The SHARE Blog

Power Battle Heats up in El Salvador and the People React

July 12, 2012

El Salvador’s Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court ruled that the National Assembly’s appointment of justices for the Supreme Judicial Tribunal is unconstitutional for the second time. In April 2012 the Assembly appointed Astor Escalante Seravia as Attorney General; which the Supreme Court claims violates the constitution by voting more than once to elect an attorney general. A similar practice occurred in 2006 when the National Assembly elected a justice to the Supreme Court for the next term, which at that time also violated the constitution.

Hundreds of Salvadorians demand respect to the Constitution. San Salvador

Hundreds of Salvadorans protested against the Assembly’s violation of the constitution. Although the “white marches” (marchas blancas), are a symbol of peace, many participants have been injured and many have even been confronted with tear gas. The right wing party ARENA, was noted to be the prime instigator of the march in efforts to criticize other parties who oppose the the recent decision of the Constitutional Chamber. Local social networks have reported that the national elites transported citizens from the interior regions of the nation and provided them with white shirts, white flags and even money in order to promote their participation in these marches. 

The constitution reiterates the electoral power to the people by limiting the National Assembly’s electoral power of justices to one; therefore  this violation not only overrides the constitution but their citizen vote as well. 

To learn more, read Tim’s El Salvador Blog 

 


SHARE Supports Youth Fighting for Social Justice as they Take Activism to the Next Level

July 9, 2012

The following blog is a personal memoir from SHARE intern, Blanca Vazquez, one of the youth leaders of the DREAM Act Movement.

Undocumented youth in the Unites States are facing the constant struggle of living in a country in which they are not acknowledged as citizens and are therefore victims of constant racial profiling. Under the Obama Administration over 400,000 undocumented individuals are being deported PER YEAR; this is a record number of deportations under any presidential administration. Youth activists from the National Immigrant Youth Alliance took the struggle for social justice to the next level by taking over several of Obama’s campaign offices last month. Although this was a very risky move, their efforts seemed to have resulted in President Obama announcing a Deferred Action in which the President stated the he would halt deportations and even provide undocumented youth with a work permit for two years.

The following is a personal memoir from one of the youth who participated in this inspiring civil disobedience, Blanca Vazquez. Her story and the story of undocumented youth in the US is very similar to that of countless youth in El Salvador who also face educational and social struggles. The fight for social justice is universal and youth are the soldiers who continue to demand justice when its own government has turned its back against them. Youth will continue to fight for our past, present and future.

Undocumented students in Oakland, California take over one of Obama’s Headquarter offices in demands to stop deportations of DREAM Act eligible youth

It was not an easy decision, the thought of being confined for days without any sense of freedom held me back from agreeing to partake in this civil disobedience action. And plus my family would not agree with my doing it either. But then, the unknown faces of my undocumented people being kept captive in much worse conditions relieved me of my worries and the answer was YES. Three other undocumented youth and I would take over Obama’s Campaign office in demands that he provide the undocumented people with an executive order which would halt the deportations of innocent people. I didn’t need to prepare mentally or physically because the constant struggle of my family has been my life long preparation. A couple days from the action, I began to tell those closest to me of what I was about to do, and felt as a war soldier would when he says his goodbyes before going off to war.

Read More »


CDH Delegation Returns Home in Solidarity with El Salvador

July 6, 2012

 After 10 days in El Salvador, the Cretin Derham Hall Delegation returns home to the United States but their spirit and solidarity will remain in the hearts and minds of the Salvadorian people. It is important to acknowledge the new sense of liberty that our young delegates experienced, because after embracing the history of El Salvador, their sense of liberty is likely to be different. Upon their return the youth are welcomed in the mist of the celebration of their nations’ Independence Day; a celebration which has now taken on a new meaning. Their understanding of what true liberty and justice is, has now been reshaped and their appreciation for the privileges they took for granted has increased. This particular fourth of July has a different taste;  although the time is right to celebrate, their solidarity with the people in El Salvador will move them to join in the efforts to build a better El Salvador. 

July 4, 2012

Cretin Derham Hall

Twenty-four students and 4 faculty members from Cretin Derham Hall high school in Minneapolis wrapped up their visit to El Salvador yesterday at Ecoparque El Espino with a short but steep hike up to the platform overlooking the “valley of the hammock” where San Salvador is located.  They spent time there sharing their feelings and thoughts about their visit before breaking into groups to brainstorm ways that they can carry their experience home and continue to support for social and economic justice in El Salvador.

CDH Delegation in Eco Parque de Esquina, embracing their final day in El Salvador

Each student had a few minutes to reflect:  On this trip when did you feel most excited, really nervous or uncomfortable, overwhelmed in good or bad way, loved or saw love, surprised or shocked, angry, happy and filled with joy?  Then the group shared what was most on their minds – and what they are taking back home.

A few of the comments:

I’ll remember the people I met here and the hope in their eyes – and they work harder than most of the people I know back home.

When I think of the challenges of our home state, I’ll remember how other people in the world are living. Read More »


2012 Cretin Derham Hall Delegation in El Salvador

July 2, 2012

SHARE is very aware of the impact that youth can have in the social justice movement, especially in a country where the opportunity for growth is very limited. It is for this reason that SHARE has teamed up with CRIPDES to provide  youth in the United States the opportunity of combining their experiences with those of young people in El Salvador. By sharing their feelings and thoughts about social justice, we open the doors to new partnerships and new social movements. As two worlds are combined, we follow their activities and their journey in El Salvador, remembering the past and honoring the country’s history.

CRIPDES San Vicente students enjoying a lunch with students from Cretin Derham Hall

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Students from Cretin Derham Hall in Minneapolis spent today with their peers from CRIPDES San Vicente getting to know one another, learning about each other’s lives and schools, having fun, and sharing their feelings and ideas about justice and social change.  The CRIPDES students live in an area prone to natural and human disasters – flooding, hurricanes, volcanic activity and the civil war. The program at CRIPDES offers high school scholarships and other training and enrichment activities for students in San Vincente.  Cretin Derham Hall is a high school with a curriculum embedded in a social justice perspective and the students on this trip are trying to understand a reality very different from their own back in Minneapolis.  By arranging this exchange, SHARE and CRIPDES offer a way to learn that is rooted in sharing personal experiences.  Read More »


International Day of Support for Torture Victims

June 26, 2012

This January, El Salvador celebrated the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Peace Accords. In 1992, these Peace Accords signified the end of a brutal civil war that claimed thousands of lives. These innocent civilians, including many children, were kidnapped, tortured, and murdered without any official recognition or record during the civil war, today they are referred to as the “Disappeared”. Between 1980 and 1991, it is estimated that more than 8,000 people were disappeared during the civil war.  Countless relatives of the Disappeared have sought answers from the Salvadoran government over the past decades as to their relatives’ whereabouts, where their remains are located, how they died, etc. Many of these families have formed community organizations to pressure the government to provide these answers and to assist in their rehabilitation (through psychological and monetary assistance).

Banner with the faces of the Disappeared held at the Metropolitan Cathedral in El Salvador , by Pro-Memoria Histórica and the families of the Disappeared

 Today the El Salvadoran Commission on Human Rights held a forum in honor of Victims of torture along with  the  Comite  PRO-MEMORIA- together with the families of the disappeared they  demanded that the 30th of August be declared the ¨The National Day of Disappearance¨ by the Legislative Assembly.  Last Thursday, June 21, this motion was defeated by a right wing majority.

The struggle for acknowledgment and reparations In El Salvador  for the victims of the war is still going on and is gaining worldwide attention.  In 2005, Madre Guadalupe was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work and founding CODEFAM (Committee of Family Members of the Disappeared). CODEFAM is supported by SHARE El Salvador and is one of the leading community organizations demanding justice for family members of the Disappeared who continue to fight for truth.

Madre Gudalupe is touring the United States speaking about her quest for justice, to read more about the tour, press here.


Mesa Grande and World Refugee Day

June 20, 2012

“The Repatriation: A Triumph for the Refugees and the Salvadoran People.” SHARE Foundation Archives, taken by Anne McCarthy, OSB

June 20th is World Refugee Day. The United Nations moved to declare this day World Refugee Day in order to bring awareness to the more than 43.7 million refugees, internally displaced and stateless people around the world right now. Today, as the UN Refugee Agency stated: “is an opportunity to honor the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.”

Read More »


SHARE applauds DREAMers for obtaining temporary relief for eligible, undocumented youth from the Obama Administration

June 15, 2012

Today saw a historic moment in the struggle for immigrant rights. President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order to grant temporary relief from deportation proceedings as well as the ability to apply for work permits. SHARE El Salvador is overjoyed at the news that the amazing youth we have been accompanying through this struggle gained a victory today.

Photo Courtesy of Diane Green Lent

In a statement made at the White House, President Obama said: “Effective immediately, the Department of Homeland Security is taking steps to lift the shadow of deportation from these young people…Over the next few months, eligible individuals who do not present a risk to national security or public safety will be able to request temporary relief from deportation proceedings and apply for work authorization.”

Read More »


Madre Guadalupe on Tour

June 7, 2012

 1,000 Women of Peace Nominee and SHARE El Salvador Board of Directors Member Madre Guadalupe Mejia Delgado is touring the U.S.!

madreMadre will be speaking at events in New York City, Washington D.C., San Francisco, and Berkeley from June 23 – 27.  We invite you to join  Madre Guadalupe to learn more about her life and work. Madre Guadalupe was nominated  as part of the 1,000 Women of Peace Initiative by the Swedish Embassy She is the founder of the Committee of Family Members of the Disappeared (CODEFAM) and is considered by many to be the grandmother of the fight for human rights in El Salvador. 

 Conference Call
Wednesday, June 27th, 2 pm (Pacific Time)
(712) 423-0600
code: 424514
 
New Jersey
Friday June 22nd 6pm
4511 New York Ave.
Union City, NJ 07087
(at the corner of 45th St)
 
New York
Saturday, June 23rd 4 pm
This event is open to the public but will be held in a private home, please contact sarah@share-elsalvador.org for more information
 
Washington D.C.
Sunday, June 24th 5pm
CARECEN D.C.
1460 Colombia Rd. NW
Washington DC
(Colombia Heights Metro Line)
 
Berkeley, CA
Tuesday, June 26th 7pm
University Lutheran Chapel
2425 College Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94704
 
San Francisco, CA
Wednesday, June 27th
315 Castro Street 6pm
San Francisco, CA 94114
(Muni Lines K, L, M, & F)
 

This January, El Salvador celebrated the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Peace Accords. In 1992, these Peace Accords signified the end of a brutal civil war that claimed thousands of lives. These innocent civilians, including many children, were kidnapped, tortured, and murdered without any official recognition or record during the civil war, today they are referred to as the “Disappeared”. 

Countless relatives of the Disappeared have sought answers from the Salvadoran government over the past decades as to their relatives’ whereabouts, where their remains are located, how they died, etc.  Many of these families have formed community organizations to pressure the government to provide these answers and to assist in their rehabilitation (through psychological and monetary assistance). In 2005, Madre Guadalupe was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work and founding CODEFAM (Committee of Family Members of the Disappeared). CODEFAM is supported by SHARE El Salvador and is one of the leading community organizations demanding justice for family members of the Disappeared who continue to fight for truth. 

 

If you are unable to attend you can still support this important work by making a donation today.

New Development in Pacific Rim’s battle against El Salvador

June 5, 2012

The latest development in the legal battle between Pacific Rim Mining Company and the Government of El Salvador came last Friday when a tribunal of the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) allowed the dispute against the Salvadoran government to continue. Although the Canadian mining company’s appeal was dismissed because Canada is not one of the countries that partake in the CAFTA agreement, the government of El Salvador is still under attack based on its alleged violation of their own Investment Law established in 1999. The ultimate goal of the Salvadoran Government and the international Anti-Mining Movement is to free the Cabañas region in El Salvador from the seemingly insatiable greed of the Pacific Rim Mining Company that threatens to strip the region of its natural resources. 

Anti-mining mural in Cabañas

There has been a great public outcry across the world in response to Pacific Rim’s greed and the tribunal’s decision.  Read more on Tim’s El Salvador Blog below. 

Read More »


Update: The Leadership Conference of Women Religious Responds to the Vatican

June 1, 2012

A little more than a month ago, the Vatican’s Congregation on the Doctrine of Faith (CDF) issued a stinging rebuke of the US Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents over 80% of US sisters. The LCWR has just issued a formal statement and the New York Times has posted an article (see links below).

To see LCWR’s official statement: click here.

NYT Article: American Nuns Vow to Fight Harsh Criticism From the Vatican

In April, we began circulating a statement of support for our Sisters entitled “HONOR CONSCIENCE, DEFEND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM”. More than 800 rank and file Catholics and our friends in the broad interfaith community have signed onto the ad which will be published on June 8th in the National Catholic Reporter (NCR).

We invite you to continue gathering signatures for an online publication of the statement, and, depending on resources, in other print publications.

To sign onto the statement or to invite others to sign the statement, click here.

En Solidaridad,

Jose Artiga

 


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