Stories from Quick Reads and Guatemala
Rios Montt's lawyer and others believe that the trial is a “political lynching” […] It doesn't matter if the guerrilas were going to turn “Guatemala into another Cuba;” the rape, torture, starvation and murder of civilians who might or might not have supported the guerrillas is just indefensible. But Rios Montt now has the opportunity to defend his actions and those of the officers who carried out orders on his and the state's behalf.
I woke up early and put two golden coins
one for each shoe […]
two coins I'm telling you
when meteorites fall down and all this gets open as an orange […]
I'll put one in each eye
as I put my armas behind my head
that gets open as an orange […]
the boatman has work to do
and deserves to be tipped
In a country as vulnerable to natural disasters as Guatemala, a “state of public calamity” is frequently declared – to the joy of contractors, which find a good opportunity to line their pockets.
Rising Voices is partnering with Hivos and Dialogía in two “camps” for young people using digital media for social change. The workshops, called “Activistmo” [es], will be held in Nicaragua and Guatemala during September and October. Young people from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala between the ages of 18-25 can apply [es] until August 31.
The blog Guatemala Solidarity Network and James Rodriguez from Mi Mundo report on the attempted murder of anti-mining activist Yolanda “Yoli” Oquely Veliz. The Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA condemns the shooting and invites citizens to sign a petition “to call on the Guatemalan Government to investigate this crime and prosecute those responsible.”
The blog Asamblea Departamental por la Defensa del Territorio- Huehuetenango [es] published an urgent statement about the death of Santa Cruz Barillas community leader Andrés Francisco Miguel and attacks on other community leaders who oppose the construction of a hydroelectric dam. Today, May 3, the BBC reports: “The Guatemalan government has declared a state of siege in the town of Santa Cruz Barillas following clashes over the death of a community leader.”
Ahni announces the upcoming Spanish edition of Intercontinental Cry [es], which will go live on March 31, 2012. “The main objective of IC Espanol is, of course, to provide Spanish readers with the same news that our English readers have come to expect from us; what I consider to be essential news on the global indigenous movement.” Find out about more languages on the IC Translation Project Facebook page.
Documentary photographer James Rodriguez shares a photo essay with “images from the first day of the historic trial against former de facto dictator Efraín Ríos Montt and former Intelligence Director José Mauricio Rodriguez Sanchez. Ríos Montt and Rodriguez Sanchez are charged with Genocide and crimes against humanity during the civil war in Guatemala (1960-1996) against the Ixil Mayan people”.
The recently released Free Software Assessment Report 2012 shows the opinion, assessment and preferences of more than 5,000 people from Spain and Latin America. The study published in its fourth edition is promoted by PortalProgramas and supported by a number of experts and collaborators [es]. The report aims to contribute to a better understanding, use and dissemination of free software in Latin America. The summary of the study can be accessed online [es] and more information can be found on the report's conclusions for 2012 [es].
The Guatemala Human Rights Commission has released a petition [en, es] to “demand justice for the massacre in Totonicapán, Guatemala,” where 8 were killed and more than 35 injured when combined armed forces violently removed indigenous demonstrators from Cuatro Caminos, a well-known road intersection in Guatemala.
With the pain of the recent genocide still fresh in the historic memory of indigenous communities, it is extremely concerning that acts of state violence are once again taking place in Guatemala against indigenous people who seek to exercise their legitimate rights to free speech and peaceful protest.
“I denounced the activities of a masked group of vigilantes who were terrorizing the local population at night. It wasn’t the first time I had written about their crimes, but this time I named names.”
Anna-Claire Bevan in LatinaLista quotes Guatemalan journalist Lucia Escobar, who was “forced into hiding last October after she wrote an opinion piece in the national newspaper El Periodico about a social cleansing group operating in her hometown of Panajachel, 150 kilometres from Guatemala City.”
Blogger Josue Ortega [es] attended a university event which invited students to develop a project to help communities with very little access to technology. However, students were told to develop the project using only Microsoft technology. One of Ortega's friends inquired about using open licenses, but the idea was immediately rejected. Ortega concludes his post saying that authorities continue to sell education to companies that only contaminate it and hinder knowledge.
The Organization of Ibero-American States invites teens ages 12 to 15 to enter a blogging competition about reading. The sign up [es] deadline is May 31, 2012, and judges will consider blog posts written until July 31. The winner from each participating country will receive an iPad. Visit the official website [es] and follow the hashtag
#questasleyendo [es] (“what are you reading”) to find out more about the contest.