On Feb. 7 Henry Ruben and other US activists were forcefully removed from a public hearing held by the US House Subcommittee on Western Hemispheric Affairs in Washington, DC on “Plan Mexico,” a secretive $1.5 billion package of military aid to Mexico, ostensibly to fight narco trafficking. The activists had demanded that the hearing include testimony from groups that oppose the plan, including the United Steelworkers (USW) and the San Francisco-based nonprofit Global Exchange; the people called to testify were supporters of the plan, like Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Thomas Shannon.
The protest was organized by Friends of Brad Will, a group of relatives, friends and colleagues of an independent US journalist who was killed while covering a protest in Oaxaca on Oct. 27, 2006. Oaxaca state prosecutors ruled that he was killed by leftist protesters, despite witness reports and videotapes from Will’s own camera implicating two minor government officials. The group is demanding an end to impunity in Mexico. (Friends of Brad Will press releases, Feb. 7)
From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Feb. 10