2010


A Lost Connection

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On February 26, 2007, the New York Philharmonic performed in Pyongyang, North Korea. This was the first time a U.S. cultural organization had stepped foot on North Korean soil; and not only were the musicians  welcomed into the insulated country, but they were given a five minute round of applause during their final bows.

The Philharmonic’s performance, dubbed “Symphonic Diplomacy” by the New York Times,  didn’t create instant harmony (even though there is harmony in dissonance, so I’m told by my friend, Emily) between Washington and Pyongyang. But the performance did make an impact.

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Obama's New Travel Regulations are Official

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On Friday, January 25th the Obama Administration’s new travel regulations were published in the Federal Registry, effective immediately and apparently with no comment period. Guidelines are still being drafted by the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and that is where the details of the new regulations will become clear. OFAC says that the guidelines will be released “soon.”

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LAWG Saddened by Violence against Rep. Giffords and the Community in Tucson

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We are horrified and deeply saddened by the violent shooting attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, her staff, and community members this past weekend in Tucson, Arizona. The Latin America Working Group’s thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of those who were tragically killed and gravely injured.

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111th Congress and Travel

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For many months—almost two years actually—we’ve focused on congressional action that would definitively end the ban on travel to Cuba; we felt that we had a real opportunity in the 111th Congress to radically alter the stale debate that had developed in Washington DC during the Bush Administration. We succeeded in changing the debate, but so far the policy has not changed. 

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Chihuahua Mother Killed While Demanding Justice for her Murdered Daughter

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The LAWGEF joins with groups across Mexico and around the world in expressing our deep sadness and denouncing the violence that led to the murder of Marisela Escobedo Ortiz, a woman who fought tirelessly to bring justice for the murder of her daughter, Rubi Frayre, as well as press authorities to end the impunity for the hundreds of feminicides that have occurred in the state of Chihuahua. On December 16th, Marisela Escobedo was gunned down at close-range in front of the governor’s palace in Chihuahua City while holding a peaceful vigil demanding justice in her daughter’s murder case. 

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DREAM Act Vote SATURDAY Morning in Senate

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Monday, December 20 – SPECIAL UPDATE: On Saturday morning, the Senate failed to gather the 60 votes needed to break a Republican-led filibuster and move the DREAM Act forward for a final vote. Despite this disappointing outcome, we are encouraged that a majority of Senators supported the DREAM Act on Saturday by a vote of 55-41, including several unexpected “yes” votes from Democrats who voted against the bill just two years ago. Even more inspiring was the dedication and courage of the DREAMers—mostly young undocumented students—who led a nonviolent moment across the country, and took great risks to support this legislation. The LAWG remains committed to standing alongside these young people in their struggle for sensible and humane immigration reform that will allow them to pursue their dreams.  Thanks to everyone who joined us in our commitment and made a call, sent a fax, or wrote an e-mail in support of the DREAM Act this year.


This is it.  Your Senators will be voting tomorrow morning on the DREAM Act. We need your help to make sure we get the 60 Senate votes to make the DREAM Act a reality.

Please call your Senators now and urge them to support the DREAM Act (S.3992)!

Find your Senator’s contact information here, or click here to be directly connected.

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Let’s Hear it for Optimism, Peace in Colombia

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In this winter moment when we begin to think of “peace and good will to all,” we thought you might like to see this report by our colleague Virginia Bouvier of the US Institute for Peace. Her insights offer a bit of cautious hope for the prospects for peacemaking in Colombia.

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A Pan-American Nightmare: Rising Violence against Migrants

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This past August, the horrific massacre of 72 Central and South American migrants in northern Mexico brought to the world’s attention the daily violence and exploitation suffered by migrants on their way to the United States.  There is no question: migrants in their journey to jobs and loved ones in el norte confront unimaginable dangers and abuses, as chronicled in the recently released documentary The Invisibles.

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Push Congress to Pass the Dream Act

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As we join with our families to celebrate Thanksgiving, we also remember the many thousands of immigrant families who continue to suffer and struggle in the absence of needed immigration reform. The passage of the DREAM Act can make a huge difference in the lives of undocumented youth who were brought to the U.S. by their parents and now, after working and studying hard to graduate from our neighborhoods’ high schools, confront obstacles to their future because of their legal status. By removing such barriers, the DREAM Act will allow immigrant students to pursue their dreams.

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Latin America Working Group
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Washington DC 20036
Phone: (202) 546-7010
Email: lawg@lawg.org

© 2009 Latin America Working Group