11am, 8 July 2012
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1 (Holborn)
£3 on the door/free to members
Speaker Mike Phipps
Restorative justice has been widely used around the world as an essential element in peace processes, such as that of South Africa. But before a process of reconciliation can be undertaken, it is first necessary to establish truth about the past.
Mike Phipps recounts the history of violence in Central America and reflects on the distinct political, geographical and historical causes of conflict in the region. Looking at the attempts to bring to justice to those responsible for violence - governmental, corporate and external – the talk examines the effects of US policy in the region over several decades and asks whether any fundamental changes might be forthcoming that will help overcome the legacy of violence that haunts the region.
"The sixth summit was something else. First, the region is not divided - it is united. It is united against the discrimination against Cuba, against the drug war, and in favor the decolonization of the Malivinas Islands. Second, the region showed that it is now mature enough to walk on its own, without the “interference” of the United States and Canada. Third, the United States is isolated and very few countries continue to follow it: only Mexico and Chile, but each with very low profiles."
To read the full analysis by Raul Zibechi, visit the website of the Americas Program of the Center for International Policy: http://www.cipamericas.org/archives/6811
Latin America Bureau (LAB) has produced a special issue of its newsletter focused on relations between Latin America and the United States.
It begins with an overview of Barack Obama's policy in Latin America, written by author Grace Livingstone. She argues that Obama has allowed right-wing Republicans and the Pentagon to dominate his agenda and highlights the tragic consequences of this strategy in Colombia. Far from learning the lessons of Plan Colombia , she argues, Obama has embarked on the same militarized strategy in Mexico. Read more.
Since the Honduran president was forced from office, UK-based solidarity organisations and trade unions have grouped together to lobby for the return of democracy in the Central American country.
The Emergency Committee Against the Coup in Honduras has a blog with regular posts in English on the latest events. There is also video - for example, showing violence unleashed against crowds who had gathered at the Brazilian embassy to support President Zelaya who's sheltering there after his surprise return to the Honduran capital: http://committeeagainsthondurascoup.blogspot.com/