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January 24, 2020
The fight towards justice for Honduran melon workers has been long, and is continuing. In November, the International Labor Rights Forum documented workers falling sick from Fyffes’ (melon growers in Honduras) improper use of a toxic pesticide, the company’s refusal to enroll most of its workers in the national social security system, and ongoing union-busting.
January 24, 2020
Our Rapid Response Network sent a letter to President Ortega of Nicaragua regarding a recent attack on the son and nephew of women human rights defender Reyna Isabel Rodríguez Palacios, who was granted precautionary measures by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in September of 2018. On January 5 in Ciudad Sandino, gunmen shot and wounded her son Álvaro Antonio Báez Rodríguez (age 33) and nephew Andison Francisco Chávez Rodríguez (age 27) during an attempt to kidnap them. Reyna Isabel Rodríguez Palacios is an active member of MAM (Movimiento Autónomo de Mujeres de Nicaragua). Although MAM has historically been independent of any political party alignment, Reyna Rodríguez Palacios is active in the Blue and White National Unity Party and was recently elected to the party’s Political Council. She has experienced harassment at home. Police and paramilitary forces have been surrounding and surveilling her home. The surveillance activity and the attack against her son and nephew appear to be in retaliation for her political party activity in opposition to the Sandinista government.
January 23, 2020
The US government has started sending asylum seekers back to Nogales, Mexico, to await court hearings that will be scheduled roughly 350 miles (563km) away in Ciudad Juárez. Authorities are expanding a program known as Remain in Mexico that requires tens of thousands of asylum seekers to wait out their immigration court hearings in Mexico. Until this week, the government was driving some asylum seekers from Nogales, Arizona, to El Paso, Texas, so they could be returned to Juárez. Critics say the program, one of several Trump administration policies that have all but ended asylum in the US, puts migrants who fled their home countries back into dangerous Mexican border towns where they are often kidnapped, robbed or extorted.
January 23, 2020
Nicaragua is on track to become the first country in the world to achieve gender equality, according to the World Economic Forum. But the unrelenting counterfactual attacks on Nicaragua’s government by Western imperialist feminists and their feminist class allies inside Nicaragua systematically omit that reality.
January 22, 2020
The lawsuit initially was filed in 2015 by 21 young people who argue that the failure of government leaders to combat climate change violates their constitutional right to a clean environment. A central goal of the litigation was to compel the government to scale back its support for fossil fuel extraction and production, and to support policies aimed at reducing the nation’s emissions. The Trump administration, like the Obama administration before it, has repeatedly argued that the lawsuit should be tossed out before going to trial.
January 21, 2020
Please see the attached letter (January 21, 2020) we sent to the President Magistrate of the Supreme Court of Honduras, urging his government to drop the four bogus criminal charges that are pending against labor leader Moises Sánchez. Tomorrow in court, Moises faces the possibility of 30 years in prison on charges related to the usurpation of private land to build a community access road.
January 21, 2020
A union leader in Honduras could be imprisoned for 30 years on bogus charges, pending a decision at a trial on Jan 22. Moises Sanchez is the Secretary General of the STAS union on Fyffes' melon farms in Honduras, where he worked from 1993 until 2016, when he was blacklisted for his union activity. In 2017, Moises was kidnapped, viciously attacked and threatened with death if he did not abandon the union fight. Moises is a resident of La Permuta, a small community that had no road access and people had to cross rivers to get to the closest city, Choluteca. In 2018, La Permuta’s village assembly voted to build a road. The mayor of the municipality, Santa Ana de Yusguare, agreed with the effort and told them the land was public land. Nearly two years later, a private landowner has come forward saying the land was hers and pressed charges for ‘criminal usurpation.’ Over a number of years, this landowner has leased other properties she owns to the Fyffes company.
January 16, 2020
Guatemala City - Guatemalan civil society groups are pressuring authorities to arrest President Jimmy Morales for corruption on Tuesday as soon as his successor takes office. For more than half of his four-year term, Morales has been plagued by allegations of illegal campaign financing. He has denied any wrongdoing. He also shut down an international commission leading investigations into high-level corruption.
NO RELIEF IN SIGHT: PRESIDENT ALEJANDRO GIAMATTEI APPEARS TO BE A NEW FACE BACKED BY THE SAME OLD CRIMINAL NETWORKS
January 15, 2020
President-elect Alejandro Giammattei took office yesterday in Guatemala City. Giammattei comes to the presidency backed by a group of hard-line former military officers reportedly associated with the sector that opposed the peace process that ended Guatemala’s 36-year civil war. Many are also associated with industries that extract resources from rural communities – often with US, Canadian and European investment – a sector Giammattei has pledged to promote. In one of CICIG’s first prosecutions, on August 9, 2010 an arrest warrant was issued against Giammattei on charges of extrajudicial execution related to violent deaths in the Pavon prison on September 25, 2006 while he was the National Director of the Penitentiary System. His then assistant and three police officers were arrested that day, but Giammattei, apparently alerted, had requested political asylum days before in Honduras’ embassy in Guatemala. His request was denied, so on August 13, 2010 he was taken into detention on the Mariscal Zavala military base.