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Oct 19th
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Requiem for Rufina PDF Print E-mail
Written by Adriana Bartow-Portillo   
Rufina Amaya, Symbol of Grief, Courage, and Hope - Rufina's eyes witnessed the inhumanity and brutality of the elite Salvadoran US-trained Atlacatl Battalion, when it paid the villagers of El Mozote a visit the morning of Dec. 11, 1981.

The children were separated from their mothers, the men from the women, and all of them taken to different places. From her hiding place she saw, heard, and smelled everything: the soldiers, the screams and cries of children, including her own, the blows, the orders, the shots, the smell of burned flesh, and the silence afterwards… Rufina AmayaIn spite of or perhaps because of her pain, her voice arose above the inhumanity of the US-sponsored war in her country to courageously denounce the horrors she witnessed, preserve the memory of the victims, and keep alive the collective memory of her people. Her death from a heart attack on March 6, 2007, is an enormous loss to those who knew her, and millions more who worked with her to demand that the rights of her people be respected.  Rufina lays buried at the foot of the monument to the victims of El Mozote massacre, but her eyes are still open, for in the words of Guatemalan Laureate Miguel Angel Asturias, "The eyes of the dead will close only on the day of justice or they will never close".  As Rufina shared with us the painful reality she once lived, she reminded us of the power of memory and truth and we, peace, social, and economic justice activists as well human rights defenders must make sure her legacy is kept alive.

Rufina Amaya, ¡Presente!

 

Published in the Summer 2007 issue 

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written by Steve Johnson, August 29, 2008
I also met Rufina while visiting El Salvador and I am sad to hear of her passing. She helped me to understand.
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Featured Article
Download the Spring 2016 issue of Presente

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.

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