Check out our latest newsletter, which includes updates from Guatemala, news from the network, upcoming events and more!

View this email in your browser
BTS February Newsletter
Dear members, 

Did you know that today is the National Day for the Dignification of Victims of the Internal Armed Conflict in Guatemala? Today and everyday, we echo the calls for justice made by our partners in Guatemala. Read on to find out about an important victory against impunity in Guatemala. 

As we shared in our last newsletter, Guatemalans are mobilizing to call for an end to the staggering levels of violence against women and girls in the country. Read on to find out about the #TengoMiedo campaign.

Today, a leaked document highlighting the Canadian government's failure to take action on corporate accountability has made headlines. Meanwhile, the rise in threats and attacks against people engaged in the peaceful resistance against the Escobal mine, owned by the Canadian company Pan American Silver highlights the urgent need for change. Read on for some actions you can take, in solidarity with our partners in Guatemala and communities impacted by Canadian mining globally.

As always, thanks for your ongoing support and solidarity. 

Thank you, 
Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network 
Please Donate
Saturdays, 8am-1pm
BTS Coffee Project
Forum Farmers' Market in Halifax
Thurs. March 11 @ 6pm Atlantic 
Discussion with Gloria Reyes (Rabinal Legal Clinic) on Gendered Violence in Guatemala
To register, email
Justice for Maria Ramirez!

BTS denounces the murder of María Ramírez, mother of Wendy Vividor, one of 41 girls who died in the fire at the Virgin de Asuncion on March 8, 2017. María worked tirelessly for justice for her daughter and to commemorate her memory. María is yet another victim of feminicide in Guatemala, where 2021 has seen shocking numbers of murders of women and girls.

On March 8, we will remember María, her daughter Wendy, and the other victims and survivors of the fire, and their families who continue to be impacted by violence and failure by the state to protect the most vulnerable.

#TengoMiedo campaign addresses gendered violence in Guatemala

Last week the #TengoMiedo campaign was launched in Guatemala. It invites women and girls to share their lived experiences, call attention to the epidemic of gender-based violence, and envision a future of safety, justice, and accountability.

Breaking the Silence stands in solidarity with women and girls in Guatemala as they fight for justice and accountability. 

Amnesty Law Defeated

The Guatemalan Constitutional Court has upheld an injunction put forward by survivors of the Internal Armed Conflict, including Paulina Alvarado y Pedrina Ixpata who are involved in the Achi sexual violence case. This was a response to the Guatemalan Congress' attempts to reform the National Reconciliation Law (Bill 5377). These reforms would have granted amnesty and allowed those convicted of crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes to be released from jail and end all ongoing trials for these crimes, including the trial for sexual violence against the 36 women from Rabinal.

This is just yet another example of the amazing resilience and strength of the survivors and supporting organizations like the Rabinal Legal Clinic who continue to work tirelessly for justice.

Ni olvido, ni perdon!
No forgetting, nor forgiveness!

Sign the Petition: Demand Pan American Silver stop fueling violence

Over the past two months, six members of the peaceful resistance to Pan American Silver’s Escobal mine have suffered attacks and death threats. 

On January 16th, Julio David González Arango was shot at his home by armed assailants. That very same day two other outspoken opponents received calls and text messages saying that they would be next. On February 7th, Luis Fernando Garcia Monroy, another opponent of the mine and a member of the Xinka Parliament was threatened in his community. He was also one of the wounded during a 2013 attack.   

The company's continued interference in communities is making the situation worse. Join us in calling on Pan American Silver to respect the Xinka people’s right to be freely consulted without violence and threats, and immediately cease its interference in Xinka communities.

Lisa Rankin, BTS Guatemala Coordinator, spoke to the NS Advocate about the struggle of the Xinka people and BTS' solidarity work in the region. Read the article here.
Sign the petition
Government conceals and ignores expert advice on CORE, report leaked by civil society
Global News: Trudeau government backtracks on promised international human rights investigations

In April 2019 then minister of international trade Jim Carr commissioned an external legal review to advise him on “how best to equip the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE) with sufficient tools to engage in credible and effective investigations of alleged human rights abuse and to ensure that she has the powers to compel witnesses and documents.”

For a year and a half the government buried the results of the “time-bound” external legal review and failed to give the CORE the powers that were promised, and that the review confirms are needed.

Today, the report has finally been made public: not by the government, but by civil society.

See an in-depth news story on the leaked report and read the full report.

Tell the government that a powerless CORE is unacceptable and that impacted communities can wait no longer for access to justice!

Take Action Now
New Book "In the Arms of Inup" and Panel Discussion
In the Arms of Inup: Panel Discussion on Trauma Work, Narratives and Refugee Mental Health

Check out the upcoming book "In the Arms of Inup," which shares the profoundly moving story of BTS member Jeremias, who at the age of 11 led his family to safety during the Guatemalan genocide against the Mayan peoples. Jeremias breaks the silence as he shares his memories with author Eve Mills Allen, and we learn how inadequate our mental health system is to fully heal those traumatized by war and genocide.

In case you missed it, check out the recording from a recent panel discussion with Jeremias and mental health practitioners, which took place on February 13, 2021 (see above). 

We are grateful that 10% of every book sold will be donated to BTS.

Preorder the book
Check out BTS' recently launched website
We recently launched our new website, which we invite you to check out here. Thanks to Val Croft, who designed our beautiful new website! While you're there, take a look at our revised mission statement, developed in consultation with network members and our partners in Guatemala.
Visit our new website

APG Letter to Minister Garneau: Concern Regarding Undermining of Human Rights Ombudsman in Guatemala

The Americas Policy Group, a coalition of Canadian CSOs including BTS, has written to Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister to express our concern regarding efforts of the Guatemalan government to undermine the country's Human Rights Ombudperson’s office (PDH). 
Read the letter
Honduras: Who Killed Berta Cáceres? Event with Nina Lakhani on March 3rd
In commemoration of the five-year anniversary of the assassination of Berta Cáceres, join Tertulias Fredericton and the Atlantic Regional Solidarity Network for a talk with Nina Lakhani on her book, Who Killed Berta Cáceres? Dams, Death Squads, and an Indigenous Defender’s Battle for the Planet, on Wednesday, March 3 at 7:30pm (Atlantic Time) on Zoom.

The talk will include an update on the struggle for justice for Berta and solidarity actions with COPINH, the organization that Berta co-founded and led at the time of her death. Stayed updated on the Facebook event page. Watch the event on Facebook live here.
Register for the webinar here
Job Opportunity: Above Ground is Seeking a New Director

Above Ground, a project on MakeWay’s shared platform, promotes respect for human rights and the environment by multinational companies and their public-sector partners. Above Ground produces research and analysis, facilitates collaboration and exchange, and advocates for policy and law reform. 

The deadline for applications is March 17, 2021. For full position details and instructions to apply, please visit here.

Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward

This email was sent to *|EMAIL|*
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences