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February 26, 2020
Brayan Stiven Gonzáles Blanco is a conscientious objector experiencing harsh treatment by the Colombian military. Legal procedures were not followed in the way that Brayan Stiven Gonzáles Blanco was recruited in September 2019. After consulting with the Collective Action of Conscientious Objectors (ACOOC), Brayan began the formal process to define himself as a conscientious objector at the beginning of February 2020, exercising his right granted by the Colombian Constitution, which recognizes the Recruitment Act 1861/17. On February 5 he was threatened and constrained by military commanders of the Battalion No. 13: Major Moreno, Captain Vanegas, and Sergeant Tarazona. Captain Vanegas threatened him: “We are going to initiate a court martial because what you are doing is a crime.” We are urging the government of Colombia to 1-ensure that all forms of pressure on Brayan Stiven Gonzáles Blanco cease; 2-protect the physical and psychological integrity of Brayan Stiven Gonzáles Blanco, in strict accordance with his wishes; and 3-release Brayan Stiven Gonzáles Blanco from military service so that he can continue the process to define his conscientious objector status, according to the law of Colombia
Faith leaders across New York City declare support for NYC Council resolution calling on Wendy’s to join the Fair Food Program!…
February 25, 2020
30 NYC-based religious leaders, from Brooklyn to the Bronx, have publicly released a powerful letter in support of the resolution calling on Wendy’s to join the Fair Food Program. These revered religious leaders — whose guidance reaches thousands upon thousands of people of faith each week, and whose moral appeal resounds from pulpits and bimas and lecterns across the city — root their eloquent call for farm labor justice in the personal experience many have had over the years with the Immokalee workers’ struggle, and with the campaign to bring Wendy’s into the award-winning social responsibility program
February 25, 2020
Attorney Esteban Celada provides legal representation in many sensitive cases concerning crimes against humanity, organized crime, sexual violence and femicide. He collaborates with Mujeres Transformando el Mundo (Women Transforming the World) and several other human rights organizations in Guatemala. Between May 8, 2019 and February 5, 2020, Esteban Celada experienced at least 27 security incidents, including persistent surveillance. One of these incidents occurred on the night of December 21, 2019. Unknown individuals broke into his house while he was away and searched his belongings, especially documents related to his legal work. Esteban Celada is a member of the Group of Litigators against Torture in Latin America (Grupo de Litigantes contra la Tortura en América Latina), an initiative led by lawyers from 10 Latin American countries, who work to combat the systematic use of torture in the region.
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.