ICPJ Annual Report (2011-2012, p. 3)
Latin America Task Force
This year the Latin America Task Force (LATF) engaged in a number of justice-building actions. Highlights of 2011 include the following:
Advocacy: Ten LATF members traveled to Washington D.C. in April to attend the SOA Watch Lobby Days and the Latin America Solidarity Coalition Annual Conference. More than 30 community members followed up by attending the November vigil at Ft. Benning, GA, calling for the closure of the School of the Americas (WHINSEC), know for training some of the worst human rights abusers in Latin America. Five task force members also visited Rep. John Dingell to lobby in opposition to the Colombian Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Although Congress eventually ratified the FTA, Rep. Dingell did vote against it.
Solidarity: In April, LATF hosted “Joining Hands with Honduras” to honor victims of the resistance movement and those who continue to struggle for their rights. We also supported the family of murdered Honduran community activist Julio Funez Benitez, advocating for justice to be done on his case.
Education: In June, we hosted “A Critical Moment in Honduras,” in which LATF member Mary Anne Perrone gave her first-hand account of an SOA Watch delegation to Honduras. Later, Jess Hunter-Bowman of Witness for Peace spoke against the Colombian Free Trade Agreement at a September meeting at the University of Michigan. In November, Honduras human rights activist Miriam Miranda spoke about the Garifuna Afro-Honduran community, corporate exploitation of Garifuna lands and livelihoods, and how we in the U.S. can help.