Planting the Seeds of Violence: How U.S. Involvement in El Salvador Led to Today’s Migration Crisis
Monday, October 12th, 2020 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Co-sponsored by the Frederick K. Cox International Law Center, the CWRU Social Justice Institute, and International Partners in Mission
event is free
1.5 hours of online CLE credit
Webcast Archive Content
Join us for a discussion of how U.S. involvement in El Salvador in the 1980s planted the seeds for today’s crisis of migration from Central America. The panelists will outline how the United States assisted the Salvadoran government in committing war crimes by providing weapons and training soldiers, which ultimately led to the murders of over 70,000 innocent civilians. The Salvadoran Civil War left the country deeply divided and ridden with economic troubles. When the U.S. forced Salvadorans who had sought refuge in Los Angeles to return home, they brought back a gang system that grew in response to the harsh post-war inequalities. Today’s migrants are fleeing the continuing violence and financial devastation.
Presented as part of "Memory & Resistance: 40 Years," a series of community events commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Inter-Religious Task Force on Central America.
Kristina Aiad-Toss is a third-year Juris Doctor student at Case Western Reserve University School of Law and an International Business Law LLM Candidate at Middlesex University in London. She has focused her studies and professional experience on corporate social accountability and human rights. In law school, Kristina has researched land rights and sustainable land use in Myanmar, war crimes and human rights in El Salvador, labor and environmental rights in Peru, crimes against humanity in Yemen, and export control regulations in the context of the Israeli occupation of Palestine in Ramallah. She has worked for different NGO’s including Human Rights Watch, International Partners in Mission, Landesa, the Association for the Sustainable Development of Peru - CITEPAPA, and Al-Haq. She is a member of the Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot court team and has worked on civil rights issues at the Ohio Attorney General's Office, Margolius Law, and Debevec Law Firm.
She previously studied International Politics and Spanish, at the University in Akron. While in college, Kristina lived abroad in 3 countries: studying abroad in Spain in the summer of 2016, interning under a member of parliament in Toronto, and working for the US Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome for the Department of State. At the University of Akron, Kristina worked in journalism with the Buchtelite and event planning with the Department of Student Life for two years. She has worked for the International Institute of Akron, Akron's City Council, the Ohio Environmental Council, and Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance. In addition to her academic and professional pursuits, Kristina is a photographer and painter and enjoys traveling, reading, live music, and yoga.
Brenna Dilley joined IPM in May 2019 as a law student intern investigating war crimes that took place during the Salvadoran Civil War, along with U.S. involvement in aiding and abetting those war crimes. She worked as IPM’s Director of Education & Community Engagement through April 2020. She dedicated 8 years to nonprofit work in the form of refugee work in Senegal, victim advocacy in various women’s shelters, children’s shelters and county jails. Brenna is the founder and president of Inn(H)er Change Network (IHC), which provides human trafficking survivors access to rescue and justice. She founded IHC to provide victims with an opportunity for rescue once they are separated from their traffickers. She collaborates with the Cuyahoga County Regional Human Trafficking Task Force, Human Trafficking Clinic at CWRU School of Law, local prosecutors, judges, medical professionals, and community non-profits to raise anti-trafficking awareness. Brenna is collaborating with the CWRU Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences and local law enforcement to bridge a path of justice for victims of sex trafficking who become overwhelmed by the legal system.
Adela Zayas is the Director of International Partnerships and Programs & Regional Director for Latin America and The Caribbean for IPM. She studied psychology at Universidad Centroamericana “José Simeón Cañas” (UCA). She was involved in different social movements during her education, including projects related to environmental consciousness and conservation, community development, gender equality and women’s empowerment. She has post-graduate diplomas in Gender Equality and National Reality provided by the National University and the Lutheran University of El Salvador.
Adela is passionate about working with women, children and youth, and has developed multiple programs with TECHO El Salvador (a non-profit human rights organization), Artesanas del Mar (which supports the social, personal and economic development of young women from vulnerable communities), and Fundación Artesanas (which uses art, social entrepreneurship and psychology to promote healthy environments for women).
She also volunteers as a psychotherapist at the Psychological Assistance Clinic – UCA, where she provides therapy to children, adolescents and adults and is helping to build a mental health web platform to democratize psychotherapy and increase access through online care. Adela believes in people’s capacity to connect with each other, building solidarity despite different life experiences and transforming our shared reality.
- Kristina Aiad-Toss, Third-year Juris Doctor student, Case Western Reserve University School of Law and International Business Law LLM Candidate at Middlesex University in London.
- Brenna Dilley International Partners in Mission Law Student, Case Western Reserve University
- Adela Zayas Director of International Partnerships and Programs & Regional Director for Latin America and The Caribbean for IPM