Two more activists, Nancy Smith and Chris Spicer, were given maximum sentences by a Federal Judge for trespassing onto the grounds of Fort Benning, home of WHINSEC, during the SOA protest last November.
Once again, the justice system's complicity with the abuses taught at the School of the Americas was exposed yesterday at the trial of anti-militarization activists Nancy Smith and Chris Spicer. Nancy, from New York, changed her plea to no contest and was immediately sentenced to 6 months in prison by Magistrate Judge Stephen Hyles. In the SOA Watch tradition of using the court to put a spotlight on the SOA/WHINSEC, Nancy affirmed that she “felt a strong moral imperative” to carry out her nonviolent act of civil disobedience “on behalf of those who have suffered so terribly”.
We know that in this season you are receiving many requests for help and giving. After careful consideration the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship is asking for an additional emergency gift. For the last six years we have had a strong and prophetic partnership of Accompaniment with our sisters and brothers of the Presbyterian Church of Colombia. Over the last few months, Colombia has experienced the worst rainy season on record—which has left over 2 million inhabitants of this country homeless and destitute. Infrastructure is heavily damaged and non-existent in some places. It is impossible to overstate how devastating this flooding has been and the challenges it presents in a country already so deeply conflicted.
Human rights organizations in the United States called on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this week to comply with the law and “act decisively” to suspend aid to all units implicated in killings that remain in impunity.
Colombia has one of the highest levels of forced disappearances in the world, according to a new report released for Human Rights Day. Mention the word disappearances in the Latin American context and most people think of Argentina and Chile. But the magnitude of the tragedy in Colombia may be even greater.