You are here

IRTF News

News Article

As Guatemala's new president, Bernardo Arévalo, prepares to take office amidst challenges to his legitimacy, Indigenous leaders reflect on the past indefinite national strike defending democracy. Despite the Constitutional Court's affirmation and Arévalo's upcoming inauguration, concerns linger over the inclusivity of the new government. The Indigenous-led #ParoNacionalIndefinido successfully mobilized communities nationwide, highlighting the power of Indigenous leadership. The struggle, rooted in historical Indigenous resistance, extends beyond electoral politics. Interviews with organizations involved in the national strike shed light on broader Indigenous struggles in Guatemala, emphasizing the need for structural change and justice beyond the political transition. The disappointment with Arévalo's cabinet appointments underscores the ongoing Indigenous-led resistance and the promise of the future.

News Article

This report explains how issuances of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are an effective tool to mitigate the effects of the multiple crises that Latin American and Caribbean countries currently face. SDRs are among the most important alternative financing mechanisms available within the international monetary system, as they can generate new resources without increasing debt levels. Untapped for decades, recent issuances in 2009 — to address the effects of the global recession — and in 2021 — to help countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic — reintroduced SDRs as a powerful instrument for addressing global emergencies. However, the scale of their impact could be much more significant.

The current context, marked by the climate crisis, economic stagnation, and rising external debt burdens, calls for a strong, coordinated, and global response by the international community. So far, however, the response has failed to meet these challenges sufficiently or adequately. Given these circumstances, a new SDR issuance becomes not only relevant but also necessary for ensuring that countries of the Global South receive the financial support required for climate change adaptation and mitigation, as well as for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In order to achieve further issuances of SDRs, a coordinated push by Latin American and Caribbean countries, together with other countries and organizations in the Global South, is essential.

News Article

Human Rights & Community-based organizations call for public investigations & inquiries regarding U.S. and Canadian support for Juan Orlando Hernández & the coup as the former president goes to trial on February 5, 2024.

Click here to watch the press conference: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?ref=watch_permalink&v=1716997388822153

News Article

President-elect Bernardo Arévalo, set to take office on January 14, plans to bring structural change to Guatemala, focusing on anti-corruption measures, democratic security, and equal law application. His opportunities include strong support from indigenous groups, engagement with the private sector, and backing from the international community. However, challenges lie in addressing organized crime and drug trafficking, navigating a divided Congress, and countering continued attacks from the Attorney General's office. The text suggests collaboration with civil society, international support, and a comprehensive approach to corruption and crime are crucial. The international community is urged to support Arévalo's administration in promoting human rights and combating corruption.

News Article

The implications of the Monroe Doctrine in Mexico, Central America, and Honduras, highlighting the failures of US policies like the Merida Initiative and drug war strategies. It emphasizes the devastating impact on these regions, resulting in violence, human rights abuses, and corruption. The focus is on adopting new paradigms, shifting away from punitive drug policies to prioritize human well-being, domestically and internationally. It also sheds light on the US influence in Honduras, pointing out interventions, support for corrupt regimes, and obstructing reforms. Furthermore, it addresses immigration, stressing the need for a humane approach rather than militarization. Recommendations include investigating DEA activities, reforming drug policies, anti-militarism measures, non-interference in Honduran affairs, and prioritizing human rights in immigration reforms.

 
News Article

Beatriz's case, before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, reflects El Salvador's stringent anti-abortion laws. Denied the termination of her pregnancy despite grave health risks, Beatriz's plea was rejected by the Salvadoran Supreme Court, citing the child's rights over the mother's. Eventually, after intervention from the IACHR, a delayed cesarean section led to the baby's death and worsened Beatriz's health. This case symbolizes the repercussions of El Salvador's severe abortion restrictions, especially affecting marginalized women. Despite hope for justice, the country's political landscape remains staunchly against abortion rights. Similar challenges have been seen in Manuela's case, where the IACHR ruled in her favor posthumously. The government's resistance to acknowledging these violations showcases its alignment with conservative factions. This stance, influenced by international right-wing groups, reflects a growing regression on abortion rights in El Salvador.

News Article

Border security continues to be a hot button issue in Congress. And some congressional leaders are holding hostage other non-border issues because of their tough stance on immigration and desire to gut US asylum law. 

In last month’s newsletter, we shared an article about a one-page document that three Republican senators submitted to President Biden on November 6, summarizing the border and migration proposals they demand to include in the supplemental budget request that the president is submitting for the war in Ukraine, Israel/Gaza, and the US-Mexico border. The draconian measures include: ban asylum access for people who did not cross the border at ports of entry; ban asylum access for people who pass through other countries without seeking asylum there; heighten eligibility standards to pass a credible fear interview; expand migrant detention (including families and children); restrict temporary humanitarian parole.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) responded in a combined letter on December 14, denouncing that: “Republicans continue to hold funding for America’s allies hostage at the expense of migrants and to pass Trump-era border policies.”

Articles in this monthly newsletter: 1) ICE Air: update on removal flight trends. 2) How US Policy Toward Latin America Has Fueled Historic Numbers of Asylum Seekers. 3) WOLA Urges Congress to Protect Asylum and Update Obsolete Border Policies. 4) At the Border: Recent Incidents. 5) Governor Abbott Signs Law to Arrest Anyone in Texas without Immigration Papers.

See the Take Action items listed at the bottom of this newsletter. Our advocacy is needed to maintain some modicum of humanity in the nation’s immigration system and to address root causes of migration.  1) Stop Border Militarization. 2) Take Action Now Against Extreme Asylum Restrictions.  3) Help Migrants and Refugees in Cleveland. 


Read the full IRTF Migrant Justice Newsletter each month at https://www.irtfcleveland.org/blog .

News Article

Colombian President Gustavo Petro challenges traditional diplomatic norms in a beachside Dubai interview, emphasizing the urgency of addressing climate change. He advocates for a global shift away from fossil fuels, positioning Colombia as a model for decarbonization. Petro, known for his unconventional style and leftist views, proposes using financial institutions to reduce debt in exchange for environmental protection. Internationally, he plays a crucial role in COP28, supporting a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. Despite ideological differences, Petro's approach aligns with a growing global consensus to phase out fossil fuels amid escalating climate concerns

Pages