On March 2, 2016, internationally recognized Indigenous and Honduran social movement leader Berta Caceres was murdered following an intense struggle against the Agua Zarca Dam in Honduras. Berta was the General Coordinator of the Indigenous Lenca organization COPINH and national Honduran social movement leader against the 2009 SOA-graduate led coup in Honduras and the resulting US-backed and financed repressive regimes. She received constant death threats, surveillance, and repression. Despite all the threats, Berta refused to be silent. Demand justice for her death today!
Much of the election season to date has revolved around the questions of immigration reform and border security, yet little time has been given to the devastation that is now tearing through Mexico and the northern region of Central America. To address this pandemic of violence will require multiple government agencies, grassroots movements, and leadership in the White House and Congress. Why then, are we on the cusp Super Tuesday without hearing a single comprehensive plan?
Now, Martelly is legally obligated to step down on February 7th and no replacement has been elected. Hope of legitimately electing a replacement in the next week is absurd, but alternate solutions are faint. This past weekend, representatives from the Organization of American States were in Haiti to review possible options for moving forward. One viable option would be to create an interim government to hold power and organize elections.
Located at the entrance of Santa Teresa (Carazo) municipality, only 53 kilometers from Managua, the walls are goingup in the first house that the Roncalli-John XXIII Association is building in an alliance with BANPRO. This is the foundation of a program that intends to respond to 46.7% of the population with income that is less than that traditionally required by financial institutions that grant credit.
The Priests for Equality
West Hyattsville, MD, 1994, xxiv+468 pp.
Reviewed by Virginia Ramey Mollenkott
This week, DC and much of the US was buzzing with the presence of Pope Francis, tuning in to his speeches to the Congress and the UN General Assembly. This Pope has become the most popular in years, provoking dialogue among both Catholics and non-Catholics. His common sense and humane approach to many social issues that have allowed many to feel included again in the church.
Pope Francis recently made headlines when he announced that parish priests would be permitted to forgive women for abortions if they show "a contrite heart." A positive step to be sure, but one which reveals the hard line the Church maintains, even under Francis, on the question of a woman's right to choose. In Nicaragua, where abortion (even therapeutic abortion) has been illegal since 2007.
In the fall of 2014 we had two important conferences which spearheaded activities for 2015. Both followed the same participatory model. First was the goat summit: on the first day we had 12-15 staff and leaders who planned out four stations covering goat food, goat parks, goat wellness, and milking goats. On the next two days about 40 people participated and rotated among the four stations and drew up action plans.
2015 has been a productive year for our partners in Haiti as they plant trees throughout the region of Gros Morne. In addition to planting in the model forest on Tet Mon, our partners distribute trees to families and schools for dispersed planting, improving the overall health of the soil. For the last several years, we have been encouraging the planting of fruit trees which have multiple benefits: shade and decreased soil erosion as well as increased access to nutrition from fruit and a source of income for families who sell excess fruit.
Last year the Quixote Center partnered with the Federation of Campesinos (Fedicamp) to construct irrigation systems for smallholder farmers in northern Nicaragua. Construction and training happened last winter, during the dusty dry season. Farmers were selected from among the communities who are members of the Federation, and focused on those families able to put multiple acres under cultivation, and who agreed to contribute seeds to Fedicamp's growing network of organic community seed banks.
One of the great strengths of the progressive movements in the 1960s was their willingness to collaborate and work towards a shared goal. It was no coincidence that the civil rights movement celebrated many wins, alongside progress in the women's rights and gay rights movements. The victories gained by all these groups actually resulted in the neo-liberal pushback that sparked in the late 1970s and continues to the present.