In hundreds of human rights abuse cases, Amnesty International can attest to the effectiveness of letter writing from concerned individuals.  Please take a moment to write out and mail the following letter, adding your own signature.  You can be sure that your letter will help curtail the terrible indignities suffered by the street children of Guatemala.

S.E. Jorge Serrano

Elias Presidente de la Republica de Guatemala

Palacio Nacional

Guatemala City, Guatemala”

Sr. Presidente:

Recent reports from the international human rights organization Amnesty International, have brought to my attention the steady escalation in human rights against street children in your country.  Evidence suggests that many of those abuses have been carried out by police and private security agents.

I understand that four police officers were recently convicted to prison terms of between 10 and 15 years for the killing of Nahaman Carmona Lopez in March 1990 in Guatemala City.  According to information, the judge explicitly acknowledged that the policemen had not been acting merely as individuals when they killed the boy, but had abused the authority best in them as police officers.

In the hope that these convictions signal the determination of your government not to tolerate any further human rights abuses in Guatemala, I request that everything possible be done to ensure that the reported 37 suits pending against thirty-five National Police Officers, three Treasury Police Officers, ten civilians and three judges be brought speedily to the courts, and those found responsible be brought to justice.

Yours respectfully and sincerely,

A choice for mothers

Michael H. Otis

I would have had an abortion if there was no Mother’s Choice or I would have delivered the baby and thrown it out on the street.  My emotional state would have been very low and I would have felt crazy.

Mother’s Choice client (translated from Cantonese)

Mother’s Choice fulfills the dream of a small group of people concerned about the plight of Hong Kong’s single, pregnant girls.  Social and economic pressures force an increasing number of them to seek out dangerous third trimester abortions in the People’s Republic of China.

“When the girls get off the train at Shenzhen [just across the border in China], they are approached and asked if they would like an abortion,” said Melinda Reist, a Canadian volunteer with Youth With A Mission (YWAM), the Christian organization which established Mother’s Choice four years ago.

Since June 1988, when Hong Kong’s Governor General Sir David Ford officially opened a renovated pre-war building, Mother’s Choice has provided a secure environment and counseling for girls and their families facing the dilemma of an unplanned pregnancy.  During the past three years, over 254 girls have received both immediate and long-term help in coping with motherhood.  The counseling sessions, for example, include such topics as self understanding, family and boy/girl relationships and planning for the future.

A Mother’s Choice mother can elect either to keep her baby or give it up for adoption.  A large portion of her pre-natal counseling, therefore, is devoted to preparing her and her family for this critical decision.  Since the Mother’s Choice home started operations, 76 per cent of the girls have chosen adoption, while 24 per cent have decided to raise their children themselves.