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GSN MONDAY MAILER MARCH 25 2013

Posted by administrador on Monday, March 25, 2013 in News.

REMINDER: GSN MEETING AT LASA WILL BE ON FRIDAY MAY 31ST from 7-8:45pm.  Room TBA

 
1.      NICE PIECE ON RIOS MONTT TRIAL FROM NPR

2.      Canadian ‘invasion’ of Guatemala’s mines causing conflicts

3.      TROUBLING NEWS OF KIDNAPPING/ ASSASINATION OF INDIGENOUS LEADERS

4.      MORE ON RIOS MONTT FROM THE GRANITO TEAM 

 

 1.      NICE PIECE ON RIOS MONTT TRIAL FROM NPR

Genocide Trial in Guatemala a Tribute to Tenacity of Indigenous Groups
http://www.theworld.org/2013/03/genocide-trial-in-guatemala-a-tribute-to-tenacity-of-indigenous-groups/ 

2.      More News on Mining

Canadian ‘invasion’ of Guatemala’s mines causing conflicts
Catherine Solyom. Montreal Gazeeta. March 22, 2013

MONTREAL — With her broad, patient smile, her work-worn hands folded over a traditional, woven skirt, Lolita Chavez is hardly a menacing figure.

Yet in Guatemala, Chavez has been branded a threat to national security and a terrorist for speaking out against the development of Canadian-owned mines against the people’s will.

In Montreal Friday as part of a cross-country tour to draw attention to ongoing conflicts around mines — called “Plan Nord, Plans Sud” in Quebec — Chavez spoke to a crowded auditorium at UQÀM about her experience and Canadians’ responsibility in the “new invasion” of her country.

First came the Spanish conquest, then the civil war in Guatemala that claimed some 200,000 lives, now come the Canadians, Chavez told the crowd of students, academics and activists.

“Canadian companies are the main protagonists in this invasion that brings only death and destruction,” said Chavez, the spokesperson for 87 indigenous K’iche’ (Mayan) communities in Santa Cruz del Quiché, about 145 kilometres north west of Guatemala City. “And when we say we don’t want it, they say we are ignorant, or brutes, or we don’t understand the benefits. But we have a right to say no.”

Saying no has been dangerous for Chavez and others trying to stop mining development by transnational corporations, first and foremost, Vancouver based Goldcorp. A 2005 referendum showed widespread opposition by local communities to the opening of Goldcorp’s Marlin gold mine, out of fears the mine would contaminate the water and soil in the agricultural region. The company and the government ignored the results, Chavez said, and the mine is still in operation, expecting to produce 200,000 ounces of gold this year.

Since community-led consultations on mining began in Quiché in 2010, the number of attacks on community leaders by government forces allied with the mining companies has increased, Chavez said. In 2011, there were eight attacks recorded. In 2012, there were 67, including threats, beatings and kidnappings.

Chavez recounted an incident in July last year when armed men called out for her by name after a local assembly.

“They didn’t find me, but they beat the other women there. One of them lost her teeth. Why? Because we dared speak against the government and the mining companies.”

She now has a full-time body guard, courtesy of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission. Others haven’t been so lucky. Arrest warrants were issued against eight women who were accused of cutting the electricity to the Marlin mine. (A hydroelectric tower was on one of the women’s land.) Only after two years in court did a judge rule against Goldcorp, Chavez said, rescinding the arrest warrants and ordering the company to remove the tower.

Goldcorp could not be reached for comment Friday.

Last Sunday, four indigenous community leaders were attacked and kidnapped after participating in a local referendum on the Escobal silver mine in San Rafael Las Flores, that Tahoe Resources — 40 per cent owned by Goldcorp — wants to develop.

Two of the men escaped, but the vehicle of one of the other men was found Monday morning riddled with bullet holes, and with it, the body of Exaltación Marcos Ucelo.

Edie Hofmeister, a spokesperson for Tahoe Resources, said the company was not involved in any such attack and condemns all violence and criminal activity in the area. Two security guards at the mine were killed in January by heavily armed trespassers, she said.

In Canada for the week, Chavez now wants to appeal to all those who would invest in the lucrative gold stocks.

“Maybe you want to generate revenue for your pensions, invest more to earn more. We respect that,” Chavez told the audience. “But with all our hearts we say this kind of investment is generating death and destruction. Stop investing in mining because they are killing us.”

Chavez’s other strategy involves facing violence with love. At a recent gathering, she said, soldiers were sent in to intimidate and repress the activists. But instead of taking arms up themselves, the indigenous people sang and danced, and offered the soldiers food.

“Canadians need to hear both sides of the story,” Chavez said. “Am I a terrorist?”

 

 3.      TROUBLING NEWS OF KIDNAPPING/ ASSASINATION OF INDIGENOUS LEADERS

 PART ONE: INFORMACIÒN URGENTE: FUE SECUESTRADO EL PRESIDENTE DEL PARLAMENTO DEL PUEBLO XINKA DE GUATEMALA Y MAYORDOMO PRINCIPAL DE LA COMUNIDAD DE SANTA MARIA XALAPAN JALAPA, JUNTO A OTROS LIDERES XINKAS CUANDO REGRESABAN DE UNA CONSULTA DE BUENA FE …EN "CONTRA DE LA MINERIA EN EL TERRITORIO JALAPANECO" POR HOMBRES FUERTEMENTE ARMADOS Y CON GORROS PASAMONTAÑAS, LA PERSECUCIÓN, INTIMIDACI ÓN, SECUESTRO A LIDERES INDÍGENAS ES EVIDENTE, NO MAS….
NUESTRO TATA TIWIX, ARLUTA, TATA TZ'IRIRE, URAY SAPUL, Y NUESTRO GRANDES ANCESTROS ACOMPAÑARAN A NUESTRO TEKUAN MAYOR ROBERTO GONZALEZ UCELO…..
NUESTRA ORACIONES Y CORAZON ESTAN CON USTEDES COMPAÑEROS!!!!
NUESTRA LUCHA ES JUSTA Y NO SE DETENDRA!!!!!

El día de hoy lunes se ha encontrado sin vida al secretario de la junta directiva de Santa María Xalapán Expectación Marco y con vida pero muy golpeado y con signos de haber sido torturado a Rigoberto Aguilar , una de las autoridades principales del parlamento Xinca que fueron secuestrados por hombres armados que han actuado con gran violencia contra ellos. Se confirma que Roberto González, presidente del Parlamento Xinca…, todavía no ha sido encontrado a pesar de la búsqueda que llevan a cabo pobladores coordinados por las autoridades xincas de Santa María Xalapán, los cuales han informado de los hechos al alcalde de Mataquescuintla, Hugo Manfredo Loy. Cabe destacar la indignación por parte de la población pues a pesar de que se ha avisado a la PNC, esta no ha llegado al lugar, confirmamos la total ausencia de agentes de la PNC para ayudar en la búsqueda para esclarecer la desaparición forzada de nuestros compañeros.CMI-Centro de medios independientes Guatemala

 PART Two: LA Coordinadora de Organizaciones Populares Indígenas, de Iglesias, Sindicales y Campesinas del Oriente –COOPIISCO-

Manifiesta:

 Su profunda Preocupación por el asesinato y Secuestro de lideres y autoridades de los territorios C`HORTI` y XINKAS. Estos Pueblos miembros de la COPIISCO en  diez días han sido agredidos profundamente por criminales que tienen como practica, ASESINAR, SECUESTRAR Y AMENZAR a nuestros pueblos en la exigencia del cumplimiento  de los Derechos Humanos individuales y colectivos.    El 8 de marzo fue asesinado el compañero Carlos Hernández en el territorio CH`ORTI` sin que ha la fecha el ministerio Publico   esclarezca el hecho y de con los criminales. El 17 de marzo en horas de la noche fueron secuestrados en el territorio XINKA cuatro autoridades  Xinkas de Santa Maria Xalapan,  de los cuales asesinaron al Compañero exaltación Marcos Ucelo y quedando fuertemente lastimados sufriendo vejámenes, ROBERTO USELO; presidente del Parlamento Xinka, Mayordomo y autoridad mayor,  RIGOBERTO; Vicepresidente y autoridad mayor, Estos Hechos y muchos mas que han pasado en nuestros territorios son responsabilidad del Estado quien a través de la agresión directa o a través de declaraciones y acusaciones publicas infundadas a estigmatizado a nuestros pueblos y utilizando la legalidad retorciendo los mismos preceptos constitucionales  para defender a empresas especialmente mineras energéticas y terratenientes  y promoviendo consigo actos violentos por parte de un grupo que busca enriquecerse a costa de nuestro dolor y la destrucción de nuestro territorio, aprovechándose de la impunidad que gozan por parte del Estado.

 Exigimos:

 Al Poder Ejecutivo  no seguir estigmatizando a nuestro pueblo a través de discursos mal intencionados que tienen como único objetivo de forma ilegal encarcelar o promover actos violentos en contra de nuestras autoridades ancestrales y lideres comunitarios como estrategia de protección a capitales voraces que enlutan y agreden a nuestros territorios.

Que proteja la vida y la integridad de nuestros lideres que siguen siendo amenazados constantemente por fuerzas oscuras

 AL Ministerio Publico investigar y Esclarecer el asesinato de Carlos Hernández. Líder Sindical y Campesino del Territorio maya Chòrti`.

Investigar y Esclarecer el secuestro y asesinato del compañero encarnación autoridad menor del territorio de Santa Maria Xalapan.

El secuestro y luego liberación del Compañero Rigoberto y , Roberto Ucelo y pueda y recabar las pruebas suficientes de manera que se condene a los responsables de estos hechos.

 Al Poder Judicial, impartir justicia de manera imparcial y justa en estos hechos  repudiables. A la comunidad Internacional  solicitamos su vigilancia y solidaridad con nuestros pueblos para que la violación de nuestros derechos y el asesinato selectivo no se convierta en una política de Estado o apoyada por el Estado que busca no contribuir con la construcción de una nación democrática y en paz.

 Al Nuestros Pueblos los alentamos a unirnos para la preservación de nuestros derechos y la construcción una nación plural democrática y en paz.

COPIISCO, 19 de marzo, 2013.

GUATEMALA

 

4.      MORE ON RIOS MONTT FROM THE GRANITO TEAM

The long awaited trial of General Efraín Ríos Montt begins today, March 19, 2012. The brutal Guatemalan dictator will be the first head of state to be tried for genocide in genuine proceedings in his own country's justice system.  

 Ríos Montt and another ex-General, José Mauricio Rodríguez Sánchez, are going to trial on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity for massacres committed against nearly 2000 Maya-Ixil civilians during a brutal scorched-earth military campaign conducted in 1982. Justice will be a key step in ending impunity for the atrocities committed during the war.

 ADD YOUR GRAIN OF SAND, YOUR 'GRANITO' FOR JUSTICE IN GUATEMALA: 

 Your voice can make a difference! Click here to send an email calling on U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala Arnold Chacon to attend the genocide trial and demonstrate the U.S. commitment to ending impunity. It’s the least we can do.

 Write now to Amabassador Chacon

 WANT TO KNOW MORE? WATCH OUR FILMS THAT TELL THE STORIES BEHIND THE TRIAL.

In light of this historic trial, with our broadcast partner P.O.V. we are free streaming Granito: How to Nail a Dictator and When the Mountains Tremble, in English and Spanish versions.  Watch them now by clicking on these links:
Granito: How to Nail a Dictator (English)

Granito de Arena: Como Atrapar a un Dictador (Español)

When the Mountains Tremble (English)

Cuando Las Montañas Tiemblan (Español)

 Skylight will be filming the trial starting today (thanks to generous and timely support from the Bertha Foundation) and posting periodic videoclips on our Journal and the Granito Facebook page. 

 The Open Society Justice Initiative – in collaboration with the National Security Archive, the International Center for Transitional Justice, and Plaza Publica – will post about the trials daily in the special blog they launched: www.riosmontt-trial.org

 Read the New York Times article that gives background on the trial and makes reference to Skylight's 1982 interview with Ríos Montt that is being used as evidence in the case. 

Visit the archive of memories about the Guatemalan armed conflict, Granito: Every Memory Matters. The memories housed here make it impossible to shroud the past in silence.  Please visit, learn, comment, and share.

 

Thomas A. Offit Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Anthropology
Baylor University(254) 710-6226

 

 



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