Chiapas resolution causes Congressional stir
from the Mexico Solidarity Network, Aug 5, 1998
The Leahy Sense of the Congress Resolution on Chiapas has not, as yet, been introduced in the Senate for a vote. Nevertheless, there has been a great deal of activity around the resolution. In late July, the Mexican government got wind of the pending resolution and mounted a furious lobbying and media campaign in Washington and Mexico. The resolution is of great concern to the Zedillo administration because it recognizes Mexico as a serious violator of basic human rights. It would establish the factual basis for introduction of future legislation to limit or cut off military aid, or to invoke trade sanctions.
The Leahy Resolution is the most important piece of legislation on Mexico since the passage of NAFTA in 1993, and it is the first piece of legislation that deals specifically with Chiapas. The resolution has gotten this far because of constituent pressure. To date, there are 14 co-sponsors in the Senate, not a sufficient number for the resolution to have a serious chance of passing. It will likely be introduced some time in September when Congress comes back into session. A parallel resolution will be introduced in the House on a similar time frame.
HR 611 and S 980 to Close the School of the AmericasHouse Resolution 611 and Senate bill 980 are identical bills that would close the School of the Americas. The largest contingent of students at the SOA over the past few years has been from Mexico, and many of the military leaders in Chiapas are graduates of the school. The strategy of civilian-targeted warfare (also known as low intensity warfare) is taught at the school.
The House bill currently has 148 co-sponsors, and it needs 32 more co-sponsors to force a vote. Without these additional co-sponsors, the bill may never come to the Hose floor for a vote. The Senate bill has 15 co-sponsors.
ActionsThe Mexico Solidarity Network is calling for an intensive Congressional education campaign to promote co-sponsorship of the Leahy Resolution, both in the Senate and the House, and passage of HR 611 and S 980:
For more information, contact:
Mexico Solidarity Network
4834 N Springfield
Chicago IL 60625
773-583-7728 or e-mail
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