Let’s take our voices to Congress!

It is time that Washington listens to our voices and the clamoring cries of our parents forcibly disappeared by the military in the tragic civil war of El Salvador. I’m writing to ask your support of our most important endeavor yet – to bring the voices of children of the disappeared to members of Congress and the State Department this April in Washington DC.

The grip of impunity in El Salvador can be cracked. It is happening in Guatemala. But U.S. action is critical. We must have members of Congress and officers in the State Department take leadership in bringing resolution to the devastating wound left by 10,000 forced disappearances they helped create with military aid to the Salvadoran war. They must pressure the Salvadoran government, military and judicial system to open files and all information about what happened to our parents and the whereabouts of their remains.

Our unflagging voices along with those of the victims in El Salvador are eroding that wall of impunity with every action we take. And once again we ask for your support. It is your support of Our Parents’ Bones campaign of the Mauricio Aquino Foundation that sustains the work to move closer to justice and reconciliation.

A delegation of children of Disappeared mothers and fathers will join me on April 14 for a full day of events on Capitol Hill. Salvadoran Human Rights Ombudsman David Morales, who has been under alarming threats by the right wing leaders in El Salvador for his outspoken voice for the victims of war and against the prevalent impunity in the judicial system, will join us for this day of action.

Our goal is to mobilize key members of Congress and the State Department, and also to send a message to the Salvadoran government that we in the US will not desist until we know the truth about our disappeared loved ones. We are working with Congressman Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, who chairs the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.  We are teaming up with several leading human rights organizations and we will bring legal experts from the US and El Salvador to press our case.

We are asking you to generously donate to our travel fund for the children of the Disappeared and sponsor one participant or two. Some of our members need partial or full financial support as they travel to DC from Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and El Salvador. Help us reach our goal of $5,000 for this purpose by giving a tax-deductible donation of $50, $200, or $600 or any amount to enable their attendance.  You can also donate with a check made out to the Mauricio Aquino Foundation and mailed to 2425 College Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94704.

With a grateful heart,

Alexandra Aquino-Fike