Salvadorans take over their consulate

Yesterday a group of five women took over the Salvadoran consulate in New York to protest labor law violations in their country and to protest CAFTA (the Central America Free Trade Agreement).

The activists, with the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), arrived at the consulate, at 46 Park Avenue (between 36th and 37th Streets) at noon.

Protestor Lisa Gomez told Hoy that she was asking Consul Lorena Lapool to petition the El Salvadoran government by fax. “We want them to annul the privatization of the health sector, which is why thousands of workers from that area are on strike.”

Their strategy was to remain in the building until the government accepted their demands, but they were ejected by the police, and charged with trespassing.

“They asked us to leave. Then they called the authorities, who kept us in custody and then released us with a March court date,” said Gomez.

Their petition asked for “an end to the repression of striking workers.” Another group took over the consulate in San Francisco, and, Central American activists held a simultaneous protest in Boston, said Manuel Aguilar of CISPES.

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