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Your financial gifts support IRTF’s crucial work to address long-standing structural injustices and bolster our across-borders solidarity movement. As we wrap up our fiscal year, we hope you’ll consider making a tax-deductible gift to IRTF. We rely on individual gifts for more than 80% of our small budget. Thank you for your consideration.

 

IRTF was founded in Cleveland, OH, in 1981to call people here in the U.S. into solidarity with the people of Central America to promote peace, justice, human rights, and systemic transformation through nonviolence.

Four decades later, the people of Central America face formidable challenges like the rolling back of democratic advances, forced displacement from communal and ancestral lands, and attacks on human rights defenders—harassment, threats, false criminalization, and violence (including assasssination). Our solidarity is as important now as ever.

How to donate

check: IRTF, 3606 Bridge Ave., Cleveland OH 44113

@irtfcleveland PayPal or Venmo

Facebook.com/IRTF1981

https://www.irtfcleveland.org/donate

Sustaining gifts: Please consider a monthly gift. Even $5 per month makes a big impact for a nonprofit with a modest budget like ours. Click here to donate.

Thank you!

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It is impossible to discuss justice and democracy in Guatemala without considering the outsized role of the Guatemalan army in every sphere of Guatemalan politics. To analyze the role and rise to power of the army, we must go back to the year 1954, when what has been called the October Revolution (1944 to 1954) was interrupted. Guatemalan playwright and author Manuel Galich refers to those ten years as “the revolutionary decade” in his article "Ten Years of Spring in the Country of Eternal Tyranny."

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Laura Blume's article in NACLA highlights the mixed reactions and broader implications following the conviction of former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández (JOH) for drug trafficking. While many Hondurans, like Gabriela, celebrated the verdict, the article critiques the United States' role in both enabling and subsequently prosecuting JOH. The U.S. had historically supported JOH's rise to power, despite its own drug consumption fueling narco-corruption in Honduras. The piece delves into the history of U.S. interventions in Honduras, from early 20th-century capitalist interests to Cold War strategies, which entrenched military and narco-political alliances. Blume argues that U.S. policies, including militarized counter-drug efforts and security aid, have often exacerbated violence and corruption in Honduras. She calls for the U.S. to acknowledge its complicity, reevaluate its War on Drugs, and support genuine anti-corruption measures like the proposed international commission against impunity in Honduras (CICIH). The article underscores the need for the U.S. to address the root causes of narcotics demand and provide better support for Honduran migrants fleeing the resulting violence and corruption.

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Former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández was sentenced to 45 years in a U.S. prison and fined $8 million for conspiring with drug traffickers to facilitate the shipment of over 400 tons of cocaine to the United States over more than a decade. The sentencing, delivered by Judge P. Kevin Castel in Manhattan federal court, emphasized the gravity of corruption in power. Despite Hernández's claims of innocence and portrayals as an anti-drug crusader, the court found substantial evidence of his involvement in protecting drug trafficking interests using Honduran police and military resources. The case has significant implications both for U.S.-Honduran relations and the fight against drug trafficking in the region.

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Over the past decade, the Afro-Indigenous ethnic Garífuna communities in northern Honduras have been expecting that their government would abide by three separate rulings of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to return their stolen lands. That hasn’t happened. After taking their cause to Capitol Hill (along with our friends from the Honduras Solidarity Network), Rep. Cori Bush (01-MO) introduced into the US House of Representatives a resolution supporting Garífuna ancestral territorial rights.

IRTF was in Washington, DC, the second week of June. We walked the House office buildings on Capitol Hill and dropped off memos to the foreign policy aides of 55 US congresspersons who have previously co-sponsored legislation in support of human rights in Honduras. We also visited the offices of all 14 congresspersons from Ohio.

But they need to hear from their constituents!

Please read the email below from our friends at Witness for Peace Solidarity Collective and Latin America Working Group (LAWG). Take a few minutes to contact your congressperson today. Urge that they co-sponsor H.Res.1278.

Thank you!

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Church Women United became the first major faith-based organization in several years to endorse the Wendy’s Boycott in support of CIW.  NFWM is pleased to have worked with CWU and will continue to encourage their efforts to help CIW spread the message of the Fair Food Nation and to assist NFWM as we continue to add locations to our Wendy’s map.  Let’s keep this campaign going!

Learn more about the Fair Food Program at https://fairfoodprogram.org/ 

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In IRTF’s June 2024 newsletter on Migrant Justice, please read about (1)  President Biden Announces New Actions to Secure the Border; Critics point to its illegality, (2)  ICE Air: Update on Removal Flight Trends, (3) Child Migration in Darien Gap, (4) At the Border: Recent Incidents at and around the US-Mexico Border, (5) Mind the Darién Gap, Migration Bottleneck of the Americas, (6)  Immigration Court: unjust denials call for structural realignment, not further restrictions, and (7) Immigration is the demographic savior too many refuse to acknowledge.

Then take a few minutes to read what you can do to take action this week in solidarity with migrants and their families. (See details at the bottom of the newsletter.)

A) Support LGBTQ+ Migrants

B) Oppose Border Closures

C) Support Migrants in Detention

D) Root Causes: Cut US Militarism in Latin America

Read the full IRTF Migrant Justice Newsletter each month at https://www.irtfcleveland.org/blog

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Erlin Centeno's family has been in turmoil since he was detained four months ago during a routine check-in with immigration authorities in New York City. Centeno, a father of three, fled Honduras due to death threats related to his advocacy for Garifuna rights, following the murder of several cousins involved in similar activism. His wife, Trini Merced Palacios, fears deportation to Honduras where they faced threats, despite Centeno's ineligibility for asylum due to a prior deportation order. His detention has sparked legal battles and emotional hardship for the family, hoping to reunite him with them in safety in the U.S.

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25 years ago, the United Nations adopted the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. The Declaration has been essential to protect those who defend human rights, but laws and contexts have evolved. The Declaration+25 supplements the Declaration and together they form a comprehensive set of standards to protect the right to defend rights.