The BTS Annual Gathering is less than 1 month away! Have you registered? All are invited to join the Breaking the Silence Annual Gathering, taking place Saturday October 24th from 9:30 AM to Sunday October 25th at 1PM at the Tatamagouche Centre.

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BTS September Newsletter
BTS Annual Gathering is less than 1 month away! Have you registered?
All are invited to join the Breaking the Silence Annual Gathering, taking place Saturday October 24th, 9:30am – Sunday, October 25th, 1pm at the Tatamagouche Centre. 

Come make and renew connections, be updated on struggles in Guatemala and Mi’kmaki, and be inspired for ongoing support and action. We'll hear from Emy Gomez, General Coordinator of the Xinka Parliament virtually, and more! 

Your participation matters! We hope to see you there! 

Further information: 

  • Please read the Tatamagouche Centre's COVID-19 protocols for our onsite gatherings.
  • If you are unable to register online, at the link below, please call Katja Burtis at Tatamagouche Centre 9am-4pm, weekdays (except Wednesdays) at (902) 657-2231.
  • For any registration questions email the Centre
  • Please do not stay away because of a lack of funds. We need you!  If you can, it is helpful to pay a portion of the cost. To apply for a bursary please click “Partial Bursary” under payment options and our Registrar will contact you.
Please Donate
Oct 24-25, 2020
BTS Annual Gathering
Tatamagouche, NS
October 28, 2020
CNCA Virtual Rally
More details below
Fall 2021
BTS Delegation
Register now

The criminalization of Maria Magdalena Cuc Choc continues

A preliminary hearing on the case against María Magadelna Cuc Choc, Maya Q’eqchi’ human rights and land defender, was held on September 11, 2020.  Judge Edgar Anibal Arteaga who presides over the case took less than 5 minutes to present his resolution and send the case to trial.  Proceedings on this case have already lasted 2 years and 8 months. 

Breaking the Silence has accompanied María in the past, including a delegation visit with her in 2018 and a staff visit in late 2019.  We will continue to stand in solidarity with her and her family throughout this process, and strengthen our work against the criminalization of human rights and land defenders in Guatemala.  

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Reflecting on Independence Day in Guatemala

September 15th is Independence Day in Guatemala. This year marks 199 years since the transfer of power from the Spanish Crown to the European elites and their descendants in Guatemala. Many Indigenous people and organizations in Guatemala would say that she should celebrate Indigenous resistance instead. 

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Last Day to Contribute: COVID-19 Solidarity Fund for Guatemalan Partners

Five months after our initial urgent action and Emergency Solidarity Fundraising Campaign for BTS partners, our partners and staff in Guatemala confirm that the situation throughout the country continues to drastically deteriorate, despite the Guatemalan government’s assurance otherwise. Guatemala and the region are entering a long haul, with difficulties stemming from the pandemic and the inadequate government responses.

It's in the spirit of solidarity and mutuality, that we are once asking you to help us support our partners as they work in defense of the land, territory and human rights amidst the troubling times ahead.  Your donations to our COVID-19 Solidarity Fund for Guatemalan Partners will go entirely to support local led initiatives on the ground and provide much needed relief.

Thanks to your generous contributions, we've already raised $9,165. Our goal is to raise $15,000 by the end of today.

Donate Now

BTS Fall Community Council Meeting

On September 12-13th, we held our first physically distanced face-to-face BTS Community Council meeting in the COVID-19 context. We were thrilled to have representation from these local commitees: Halifax; PEI; the North Shore; Antigonish. We also heard from BTS' Steering Committee, Finance Committee and Personnel Committee, and got to connect with Este Chep, BTS Interim Guatemala Coordinator. 

Throughout the weekend, we practiced COVID-19 protocols: wearing masks indoors; maintaining physical distance and not sharing finger foods. While this is an adjustment for BTS, the consensus was that it was incredibly energizing to see each other in person and well worth it!

Solidarity with Mi'kmaq fishers

Mi'kmaw fish harvesters who are exercising their treaty rights to moderate livelihood fishing - as recognized in the landmark 1999 Supreme Court ruling in the Marshal case -  are currently facing intimidation and violence in St. Mary's Bay.

There are current calls for support in the form of donations of funds or supplies needed, contacting your elected officials, amplifying Mi'kmaw voices and being present in-person. You'll find more information on how you can support, as well as educational resources, in this document. 

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We’re hiring! Anti-Oppression Consultant for BTS

We know that anti-racism and anti-oppression are central to solidarity work. We also recognize the need for our Network to engage in deep reflection and analysis, in order to integrate more critical justice affirming, anti-racist, and anti-oppressive practices into our work. We are currently seeking an Anti-Oppression Consultant for BTS in order to support our efforts in continuing this work.

Please consider applying if you think you'd be a good fit, or share this posting within your networks. 

Application Process

Interested individuals are asked to submit an expression of interest, along with their CV outlining related experience and how they would undertake this work with BTS. We are accepting applications until Monday, October 12th at 11:59PM AST. Please email your application in one document to

We encourage applications from individuals that represent the full diversity of communities in terms of ability, age, class, gender, race and sexual orientation. Furthermore, we appreciate and value the knowledge and skills arising from people’s lived experiences. 

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Oct 1 - Mining Injustice through International Arbitration: Countering KCA’ claims over a gold mine in Guatemala.  

On October 1st at 7PM EST / 8PM AST, join the webinar Mining Injustice through International Arbitration: Countering Kappes, Cassiday & Associates’ claims over a gold-mining project in Guatemala.  


In Guatemala, the U.S. mining firm Kappes, Cassiday & Associates (KCA) relied on state security forces to undermine the Peaceful Resistance La Puya in order to briefly operate the El Tambor gold mine. When unwavering community resistance and legal action halted operations again, KCA turned to international arbitration to strong-arm the Guatemalan government into green-lighting the mine — or compensating KCA for hundreds of millions of dollars in unearned profits.

Join this webinar to learn about this $400 million claim, which is currently proceeding at a World Bank Group tribunal, as well as the ongoing resistance at La Puya, lessons from El Salvador, and the inherent injustice in the supranational Investor State Dispute Settlement System (ISDS).



  • Álvaro Sandoval, Peaceful Resistance La Puya 

  • Edgar Pérez, Lawyer and Founder, Guatemalan Human Rights Law firm 

  • Jen Moore & Ellen Moore, report co-authors with Luis Solano, Institute for Policy Studies & Earthworks 

  • Yanira Cortez Estévez, Salvadoran lawyer and former adjunct ombudsperson for environmental rights, Human Rights Ombudsperson’s office, El Salvador 

  • Manuel Pérez Rocha, Institute for Policy Studies 



Laura Carlsen, Journalist, Director of the Americas Program and Host of Hecho en América, Rompeviento TV   

The webinar will be held in Spanish with English interpretation on available on zoom. Register here for more information. Or join by Facebook Live here or here (Spanish only)

Oct 18 - Rights for People, Rules for Business! A Virtual Rally for Real Canadian Corporate Accountability

Voluntary measures have proven ineffective in preventing human rights abuses, environmental destruction and other abuses by Canadian corporations in the mining, energy, and garment sectors.

On October 18 @ 4pm EST/5pm AST, raise your voice for corporate accountability!

Come together online with Canadians across the country for the @Open4Justice campaign’s first ever virtual rally. Together, we will symbolically deliver a petition to the House of Commons calling for concrete measures to strengthen the rules for businesses and uphold human rights.

Tune in to hear from mining-affected communities, chant for change, and connect with a growing movement demanding Canadian corporations uphold human rights abroad.

Register Now
Americas Policy Group Concerned About OAS Meddling in Human Rights Commission Appointment
On September 14th, the Americas Policy Group wrote to express profound concern regarding the decision of the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, not to renew the mandate of the Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), Dr. Paulo Abrão. The APG/GOPA believes that this decision puts at risk the independence of the IACHR to be able to promote, protect, and defend human rights in the Americas.

The Americas Policy Group (APG) is a Canadian coalition of 27 organizations promoting human rights and equitable development in the Americas. BTS is a member of the APG via the Atlantic Regional Solidarity Network. 
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Event Series: “Bolivia, the end of a cycle? Reflections on the political crisis, the pandemic, and what comes next” 

Bolivia has gone through its most severe crisis in recent decades. After the failed 2019 election, the country was engulfed in a dramatic series of events: accusations of fraud led to large demonstrations, several civilian clashes and the direct intervention of military and police forces led to dozens of deaths and serious concerns about human rights violations. The fall of the Movement towards Socialism (MAS) government historically supported by peasants, farmers and working-class organizations, unexpectedly interrupted the last political cycle in the country. Then to add fuel to the raging fire, the dramatic political crisis was followed by a pandemic that exacerbated existing tensions and lead to consecutive postponements of the elections. The elections in October represent the next phase in this protracted critical conjuncture.

In this series of keynote presentations Bolivian social and working movement leaders, academics, and political analysts will interrogate the main features of this highly complex crisis, along with its social, economic and political roots.

Presentations will be in Spanish with English interpretation made available, and the event will be streamed on YouTube as well as via Zoom.

Sponsors for this event include the Americas Policy Group and the Atlantic Regional Solidarity Network

Register Now
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