AMERICAN CONFERENCE AGAINST AMNESTY (FOR CRIMES OF GENOCIDE) Convening a Conference Against Amnesty (Impunidad) This message is from

Beatriz Aurora, an extraordinary artist who currently lives in Mexico (you may well have seen reproductions of her work in support of the Zapatistas), and a victim of the Pinochet Regime. She is working to organize a conference to be held in Mexico City on the 19,20,21 and 22 of July, 2008. For more than five decades Latin America has suffered an authentic GENOCIDE , a product of military coups, military dictatorships, dirty wars, and wars of low intensity under the guise of so-called National Security, led by the United States. Hundreds of thousands of illegal violations of freedom, torture, disappeared citizens, and deaths document this genocide, from Mexico to Chile. In reality, the common denominator in our countries is the amnesty guaranteed by the system . The criminals of acts against humanity are granted impunity through procedures and laws designed for that purpose, through obstruction of access to information, and through innumerable other devices and resources. This translates into the open protection of genocide and the exculpation of those responsible. It effectively guarantees the current and future implementation of genocide. The tireless fight that victims, their families, and human rights organizations carry on for justice for the disappeared and murdered, and in bringing the truth to light, has not ceased one minute for these fifty years. However, thousands of trials now lie dormant in tribunals and supreme courts in each county, while the number of incarcerated criminals can be counted with the fingers of one hand. Minor efforts by some governments have proved insignificant. Commissions of the truth and programs of reparations have not changed anything. To the contrary, they have provided for masking real efforts to achieve justice. Thousands of murderers and torturers and their superiors have been reincorporated into society , retaining their privileges and resources while hiding their past. Through their positions of power they maintain and re-establish their former practices of human rights abuses. This is now fortified under the Doctrine of the War Against Terror, newly imposed by the United States since September 11th, 2001. It is a wider version of the doctrine responsible for genocide in our continent in 1970's. Recently, " anti-terrorist" laws have been passed in Mexico and other countries. These laws can be utilized to legally justify torture, illegal detention without limits, and "disappearance" of any who question or oppose those in power. The only major accomplishments against genocide on the continent, provoked by the governments in power, have been achieved by the hundreds of victims, their families,

human rights organizations, women's groups, sons and daughters of the disappeared, good-will lawyers, and investigators and individuals who struggle to achieve justice. Conscious of this, we victims, families, and organizations consider it fundamental to propose the organization for the FIRST CONTINENTAL CONFERENCE AGAINST AMNESTY, to be held in Mexico City on the 19,20,21 and 22 of July, 2008.

WE EXPECT THE CONFERENCE TO CONTRIBUTE THE FOLLOWING: 1. - Interchange experiences of struggle to bring the truth to light. To find justice, by identifying, denouncing and condemning those guilty of illegal detentions, tortures, murder and disappearances of people in our countries, and to devise, based on the needs of victims, a definite clear and strong plan of action against amnesty for those guilty of these crimes. 2. - Simultaneously, to facilitate a conference of sons and daughters of the victims, from Canada to Chile. 3. - To interchange information and to create a continental mechanism of documentation and archives on international crimes and genocide in particular, Included in those archives would be information obtained from testimonials of archives and witnesses from different regions. To create an organization that would collect and diffuse this information so it is available to all. To demand that all governments open the archives of their armed forces, the government and tribunals. We would have as a model the archives of the Condor Operation discovered by Martin Almada in Paraguay. Likewise, to disclose the archives of the "DINA" in Chile, the archives of the Guatemalan Police, and those of responsibility Clavel recently freed in Argentina. 4. - To investigate the role of the antiterrorist laws and doctrines of national security in the massive violations of human rights, and to give those who struggle for universal justice a role within this reality. To investigate the responsibility and accountability of different governments, and the consequences of their actions, beginning with the US government. 5. -To facilitate a conference of lawyers and judges who are committed to truth and justice. Due to the fact that there are already many documented cases in the US courts against central american torturers and assassins (where they have sought refuge), that have reached sentences and fines of millions of dollars in compensation to victims of torture, to study the role human rights organizations can play within the USA to advance those efforts.

6. -To study the role of the press and society as a whole as accomplices in some cases and denouncers in others, of amnesty cases, as well as to facilitate the work if investigators and journalists committed to the clarifying of the truth. 7. - To consolidate the need for Human Rights Organizations to assume the sole and permanent role of protectors and maintainers of human rights in society, at the same time assuring the financial support needed to achieve those goals This, independently from the roles and responsibilities of government. 8. - To establish a clear link between crimes of the past and present, that are a product of the amnesty given to its perpetrators. 9. - To create a continental coordinated effort against amnesty, composed of organizations and individuals so that those crimes against humanity never happen again. TO ACHIEVE THIS CONFERENCE WE PROPOSE: 1. - The writing of a detailed document explaining the need for such a conference. 2. - To collect signatures from victims , organizations, and individuals to support this document. 3. - To raise money to cover expenses of those who could otherwise no be able to attend, as well as money to rent adequate space for instance a hotel with conference room in Mexico City. 4. - The program will consist of ideas and input given by its participants. The day would end around 17:00, thus giving enough time to attend other public events such as debates, lectures, etc, starting around 19:00 in different sites throughout the city, (UNAM, Tlatelolco, etc) thus giving the public the opportunity to participate. 5. - To create as soon as possible a comittee that would promote the conference, by encouraging the formation of groups in each country that would organize and promote this noble and necessary task. If possible, to have regional and national conferences before the final continental conference. 6. -To create a website where each country could submit information from its participants as well as information on the actions taken to strengthen and make possible this conference. 7. - To organize a large cultural event for the closing ,inviting protest singers like Daniel Viglietti, Silvio Rodriguez, Pablo Milanes, Oscar Chavez , Mercedes Sosa, Quilapayun, Paco Ibanez, Mejia Godoy, and many more authors and groups that have supported the victims and brought hope with music and word.

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We hope that with this first convocation sent to groups of people and organizations we can send this project in its way. For this, we need your opinion, your input so we can contact all people and organizations in the different countries of the American Continent who deserve and need to participate.

no pardon no forgetting Un Afectuoso Abrazo, Beatriz Aurora Castedo Victim of the Pinochet Regime