Category Archives: Central and South America

Pastors for Peace Caravan to visit Columbia, SC

Pastors for Peace will visit Columbia on July 13th, 2010, 5:00 pm at Benedict College’s Office of International Programs
2318 Haskell Avenue

Pastors for Peace will visit Columbia on their way to Cuba to deliver medical and other material aid. Pastors for Peace is a project of the award -winning Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO).

The primary speaker will be Rev. Luis Barrios,Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology and ethnic studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice-City University of New York. Since 1988, Dr. Barrios is a weekly columnist of El Diario La Prensa in New York City, one of the oldest Spanish newspapers in the United States.  Rev. Barrios is the associate priest at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in West Harlem and the spiritual advisor for the Iglesia San Romero de Las Americas-UCC in the Washington Heights community. He is an active member of the IFCO-Pastor for Peace Board of Directors and was heavily involved in the 2005 campaign to free the computers seized at the border. He has since participated as a speaker in several caravans to Cuba.

He is a passionate exponent of the use of non-violent civil disobedience to challenge unjust laws and policies. In 2009 he spent several months in jail for his participation in a protest about training in torture methods at the US military’s “School of the Americas” in Fort Benning, Georgia


A Very Brief History

In 1988, a regularly scheduled passenger ferryboat in Nicaragua was brutally attacked by contra forces recruited and armed by the US government. An IFCO study delegation was on that ferry, along with 200 Nicaraguan civilians. Two were killed and 29 were wounded in the attack – including IFCO Executive Director Rev. Lucius Walker. In response to that brutal act of terrorism, IFCO formed a new project – Pastors for Peace. The aims of the project are twofold: to deliver material aid to support the victims of so-called “low intensity” war in Latin America and to initiate education and advocacy projects to campaign for a more just and moral US foreign policy in our hemisphere.

An Overview 

Pastors for Peace offers concerned US citizens an opportunity to demonstrate and enact an alternative foreign policy based in justice and mutual respect. More than 50 Pastors for Peace Caravans have traveled to Mexico, Central America and Cuba – delivering life-giving aid, and organizing at home for a more just policy toward our neighbors in the hemisphere.

Each caravan is an endeavor of love rooted in social justice. It’s a huge project linking people, vehicles and humanitarian aid. Caravans travel on different routes throughout the US and Canada from north to south, ending up together at the Texas border with Mexico, and then moving ahead to their destination country.

Our largest caravan – to Cuba – has 14 separate routes. Often our vehicles are brightly painted school buses, but we also donate trucks, ambulances, mobile libraries, and cars.

As we travel through the US and Canada over a 1-2 week period, we make many pre-arranged stops in cities and communities. There, we talk in public outreach events about what is happening in the country we are going to and the purpose of our trip.

We also participate in press conferences and media interviews. We usually stay in the homes of local volunteers from organizations that arranged the public event – usually churches, solidarity committees or peace and justice centers. At many stops we pick up new caravanistas or aid that has already been collected and packed by the host organization.

The humanitarian aid we take is principally medical and educational supplies and equipment, but also computers, bicycles, tools, and sports and cultural equipment. Some of the vehicles we use to transport the aid are themselves donated in the destination country.

When we reach the US border we are joined by more caravanistas and we spend three days at Orientation. This is a time for packing and manifesting the aid, some preparatory learning about the country we are going to, and discussion about how to handle any obstacles that US or Mexican Customs may put in our way.

Once we successfully cross the border, we travel on to our destination country where we spend an intense 8-10 days. We visit social and community projects and meet with the local people, learning about their lives, struggles and achievements, and also about the impact of US government policy on their lives. The aid is distributed by our local religious and community partners according to their judgment of need.

We then return together to Texas. From there caravanistas make their different ways home – inspired to report back to their friends, colleagues, congregations and communities about what they have witnessed – and inspired to continue to work in solidarity with the peoples of that country. *  (803) 875-0392  (803) 875-0392 *
PO Box 7933
Columbia, SC 29202
United States

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Filed under Actions, Actions | Events, American Progressive Politics, Central and South America, Cuba, Human Rights, Latin America and The Caribbean, Obama Administration, Protest, Special Events, The Latin Connection, white supremacy, Work of Comrades


FRI., AUG. 28 4-7pm
Rally assembles at: Times Square
(42nd St. & 7th Avenue) – New York, NY
March to & ending rally at: 48th St & 1st Avenue (Honduran Embassy)

We demand:
– Stop the killings & repression of the Honduran people
– No to human rights violations in Honduras
– Support the non-violent resistance of the Honduran People and the National Front for Resistance Against the Coup d’état
– Immediate return of Constitutional law and restore Constitutional President José Manuel Zelaya Rosales
– No to an electoral process as product of the de facto regime
– No to the militarization of Honduras, or U.S. military bases in Honduras

Events in the following cities:
Boston MA, Chicago IL, Cleveland OH, Detroit MI, Houston TX, Hudson County NJ, Los Angeles CA, Raleigh NC, Atlanta GA

Contacts for more information: 917.841.3643, 212.633.6646

Initiating and Endorsing Organizations: National IAC, May 1st, NALACC/NY (Acción Comunitaria La Aurora, Movimiento de Inmigrantes Guatemaltecos (MIGUA), Comite Honduras Resistencia USA, CENTRO HISPANO “Cuzcatlán”,  Desfile Hondureño/ Centroamericano, Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights, Red por la Paz y el Desarrollo de Guatemala, Salvadoran American National Network (SANN), Casa Mary Johana, Raices de Mis Ancestros), Acción comunitaria Aurora, New York Immigration Coalition, Red de Organizaciones Afro-Centroamericanas-USA, Comité en Unión de Salvadoreños -CEUS-, Comité Guatemalteco Tecun Umán, Latino Commission on AIDS, La Peña del Bronx, Trabajadoras por la Paz, Alberto Lovera Bolivarian Circle, Troops Out Now Coalition, Bail Out the People Movement, Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional – FMLN, Red de Comunidades Salvadoreñas en el Exterior, Empresarios por el Cambio, Centro de Derechos Laborales, Ramsey Clark, Manhattan Local Green Party, NYC; Rev. Luis Barrios; IFCO/Pastors for Peace, Iglesia San Romero de las Americas-UCC, Bayan USA; Artists & Activists United for Peace, Peruvians in Action; Human Rights Project of the Urban Justice Center; Millions 4 Mumia; International League for Peoples Struggle; Comité Dominicano de Solidaridad con los Pueblos, Take Bake Our Union, Picture the Homeless,Harlem Tenants Council,  Harlem Anti-War Coalition, Network of Afro-Central American Organization, Al Awda NY, Palestine Right to Return Coalition Jersey City Peace Movement, NJ Action 21, Colectivo Rebel-Diaz, Taller Experimental de Arte, Comité HondurasUSAresisitencia,  Comite Dominicano, de Solidaridad con los Pueblos.

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Filed under Actions, Actions | Events, Central and South America, Obama Administration, Peace, The Obama Administration