Vol. 40, No. 1
PDF posted below
No longer slaves, but brothers and sisters - Pope Francis shares a strong statement against human trafficking and modern-day slavery in his January 1, 2015 address.
Africa: Military spending increases while wars decline - Two seemingly contradictory trends have emerged in the security situation of several African nations: an increase in military spending and a decline in civil warfare.
Tanzania: Attempts to end FGM - Maryknoll lay missioner Liz Mach shares about her work to combat female genital mutilation.
South Sudan: A step towards peace - A year after a significant political crisis upended the young nation, some South Sudanese believe the long journey to peace and reconciliation has already begun.
Middle East: Inclusive political strategy to counter ISIS - A response to ISIS must be inclusive in character, with a long-term objective of legitimate and responsive governments in Iraq and Syria.
Middle East: Palestine pushes ahead - In what some describe as a desperate move, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority pushed a UN Security Council vote on December 30 on a resolution that would have put in place deadlines for a negotiated peace agreement with Israel within one year and the removal of all Israeli occupying forces from Palestinian territory by 2017.
South Korea: Continued opposition to naval base - Despite popular objections to the South Korean government’s plans, construction on a naval base on Jeju Island has moved forward, even as villagers have documented environment damage.
Brazil: Torture report released - In December, the day after the Senate Intelligence Committee released its report on torture by the CIA, Brazil’s National Truth Commission published a similar study of government-sponsored torture carried out during that country’s military dictatorship from 1964-1985.
Honduras: Government set to privatize cities - In Honduras, one of the poorest countries in the hemisphere, the government is in the midst of launching a radical neoliberal economic experiment that, aside from being highly unlikely to reduce poverty or inequality, or spur a kind of development that benefits people who are poor, constitutes a major violation of the rights of the Honduran people.
Guatemala: Rios Montt retrial suspended - Jo-Marie Burt writes about the trial of Efrain Rios Montt, which has already been delayed again.
World Bank social, environmental safeguards inadequate - The World Bank is currently undergoing a review and overhaul of its safeguards policies with the intent to update and strengthen them.
Haiti: Communities oppose mining law - According to a formal protest to the World Bank filed on January 7 by the Haiti Mining Justice Collective, the Bank agreed to help the Haitian government rewrite its mining laws in March 2013, and several months later, a task force comprised of representatives of several government ministries and Bank experts began drafting a new mining law.
Peak oil, low prices - It appears the peak of global liquid energy production could be only a few years away, bringing greater economic difficulties. Ironically, the currently low prices are part of the global reaction to dwindling oil supplies.
2014 vigil at SOA, Stewart Detention Center - Participants in the annual vigil at the gates of the School of the Americas/WHINSEC also joined in a witness at the Stewart Detention Center where nearly 2,000 migrants are held.
COP20: Struggle for climate justice - The much anticipated 20th UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP20) in Lima, Peru, closed on December 14 with less-than-hoped-for outcomes.
Resources - Contact JustFaith for its new Lenten resource, and consider joining a Friends Across Borders immersion trip.