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Anti-Militarism: News & Updates

News Article

 The Akron Beacon Journal is reporting that Ultimate Jet Charters, a local company, played an instrumental role in a depraved political stunt by Florida Gov. DeSantis. The charter airline flew dozens of people seeking asylum to Martha's Vineyard and left them there, stranded. In this video, lawyer Rachel Self talks about the ways people were tricked by Gov. DeSantis, DHS, and now an Ohio company. Ultimate Jet Charters facilitated a depraved political stunt for a Republican governor, which amounts to large-scale human trafficking. The passengers were people seeking asylum in the U.S. because they face extortion, gang violence, kidnapping, and murder in their native countries. They were tricked into getting on the plane, told lies, and had no idea what was happening.

We will not stand for this. Call and email Ultimate Jet Charters' leadership TODAY. Tell them you are outraged at their company's role in this cruel political stunt. Demand that they denounce their participation and ensure it never happens again.

 

News Article

After the transportation of asylum seekers to Martha's Vineyard, initiated by Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, the contracted aviation company Vertol System Inc. caught public attention. 

The Oregon-based company has received more then $1 million from the state of Florida to transport immigrants to different locations in the United States. 

Investigations now show, that the company has donated at least $12,000 to the Floridian political campaigns of DeSantis' allies, including 2,500 to a Super Pac supporting  Matt Gaetz, a former law representative of Vertol System Inc. 

Read more about DeSantis' transportation of Venezuelan asylum seekers in this month's IRTF Migrant Justice newsletter. https://www.irtfcleveland.org/blog

News Article

Since the Biden administration restarted the Central American Minors Refugee and Parole Program (CAM program), initionaly initiated by the Obama administration and later withdrawn by Trump, not much has happened. 

Underfunding and personal shortage at the nine national resettlement agencies led to the inability to handle the mass of applications. 

Due to this bottleneck only a few hundred cases filed before the Trump administration ended the program have been completed since March 2021.

For many children this slow processing of applications means waiting times of over a year and no information on how long it will take until they are reunited with their familes.

Organizations are now calling for the support of consuls to help the children with their application interviews and pass case information on to the waiting parents or guardians.  

 

News Article

On behalf of IRTF’s Rapid Response Network (RRN) members, we wrote six letters this month to heads of state and other high-level officials in Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico, urging their swift action in response to human rights abuses occurring in their countries.  We join with civil society groups in Latin America to: (1) protect people living under threat, (2) demand investigations into human rights crimes, (3) bring human rights criminals to justice.

IRTF’s Rapid Response Network (RRN) volunteers write six letters in response to urgent human rights cases each month. We send copies of these letters to US ambassadors, embassy human rights officers, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, regional representatives of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and desk officers at the US State Department. To read the letters, see https://www.irtfcleveland.org/content/rrn , or ask us to mail you hard copies.

News Article

Gustavo Petro is off to a fast start. In his first two weeks in office, the new Colombian president has already reestablished relations with Venezuela, replaced several top security officials, and moved to restart negotiations with one of the country’s most notorious rebel groups. And, with ambitious tax reforms and climate policies on the docket, he shows no signs of slowing down. Petro’s reform agenda is a chance to steer the country away from poverty, corruption, and a decades-long war on drugs that has led to nearly half a million deaths without putting a dent in coca production. But experts say the impact of these policy shifts could go well beyond Colombia’s borders, offering new approaches for major issues from the international drug trade to the crisis in Venezuela.

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