State terrorism is a system of political domination based on the spreading of terror in society. It is characterized by a systematic and massive criminally repressive policy, implemented by the State agencies.
The following are examples of campaigns against state terrorism around the world:
“I was running the first community video center in South Africa, and I was detained in solitary confinement. When I came out in 1981, I saw a picture of Siphiwo Mtimkulu, who then was hospitalized in Capetown. Security police had poisoned him. Within a couple of weeks of suing them for torture he disappeared.”
- Mark Kaplan, South African filmmaker who was punished for his human rights work under apartheid with solitary confinements, deportation and ten years of exile.
Learn about Mark Kaplan’s film Where Truth Lies.
On the night of February 12, 1998, 15 year old Yumlembam Sanamacha was worried about his forthcoming exam. On that night the Indian army entered his home, grabbed him, and took him away.
Learn about the Witness film Sanamacha’s Story
During Guatemala’s 36-year civil war, state forces and allied paramilitary groups committed countless human rights violations against Guatemalan civilians. Anthropologist Myrna Mack was deemed an “enemy of the state” because of her groundbreaking research on the impact of the armed conflict on indigenous rural communities. Under orders from Colonel Juan Valencia Osorio, a military death squad pursued Mack for two weeks and finally murdered her outside of her office on September 11, 1990.
Meet the Speak Truth to Power’s Defenders struggling against state terrorism and abuses around the world:
-Judge Baltasar Garzón, Spain a Spanish judge who prosecuted Augusto Pinochet for crimes committed during his military rule of Chile.
-Dianna Ortiz, Guatemala an American nun who was raped and tortured by Guatemalan security forces who were overseen by an American national, she has worked ceaselessly to force the U.S. government to open its case files on all those brutalized in Guatemala.
-Maria Teresa Tula, El Salvador one of the Co-Madres, the mothers of the Disappeared of El Salvador, her advocacy on behalf of relatives of the disappeared and her chilling personal testimony helped change U.S. policy toward El Salvador.
-Samuel Kofi Woods, Liberia founded the Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Church, the foremost human rights organization in Liberia.
Where governments fail to operate responsibly and transparently, their people often struggle to keep hunger at bay and escape from the grips of poverty.
Following decades of repressive rule, Indonesians are now reshaping their government and the way it interacts with the people – reforms that are helping the country better meet the needs of its poor.
Learn more about these issues and help the Action Center to End World Hunger Take Action.