Susana Pimiento's blog
Delegates from El Salvador, Colombia, Cuba, Costa Rica, Brazil, United States, Italy, Spain and Canada are in Honduras this week in response to an urgent call for solidarity issued by the Continental Campaign Against Military Bases, of which the Fellowship of Reconciliation plays a very active role. A three-day mobilization against military bases and in resistance to the criminalization of social protest was organized by Honduran activists to commemorate the second anniversary of the June 28, 2009 military coup.
Ousted Honduran president Manuel Zelaya was able to return to his country, welcomed by a static crowd, yet the human rights crisis in this Central American country continues. Just a few days ago, on June 10th, a military and police contingent raided the cooperatives of San Sebastian, Octal and other communities in the Aguán region, instilling terror among women and children. On June 5th, three member of the MARCA small farmers’ movement were massacred by armed forces and two remain missing.
As repression continues amidst rampant impunity, the courageous Honduran resistance is far from giving up and is preparing for a massive mobilization that will mark the second anniversary of the military coup. On June 26th, 27th and 28th, they will be demanding that those responsible for the human rights abuses be brought to justice, the closure of foreign military bases and the dismantling of a culture of militarization. They are calling for an Hemispheric Day of Solidarity with action in front of Honduran embassies and consulates, that would serve as a reminder of the role US military bases played in the coup and the increased militarization that followed.
Click here to learn more about the June 28th movilization.
The Awa indigenous peoples are mobilizing against the planned construction of a Colombian military base in their Ñambí Piedra Verde reservation, in the Southwestern municipality of Barbacoas, reported the daily paper Diario del Sur in its May 17, 2011 edition.
Colombian community leader Jesús Emilio Tuberquia has far too much first hand knowledge of just how dangerous it is to work for peace in the middle of a war zone. He is one of the founding members and legal representative of the San José Peace Community located in northwest Colombia. In 1997, Jesús Emilio and 800 other small farmers claimed their territory as a neutral civilian community and refused to cooperate with any armed group of any form (including military or police). The community has since survived threats, killings, massacres, disappearances, and food blockades perpetrated by various armed actors, including the U.S.-funded Colombian military. Despite this violent pressure, Jesus Emilio and the people of the Peace Community have succeeded in building a nonviolent community in resistance and as an alternative to the violence that surrounds them.
The plight of Egyptian people against a militaristic and corrupt regime gives us an opportunity to communities here at home to demand that U.S. foreign relations are based on principles of respect of human rights, sovereignty, and democracy. And, as we see vital social services programs threaten by the ongoing economic crisis, it also gives us an opportunity to reflect on the waste of taxpayer dollars resulting from U.S. foreign military assistance and to demand that those resources be allocated to fund needs at home. The Fellowship of Reconciliation, along with other U.S.-based groups at the Continental Campaign Against Foreign Military Bases, issued the following statement on the ongoing protests in Egypt:
STATEMENT FROM CONTINENTAL CAMPAIGN AGAINST MILITARY BASES US WORKING GROUP
DECEMBER 10, 2010 DAY OF ACTION AGAINST FOREIGN MILITARY BASES IN LATIN AMERICA
1- The US Working Group joins with Latin American organizations today, December 10, 2010, the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in a day of action against foreign military bases in the hemisphere. As US organizations that support the Continental Campaign against Foreign Military Presence, launched earlier this year in Latin America, we declare that respect for human rights and freedom from foreign military presence are intimately linked.
Starting Thursday, November 18th, the Fellowship of Reconciliation will again be at Fort Benning, Georgia, at the annual vigil in front of the School of the Americas. We invite participants to explore ways that international solidarity can make the difference countering the expansion of U.S. militarism in Latin America and spread the word about the FOR’s Peace Presence in Colombia, which offers a unique opportunity to share the lives of courageous peasant farmers striving for a life in peace and dignity.
A couple weeks after the ruling declaring invalid the US-Colombia military bases agreement, as the dust settles, politicians and analysts are giving kudos to the Constitutional Court ruling saying that it was for the better. Most of those voices come from former supporters of the deal —including liberal party presidential candidate, Rafael Pardo— can be explained largely by the strong anti Chavez sentiment that saw the bases agreement as a strong deterrent tool against Venezuela.