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February 26, 2019
Please find attached the letter (Feb 26 2019) we sent to officials in Colombia regarding the assassination of José Fernel Manrique Valencia, age 34, an executive board member of the Union of Construction Material Industry Workers (SUTIMAC) in Bucaramanga in Santander Department. At 9:30pm two assassins on a motorbike shot him twice, killing him outside his home in the Café Madrid neighborhood. José Manrique Valencia worked for Cemex Colombia, a national construction company, for more than a decade. Since SUTIMAC was formed in 1972, at least 40 of its members have been murdered, but only one person has been convicted.
February 25, 2019
We wrote to officials in Colombia regarding an attack on Dibeth Quintana, a leader of the Oil Workers’ Union (USO) in Aguachica, Cesar Department. After leaving a judicial proceeding in the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Aguachica on February 13, strangers abducted her, beat her, tied her hands and feet, and abandoned her on the outskirts of the municipality. She was treated in a local medical center for physical and emotional trauma.
February 24, 2019
We wrote to officials in Mexico about the unjust criminalization of Froylán González, a member of CODEDI (Committee for the Defense of Indigenous Peoples) in Oaxaca. He was illegally detained on Feb 11, was beat up in detention, and released (but is still facing fabricated charges) . This kind of criminalization of social leaders is part of a systematic pattern by the state to undermine the rights of indigenous peoples. Over the past year, CODEDI has been the subject of several attacks: five murders, three other arbitrary arrests, three raid incidents, theft, and ongoing threats (cf our letter Nov 24 2018).
February 23, 2019
We wrote to officials in Mexico about the disappearance, torture, and assassination of Noé Jiménez Pablo and José Santiago Gómez Álvarez, members of the Independent Regional Campesino Movement (MOCRI) in Amatán, Chiapas State. They disappeared on January 17 when a group of unidentified armed men attacked MOCRI demonstrators who, since November 2018, had been protesting the failure of authorities to guarantee the basic needs of their community. On January 18, the bodies of the two victims, showing signs of torture, were found in a garbage dump near Amatán.
February 22, 2019
We are asking the heads of DHS and ICE why Camila Díaz Córdova, a transgender woman who sought political asylum in the US, was deported last year. That deportation placed her in extreme danger. High rates of violence—including murders and assassinations—against members of the LGBTQ community in El Salvador are well documented. She was attacked January 31 and died Feb 3 due to multiple injuries.
February 19, 2019
"As influential public institutions, our universities have a responsibility to maintain a clear and unwavering moral standard in their business relationships. Wendy’s, as the sole fast-food company that has yet to join the Fair Food Program, has refused to meet that standard. Instead of cheap '4 for $4' meals, as students, we need to see human rights on the menu."
February 17, 2019
"We want justice and that these cases are investigated and the reformed penal code procedures to be applied when those who are responsible are found,” Aspidh Arcoiris Trans Projects Coordinator Ambar Alfaro told the Blade, referring to a 2015 amendment to El Salvador’s legal code that enhances penalties for hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity. “Although we have begun the year badly, we hope these crimes establish precedents for there to also be a positive legal framework that regulates the situation of trans people, especially the situation of violence and insecurity.”
Binational Border Encuentro presentation addresses US militarism in Mexico, Central America, and on the US-Mexico border
February 16, 2019
Slide show presentation about the Binational Border Encuentro that addresses not only what migrants are facing when they reach the US border but the structural issues in their home countries that cause them to flee.
February 16, 2019
Although the political situation has stayed predominately calm, the U.S. State Department has not lowered its travel alert level. This means that universities are not allowing delegations to travel to Nicaragua. Loss of delegations means loss of $100,000 in revenue for the CDCA, and $50,000 worth of donated medications for the clinic.
February 15, 2019
Companies represented in Duque’s audience included Occidental Petroleum, Twitter, Hilton, Monsanto, Southwest Airlines, Drummond, and Aecom...Duque praised the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement...and delivered the now-traditional Colombian praise and thanks for the nearly 20 years of US participation in Plan Colombia [initiated by President Clinton], which has delivered about nine billion dollars in military aid to his country.