Your personal timeline, a place to aggregate photos, blog posts, tweets and key events in your life.
Created by guatestuff on May 22, 2008
Last updated: 04/23/10 at 02:45 PM
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'This is a time of great tension because we know that at any moment, when we least expect it, our lives can be cut short at a stroke'.
So titled an article by Danilo Valladares for Inter Press Service.
As you will have read previously, two community leaders with FRENA (the Front for Resistance in Defence of Natural Resources and the Rights of the People) were murdered recently. GSN has highlighted the killings of both Evelinda Ramírez Reyes and Octavio Roblero and their assassinations were in addition to the slaying of another FRENA leader Víctor Galvez, last year.
Although these killings are of FRENA members, in dispute with the Spanish corporation, Gas Natural-Unión Fenosa, attacks are continuing to increase against human rights defenders. In 2009, 353 attacks were carried out, almost one a day, and 16 activists were killed.
The full article can be read here on the Global Issues website.
Yet another director of the organisation FRENA (the Front for Resistance in Defence of Natural Resources and the Rights of the People) was murdered in San Marcos this week.
According to a communiqué by the group URNG-MAIZ, Octavio Roblero was murdered at approximately 5.30pm on Wednesday (17th) in front of his business at the bus terminal in Malacatán, in the department of San Marcos. He was shot multiple times by an unknown individual.
Octavio was the brother-in-law of Víctor Galvez, also a FRENA leader, who was also shot dead in broad daylight in the centre of Malacatán in October last year. According to the Prensa Libre, Víctor had been attending a meeting with community leaders about the excessive charges of the electrical energy service in this region just before he was killed. Octavio had recently denounced the role of several individuals in his brother-in-law's murder (see URNG-MAIZ communiqué).
Octavio's murder also follows the murder last month of yet another FRENA leader, Evelinda Ramírez Reyes, who was returning to her home in the department of San Marcos following a series of meetings in the capital when the car in which she was travelling was ambushed and she was shot dead. She had been meeting with authorities to protest the excessive charges of DEOCSA, subsidiary of the Spanish-owned electricity provider Unión Fenosa, and to demand the nationalisation of electricity distribution.
In a separate case, the Prensa Libre reported that on the same day as Octavio's murder, indigenous lawyer Juan Antonio Chen was also murdered in the department of Cobán. Chen had collaborated with the Archbishop's Office for Human Rights (ODHA for its Spanish acronym).
For my blog entry last month following the murder of Evelinda Ramírez Reyes, click here.
For the Prensa Libre article on the murder of Octavio Roblero, click here.
The BBC is currently running a series of short programmes entitled " A History of the World in 100 Objects", which charts human development through artefacts to be found in the British Museum. The development of agriculture is unquestionably a key moment in human history, and influenced how people thought about themselves and their place in the universe. One programme uses a Mayan statue of a corn god to tell the story of the importance of maize in the Americas. read more
In a recent article on the Inter Press Service, a
new study is noted which targets taxation and government spending that argues
the government is failing in its fiscal commitments to food, health and
has one of the lowest tax burdens in Latin America, as well as one of the most
generous regimes of exemptions and tax breaks. The study attributes the low tax
collection and expenditure to the state's historic control by elite sectors of
The report, attempts to tackle the difficult
question of why Guatemala has experienced consistent levels of inequality and
deprivation despite having the largest economy in Central America and suggests that
focusing on government spending and taxation is a relatively new method of
addressing human rights and development. Taxation as a human rights issue?
The article can be found here.
After fifteen years of waiting for justice to be done in Guatemala the survivors and relatives of victims of the Dos Erres massacre have however received a favourable verdict elsewhere: the Interamerican Court of Human Rights found the state of Guatemala failed to live up to its judicial obligations to investigate and prosecute those responsible for the massacre.
On Monday 4th January, The Frontline Club is screening the film ‘In the Shadow of the Raid'. Viewing the trailer, this looks like a powerful indictment of US immigration policy.
"On May 12, 2008, immigration officials stormed a kosher meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa, arresting nearly 400 undocumented workers in one of the biggest roundups in U.S. history.
Supporters of the raid celebrated it as a law enforcement victory while immigrant rights groups slammed it as draconian.
Meanwhile up a winding dirt road, a poor Guatemalan village was dying, and so was Postville itself.
The raid severed an economic lifeline linking the heart of the United States to one of the poorest corners of the Western Hemisphere, with an impact as far-reaching and catastrophic as any earthquake or hurricane.
However, this is not just another tale of misery in a far-off land. Postville itself was a boomtown before the raid - a rare exception in a part of rural America that has been emptying out as the changing economics of agriculture alter the social landscape. Now it is on the brink of economic collapse after losing much of its population and its main employer - all in the middle of the worst recession in decades."
Directed by Greg Brosnan and Jennifer Szymaszek
URGENT ACTION from ACOGUATE:
A break-down in negotiations and a series of illegal eviction/removal attempts in the dispute between Guatemalan Nickel Company and neighbouring communities has led to an attack by armed groups, among them security agents of the company, against community members. The attack in the municipality of El Estor, in the department of Izabal (Guatemala), resulted in the murder of community leader Adolfo Ich Chaman and the injury of several other community members.
The Fenix mine project is operated in the department of Izabal, Guatemala by Compañía Guatemalteca de Níquel (Guatemala Nickel Company)-(CGN). CGN is a subsidiary of Canadian transnational company HudBay and has a long history of conflictivity and involvement in human rights violations in Guatemala.
After its first explorations in the 1960s, it restarted its exploration and mining operations through the company EXMIBAL, in conditions that were made favourable by the military regimes of the 1970s and 1980s. It is worth highlighting that in its report the Commission for Historical Clarification (la Comisión para el Esclarecimiento Histórico (CEH)) documented various cases of serious human rights violations, in which employees of the subsidiary company EXMIBAL were implicated.
In recent years, a series of conflicts have been registered with the communities that are situated adjacent to the territory which the Guatemalan state gave to CGN. The company has been disputing the title to the land of families who live in the territory. This has led to a series of violent evictions carried out by private security forces. These evictions have been carried out even though the company has never shown property titles for the disputed lands. In this way, recent events represent another example of the lack of attention given by the governing authorities to the land/agrarian problem.
The latest developments in the tensions/disputes occurred near the community of Las Nubes, one of the communities that adjoins the territory granted to the CGN Company. The case of Las Nubes has previously led to the creation of a negotiation table, in which the Governor of the Department negotiated the relocation of the Las Nubes families to another location. Some families accepted the negotiation when they were promised, among other things, Q25.000 for each family, as well as lands, roads, schools and a medical centre. But after having been moved to the new location, they realized that these promises weren’t going to be kept, so they returned to the community of Las Nubes.
On the 23 of September, a CGN representative, CGN’s head of Security, and representatives of the government of the department and of the Ministry of Agricultural Issues presented themselves in the community. They warned some women who were present that they would need to move to other terrains and warned that if they failed to do so they would be removed. They also threatened to kill their husbands if they did not resettle. In addition, they entered various houses without permission, taking photos before leaving.
On the 25 of September, the security personnel of CGN returned to the community, this time accompanied by members of the PNC (National Police) and fired shots into the air. Later, they began to destroy the community center, an act that they stopped only when some community members approached to try to prevent the destruction of the community hall. Right after that, the private security forces threw tear gas and pepper spray, shot at people with rubber bullets and attacked various community members. During the entire episode the Police who were present in the area did not intervene.
On the 27 of September, the Governor of the Department of Izabal arrived, accompanied by approximately 150 members of the security corps of CGN. She accepted the complaints of the community that the promises made to them in negotiations had not been fulfilled, but maintained that if they did not move to another location, there would be no help or projects. On the other hand, she told them that if they moved that same day she would send them assistance immediately. After hearing this, the community voiced criticisms that the Governor had arrived without the accompaniment of state officials and responded that they did not require any assistance. They also questioned the Governor about whether she had made deals with the company. The Governor left the area soon after, visibly upset by these criticisms.
Meanwhile, representatives of the various neighbouring communities who were informed of the intimidations and threats suffered by the community members were assembling on the road near the company. When representatives of Las Nubes joined in, the company’s security started to shoot at the community members so they would disperse. At the same time, another paramilitary group started to shoot at the villagers from another spot nearby.
Adolfo Ich Chaman, teacher and community leader from the community of La Unión, was in a meeting near where these events were taking place. When he heard the shots, he went to rescue the children in the houses close to the malla of the company. According to information received, CGN’s chief of security then called him over, claiming to want to talk with him. When Mr. Chaman approached, he was hit and macheted by agents of the company, and then was dragged into the company’s grounds, where he was killed by firearm by CGN’s security agents. At the same time, four community members were detained by agents and brought to a room from which they were subsequently able to escape. In addition, about ten people were injured by the impact of bullets, some of whom find themselves in serious condition.
RECOMMENDED ACTIONS: Send appeals in Spanish and in your own language to Guatemalan authorities, with copies to your respective embassies and to the Canadian transnational company Hudbay (see attached for addresses and sample letters in both English and Spanish).
- Demanding the undertaking of an immediate and exhaustive investigation into the armed attack on community members that resulted in the murder of Adolfo Ich Chaman and left more than 10 people with firearm injuries.
- Demanding the immediate issuance of arrest warrants against those responsible for these acts.
- Demanding that immediate measures be taken by the governmental authorities to guarantee the security of the communities affected by the conflict with the CGN and calling for disarmament and control of armed groups circulating in the region.
- Urging that a solution to land title and ownership in the communities be found, ensuring the legalization of the communities land titles and guaranteeing a space for sustainable living.
- Calling for the cancellation of CGN’s license and urging that they leave the country immediately, given their direct involvement in serious human rights violations, through contracting private security and paramilitaries and their impact on the increased tensions in the region.
- Calling for exhaustive investigations into the role and the actions of the Governor of the Department in particular in the negotiation process undertaken with the communities
SOLIDARIDAD CON GUATEMALA DE AUSTRIA
LA RED DE SOLIDARIDAD CON EL PUEBLO DE GUATEMALA (NISGUA-EE.UU)
Human Rights Accompaniment Program
Maritimes- Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network
13183 Hwy #7
Ship Harbour, NS
Human Rights Accompaniment Program
Maritimes- Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network
13183 Hwy #7
Ship Harbour, NS
Raul Figueroa Sarti is a well known, and well respected, human rights-focused publisher in Guatemala. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief of F&G Editores. Its publications examine sensitive and important human rights issues that are not frequently covered in mainstream Guatemalan media outlets. F&G Editors has published dozens of groundbreaking human rights texts, including the final report of the UN-backed truth commission which investigated Guatemala’s internal armed conflict and concluded that genocide had occurred.
On August 6, 2009, Figueroa was fined and sentenced to one year in prison (commutable on paying an additional fine) by a criminal court in Guatemala. The crime? – read on.
In 2006, Mardo Arturo Escobar, an officer of the Court, approached Figueroa to see if F&G Editors would publish some of his photos. According to his own testimony, he authorized Figueroa to use one of his photos for the cover of a book being published by F&G. In November 2006, the book was published, crediting Escobar for the photo. Escobar also received copies of the book and visited the F&G offices to have a copy of the book signed by the author. During his visit Escobar reportedly expressed his appreciation for the publication of the photo. Nearly one year later, in August 2007, Escobar filed a criminal complaint for copyright infringement alleging that Figueroa had published the photo without his authorization.
Urgent Actions have been launched by PEN and Human Rights First, and the Portuguese writer Jose Saramago has written about it in his website. GSN’s good friend, Iduvina Hernandez has also written an article about the case. All of these, and more, can be found on a temporary archive site from Kathy Dill.
This is from a new photomontage from James Rodríguez and MiMundo.
Next month, it will be 10 years since HIJOS Guatemala began their struggle in search of memory, truth and justice with reference to crimes against humanity committed by the Guatemalan state during the armed conflict. HIJOS is the acronym, in Spanish, for Sons and Daughters for Identity and Justice and against Forgetfulness and Silence.
The title is Jornadas de Empapeladas, or Days of Papering, which sums the article up. Interestingly, empapelar, as a verb, also means to create or open a file in a criminal process against someone.
Although the right to bear firearms is enshrined in the Guatemalan constitution, it is also a right that the Peace Accords agreed to limit. But over the past 12 years it has been impossible to approve a law to limit, at least partially, the use of firearms. Until March 31 when after a series of heated debates the Arms Law was finally ratified. Although the law is not as strict as many social organizations would have wished, it is an important step towards tackling violent crime. The challenge will now be to ensure that the new legislation is approved. This article is from INFORPRESS Centroamericana. A decade after the Arms Law was first put forward, Congress finally approved the legislation that will curb the right to bear firearms and munitions. Under the new law, the prison sentence for many arms-related offences will be increased to eight years and offences that were not previously included in the Penal Code have been included. For the first time in the country's history, there is a limit on the number of firearms that can be owned by an individual. The control of firearms has also been transferred from the Ministry of Defense to the Interior Ministry, a change that will come into effect over the next two years. The new law replaces a previous version approved in 1989 when the country was still in the midst of the armed conflict. The fact that the army is still in charge of controlling the use of firearms remains part of this wartime legacy. The 1996 Peace Accords thus stated the need for a new Arms Law. "The government pledges to promote a reform of the Arms and Munitions Law in order to (a) impose restrictions on the possession and right to bear firearms by individuals, according to Article 38 of the Constitution and (b) Hand over responsibility for arms control to the Interior Ministry," state the Peace Accords. However, the bills proposed after the Peace Accords never got very far. According to Carmen Rosa de León Escribano, of the Institute for the Teaching of Sustainable Development (IEPADES), a civil society organization that has campaigned for a reform of the arms law, this is occurred due to pressure exerted by the arms lobby in Congress. "Members of Congress did not actively hinder the passage of the law. They simply chose to do nothing," says the activist. A Shift in Public Opinion. Sandino Asturias, director of the Center for Guatemalan Studies (CEG), adds that the media and public opinion tended to side with the arms lobby. But as time went by a change occurred. Crime rates soared and public opinion changed regarding the availability of firearms. "The Peace Accords predicted what could happen if private security companies and firearms were not regulated. Now, 12 years later, this is just what has happened," says Asturias. Asturias points to a highly significant figure. Whereas during the late 1990s, 40% of homicides were committed with firearms, by 2008 this percentage had risen to 83%. Another IEPADES analyst, Mayda de León, adds that last year, for the first time, the number of people killed with firearms surpassed the number of those injured. Generally speaking, the homicide rate in Guatemala has soared, reaching an average of 18 murders a year in 2009. In 1999, when the Arms Law was first put forward, there were 2,655 murders; in 2008 there were over 6,200. According to analysts, the bloodshed led society to realize the importance of approving the Arms Law. "The media began to understand that the availability of firearms was at the root of the problem and that they shouldn't defend the arms lobby, but rather the State and the people," says Asturias. Meanwhile, stresses Asturias, civil society, which was largely behind the effort to curb the use of firearms, began to gain ground. Another key factor, according to Asturias, has been the influence of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), which has demanded a reform of the Arms Law for over a year. All of these factors were influential in terms of securing the approval of a new law. But for the civil society groups that lobbied for the approval of this law for so many years, the delay has come at a heavy price. "If this legislation had been approved at the right historical moment - that is to say after the Peace Accords - surely the crime and homicide rates wouldn't have reached the levels we have witnessed today," says Asturias. A Step Forward. According to Asturias, the law that has just been approved is a huge step forward in comparison to the previous version. However, he adds that "we didn't go as far as we could have because the interests of the arms lobby still prevail in Congress." Analysts have emphasized that the most important step forward lies in the fact that arms trafficking is now considered a criminal offence, a serious omission in the previous version of the law. This offence now carries a 10 to 12 year prison sentence, in the case of civil or sports arms and 12 to 18 years in the case of war weapons. It is expected that this will help to reduce the huge amount of weapons illegally circulating in the country, which estimated to be around 300 thousand. Another important detail is the fact that in order to obtain a license to bear firearms it will be necessary to undergo a psychological test as well as a test that demonstrates due knowledge of arms and how to use them responsibly. Previously, there were no limits on who was allowed to carry arms. The number of arms that a person can have in his or her possession has also been reduced to three whereas before there was no limit. The purchase of munitions has been reduced to 250 a month per licensed arm. Previously, one could legally purchase up to 500 bullets a day.
We reported earlier the breakthrough in the case of the disappearance of Edgar Fernando Garcia, a student and trades union activist who “disappeared” in 1984. A senior and an ex-police officer have been arrested, and warrants issued for the arrest of two former officers of the Special Operations Brigade. This case is a direct result of the discovery in 2005 of an archive of National Police records going back to the late nineteenth century. The records are slowly and carefully being preserved and analysed and it was always hoped that somewhere in the huge piles of fusty paper might be some clues as to what happened to those who “disappeared”.
The analysis of the documents has been assisted by the US National Security Archive, which has this week published some declassified US Embassy documents showing that they knew a great deal about the kidnappings occuring at the time, who was carrying them out and the fact that those picked up were tortured at best, murdered at worst. Edgar Fernando Garcia's name appears in several of these documents. A background article and the documents can be read here.
As is usual in the rare cases where the perpetrators of human rights violations during the civil war it is the foot soldiers who are arrested and tried: think also of the Rio Negro cases, in 2008 and also in 1999 when civil patrollers were convicted. However, it is obvious that such large scale violations did not occur in a vacuum, someone had to sit down and plan how massacres were to be carried out, and decide who the targets were to be picked up on the streets. This is why the genocide case being brought by the AJR is so vitally important - going after the top brass, the intellectual authors – those who drew up the plans and sent out the foot soldiers to actually carry out the plan.
What, you might wonder, have nuns to do with exotic spices, and even more so, what have either to do with Guatemala? The answer is orchids, in both cases they are plants which became important well beyond the dark, damp forests where they originated.
As reported recently by NISGUA Guatemala's war survivors have, once again, been thwarted in their struggle to achieve justice. The Defense Ministry, in violation of an official court order, has neglected to hand over two military documents that would serve as evidence in the genocide case. Read on here. The Association for Justice and Reconciliation has filed a case against the Defense Minister for obstruction of justice.
The Rigoberta Menchú Tum Foundation and Congresswoman Otilia Lux have publicly expressed their suspicions that General Otto Pérez Molina played a role in suppressing the documents. One of the undelivered documents relates particularly to the Ixil region where Pérez Molina commanded during the war. Another dates to the period of the scorched-earth policy in which genocide-case defendant and current Congressman Efraín Ríos Montt presided over the country.
NISGUA are collecting signatures for a petition to be sent to President Colom, demanding justice for war crimes. For your letter to be included in the collective delivery to the Presidential office, you must sign on by, FRIDAY, March 6th, 8pm UK time.
YouthNet talking about launch of new section on TheSite.org about self harm
Keywords: self harm
Added: February 6, 2009
I came across this wonderful little video on the guate360 website. How we ourselves is an important part of understanding who we are.read more
???Experts often consider open-pit mining to be the most destructive industrial activity in terms of environmental depletion, social and cultural impact??? In San Miguel Ixtahuac??n and Sipakapa, San Marcos, intensive mineral exploitation has already left its mark. Local residents from Agel, Nueva Esperanza and San Jose Ixcaniche remember fondly a gorgeous mountain, famed for its diversity, where one could find various species of birds and butterflies. Today, the only thing left of that place is an enormous crater with contaminated rubble.???
Our visitor from Guatemala, Iduvina Hernandez, will speak at the first ever conference on Latin American Women and Gender Abuse in the UK on 25 November. The event has been organised by the Latin American Women's Rights Service, starts at 2.30pm and is being held at the Bolivar Hall, Grafton Road, London W1T 5DL.
Here are a few items of human rights news from the last few weeks.
The member of parliament for Buckingham, John Bercow, has asked a question about the numbers of recent extrajudicial executions in Guatemala.
I'm glad to see that Guatemalan issues are raised in parliament, despite the fact that the UK's diplomatic representation is being scaled down, presumably because the country is not regarded as strategically important for UK interests.
In a special pre-tour event on 6 November at 7pm, GSN will be presenting the film 'Estrellas De La Línea' / 'The Railroad All Stars' along with Movimientos at the Salmon and Compass, as part of a special event to mark the Day of the Dead.
As reported earlier GSN is organising a speaker tour from 8 to 26 November by Iduvina Hernandez. More detail about Iduvina is provided below, and following that the current calendar of events all over the UK, which you might be interested in attending.
A recent parliamentary question on training of members of foreign armed forces obscured as much as it revealed. It showed that between 2003 and 2007 some military personnel from Guatemala had received training in the UK. However, despite the column heading being “total numbers of students trained by financial year” all the columns showed only an asterisk or a dash. read more
A recent parliamentary question on training of members of foreign armed forces obscured as much as it revealed. It showed that between 2003 and 2007 some military personnel from Guatemala had received training in the UK. However, despite the column heading being ???total numbers of students trained by financial year??? all the columns showed only an asterisk or a dash. read more
The Latin American Water Tribunal (TLA, by its acronym in Spanish) carried out its 5th public hearing under the motto: ‘Hydraulic justice for indigenous lands and territories’. The trial took place in the city of Antigua Guatemala from September 8th to the 12th. Ten cases where water issues affected indigenous populations in the region were analyzed: one in Brazil, three in Mexico, one in El Salvador, three in Guatemala, and two in Panama.
This is also available as a poster- see attached.
With gold prices skyrocketing, the Mayans of Guatemala find themselves caught up in a new rush for the precious metal. 'Crossing Continents', on BBC radio, features mining in Sipakapa and the consequences of the large increase in the price of gold on the community and their response.
We received very sad news from La Asociación Cristiana de Jóvenes de Guatemala (ACJ), part of the International YMCA movement. The news concerned the assassination of three young men in the Amatitlán area. The communiqué from ACJ is introduced by a personal reflection on the blog histórica transitoria.
The recent arrest and appearance of Radovan Karadzic in front of the International War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia has focussed attention again on a bitter, and recent, historical period in Europe.read more
Since 1871, the Guatemalan people have been submitted to witness the armed forces caravan through their streets every June 30th – officially observed as Armed Forces Day. Nevertheless, starting in 1999, the HIJOS Collective (acronym for: Sons and Daughters for Identity and Justice, against Forgetfulness and Silence, a group mostly made up of family members of those forcefully disappeared by the military dictatorships of the 1970s and 80s) set itself the goal of permanently stopping the parade.
The defence lawyers of Rios Montt showed that they are well practised in the Guatemalan art of the dilatory amparo, or injunction. Earlier this year they filed an injunction against an order that insisted that military plans be
provided to the court handling the genocide case being brought by the Asociacion Justicia y Reconciliacion (AJR). This argument started last year, when the
There was an interesting article on BBC Mundo the other day, about a compensation programme set up by the Guatemalan government. While this was of interest in its own right, a paragraph near the end of the article stopped me in my tracks.
The last day of June every year for the past 137 years has been marked as Army Day in Guatemala. For the previous 136 years this has also been the occasion for a military parade throughout the capital city. However, this year there will be no parade, due to "budgetary constraints", according to a spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence.
We were recently contacted with information about this interesting archaeological project:
"The project's research focuses on a major, hitherto overlooked, and very long-lived ancient Maya city located in the heart of the seminal Southern Maya Zone (SMZ). At an elevation of from 550-1000 m HAE, Chocolá is located in the upper limits of the piedmont or Bocacosta of southwestern Guatemala. The remains represent an ancient city or of associated communities extending conceivably through 6 by 4 kilometers or more than 9 square miles.read more
I recently visited Wakehurst Place, a beautiful garden in West Sussex, but also home to the Millennium Seed Bank. The seed bank is aiming to collect and store seed of ten percent of the world's flowering plants by 2010. In the display they have a poster showing countries in which they have partners collaborating in their seed collecting - but there were none in Guatemala.
We have reported before about the discovery and analysis of the National Police archive. Whilst there never was going to be the smoking gun of the direct, explicit and written order to disappear someone, nevertheless a careful study of the archive will undoubtedly find the pieces that can make a condemnatory picture.
"After three years of bureaucratic suspension and six months of hearings, five ex-civil patrollers were sentenced to 780 years in prison by the Sentencing Tribunal in the highland county of Salamá on May 28."
'Citizens in Guatemala have understood for years that the state continues to be a prime source of human rights abuses, and many Guatemalans are actively trying change change this, despite threats to their personal safety and few signs of amelioration. Unfortunately, corruption and violence are so entrenched that national efforts are valiant but insufficient; international solidarity and action are necessary to mitigate skyrocketing rates of violence and state terror in Guatemala.'
Goldman’s book was an impulse buy. Reviewed somewhere on the Guardian’s website, it was, apparently, an important book that Salman Rushdie rated. And it was set it Guatemala. Part of the world I’ve long felt an emotional affinity to. I knew Goldman was writing about a political murder, but that was about it.
Source: CAIG and NISGUA
The historic hearings in the genocide case continue. To date, seven eyewitnesses from three regions (Baja Verapaz, Quiché, and Huehuetenango) have testified to Judge Eduardo Cojulun Sánchez in the genocide case hearings. Their excruciating testimonies describe massacres and torture committed by the Guatemalan military.
While three of the men - Jesús Tecú, Tiburcio Tiuy, and Domingo Raymundo - had already testified in Spain this February, this was the first time for most of the witnesses to be able to stand in front of a judge and describe the heinous crimes that they experienced first-hand.
You can access updates on the genocide case here. Also see below for a summary of the testimonies.
Dates and witnesses:
Jesús Tecú Osorio - Jesús gave testimony about the massacre in Río Negro, Rabinal, Baja Verapaz on March 13, 1982 that left 177 people dead. He explained how he was captured by a civil patroller who took him to work as a slave in his home. When Jesús refused to be separated from his younger brother, the patroller killed his brother by slamming him against a rock.
Prensa Libre - 18th April
El Periodico - 18th April
BBC Mundo has opened up this opportunity to ask questions of three Guatemalan women who are at the forefront of the struggle for justice in the case of feminicide in Guatemala.
Historic verdict in case of police officer accused of raping a woman in custody.
On 16 April this year something unprecedented happened in in El Quiche: a police officer was convicted of raping and abusing a woman held in custody. This is the first time that this has happened, even though a study carried out by the Institute of Comparative Studies in Penal Science (ICCPG in Spanish) estimated that up to 75% of women in custody suffer some kind of abuse and of those 43% report it.read more
New website for the campaign for Justice Nueva Linda who are seeking justice in the forced disappearance of Hector Reyes. You can find more about the case of Hector Reyes on this blog here.Justicia Nueva Linda: In their own words ¿Quien SOMOS?El grupo campesino pro justicia en Nueva Linda es una expresión de lucha y resistencia contra la represión del Estado y la impunidad de los latifundistas, se origina por el secuestro del compañero Héctor René Reyes Pérez el día 5 de septiembre de 2003, hasta entonces administrador de la finca Nueva Linda de Retalhuleu. En dicho acto resulta directamente involucrado el propietario de la finca, Carlos Vidal Fernández y su escolta de seguridad, quienes hasta la fecha, no solamente siguen en total libertad sino además se han incrementado los actos represivos en contra de la familia de Reyes y los campesinos que le apoyan.¿Qué QUEREMOS?Aspiramos la justicia y la paz para la familia de Héctor Reyes y las demás familias campesinas que le acompañan solidariamente en esta lucha, para que los autores materiales e intelectuales de la persecución, agresión, secuestro y asesinato de varios campesinos del Movimiento Pro Justicia Nueva Linda, tanto por parte de las fuerzas de seguridad del Estado, así como los terratenientes, sean juzgados y castigados con todo el peso de la Ley.¿Qué HACEMOS?A partir del secuestro del compañero Héctor Reyes hemos exigido justicia en todas las dependencias del Estado, sin embargo, lejos de obtenerla, hemos sido víctimas de agresiones de finqueros latifundistas en su mayoría de nacionalidad española y de la criminalización de nuestra lucha de parte del gobierno; por ello ocupamos pacíficamente la finca Nueva Linda durante varios meses, pero fuimos desalojados violentamente en dos ocasiones. Desde el 21 de noviembre de 2004 instalamos nuestras viviendas a la orilla de la carretera, frente a la entrada principal de la finca, como medida de protesta por la falta de aplicación de justicia, habiendo sido desalojados en dos ocasiones y perseguidos por los latifundistas y la policía nacional civil. Además estamos dándole seguimiento a 4 procesos judiciales que comprenden: - Secuestro de Héctor Reyes el 5 de septiembre de 2003, - Muertes extrajudiciales en desalojo violento de la finca el 31 de agosto de 2004, - Secuestro, tortura y asesinato de Eufemia López Morán 25 de abril de 2004,- Agresión e Intento de Secuestro de René Eustaquio Reyes el 2 de abril de 2004, - Intento de asesinato en contra del grupo campesino el 21 de noviembre de 2004,- Lesiones graves producidas por arma de fuego a varios campesinos del grupo.Nuestra lucha se ha fortalecido gracias a la solidaridad de organizaciones nacionales e internacionales como: el Comité de Desarrollo Campesino, Bloque Anitimperialista, ACOGUATE, Collectif Guatemala y Action Rights. Documentary: Km207 Justicia por Nueva Linda Part One Part Tworead more
A documentary with an interesting theory for who got to America first.
Added: February 17, 2008
First people in America
A documentary with an interesting theory for who got to America first.
News & Politics
First people in America
A documentary with an interesting theory for who got to America first.
News & Politics