News Release

* Trump’s Mexico “Distraction” * Colombia: “Security Crisis”

MANUEL PÉREZ-ROCHA, manuel at ips-dc.org, @ManuelPerezIPS
Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research has called Trump’s recent moves on Mexico a “distraction.” The New York Times reports that Mexico had agreed to steps that are now cited as having averted a trade war months ago. Currently on his way to Mexico, and available for a limited number of interviews, Pérez-Rocha is associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. His past articles include “NAFTA Pushes Many Mexicans to Migrate.” See his recent interview on The Real News in which he said: “We need trade agreements, but we need trade agreements that work for the people, and not only large transnational corporations.”

GIMENA SANCHEZ, gsanchez at wola.org, @gimena_wola
Director for the Andes at the The Washington Office on Latin America, Sanchez recently wrote the piece: “Indigenous and Social Leaders Remain at Risk in Colombia” which begins: “Since WOLA’s last update on April 29, at least a dozen more Colombian activists or members of vulnerable Afro-Colombian, indigenous and rural communities were murdered. In total, 60 cases of murdered social leaders or members of vulnerable ethnic communities were reported to WOLA so far this year.

“As the [Ivan] Duque administration refuses to implement the peace accord in its entirety, social leaders at the forefront of the accord are facing a security crisis. The international community, 79 Members of Congress, and international publications, like the New York Times and Washington Post, have called out Duque’s government for reneging on its commitment to peace. WOLA expresses its deep appreciation to the 79 Members of the U.S. Congress who are encouraging Secretary of State Pompeo to advance peace and human rights protections in Colombia. We ask that policymakers, civil society, the international community and others continue to act to improve human rights and support peace in Colombia.”Below is a list of the incidents that have occurred since our April update: [See piece.]”