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Anti-Militarism: News & Updates

News Article

Nina Lakhani

Another indigenous environmentalist has been killed in Honduras, cementing the country’s inglorious ranking as the deadliest place in the world to defend land and natural resources from exploitation.

News Article
We continue to organize our communities in support and defense of immigrants, especially those in vulnerable situations. Connect with Immigration Working Group CLE, a collaborative of community advocates and organizations across NE Ohio. Ask about the group’s Immigrant Defense Fund, Rapid Response Team, Bond Reduction Project, volunteer needs, legislative advocacy, vigils, rallies, marches, and more. Contact iwgcle@gmail.com or see www.facebook.com/iwgCLE
News Article
The Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program is one point of leverage that legislators have (responding to the advocacy efforts of Latin America solidarity groups ) to tie US foreign aid to respect for human rights. Cutting military aid like FMF tells the recipient country that the human rights movement in the US is paying attention to what is happening there. So, despite intense lobbying by the president of El Salvador, a provision in the recently approved Congressional spending bill but FMF funding for the Northern Triangle of Central America: El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
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Despite having promised to demilitarize public security, during his two years in office President López Obrador (widely known as AMLO) has instead expanded the powers of the Mexican armed forces in an unprecedented manner, beyond national security tasks. The first emblematic event of what was to come for the armed forces came during AMLO’s first year in office with the creation of the Mexican National Guard. Despite being constitutionally a civilian-controlled security force, the guard is controlled by a military operational command, sources recruits primarily from the armed forces, uses military weapons and training, and has members accused of crimes taken to military prisons rather than civilian ones. As an institution, the guard holds a troubling amount of power, maintaining 44 vaguely-worded attributions that range from “crime prevention” and “interception of communications” to “the detention of migrants and inspection of their documents” and “participation in joint operations.” Placing these functions in the hands of the military, a body that does not adhere to transparency rules or even respect civil jurisdiction when a member of its ranks takes a civilian’s life, is cause for grave concern.
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We remember and honor the life and legacy of the four US women murdered in El Salvador on Dec 2, 1980: Maryknoll Sisters Ita Ford and Maura Clarke , Cleveland Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel, and Cleveland lay missioner Jean Donovan. We honor their memories through our commitment to act for justice. See a list of resources for education, inspiration and action .
News Article
Thank you to ClevelandPeople.com for publishing this reflection written by Thérèse Osborne, commemorating the martyrdom of Sisters Maura Clarke M.M., Ita Ford M.M., Dorothy Kazel O.S.U. and lay missionary Jean Donovan on December 2, 1980. "And this is the reason that Maura and Ita, Jean and Dorothy were killed. They had discerned that accompanying refugees was the crying need of the people. You see, all of El Salvador had turned into one huge refugee camp. People were running away from the bombing, and it's as if everyone took one giant step. Those in tiny villages went to the next town and moved in with relatives. We would often meet families walking along the road with just a few cooking pots, maybe a bag of clothes, and their children. Those in the towns would make their way to the next city, and those who could went to the capital, where makeshift refugee centres were set up in the churches. The major seminary of San Salvador had 5,000 people living in tents on the football pitch for five years. Technically we might call these people "displaced persons" rather than refugees because they didn't have the means to leave their own country; but they were internal refugees in every sense of the word. In the media and official government policy, if you stayed in a conflictive zone to harvest your crops you were labeled a subversive and accused of consorting with the guerrilla army; and if you left your village you were considered suspicious because you came from a conflictive area."

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