New Death Threats against Community Journalists in El Salvador
Journalist Murdered in Honduras; Take Action Today to Call for the Suspension of U.S. Military Aid (see below)
Our allies in the Cabañas, El Salvador are very concerned about a recent wave of death threats against members Radio Victoria, a community radio station, which is an invaluable source of information to the rural communities in Cabañas. Members of the collective have been outspoken against the fraud and corruption of local right-wing politicians, as well as against Pacific Rim Mining's proposed gold mines. In the past two weeks, Marixela Ramos and Pablo Ayala have received multiple death threats against them and their family members by a group identifying itself as an "extermination group," telling them to leave the radio station immediately. The threats have been made primarily through text messages; written threats have also been slipped under the door of the radio station. Despite fact that there are roughly ten police officers assigned to do security for community leaders in Cabañas, including some members of Radio Victoria, there is clearly a need for new forms of specialized police protection and for a thorough and immediate investigation into these threats and into the systematic campaign of intimidation against the social movement. Background: Death threats, kidnappings, robberies from 2009 and 2019, including against members of Radio Victoria, ADES, ASIC, and the CAC – all active organizations in Cabañas’ mining resistance –were a prelude to the murders of three activists, Marcelo Rivera, Ramiro Rivera and Dora Alicia Sorto Recinos. Please read more in-depth reports here and here. While material authors have been found guilty and sentenced in the murders, there have been no investigations of the intellectual authors of the murders or the relationship of the crimes to the victims’ political activities. Therefore, our allies are extremely concerned that this on-going state of impunity could lead to more violence and murders in the near future. Please join us in taking action now to demand that the Attorney General properly investigate these crimes and that the government provide sufficient protection for community journalists and social movement leaders.
TAKE ACTION TODAY!
1) Send an email to Salvadoran Attorney General Romeo Barahona to demand an immediate and exhaustive investigation into the death threats. 2) Send an email to David Morales,Director of Human Rights at the Ministry of Foreign Relations to demand that a new police unit be created to accompany those being threatened. If you speak Spanish, please also call Lic. Barahona to call for an exhaustive investigation and Lic. Morales to call for adequate police protection today. Call Script for Attorney General Barahona, Fiscal General de la República at 011-503-2230-6350 (direct number of his assistant, Hector Burgos) Buenos días/tardes. Mi nombre es_______________________ y llamo para expresar mi preocupación sobre las nuevas amenazas de muerte contra el personal de Radio Victoria en Cabañas, hechos por un grupo de exterminio, las cuales son realmente asombrosas. Urge una investigación profunda e inmediata sobre estas amenazas y la campaña sistemática de intimidación que hoy surge en Cabañas. El hecho de que la violencia y amenazas anteriores de los dos años pasados en Cabañas quedaron en impunidad ha permitido que surgieranlos nuevos casos de violencia. Pido que el Fiscal General tome las medidas necesarias para asegurar justicia y protección para los y las afectados. Call Script for David Morales, Director of Human Rights at Foreign Affairs Ministry, 011-503-2231-1143 Buenos días/tardes. Mi nombre es_______________________ y llamo para expresar mi profunda preocupación sobre las nuevas amenazas al personal del Radio Victoria. Le pido que tome todas las medidas necesarias para crear una nueva unidad de policía para proveer seguridad y acompañar a todos los y las miembros de Radio Victoria y otros líderes del movimiento social en Cabañas que viven bajo la amenaza de muerte. También, pido que extiendan las medidas cautelares a Marixela Ramos y Pablo Ayala, quienes han sido identificados como blancos en las últimas amenazas. Le agradezco de antemano su atención y compromiso para proteger los derechos humanos de todos y todas en El Salvador.
¡Que vivan los pueblos en resistencia!
The people of Honduras urgently need your solidarity. Earlier this week, journalist Franciso Medina was killed by gunmen on motorcycle; he is the eleventh journalist to have been killed in Honduras in the past eighteen months. Members of the resistance movement, organized campesinos, LGBT activists, and journalists continue to face violent state repression for their ongoing organizing against the illegitimate government of Pepe Lobo and for a democratic re-founding of the Honduran state. Representaties McGovern (D-MA), Shakowsky (D-IL) and Farr (D-CA) are cosponsoring a letter calling for the suspension of U.S. military aid to Honduras. Please take action today to ask your Representative to sign on to this letter to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. The deadline for Reps to sign on is May 25th so please take action today. U.S. aid to this murderous regime must end immediately! For more information, please check out the work of our allies: La Voz de los de Abajo: http://hondurasresists.blogspot.com/ Witness for Peace: http://www.witnessforpeace.org School of the Americas Watch: http://www.soaw.org/ Rights Action: www.rightsaction.org Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular de Honduras (in spanish): http://resistenciahonduras.net/ Professor Adrienne Pine: http://quotha.net/