2009

Hear What We Hear: Human Rights NOW

They don't get it... yet.

Although we now have new leadership in Washington, they still don't understand what they need to do to stand up for human rights. They think that by saying more about the importance of human rights and democracy than the Bush Administration did, they are making progress. But we know that until they actually change U.S. policies to support victims of violence in places like Mexico and Colombia, they will continue to be a part of the problem, not the solution.

Now, if we can get them to hear what we hear from people in Mexico and Colombia and know what we know, they might change their tune.

So, this month we are launching a "Human Rights NOW" campaign, which will use innovative tactics to get them to make human rights come first in U.S. policy.

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Gracias a la Vida

After a long life, touching millions of people with her powerful voice and commitment to social justice, Argentine folksinger Mercedes Sosa passed away on Sunday, October 4th, 2009. Sosa set an incredible example of how music can change the world.

Her deep, rich voice and emotionally charged performances became the rallying cry for a generation of Latin Americans oppressed by dictatorships. In a time of terror, she chose to be “the voice for the voiceless ones” and sing words that were forbidden. In her more than fifty-year career, she pioneered a new movement in music, which buried itself deep into the soul of every listener, as personal as it was political.

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Record Level Deaths in Borderlands: NGOs Raise National Awareness

Mexico’s National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) are bringing national attention to a frightening dynamic developing along the U.S.-Mexico border. In spite of a large drop in immigration numbers, migrant deaths this year are threatening record increases!
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Police Reform in Mexico: A Sensible Solution to the Violence

As violence linked to organized crime in Mexico continues to mount and spending on a militarized approach to public security challenges expands, reports of human rights violations by members of the security forces are increasing. Policymakers in the United States and Mexico need to ask some hard questions about how to curb drug-related violence more effectively while respecting human rights. One answer includes a focus on improving and increasing accountability over police forces rather than drawing military forces into local law enforcement.

On September 17, 2009 LAWGEF joined with the Washington Office on Latin America and the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center to tackle these questions as part of a forum regarding police reform in Mexico.

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Concern Mounts over Suspension of Rights in Honduras

As international and domestic concern mounts over the suspension of constitutional rights declared by de facto Honduran President Roberto Micheletti on September 26th, the government promises to restore rights, but does not yet act to do so, and human rights violations continue.

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Actions Speak Louder Than Words for Mexico and Colombia

Actions speak louder than words.

This seems like a simple concept. But lately, the Obama Administration and the State Department seem to have forgotten it when dealing with Latin America. Despite serious human rights abuses by Colombian and Mexican security forces alike, the State Department just went ahead and declared that both countries were meeting the human rights requirements needed in order to receive more U.S. military aid.

Click here to send a fax to Secretary of State Clinton asking her to stand up for human rights!

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