|Latin American Resistance & U.S. Solidarity|
Latin America has a 500 year history of resistance to the violence of colonialism, militarization, and elite domination. It is a legacy to treasure and honor.
But we must also recognize that the current situation in some countries in Latin America, especially Mexico and Central America, is grim and requires urgent solidarity from those that live in the U.S., where our tax money is being utilized to prop up the forces of oppression.
Solidarity requires us to demand that our taxes not be utilized for the endless violence of the Drug War. When U.S. officials fail to do their job we must expose them and their role in the military industrial congressional complex. At the 2015 Spring Days of Action in DC, we created music & art, strategized, proposed a Border/Root Causes of Migration mobilization, and took our protest and solidarity to the halls of Congress. Our work at the Spring Days and beyond reverberated, with Congress being forced to cut some of the military aid it was providing Mexico, while only some parts of the deceptively named Alliance for Prosperity in Central America or Biden Plan were approved. These victories need to be recognized and we need to realize that an organized people CAN make a difference so the only answer is to KEEP PUSHING.
Following up on our Victories
Our work last year in DC and in Congress isn’t finished! This year, we converged again on Washington, DC from April 14 - 18 for 5 days of protest, lobbying, workshops, art, and community-building. We need to reject apathy, organize from below, and try everything in our power to stop the violence of that is destroying Central America and Mexico. The failed policies emanating from Congress and the Pentagon have real consequences, with forced migration, enforced disappearances, and assassinations like the recent killing of Berta Cáceres in Honduras, becoming all too normalized. Nevertheless the resistance in Latin America to the violence is growing, the facade of the Drug War is crumbling, and we must continue to march towards the light and help usher in a new world.
We recognize the power of solidarity and struggle, and we welcomed of the Peace, Life, and Justice Caravan that arrived in Washington DC on April 15 to report on their journey through Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and the U.S. to expose the Drug War’s devastating impacts. We also took our next steps in the campaign to pressure Vice President Joe Biden for an Executive Order to close the SOA before he and President Obama leave office early next year. In the meantime you can sign the petition to VP Biden at soaw.org/biden
Border/Root Causes of Migration Mobilization
This year’s Spring Days were also an exciting opportunity to plug into SOA Watch’s move to the border and growing focus on the root causes of migration. The first Border/Root Causes of Migration Mobilization in Nogales, AZ, will be held on October 7-10, 2016, and we heard from activists from across the country during the Spring Days.
The Spring issue contains mobilizing information for the SOA Watch Border Convergence, which is taking place from October 7-10, 2016 at the US/Mexico border in Nogales, and also focuses on recent developments in Latin America and within the SOA Watch movement.
Click here to download a PDF version of the Spring 2016 issue.
As this issue of Presente went to print, our hearts were heavy. The assassination of our dear friend and comrade Berta Cáceres, and the increased repression against social movement groups, have left us shocked and saddened. SOA Watch Latin America liaison Brigitte Gynther traveled to Honduras the morning after she learned about the assassination and has been coordinating SOA Watch’s response together with our partner groups on the ground. If you do not already receive Urgent Action emails from us, please click here to sign up now.
The recent decision by the U.S. judge in North Carolina to extradite one of the perpetrators of the 1989 massacre at the University of San Salvador gives us hope that justice will prevail in the end. It will take all of us to create change! Please join us as we mobilize to the U.S./Mexico border from October 7-10, 2016!
Other articles in this issue cover a protest by SOA Watch in Chile against US bases in Latin America, the FBI surveillance of SOA Watch, updates from Colombia and Mexico, news about the first Border Patrol agent to receive training at WHINSEC, background information about Direct Action, the Youth Encuentro in Guatemala, and more.
Download this issue of Presente here.
Interview with Father Fausto Mila in Honduras
SOA Watch participated in the International Human Rights Encuentro in Honduras in February 2012. Laura Jung spoke with Father Fausto Milla, a religious leader in the Honduran movement who has been persecuted by the State of Honduras.
By Pablo Ruiz, Equipo Latinoamericano of SOA Watch
SOAW Chile achieved an important victory; to declassify the names of over 760 Chilean soldiers who took courses at the School of the Americas/WHINSEC during the past decade.
For more info about ¡Presente!, go to About US.
True peace is not merely the absence of tension, it is the presence of justice.
- Martin Luther King Jr.
A challenging new documentary has quickly become one of the
widest-reaching films to encapsulate the history of the SOA Watch
An in-depth look at the torture practices of the United States in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, focusing on an innocent taxi driver in Afghanistan who was tortured and killed in 2002.