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February 24, 2020
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — A man from Mexico in government custody and awaiting deportation died by apparent suicide in an Ohio prison, U.S. immigration authorities said Friday. David Hernandez Colula, 34, was being held at the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center in Youngstown during pending deportation proceedings, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said. Colula died at a hospital early Thursday after prison staff found him unresponsive in his cell. Colula apparently died by suicide but the case is under investigation, authorities said. Colula was transferred to the Ohio prison following his arrest in Michigan in December for an outstanding warrant.
February 24, 2020
Professor García Hernández spoke in Houston yesterday at Brazos bookstore, and in his presentation echoed the core demand of his book: End the incarceration of immigrants. García Hernández makes the case that the incarceration of immigrants is not justified by claims for security and protection. That, in fact, the evolution of immigrant prisons over the last 40 years have been driven by the strategic use of nationalist, race-baiting politics coupled with the profit generating subcontracting of enforcement operations. The two features – ideology and resources – intersect in a social structuring of incarceration. The practices that have evolved fly in the face of due process, and contradict existing legal protection. Another person has died in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody. David Hernandez Colula was from Mexico, and had been in the United States for at least 5 years. The apparent cause of death is self-inflicted strangulation. He died on Thursday, February 20. He was being held at the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center in Youngstown.
February 24, 2020
Army and police made a violent attempt to kidnap Yesid Conda Pacho, a leader of the Nasa indigenous community in Silvia municipality in Cauca Department. They arrived in uniform in a black truck at Yasid Conda’s residence in the indigenous reservation, threatened him at gunpoint, ordered him to get into the truck, and violently intimidated the National Protection Unit bodyguards assigned to him. We are urging that authorities in Colombia: -carry out a thorough and impartial investigation into the attack, intimidation, and threats against Yesid Conda Pacho, publish the results, and bring those responsible to justice -take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical security and psychological integrity of Yesid Conda Pacho and his family members, in strict accordance with his wishes
February 23, 2020
Indigenous rights defender Julio Gómez Lucas is currently facing false criminal charges of incitement to commit crimes, participation in illegal gatherings of armed persons, protests, assault and attempted murder. The criminalization of environmental and indigenous defenders in Guatemala must end. Julio Gómez Lucas, a leader of the Maya Chuj community of San Mateo Ixtatán, is a member of the Peaceful Resistance of the Microregion of Ixquisis, an organization of indigenous communities formed in response to human rights violations committed by a hydroelectric company. He and his family members have previously been kidnapped and tortured because of his work in defense of land, water, and indigenous rights.
February 22, 2020
We are appalled by the staggering number of homicides in Honduras in 2020, including victims of torture. By January 13, ninety-eight homicides were already registered. Among those murdered was José Leopoldo Navarro, a 60-year-old campesino, whose body was found with signs of torture on the banks of the Tocoa River in Colón Department; Humberto Hidalgo Niño, age 23, and his niece, Auri Michelle Rivera Dubón, age 18, in Copán Department; Edwin Amílcar Mairena, a moto-taxi driver, age 28, in Francisco Morazán Department. We are urging authorities in Honduras to: -investigate the homicides listed above, publish the results, and bring those responsible to justice -stop the culture of impunity that permits such violence to go unpunished, thus destabilizing the lives of innocent Hondurans throughout the country
February 21, 2020
Honduras has been suffered since many year by the effects of corruption. So are getting $300 million robbed every year from the Honduran healthcare system. Also, Honduras is one of the world’s most dangerous places to be an environmental activist or human rights defender. Frontline Defenders rated Honduras third in the world in murders of human rights activists in 2019 and Global Witness named Honduras the deadliest country in the world for environmental activism in 2017. More than 100 small farmers have been killed since 2009 in land disputes in Bajo Aguán, where large-scale palm plantations encroach on land farmed by poor farmers and cooperatives. Activists protesting environmentally damaging projects, like Guapinol community members organizing against a mine polluting their water, are in jail. International financing backs many of the controversial projects. The November 2017 elections in which President Hernández was declared reelected were seen as fraudulent by much of the Honduran public, yet the OAS’s call for new elections was ignored. In the massive protests that followed, at least 23 people were killed, the vast majority allegedly by security forces. Over 60 people were wounded. Two years later, not a single security force member has been convicted for these crimes.
February 20, 2020
Fr. Donal Godfrey, SJ, associate director for faculty and staff spirituality at USF, explained that the Jesuits had spoken against the kidnapping, torture and murder of civilians, many of them poor, at the hands of El Salvador’s military regime during the country’s civil war. Because the Jesuits spoke up, they were targeted as enemies. “With this memorial, we honor the martyrs in El Salvador, and we reaffirm our Jesuit mission to struggle against injustice and seek the truth,” said Fr. Godfrey.
El Salvador's Social Movement Fights Mega-Development Project 'Valle del Angel,' Citing Numerous Environmental, Social & Public Health Concerns
February 18, 2020
The Valle del Angel development is not the first or only one of its kind. The encroachment of urban mega-developments as a mechanism of capitalist expansion is a disturbing trend in El Salvador and in the region. In addition to other industries like mining/natural resource extraction, agribusiness, and hydroelectric projects, urban real estate development is on the uptick as a means of “accumulation through dispossession" and the ongoing transfer of wealth from the working class to elites. (All of which are among the root causes of destabilization and displacement we’re seeing across Central America.)
February 17, 2020
After an irregular rainy season and an unpromising harvest, almost 80% of maize grown in Guatemala’s highland region was lost, according to Oxfam. All that remains for many families are tiny corncobs studded with discoloured grains that look like rotten teeth. Central America is one of the world’s most dangerous regions outside a warzone, where a toxic mix of violence, poverty and corruption has forced millions to flee north in search of security. The threat of famine and the battle for dwindling natural resources are increasingly being recognised as major factors in the exodus
February 15, 2020
In February 2020, still waiting as he now passed 950 days in detention, Kevin began thinking that he might just give up and self-deport, even if it meant going back to a place he’d been followed out of by text messages saying if he ever returned he would be killed. This is a story about the ongoing efforts of the U.S. government to deport a Honduran teenager named Kevin Euceda, who had already been in detention for more than two years. The U.S. government’s anti-trafficking program took the extraordinary step of certifying Kevin as a victim of “severe human trafficking,” finding that he had been “subjected to involuntary servitude by being forced to work for a gang.” The designation gave Kevin the right to all the benefits of a legal refugee, and meant he would be a prime candidate for asylum. [In September 2019, Kevin watched his court proceedings] from a remote detention center. On one side of the judge, he could see his lawyers, ready to argue that he should be freed immediately. Across from them was a lawyer for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), there to argue that Kevin should be deported. And in front of them all, inside a thick folder, was an old report from a shelter for immigrant children that was the reason the long-running matter of Kevin Euceda existed at all: “Youth reports history of physical abuse, neglect, and gang affiliation in country of origin. Unaccompanied child self-disclosed selling drugs. Unaccompanied child reports being part of witnessing torturing and killing, including dismemberment of body parts,” the report said. The person who had signed it: A therapist at a government shelter for immigrant children who had assured Kevin that their sessions would be confidential. Instead, the words Kevin spoke had traveled from the shelter to one federal agency and then another, followed him through three detention centers, been cited in multiple ICE filings arguing for his detention and deportation, and now, in the fall of 2019, were about to be used against him once more.