News Bites

• Law’s Long Arm. Gonzalo Guevara Cerritos, a U.S.-trained ex-Salvadoran army officer who was convicted for the 1989 murders in San Salvador of six Jesuit priests and two women, was arrested in October in Los Angeles as part of a coordinated effort by federal agencies to catch and deport human rights violators.

• Right to Life. Thousands of faith-based human rights activists are petitioning Amnesty International, the well-known human rights advocacy organization, to maintain its official “neutral” stance on abortion. In June, AI asked members to consider a shift in policy that would name access to abortion a “human right” in specific cases.

• Women First. The United Nations and India have deployed the first all-female peacekeeping force—consisting of 125 Indian policewomen—in Liberia. “Women police are seen to be much less threatening, although they can be just as tough as men,” unit commandant Seema Dhundia told the International Herald Tribune. “But in a conflict situation, they are more approachable and it makes women and children feel safer.”

• Colombian Lysistrata. The wives and girlfriends of Colombian gang members tested an ancient nonviolence tactic last fall when they called for “sex strikes” aimed at ending deadly gang feuds. The “cross-legged strike” succeeded in dramatically reducing gang-related violence in the Pereira region, said to be one of the most violent cities in Colombia.

• Money Gap. Christians in Hong Kong are calling for worker justice in that key Pacific Rim financial capital, arguing that the gap between riches and poverty is morally unacceptable, according to Ekklesia news service.

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