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Anti-Militarism: News & Updates

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Like the “Dreamers,” another group of migrants, the TPS cardholders are Trump targets. And like the Dreamers, they’re all from countries of people of color: Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Middle East, and Nepal. Guinea, and—the latest—Nepal. Never mind that TPS people have families, businesses, homes, and community ties here. One even has a grown U.S.-born doctor son who, the proud father said, “just delivered 14 babies” in Chicago hospitals. So that clash with Trump and U.S. Senate Republicans brought Palma, Sorto, Baraq and almost 100 other people, TPS holders, and their families, to Capitol Hill for lobbying and cajoling lawmakers on Dec. 3. Their objective: To get the GOP-run Senate to follow the Democratic-run U.S. House and pass HR6, the Secure Act, and end the constant worrying TPS card-holders have that, as one put it, “We’ll wake up one morning and wonder if we’ll still be allowed here.”
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President Duque, a right-wing leader known for his strong ties to scandal-hit former President Alvaro Uribe who has been in power for 15 months, has promised national dialogue with "all social sectors" until March 15 to address economic inequality, corruption, education, the environment, and many other issues. He met strike organisers on Tuesday (Nov 26), but there was no breakthrough and they called on people to take part in Wednesday's (Nov 27) continued strike.
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Saturday marks 30 years since the Jesuit massacre, one of the most high-profile religious crimes in recent Latin American history. It drew the world's attention to a deep crisis in El Salvador, and the human rights abuses that persisted throughout a 12-year civil war. Half a million Salvadorans were displaced, and many fled as refugees to the United States. The United States, wary of Soviet influence in Central America, backed El Salvador's anti-communist military regime. Between 1980 and 1992, the U.S. sent over $4 billion in economic and military aid to El Salvador's government, amounting to about $1 million each day. While U.S. policymakers argued the need to develop a democratic government in El Salvador, the reality was that Washington was bankrolling a corrupt military, known for kidnapping, torturing, and massacring innocent civilians. "There were always bodies being discovered in the dumps," says Victor Abalos, who reported during El Salvador's civil war in the 1980s as a freelance journalist. "Young, old, women, men — the theme for a lot of people was that life was cheap." The Jesuit priests had become the latest victims in the civil war that claimed over 75,000 lives.
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On November 10, 2019, two-time WHINSEC graduate and Commander of the Bolivian Armed Forces, General Williams Kaliman ‘suggested’ that Bolivian President Evo Morales resign. General Kaliman’s statement came after post-election protests bolstered by a false narrative of election fraud promoted by the US-dominated Organization of American States (OAS), a police mutiny, and a vicious campaign of violence by the far right-wing against members of President Morales’ political party, the Movement for Socialism (MAS). This included violent public attacks on MAS officials, burning their homes, and kidnapping family members. As a result, Morales and all three elected officials constitutionally in line to replace him — Vice-President, head of the Senate, head of the Chamber of Deputies — all resigned, citing a coup d’etat. The Mexican government sent an airplane to rescue Morales and granted him and other MAS leaders political asylum, which Morales credits with saving his life.
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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.
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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.
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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.

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