The failure of the peace process in Chiapas has led to the formation of The International Service for Peace (Servicio Internacional para la Paz or SIPAZ), an international peacemaking presence which will promote communication instead of violent confrontation.
SIPAZ is seeking international representation. The group will place a team of highly-qualified volunteers in Chiapas in the coming months (good Spanish and previous international experience are needed). They will also sponsor regular one-week human rights delegations. For more information, phone (408) 423-1626.
Contributions should be made out to Eschaton Foundation and sent to Phil McManus, Task Force on Latin America and the Caribbean, 515 Broadway, Santa Cruz, CA 95060.
A retired Argentinian navy commander who confessed that political prisoners were thrown alive from airplanes in the 1970s has been stripped of his rank.
Adolfo Francisco Scilingo retired from the navy in 1986, but was driven to confess by the memories of the two death flights he took part in and a torture session he witnessed. Scilingo is the first officer to publicly admit what Argentinians have know for years: that the former military dictatorship murdered opponents during the "dirty war" in which 10,000 disappeared without a trace.
Scilingo described in detail how the victims, many so weak from torture that they had to be helped on board, were injected with sedatives by a navy doctor. Scilingo and another officer undressed them and threw their unconscious bodies into the Atlantic Ocean.
Since 1946, the U.S. Army School of the Americas (SOA) in Fort Benning, Georgia, has trained more than 57,000 soldiers from Latin America in Combat and counterinsurgency skills.
Its goal: to professionalize Latin American armies and strengthen democracies. Instead, SOA graduates have left a legacy of infamy: assassinations, coups, and massacres throughout Latin America. One of the school's best-known graduates is former Panama President Manuel Noriega, currently serving 40 years in a U.S. penitentiary on drug trafficking charges.
The SOA is not only costly in human lives. Every year it costs millions of U.S. taxpayers' dollars to operate.
SOA Watch is a group trying to close the school. To contribute, or for more information call (706) 682-5369. To order School of Assassins, an 18-minute video narrated by actor Susan Sarandon, call (914) 941-7590.
SOA Watch hopes that by late May, Congress will again vote on legislation to close the school. You can write to the U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. 20515, or the U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C. 20510. Call the Capitol switchboard at (202)224-3121.
Source: SOA Watch
Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca M.P. Keith Martin is asking the Canadian government to help humanitarian aid reach Rwanda and refugees living outside the country.
No aid, including $22 million from Canada, has reached Rwanda, says Martin, because of the condition by the European Community, the U.S., and Canada that no aid enter the country until the 1.2 million refugees return. But the refugees, in disease-ridden camps in Zaire and Tanzania, can t return to Rwanda because there is no food for them there.
The defeated regime controls the food and aid supposedly going to Rwanda, and thus controls the people necessary for its goal - to retrain for another war.
The government in Rwanda needs help to form a front to those who would produce another carnage like that in 1994. Over 1 million people were murdered.
Martin says the Canadian government must convince the international community to help the Rwandan government in its democratic development, and in the training of a police force to ensure that aid gets to those who need it.
A captain who took part in the U.S. intervention in Haiti is being court-martialed for trying to stop human rights violations.
Lawrence Rockwood, a counter-intelligence officer, tried unsuccessfully to interest his superiors in information he gathered on abuses in prisons and detention centres. When he went to Port-au-Prince prison, hoping that U.S. soldiers would witness atrocities and intervene, he was recalled from his post.
Write letters asking that the charges be dropped to: Maj.-Gen. David C. Meade, Headquarters, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Ft. Drum, NY 13602-5000.