Mar 15, 2010

NISGUA Update

1. JUSTICE & ACCOUNTABILITY
People’s Tribunal Breaks Silence and Condemns Sexual Violence
Coca-Cola Sued for Anti-Union Violence in Guatemala

2. TRADE & GLOBALIZATION

Local Communities Speak Out on Negative Effects of Mining (video)
ILO Calls for Application of Convention 169 on Indigenous Rights

3. NEWS FROM THE GRASSROOTS
“Another world is possible. Another US is necessary”: USSF 2010
Join NISGUA as a Human Rights Accompanier
March on Washington for Immigration Reform
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1. JUSTICE & ACCOUNTABILITY

People’s Tribunal Breaks Silence and Condemns Sexual Violence

On March 4 and 5, 2010, hundreds of women gathered to participate in the Tribunal of Conscience on sexual violence in Guatemala. Although some testimonies included recent abuses, the tribunal focused on acts committed during Guatemala’s internal armed conflict that remain, for the most part, unacknowledged and unpunished. As one woman testified, “The women of this country have had to wait more than thirty years to break the silence and express our pain.” Read the final sentence here and visit UNAMG’s site for pictures and video.

Coca-Cola Sued for Anti-Union Violence in Guatemala
On February 25, nine plaintiffs filed a complaint against Coca-Cola for negligence and deceptive practices, among other claims, in Manhattan’s New York State Supreme Court. The plaintiffs were victims of threats and retaliation and claim that “Coke knew or was substantially certain that it and its bottlers were doing business in an environment in Guatemala where their unionized workers were at great risk of being tortured and/or killed by groups responsible for violence against trade unionists.”

2. TRADE & GLOBALIZATION

Local Communities Speak Out on Negative Effects of Mining

A 3-minute video by Al Jazeera documents community concerns that mining activities at the Marlin Mine in San Marcos negatively affect local communities. Canadian mining company Goldcorp and its subsidiary Montana Exploradora S.A. respond that multiple investigations have failed to prove that illnesses in local communities are caused by mining and that the mine provides jobs and money for schools.


ILO Calls for Application of Convention 169 on Indigenous Rights

In a 2009 report from the International Labour Organization (ILO), the committee on the application of conventions expressed concern about the application of Convention 169 , regarding consultation of indigenous peoples, in Guatemala. The committee specifically requested that Guatemala’s government decline to grant or renew licenses for the exploration or exploitation of natural resources until Convention 169 is applied. Guatemalan farmworker organizations have used the committees findings to call for the suspension of mining activities in San Marcos and San Juan Sacatepequez. In February, the ILO announced the opening of a region-wide program to ensure the application of Convention 169.

Organizations Call on Guatemalan State to Prioritize the Right to Food
A coalition of organizations, including FIAN International, recently presented a report on the right to food in Guatemala and called on the government to declare the right to food a national priority. The organizations also denounced recent attacks on community, indigenous, farmworker, and union leaders and urged the government to improve protection programs for human rights defenders. Read the communiqué in Spanish here .

3. NEWS FROM THE GRASSROOTS

“Another world is possible. Another US is Necessary”: US Social Forum 2010
Planning for the US Social Forum, set for June 22-26 in Detroit, is in full-swing. Visit US Social Forum site to register, get connected with groups in your area, submit workshop proposals (deadline is March 20!) or sign up to volunteer. Contact bridget[at]nisgua.org to connect with NISGUA.

Join NISGUA as a Human Rights Accompanier
We are currently recruiting accompaniers to join NISGUA's Guatemala Accompaniment Project (GAP). The application deadline is April 2 to participate in the next training in late May/early June in the Bay Area, California. Visit our website to download a recruitment flyer , read more or start the application . Please contact us at gap[at]nisgua.org with any questions.

March on Washington for Immigration Reform
Join thousands of others for the march for immigration reform on March 21 in Washington DC. Click here for more information about the event and caravans from a city near you.

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