives are often silenced when approaching solutions to this crisis. Hear about how militarism is experienced and about the stories of resistance to violence from several communities accompanied by Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT). CPT and the InterReligious Task Force on Central America & Colombia (IRTF) are partnering to bring several powerful voices together for a live webinar conversation on anti-militarism.
September 19, 2020
This summer has been a challenge for most small businesses and organizations, especially those in fair trade, who serve a greater mission than profit alone. We're joining up with some of your local fair traders for an outdoor Fair Trade Flea to provide an opportunity to sell safely & make up for those missed markets to generate much needed income for farming and artisan families in the Global South. We hope you'll join us on Saturday, September 19!
Former US-Backed Salvadoran Colonel Sentenced by Spanish Court to 133 Years in Prison for 1989 Jesuit Massacre
September 14, 2020
The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. How long? This time, 30 years. Col. Montano led an elite U.S.-trained army unit that massacred six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper, and her teenage daughter during El Salvador's 12-year civil war. More than 70,000 men, women, and children died during the Salvadoran Civil War. One-million refugees (20% of the country’s population!) fled seeking safety, most of them to the US. The Salvadoran Truth Commission investigation concluded that 85% of the more than 22,000 atrocities that were reported during the war were committed by the U.S.-backed military regime and associated forces. And what was does the US government say now in hindsight? “One of fabulous achievement” is how Elliott Abrams, the Reagan administration’s "death squad ambassador" in Central America, has hailed the US record in El Salvador. Today, Elliott Abrams works as the Trump administration's special representative for Iran and Venezuela.
August 25, 2020
To bring attention to several identified environmental, social, human, and economic impacts of large scale mining projects in the Atlantic zone, residents of El Guapinol (Colón Department) and surrounding communities organized the Encampment on the Defense of Water and Life in August 2018. They pointed to contamination of the Guapinol and San Pedro Rivers, which supply drinking water to fourteen surrounding communities, caused by an iron ore mine operated since 2014 by Los Inversiones Los Pinares (owners: Lenir Pérez and Ana Facussé). Of particular concern are impacts on the Montaña de Botaderos National Park, which supplies several rivers flowing to Olancho, Atlántida, and Colón Departments. Area residents have documented how the mine is destroying animal life and contaminating smaller waterways. Tens of thousands of inhabitants are at risk of losing their agricultural crops and homes. Because of their actions in defense of the environment, these men have been imprisoned in “preventive detention” awaiting formal charges since September 2019: Porfirio Sorto Cedillo, José Abelino Cedillo, Kelvin Alejandro Romero, Arnold Javier Alemán, Ever Alexander Cedillo, Orbin Nahúm Hernández, Daniel Márquez, and Jeremías Martínez. We demand their release!
August 24, 2020
Several armed groups are competing in Nariño for control of land to grow illicit crops, illegal mining, and routes for drug trafficking. In the last four months, at least seven community members and members of the Awá Indigenous Guard have been murdered. On July 28, Fabio Alfonso Guanga García, the second Indigenous governor of the Ñambí Piedra Verde Reservation (in Barbacoas municipality), and his partner Sonia Lorena Bisbicus Ortiz were assassinated. At noon on August 11, six men shot at the truck in which Francisco Cortés Guanga and his two security bodyguards from the National Protection Unit (UNP) were riding. Francisco Cortés Guanga serves the Piguambí Palangala Reservation as human rights spokesperson with UNIPA (Unidad de Pueblos Awá). His father, Segundo Jaime Cortés Pai, governor of the same reservation, had received death threats two weeks prior. Then on August 19, three Awa Indigenous youths were killed in the remote Aguacuate community of Pialapi Pueblo Viejo Reservation (Ricaurte municipality); others are rumored to have been forcibly disappeared.
August 23, 2020
We are outraged at the killing of two Nasa Indigenous men, José Abelardo Liz Cuetia, age 34, and José Ernesto Rivera, on August 13 near Corinto in Cauca Department. The two men were shot and killed during a two-day military and police campaign to forcibly remove members of the Nasa Indigenous group from land that they claim is their ancestral territory. The security forces were deployed to fulfill an eviction order by Martha C. Velasco Guzman, mayor of Corinto, which Nasa leaders characterize as “irresponsible and without prior consult.” Legal ownership of the land is claimed by Incauca sugar refinery, a company owned by Carlos Ardila Lülle, one of the wealthiest entrepreneurs in Colombia. Nasa Indigenous men Julio Cesar Tumbo and Leónidas Perdomo were seriously injured in the attack.
August 22, 2020
Senator Iván Cepeda Castro has been receiving death threats since the Colombia Supreme Court of Justice ordered the house arrest of Ex-President Álvaro Uribe on August 4. In 2012, Senator Cepeda gathered evidence that President Uribe was supporting illegal paramilitary groups in carrying out human rights abuses. In 2018, the Supreme Court began investigating Mr. Uribe for bribery, fraud, and witness tampering. The Court is also trying to determine if one of Mr. Uribe's lawyers, with his consent, paid imprisoned paramilitaries to give testimony favoring the ex-president. Although Mr. Uribe has not yet been formally charged, he is feeling the political impacts of the accusations. He announced on August 18 that he is resigning the Senate seat he has held since 2014. In the meantime, the current president has appeared on national television and insisted that Mr. Uribe is a "genuine patriot" and victim of unjust accusations and defamation. Statements calling for Mr. Uribe’s release from house arrest have been echoed by U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence.
August 21, 2020
We are concerned for the safety of environmental and indigenous rights defender Ubaldino García Canan and other members of the Nuevo Día Ch’orti Indigenous Association (CCCND) in Olopa municipality in Chiquimula Department. CCCND provides legal support and visibility to indigenous Maya Ch'orti' communities. They face repeated human rights violations and threats to their land, environmental, and cultural rights because of hydroelectric and mining projects in their territories. On the night of August 5, Ubaldino García Canan, who serves as spokesperson for the Maya Ch'orti' Indigenous Council of Olopa, once again became a crime victim when unknown persons forcibly raided his home and his adjoined small grocery store. Because the intruders stole personal documents along with money and products, indigenous authorities suspect that Ubaldino García Canan was being targeted because of his involvement with CCCND. Residents of 11 villages of Olopa municaplity (and several of neighboring Esquipulas municipality) have been organizing opposition to an antimony sulfide mine that is contaminating their rivers. In retaliation, they have been victimized by intimidation and violence.
August 20, 2020
ALERT and PETITION for the life of Iván Cepeda Castro, his family, lawyers, and collaborators due to the intensification of death threats and a call for compliance of the Colombian Supreme Court of Justice’s decision.