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Anti-Militarism: News & Updates
RRN Case Update
August 22, 2019
RRN case summaries at a glance
On behalf of our 190 Rapid Response Network members, IRTF volunteers write and send six letters each month to government officials in southern Mexico, Colombia, and Central America (with copies to officials in the US). Who is being targeted? indigenous and Afro-descendant leaders, labor organizers, LGBTI rights defenders, women’s rights defenders, journalists, environmental defenders, and others. By signing our names to these crucial letters, human rights crimes are brought to light, perpetrators are brought to justice and lives are spared. Our solidarity is more important than ever. Together, our voices do make a difference.
August 20, 2019
The student movement is diverse, accommodating a range of ideologies and tactics. This year it has intensified as wider movements against President Hernández’s attempts to privatize the health and education sectors have grown. Massive street protests have been led by La Plataforma para la Defensa de la Salud y Educación (Platform for the Defense of Health and Education), made up of various unions with more than seventy thousand combined members. Despite attacks by the staunchly pro-regime media, La Plataforma achieved a huge victory in June when Hernández backed down and repealed the law. It was a watershed moment of popular power against a regime that needed to deploy the military, when the police alone could not repress the movement.
August 15, 2019
Mexican authorities’ harassment and intimidation of personnel working at the Casa del Migrante de Saltillo (Saltillo Migrant House)in Saltillo, Coahuila State.
August 9, 2019
By MARTHA MENDOZA and GARANCE BURKE, The Associated Press
A frame from video shows the entrance of a Border Patrol station in Clint, Texas, June 20, 2019.
The U.S. government has removed most of the children from a remote Border Patrol station in Texas following reports that more than 300 children were detained there, caring for each other with inadequate food, water and sanitation.
August 8, 2019
An Italian appeals court sentenced 24 former officials from Bolivia, Chile, Peru, and Uruguay to life in prison for their roles in Operation Condor — a brutal and extremely deadly US-backed operation in the 1970s and 1980s that targeted leftists, activists, social movement leaders, and others who spoke out. Operation Condor kidnapped, tortured, disappeared and/or murdered tens of thousands of people across South America.
August 2, 2019
paramilitary violence being waged in the port city of Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca Department. We are concerned that local security forces are complicit in allowing paramilitaries to take control over several districts of Buenaventura. The ongoing violence in Buenaventura is a clear example of how impunity for paramilitary actors threatens the true possibility of peace.
July 19, 2019
This is urgent. Unless Congress legalizes the status of these immigrants (currently under a temporary protected status), they could be placed into deportation proceedings, tearing families apart.
Border Patrol Hits a Breaking Point - an agency plagued by years of dysfunction, and Trump is only its latest problem
July 15, 2019
Routine dehumanization of the very people they’re tasked with helping....Prosecutors have revealed that the Border Patrol agent set to go on trial next month for running down a border crosser referred to immigrants as “mindless, murdering savages.” Border Patrol agents routinely call migrants or detainees “tonks,” a moniker that agents joke stems from the sound a detainee’s head makes when hit with a flashlight, and such racist terms even surface in the agency’s academy...Even today, recruiting ads continue to make the Border Patrol look like an action movie, with stirring music and fancy toys, from helicopters to canines to ATVs, and lots and lots of weapons. On CBP’s website, “counterterrorism” is listed first under the agency’s mission—ahead of “customs” and “immigration,” and the first item on the agency’s own job description for officers states a “typical assignment” is “detecting and preventing terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the United States.” In its first sentence of the agency’s “About” listing, CBP says it “is charged with keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S.” Nowhere in its recruiting material does it list anything having to do with “providing humanitarian assistance,” “rescuing migrants,” or “aiding families and children fleeing drug violence,” the tasks that have over the past 10 years have consumed more and more of the Border Patrol’s time.
July 14, 2019
death threats directed at Edwin Espinal, Raul Alvarez, and Romel Portillo, human rights defenders imprisoned in the maximum security, military run “La Tolva” military prison, where they and other political prisoners have been detained since 2018 (cf our letters of February 11 and March 21, 2018).
July 5, 2019
Ombudsman Carlos Negret said Wednesday that 983 social leaders have received personal threats and said it is “necessary to believe what the pamphlets say, they may not be ignored.” Ombudsman Carlos Negret said Wednesday that 983 social leaders have received personal threats and said it is “necessary to believe what the pamphlets say, they may not be ignored.” Since last year’s congressional elections in March, 481 human rights defenders were the victim of some kind of aggression, the vast majority through death threats. Twenty of them were assassinated and 13 survived assassination attempts.