Sen. Leahy Reaffirms Commitment to Human Rights in Mexico

Yesterday Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) issued the following statement regarding his stance on Mexico and human rights. According to #USTired2 organizers, Leahy’s office released this statement after individuals associated with the December 3 actions visited his office.

Here is what Leahy’s Twitter profile shared yesterday afternoon:

This is Leahy’s statement:

There are two laws —both of which I wrote and defend each year against attempts by some in Congress and the Pentagon to weaken them— which tie a portion of our aid to foreign governments, and to Mexico specifically, on protection of human rights and punishment of those who violate human rights. The Mexican Army and police have a long history of violating human rights with impunity, and no one in Congress has worked harder than I have to keep our aid to Mexico from going to those who commit such crimes. I will continue to do that.

The statement referred to the Leahy Law, which the Vermont senator authored in 1997. Here is what Amnesty International has to say about that law:

What is the Leahy Law? 
The Leahy Law (also known as the Leahy Amendment) prohibits most types of U.S. foreign aid and Defense Department training programs from going to foreign security, military and police units credibly alleged to have committed human rights violations. If the foreign government brings the responsible members of the unit to justice, U.S. foreign aid can be resumed. The Leahy Law is named after Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), a Congressional human rights champion and the chief sponsor of the law.

Fact: The Leahy Law is law, not a policy guideline. It originated in 1996 from efforts to control U.S. military aid to Colombia during the period in time when Plan Colombia was materializing and Amnesty International and many other organizations had been documenting egregious violations committed by the Colombian military and police. It is different from other human rights legislation because it does not require a decision to cut off aid to an entire country—which the U.S. government is often reluctant to do – rather it tackles the challenge by prohibiting aid solely from the offending units.

Fiction:The Leahy Law solves the human rights problems of foreign military and police units. Interestingly, the Leahy Law places the burden on both the U.S. government and human rights organizations to document and compile information regarding alleged abuses—but the law and associated vetting process is not perfect, nor will it alone solve the human rights problems of foreign security units.

#USTired2 organizers also told us tonight that 5,000 petition signatures were delivered yesterday to Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The petition, developed in partnership with and SOA Watch, is calling for Menendez to hold a hearing to review U.S. funding to Mexico.

This week the State Department offered little details on whether it will pressure Mexico about the Ayotzinapa crisis, which has led to massive mobilizations in Mexico.

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rikimaru says:

The Talmud must not be regarded as an ordinary work, composed of twelve volumes; it posies absolutely no similarity to any other literary production, but forms, without any figure of speech, a world of its own, which must be judged by its peculiar laws.
The Talmud contains much that is frivolous of which it treats with great gravity and seriousness; it further reflects the various superstitious practices and views of its Persian (Babylonian) birthplace which presume the efficacy of demonical medicines, or magic, incantations, miraculous cures, and interpretations of dreams. It also contains isolated instances of uncharitable “ judgments and decrees against the members of other nations and religions, and finally it favors an incorrect exposition of the scriptures, accepting, as it does, tasteless misrepresentations.

The Babylonian” Talmud is especially distinguished from the Jerusalem or Palestine Talmud by the flights of thought, the penetration of mind, the flashes of genius, which rise and vanish again. It was for this reason that the Babylonian rather than the Jerusalem Talmud became the fundamental possession of the Jewish Race, its life breath, its very soul, nature and mankind, powers and events, were for the Jewish nation insignificant, non- essential, a mere phantom; the only true reality was the Talmud.” (Professor H. Graetz, History of the Jews).
And finally it came Spain’s turn. Persecution had occurred there on “ and off for over a century, and, after 1391, became almost incessant. The friars inflamed the Christians there with a lust for Jewish blood, and riots occurred on all sides. For the Jews it was simply a choice between baptism and death, and many of them submitted to baptism.
But almost always conversion on thee terms was only outward and false. Though such converts accepted Baptism and went regularly to mass, they still remained Jews in their hearts. They were called Marrano, ‘ Accursed Ones,’ and there were perhaps a hundred thousand of them. Often they possessed enormous wealth. Their daughters married into the noblest families, even into the blood royal, and their sons sometimes entered the Church and rose to the highest offices. It is said that even one of the popes was of this Marrano stock.