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Posted by on Monday, October 28, 2013 in News, Uncategorized.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE PAMELA YATES PIECE FROM LAST WEEK’S MAILER CAME FROM ReVista, the Harvard Review of Latin America, Fall 2013. The issue is on Memory: Searching for History and Democracy. The issue is on-line at  or by request to June Carolyn Erlick <    Sorry for the lack of attribution!

1.       Defensora" documentary film, about Mayan Qeqchi people ~versus~ Hudbay Minerals lawsuits


1.       Guatemalan Court Opens the door to Amnesty for Rios Montt
2.       Guatemala remembers conflict victims as new battles ignite over resources
3.       Guatemalan plaintiffs in HudBay lawsuit allege interference
4.       New court ruling another obstacle in genocide prosecution of Guatemala’s Rios Montt
5.       Guatemala ties drug policy to investment, security – and pragmatism


1.       Defensora" documentary film, about Mayan Qeqchi people ~versus~ Hudbay Minerals lawsuits


Winner of the International John Basham Award, at the 2013 Columbia Gorge International Film Festival, Defensora follows the story of sisters Maria and Angelica Choc, who lead a Mayan Q’eqchi resistance in Guatemala to reclaim ancestral lands and seek justice in Canada for the murder of Angelica’s husband, the shooting-paralyzing of German Choc Chub and the gang rapes of 11 Mayan women.

Set along the shores of Lake Izabal, against a backdrop and history of illegal forced evictions, killings, rapes and other repression, the stakes are high for the Q'eqchi people who risk their lives to protect their lands, speak the truth and seek justice in Canadian courts with their Canadian lawyers (Toronto-based Klippensteins law firm), and for Hudbay Minerals that continues to deny their allegations.  (Lawsuits:<>)

“Defensora is a timely documentary that provides candid insights into the brave struggles of Angélica, German and other Maya Q'eqchi' women and men in El Estor, Guatemala who, faced with the grave harm that Canadian mining operations have brought about, are on the frontline of the battle for justice in Canadian courts.” (Jen Moore, MiningWatch Canada)

From the makers of Granito, a short film series that opens the courtroom doors of the genocide trial of General Efraín Ríos Montt.
Dictator in the Dock is a 23-episode series that brings you inside the courtroom as General Efraín Ríos Montt stands trial in Guatemala for genocide against the Maya Ixil people. Filmed highlights in this series include:
•             Excerpts from the 103 Maya Ixil eye-testimonies about atrocities they suffered
•             A range of expert witness testimony–forensic evidence of exhumations, academic research attesting to enduring and ingrained racism in Guatemala, secret government documents bolstering the prosecution's argument that a military strategy was implemented with the objective of destroying the Maya Ixil population as part of a counterinsurgency campaign.
•             The opening and closing statements
•             The guilty verdict read by Judge Barrios.
This short film series is a part of an educational package:
•             DVD with license for your library with extended versions of the 23 episodes of the series.
•             Exclusive access to an online educational hub with a comprehensive resource guide, interactive timeline, episodes for web-streaming, and discussion forum.
See a PREVIEW of episodes and the educational hub
PURCHASE the Dictator in the Dock educational package
 Get a 15% discount if you order now and mention the GSN newsletter!!  


NC State University Announces the 21st Annual
Ethnographic Field School and Ethnographic Research Training program, Summer
Lake Atitlán, Guatemala
May 23 – July 14, 2014
Environment, Globalization and Heritage in Guatemalan Maya Communities
Field school website:  <> <>
wallace or through the NCSU Study Abroad Office website:
Objectives: Learn how to design, conduct and write-up qualitative, ethnographic research while on the shores of a crystal lake framed by volcanoes! During the 7 ½ week program, live and work with a local Guatemalan family in the Lake Atitlán area of the Western Highlands. This is a hands-on, experiential-driven program where students design ,  plan and implement an independent, individualized project. Whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student, training in ethnographic and qualitative research methods can prove to be beneficial for your career, whether it be in anthropology, sociology, international affairs, history, education, textiles, natural resource management, business and management, political science, psychology, bio-medical engineering and public health. All students are encouraged to apply, especially students interested in topics concerning the environment, globalization, social justice, tourism, conservation, language, development, poverty and health. Not sure how your interests may fit into the topics listed? Contact us. The program is tailored individually to maximize the participant's potential for understanding and developing the skills needed for ethnographic, qualitative research.  Students also will have opportunities to pursue an applied, service-learning project in lieu of a research project.  Contact the Program Directors to discuss potential opportunities for your areas of interest.
The program and eligibility:
Within the supportive framework of the NC State Guatemala Program students learn the fundamentals of ethnographic fieldwork, including project design and management, data collection and report writing. Students also quickly improve their Spanish language skills through intensive, daily interaction with their home stay families and other community members. Guatemalans are friendly and outgoing with an ancient and rich, Mayan cultural heritage. The program is designed for about 18participants who may be undergraduates, graduate students or post-baccalaureate students.  Students will also learn about the contemporary Maya of the Lake Atitlán area and how they are adapting to changing demographics, globalization, economic and political insecurities, and environmental change. The program is not limited to students of NC State University and many previous participants have come from all over the US, Canada, Chile, the UK, and Guatemala.  Some Spanish language skills and some course work or familiarity with anthropology are desirable.
The Fieldwork Site
Lake Atitlán is one of the most majestic and scenic spots in all of Latin America. Ringed by active and extinct volcanoes and about a mile in elevation, the 55 sq. mi. lake was formed out of an ancient volcanic basin (crater). Dotting the shores of the lake are about a dozen small villages inhabited by the contemporary descendants of the ancient Maya. Panajachel (pop. 15,000), one of the largest towns, will be the headquarters for the program. Students will be located in home stays in one of  thirteen other towns surrounding the lake shores. The view of the lake from Panajachel and the other towns is magnificent, and the attractive sunsets and views daily lure many tourists over the years. Yet, the region has retained much of their traditional Maya heritage. Guatemala has the largest indigenous population in Mexico and Central America. There are approximately 23 different languages spoken in Guatemala and three of them are spoken around Lake Atitlán (Kaqchikel, Tz’utujil and K’iche’). Despite conquests and civil wars, the Maya have survived for nearly two millennia. Lake Atitlán is one of the best places in Central America to learn about this amazingly durable and vibrant culture.
Six Course Credits (graduate or undergraduate):
Students receive six credits for completing the program. The program emphasizes practical training in ethnographic fieldwork and ethics as it relates to Guatemala. In addition to learning research design, systematic observation, interviewing, fieldnote-taking, free-listing, pile-sorts, mapping, coding, ethics, data analysis, report writing, etc., students also learn about contemporary Guatemalan society and culture, in particular the key issues of environment, heritage, identity, politics, and globalization in Mayan Communities, especially around Lake Atitlán.  “Students learn through seminar discussion and firsthand experiences the successes and pitfalls associated with first time fieldwork in an international setting.”
Note: English is the language of instruction, but Spanish is an invaluable tool for a full experience. The focus of all course work is the design, implementation and write- up of an independent research project with an applied focus.
In concert with each student’s research needs and personal preferences, participants will be housed with a local family, in one of thirteen Mayan communities around Lake Atitlan. Each student will receive room, breakfast, lunch and dinner and laundry services. Families also help students learn Spanish and establish networks in the community.
Program Costs
The cost of the  7 ½  week program is only $3550. The single fee covers all expenses (except airfare) including:
•room, board (three meals/day), laundry
•tuition for six credits
•full coverage health insurance
•program fees and instruction
•local transportation costs and transfer fees •national park entrance fees
•free rental of a cellphone (works both in-country and for inexpensive, international calls), and •in-country excursions (e.g., Colonial Antigua, Indigenous markets at Chichicastenango, rituals in Patzún, the Nature Reserve of Atitlán, and the Mayan ruins of Iximché among others)
Airfare from most US cities is approximately $600. Students will need to bring a laptop with them to the field. Each town around the lake has Internet access. Other than a valid passport, US and Canadian citizens need no other documents to enter Guatemala for a stay of up to 90 days.
Students from any university or country, regardless of major – graduate, undergraduate, post-baccalaureate or post-graduate – may apply.
Applications may be accessed through the field school website: or through the NC State University Study Abroad Office website: <>  .  Please feel free to contact Dr. Tim Wallace, the program director (, or Dr. Carla Pezzia, co-director (University of Texas Health Science Center;  for additional information or any type of inquiry about the program at 919-815-6388 (m) or 919-515-9025 (o). Fax no:
919-515-2610.  The applications are submitted online, but if you have any problems, please contact Ms. Rebecca Denton-Strauss at the NCSU Study Abroad Office, Box 7344, NC State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7344;, 919-515-2087. The official deadline is February 7, 2014. Applications received after that date will be considered only if there are spaces still available.


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