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Anti-Militarism: News & Updates
December 12, 2019
The US plays a major role in push factors that cause Central Americans to take the risky journey north. One is land grabs. Powerful economic interests (including transnational corporations with subsidies from US taxpayers) forcibly seize land for mining, logging, oil drilling, industrial-scale agriculture, hydroelectric dams and more. Peasant, indigenous, and Afro-descendant communities suffer intimidation, threats, assassinations and massacres. Colombia has more than 6 million internally displaced people! Read about historic push factors in Juan Gonzalez' book Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America
December 9, 2019
In the third case seeking justice for genocide on behalf of the Maya Ixil people, three high-ranking military officials, retired Colonel César Octavio Noguera Argueta, retired General Manuel Callejas y Callejas, and retired General Benedicto Lucas García have been indicted on charges including genocide, crimes against humanity, and forced disappearance. Callejas y Callejas and Lucas Garcia are both School of the Americas graduates. This is the first judicial process to try the high command of Fernando Romeo Lucas García’s military dictatorship for genocide. The present case involves 31 massacres in which 1,128 people were killed; the destruction of 23 villages; 97 selective killings; 117 deaths due to forced displacement; 26 cases of sexual violence; and 53 cases of forced disappearance. The Association for Justice and Reconciliation (AJR) awaits justice for this case since they first filed formal charges in this case in 2000.
December 7, 2019
With inequality skyrocketing, health care and student debt mounting, climate change roiling the planet, civil and human rights under assault, and wages and benefits evaporating, a majority in the U.S. are now calling for a major new independent political party. Other topics for deliberation: (1) Medicare for All; (2) endless regime change wars and decimating sanctions vs. international working class solidarity; and (3) forced migration and deportation. Event is free. Donations accepted. See https://www.facebook.com/events/486321765290865/
December 7, 2019
Art as Change: How art moved the people of Sudan toward nonviolent resistance to depose a repressive regime. Keynote: Malaz Elgemiabby will display her art and discuss the role that art played in the successful nonviolent movement to depose the repressive regime of President Omar al-Bashir and to negotiate with the military on the transition to democratic rule for the people of Sudan. Her talk is part of a day of events organized as the Fifth annual State of Nonviolence. Read more on Facebook: Cleveland Nonviolence Network
December 4, 2019
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.”
November 24, 2019 to December 4, 2019
Please support IRTF's full-time volunteer Paul Schmitt, who will be taking part in this important labor rights delegation. The Alliance for Global Justice (AfGJ) and United States Labor Against the War (USLAW) are leading a joint delegation to Colombia from November 24 – December 4, 2019, timed to coincide with the third anniversary of Colombia’s peace accord that ended more than five decades of war between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP). To contribute toward Paul Schmitt's delegation costs, please click on the DONATE button at the top of the IRTF website. Thank you.
November 27, 2019
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.
November 26, 2019
November 26, 2019
We are deeply disturbed by the killing of 18-year-old Dilan Cruz, who joined a demonstration in Bogotá on November 23, which was part of the nationwide strike that began on November 21. After suffering injuries from being struck on the head by a police tear gas canister, he died on November 25, on the day of his anticipated high school graduation.
November 22, 2019
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.
November 22, 2019
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.