News Recap: Huehuetenango communities march against militarization, Escalation of tension, threats and defamation against the peaceful resistance to mining in Mataquescuintla, NISGUA Oakland takes action for immigrant justice on Amazon Prime Day, Thank you Becky, David, and Martha; welcome Claire, Meredith, Rafael, and Sarasuadi!
It's been a busy month for movements here in Guatemala and in the U.S. We've been proud to join our partners on the front lines in some big events as they resist U.S. imperialism and extractivism. And, of course, we've been monitoring the progress of the "third safe country" agreement that Trump managed to strong-arm to life. Learn more below!
Huehuetenango communities march against militarization
A sign reads “No to the presence of U.S. military personnel on the southern border!” Behind, another sign reads, “Only together, with MEMORY OF THE STRUGGLE AND RESISTANCE of our PEOPLES can we stop the imperialism.”
On July 11, 2019, communities of Huehuetenango marched against the presence of the U.S. military in their territories. Not one Indigenous community was consulted about the presence of foreign troops, a violation of the 1996 Peace Accords and International Labor Organization (ILO) convention number 169. Instead, the militarization was a result of a memorandum of cooperation signed by the Acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Guatemalan Interior Minister.
In the march, the communities organized through the Departmental Assembly of Peoples of Huehuetenango (ADH) delivered the Petition of Zaculeu, a statement rejecting the militarization of their territories and demanding the withdrawal of U.S. troops, to the Guatemalan military, the U.S. military, and the governor of Huehuetenango’s office. The petition also denounces efforts to make Guatemala a “safe third country,” and effort that was later struck down by the Guatemalan Constitutional Court. As the petition reads, “At the core of this, the U.S. is strengthening its military and commercial presence in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador with the goal of maintaining its hegemony over Central America, advancing towards the invasion of South America, and realizing the imperialist dream of an America for the United States.”
Escalation of tension, threats and defamation against the peaceful resistance to mining in Mataquescuintla
We are deeply concerned by the recent escalation in tension, threats and defamation against water protectors in resistance against Pan American Silver's Escobal mine in Mataquescuintla, Guatemala. The National Civil Police (PNC) has repeatedly failed in its duty to protect the public from violence and threats, despite overt attacks on community leaders. These incidents have happened in the context of the more than two-year long suspension of the Escobal mine and the consultation process ordered by the Guatemalan Constitutional Court with the Xinka communities affected by the mine in southeastern Guatemala.
NISGUA Oakland takes action for immigrant justice on Amazon Prime Day
NISGUA Oakland took action for immigrant justice on Amazon Prime Day, joining in a nationwide campaign of protests to demand that Amazon stop enabling the tracking and targeting of immigrants, cut ties with DHS and ICE, and stop the abuse of warehouse workers.
We want to hear about how your international solidarity is taking shape locally! Write us with local organizing and actions you’re taking by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local organizers in the Bay Area demand #nomoreraids and to #closethecamps. Photo credit: PODER SF
Thank you Becky, David, and Martha; welcome Claire, Meredith, Rafael, and Sarasuadi!
As you may have noticed from our three job postings this spring, a big transition is underway for the NISGUA team! After nearly four years of hard work we are saying a loving goodbye to Becky, David, and Martha. As they go on to new paths, we deeply thank each of these comrades for their commitment to collective liberation.
We are also excited to welcome Claire, Meredith, and Sarasuadi to the team!
Claire Bransky (she/they) is from occupied Ojibwe territory in northern MN and first got involved in social movements through the Black Lives Matter movement and struggles against pipelines in the Midwest. She was first an accompanier on the Ixil-Ixcán Team and then a Communications Fellow with NISGUA, and has been working as the Guatemala City office’s Digital Organizer & Partnerships Coordinator since March.
Meredith Wilkinson (she/her) joined the team in June as the new U.S. Operations and Programs Coordinator after spending nine months in Guatemala as an accompanier with NISGUA! She currently resides in Chicago where she has been living, working, organizing, and going to school for the past five years. Primarily throwing down for abolitionist and migrant justice movements in the U.S., Meredith is excited to continue digging deeper into these areas while expanding her commitment to NISGUA and our Guatemalan partners.
Sarasuadi Ochoa (she/her) is the new Guatemala Accompaniment Coordinator. She is from Mexico and she has been participating and organizing with Indigenous organizations in the southern states of Guerrero and Chiapas since 2009. Before joining NISGUA, she was living in Oakland and accompanying Central American families seeking refuge in the United States. She was also a member of a Latina immigrant women grassroots organization in the Bay Area.
NISGUA welcomes our new Oakland office intern: Rafael!
Rafael Revolorio (they/he) was born and raised in the Bay Area and is in high school. His dad was born and raised in Guatemala. Rafael goes on trips often to visit family and has seen many problems in Guatemala. He started working with NISGUA in the summer of 2019 to help the people of Guatemala and to gain experience for future jobs. We are thrilled to welcome Rafael to the team.
GAP Coordinator With the entire NISGUA team: Bridget, Claire, Meredith, and Rafa
We're in this for the long haul.
At the center of each of our Solidarity Updates are people facing real risks for speaking out against impunity, state and corporate violence, and working towards justice. We provide international accompaniment and/or advocacy support to all of the organizations and individuals that we write about, as one attempt to dissuade further attacks human rights defenders face for speaking out.
Make a donation to NISGUA today to help answer the calls of our partners for ongoing accompaniment support and much needed advocacy on the long road to justice.