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Anti-Militarism: News & Updates

News Article
In Buenaventura, the port that accounts for 70 percent of Colombia’s import-export activity, a paramilitary-derived gang that briefly dominated criminality in the city, “La Local,” underwent a December schism into two factions, the “Chotas” and the “Espartanos.” Daily street fighting has ensued, leaving much of the city’s 400,000 people in the crossfire. Estimates of the toll so far in 2021 range from 20 to 52 killed, and 112 to 1,700 families displaced.
News Article
Colombian President Iván Duque on February 8th decreed that all Venezuelans who arrived in the country before January 31 may receive a “Temporary Status for Venezuelan Migrants” (ETPV) allowing them to stay in the country for 10 years, to work legally, and to access health and education services, including COVID-19 vaccines. El Tiempo revealed a February 6 communication that the Cuban embassy in Colombia shared with the Colombian government, the chief of the UN Verification Mission, and two Catholic Church representatives. It reads: “Our embassy received information, whose veracity we cannot assess, about an alleged military attack by the Eastern War Front of the ELN in the coming days. We have shared this information with the ELN peace delegation in Havana, which expressed total ignorance and reiterated the guarantee that it has no involvement in the organization’s military decisions or operations.” In Buenaventura, the port that accounts for 70 percent of Colombia’s import-export activity, a paramilitary-derived gang that briefly dominated criminality in the city, “La Local,” underwent a December schism into two factions, the “Chotas” and the “Espartanos.” Daily street fighting has ensued, leaving much of the city’s 400,000 people in the crossfire. Estimates of the toll so far in 2021 range from 20 to 52 killed, and 112 to 1,700 families displaced.
News Article
Social organizations based in the city of Buenaventura, Colombia’s largest Pacific port, have warned of a deteriorating humanitarian situation due to the presence of paramilitary groups and increased violence against residents.
News Article
Colombia’s largest port city, Buenaventura, saw a 200 percent increase in homicides in January, compared to the same time period last year. The killings are attributed to deep-rooted problems: state abandonment, systemic racism, and a lack of concerted investments in Afro-Colombian communities.
News Article
IRTF, Cleveland Jobs with Justice, and the Cleveland Catholic Worker are among 100+ signatories on a letter to President Biden calling on him to close the infamous Guantanamo Bay detention facility once and for all. “Guantánamo is the iconic example of the post-9/11 abandonment of the rule of law. Guantánamo embodies the fact that…the US government has viewed communities of color…through a security threat lens, to devastating consequences… Guantánamo continues to fuel and justify bigotry, stereotyping and stigma. Guantánamo entrenches racial divisions and racism more broadly…”
News Article
On the evening of January 31, gunmen opened fire on a group of supporters of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN). The group, traveling in a pickup truck covered with FMLN signs, was returning from a day of campaigning for the upcoming February 28 mayoral and legislative elections in San Salvador. Gloria Rogel del Cid and Juan de Dioz Tejada, veterans of the armed conflict [in the 1970s, 80s, 90s, that pitted the Salvador people against brutal US-backed military regimes], died, and at least two more were injured. This State-linked repression was carried out by yet another military-backed, autocratic regime with full economic, military and political relations with the US and Canada. Like the Honduran and Guatemalan regimes, the El Salvador government is considered a “democratic ally” in support of the United States’ anti-democratic efforts in the region, such as the desire to overthrow the government of Venezuela.
News Article

*Thanks to the Guardian for the article* 

News Article
The humanitarian crisis in Honduras found international attention this month as the first and biggest migration caravan since the corona pandemic took off in mid-January. A combination of a pandemic, two hurricanes hitting Honduras in later 2020, an abysmal response by the JOH regime and a lack of perspective among the corruption and human rights violation left again thousands of Honduras without any other option that trying to leave. Congress also showed again how it rather worsens the situation of minorities and vulnerablized groups by changing the constitution to forever ban same-sex marriage and abortions instead of using its power to improve the situation of Honduras. There were also setbacks in the Berta Cáceres case and the Guapinol case. Further corruption cases were undermined, meanwhile Honduras dropped further in an international corruption index. Last but not least, JOH’s drug trafficking links prominently reappeared in the national and international headlines thanks to newly released court documents from New York. Welcome to another month in Honduras.

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