The following statement reflects the historical continuity that links the Chicano and Puerto Rican peace movements of the Viet Nam war era with contemporary Latino opposition to the invasion and occupation of Iraq [Jorge Mariscal].
IN SOLIDARITY WITH OUR LATINO BROTHERS AND SISTERS
As draft resisters and conscientious objectors who a generation ago refused to participate in the illegal U.S. war in Southeast Asia and as veterans and activists who fought in that war or fought to stop it, we send greetings of solidarity to Camilo Mejia, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, and all other Latino and Latina veterans and active duty personnel who understand that the U.S. presence in Iraq is a crime against humanity. By speaking out against the immorality of the present conflict, they have shown great courage and remind us that a commitment to the truth and to their own humanity is more important than blind obedience.
Last week Navy Petty Office Third Class Pablo Paredes (pictured) was found guilty of refusing to board his ship bound to carry three thousand Marines to the combat zone. Like former Army sergeant Mejia who spent nine months in prison for refusing to return to Iraq, Paredes faced up to a year of incarceration. Although Paredes received a much lighter sentence without confinement, we believe he should immediately be granted conscientious objector status and an honorable discharge.
We express our support for all Latina and Latino active duty personnel who are struggling to survive their tour of duty and return to their families. History has taught us that these tribulations shall pass, and though it may take decades the true criminals that planned the invasion and occupation of Iraq will be judged harshly by future generations.
The U.S. war in Iraq shares with the U.S. war in Viet Nam a foundation of lies and deceit perpetrated by politicians in Washington, D.C. Like the war in Southeast Asia, the Iraq conflict has taken its greatest toll on working class families whose sons and daughters are seeing their noble intentions exploited and their dreams destroyed by an unjust war. Like Viet Nam, Iraq is sacrificing thousands of its innocent citizens to senseless and unchecked violence.
And so we stand with Camilo Mejia, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, and other brave young men and women to declare as we did over thirty years ago, "Ya basta, we've had enough. ?No a la guerra! Y ?que viva la raza humana!"
Carl Wood (conscientious objector, 1966)
Phillip H. Ram (conscientious objector status denied/refused induction, 1967)
Ernesto Vigil (refused induction, 1968)
Sijisfredo Avil?s (refused induction, 1968)
Jes?s Trevi?o (conscientious objector, 1968)
Rosal?o Mu?oz (refused induction September 16,1969)
Carlos Mu?oz, Jr., Ph.D.
Gilberto S?nchez "Magu" Luj?n
Vincent C. de Baca, Ph.D. (USMC, 1972-74)
Latina and Latino peace activists during the Viet Nam war period:
Elizabeth Betita Martinez
Fr. Juan Romero
Ana Celia Zentella, Ph.D.
Hilda Jenson (Reyes)
Dorinda Guadalupe Moreno
Rafael Jes?s Gonz?lez
Mar?a Blanco, Esq.
Rudy Tovar (WWII veteran, Phillipine Islands)
Rosaura S?nchez, Ph.D.
Antonio H. Rodriguez
Beatrice Pita, Ph.D.
Partial list of signatures. Statement written on May 16, 2005 by Jorge Mariscal (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Rosal?o Mu?oz (email@example.com)
Read more about Camilo Mej?a, Aidan Delgado, and Pablo Paredes:
Rosalio Munoz & Jorge Mariscal:
Rosalio Munoz of Lincoln Heights refused induction Sept 16 1969 and was chairman of the Aug 29 1970 National Chicano Moratorium against the Vietnam War.
Jorge Mariscal is an Army Veteran of the Vietnam War and edited the anthology Aztlan and Vietnam.