Scott Nicholson, ¡presente!
CISPES mourns the loss of long-time Latin America organizer and human rights accompanier Scott Nicholson, who lived in El Salvador for several years and remained close to many social movement leaders there. Scott will be missed and remembered by many friends in the solidarity movement. Scott was one of the founders of Community Action for Justice in the Americas (CAJA) in Missoula, MT. From its founding in 2000, CAJA's work spanned solidarity with Salvadoran maquila workers, Colombian human rights activists, the Zapatistas and beyond. In its early years, CAJA was also a chapter of CISPES, hosting tours of labor leaders from El Salvador and participating in our biennial National Convention. Burke Stansbury, former Executive Director of CISPES, who credits Scott as one of the people who helped him become an organizer, shared this tribute: "In the mid-1980s, during one of the bloodiest periods of the US-funded civil wars in Central America, Scott found his way to El Salvador. He put his body on the line to help people return from refugee camps in Honduras - their homes had been destroyed and families killed by US-made bombs, but they were coming back to re-populate their own villages. Scott was moved and inspired by that experience, and he went back to the US and showed pictures and talked to anyone who would listen about the brutal things our country was doing with their tax dollars. Over and over in the decades that followed, Scott followed that pattern, bearing witness to war and injustice and putting his body on the line to try to protect people on the front-lines of conflict. He blogged about it from Colombia and sent action alerts from the US-Mexico border, and then he toured around telling deeply affecting human stories, stories that came directly from the people he met, always showing pictures and saying their names. He was damn good at what he did -- the most committed organizer I've ever known. It’s fair to say that he saved a few lives and changed many, many more for the better." Scott Nicholson, ¡presente!