The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns joins over 40 U.S.-based faith, human rights, foreign policy, humanitarian, immigrant rights and border-based civil society organizations in a statement to express deep concern over the Trump Administration’s latest actions on Central America including the wholesale cutoffs of assistance to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
The history of Maryknoll in Latin America is rich and deep. Our commitment to the promotion of social justice and peace in the region cost several of our missioners their lives during the years of oppression, including Fr. Bill Woods, MM in Guatemala (1976), and Sisters Ita Ford, MM, Maura Clarke, MM and Carla Piete, MM in El Salvador in 1980. Some, like Fr. Miguel D’Escoto in Nicaragua, have served in public roles in support of those who live in poverty. Countless others have accompanied the Central American people in their daily struggles for survival, for social justice, for an end to the violence that destroys their communities; for new life.
Among the particular concerns of Maryknoll in Latin America are poverty, its causes and consequences; migration and refugees; health care, especially holistic care that includes good nutrition and preventative care; access to essential medicines for treatable or curable illness; HIV and AIDS; the rights and dignity of women and children; the response of authorities to the growth in gang violence; mining concessions; just trade agreements; debt cancellation; small and subsistence farming and other work accessible to people who are poor; and environmental destruction.
The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns condemns President Trump's emergency declaration and calls on Congress to enact immigration policies that protect human rights.
As the leadership of the Maryknoll Sisters, Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers and the Maryknoll Lay Missioners, we denounce the cruel and immoral “zero-tolerance” immigration policy enacted by the Trump Administration which has resulted in the separation of over 2,300 children from their parents, the criminal prosecution of anyone who crosses the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, and severe restrictions on asylum applications.
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On January 27, 51 people, including 30 Dominican-born children, some of their mothers and 14 other adults were deported without due process to Haiti from the Dominican Republic. More mass deportations of Dominicans of Haitian descent and Haitian migrants are feared.
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.
Former dictator Efrain Rios Montt’s retrial on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity was postponed, again, on January 5.
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.
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.
Another round of call in days will be held this week, Dec. 9-12, to urge Congress to protect families from deportation.
The following is an excerpt from a letter sent in October to Congressional leaders as they work on the Fiscal Year 2015 State and Foreign Operations bills; it was signed by 52 faith-based, humanitarian, labor, and human rights organizations including the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns (MOGC).
Recent Bolivian presidential and legislative elections showed the consolidation of the political power of the charismatic indigenous leader Evo Morales and his Movimiento a socialismo (Movement to Socialism, MAS) party in electing him to serve an unprecedented third term with a resounding 61 percent of the popular vote.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private lending arm of the World Bank, is the largest department of the five World Bank entities. In recent years, due to pressure from civil society, and in some cases from private industry, the IFC developed performance standards related to social and environmental sustainability to manage environmental and social risks. The practical performance of these standards falls short.
According to a report crafted by the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and the Jesuit Conference of the United States, the recent drop in the number of migrants from Central America trying to enter the U.S. through the southern border can be attributed to the policies being implemented by the Mexican and Central American governments at the behest of, and with funding from, the U.S. government.
From Nov. 5-13, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Justice for Immigrants campaign will sponsor a week of call-in days to the White House to urge protection for families facing deportation.
The following press release from Carbon Market Watch reports on efforts by civil society organizations to raise awareness around the troubling classification of a dam project in Guatemala.
Use this link at the Justice for Immigrants' website to send a message to the president and Congress opposing the use of family detention in regards to Central American and Mexican migrants at the U.S. border.
El Paso's Annunciation House, which has provided shelter for migrants for decades, has drafted this petition to President Obama, urging specific and immediate action on immigration.
Fr. Paul Masson, currently on the Maryknoll Society's General Council, served in mission in Chile and in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
Fr. Ray Finch has served as a missioner in the Andean regions of Latin America for many years, most recently in Bolivia.
Dr. Ann Carr, Maryknoll Affiliate, writes this reflection about her time working at the Texas-Mexico border.
Mary Gill and her husband Pat Denevan were Maryknoll lay missioners in Oaxaca, Mexico, where they still live. They now participate as Maryknoll Affiliates.
This week's reflection was written by Fr. Tom Henehan who has spent his mission life in South America.
This All Saints Day reflection is written by Rhegan Hyypio, a former Franciscan lay missioner who spent a year working with the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns.
Dan Moriarty writes this week's scripture reflection; Dan is a former lay missioner who now coordinates the Maryknoll Bolivia Immersion Program.
This week's reflection is written by Kathy McNeely, who is currently a staff member with the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns. Kathy spent several years in Guatemala as a lay missioner.
This week's scripture reflection was prepared by lay missioner Christine Perrier.