2015 Update from the Fredericton Chapter of the Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network
The Fredericton chapter of the Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network had a busy year.
We hosted and co-hosted a number of events on interesting and timely topics, used the federal election
to raise our concerns with Canadian mining companies, and strengthened our existing coalitions and
built new ones.

Latin Music at the 2015 Noche Latina in Fredericton.

Latin Music at the 2015 Noche Latina in Fredericton.

Noche Latina 2015 was a huge success. We fed a delicious Central American meal to approximately 250 people. Noche Latina has been getting bigger every year. There was a variety show of music and
dance from different corners of the world and a well-stocked silent auction. The event raised funds for BTS and the Multicultural Association of Fredericton’s Newcomer Scholarship Fund. Special thanks to Arianne Orellana for coordinating the event.

Volunteers at Fredericton's annual Noche Latina make some delicious food.

Volunteers at Fredericton’s annual Noche Latina make some delicious food.

BTS Fredericton joined the 2015 NB World March of Women Committee. The World March of Women
is a global social movement that aims to eliminate the causes of poverty and violence against women.
The 2015 theme was “Freedom for our bodies, our land and our territories,” with a focus on precarious
work. Tracy Glynn spoke on behalf of BTS at the “Women on the March Until We are All Free: Rally
for Equality and Solidarity” on April 24, 2015 at the NB Legislature. The rally was part of a global day
of action hosted by the World March of Women committees. The day of action marked the second
anniversary of the Bangladesh factory collapse that killed 1,135 workers. Tracy spoke about the Maya
women in Guatemala who are demanding justice in Canadian courts for rape and murder committed by
a Canadian mine’s security guards. Read Tracy’s speech here.

The NB World March of Womenoccurred on Oct. 17 in downtown Fredericton. About 150 people marched and rallied at the Legislature that day and many attended a teach-in that afternoon where topics such as justice for Canada’s missing
and murdered indigenous women, the status of gender equality in New Brunswick and challenges facing immigrant and refugee women were discussed. BTS members, Jill Peters, Sophie Lavoie, Amanda Wildeman, Joan McFarland and Tracy Glynn sat on the NB World March of Women organizing committee.

On the eve of the Senate passing Harper’s anti-terrorist Bill C-51, dozens gathered at a cafe in
Fredericton on June 8, 2015 to hear three indigenous land defenders share their stories of being
criminalized for defending their community’s land and water. Crisanta Perez, a Mayan Mam mother
and grandmother from the Western highlands of Guatemala, spoke of her community’s struggle against
the Goldcorp Marlin mine. Perez blames the mine for shortages in water, cracks in homes, health
impacts and criminalization and violence against opponents. Read more here.

Joan McFarland, a BTS Fredericton member, asked the federal candidates in the Fredericton/Oromocto
riding at an all-candidates forum organized by the Council of Canadians Fredericton Chapter in
September whether they supported Canada’s Open to Justice campaign, which asks, “are you ready to
stand up for justice for mine-affected communities in the global South?” It was clear that the candidates
in attendance knew very little about the campaign or the problems in mine-affected communities,
except for Green Party Candidate Mary-Lou Babineau, who was well informed. Two elections ago,
Babineau running for the first time as a candidate, met with Javier De Leon, a Mayan Mam community
leader, who was in the Maritimes doing a tour about the impacts of Goldcorp mine on his community.
More here about the campaign.

BTS’s Jackie McVicar participated in a panel called, “What companies don’t want you to know:
Barrick, Goldcorp and the Irving’s” at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton on Sept. 29,
2015. The panel was organized by the NB Media Co-op to mark their 6th Annual General Meeting.
Jackie spoke about Canadian mining companies in Guatemala and their influence over institutions in
Canada. Also speaking on the panel were Alain Deneault and Julian Walker. Alain spoke on the legal
struggles he experienced over his book, Noir Canada, that shone a light on Canadian mining
companies’ human rights abuses in Africa. Deneault is also the author of Imperial Canada Inc.: Legal
Haven of Choice for the World’s Mining Industries, which has also been the target of threatened legal
action from Barrick Gold. Julian spoke about the Irving press and reporter self-censorship.

BTS endorsed the Refugees Welcome Fredericton Rally held on Dec. 12, 2015 at Fredericton City Hall.
The rally extended a warm welcome to refugees entering our communities and called for more humane
refugee and immigrant policies in Canada. The displacement of people for Canadian mining company
operations was also highlighted at the rally. Read more about the rally here.