Press Conference Tuesday as Emilio Gutierrez-Soto faces deportation

Las Cruces friends of Emilio Gutierrez-Soto will hold a press conference Tuesday, Dec 12 at noon to highlight the alarming treatment of Political Asylum seeker and Mexican journalist Emilio Gutierrez-Soto and his son Oscar. The press conference will take place in the Unitarian Universalist Church parking lot at 2000 S. Solano Drive.

On Thursday, Dec. 7, Emilio and his son reported to the El Paso ICE office, where they were immediately processed for deportation and whisked away in handcuffs while their attorney Eduardo Beckett awaited a call from the Board of Immigration Appeals on their request for an emergency stay. ICE refused to wait for the decision, which was handed down  a short 10 minutes after the attorney returned to his office. The stay was granted.

“It is especially disturbing to hear that law enforcement officials in this country were prepared to carry out an order without even waiting to allow the appeals process [to] work,” said Barbara Cochran, president of the National Press Club’s Journalism Institute. “That smacks of the kind of police state that our Constitution is designed to avoid,” she added, in a NPC Dec. 7 press release.

Instead of releasing them to where they had been staying in Las Cruces for 8 years, ICE sent them to Sierra Blanca Detention Center where they are currently being “detained.” “I believe it’s retaliation,” attorney Beckett told the National Press Club.

Emilio fled Mexico in 2008 with his then-14-year-old son when his life was threatened by government authorities who were outraged by his reporting of corruption within the government. He has been living in Las Cruces with Oscar while his case winds its way through the immigration courts. Emilio is an award-winning journalist who was honored at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. less than two months ago with the John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award on behalf of all Mexican journalists who face life threatening situations for reporting that in the United States is considered well within the bounds of ethical journalism.

For more information contact:

Elisa Sanchez, “Friends of Emilio” and Local Activist



Eduardo Beckett

Beckett Law Firm, P.C.

1611 Beech St. #B, El Paso, TX 79925

915-772- 4204


Leave it on the table again?

By Tom H. Hastings

“You can’t fight City Hall.”

Well…turns out City Hall is a minor obstacle these days. Trump and his autocratic buds loom far larger. If you can’t fight City Hall you surely are foolish to try Trump.

Indeed, we routinely tell ourselves some version of the Reinhold Niebuhr axiomatic Serenity Prayer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.

We cannot possibly affect serenity these days without occupying a state of deep denial. This is an emergency on all fronts:

·       Trump groped many women, a dozen of them came forward to describe it, and yet he keeps his job while the other power players topple.

·       Trump praises foreign dictators—Putin, Erdogan, Duterte—and insults the leader of Europe’s strongest, prosperous, generous, peaceful democracy—Merkel.

·       Trump is doing everything possible to put industry in charge of dismantling environmental regulations.

·       Trump is appointing Supreme Court “Justices” who are shifting the decisions toward jingoism, xenophobia, and unconstitutional, anti-democratic nationalistic insularity.

·       Trump is targeting Muslims, Mexicans, and others with his racist tweets, presidential orders, and auto-cannibalistic appointments.

·       Trump and Kim Jong Un are doing the most demonic death dance ever, like little sociopaths who simply do not care about the annihilation of millions.

·       Trump’s encouragement to the most brutal police has created a new level of racial fear felt first and familiarly in the African American communities but now in a toxic spreading reciprocity.

·       Trump lies pretty much every time he discusses and denies the Russian roles in getting him elected and is now squirming to avoid the law as embodied in Mueller’s investigation.

And this is only the short list. We are losing public lands, gaining the ridicule and revulsion of citizens from around the world, and watching the shreds and loose threads of a social safety net for our most vulnerable blowing in this gale of bad policy.

What can we do?

Well, what did women do to finally get the vote? What did blacks do to finally end segregation? What did migrant workers do to form a union? What did Native Americans do to finally reaffirm long-abrogated treaty rights? What did British Gold Coast Africans do to end colonial rule? What did Filipinas and Filipinos do to depose Ferdinand Marcos? What did Serbs do to knock Slobodan Milosevic out of office? What did Tunisians do to overthrow dictator Ben Ali?

In all these cases and many more, people finally decided to take that latent power that is always there—nonviolent people power—organize it, recruit mass numbers to their movement, and use it strategically to earn victory. Yes, they worked at it. Yes, they sacrificed. And they won, with far far far fewer costs than if they would have either shrunk from engagement or engaged in violence.

Our power is in our hands if we take it off the table—and if we don’t, the greedy elite will take it all again. Our power, our choice.

Dr. Tom H. Hastings is a scholar of civil resistance and PeaceVoice Director. 


PVA Meeting Recap

Here is a link to the recap of the October PVA meeting:


Also, please check out our calendar of events – find something you’re interested in and import it directly into your calendar! Link to the calendar here.

Due to the holidays, PVA doesn’t meet in November or December. Mark your calendars, our next meeting will be on:
          Thursday, January 25, 7:00pm
Munson Senior Center




Otero Mesa—A Treasure at Risk

Pronghorn on Otero Mesa. Photo Joe Adair.

Help us Protect New Mexico’s Otero Mesa

Otero Mesa is one of the Southwest’s great natural treasures. Located in southern Otero County, on the Texas border, this wild and stunningly beautiful landscape is one of the largest desert grasslands remaining in North America, home to a wide array of wildlife such as pronghorn, prairie dogs, and aplomado falcons. And it is unprotected.

Next year, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will unveil its plan for Otero Mesa. If the BLM decides to open Otero Mesa up for oil and gas development, as it tried to do more than a decade ago, this spectacular landscape will be destroyed. The grassland will be carved up by roads, well pads and pipelines. The sounds of the wind and birds will be drowned out by the rumble of trucks and equipment. Wildlife will disappear. The ecosystem will be changed forever.

We’re not going to let that happen. With your help, we will make sure Otero Mesa is protected.

Watch this video to see for yourself what is at stake. Then click to make a contribution of $10, $25 or whatever you can afford to our Otero Mesa campaign. Thank you!

New Study Shows Extinction Crisis Worse Than Thought

A new report by Paul Ehrlich and others shows that the loss of biological diversity worldwide—the “sixth extinction” crisis–is happening faster than commonly believed. The authors found extremely high rates of population declines and range shrinkages for the thousands of vertebrate species they analyzed, a process they deemed “biological annihilation.” Read the article here. (P.S. This is why it is so important to save intact places like Otero Mesa!)

SWEC, Partners Organize Border Events in Albuquerque

SWEC and our coalition partners went on the road recently to raise awareness of the border wall and its devastating impacts on wildlife, and to mobilize opposition to border militarization. Executive Director Kevin Bixby was part of a panel that included representatives from NM CAFe, the ACLU, and a Dreamer. You can watch the presentation on Facebook here. SWEC also teamed up with our partners to deliver nearly 4000 petition signatures to U.S. Senators Udall and Heinrich, urging them to be champions for our border communities and wildlife by rejecting a budget with funding for more “boots, beds, wall.” Learn more here.

Not a member? Please join us! We speak for wildlife and wild places. We work to protect and restore vital habitats, like Otero Mesa, and endangered species, like the Mexican Gray Wolf. We’ve had more than 20 years of success and we cannot do it without our members. So please join us today by making a secure online donation! Call 575-522-5552 or contact info@wildmesquite.org for more info.


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