Since January, El Salvador has been making the news here in the United States, from the homicide rate to the Zika virus. Whenever possible, CISPES makes it a priority to share the analysis of our partners in the Salvadoran social movement with an international audience – here are some of the top stories.
Public health alarm about the spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus and its possible links to microcephaly led the government of El Salvador, along with several others in Latin America, to urge women delay pregnancy. Though it’s since been posited that an insecticide used against mosquitoes – not the virus – is responsible for the increased rates of microcephaly in Brazil, the government’s initial reaction thrust El Salvador’s restrictive abortion laws into the international spotlight.
For an insightful take on the goals of the Salvadoran reproductive rights movement and the challenges they face, even under a government that’s made a greater investment in women’s health than any in history, check out this new interview with Sara García from the Citizen’s Group for the Decriminalization of Abortion.
Before Zika, the media spotlight was on the Obama administration’s home raids against refugee families from Central America and the situation on the ground in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras they would face if deported.
As CISPES’ Executive Director told the Washington Post in January, in light of the high levels of violence that El Salvador is currently experiencing, “it’s unconscionable [for the Obama administration] to send people back into the same situation.”
CISPES has been hitting the airwaves to expose the US’ responsibility for creating the desperate situations of violence, marginalization and family separation that continue to push people from Central America and Mexico to undertake an increasingly perilous journey northward to seek safety or family reunification in the United States. Check out this interview on Clearing the Fog Radio for more on the connections between migration and US trade policy.
CISPES’ outspoken critique about US policies that benefit corporate interests at the expense of people and the planet was also featured in several recent articles about Washington’s new $750 million security and economic package for Central America.
Check out Big US Aid for Central America Will Worsen Inequality (TeleSur) and Experts Say U.S. Aid Package to Central America Is Backfiring Big Time (Think Progress). I think the headlines speak for themselves!
Now more than any time in recent memory, the media is reaching out to groups who can connect the dots – between cruel detention and deportation policies at home and the United States’ disastrous policies abroad.
We’re encouraged at these signs of growing awareness about the reality on the ground in Central America. With the support of people like you, CISPES will continue to bring forward the analysis and demands of El Salvador’s organized movements, which are at the heart of our cross-border solidarity campaigns.
Thanks for being with us!
Laura Embree-Lowry, Program Director