Sign the CISPES letter to President Saca (background)

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September/October 2006

Dear Friends,

The Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) is asking for your support in signing a letter to Salvadoran president Tony Saca and Interior Minister Rene Figueroa that will be published as a paid advertisement in El Salvador during the month of October. As you may know, violence and repression is on the rise in El Salvador. In addition to continued evidence of the resurgence of death squad-style and “social extermination” groups, there has also been a marked increase in police violence towards protesters and opposition groups. As groups in El Salvador continue to oppose the economic policies of the ARENA government, Saca and Figueroa have been utilizing the rhetoric of “terrorism” to attack social movement activists and youth, and they recently passed a draconian new anti-terrorism law in the National Assembly that would criminalize many forms of protest altogether. You can read more here .

Meanwhile, having begun the implementation of the US-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), the Salvadoran right-wing is pushing for the next prize in the neoliberal contest: the privatization of water. Privatization would make access to the most basic necessity of life – clean drinking water – more expensive, and at the whim of foreign corporate interests. A broad coalition of environmental and community groups, labor unions, and campesino organizations has formed around the issue of water, and a major mobilization against privatization is planned for October 17th in San Salvador. You can read more at http://upsidedownworld.org/main/content/view/445/74/.

While social movement forces are gaining strength in El Salvador and throughout Latin America, the Bush Administration and its closest partner in the region – El Salvador – continue to use the “war on terrorism” to repress and label as terrorist many of those fighting against their economic policies. Perhaps most troubling, last year these two governments signed an agreement to open a new International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in San Salvador. Such US-sponsored training facilities are reminiscent of the infamously brutal School of the Americas (SOA), which communities across the US and in Latin America have long sought to shut down.

Please show your solidarity with those fighting for change in El Salvador by signing on to the solidarity statement below which will appear as a full page advertisement in the Salvadoran daily newspaper La Prensa Grafica on October 17th, 2006, the day thousands of Salvadorans take to the streets to protest water privatization. We are asking for contribution of $100-$200 for organizations and $10-$50 for individuals toward the cost of the ad ($1,400 for a full page in one major daily, $2,800 for a full page in both). Only organizational names will appear on the ad.

To sign on to the ad, send your endorsement to Jacoby Ballard at the CISPES National Office (jacoby@cispes.org) and mail the form below with your tax-deductible check to the "CISPES Education Fund" at 130 W. 29th st. NY, NY 10001. The deadline for signers is October 10, 2006.

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Name of organization as it should appear in ad (English or Spanish) __________________________________________

Name of contact at organization/individual signing__________________________________________________________

Address_________________________________________Phone__________

Email________________________

_$100 (suggested contribution)
_Other amount ________________________

 

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