At first sight, the small town of La Playa in the department of Santander in Colombia seems gripped by a minor boom. Its population has rocketed while new residential buildings, shops and small bars blaring out loud music have sprung up all over town. Yet the growth does nothing to mask the pervading atmosphere of desperation and frustration among its long-term residents, brought on by living with the uncertainty of whether there will even be a town in the future.
“There is a war here in the Aguán,” says Juan, surveying the distant fields of African palm from the vantage point of his recently planted field of beans and corn. A young Honduran farmer, Juan lives in an encampment of 60 families, dedicated to growing basic grains and reclaiming their food sovereignty. “But the war is not against the drug traffickers, other countries or even organized crime,” he says. “It is a war against the campesinos.”
For seventeen months more than 300 Triqui people from the region of Copala, as it is known, have been displaced due to intense paramilitary violence in their community. Unable to return under fear of harm, the displaced camped out in Oaxaca City, demanding a government response to their situation.
Violence and intimidation continue in El Salvador against environmental activists and human rights defenders who have publicly opposed metallic mining. The latest round of threats targetted a Salvadoran Catholic priest, Father Neftalí Ruiz, and a community radio station, Radio Victoria.
Guatemala has begun a politically difficult process to make human rights violators of the 1980s accountable for their crimes, including genocide inflicted on Indian villages, yet the United States still heaps praise on the killers’ chief […]
Source: Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) On Monday January 23, the Funes administration named retired general Francisco Ramón Salinas as the new director of El Salvador’s National Civil Police (PNC), replacing […]
Thousands of people in the northwest Argentine province of La Rioja are mobilising to stop an open-cast gold mining project in the Nevados de Famatina, a snowy peak that is the semi-arid area’s sole source of drinking water. Residents of Famatina and neighbouring Chilecito have set up a partial roadblock, allowing local residents and tourists to pass, but stopping provincial authorities and anyone representing the Canadian mining company authorised by the Argentine government to mine the area.
In the midst of Mexico’s senseless “Drug War” and the erroneous belief that drug-trafficking is the root of the country’s evils, Mexicans were given a powerful reminder last week of the deeper crisis affecting their fellow citizens. […]