Graphic: soaw.org

Latin America Solidarity Update

Hola! The Caribbean/Latin American Coalition (CLAC) began in the early '90s and consists of several groups: the La Estancia El Salvador Sister Community (which arose from the local Sanctuary Movement), the SOA Abolitionists - our CNY chapter of the national campaign to close the School of the Americas, and the CNY/Cajibío, Colombia Sister Community arising out of our participation in the Colombia Support Network.

We are also interested in Haiti, Cuba, Venezuela, Argentina, Panama, Mexico and wherever else the strong arm of the US ventures south to keep the hemisphere in its military/industrial grip. We meet monthly for a potluck dinner/meeting to plan and evaluate the variety of other activities that focus attention and energy on Latin American issues.

Our main work this fall focused on a busy October 4. The Abolitionists held an orientation for people going to the annual November SOA Watch protest at Ft. Benning, Georgia. Syracuse has had a presence there every year since 1994 and this year there will be at least six new local activists joining the anticipated gathering of thousands. While some local folks fly, there are a sizable number who will drive - a commitment of four or five days that allows us to become friends and strengthen our community. We welcome folks to join us for the weekend of November 22-23. Call Rae Kramer (445-2840) if you want to go.

Following the orientation (which took place at the still-new Center for Peace and Social Justice) we joined others at the Spa at 500 where Ed Griffin-Nolan generously provided an elegant venue for our Colombian Sister Community to hold a fund-raising concert. Colleen Kattau and Some Guys, and Jose Miguel and the Joven Guardia del Teatro y la Danza Latina volunteered their abundant talent to help us raise money to bring Colombian artist Jafeth Goméz Ledesma to the new ArtRage Gallery in late February. Jafeth is a friend to our Cajibío, Colombia Sister Community and is well known for the peace and justice work he does through his art.

In February some of us will revisit rural El Salvador to be with our sisters and brothers in La Estancia - five hamlets in the mountainous region of Morazán. This annual trip usually takes place during the Syracuse School District's winter break to allow young people to be part of the delegation. Call Shirley Novak (446-6099) to learn more about this trip.

If you are interested in learning about or want to get involved in Latin American solidarity issues we invite you to join CLAC. Call Julienne Oldfield (475-6251) or visit www.peacecouncil.net/clac.

-Ann Tiffany