Greetings, DJPC supporters!
We hope this letter finds you and your family safe and healthy during this time of crisis and disruption. Despite the challenging circumstances we are all living through, the DJPC continues to stand in solidarity with people across the world.
Resistance From US Imperialism: We remain vigilant to state violence and authoritarianism as governments protect corporate interests at the expense of peoples’ wellbeing and health. Through our historical partnership with the School of the Americas Watch (SOA Watch) we continue denouncing US intervention in Latin America, which seeks to protect foreign capital that benefits from the exploitation of local communities. It is US economic, political and foreign intervention that uproots people from their homelands and forces migration.
Standing With Immigrant & Their Families: Last week, DJPC joined activists in a car rally in downtown Denver to call for the release of immigrant detainees from a for-profit prison. Participants circled the immigration court building and honked their horns to protest the crowded conditions that have become a dangerous breeding ground for COVID-19.
Webinars: In the last few weeks, the DJPC has co-sponsored a number of webinars to address the rise of authoritarianism and new dangers to human rights in the Americas:
- Confronting Forced Migration and Violence in the Americas (April 4 & 5): DJPC Director Rebeca Zúniga joined organizers from Guatemala and Colombia to discuss the impacts of state violence, forced migration, and the pandemic, and the fight for rights, dignity, and territories.
- Defenders at Risk (April 25): DJPC promoted a presentation by Colombian activists on the impact that the pandemic and quarantine are having on human rights and peace-building in Colombia.
- What’s Going on in Brazil? (May 1): DJPC board member Rafael Ioris of the University of Denver and Brodwyn Fischer of the University of Chicago discussed the spread of COVID 19 under President Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil.
No Safe Third Country: We have deepened our collaboration with Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA) through the campaign to oppose US third-country agreements with Central American countries. Such agreements allow the US to return asylum seekers to third countries to await their hearings on asylum. Not only do such agreements violate US obligations under international law, they return asylum seekers directly to the violent settings that led them to seek asylum in the first place.
Standing with Máxima: We continue to monitor Newmont Mining Corporation for its abuse of indigenous Peruvians and destruction of the environment. At the Boulder International Film Festival, we partnered with Peruvian advocacy organization, Grufides, in an action during a documentary telling the story of Máxima Acuña Chaupe struggle against Newmont attempts to steal her land. We also partnered with the social media action coordinated by Earthworks during the Newmont Annual Shareholder Meeting.
Peace Education: This past year, DJPC developed two age-appropriate curricula on peace education for classrooms in the Greater Denver area. The first, titled “The Farm Game,” is aimed at elementary school-aged children and addresses natural resource exploitation and its impacts on inequality and the environment. The second, “Inequality in the Americas,” is aimed at middle to high school age students and breaks down the geopolitical role of the United States in Central America and its impacts on migration. Through these initiatives, we engaged over 200 students of different ages, and we secured funding from the Loretto Community to continue this work.
For 40 years, the DJPC has been in the fight for justice and peace, and we aren’t backing down now. But, we can’t do it without you. We ask that you take a moment to make your donation to help keep alive our struggle. Any amount, large or small, will be greatly appreciated! Every dollar makes a big difference.
You can go to our website and donate: www.denjustpeace.org
Or send a check to DJPC Education Fund at PO Box 12403. Denver, CO 80212
With many thanks, our sincerest wishes for the health and safety of you and your loved ones, and for justice and peace,
The DJPC Team: Lynn Holland, Elliot Williams, Preston Enright, Amy Czulada, Kaylen DeVries, Natasha Kerr, Rafael Ioris, Rebeca Zúniga, Kathryn Rodriguez and Barbara Donachy.