Webinars, April 4-5, 2020

Stop US Arms to Mexico, School of Americas Watch, Alliance for Global Justice, Veterans for Peace, and others facilitated a weekend of educational and skills-building 1-hour webinars with information and tools to challenge border imperialism, the root causes of migration, and the weapons trade.

Webinar 1: Voices from Abya Yala (the Americas): Realities and Resistance
In Spanish (English subtitles to come)
Lucia Ixchiu, Somos Abya Yala – Somos una América, Guatemala
Jorge Andrés Forero-González, Somos Abya Yala – Somos una América, Colombia. Slide presentation here.
Abilio Peña, Servicio Internacional Cristiano de Solidaridad con los Pueblos de América Latina «Óscar Romero» (SICSAL)
In the Kuna people’s language, Abya Yala means “mature land,” “living land,” or “blossoming land” and refers to America. In the first panel, organizers from Guatemala and Colombia reflect on the impacts of neoliberalism, extractivism, state violence, forced migration, and the pandemic. Panelists also discussed how communities and social movements are resisting and organizing to safeguard their rights, dignity, and territories in this context.

Webinar 2: Countering Anti-Migrant Narratives and Media Work
Panel held in English with Spanish interpretation.
Maha Hilal, Justice for Muslims Collective.
Laura Carlsen, Americas Program
Panelists discussed how narratives are used to both highlight and conceal the nuances of forced migration and US interventionism. We also discussed the role of the media in creating narratives that criminalize and dehumanize communities of color and the emergence of new narratives developed by migrants and asylum seekers.

Webinar 3: Impact of COVID-19 Crisis on Migrants at US-Mexico Border
Panel held in English with Spanish interpretation.
Nicole Bowles, Community organizer in Texas Borderlands. Slide presentation here.
Casa Carmelita, Asylum Seeker and Migrant Community Support Center
The coronavirus has grabbed headlines in local and international media. However, we have heard little about the disproportionate impact of this pandemic on the most vulnerable communities. In this webinar, we discussed the situation facing asylum seekers on the US-Mexico border and how local communities are responding to these challenges.

Webinar 4: Researching U.S. Militarization of  Borderlands and Mesoamérica
In English (Spanish subtitles to come)
Christina Arabia, Security Assistance Monitor. Slide presentation here.
John Lindsay-Poland, Stop US Arms to Mexico Project of Global Exchange. 
How do we access information on the US gun trade, Mexican military forces, and how they impact human rights violations? How can we translate hard data on militarism for social media use and to change policy? In this webinar, veteran researchers guide us through how to access information on US-sourced weapons in Mexico and Central America.

Webinar 5: Policy advocacy on U.S. militarism and guns in Mexico and Central America
Dana Frank, Professor of History emerita at the University of California at Santa Cruz
Eugenio Weigend, Center for American Progress. Slide presentation here.
This webinar draws on the extensive experience of two effective policy advocates regarding gun policy and US policy in Honduras to respond to the following questions: What  policies impact violence and arms trafficking in Mexico and Central America? Are the gun industry and militarists using the current crisis to promote harmful policies? How can we engage legislators in Washington to change those policies?