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News Article
The ZEDEs (Zonas de Empleo y Desarrollo) -- also known as "model cities" -- continue stirring up controversy on the pages of the daily newspapers and on the streets of Honduras in the form of organized resistance. Edmundo Orellano is the former foreign minister and former defense minister of Honduras. In this article published in La Tribuna, he describes the ZEDEs this way: "We are handing over the territory and sovereignty, displacing the population and stripping it of its real estate, to establish small States ['model cities"] in a territory that will no longer be ours, populated by foreigners, that are like the ones that appear provoking the islanders in the video went viral on the networks, they will be, for the most part, louts."
News Article
A "model city?" According to Edmundo Orellano, the former foreign minister and former defense minister of Honduras: "We are handing over the territory and sovereignty, displacing the population and stripping it of its real estate, to establish small States ['model cities"] in a territory that will no longer be ours, populated by foreigners, that are like the ones that appear provoking the islanders in the video went viral on the networks, they will be, for the most part, louts." This article looks at local resistance on the island of Roatán to the model city (aka ZEDE, or Zona de Empleo y Desarrollo) called Próspera .
News Article
With little more than a year passed since President Nayib Bukele took office, one thing has become crystal clear: the country is still trying to resolve its different historical problems through repression. At the onset of the pandemic, the president publicly instructed the security forces to “be tougher” on those who did not comply with the quarantine, noting that he did not care about complaints of the authorities “bending wrists” or seizing vehicles. Over the last few months, armed soldiers have, for example, been deployed to perform tasks related to containing the virus. These images only served to remind us of the terrible years of the armed conflict. In addition to the deployment of security, police and military forces, there have been multiple allegations of excessive use of force and arbitrary arrests. According to official figures, more than 16,000 people were quarantined in state custody, including those accused of breaking the national lockdown and people returning from overseas.
News Article
The Trump Administration’s cruel approach on immigration policy, particularly around interior enforcement and asylum at the border, has further enshrined the practice of family separation within the U.S. immigration system. Family separation has resulted in unmeasurable moral, political, and economic costs that communities are grappling with every day. There’s approximately 16.7 million people in the U.S. who share a home with an undocumented family member, and nearly 6 million of them are U.S.-citizen children. Mental health professionals have spoken out against family separation policies, stating that they “may have severe consequences in a child’s developmental processes and psychosocial functioning,” and that children who have endured these separations were “more likely to develop symptoms of post-traumatic stress and depression.” These policies designed to deport as many undocumented immigrants as possible have brutalized immigrant families and communities, and hurt the economy – and continue to be rejected by Americans across the political spectrum.
News Article
The Jesuit Massacre, November 16, 1989 at the University of Central America (UCA) in San Salvador. An elite commando unit killed the six priests, their housekeeper (Elba) and her daughter (Celina) at the priests’ campus residence. The military tried to make the massacre appear as though it had been carried out by leftist guerrillas. Nine members of the military were initially put on trial, but the court absolved seven of them. Two officers served short sentences in El Salvador, but were released in 1993 after passage of an amnesty law. Fast forward to 2020: A court in Spain sentenced former Salvadoran colonel Inocente Orlando Montano to 133 years in prison. Arnau Baulenas, a lawyer with the Human Rights Institute at the University of Central America said Montano’s conviction and sentence in Spain showed that the orders came from high up. He blames a lack of political will and resistance within El Salvador’s justice system for being unable to achieve similar outcomes in his own country.
News Article
In 2011, Cindy Erazo experienced a miscarriage in a shopping mall bathroom on the outskirts of the capital. She was taken to a hospital where authorities accused her of attempting to abort the fetus. Convicted of aggravated homicide under El Salvador’s strict anti-abortion laws, Cindy served six years of a 10-year sentence. She was released from prison (“conditional release”) on September 23. She was originally sentenced to 30 years in prison, but that sentence was later reduced. Human rights groups say at least 18 innocent women are currently in prison for similar cases in El Salvador.
News Article
The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. How long? This time, 30 years. Col. Montano led an elite U.S.-trained army unit that massacred six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper, and her teenage daughter during El Salvador's 12-year civil war. More than 70,000 men, women, and children died during the Salvadoran Civil War. One-million refugees (20% of the country’s population!) fled seeking safety, most of them to the US. The Salvadoran Truth Commission investigation concluded that 85% of the more than 22,000 atrocities that were reported during the war were committed by the U.S.-backed military regime and associated forces. And what was does the US government say now in hindsight? “One of fabulous achievement” is how Elliott Abrams, the Reagan administration’s "death squad ambassador" in Central America, has hailed the US record in El Salvador. Today, Elliott Abrams works as the Trump administration's special representative for Iran and Venezuela.

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