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News Article
Justice for Colombia is starting a new series spotlighting women activists. This first spotlight is on Olga Quintero, a leader in the Catatumbo Peasant Farmers Association (ASCAMCAT). ASCAMCAT has about 5,000 affiliated members and works to defend its members rights over land and territory and works to advance peace and justice in the region.
News Article
April 9 2021—Today the U.S. federal government announced the results of the union election at Amazon’s Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse. The Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU) did not achieve a majority of the votes counted. However, the RWDSU has released a statement demanding “a comprehensive investigation over Amazon's behaviour in corrupting this election” and announced intention to file charges regarding the company’s egregious union busting.
News Article
Cleveland Indians fans will not be able to paint their faces in Native American fashion or wear headdresses to games at Progressive Field this season. The Cleveland Indigenous Coalition has released a statement in response: “[We] continue to work closely with the Cleveland Major League Baseball team during this period of transition, and we are encouraged by the team’s cooperation in listening to our recommendations and input. The donning of headdresses and stereotypical Native American-style face paint reflects and reinforces harmful stereotypes, which hurt our community—especially our Native youth. By enforcing the removal of Native American headdresses and Native American-style face paint for the 2021 season, the team is creating a more inclusive experience for all fans.” There is no opening day protest against racist team logos planned by Cleveland area Native American groups.
News Article
The high risks attached to labour organising in Colombia have once again been emphasised with the murder of yet another trade unionist, as the country remains by far the most dangerous in the world for those in the role. On Monday 29 March 2021, Carlos Vidal was shot dead while walking his dog near his home in Florida, Valle del Cauca. Carlos was the president of the SINTRACOS union for sugar industry workers and a member of the CGT trade union centre. He was also known for his community activism. Following on from at least 20 murders of trade unionists in 2020, the latest case is at least the fourth this year.
News Article
Summary: Colombia’s government is moving closer to reinstating a program, suspended in 2015, that would spray herbicides from aircraft over territories where coca is cultivated. The country’s highest court has required President Duque’s government to meet a series of health, environment, consultation, and other requirements before reinstating the aerial fumigation program. Colombia’s defense minister is now saying that the spraying could restart in April. Urging President Joe Biden to avoid US support for a renewed fumigation program, 25 organizations from the US and Colombia have signed a letter that succinctly lays out the reasons why this would be an unfortunate and harmful policy mistake. The letter was shared with the White House on March 26.
News Article
In Nicaragua, governmental recognition of land rights was the first step in tackling incursions by non-Indigenous settlers from western Nicaragua and the violent conflicts they sometimes produce. But because colonization of Indigenous territories has been taking place for decades, taking the next steps – delineation of the territories, dealing with illegal titles (primarily given under previous governments) and potentially removing settlers – is a complex process that involves delicate negotiation and agreement at the local level. Sadly but inevitably, the invasions by settlers have become another issue on which to attack Nicaragua’s Sandinista government. Also, Nicaragua briefs and updates are included.
News Article
A Honduran Lenca Indigenous activist who helped led a fight against the construction of a dam has been killed. Juan Carlos Cerros Escalante led a local group called “Communities United,” which was active in hamlets near the Rio Ulúa and which opposed the El Tornillito hydroelectric dam. He was shot dead in front of his children. “We condemn the killing of yet another comrade and activist,” said Betty Vásquez, the coordinator of the Santa Barbara Environmental Movement. “It is not conceivable, it is not right, that they criminalize people, persecute people and later kill them for defending the land. We consider this a political assassination.”

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