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Archive for the ‘Human Rights’ Category

Press Release:El Salvador ‘s Two Biggest Gangs Call A Truce

Monday, May 28th, 2012
WHAT: El Salvador ‘s Two Biggest Gangs Call A Truce

Press Package FINAL_TAPPES_Press_Package

WHEN: Monday May 28th, 2012 at 10:00 A.M.
WHERE: La Placita Olvera

535 North Main Street

Los Angeles, CA 90012

WHO:

The Transnational
Advisory Group in Support of the Peace Process In El Salvador

International community Base Organizations, Clergy, Gang Interventionist, individuals have come together in support of the peace process, Bishop Fabio Colindres and Former El Salvador Congressman Raul Mijango have mediated truce with two of the El Salvador biggest gangs; MS13 and 18th Street gangs.

Speakers include:
Father Estrada- Our Lady Queen of the Angeles – La Placita  Olvera
Father Michael Kennedy-Restorative Justice

Angela Sambrano, Board Member, Centro Cultural Techantit and CARECEN L.A.

Hector Verdugo- Associate Executive Director, Homeboy Industries

Luis Rodriguez-Activist and author of “Always Running Gang Days in L.A.”

Aqeela Sherrills-Director of Resources for Human Development California

Paule Cruz Takash, City of Los Angeles Human Relations Commission

Aquil Basheer-Executive Director, Maximum Force Enterprises

Enrique Hurtado-Executive Director, Aztecs Rising

Alex Sanchez- Executive Director, Homies Unidos

Mario Matute-Secretario general Del Movimiento Social Y Político De Salvadoreños En   El Exterior.M.P.I.

WHY: The 1992 El Salvador Peace Accords ended a devastating decade long civil war. Signed between El Salvador’s Armed Forces and the FMLN guerrilla fighters, the country looked forward to peace, rebuilding and prospering.  Unfortunately, no one could predict the devastating impact that mass deportation of people from the U.S. to El Salvador would have on the transnational community. El Salvador did not have the social or economic infrastructure to help people transition from war time to peace time nor did it have the resources to help recently arrived deportees. The disenfranchisement of young people and gang-identified youth has resulted in  high levels of crime, growth of gangs, and unemployment.

This March, two of the largest gangs in El Salvador called a truce. They have acknowledged all the pain they have
brought on the population and themselves and have accepted responsibility. The Peace Process has reduced violence by 65% throughout El Salvador. This effort is not one sided or a simple task. With support of church communities, government and the civilian population, we can create a strategy that is inclusive of all. All in the name of peace.  The Transnational Advisory Group in Support of the Peace Process In El Salvador has formed to be an international observer to this process, to assure the safety of all involved and to bring together resources to help in the short and long term goals of the peace
process.

Know Your Rights Seminar

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Join Homies Unidos on May Day March on May 1rst

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Sunday, May 1 · 10:00am – 5:00pm

Broadway and Olympic in Downtown Los Angeles

Full Legalization Now!!!
Stop Police/ICE Raids and their repressive technics !!!
No Guest Workers Program!!!
Worker Rights To Organize!!!

Homies Unidos Screening of “Fruits of War”

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Come and join Homies Unidos Saturday, April 23  6:00PM-11:00PM, as we speak about current struggles of our youth in Los Angeles and El Salvador. “Fruits of War” documents the life of four members of Homies Unidos as they embark on a journey of redemption and social justice and the struggles they face through deportation and criminalization.

Film screening starts at 7:PM sharp. Bring some food and drinks to share.
at Basswerks
5411 W. Adams (West of La Brea)
Los Angeles, CA 90016

If you cant make and would like to donate go to:
www.homiesunidos.org/donate

RSVP @ homiesunidos@homiesunidos.org or call 213-383-7484

Ceremony for our Friend Tim Smith

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

April 5, 2011.

We will be having a indigenous ceremony for our Friend Tim Smith at El Centro Cultural Techantit on Thursday April 7th  at 6:30 AM. You Are welcomed to come.

668 S. Bonnie Brae

Los Angeles, CA 90057

Phone:  (626) 500-3604

In Alley: Between Bonnie Brae and Burlington

On March 31, 2011 Homies Unidos lost a very special friend. His name is Tim Smith, an anthropologist of Urban Studies professor at Cal State Northridge.   He was 79 years young and had so much more to give to this world. Hi life has inspired many to continue his legacy.

Eva, Tim’s wife of over 25 years said about when they meet:

“Were compatible with each other, He showed love for humanity, arts and others was what attracted her to Tim.”

He expressed his caring through the art sculptures made of stone. They were done with such love and caring and this was what he felt with everyone he met. He was a traveler; he went to Paraguay, El Salvador Philippines, Africa, and his last trip to the Middle East, Turkey he almost did not make it. His body was already weakening. Eva mentioned that in the last two months of Tim’s life. Tim’s body had taken a toll and he expressed that he was ready to go. A noble thing to say by a man who was an adventure and to someone you love, from a man that was always in a road of discovery. This was his time to go and discover we will all go but never come back to tell anyone, what we all only imagine. Tim is on that journey now.

The love for humanity and people from all races was how to stumble on to Homies Unidos. His dedication for social change was what inspired me and young men and women to fight for what was right for us in our community. He stuck through the bad times when we became under attack by LAPD officers. He went to the police station and demanded answers. Officers did not understand why this older white man was demanding answers.

Tim was able to help me deal with the stereotypes I had of all white people. I for years distrusted people that were not my color. But this white man was the one who took me back to my roots when he was the first to invite me to participate in an indigenous ceremony. I had never participated nor had any clue of what a Sweat Lodge was. I was transformed after that experience. He taught me that there good people in all races and sometimes we are our own oppressors.

Today we celebrate Tim’s departure from our world to this new road of discovery he went on. Life is an adventure and Tim lived it as one.

Forever in our thoughts,

Alex Sanchez, Homies Unidos Board Members and the Homies…..

“Know Your Rights” Workshop

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Title Of Event:  Know Your Rights

Date Of Event: March 27, 2011

Location: MacArthur Park Recreation Center 2nd floor                                                                                     2230 W. 6th St Los Angeles, CA 90057
Contact: Juan Esparza 213-383-7484

Description:

We will be answering questions about what to do if stopped by Immigration or Law enforcement.

We will have attorneys providing FREE consultations. Please call if you would like to have a consultation.

We will provide childcare.

Questions that will be answered:

  • How can I protect myself from deportation?
  • How can I gain legal status?
  • Will I get deported if I am convicted of a crime?
  • I received a Notice to Appear from Immigration, what does that mean?

The program will take place on Sunday March 27 from 10AM-1:30PM at the MacArthur Park Recreation Center, food will be available.

A weekend of solidarity with the indigenous people of El Salvador…In San Francisco

Monday, January 10th, 2011

A weekend of solidarity with the indigenous people of El Salvador…

Fri, Jan 14 – Hip Hop Concert
Sat, Jan 15 – Indigenous Dancers, speakers, food and community award ceremony
Sun, Jan 16 – Mayan Ceremony

Details below:

FRIDAY – January 14, 2011

- HIP HOP POR LA PAZ -

8:00pm-12:00pm

@ Women’s Building

3543 18th St., San Francisco, CA 94110

$10 donation

Performing:

Reyes del Bajo Mundo – O.N.S. El Sonador – Amazon Blew – Geo Kiburym – Rap Squad – Santos – Inner City Dwellers Conflikto Armado – El Comandante Izalco – Wanako – Kingz & Marmota Fu – Browny Loco – Lirico Dios

Also included:

Alex Sanchez-Executive Director of Homies Unidos live via Skype, – Homies Unidos Callejeros Graff & Visual Art – Coperativa Cuscatlán via www.ustream.com

TV Channel/Cooperative Cuscatlán Radio Subersivar – Cinema Feliciano Ama – Question Everythink  – Tigres Y Violetas  – El Jorge

SATURDAY – January 15, 2011

- SPIRIT OF MEMORY –

14TH Annual Commemoration of La Matanza

2:00pm – 7:30pm

@ Women’s Building

3543 18th St., San Francisco, CA 94110

$6 donation

After the tragic events of La Matanza in 1932, an unknown number of Salvadoran indigenous people perished, estimated between 10,000 and 30,000 people.  As a result, native communities in El Salvador took their ceremonies and culture into hiding.  78 years after these events, communities have re-emerged and are being recognized officially by El Salvador’s government.  We gather our collective Spirit of Memory with our Bay Area community and utilize it to discuss traditional culture and bi-nationality through discussion, song, and ceremonies.

Program:

Opening Prayer – JR Leywa, Wailaki, Round Valley Indian Reservation – Lenca-Poton Passage Song – Guanajuato Purepucha Dancers – Lenca Emplumado DancersFilm: ‘Discovering Dominga’

Presentations:

  • Julio Leyva—Comite de Izalqueños
  • Dra. Concepcíon Saucedo-Martinez, Comisión De La Verdad 1932
  • Dra. Robin Maria DeLugan, Assistant Professor-Anthropology, UC Merced

Community Honorees:

  • Miguel “Gavilan” Molina – KPFA Radio “La Onda Bajita”
  • Lizbett Calleros – Central American Resource Center (CARECEN)
  • Tory Canby, Teacher & Artist
  • Alejandra Calderon – former Executive Director, HOMEY

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday, January 16, 2011 (9am)

- Mayan ceremony -

Conducted By: Pascual Yaxon Saloj & Maya Caqchiquel

@ Pine Lake Park – Sloat Blvd & Vale Avenue, San Francisco (by Stern Grove)

Free

************************************************************************************************************

Happy Holidays

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Dear Friends,

As the New Year approaches I have reflected on the past 12 years since Homies Unidos first opened its office in Los Angeles with the dream of helping youth affected by war and gang violence.  We developed programs specifically for these youth hoping that they may find empowerment in positive action, the support to transition out of gangs and a platform to address and change the inhumane treatment of the immigrant community.

We have maintained our doors open to serve over 6,500 youth and their families from the Los Angeles Pico Union’s Central American community.  What, began as a dream has become a reality and today Homies Unidos stands as a nationally recognized organization at the forefront of gang violence prevention and intervention.

As we witnessed through this last election cycle, our immigrant communities have once again become the scapegoat and trigger point for political fear tactics and gangs have been framed as the scary poster child of this debate.  Over the past two years there has been a 23% increase in suppression in our immigrant community by ICE, FBI and local law enforcement agencies, leaving countless families separated from each other and children parentless.

With the assistance of your generosity, Homies Unidos has successfully developed exceptional programs to challenge the effects of this violence. The Epiphany Project, Libertad Con Dignidad and Family Wellness programs brings together youth and their parents, affected by gang violence or deportation, to advocate for their rights. Together we helped strengthen their ability communicate and improve their family relationship to over 130 family members this year.

“Homies Unidos has helped me change my life around and has giving me the opportunity to give back to other youth, I now volunteer in organizing the Art activities and outreaching to over 15 artist so far”, Said Juan Canizales, a former graduate of our Epiphany Project program.

We are convinced that through Epiphany Project classes we our helping to create a new generation of peacemakers committed to a building a better world. The process of those transitioning into a better life is not simple; after completing our 12 week program, graduates endure a minimum of 6-10 laser tattoo removal treatments to shed the last of their former lifestyles off their bodies.

In the past year, our ongoing programs have expanded and include a youth leadership and art program as an alternative to gang activity. We have developed these programs for inner-city youth and young adults as we also embark on a campaign to bring awareness of immigration and criminal justice issues affecting our community. Th e “Hip Hop for Peace” was launched on December 7, 2010 and will continue throughout 2011 with a series of events, bringing together local artist in music and art.

In these critical times, your support will greatly help in the success of our youth. Your ongoing support allows us to continue to provide our youth and their families with the skills and tools needed to overcome the obstacles they face in our community. As a non-profit organization, we rely on the generosity and compassion of our donors, like yourself, without whom we would not have the capacity to create peace in the schools, and keep families united in the community we serve. Please join us as a partner in making 2011 a better and more successful year for Homies Unidos.

Homies Unidos wishes you have a joyful holiday season,

Sincerely,                                                                                                                   Sincerely,

Alex Sanchez                                                                                                            Troy Garity                                                                              Executive Director                                                                                                Board Chair

Senators Introduce Comprehensive Reform Bill

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

In the Wake of DREAM Act, Senators Introduce Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill

Will obstructionists in Congress keep using immigration as a political piñata in the name of election politics, or put partisanship aside and fix our broken system?

Last night, Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2010 (SB 3932), a bill which takes a broad approach to fixing the wide range of problems plaguing our outdated immigration system. Earlier this month, Sen. Menendez threw his support behind the DREAM Act (which failed in a cloture vote 54-46) and vowed to introduce his own immigration bill in the Senate. While immigration advocates are calling the Menendez-Leahy bill a “step in the right direction,” many remain skeptical whether Congress can muster the political courage to pick up the bill and tackle immigration once and for all. The Menendez-Leahy bill is preceded by a House immigration bill, CIR ASAP (HR 4321), introduced by Rep. Solomon Ortiz (D-TX) and Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) last year. READ MORE….

Judge Blocks Part of Arizona Immigrant Law

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

latimes.com/la-naw-arizona-immigration-072810,0,824360.story

SB1070 Injuction10-1413-87

latimes.com

Judge blocks parts of Arizona immigration law

From the Associated Press

10:25 AM PDT, July 28, 2010

PHOENIX

A federal judge on Wednesday blocked the most controversial parts of Arizona’s immigration law from taking effect, delivering a last-minute victory to opponents of the crackdown.

The overall law will still take effect Thursday, but without the provisions that angered opponents — including sections that required officers to check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws.

The judge also put on hold parts of the law that required immigrants to carry their papers at all times, and made it illegal for undocumented workers to solicit employment in public places.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton ruled that the controversial sections should be put on hold until the courts resolve the issues.

The ruling came just as police were making last-minute preparations to begin enforcement of the law at 12:01 a.m. Thursday and protesters were planning a large demonstrations to speak out against the measure. At least one group planned to block access to federal offices, daring officers to ask them their immigration status.

The volume of the protests will be likely be turned down a few notches because of the ruling by Bolton, a Clinton appointee who suddenly became a crucial figure in the immigration debate when she was assigned the seven lawsuits filed against the Arizona law.

Lawyers for the state contend the law was a constitutionally sound attempt by Arizona — the busiest illegal gateway into the country — to assist federal immigration agents and lessen border woes such as the heavy costs for educating, jailing and providing health care for illegal immigrants.

The opponents argued the law will lead to racial profiling, conflict with federal immigration law and distract local police from fighting more serious crimes. The U.S. Justice Department, civil rights groups and a Phoenix police officer had asked the judge for an injunction to prevent the law from being enforced.

“There is a substantial likelihood that officers will wrongfully arrest legal resident aliens under the new (law),” Bolton ruled. “By enforcing this statute, Arizona would impose a ‘distinct, unusual and extraordinary’ burden on legal resident aliens that only the federal government has the authority to impose.”

The law was signed by Republican Gov. Jan Brewer in April and immediately revived the national debate on immigration, making it a hot-button issue in the midterm elections.

The law has inspired rallies in Arizona and elsewhere by advocates on both sides of the immigration debate. Some opponents have advocated a tourism boycott of Arizona.

It also led an unknown number of illegal immigrants to leave Arizona for other American states or their home countries.

Federal authorities who are trying to overturn the law have argued that letting the Arizona law stand would create a patchwork of immigration laws nationwide that would needlessly complicate the foreign relations of the United States. Federal lawyers said the law is disrupting U.S. relations with Mexico and other countries and would burden the agency that responds to immigration-status inquiries.

Brewer’s lawyers said Arizona shouldn’t have to suffer from America’s broken immigration system when it has 15,000 police officers who can arrest illegal immigrants.

Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times