Spring 2005 El Aviso - Members.efn.org

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Spring 2005 El Aviso - Members.efn.org

El Aviso

paz y justicia

A publication of the Committee in Solidarity with the Central American People Spring 2005

Peg Morton's reflections on prison Reflexiones de Peg Morton sobre

Last spring I served for three months in Federal

Prison Camp Dublin, east of Oakland, CA.

About 200 people have now served time in

prison for crossing the line at Fort

Benning over a period of 15 years, in

efforts to close the School of Americas

(See inset on page 4).

I am certain that this civil disobedience

is effective. I received unbelievable

personal support. I have given and

continue to give many talks. There has

been extensive media coverage. When

one combines my experience with that of

200 others, one can multiply the influence.

And, of course, our actions are part of a

movement of thousands to close the school.

They come to massive annual demonstrations, both at

Fort Benning and in Washington, DC. Supporters

lobby, write, and engage in spiritual fasting.

Although the school is still open and closing the school

is still our main goal, civil disobedience against the

SOA serves a larger purpose. Those who demonstrate

at Fort Benning are a part of a major nonviolent

grassroots movement. Many within this movement are

willing to take risks. At the same time, we are building

public awareness of the true nature of the United States

government’s foreign policies.

What is a prison camp like?

There were about 250 women incarcerated in our

prison, none of whom had committed violent crimes.

There were no cells or barbed wire fences. We were not

locked in. The buildings are dilapidated barracks on an

continued on page 4

Inside:

Solidarity with Cuba! ............................. page 2

Special report on Guatemala ................... page 3

Landslides in Venezuela .......................... page 6

CISCAP wish list ....................................... page 7

prisión

En la primavera pasada, serví una sentencia de

tres meses en la prisión federal, Camp

Dublin, al este de Oakland, California.

Cerca de 200 personas han servido

sentencias en la prisión por haber

cruzado la linea de Fort Benning,

durante un período de 15 años, en

esfuerzos de cerrar “School of Americas”

(Vea a la caja en la página 5).

Estoy segura de que esta desobediencia

civil es eficaz. Recibí el apoyo personal

increíble. He dado y sigo dando

muchas conferencias. Ha habido

cobertura periodística extensa. Cuando se

combina mi experiencia con la de 200 otras

personas, se puede multiplicar la influencia. Y

por supuesto, nuestras acciones son parte de un

movimiento de miles de personas que viven cerca de

SOA, que asisten a las masivas manifestaciones

anuales a Fort Benning y en Washington, D.C. Ejercen

presión, escriben, y hacen los ayunos espirituales.

Aunque la SOA todavía está abierta, y el cierre de la

escuela sigue siendo nuestra meta principal, la

desobediencia civil contra SOA sirve a un propósito

más grande. Los que manifiestan a Fort Benning son

parte de un gran movimiento popular no violento.

Muchos participantes en este movimiento están

dispuestos a tomar riesgos. Al mismo tiempo, estamos

construyendo una mayor conciencia de la verdad de las

políticas exteriores del gobierno de los Estados Unidos.

¿Cómo es un campamento de

prisión?

Había casi 200 mujeres encarceladas en nuestra

prisión; ninguna de ellas había cometido crímenes

violentos. No había celdas ni cercas de alambre de

púas. No nos encerraban. Los edificios eran cuarteles

dilapidados en una base de ejército. Por unos meses

después de entrar en la prisión, las mujeres se aprietan

en espacios pequeños que se abren unos a otros. Mi

celda tenía ocho de nosotros y más de 40 personas

vivían todas juntas en un solo piso. continuado en página 5


Film reignites Cuba

solidarity organizing

On February 21, the documentary,

Mission Against Terror, on the Cuban

Five debuted in Eugene as part of a 23city

tour in the US by one of the

directors, Bernie Dwyer, an Irish

woman working in Havana for Havana

Radio. The event was a success,

drawing 70-75 people, comparable to

audiences in Boston and Philadelphia.

After the film, Bernie Dwyer offered a

personal look at life in Cuba.

City by city, the showing of the documentary

is chipping away at the wall of

silence on the Cuban Five, five men

from Cuba currently in US prisons for

successfully collecting information on

terrorist activities in South Florida

against Cuba.

People from Portland, Corvallis, and

Ashland were inspired to resume Cuba

solidarity activities in concert with

Solidarity with Cuba!, a local organization

with the goal of raising awareness

Pelicula reasuma

actividades en solidaridad

con Cuba

En el 21 de febrero, el documental

sobre los Cinco Cubanos, Misión

Contra Terror, debutó en Eugene como

parte de un viaje de 23 ciudades en los

E.E.U.U. por uno de los directores,

Bernie Dwyer, mujer irlandesa que

trabaja en Cuba para la Radio Habana.

El evento fue un éxito, atraiendo a 70-

75 personas, comparables a las

audiencias en Boston y Philadelphia.

Después de la película, Bernie Dwyer

ofreció una mirada personal en la vida

en Cuba.

of our government’s efforts to undermine

Cuba. About half of those attending

had never heard of the Cuban Five.

Many people signed up to be part of

Solidarity with Cuba!

The film makes its debut in a changing

political context. The Bush administration

has announced its plan for “regime

change” in Cuba, while a leftward

political shift in Latin America democracies

appears as a counterweight to this

policy. Similarly, as Venezuela takes a

path of social liberation for its people

and supports a vision of a united Latin

America, the US government hopes to

incite opposition to the Chavez administration.

“Increasingly rebellious Latin America

refuses to bow down and fall in behind

Washington and the European Union

sanctions and provocations against

revolutionary Cuba.” reports Ike

Nahem, a coordinator of Cuba Solidarity

New York.

Meanwhile in Europe, governments are

Se inspiró a la gente de Portland, de

Corvallis, y de Ashland que reasumiera

actividades de la solidaridad con Cuba

en concierto con Solidaridad con

Cuba!—una organización local con la

meta de levantar conocimiento de los

esfuerzos de nuestro gobierno de minar

Cuba. Alrededor la mitad de ésas que

atendían nunca había oído hablar de los

Cinco Cubanos. Mucha gente firmó

hasta sea parte de solidaridad con Cuba!

responding to popular pressure. A

conservative Spanish government led

hostility toward Cuba in the European

Union, until the election of a socialist

plurality in Spain. Its leaders have

withdrawn troops from Iraq and

pledged to change the previous policy

towards Cuba.

As Pastors for Peace embark on their

“Peace Friendshipment Caravan to

Cuba,” the issue of the Cuban Five will

be part of their presentation. Joining

with the Veneremos Brigade, participants

will be in Cuba at the same time

and return on the same day. This longterm

action serves to protest the

prohibition against travel and continuing

the embargo. The policy harms

Cuba economically, while keeping us

ignorant of Cuba.

For information on Solidarity with

Cuba! contact Dennis Gilbert at

gilbertd@lanecc.edu. More information

on the Cuban Five can be found

on: www.freethefive.org.

-Dennis Gilbert

“América latina cada vez más rebelde

rechaza someterse a las sanciones y los

provocaciones de Washington y Europa

contra Cuba revolucionaria.” informes

Ike Nahem, coordinador de la

Solidaridad Nuevayorkaña con Cuba.

Mientras tanto en Europa, los gobiernos

están respondiendo a la presión popular.

Un gobierno español conservador

condujo hostilidad hacia Cuba en la

unión europea, hasta la elección de una

Entre ciudad y ciudad, la demostración

del documental está saltando lejos en la

pared del silencio sobre los Cinco

Cubanos—cinco hombres de Cuba

actualmente en las prisiones de los

E.E.U.U. para recoger la información

sobre actividades del terrorismo en el

sur de Florida contra Cuba.

La película hace su principio en un

contexto político que cambia. La

administración de Bush ha anunciado

su plan para el “cambio del regimen” en

Cuba, mientras que un cambio hacia la

izquierda política en las democracias de

América latina aparece como

contrapeso a esta política. Como

Venezuela toma una trayectoria de la

liberación social para su gente y apoya

una visión de una América latina unida,

el gobierno de los E.E.U.U. espera

incitar la oposición a la administración

de Chavez.

pluralidad socialista en España. Sus

líderes han retirado a tropas de Iraq y

han prometido para cambiar la política

anterior hacia Cuba.

Como los Pastores para la Paz

emprenden su ‘caravana de amigos de

la paz a Cuba,’ el asunto de los Cinco

Cubanos será parte de su presentación.

Ensamblando con la Brigada de

Veneremos, los ambos participantes

estarán en Cuba en el mismo tiempo y

volverán encendido el mismo día. Esta

acción a largo plazo sirve para protestar

continuado en página 7

Page 2 El Aviso


Special Report: Guatemala over the

last 14 months

Most analysts believed that the worst in

Guatemala was over when in January

2004 the keys to the presidential palace

were passed from Alfonso Portillo and

the power behind him, Congressional

President José Efraín Montt, to the neoliberal

businessman and sugar magnet,

Óscar Berger. Those analysts have

proven to be quite wrong.

Most non-governmental organizations,

human rights groups, and international

donor countries wanted to give the new

president the benefit of the doubt for the

first year of his term. Fourteen months

into his term, there is no longer any

doubt. To the lament of the solidarity

community, human rights have deteriorated,

poverty has escalated, and citizen

security exists in only the most rural

areas. A recent poll by Guatemala’s

most widespread daily, Prensa Libre,

found that 65.2 percent of Guatemalans

have stopped walking down the street at

night out of fear and 85.1 percent

believe that when their children go out,

they cannot be sure that they are going

to return home safely.

How has this happened? How did

Guatemala change power from Ríos

Montt, Guatemala’s bloodiest dictator

who was the de facto president during

the most repressive eighteen months of

the thirty-six year civil war (1960-96),

to Óscar Berger, a sugar plantation

owner, and how did this change yield

such a downward spiral of civil liberties?

First, to lay the foundation, Guatemala

swings slowly like a pendulum between

the rule of the military and that of the

economic elite. Guatemala was an

economically impoverished land for the

better part of 300 years of colonial rule.

All this changed when the shaded

volcanic soils of the altiplano started

producing internationally desired

coffees in the mid-1800’s. By the late

1800’s “liberal” president Justo Rufino

Barrios recognized that there was

enough of an economic elite from the

import of coffee that it warranted

creating a professionalized military to

protect that wealth. This marked the

birth of an internally repressive army

designed to protect private property.

Even though civilians have held the

presidency since 1985, the military,

with links to organized crime, ostensibly

controlled the executive branch

since 1954—that is, until fourteen

months ago when Berger and his

cabinet of businessmen took over. The

effects of this swing in the pendulum,

and the priority re-placed on protecting

private property, cannot be underestimated.

The major effect of this pendulum

swing has manifested as widespread

violence. And this violence stems from

two sources. One, while the Berger

administration are business-oriented,

they have their own class interests in

mind. As a result, the poverty gap has

grown, and inflation has nearly doubled

in recent years, rising from 5.85 percent

in 2003 to 9.23 percent in 2004.

According to the US

Department of

State, in 2004

combined unemployment

and

underemployment

reached an estimated

18 percent,

and 70 percent of

the population was

employed in the

informal sector.

This combination of unemployment and

an increase in inflation has spawned a

wave of petty crime, generally acknowledged

to be led by rising gang

activity. According to Berger, the two

main gangs, Mara Salvatrucha and

Mara 18 are responsible for 80 percent

of the crime in Guatemala.

Secondly, in June 2004 Berger reduced

the size of the military from an authorized

strength of 27,214 to 15,500

personnel, eliminated seven major

military commands and units, and

reduced the military budget to 0.33

percent of Gross Domestic Product

(GDP), far below the ceiling required

by the 1996 Peace Accords. It is

plausible to believe that the military

powers and organized crime (which

thrives under military rule) are sowing

seeds of terror across the country in the

form of attacks on human rights

defenders, by manipulating gang

members, and by brutally murdering

women and leaving them in public

places, among other tactics.

In the past two elections, the presidential

runner-up has continued on to win

the presidency in the following election.

So it is possible that the military is

hoping to destabilize the country

enough so that voters will restore power

to them in the 2007 elections that will

most likely see the candidacy of former

general, and known human rights

violator, Otto Perez Molina.

While this is the root of the violence lay

in increased poverty and the destabilizing

effects of military elite and organized

crime, it is important to see how

the combination of violence and the

protection of private property plays out.

Take for example the issue of land in

Guatemala. During the entire four

years of the Portillo administration

there were exactly five violent land

evictions. During just the first year of

the Berger administration there have

been over forty, one of which resulted

in the death of eight campesinos and

four police officers. On the Nueva

continued on page 7

El Aviso Page 3


Peg Morton's relections on prison

continued from page 1

army base. For the first several months

after admission, inmates are crowded

into small spaces that open onto each

other. My “pod” had eight of us, and

there were over 40 living on the same

floor together.

We ate cafeteria style. We had a variety

of work assignments, mostly physical

labor, some in the prison factory. Some

of the work was back-breaking. I was

on a team that cleaned our bathroom,

working only two hours a day. I earned

$.12 an hour, for what was called a

seven-hour day ($.84 a day). For most,

part of their pay goes to pay off fines

and part goes to their very necessary

commissary account. Women without

outside resources have great difficulty

in getting their physical needs met.

Classes were required of many - GED,

ESL, drug rehabilitation - but these

services were inadequate. There were

no college courses and very few other

options. There were also psychological

services. Free time could be spent

walking the track, working out on old

but usable equipment, smoking and

chatting in the little grassy park,





What is SOA/WHINSEC?

It is the former Army School of the Americas

which was re-named Western Hemisphere Institute

for Security Cooperation. It was founded

soon after World War II to train Latin American

soldiers. Graduates of the school, including

generals and dictators, have been documented

authors and perpetrators of massacres, assassination,

disappearance and torture throughout Latin

America. Research has revealed torture manuals

that were used at the school.

handicrafts (if you had the money to

buy the supplies), Bible study and

worship of all kinds, and of course,

reading, writing letters, playing cards

and napping. Some received visits on

weekends, and there was the daily mail

call.

“Counts” interspersed throughout the

days and the nights, at 4:00 pm, 10:00

pm, 12:00 Midnight, 3:00 and 5:00 am.

Guards tramped through at night,

flashlights in hand. Up by 6:00 am, we

were off to breakfast.

Although some guards and officers

treated us with respect, threats were

dispersed through-

out our days.

Support, comfort,

and wisdom—and

also human relations

challenges!—came

from other inmates.

I will never again

experience such a

rich diversity of

women (unless I

return to prison!):

from “the streets” to

CEOs; from Guam,

Filipino, Latina,

African-American,

European-American;

ages 18 to 74.

As I learned the

stories of many of

these women, my

awareness of the effects of the U.S.

system of justice

became more

personal. Since

the early ’80s, our

system has

become increasingly

punitive and

politicized.

“Tough on

crime,” “war on

drugs,” etc. laws

are dumping more

and more people

in prison for

longer sentences.

There are now over two million people

in our jails and prisons. The power of

prosecutors has increased, while the

authority of judges to use their discretion

has vastly decreased.

I have known women inside Prison

Camp Dublin who have been incarcerated

for years for marijuana charges. I

have known women who I absolutely

believe were framed in the pleabargaining

process and have actually

committed no crime at all. I have

known many women who indeed were

guilty as charged, but who are serving

excessively long sentences The pain of

women separated from infants and

children, often for years, was palpable.

There is a growing movement around

the country for reform of the United

States justice system For more information,

you can look for FAMM

(Families Against Mandatory Minimums),

www.famm.org, the Western

Prison Project, based in Portland,

www.westernprisonproject.org, and the

Interfaith Drug Policy Initiative, at

www.idpi.us.

In closing let me say that even now,

months later, I am partly still “in

prison,” among my friends there. All

stereotypes have been more than broken

for me. This is an oppressed population

in our country and it is growing.

-Peg Morton, February 2005

Page 4 El Aviso


Peg Morton en español

continado de pagina 1

Comíamos al estilo cafetería.

Teníamos que hacer una variedad de

tareas, incluso trabajo físico, a veces

en la fábrica de la prisión. Algo del

trabajo era agotador. Yo trabajaba

en un equipo que limpiaba los cuartos

de baño, trabajando dos horas al día.

Ganaba 12 centavos por hora; por un

día, que se llamaba 7 horas, yo

ganaba 84 centavos. Las mujeres usan

la gran parte de su paga para pagar las

multas y ponen el resto en una cuenta,

la que es muy necesaria. Las mujeres

sin recursos exteriores tienen gran

dificultad en obtener sus necesidades

básicas.

Había clases obligatorias—GED,

ESL, y rehabilitación de las drogas—

pero estos servicios no eran

adecuados. No había clases

universitarias y había muy pocas

opciones. Había también servicios

psicológicos. Las mujeres pueden

pasar el tiempo libre caminando en la

pista, haciendo ejercicios en el equipo

viejo pero adecuado, fumando y

charlando en el pequeño parque

herboso, haciendo artesanía (si tienen

el dinero para comprar materiales),

estudiando la biblia, celebrando

ceremonias religiosas diversas, y, por

supuesto, leyendo, escribiendo cartas,

jugando a naipes, y echando siestas.

Algunas personas recibían visitas

durante los fines de semana y había la

llamada diaria de correo.

Había “las cuentas” por todos los días

y las noches, a las 4 y 10 de la tarde,

a la medianoche, y a las 3 y 5 de la

mañana. Nos levantábamos a las 6 y

íbamos al desayuno. Los carceleros

caminaban por la prisión por las

noches con sus linternas eléctricas en

sus manos.

Aunque algunos carceleros nos

trataban con respeto, amenazas

estaban dispersas por nuestros días.

Apoyo, bienestar, sabiduría—

¡también los desafíos humanos!—

venían de las

otras

mujeres.

Nunca voy a

experimentar

otra vez una

similar

diversidad

de

compañeras

(¡a menos

que yo

regrese a la

prisión!).

Las mujeres

venían de

“las calles” y

¿Qué es SOA/WHINSEC?

Es la antigua Escuela del Ejército de las Américas

(Army School of the Americas), que fue retitulada el

Instituto Occidental del Hemisferio para la

Cooperación de la Seguridad (Western Hemisphere

Institute for Security Cooperation). Fue fundada

después de la segunda guerra mundial para entrenar

a los soldados americanos latinos. Los graduados de

la escuela, incluyendo generales y dictadores, han

sido documentados como los autores de masacres,

asesinatos, desapariciones y de la tortura a través

de América latina. La investigación ha revelado los

manuales de la tortura que fueron utilizados en la

escuela.

de las oficinas ejecutivas; eran

mujeres de Guam y mujeres latinas,

africanas-americanas y europeasamericanas;

tenían de 18 a 74 años.

Mientras yo aprendía los cuentos de

muchas de estas mujeres, mi

conciencia de los efectos del sistema

de justicia de los Estados Unidos

llegó a ser más personal. Desde el

principio de las ochenta, nuestro

sistema ha llegado a ser más punitivo

y politizado. “Fuerte contra el crimen”

y “la guerra contra las drogas”,

etc.; estas leyes descargan cada vez

más personas en las prisiones para

servir sentencias largas. Ahora hay

más de dos millones personas en

nuestras cárceles y prisiones. El poder

de los acusadores está creciendo

mientras que la autoridad de los

jueces para utilizar su discreción ha

disminuido sumamente.

Conocí a mujeres dentro de la prisión

Camp Dublin que han estado

encarceladas por muchos años a causa

de una acusación del uso de marihuana.

Conocí a mujeres que, creo

absolutamente, no han cometido

ningún crimen sino se incriminaron

por el proceso de tratos de alegatos.

Conocí a muchas mujeres que, de

hecho, son culpables pero están

sirviendo sentencias excesivas. El

dolor de las mujeres que están

separadas de sus bebés y niños, a

menudo por años, es palpable.

Hay un movimiento creciente alrededor

del país exigiendo reforma del sistema

de justicia de los Estados Unidos. Para

mayor información, puede investigar

estas organizaciones: Familias Contra

los Mínimos Obligatorios (Families

Against Mandatory Minimums –

FAMM) www.famm.org; el Proyecto

Occidental de la Prisión, (the Western

Prison Project) basado en Portland,

www.westernprisonproject.org; y la

Iniciativa Inter-fe de la Política de la

Droga (Interfaith Drug Policy Initiative),

www.idpi.us.

Al final, déjame decir que aun ahora,

meses más adelante, estoy en parte

todavía en la prisión entre mis amigas

allá. Todos los estereotipos han sido

completamente rotos para mí. Esta es

una población oprimida en nuestro país

y está creciendo.

-por Peg Morton y traducido por

Jennifer Hollingshead.

World Café

119 Blair Blvd. Hours: 4 pm-11 pm

$7.50 Large Pizza – Daily until 6 pm

Sun: $7 Soup & Salad combo

Wed: All you can eat Spaghetti $6.95

Free nightly movies 9 pm

Community Cooking Classes

www.EugeneCooks.com

El Aviso Page 5


Venezuelan landslides, then and now

In December of 1999, in the State of

Vargas, on the Caribbean coast of

Venezuela, almost an entire face of a

mountain slid into the sea, taking

homes and over 30,000 lives. It was

considered one of the greatest tragedies

of Venezuelan history and a

major test of the Chávez presidency.

Chávez used the Venezuelan military

to work for the reconstruction and

even housed orphaned children in the

presidential palace. His handling

demonstrated the government’s ability

to deal with the immensity of the

catastrophe while keeping the United

States at arm’s length.

The US government offered assistance.

The Chávez administration

refused to accept it. This act was

illustrative of the President’s position

towards the US. Chávez knew that

US aid came at a price: the placement

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of US Marines on Venezuelan soil as

a non-negotiable part of the aid

package. Chávez declared that he

would take monetary assistance, but

had no interest in a US military

presence.

In August 2004, there was another

landslide. After surviving a botched

coup d’etat, multiple sabotages, and a

work stoppage organized by the

extremely wealthy in Venezuela, the

Chávez administration agreed to a

recall referendum. In effect, he called

the bluff of the opposition and the

result was a landslide victory for

President Chávez, about 60 percent in

favor of continuing the Bolivarian

revolution—named after Simon

Bolivar, the revolutionary hero of the

19 th century who fought off the

Spanish.

This revolution takes the form of

missions, each focused on a certain

aspect of societal improvement. The

missions play a major role in community

organization and directly assist

the poorest and most marginalized

communities. The medical training

takes advantage of an interchange

with Cuba, allowing Venezuelans

from marginalized communities to

attend one of the best health care

education systems in the Western

Hemisphere. In exchange, Cuban

doctors live in the poorest barrios,

giving free medical care 24 hours a

day. While my wife and I were in

Barquisimeto, a

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of Venezuela, we

witnessed the

missions in

action, promoting

health in

communities and

encouraging

youth participation

in community

radio

projects.

Chávez recently confronted the US,

saying that he would not tolerate

further meddling in Venezuela. Any

US invasion, assassination, or aid in a

coup would result in an embargo of

petroleum exports to the US from

Venezuela—a serious threat from the

US’ 4 th largest supplier. These comments

came in the wake of Secretary

of State Condeleeza Rice’s confirmation

hearing, where she made explicit

reference to the Chávez administration

by claiming,“I see nothing

positive about his administration.”

Rice openly threatened Venezuela in

the hearing, but a group of Republican

and Democratic senators decried her

open attacks on Venezuela, at a time

when the US is in need of a steady

supply of petroleum.

In January 2005, Venezuela experienced

torrential rains in the state of

Vargas, which again resulted in

massive landslides. Chávez’s land

redistribution policies were designed

to help encourage people back to the

land. They would both alleviate the

strain on the shantytowns and boost

agricultural self-sufficiency. These

projects do not happen overnight.

Some might say that more would have

gotten done in the ensuing years since

1999, if there had not been a constant

anti-democratic threat from the right.

As it stands, the country was far better

prepared for the landslides than in

1999 and is well into the process of

recovery.

All is not grim for Venezuela. Recently,

one of the primary coup

plotters was captured in Venezuela.

Carlos Ortega, former leader of the

CTV, a corrupt labor union with close

ties to the largest companies in

Venezuela, is now awaiting trial for

treason and other charges. A fair trial

and sentencing for Ortega could

reverse the trend of impunity and

perhaps, send a message to the antidemocratic

forces.

Venezuela is not perfect. It suffers

from a great deal of problems shared

by most of Latin America. However,

the country offers the hope of a

revolution in its infancy. Certainly,

oppressed Venezuelan communities

have benefited in the 6 years of the

Chávez administration more than

since any time in recent history.

People concerned for the well-being

of the Venezuelan people ought to

remain vigilant and decry the current

US policies in Venezuela.

-Ron Smith

Page 6 El Aviso


Acknowledgements

Special thanks go to Ian McLoone,

our energetic intern during the Winter

Term. Also, thanks to all our office

volunteers, who make all the difference.

Everyone who was involved in

making this issue of El Aviso happen,

article writers and translators, Ian

McLoone for editing work, Miguel

Guerrero for layout, and Herb Everett

for printing and last-minute editing.

And a final thanks to everyone who

did all the folding, stapling, and

labeling of this edition of the newsletter.

CISCAP Office Wish List

·Office volunteers are always appreciated—no

experience necessary! We

need help with computer work, phone

calls, small mailings, etc. Hours are

10am - 4:30pm, Monday – Friday.

·Helpers to do yard work at our

office. Spring is here and we will

need someone to mow regularly.

·Scratch paper (especially 8 ½” by

11”) for doing rough drafts and

photocopies. (Special note: please

bring scratch paper in neat stacks).

·Board games and other sources of

entertainment for kids ages 5-13,

for child care at CISCAP events.

·Financial support is always welcome.

Please call the office at 485-

8633. Thank you to all who have

responded in the past!

Pelicula sobre los Cinco

continuado de página 2

la prohibición contra viejar y la

continuación del embargo económica.

La política daña Cuba económicamente,

mientras que nos mantiene ignorantes

de Cuba.

Para mayor información sobre

Solidaridad con Cuba! debe entrar en

contacto con Dennis Gilbert en

gilbertd@lanecc.edu. Más información

sobre los Cinco Cubanos se puede

encontrar en: www.freethefive.org.

-Dennis Gilbert

Report on Guatemala

continued from page 3

Linda plantation in Champerico, twelve

individuals died because the Spanish

landowner didn’t want campesinos

cultivating crops on land that he wasn’t

even using.

In the wake of Nueva Linda, the

Guatemalan press published an articled

that stated, “In sixty-eight out of 102

occupied plantations, the campesinos

are armed.” The significance of this is

that landless campesinos who were

once viewed with compassion are now

unjustly portrayed by the media as

armed insurgents.

In relation to the land situation is the

purchase of indigenous lands in order to

extract gold and nickel. Referring to

the original Spanish invasion in 1523

by Pedro de Alvarado, one Mayan

campesino stated, “This is a story we

know well.”

On January 11, at least one person was

killed and twelve other campesinos and

police officers were injured when

protesters fired handguns, threw stones,

and erected barriers of burning tires to

block a truck carrying equipment

headed to a gold mine in northern

Guatemala.

More than 1,500 police officers and

soldiers, many wearing riot gear and

flanked by an armored vehicle fitted

with a massive metal scoop to clear the

highway, were escorting the truck after

residents of

the provin-

cial capital of

Sololá

vowed to

refuse to let

it pass

through their

city.

Speaking to

reporters in

Guatemala

City before

the Sololá

protest turned deadly, President Óscar

Berger said his government “had to

establish the rule of law. We have to

protect the investors.”

Later, members of the resistance in

Sololá were rounded up and arrested,

showing that the State is not above

criminalizing community organizing

when it comes to protecting private

property.

0n January 21st, twenty-two year-old

Pedro Mariano Tambriz Itzep and two

teenaged friends mischievously sneaked

into a plantation to snatch a few pieces

of fruit. His two friends escaped, but

the El Corozo plantation’s private

security guards abducted Tambriz Itzep.

On January 24th, hundreds of

campesinos demanded Tambriz Itzep’s

return. They were met with gunfire and

on that day five campesinos and one

private security guard died. Tambriz

Itzep’s bullet ridden body was later

found in a nearby province.

In summary, seven individuals dying to

protect, in essence, a few pieces of fruit

is a clear snapshot of what Guatemala

looks like today…and what it looked

like twenty-five years ago as well.

Max Gimbel – Former director of

EntreMundos (www.entremundos.org),

a socio-political newspaper based in

Quetzaltenango, and current director of

research for the Guatemala Human

Rights Commission (www.ghrc-usa.org)

based in Washington D.C. –

mgimbel@ghrc-usa.org

GREATER GOODS

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INSTRUMENTS

515 HIGH

EUGENE

485-4224

regular

HOURS

MON-SAT 10-6

SUN 12-5

El Aviso Page 7


Upcoming Events

Many more events are in the making!

Thanks to all our volunteers and members for your continuing support.

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dues contribution of $_______ ($10/year regular, $5, student/low income).

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update and return envelop as a reminder). Enclosed is my first contribution of $_______.

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Clip & mail check to CISCAP, 458 Blair Blvd, Eugene, 97402. For tax deduction, make checks out to WCC/CISCAP

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The Committee in Solidarity

with the Central American People

458 Blair Blvd.

Eugene, OR 97402

Address Service Requested

printed on recycled paper

Recent Accomplishments

In December, CISCAP again participated in the

annual sale of holiday wreaths by MLP, a womenled

project of PCUN, the Oregon farmworker’s

union.

In January, we played a role in a screening of the

documentary The Revolution Will not be Televised at Cozmic

Pizza, with CISCAP activist Ron Smith updating the audience

on current events in Venezuela.

In February, the local group “Solidarity with Cuba”, which

was formed out of the Cuba Interest Group of CISCAP,

showed a documentary on the five Cuban nationals held in

prison in the US. The directory of Mission Against Terror was

also on hand at the showing to answer questions.

CISCAP hosted the Pastors for Peace Caravan to Chiapas in

late February, as it stopped in Eugene on its way to southern

Mexico. CISCAP activist and photojournalist Kurt Jensen

joined the caravan that night, and is now in Mexico with about

20 other caravanistas.

In March, CISCAP worked on two grant applications to the

MRG Foundation, an Oregon-based grant-making organization

that supports progressive groups. Finally, led by UO intern Ian

McLoone, we published this edition of our newsletter.

Early April (date and location

TBA): We hope to have Ron Smith

speak again, this time about his

journalistic work in Venezuela, Colombia,

and Bolivia last summer and fall.

April 7 th (tentatively): Colombian

human rights activist, Sonia Lopez, will

be in Eugene on a tour of the Northwest,

along with former CISCAP’er

and current Montanan Scott Nicholsen

in room 128, Chiles Building, Business

School Complex, near 13 th and Kincaid

on UO campus.

April 28 th : Former Eugenean, Dorothy

Granada, on tour to talk about the rural

clinic she operates in Mulukuku,

Nicaragua. Open to the public @ First

United Methodist Church, Thursday

April 28 th , 7pm.

June 4 th - 5 th : CISCAP’s annual

‘Smashing Estate Sale,’ our yard sale to

raise rent money for the organization.

PRSRT STD

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Paid

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