For Immediate Release
October 9th, 2015
Cole Carothers, Chairperson, GABRIELA New York, email@example.com
Katrina Cortes, Coordinator BAYAN North East Queer Caucus, firstname.lastname@example.org
ONE YEAR LATER, WE STILL DEMAND JUSTICE FOR JENNIFER LAUDE
One year ago, Jennifer Laude, a 26 year old woman from Leyte, Philippines was taken from family and friends because of atrocious acts of violence. U.S. Marine Corporal PFC Joseph Scott Pemberton murdered Jennifer in Olangapo City near his military base in Subic Bay. Impunity for U.S. servicemen under the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) has stalled justice from being properly served for Jennifer. Pemberton has since admitted to strangling Jennifer to death, yet there is no movement in his case–in fact, he is comfortably enjoying his military salary in US custody!
GABRIELA New York and BAYAN North East Queer Caucus join the rest of the world in calling for justice still one year later and demanding an end to all forms of violence against women, LGBTQIGNC people of color and an end to all systemic entities that allow violence to prosper. Nearly every two days, someone in the world is murdered for expressing their gender nonconformity. Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming folks of color are amongst the most marginalized, exploited, underrepresented and isolated in our communities. We cannot continue to ignore the aggressive attack on LGBTQIGNC people of color in the United States and across the globe. The time has come that we must end all kinds of violence in the forms of hate, state repression, displacement, poverty and erasure.
Violence against women also continues to be a practice of U.S. servicemen in the Philippines. In 2009, Lance Corporal Daniel Smith was convicted of rape of a Filipina woman yet was acquitted of charges after two years in protection of the U.S. military. This underscores the amount of special treatment military officials receive in the Philippines even in the face of convicting evidence. Jennifer’s murderer is no different in the special treatment of Pemberton. The Visiting Forces Agreement and Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement delay of justice rewards and encourages U.S. military to continue violating the human rights of Filipinos in the Philippines and here in the U.S. We must keep our people safe, U.S. Military should be out of the Philippines!
On October 11th, 2015 GABRIELA New York and BAYAN North East Queer Caucus will host a vigil to remember those that we have lost so far this year to violence and continue to fight for Justice for Jennifer! Facebook Event