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Anti-Militarism: News & Updates

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The Chixoy dam was a very profitable investment project of the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in partnership with the U.S.-backed genocidal regimes of Generals Lucas García and Ríos Montt. To clear the way, over 30 Mayan communities were forcibly evicted up and down the river. The village of Río Negro was hit the hardest. The Guatemalan government killed more than 444 villagers over the course of five large-scale massacres in 1981 and 1982. (March 13 is the 20th anniversary of the massacre of 177 Maya Achi children and women.) Since 1994, the Rio Negro survivors have courageously pressured Guatemala’s corrupted legal system to put on trial, find guilty, and send to jail nine former Civil Defense Patrollers (PAC) and military commissioners, mainly from the neighboring village of Xococ. But these were merely the “material authors.” The “intellectual authors” have never been investigated or charged. Not one single military officer in the chain of command, who ordered and carried out the Chixoy dam massacres, was captured, tried and sentenced. Not one official or program officer from the World Bank and IDB was subjected to any investigation into the role of these “development” banks in partnering with the U.S.-backed genocidal regimes of Guatemala (1975-83) in planning and carrying out all aspects of the project. On October 20, 2012, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights did find the Guatemalan government responsible for the Rio Negro/ Chixoy dam massacres and ordered the government to legally investigate the massacres and compensate surviving families. On November 8, 2014, then president and former army general Otto Perez Molina (now in jail on corruption charges) formally apologized on behalf of the government for the human rights violations and sufferings caused by the Chixoy dam project, and signed into law Decree #378-2014, “the Public Policy of Reparations for Communities Affected by the Construction of the Chixoy hydro-electric dam project.” Thirty-eight years later, a measure of reparations has been paid to some of the Chixoy dam victims. But no justice has been done for the roles and responsibilities of the “intellectual authors” in the Guatemalan government, World Bank and IDB that promoted, designed, implemented and profited financially from the project. Pointing out the impunity and corruption of the authors and profiteers of the Chixoy dam crimes highlights the enormity of this global human problem. Across the planet today, governments, “development” banks, corporations and investors push ahead with “resource development projects,” violently displacing populations and destroying habitats, violating a wide range of individual and collective rights, and ravaging Mother Earth.
News Article

Like many Americans, I tuned in to watch President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night. But as a Muslim Arab American, I knew from the get-go that whatever he would say, it would not match my experience living in the United States. 

This is because Trump’s speech was geared only towards his base: white Christian Republican Americans. It projected power, control, hegemony, brute force and imperialism - or in other words, his conception of what makes America “great”.

Tokenising people of colour

News Article
ICE is boosting its operations in sanctuary cities to arrest and deport undocumented immigrants, conducting round-the-clock surveillance in addition to deploying elite tactical agents. The expanded surveillance operations and added manpower are the latest intensification in a conflict between the Trump administration and cities that refuse to help with deportations, including Boston, New York, Detroit, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, New Orleans and Newark. The effort began last month and will run through Dec. 31, according to the internal email, which says the initiative is called Operation Palladium. In the Bronx, a local resident on Tuesday took a photo through a peephole of an ICE officer in military-style fatigues carrying an assault rifle on the other side of an apartment door. The resident shared it with Jorge Muñiz, an organizer who is part of a local ICE watch group, and it was then shared widely on the internet, raising alarm.
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A Lorain Schools parent and her daughter were detained by the U.S. Border Patrol last week. The principal followed school policy and notified staff at the district administration building. The student was taken out of class by a teacher and left the school building with her mother. School Board President Mark Ballard confirmed the pair have been deported. For the community, he said its had a devastating effect on their mental health — many are thinking about their family members who are undocumented and are scared, he said.
News Article
Fearing for his life, a thin, curly-haired 25-year-old fled to the United States-Mexico border and requested asylum. After nine days in custody, he was put on a plane in McAllen, Texas, and sent to Guatemala. American authorities explained that he would wait there for an “initial screening,” the first step in the U.S. asylum process, and eventually return to stand before a U.S. judge, he said. But it wasn't true. The U.S. government sent him here to apply for Guatemalan asylum under a new Trump administration policy that puts migrants into this Central American country's bare bones asylum system with few resources and fewer options. From the program's start in November through last week, the U.S. government shipped 683 asylum-seekers to Guatemala. That is more than double the number of asylum-seekers processed by Guatemala in all of 2018. But only 14, or about 2% of the foreigners actually pursued asylum here.

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