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Anti-Militarism: News & Updates

News Article
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Central American University (UCA) massacre. On the morning of November 16, 1989 the Atlacatl Battalion of the Salvadoran Army, led by 19 School of the Americas (SOA) graduates, entered university grounds and brutally assassinated Elba Ramos, her 16-year old daughter, Celina Ramos, and six Jesuit priests–amongst them, Father Ignacio Ellacuría, an outspoken critic of El Salvador’s military dictatorship. The SOA Watch movement initially formed to denounce this massacre — one of the many atrocities that occurred in Central America as the United States funded civil wars and trained military at the SOA/WHINSEC.
News Article
Over the last century, the U.S. military intervention leading to the overthrow of democratically elected governments—or its support for tyrannical regimes—has played an important role in the instability, poverty, and violence that drives tens of thousands of people from the Central American countries toward Mexico and the United States. Guatemala: U.S. government support to the Guatemalan military was responsible for most of the human rights abuses committed during the 36-year war (1960-86) in which 200,000 people (mostly Mayan indigenous) were killed in what is now recognized as genocide. El Salvador: During the 1980s, the US sent $1-$2million in military aid per day. U.S. officers took over key positions at top levels of the Salvadoran military during the 12-yr war (1979-1992). More than 75,000 people were murdered or “disappeared,” while 20% of the population fled the country as refugees to Mexico and the US. Honduras: In 2009, President Manuel Zelaya, a liberal reformist, was ousted in a military coup (conducted by officers trained at the infamous School of the Americas). The U.S. refused to call it a coup while working to ensure that Zelaya did not return to power, in flagrant contradiction to the wishes of the Organization of American States. Today, there is routine violent crackdown by the police and military on the pro-democracy movement.
News Article
A major piece of President Donald Trump's immigration policy is set for a showdown in the U.S. Supreme Court after the lower courts rejected the attempt to phase-out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA. The program allows undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children to temporarily stay through a two-year work permit. Supporters of DACA say there are about 700,000 recipients nationwide, and about 4,500 in Ohio. President Trump made the decision to phase-out the program in September 2017. He argues that it was created illegally under President Barack Obama's executive order and that it should be created by law through Congress.
News Article
U.S. immigration authorities apprehended 76,020 minors, most of them from Central America, traveling without their parents in the fiscal year that ended in September — 52 percent more than during the last fiscal year, according to United States Customs and Border Protection. Mexico, under pressure from the Trump administration, stepped up immigration enforcement and detained about 40,500 underage migrants traveling north without their parents in the same period. That's a total of 115,000.
News Article

This November (16th and 17th) the InterReligious Task Force on Central America and Colombia will be traveling—with 50 of our closest friends—to Fort Benning Georgia. Those of you who know IRTF well will know that we have been speaking out against the practices taking place at Ft. Benning, but for those who are less familiar, let me fill you in.

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