As a friend of Breaking the Silence, we write you once again asking for your contribution to BTS in 2015. This is a difficult political climate for everyone fighting for social justice. However, with your help, we can continue our long-term work, grounded in hope and authentic relationships with our Guatemalan partners.
“Watching hope spring from every corner of Guatemala this year reminds us that we cannot give up on working for change and a world that respects life. Despite the odds, Guatemalans continue to teach us what it means to give your life to the struggle for justice and we have to do our part.” Jackie McVicar, BTS Coordinator currently in Canada.
This year has been marked by some remarkable highs and lows in the work of BTS. In September, outgoing Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina was stripped of his diplomatic immunity and indicted on charges of corruption, bribery and fraud, months after a customs graft was uncovered that mobilized hundreds of thousands of Guatemalans to demand an end to impunity and corruption. Just a few days later, Leocadio Juracan was elected as member of congress during the country’s elections. Many of you know Leocadio, the National Coordinator of the CCDA and Breaking the Silence coffee partner. His election marks a shift in partisan politics and momentum for a movement struggling for social change.
“Everyday, we meet people in the most difficult moments of their lives – they have been criminalized, threatened and their family members have been killed. But their resilience and courage to continue the struggle for justice inspire me to continue as well.” Lisa Rankin, BTS Coordinator currently in Guatemala.
At the same time, other partners continue to be targeted for their work and resistance to large scale development projects which threaten life and sovereignty. Just days ago, Alex Reynoso, a community leader and human rights defender, was shot as he left a meeting where he was talking with the local mayor about the impacts of mining in their community. Alex is father of Topacio Reynoso, a 16 year old environmental activist who was murdered in April 2014. BTS staff on the ground responded immediately to accompany Alex in the hospital during his recovery; together with North American allies, BTS worked to draft a letter to Guatemalan and Canadian officials to help protect the safety of Alex and others who defend their rights. Though their lives are at risk, our partners continue to struggle with courage, determination and resilience. From Guatemala to Canada, there is clearly so much more to be done!
Your generous donations, as always, directly support the continuous, committed work of our BTS coordinators. For example, your donation of:
$10/month allows our coordinators to attend press conferences, marches and human rights trials in Guatemala City to document and share information
$25/month allows immediate responses to crisis situations such as accompaniment of Alex Reynoso who was shot in October 2015.
$50/month allows the deepening of relationships and support to partners such as the CCDA, and the New Hope Foundation through regular visits and project coordination.
Your monthly and annual donations also help us do important educational events, advocate for just laws and foreign policy, and meet with local committees in
Canada. We are thankful for all gifts however small or large. Together they add up to making a difference! If you are able to consider an increase in your donation in 2016, it would be greatly appreciated.
Online donations can be made here. Please write: “BTS Staffing Campaign” in comments section of donation page. Or contact us to receive a donation form. Tatamagouche Centre is able to accept all donations until further notice – we will keep you informed if any changes arise.
Any contribution is much a
ppreciated. The important work carried ou
t by our BTS Coordinators benefits enormously with sustained monthly donations; and more funds go directly to BTS when using a void cheque and paying through a bank account than using a credit card.
Thank you to all our incredible supporters. TOGETHER, WE ARE IN SOLIDARITY!
The BTS Fundraising Committee
Kathryn Anderson, Marie Claire Brisbois, Sheena Cameron, Janelle Frail, Marla LeBlanc, Moira Peters, Sarah Wilbur