In this newsletter, we set out a summary of organizations, projects and struggles that Rights Action has funded, to date, in 2012. These are your funds at work. With your help, we are supporting courageous people in Guatemala and Honduras, and their efforts to protect the environment, to defend human rights and justice, and to build real democracy from the grassroots level up.
We send you this sad update about work we are involved with in Guatemala. Please consider donating 'humanitarian relief' funds for the needs of Yolanda Oqueli, and for the other people and communities mentioned in this article.
On June 13, assassins on a motorcycle shot multiple times at Yolanda Oqueli Veliz, a community leader from the municipalities of San José el Golfo and San Pedro Ayampuc, just out side of Guatemala City. Yolanda is in critical but stable condition in a Guatemala City Hospital, one bullet still lodged in her body. Humanitarian-emergency relief funds are needed.
On July 14-15, an International Health Tribunal will take place in San Miguel Ixtahuacan, Guatemala, in the shadow of Goldcorp's "Marlin" mine. People from Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico will give testimony as to the health harms and other human rights violations they have suffered due to the operations of Goldcorp mines in their regions.
A delegation of academics, human rights and labor activists, visited the community of Ahuás in the Department of Gracias a Dios in a region known as La Moskitia. On May 11, 2012 four helicopters conducted an apparent drug interdiction near the town of Ahuas. At least one of the helicopters opened fire on a passenger boat killing two pregnant women, a 14-year-old boy and a 21-year-old man, while seriously injuring at least four more. The purpose of the visit was to inquire into this tragedy.
The Summits of the Americas began in 1994 as forums to promote free trade. In 2009 the Summit's focus shifted to demands for the inclusion of Cuba in regional political bodies and the end of the U.S. economic embargo, a debate which continued in this month's Sixth Summit in Cartagena.
Politically motivated killings apparently by death squads have been growing over the past few years in Central America, and concern in Guatemala is heightened as the new administration has brought back to public office many of the same individuals directly implicated in the State repression and genocide of the 1980s.
An article "On the Problem of Femicide" about violence and repression against women and girls in Guatemala, and the daily and historic reality of impunity.
"Militarization in Central America is less about controlling crime than ensuring access to natural resources" (Annie Bird)
On March 15th, Bernardo Vásquez Sánchez, an Indigenous Zapotec community leader and member of the Coordinating Committee of the United Peoples of the Valley of Ocotlán (CPUVO) in San José del Progreso, Oaxaca, was murdered in an ambush by a group of some three gunmen.