Just Say No to the War on Drugs in Mexico and Central America

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Mexico and Central America face extreme levels of violence since the war on drugs was intensified in the region. The use of torture, violence against women, human rights violations and extrajudicial executions have risen since U.S. policies began to support a militarized approach to combating drug trafficking in the region.
Relatives who have lost loved ones in the drug war have traveled throughout the United States to plead for an end to the U.S.-backed war. In Central America, militarization under the pretext of the war on drugs has led to persecution of indigenous and grassroots leaders, human rights violations, illegal land grabs and extra-judicial executions, too often at the hands of the very forces funded under U.S. aid programs.
By every conceivable measure (reducing availability of drugs, decreasing crime and the power of drug cartels, increasing public security, effective use of taxes), the “war on drugs” in Mexico and Central America has been an abject and costly failure.
As we take a close look at budget priorities, we need a bipartisan effort in Congress to carry out a fact-based evaluation and seriously rethink the war on drugs. It is time to put human rights and well-being first and rechannel drug war aid to programs for drug abuse prevention and treatment, reduction of arms trafficking, prosecution of money-laundering and drug policy reform within the United States.

IFCLA News Summary April 1-8

Ecuador to Sell a Third of its Amazon Rainforest to Chinese Firms, Despite Protests of Indigenous Groups

MARCH 2013 ZAPATISTA NEWS SUMMARY http://compamanuel.wordpress.com/2013/04/01/zapatista-news-summary-march-2013/

The Latest from NACLA online

Drugs and Democracy Newsletter: Bolivia and Coca

Newsbriefs from IFCLA emails

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US aids Honduran police despite death squad fears

US aids Honduran police despite death squad fears
ALBERTO ARCE and KATHERINE CORCORAN. AP. March 25, 2013

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — The U.S. State Department, which spends millions of taxpayer dollars a year on the Honduran National Police, has assured Congress that money only goes to specially vetted and trained units that don’t operate under the direct supervision of a police chief once accused of extrajudicial killings and “social cleansing.”

But The Associated Press has found that all police units are under the control of Director General Juan Carlos Bonilla, nicknamed the “Tiger,” who in 2002 was accused of three extrajudicial killings and links to 11 more deaths and disappearances. He was tried on one killing and acquitted. The rest of the cases were never fully investigated. Continue reading

Country Updates: Chile; Chaipas, Bolivia; Honduras; Guatemala; Colombia; El Salvador

Four Chilean SOA Graduates Charged with 1973 Murder of Victor Jara http://www.soaw.org/news/organizing-updates/4016-four-chilean-soa-graduates-charged-with-1973-murder-of-folk-singer-victor-jara#video

The EZLN Prepares Communiqué; Las Abejas Will Recall 15 Years from the Massacre in Acteal

Bolivia: Evo Morales’ “Manifesto of the Island of the Sun”  http://truth-out.org/news/item/13643-bolivia-evo-morales-manifesto-of-the-island-of-the-sun

Bolivia slams US over ‘irrefutable evidence’ of meddling

Honduras on CBSNews:  http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57561301/inside-the-worlds-deadliest-country-honduras/

Guatemala News from NISGUA

Justice & Accountability –  Oxlajuj B’ak’tun: A New Era Begins

Trade & Globalization
Across Guatemala Communities Defend their Right to Life
The Resistance at La Puya Threatened with Eviction

Guatemala Rejects Inter-American Court Jurisdiction Over Pre-1987 Abuses GUATEMALAN PRESIDENTIAL DECREE – IMPUNITY FOR GENOCIDE AND OTHER WAR CRIMES

Chile Invokes Pinochet-Era Anti-Terrorism Law in Wake of Arson Attacks

Colombia: Congress approved the constitutional reform to the military justice system despite international condemnation

U.S. Intervention in El Salvador, by Privatization This Time

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Fueled by War on Drugs, Mexican Death Toll Could Exceed 120,000 as Calderon Ends Six-Year Reign

Mark Karlin, Truthout: In the first part of this year, Truthout posted a series of ten articles that dispelled the myths surrounding the failed US/Mexico war on drugs. As a follow-up, this article details newly-released statistics that indicate the predicted death toll from the alleged war-turned-bloodbath will likely far exceed past estimates.

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U.S. RETHINKS A DRUG WAR AFTER DEATHS IN HONDURAS

By DAMIEN CAVE and GINGER THOMPSON, New York Times, October 12, 2012

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/13/world/americas/in-honduras-deaths-make-us-rethink-drug-war.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — The Honduran Air Force pilot did not know what to do. It was the dead of night, and he was chasing a small, suspected drug plane at a dangerously low altitude, just a few hundred feet above the Caribbean. He fired warning shots, but instead of landing, the plane flew lower and closer to the sea.

“So the pilot made a decision, thinking it was the best thing to do,” said Arturo Corrales, Honduras’s foreign minister, one of several officials to give the first detailed account of the episode. “He shot down the plane.”

Four days later, on July 31, it happened again. Another flight departed from a small town on the Venezuelan coast, and using American radar intelligence, a Honduran fighter pilot shot it down over the water.

How many people were killed? Were drugs aboard, or innocent civilians? Officials here and in Washington say they do not know. The planes were never found. But the two episodes — clear violations of international law and established protocols — have ignited outrage in the United States, bringing one of its most ambitious international offensives against drug traffickers to a sudden halt just months after it started.
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HONDURAS: OUR NEXT WAR?

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for more information call 314-721-2977 or email ifcla@ifcla.net                   

Fault Line: The US and Honduras     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWU1d_tTMEs&feature=player_embedded

The Real News: Broken Anvil: Victims Fight for Justice After DEA Operation Leaves Four Dead in Honduras
Villagers say there was no warning before shots were fired on May 11 from a U.S. government helicopter on their canoe, leaving four dead.
http://www.therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=8724
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Guatemala: “War on Drugs” and the Return of the Military

For those who missed the screening of Granito, the online streaming at POV has been extended until Aug 20   http://www.pbs.org/pov/granito/full.php http://documentaries.about.com/b/2012/07/28/granitos-successful-streaming.htm

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THE SPOILS OF AN UNDECLARED WAR : How Guatemala’s ‘War on Drugs’ is being used as a front to clear land for oil companies

By Dawn Paley, July 1, 2012, dawnpaley@gmail.com
http://briarpatchmagazine.com/articles/view/the-spoils-of-an-undeclared-war
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Some articles from Truthout of interest to IFCLA readers

*How the Militarized War on Drugs in Latin America Benefits Transnational Corporations and Undermines Democracy
*Private Prisons Spend $45 Million on Lobbying, Rake in $5.1 Billion for Immigrant Detention Alone
*Monsanto’s Quiet Coup: Will Congress Limit Scope and Time for GMO Reviews?
*Emails From ALEC Member Russell Pearce Show Anti-Immigrant Law May Have Been Racially Motivated
*Immigrant Rights Freedom Riders Head to Democratic National Convention   *”Voluntary” Work Program Run in Private Detention Centers Pays Detained Immigrants $1 a Day

**US-born kids of migrants lose rights in Mexico – Yahoo! News
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Pan-American Post July 26-Aug 3 – Lead Stories and News Briefs

Haiti Should Shelve Army Revival: Crisis Group
Amid Slipping Approval Ratings, Santos Embarks on Colombia Tour
FARC Boss Reappears, Disproving Reports of his Death
White House Cocaine Production Data Differs Sharply from UN
Assessing Humala’s First Year as President of Peru
Venezuela’s Exit from Human Rights Court Earns Damning Response
Colombia Sees First Expansion in Coca Crops in 5 Years
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