Mexico Human Rights Letter in US Congress–Latin American Working Group

Hey Supporter,

My co-worker Jenny sent you a message earlier this week asking you to contact
your representative about an important Mexico human rights letter that’s
circulating in Congress right this moment. If you didn’t get a chance to
take action, just click here to send a letter to your member of Congress
. The letter will close within the next week, so please act today!
*Here’s the gist of it: *The U.S. gives money to the Mexican military
(duh!). Some of that money is supposed to be withheld if Mexico fails to
meet certain human rights requirements. And we know those requirements
aren’t being met. In fact, since 2007 there has been a dramatic increase in
human rights violations by the Mexican government, including torture, rape,
murder and forced disappearances. *We’re concerned that the U.S. State
Department will gloss over human rights violations by the military and
police *in order to send  Mexico 100% of the Merida funds.

*That’s why we need your help.* *Please send a message to your member of
Congress* and ask them to sign the letter by Rep. Jim McGovern that calls on Sec. Clinton
to do an honest assessment of all human rights violations by the Mexican
military and police. If enough representatives sign the letter, the State
Department won’t be able to ignore it, and the 15% of funds tied to the
human rights requirements will have to be withheld.


Ben, Jenny, Ruth, and Ella
the LAWG Mexico Team

*Promote Justice for Mexico and the Borderlands*Ask your Rep. to sign the
letter defending human rights in Mexico, before Friday, June 22nd.

Dear Supporter,

You may not know who *Israel Arzate Meléndez* is, but we think you should
hear his story.

In February 2010, Israel was picked up by Mexican soldiers in Ciudad
Juarez. Sounds terrifying, right? Well, it gets worse. He was then taken to
a military base where *he was beaten, given electric shocks, and suffocated
repeatedly until he finally gave in and confessed to a crime he didn’t
commit.* No one seemed to mind that it was a false confession, only offered
to make the torture stop.

During his trial, Israel informed the judge that he had been tortured into
giving his confession, but instead of looking into the alleged abuse to see
if it was true the judge ordered the trial to move on. Now, Israel sits in
a Mexican jail.

*Click here to ask your member of Congress to stand against torture in

Through the Merida Initiative, the United States gives money to the Mexican
military, the same military that tortured Israel Arzate Meléndez. But did
you know that Congress has committed to withhold 15% of these funds if the
State Department decides that Mexico is violating certain human rights
requirements? At the end of June, the State Department will be releasing
their report on human rights in Mexico and will recommend whether to send
Mexico that 15% of funds. *We know that Mexico isn’t meeting the human
rights requirements,* Israel’s story makes that clear. But we’re worried
the State Department will say they are.

*Take action to make sure Secretary Clinton tells the whole truth about
human rights violations in Mexico.
Some members of Congress have taken a stand by writing a letter that
will go to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urging her to do a serious
and honest assessment of all human rights abuses by the Mexican military
and police, as well as Mexico’s failure to hold violators accountable. But
before they drop the letter in the mail, we are working to get as many of
their congressional colleagues as possible to sign on too, so Secretary
Clinton knows they mean business. *And we need your help!*

*Will you send a letter to your representative asking them to tell Sec.
Clinton to not sugarcoat Mexico’s human rights crisis? *

It’s no coincidence that since 2007, when Mexican President Felipe Calderón
deployed the military and federal police to combat drug cartels, *there’s
been a five-fold increase in human rights abuses by the Mexican
government.  We’re talking torture, rape, murder and forced disappearances
– serious  human rights crimes.*What’s worse is that the perpetrators are
getting away with it.  Despite the requirement that military abuses be
investigated and prosecuted in civilian courts—these abuses are still being
investigated and prosecuted within the military justice system, where
fellow soldiers are more likely to protect than punish their colleagues.
Out of 4,000 investigations opened in the military justice system since
2007, only 29 members of the military have been sentenced. *That’s less
than 1%!*

*We have until Friday, June 22nd to make our case that the 15% of Merida
funds ought to be withheld. Can you email your representative and
ask them to stand for human rights in Mexico by signing this letter?

Thanks for all you do to help change U.S. policy toward Latin America.


Jenny, Ben, Ruth, and Ella, LAWG’s Mexico Team

P.S. If you’re on Facebook, check out our STOP the Violence in Mexico page to
get frequent updates on human rights in Mexico, and learn what you can do
to help stop the bloodshed south of the border.

Immigration Conference: Immigration Policy and Human Rights: Perspectives from Border Communities

For more information on the NMSU Immigration Conference, see the
The conference program is also posted below.

New Mexico State University will host the conference “Immigration Policy
and Human Rights: Perspectives from Border Communities” June 17-22. The
conference includes keynote speaker Maria Hinojosa of NPR-Latino USA and
PBS-NOW (on June 18), as well as researchers and advocates for the rights
of migrants in Mexico and the US. Free and open to the public.
Spanish/English translation provided.

The lack of immigration reform at the national level has been accompanied
by increasing enforcement measures which directly impact communities in the
US-Mexico border region. This conference focuses on the social impacts of
border enforcement and discusses the challenges facing community
organizations as they seek to promote dialogue and alternative approaches
based on respect for human rights. Panels will include scholars and
community leaders from the US and Mexico with first-hand knowledge of the
current legal and social challenges facing immigrants, border communities
and policy makers. Comparative and historical contexts will also be
discussed in order to understand similarities and differences regarding the
discourses and practices surrounding immigration policy in Mexico and the
United States. The conference will be followed by three community events
with the goals of fostering broader dialogue and new networks for creating
and disseminating new knowledge.

*A keynote speech will be given by award winning journalist and author
Maria Hinojosa entitled, “Stories from the Frontlines: Detention,
Deporation, and the New America” on Monday, June 18 at 7.00 pm. **Click
here to read her bio <>*

Please see program and registration details at**

Conference Program Details<>

– 2012 Immigration Policy Conference Keynote Speaker – Maria Hinojosa<>

– Biographies of Panelists<>

– Conference Sponsors<>

– Map of NMSU Campus – Corbett Center <>

– Parking Permits for the NMSU Campus<>

Latino USA’s Maria Hinojosa to Keynote Immigration Conference

Lucia Carmona <>
Emilio Gutierrez Soto <>
Neil Harvey <>

*“The Truth Up-Front” **Mexican Journalism: **Silence or Death *
*June 16, 2012, 6:00-8:00 PM*

We would be honored to have you  participate in this event that will precede
the conference “Immigration Policy and Human Rights: perspectives from
border communities” at New Mexico State University, June 18-22.

The forum “The Truth Up-front” and will  include the
Mexican journalists who fled to seek asylum in the United States and other

Place: Nason House / NMSU BuildingCenter for Latin American Studies1200
University Ave, Las Cruces (directly across from FedEx Kinko’s)
Date: June 16, 2012
Time:  6:00 to 8:00 PM

*“The Truth Up-Front”
*Mexican Journalism:*
*Silence or Death
*June 16, 2012*

*Topics for discussion:*
· Impunity and Corruption (In Mexico)
· Summary of the process for seeking political asylum
· Legal Aspects
· International Solidarity
· Impact of leaving your country


Mi Fortuna: Extreme Philanthropy on the Streets of Ciudad Juarez — Tides Foundation

The following is a personal dispatch from a site visit tour by the Angelica
Foundation and its program partners in the spring of 2011. Since then, the
violence in Mexico has spread – exploding in some areas while leaving
others untouched. Social movements throughout the country are gathering
strength, but still face daunting adversaries. This account is intended to
mobilize and inform fellow progressive grant-makers. The Angelica
Foundation’s Mexico Border Fund for Human Rights and Drug Policy Reform is
now entering its second year.


Mi Fortuna: Extreme Philanthropy on the Streets of Ciudad Juarez — Tides Foundation