CoDev E-Bulletin Spring/Summer 2019

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CoDev E-Bulletin Spring/Summer 2019 r1 ... Welcome to the latest edition of CoDev's Partners in Solidarity e-bulletin! Check out what's going on with us, our partners, our community and related news. Thank you for your support! s16
Greetings Friends and Supporters
The following is the first of three CoDev activity
update e-bulletins. Please read and send us any comments or questions you might have.

Solidarity Actions
The past several months have often seemed to us an unending series of crises for our Latin American partners. In the early hours of March 8, the office of the Guatemalan Women's Sector was broken into, vandalized and all computer hard drives, as well as many paper archives were stolen. The Sector was to coordinate the annual Women's Day March but most of the banners and other materials were destroyed in the break in. Nonetheless, the march proceeded with thousands participating. In an act of solidarity by the women of Guatemala, its route was changed to end outside the offices of the sector.

We appealed to our partners and members to assist the Sector in replacing its stolen equipment and thanks to the solidarity and generosity of the CoDev community, we were able to send almost $8K, enough to replace the computers.

Just one week later
, we received an urgent call from Maria Elena Cuadra Movement of Employed and Unemployed Women (MEC) in Nicaragua. Director Sandra Ramos, along with 200 others - many former prominent Sandinistas - were arrested during a demonstration demanding the release of political prisoners. CoDev immediately contacted Nicaraguan authorities, Global Affairs Canada, the Canadian Consulate in Nicaragua and MEC's Canadian partners to urge action to release Sandra. A social media campaign was also launched. Late that night, we received the happy news that Sandra had been released.

Sandra was able to resume her participation at the negotiating table with the Ortega government as a workers' representative with the continued detention of hundreds of prisoners remaining one of the most contentious issues blocking a resolution to the crisis in her country.

Sandra Ramos

Less than an hour after we celebrated to news of Sandra's release, we began to receive messages from Columbia, "We're under attack!" Our partner, the Association for Research and Social Action (NOMADESC) had been accompanying indigenous communities as human rights monitors during their "Minga (community social mobilization) for Life, Defense of the Territories and Peace". Following several days of marches, meetings and protests, the government deployed the army and riot police to burn the protesters' camps and attack the protesters. Two people died and dozens were left wounded.

The Minga

CoDev published an Urgent Action which was answered by numerous supporters who appealed to the Colombian government to negotiate. While the president did agree to meet with the Minga, he cancelled his trip at the last minute, the conflict unresolved.

And in Honduras, de facto President Juan Orlando Hernandez (JOH) having gutted the country's social security budget to pay for his election campaigns, sought loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for health care and education. The IMF approved the loan on condition that any legislative changes would allow for flexibility in hiring and firing workers in those sectors and that concessions would be given to ngos and private companies to manage health and education facilities. After a week of strikes by teachers and healthcare workers, and massive country-wide demonstrations, Congress agreed to withdraw the legislation.

A week after Congress retreated, JOH imposed the changes through presidential decrees and the country reacted once again. Three protesters were shot dead by security forces and dozens more injured during nationwide strikes and protests. The conflict continues with speculation that it may lead to the downfall of the de facto government. For more information on the crisis in Honduras, please read this important article in NACLA.

Watch this space for PART TWO of the Spring/Summer
E-Bulletin coming on July 3.

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