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Guatemala: News & Updates

Guatemala had the longest and bloodiest civil war in Central American history: 36 years (1960-96). The US-backed military was responsible for a genocide (“scorched earth policy”) that wiped out 200,000 mostly Maya indigenous civilians.  War criminals are still being tried in the courts.

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On January 6, 2021, the former head of security for a subsidiary of the Toronto-based mining company Hudbay Minerals officially pled guilty in a Guatemalan court to killing a local Indigenous community leader and paralyzing another Indigenous man. This could have important ramifications for two lawsuits against Hudbay underway in Ontario that centre on the Sept. 27, 2009, killing and maiming of the Indigenous men. Mynor Padilla, the former security chief of CGN, a Guatemalan nickel-mining company that was owned by Hudbay between 2008 and 2011, pled guilty to the crimes on Dec. 17, 2020, as part of an agreement struck between Padilla and his victims, among them Angelica Choc, the widow of slain community leader Adolfo Ich, and German Chub, who was paralyzed. On Wednesday, the court accepted and ratified the guilty pleas.
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Sandra Cuffe in Puerto Barrios

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We continue to organize our communities in support and defense of immigrants, especially those in vulnerable situations. Connect with Immigration Working Group CLE, a collaborative of community advocates and organizations across NE Ohio. Ask about the group’s Immigrant Defense Fund, Rapid Response Team, Bond Reduction Project, volunteer needs, legislative advocacy, vigils, rallies, marches, and more. Contact iwgcle@gmail.com or see www.facebook.com/iwgCLE
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Solidarity donations are being distributed through social movement organizations and collectives in Central America that are working in the communities most impacted by flooding and government neglect.  Tens of thousands of dollars have been raised through grassroots channels, but the need is much greater. Please give what you can to help these families in desperate need.
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Honduras and Nicaragua : With the devastation already caused by Hurricane Eta (and Hurrican Iota, just 2 weeks later), the Honduras Solidarity Network is launching this fundraising campaign to raise money for community-based organizations affected by the storm. All money raised will go to these well established organizations already doing the work, climate disaster relief and organizing that is needed for a sustainable and effective response to the damages and urgent humanitarian crisis caused by the hurricane. See also: specific funds for communities in Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador
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Governments all over the world can and must take action right now to reduce the amount of people forcibly displaced because of climate change. According to a United Nation’s Report, we, as a global community, still have a window of opportunity to establish policies and strategies to ameliorate both the issues leading to climate migration and the issues directly caused by climate migration.
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We have already emitted enough greenhouse gases (GHGs), such as CO2, to change the very composition of our atmosphere. Scientists, researchers, policymakers, and governmental officials alike know this; they know that the effects of climate change are occurring now and will continue into the not-so-distant future. We now face the question: will we act now to limit the consequences of climate change by reducing emissions or continue with the status quo and suffer the consequences?

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