Monday, January 25, 2010

An Open Letter to David Brooks, New York Times Columnist

This letter was endorsed by the Atlantic Regional Solidarity Network:

Dear Mr. Brooks,

In your January 15, 2010 opinion piece in The New York Times, “The Underlying Tragedy,” you present what you seem to believe is a bold assessment of the situation in Haiti and what you certainly know is a provocative recommendation for Haiti’s future. You also offer some advice to President Obama. In order to successfully keep his promise to the people of Haiti that they “will not be forsaken” nor “forgotten” the President, you say, has to “acknowledge a few difficult truths.”
What follows, however, is so shockingly ignorant of Haitian history and culture and so saturated with the language and ideology of cultural imperialism that no valuable “truths” remain.

Salvadoran anti-mining activists murdered and threatened in Cabañas

The Atlantic Regional Solidarity Network endorsed and sent this letter:


Romeo Barahona, Attorney General

Rodolfo Delgado, Federal Prosecutor

Manuel Melgar, Minister of Public Security

Carlos Antonio Asencio Girón, General Director of the National Civilian Police

Oscar Humberto Luna, Human Rights Ombudsman

Herman Rosa Chávez, Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources

Carlos Mauricio Funes Cartagena, Honorable President



During the last six months there have been four assassinations in the Department of Cabañas, the first in June of Marcelo Rivera, who was kidnapped, tortured and assassinated; the second on December 20 of Ramiro Rivera Gómez and his companion; and the most recent on December 26 of Dora Alicia Sorto, whose husband José Santos is the spokesperson for the Environmental Committee of Cabañas. At the time of her assassination, Mrs. Sorto was in the eighth month of pregnancy and her two year old son was also wounded in the attack.

Letter against the human rights abuses in post-coup Honduras

The Atlantic Regional Solidarity Network has endorsed this letter:

We, the undersigned workers, artists, & intellectuals, strongly condemn the widespread human rights atrocities against the Honduran people, beginning with the military coup on June 28th of 2009. Reports from human rights organizations emerge every day detailing state repression, from rape to assassination, of members of the non-violent resistance, whose aim is to restore constitutional order to their country and foster the creation of a more just society.

These abuses by the Honduran state violate nearly every article of the American Convention on Human Rights, to which Honduras is a signatory, beginning with the rupture of constitutional order and resulting in thousands of rights violations.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Urgent Appeal for Haiti

Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere and thousands are feared
dead from the 7.0 earthquake that levelled Port-au-Prince on January 12, 2010.

From the Canada Haiti Action Network:

On January 12th at 5 pm local time, a powerful magnitude-7 earthquake struck in Haiti . It was centred near the capital city Port-au-Prince and has caused massive destruction. The Canada Haiti Action Network urges Canadians and others around the world to contribute generously to emergency relief.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Public denunciation of treatment of political prisoner Liliany Obando


Beyond the Walls
Permanent Campaign in Solidarity with the Political Prisoners


INPEC continues abuse and persecution against LILIANY PATRICIA OBANDO VILLOTA
The Beyond the Walls Campaign denounces to the national and international community the abuse of authority and the persecution carried out by members of the National Institute of Prison and Penitentiary – INPEC – against human rights defender LILIANY PATRICIA OBANDO VILLOTA, political prisoner in the “El Buen Pastor” Women’s Prison in Bogotá, Colombia.

Concern voiced in Canada over flawed election to take place in Haiti


The Canada Haiti Action Network is expressing grave concern over the party registration process that has taken place in Haiti in advance of a national election set for February 28, 2010. Haiti will hold elections on that date for 98 of 99 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and ten seats of its 30-seat Senate.

Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council issued its list of approved parties and candidates in late November. The Fanmi Lavalas party of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ruled off the ballot. Some 12 other, smaller parties were also ruled ineligible.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Opposition to Canada-Colombia free trade continues

Friday, 11 December 2009
Tracy Glynn, NB Media Co-op

WOLFVILLE, NS—As the controversial Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement proceeds into second reading in the House of Commons, pressure is mounting on the Liberal party, and its international trade critic, to drop its support for the proposed accord.

On Friday, December 4th, over 80 people rallied in front of the Wolfville, NS, office of Scott Brison, MP for Kings-Hants. Brison, the Liberal International Trade Critic, was targeted because of his support of Bill C-23 - an Act to implement the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA). The rally also came only days after the Conservative government cut funding to a well-known NGO critical of Canadian foreign policy.

Free trade critics say the CCFTA, like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other free trade agreements, serve the interests of capital. They described free trade agreements as a mechanism that allow soaring profits and reduced labour costs through the super-exploitation of workers in economically and politically oppressed areas. Labour unions, human rights organizations and church groups across Canada have decried the 38 assassinations of trade unionists in Colombia this year as reason enough to oppose the deal.

Brison sits on the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade. Earlier this year, Brison and the committee “called for a full independent human rights impact assessment of the proposed free trade agreement with Colombia,” said Kathryn Anderson of the Church in Action Committee of the Maritime Conference of the United Church of Canada. “Brison no longer supports this and his uncritical support for the CCFTA today is beyond the pale.”