The SHARE Blog

Spain Demands that El Salvador extradite military personnel processed for the massacre of the Jesuits

December 9, 2011

The Council of Ministers also resolved to request that the United States of America extradite the two other military personnel accused in the killing who reside in that country. One of the defense lawyers said that the call for extradition does not worry them because they are certain that the Supreme Court of Justice will deny the request.

Ignacio Ellacuria, SJ

By Efren Lemus
elfaro.net / Published December 2,  2011
Translated by Bethany Loberg.  Original in Spanish here

This Friday the Spanish Council of Ministers agreed to request that Salvadoran and U.S. authorities extradite 15 Salvadoran military personnel accused of participating in the assassination of six Jesuit priests and two of their collaborators, a crime which occurred the 16th of November of 1989. 

Europa Press stated that in accordance with the proposal of the Spanish Minister of Justice, Francisco Caamaño, the Spanish government has emitted 13 requests for extradition from El Salvador and two from the United States. Caamaño presented the application for extradition at the request of the Supreme Court, the institution prosecuting the military personnel for the crimes of assassination, terrorism, and crimes against humanity.   Read More »


El Mozote: Seeking Justice in Spite of the Amnesty Law

December 6, 2011

December 11th, 2011 marks the 30th anniversary of the El Mozote massacre – one of the largest, most brutal massacres in Latin America. As part of the military’s scorched earth campaign to remove any possible source of supplies for the guerrilla by killing entire rural villages, members of the armed forces entered El Mozote and the surrounding villages in December of 1981, rounding up, separating, and systematically killing men, women, and children. Through investigations including exhumations and testimonies, Tutela Legal, the San Salvador Archdiocese’s human rights office has identified 819 individuals killed in the massacre – over half under the age of twelve.

Thanks to Rufina Amaya’s tireless efforts to tell her story, as the sole survivor of the massacre, international news coverage, several rounds of exhumations of human remains, and the work of human rights organizations like Tutela Legal, the massacre can no longer be denied. El Mozote has become a well-known symbol of the brutality of the armed forces during the war.

 

The Salvadoran government, however, has not taken actions to investigate or bring to trial the intellectual and material authors of these brutal murders. To the contrary, since the peace accords, the army and government have paid homage to Colonel Domingo Monterrosa, a key leader in the massacre, on numerous occasions. As Gisela León of the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) stated in a recent interview, “The massacre of El Mozote represents the absolute impunity that all cases from the conflict are in.” Efforts at truth-telling and investigation, necessary elements in reaching reconciliation, have come solely from civil society.

Read More »


Thanksgiving Day Protest in Solidarity with the 99% Global Occupy Movement

November 26, 2011

On Thursday, November 24th, as people in the United States celebrate Thanksgiving, US citizens in El Salvador and Salvadorans gathered outside of the US Embassy to stand in solidarity with the global “Occupy” and “Indignados” movements.  Their demands include an end to neoliberal, capitalist free trade policies, the militarization of the Central American region, and environmental destruction that has led to climate change. Tedde Simon, SHARE staffer, (right) said of the morning: “This is a symbolic event to express our solidarity with the millions of people around the world that have stood up to say, BASTA!, enough.  We believe that a better world is possible, and we are working together to create it, every day.”

Read about How the Occupy Movement Came to El Salvador here!

The group published the following press release:

Capitalist globalization has forced governments all over the world to prioritize the economic interests of the richest 1% of the global population over basic needs such as education, health care and employment for the other 99% of humanity.

Faced with a corrupt democratic process, staggering social inequality and an ecological crisis which threatens life itself, the 99% has risen up against this injustice in over 1,500 cities all over the world, through the Occupy Movement in the United States and the Indignados Movement in Spain and other European countries, and through a wealth of local and national alternatives in Latin America and around the world. Read More »


Steadfast, Resilient Witnesses: St John Fisher Chapel and Detroit SHARE Committee

November 22, 2011

The Detroit SHARE Committee and St John Fisher Chapel: A History

It is 1987. The civil war in El Salvador is at its height. Ground war, helicopter war, massacres, mayhem. In the midst of these horrific conditions, Salvadoran refugees housed in Honduras say, “Enough is enough.  We are going home!” And they do.  Refugees from Mesa Grande, Honduras are returning to their home country in spite of fear and displacement to begin new lives and new communities.  The atmosphere is threatening, and those witnessing this homecoming sense the deep profoundness of this courage.

Detroit Delegacion 1989 5 2Under the leadership of Bp. Tom Gumbleton and a group of three others, the Detroit Going Home Task Force began sending delegations to El Salvador to accompany these faithful refugees home.  In 1990, the committee accepted a covenant to support Ellacuria—a small, struggling community in rural Chalatenango— and have faithfully continued this relationship for 21 years.  Kudos to Bishop Gumbleton, Sue Sattler IHM, and Mary and Bill Carry who opened this journey to many others in the “Detroit SHARE Committee.” Read More »


The National Roundtable against Mining Rejects the Public-Private Partnership Bill

November 21, 2011

In the context of the discussion surrounding the Public-Private Partnership Bill and the recent ratification of the Partners in Growth Agreement with the United States, the National Roundtable against Mining rejects these new efforts to privatize public services and states:

The proposals made in the Public-Private Partnership Bill and Partners in Growth Agreement with United States seem, clearly, to be the continuation of neoliberal policies that promote the privatization of public services and which would affect the economic, social, cultural and environmental rights of the Salvadoran population.

The participation of the private sector, as established by the bill, happen through concessions of goods and projects that are public domain or through concessions for the execution of an activity of public interest. The proposal also allows for the possibility that a company can use its own goods to sell a public service. As part of the organized social movement we ask ourselves: What is the difference then-if there is one-between public-private partnership contracts and the privatization of services? Or is this actually a disguise that attempts to hide the plans of institutions like the International Monetary Fund.
Read More »


Tropical Depression 12E Causes Estimated $840 Million in Damage and Loss

November 8, 2011

The Salvadoran government published the results of their evaluation of damages and losses provoked by Tropical Depression 12E in October 2011.  This evaluation was done with the technical support of CEPAL (Economic Comission for Latin America and the Carribean).  Here, we share some of the most relevant findings and results of this study and a final reflection.

 

Climate Patterns are Changing and Becoming More Extreme in El Salvador
In just two years, El Salvador has been affected by five extreme climate events: Topical Storm Ida in 2009, Agatha, Alex and Matthew in 2010, and Tropical Depression 12E in 2011 (see chart below for more comparisons between these extreme climate events).

“Tropical Depression 12E is the largest event registered in the history of the country,” Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources Herman Rosa Chavez described.    
 
With Tropical Depression 12E, 747 mm (29.4 inches) of rain fell.  With Hurricane Mitch, the most devastating storm until now, 472mm (18.5 inches) of rain accumulated.  In 2011 in only 10 days, it rained the equivalent of what it rains on average in one year in the United States (735.5mm) and 15% more than the expected rainfall in Spain (636mm). Read More »


San Simon: Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change Adaptability

November 4, 2011

In the past two years, El Salvador has been hit by five extreme climate events: Tropical Storm Ida in 2009, Hurricanes Agatha, Alex and Matthew in 2010, and Tropical Depression 12E in 2011.  For communities and leaders in El Salvador, climate change is not up for debate – it is already taking a devastating toll on crops, infrastructure and human life. 

Watch a video about sustainable agriculture and climate change adaptability in San Simon here! 

As the effects of climate change become increasingly pronounced, it is the populations of countries like El Salvador that are being hit first and hit hardest. Unpredictable and increasingly extreme weather patterns are threatening the immediate food security and long-term struggle to overcome poverty of vulnerable communities throughout El Salvador. With this in mind, SHARE began to work with REDES in 2009, after Tropical Storm Ida, to work towards reducing risk in future disasters. Read More »


Puerto Nuevo: Communities Along the Coast Begin to Rebuild

October 27, 2011

On the levee, overlooking the Lempa River bank in Puerto Nuevo. This area was completely covered with water as theriver breached the levee and flooded the community.

Puerto Nuevo is the second to last community in Tecoluca before land ends and you take a boat through the estuary out to sea.  The roaring Lempa River is less than one kilometer from Puerto Nuevo. A small offshoot of the river runs closer to the community. Today, it is a calm stream. But a week ago, the Lempa River more closely resembled the sea as it rushed through communities, leaving destruction in its path.  

About fifty yards from the water’s edge, a two-meters high wall of earth makes up the levee.  Just on the other side of the levee are fields, small coconut and mango orchards, and then homes. 

Puerto Nuevo is one of the hundreds of rural communities in El Salvador affected by the massive rains and flooding of October 2011.  The community just up the road, Santa Marta, was the first to flood in Tecoluca. When Santa Marta flooded on the first day of the storm as the river broke through the levee, the road to Puerto Nuevo became impassable. From that day on, Puerto Nuevo had no access to the outside world.   Read More »


Climate Change Blamed for Historic Flooding in El Salvador: Press Release

October 26, 2011

Communities Organize Disaster Response & Demand More Government Collaboration

JIQUILISCO, El Salvador – As thousands of Salvadorans return to their homes and begin to rebuild their lives after last week’s historic rain and floods, many officials and civil society organizations in the region are blaming climate change for the catastrophe and calling upon the government to respond appropriately.

Last week, Tropical Depression 12-E and weather from Hurricane Jova poured more than 55 inches of rain over a seven-day period on Central America, far eclipsing Hurricane Mitch in 1998, the storm by which all others had been compared.

Download the Press Release here: Climate Change – El Salvador Flood Press Release.

Please help spread the news about the situation in El Salvador and Central America with the US audience.  Send this press release and letters to the editor to your local news!

Read More »


Youth Bring Supplies and Fun to an Isolated Community


University Student Baltazar from Buen Pastor Entertains Kids

After over five days without supplies, members of the community Santiago Torres received help thanks to organized youth and international solidarity.

This rural community in the municipality of El Paisnal, home of Father Rutilio Grande, was isolated for two weeks after the Sucio River destroyed the hanging bridge connecting the 20 families to the main road. Read More »


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