Read on for the latest updates from Guatemala and our Canada-based advocacy!

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BTS Monthly Newsletter
Dear Breaking the Silence Network, 

Since our last newsletter, there have been many positive developments in the long struggles for justice of our Guatemalan partners. Read below for updates on the pre-consultation process of the Escobal mine in Xinka Territory and for updates on the Maya Achi Sexual Violence Case. We also bring you a development regarding a concerning reincarnation of the Amnesty law, and an overview of the recent top news stories.

In Canada, we have several updates on our Canadian-focused advocacy- including a new initiative to support through the Canadian Network for Corporate Accountability and a solidarity action for the family of Rodney Levi. 

Throughout the summer and during these challenging times, we thank you for your dedication, support, and the eternal energy you pour into our collective justice project. We appreciate all of the members of our network who make this work possible and keep us rooted in solidarity at home and abroad. 

We have many events to look forward to this summer and fall and hope to connect with you all soon either virtually or in-person where restrictions allow!

Yours in solidarity,
Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network
Please Donate
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August 14
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October 22-24 
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November 6-7
Blue Nose Marathon
Nova Scotia
Consultation Process for the Escobal Mine Advances after Multi-Year Delay
Photos taken during the pre-consultation phase meetings for the Escobal Mine (Photo credit: Xinka Parliament)

On May 21st, the 59 representatives of the Xinka Parliament met with the Minister of Energy and Mines to officially begin the consultation process for the Canadian-owned Escobal Mine. This marks an important development in the timeline of the mine, which has been suspended since June 2017 as a result of direct community action and the Constitutional Court’s ruling that the company had failed to consult with the Xinka people.

For the full update from Maria and Indigo:
Click Here
What is Making News In Guatemala?
The Highlands Committee of Small Farmers (CCDA) protesting at the American Embassy in Guatemala during Vice President Kamala Harris's visit. Their signs read “Kamala They are lying to you! There is corruption, political prisoners, malnutrition, hate crimes, femicide, child exploitation, unemployment, and poverty, Guatemala is a narco-state. This is why there is migration.”  (Photo credit: CCDA, CCDA)

Read cooperants Indigo Christ and Laura Robinson’s update on the most pressing issues in the news this month for our Guatemalan partners, including: reactions to the visit of Kamala Harris, United State’s Vice President, to the sustained impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read the full update
The Amnesty Law = IMPUNITY
On June 7 in the Guatemalan Congress, the Valor party, led by Zury Rios (daughter of Rios Montt) presented Law 5920 for the consolidation of peace and reconciliation, also known as the "Amnesty Law". This proposed law is not new. In February of this year, the Constitutional Court (CC) granted an injunction that forced Congress to shelve the previous amnesty bill, Bill 5377, created in 2019 to reform the National Reconciliation Law with a similar purpose.
Read the full story
Maya Achi Case Update: 2nd Fugitive from Justice Brought to Trial 
Live stream from the courtroom during the intermediary hearings in March 2021 (Photo Credit: Verdad Justicia)

On May 16th, 2021, the ex-civil patroller Gabriel Cuxum Alvarado was located and arrested by the Guatemalan Attorney General in Zone 18 of Guatemala City. Gabriel Cuxum Alvarado has been a fugitive from justice in connection to Maya Achi Sexual Violence Case since 2018. He is also wanted for crimes against humanity committed during the massacres in Río Negro.
Read the full update
Demonstrate your Solidarity: Letters for the family of Rodney Levi
On June 12th, the New Brunswick’s Public Prosecutions Services announced there would be no charges laid against the police officer who fatally shot Chantel Moore. Chantel, a Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman from British Columbia was killed by Edmundston police on June 4, 2020, during a 'wellness check'.

This announcement follows a similar decision against charging the RCMP officer responsible for the fatal shooting of Rodney Levi, a Mi'kmaq man from Matepenagig Mi'kmaq Nation, on June 12, 2020. 

TAKE ACTION: Members of the Matepenagig Mi'kmaq Nation and Resist NB have launched a letter-writing campaign for Mary Ann (Mulian) Levi, Rodney Levi’s mother. You are invited to send a letter to addressed to Mary to demonstrate your solidarity during these times of isolation and grief. 
Statement of Solidarity with Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc
Please visit our website to read the full statement and view several resources meant to educate, inspire action, and provide support. 
Click Here
Pride Month and National Indigenous History Month
June marks both Pride Month and National Indigenous History Month. 

We acknowledge and celebrate the histories, stories of resistance, and constant contributions these communities make to the BTS Network and our wider communities.

We encourage members of the BTS network to learn about the historic and ongoing displays of resistances and resurgence of these communities and to continue to undertake actions of solidarity throughout the year to ensure that our unified pursuits of justice are achieved. 
CNCA - Launches mHREDD Campaign
On Monday, May 31st, 2021, the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability (CNCA) released the draft model legislation to provide lawmakers with a blueprint for a new Canadian corporate accountability law (Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence Legislation, or mHREDD). Canadian companies affect human rights in their operations abroad. This legislation will address and correct the adverse human rights impact caused by Canadian business activities overseas.

For the report written by summer cooperant Tianqi Liu:
Click Here
APG Mesoamerica - Briefing Note
In late May, BTS and other members of the Americas Policy Group (APG) drafted a briefing note voicing concern over escalating violence and repression in Guatemala and outlining concrete actions Canada must take to fulfill its commitments to uphold human rights in the country.

The briefing note outlines the perilous context for human rights, land and environmental defenders, and institutions in Guatemala, by highlighting the key issues that link this context to Canadian interests, and questions the lack of action by Canadian Ministers and the Canadian Embassy in Guatemala to this matter.  

APG Mesoamerica members will continue working to bring awareness and action on the issues that are negatively impacting partners in Guatemala while benefiting Canadian interests.  Over the next few months, this subgroup of canadian civil society organizations will continue their efforts to inform Canadian MPs, the Canadian government, and the Canadian Embassy in Guatemala on concrete ways to take action to fulfill its obligations to the Guatemalan people.  
Read the full brief here
Welcome Summer Cooperants!
This summer, two students from Dalhousie University will be joining BTS for a 14-week work term. These positions are funded by the Nova Scotia Student Summer Skill Incentive program. During these 14 weeks, current Cooperants Laura Robinson and Indigo Christ will introduce them to BTS’s mission, history, and projects, to support and train them in doing solidarity work with BTS in both the Maritimes and Guatemala.

The summer cooperants will share their skills in social media, communications and research to create graphics, engage the public in analysis of critical content, and support BTS's virtual accompaniment of Guatemalan-based partners. Ecem Akdeniz will join Indigo to support BTS’s social media and Tianqi Liu will join Laura to create content for the BTS website. They will also work together on special projects during the summer. All cooperants look forward to developing their skills in writing, researching, and outreach this summer.
Read their bios
Register for The Annual Mabou Boat Tour Fundraiser! 
Join us for an afternoon of sightseeing, whale watching, and swimming off the coast of Western Cape Breton!

Register by emailing Lisa Rankin:
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