Saturday, April 14, 2007

Latin America Solidarity News 13th April 2007

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The People Decide: Oaxaca's Popular Revolt

Friday, 13 April 2007, 6 pm, 128 Abel Smith St
Traditional mexican rice and beans provided. Koha!

Mexico's second poorest state is still in rebellion and suffering the repression of Mexico's state security forces. Julie Webb-Pullman, a New Zealand free lance journalist and peace activist will bring us up to date on the popular revolt of 2006-7 in Oaxaca state in Mexico, and the continuing abuse of basic human rights. A report from the International Civil Commission for the Observation of Human Rights and the Mexican Ombudsman will also be presented to Members of Parliament next week.

Julie's presentation will feature background information on developments, in particular the teachers' union strike, the popular assemblies and examples of some of the human rights abuses committed by the police.

Nicol Benkert or Paul Bruce Tel 021 027 19370

On 25 November 2006 more than 140 people, including 34 women, were detained in Oaxaca City, southern Mexico, when a protest against the state governor ended in violent clashes with federal and state police. Many detainees were reported to have been beaten and threatened with death once in custody. They were denied access to their families, legal advice and adequate medical attention for several days. On 27 November, at the request of state authorities, detainees were transferred to a federal prison in Nayarit state, 1200km from Oaxaca, where access to family, lawyers and medical care was severely restricted. Non-governmental human rights organizations and relatives who were finally allowed to visit the prisoners reported that many detainees still showed signs of the beatings suffered at the time of arrest and of cruel treatment while in detention, such as shaven hair, even for women.
On 16 December, after three weeks in detention, 43 people were released. The state government is reported to have dropped the charges and paid for their bail. On 20 December, 91 of the 95 detainees were moved back to two state prisons in Oaxaca, and subsequently 11 were released. On 21 December 80 remained in custody. Many of those detained were reportedly not involved in the protests or violence, but they all face serious criminal charges such as sedition, attacks on public roads, arson and theft. [AI]


Chance to hear Cuban ICAP (Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples)
Buenaventura Reyes Acosta, Vice-president of ICAP and
Alicia Elvira Corredera Morales, Director of Asia-Pacific Division, ICAP
National Contact: Mike Treen DD - 64 9 845 4027; Mobile - 0295254744

Wellington meeting Tuesday April 17th:
Public meeting Havana Bar, 32a Wigan Street, 7.30pm.
Presentation/discussion followed by social.

Hamilton Wednesday April 18th:
Afternoon meeting at Wananga,
Public meeting Celebrating Age Centre Victoria Street 7pm

Auckland Saturday 21st April:
Public meeting Descarga Cubana 1pm
280 Karangahape Road.

Latin film festival
Here is a link to the schedule for the Latin American Film Festival put on by the Embassies
in Wellington, Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch over the coming month.

Fair Trade Café 07
“Los Andes” Wellington’s own Latin American music and dance group
and speaker Will Padilla, from Coope Agri in Costa Rica

Coope Agi is one of the largest Fairtrade certified cooperatives
in Central America specialising in sugar cane and coffee.

Thursday 3rd May 6.30 – 8pm

St John’s in the City Presbyterian Church conference room
Cnr Dixon and Willis Streets
$4 at the door will get you as many espressos, lattes, cappuccinos or hot chocolates
as you can handle!!
Contact Kate at or 04 9732973

A fantastic evening of great coffee, live music, and guest speaker from Costa Rica

Five a side football 5th May

Five-a-side Fair Trade Football competition on the afternoon of Saturday 5th May in Wellington.
Why a football game? Firstly, this event is designed to celebrate the launch of fair trade footballs and rugby balls in New Zealand. Secondly, football is a game that brings together communities and cultures on an equal playing field which reflects what Fair Trade does in the global market place. Thirdly, this is a very popular past time in Costa Rica where Will our coffee speaker is from.

The Football competition will include teams representing:
• Wellington based NGOs, including UNICEF, Devzone and LAC
• Wellington based Coffee Roasters, including Havana and Coffee Supreme
• Fair Trade Retail outlets, including The Body Shop and Trade Aid.
• Local Wellington celebrities

If you want to be part of this event,
please contact Carla Batista at
477-3379 (h), 385 0066 (w), 027 4665271

For other fair trade events check out or email

Habana Blues
World Cinema Showcase film festival is featuring a Cuban film - Habana Blues - in this year’s festival.
A captivating love letter to life on the ‘crazy isle’ of Cuba, Habana Blues follows a group of musicians struggling to make the big time. If that sounds like Buena Vista Social Club: the Return, be aware this is fiction – these young stallions play a vibrant hybrid of soul and rock, and their goal in life is to leave behind the politics of their impoverished island. Ruy and Tito are the Mick and Keith of the band who spend their days flogging everything from cigars to sombreros out of the back of Tito’s delicious red ‘52 Chevy. When their long-awaited break arrives in the guise of Spanish record producer Marta, their lives are thrown into turmoil by the tantalising prospect of a one-way ticket to Spain. For once they’ve left Cuba, they can never return.

World Cinema Showcase - Christchurch - April 12 - 25, 2007
World Cinema Showcase - Dunedin - April 19 - May 5, 2007

Telecom 39th Auckland International Film Festival, July 13 - 29, 2007
Telecom 36th Wellington Film Festival, July 20 - August 5, 2007
Telecom 31st Dunedin International Film Festival, July 27 - August 12, 2007
Telecom 31st Christchurch International Film Festival, August 2 - 19, 2007

Christian World Service's Partners in Latin America

Christian World Service works with partner groups throughout the world who work to end poverty and injustice within their own communities, responding to those in greatest need, regardless of race, religion or gender.

CWS responds to humanitarian emergencies, works within Aotearoa New Zealand to raise awareness of the issues involved, and participates in global campaigns to tackle the causes of poverty and injustice.

CWS works with four partners in the Caribbean and Latin America.

El Salvador
Las Dignas: Asociación de Mujeres por la Dignidad y la Vida
Las Dignas, a feminist political organization, was formed in 1990 after the conclusion of 12 years of civil war. Initially the organization aimed to create opportunities for women in every aspect of life, and to develop programmes to assist women to deal with the effects of postwar trauma. Currently Las Dignas also acts as a political force advocating for the reduction of gender disparity and subordination of women in different sectors of the country.

The programme currently being supported by CWS seeks to advance the economic rights of women at all levels; promote nationally the rights of women to equal opportunities in education; promote the rights of women to a life free of violence; and strengthen the citizenship of women, individually and collectively, through creating opportunities for research, debate and training on gender issues.

CEPAD: Consejo de Iglesias Evangélicas Pro-Alianza Denominacional
CEPAD was founded in 1972 to provide emergency relief to the victims of a large earthquake in the capital. In the 1980s CEPAD was actively engaged in conflict /peace building efforts during the civil war. Today’s work focuses on development programmes (such as food production, income opportunities, environmental protection and advocacy training to negotiate community services), emergency relief, and community conflict resolution.

CEPAD’S priorities are poverty reduction, deforestation, water issues and water privatisation, campaigning against the damaging impacts of debt and free trade on the poor, promotion of organic production and promotion of fair trade coffee. CEPAD has its own radio station, and uses this to broadcast programmes with relevant social content.

Casa de Passagem, Centro Brasileiro de Criança e do Adolescente, Brazil
‘House of Passage’ was established in 1989 to give support to girls living on the streets. Since 1994 it has conducted preventive programmes for children and adolescents living in situations of social risk.

Cassa de Passagem works through three programmes:
(1) Passage to Life aims to promote citizenship rights among 7 –17 year old girls from vulnerable zones, by providing them with education, health and social assistance and cultural, art, sport and leisure activities.
(2) Community and Citizenship creates and enhances political awareness and participation among adolescents and teenagers. This programme trains 12-24 year olds wishing to become ‘Adolescent Spreaders of Information’ and community leaders.
(3) Initiation to Work offers vocational courses to young women and men aged 16-24 in the fields of telemarketing, mechanics, fashion, handcraft, paint, cookery and early childhood education.

Institut Culturel Karl Leveque (ICKL)
ICKL works with 6 partner organisations in different parts of the country. Their goal is to strengthen people’s organisations and peasant groups in Haiti and increase their capacity to identify their problems, claim their rights, develop strong networks for collective action, and institute in their communities a participatory democratic culture.
The programme has three strands which together aim to build strong structural and economic analysis and organisational capacity:
1. Training, publications and mobilisation (Appui a la Base).
2. A focus on gender across the peasant movement.
3. Building understanding and skills toward an alternative economic model (Economie solidarie).

CWS is currently funding Appui a la Base. This programme offers strategic support through the training of people who exercise leadership within the community, without financial reward.

The People Decide: Oaxaca's Popular Assembly" by Nancy Davies (2007, Narco News Books) is coming! (100 collector's limited edition galley proofs will be made available at the book fair for donations of $20 or more to The Fund for Authentic Journalism, on a first-come first-serve basis.)

The book fair, to be held at the Judson Memorial Church at 55 Washington Square South in Greenwich Village brings together radical booksellers, publishers, authors and readers from throughout the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, and some, like us, from farther away.

The Narco News Team seeks more volunteers to help us staff the table. Sign up for a shift anytime between 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. to assist booksellers in ordering the work, and help offer the collector's edition of the book and other gifts for donations to The Fund for Authentic Journalism! If you can take a shift, send me an email at

Also premiering at the book fair: A new DVD of reports from Mexico by The Other Journalism with the Other Campaign: 2006: The Other Oaxaca, with three Video Newsreels from Zapatista Subcomandante Marcos' February 2006 visit to that state (English and Spanish versions of each, for a total of six documentaries), which will be made available along with other DVDs and books by collaborators of Narco News and the School of Authentic Journalism.

At 4 p.m. until 5:15 on Saturday, at that same Judson Memorial Church, the book fair is hosting a forum about Insurgent Mexico:

"While others talk, the poor and indigenous people of Mexico have been acting to take control of their future. The Zapatista movement established a new pattern of antiauthoritarian, nonhierarchical organizing that has inspired organizers around the world. Last year, the people of Oaxaca moved to oust their corrupt governor and establish a new form of horizontal self-government. Despite severe government oppression, communities across the country are launching similar efforts. Meanwhile, the Zapatistas' Other Campaign has galvanized a wide-ranging, community-based discussion about the future of the people of Mexico. Insurgent Mexico brings together two American journalists who have provided some of the most consistent, on-the-ground coverage of Mexico's social movements to discuss the struggle in Oaxaca and the Other Campaign."

The Narco News Bulletin

Latin America Solidarity Committee
Help is needed for:
1: Layout of next hard copy LAC report (we have templates available,
and possible tuition).
2: Put notices on web site once or twice a month.
3: Make posters for occasional events, public meetings.

Lac Email
LAC website
LAC blogg
Zapatista email
Zapatista blogg
Peña Cultural Latina Alternative Mondays from 20th October 6pm 128 Abel Smith St

Subscribe to our Email lists:
LAC News:
LAC Organise:
Zapatista list:

Subscribe hard copy Latin America Report:
A bi-annual publication providing up todate information
and analysis on developments in Latin America,
as well as news on solidarity activities in this country.
Subscriptions $15 per year, Supporter $30 Cheques/donations payable to
Latin America Committee, Box 6083, Wellington. Contact:

Other NZ links
Dev-Zone library DVD requests etc
EMAIL, PH +64 4 472 9549, Level 2, James Smith Building, Wellington.
Casalatina Auckland:
University of Auckland hispanic club:
Human Rights Portal
Global Peace & Justice Auckland:
Cuba Friendship Society:
Lea – Lengua Espanola en Aotearoa:

Overseas Links
News from Brazil
Mexico Solidarity Network:

LASNET Latin American Solidarity Network
CISLAC - Latin America Solidarity Australia
Network Opposed to the Plan Puebla Panama (NoPPP);
ACERCA - Plan Puebla Panama, Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA),
Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).
Latin American Solidarity Coalition:
Latin American Agenda project team of the Social Justice Committee
Información sobre Puerto Rico y sus luchas