Mayan Rising—Social Justice to be discussed

Mayan  Rising—Social Justice and the Re‐militarization of the Guatemalan Countryside will be discussed at North Island College.

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

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