We just wrapped up our whirlwind national speaking tour with Professor Moisés Gómez from the University of Central America and the Jesuit Migration Network – and it was a huge success!
Moisés crisscrossed the country from Boston to Seattle, meeting with students, congregations, community groups and immigrant rights organizations to expose the human rights crisis that’s resulting from the criminalization of migrants and refugees.
In just three weeks, we made significant progress in our campaign to challenge U.S.-backed border militarization, from new media coverage (check out thisUnivision feature in Spanish) to commitments from Members of Congress to take action. Very special thanks to all those who came out to our events and to those who gave to make them happen!
As Moisés testified, the new wave of refugees from Central America is intimately tied to the US’ decades-long War on Drugs. For more analysis, check out CISPES intern Joanna Beltrán’s reflection on welcoming the Caravan for Peace, Life and Justice to Washington, DC. High levels of violence related to drug war policies pose serious threats for popular movements and leftist governments, as CISPES discusses in a special report on the new emergency security measures that have been initiated by the Salvadoran government.
On June 1, President Salvador Sánchez Cerén – the first president from the ranks of the FMLN – celebrated two years in office, a period that’s been marked simultaneously by profound challenges for both the population and for the government as well as by promising advances. In his speech, he emphasized the historic levels of social investment – a full 46% of the national budget – in universal healthcare, education, youth programs, support for agricultural communities and more (can you imagine what that would look like here in the U.S.?!)
In constrast to the grind of the right-wing’s media-fueled opposition campaign, President Sánchez Cerén’s two-year address was a rare opportunity to share his abiding hope for the future. “We are advancing along the right path,” he stated. “We’re very optimistic about these new projects that ensure the development of the country and the well-being of the people.”
The FMLN’s projects represent real alternatives to US policies that have for decades forced people to leave their homes. And they need our accompaniment more than ever in the face of the oligarchy’s backlash against leftist governments in Latin America, as we see so insidiously today in Venezuela and Brazil.
If you want to witness some of this progress for yourself and learn how you can help defend it, we hope you’ll join our July fact-finding mission, Understanding Migration from El Salvador: The Impact of US Policy. The application deadline is fast approaching on June 15th – apply online today!
This month, we relied on a vibrant network of volunteers across the country to make our speaking tour happen. As El Salvador’s popular government enters into its third year of leading by example, we celebrate the power of organized people throughout our hemisphere to create change!
In gratitude & solidarity,
Alexis Stoumbelis, Executive Director