Mayan Rising—Social Justice and the Re‐militarization of the Guatemalan Countryside will be discussed March 23 at North Island College’s Courtenay campus.
Tara Scurr, business and human rights campaigner with Amnesty International (Canada), will discuss Canadian mining investment in Guatemala and associated consequences for human rights within affected communities.
Leocadio Juracán, the general co-ordinator of the Campesino Committee of the Highlands (CCDA—Guatemala), will discuss the CCDA’s struggle for land reform, social justice, and adequate implementation of the 1996 Peace Accords, which ended the country’s 36-year civil war and a period of military dictatorships.
These topics will be examined in the context of the recent re‐militarization of rural Guatemala, which has resulted in recent civilian deaths at the hands of the Guatemalan Armed Forces.
Seventeen years after the signing of the Peace Accords and their promise of change, it casts the long shadow of past attempted genocide against the Mayan peoples over the frustrated hopes of rural and Indigenous farmers who struggle for land reform and basic rights to economic, social, and cultural development.
Presentations happen at 7 p.m. in the Stan Hagen Theatre.
They are made possible by the Comox Valley Global Awareness Network, Amnesty International—Comox Valley Chapter, North Island College International and the North Island College Faculty Association — in partnership with the Café Justicia (BC) Solidarity Society/BC Central America Solidarity Association (BC CASA).
The Campesino Committee of the Highlands (CCDA) was founded in 1982 as an organization defending the rights of workers on large coffee, sugar, and cotton plantations; to recover lands taken from the Mayan communities over the past centuries; as well as to promote and recover Mayan culture and spirituality.
Today, about 100 communities in 11 Guatemalan provinces belong to the CCDA.
Amnesty International is a global movement of three million people dedicated to the protection and promotion of human rights. Amnesty International Canada campaigns to protect the rights of people living in mining‐affected communities in Guatemala and calls on the Canadian government to regulate the overseas activities of Canadian transnational oil, gas and mining companies to ensure that they respect human rights throughout their operations.
— Comox Valley Global Awareness Network