Assistant Secretary of State William Brownfield succumbed to a fit of honesty earlier this month: "When the drug war turns bloody, he said, the strategy is working," journalist Martha Mendoza reported. By Brownfield's standards, the strategy has been an enormous success.
No sooner was the blatantly colonial charter city project in Honduras declared unconstitutional by the Honduran Supreme Court last year than it found itself back on the agenda. The gist of the project is the creation of free-market enclaves on Honduran territory that are unaccountable to national laws and are instead governed by foreign corporate interests.
In this newsletter, we set out a summary of organizations, projects and struggles that Rights Action has funded, to date, in 2012. These are your funds at work. With your help, we are supporting courageous people in Guatemala and Honduras, and their efforts to protect the environment, to defend human rights and justice, and to build real democracy from the grassroots level up.
We send you this sad update about work we are involved with in Guatemala. Please consider donating 'humanitarian relief' funds for the needs of Yolanda Oqueli, and for the other people and communities mentioned in this article.
Dear Yoli: I have no words in my heart or mouth that could possibly express my outrage and grief over what has happened. The harm to your precious sacred person is vile and inexcusable. The intended harm to your soul, your spirit, your struggle, and the struggle of all those, who like you, are in love with the Earth
On June 13, assassins on a motorcycle shot multiple times at Yolanda Oqueli Veliz, a community leader from the municipalities of San José el Golfo and San Pedro Ayampuc, just out side of Guatemala City. Yolanda is in critical but stable condition in a Guatemala City Hospital, one bullet still lodged in her body. Humanitarian-emergency relief funds are needed.
A delegation of academics, human rights and labor activists, visited the community of Ahuás in the Department of Gracias a Dios in a region known as La Moskitia. On May 11, 2012 four helicopters conducted an apparent drug interdiction near the town of Ahuas. At least one of the helicopters opened fire on a passenger boat killing two pregnant women, a 14-year-old boy and a 21-year-old man, while seriously injuring at least four more. The purpose of the visit was to inquire into this tragedy.
"It's hard to imagine how a former intelligence chief who preceded over one of the bloodiest regions in Guatemala during a period later described as genocide by the United Nations could so completely transform his image in a matter of months. But since Pérez Molina first mentioned legalization on February 11th, that's just what's happened on the international stage." (Dawn Paley)
The Summits of the Americas began in 1994 as forums to promote free trade. In 2009 the Summit's focus shifted to demands for the inclusion of Cuba in regional political bodies and the end of the U.S. economic embargo, a debate which continued in this month's Sixth Summit in Cartagena.
"Militarization in Central America is less about controlling crime than ensuring access to natural resources" (Annie Bird)