In this issue:
- Controversy over genocide conviction of former Guatemalan dictator
- The legacy of Hugo Chavez in Nicaragua
- Fears of violence ahead of Honduran elections
- El Salvador rolls out plans to combat climate disasters
- Food security, co-ops and local fair trade in Nicaragua
- Solidarity through campaigning, accompaniment, circus, Fairtrade, fiestas and food
Here's a round-up of some interesting articles that reflect on what the conviction of former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt means for the victims and survivors of abuses perpetrated during the civil war.
Why genocide conviction of Guatemala's former dictator matters - Anastasia Moloney, Thomson Reuters Foundation
Guatemalan war rape victims break silence in genocide trial - Anastasia Moloney, Thomson Reuters Foundation
Nearly five years after being fired from their jobs at the giant Piña Frut pineapple farm in Costa Rica, belonging to Grupo Acon, Leonora Mullins and Eddy Aguilar are back at work, according to the Make Fruit Fair campaign. Their union, SITRAP, took their case for unfair sacking to court.
An initial court resolution ordered their reinstatement back in April 2012, but it was challenged by the company and the appeal against the court order went to the Supreme Court. In October, the Supreme Court backed the resolution ordering reinstatement and back pay for the two workers.
At a meeting with Grupo Acon’s human resources manager on April 26, it was agreed they could start working again from the following Monday.
Read the full story: http://www.makefruitfair.org.uk/news/costa-rica-workers-reinstated
When pre-trial Judge Carol Patricia Flores ordered on April 18 that the trial against former Guatemalan general Efraín Ríos Montt be suspended and for the proceeding to start at square one due to the supposed need to rule on a number of motions that were left unresolved since 2011, the human rights community was thrown into a flurry of confusion, rage and feeling of impotence, writes Viviana Waisman, founder and executive director of Women’s Link Worldwide.
This setback is outrageous for all the survivors of Guatemala's civil war and their families, and puts in peril an opportunity that must not go unmentioned: the opportunity to prosecute gender crimes committed for purposes of carrying out genocide, Waisman argues.
Read her full op-ed on the Thomson Reuters Foundation website: http://www.trust.org/item/20130501130008-12vyz/?source=hpblogs
Leaders of Nicaragua's indigenous Mayangna community are battling an invasion of land speculators and small farmers into the Biosawas Biosphere Reserve, the second largest rainforest in the Americas, Thomson Reuters Foundation reports.
Conflict between the Mayangnas, who have formal land title to the cloud forest, and the invaders has led to the death of several indigenous people, Aricio Genero, president of the Mayangna nation, said last week.
Since 2010, invaders into the biodiversity-rich forest, which lies on both sides of the Nicaraguan-Honduran border, have destroyed around 150,000 hectares, turning much of it into pasture to meet growing demand for beef and dairy products.
Read the full story: http://www.trust.org/item/20130503143717-fz36w/?source=hptop
SATURDAY AFTERNOON, NOV 17th, CENTRAL AMERICAN FILMS UPSTAIRS AT THE RITZY, LONDON
Treat yourself to an afternoon of Nicaraguan & Costa Rican films with a glass of wine, good company and all in a good cause: 3–6 pm, films start 3.30.
Ritzy Cinema, Coldharbour Lane, London, SW2 1JG. Less than 5 minutes walk from Brixton tube.
- “Muerto de Miedo” / “Scared to Death” (15 mins)
Prize-winning Nicaraguan film about the consequences of a nocturnal liaison (dir: Frank Pineda & Florence Jaugey, 1989)
- “Young, Nicaraguan & Organised” (10 mins) Contemporary documentary about street sellers, trade unions & more (NSCAG)
At least 48 people have been killed and some 20 are missing after a 7.4-magnitude quake hit off Guatemala's Pacific coast on Wednesday, the BBC reports.
President Otto Perez Molina, who toured the worst affected areas, has declared three days of mourning. Officials said landslides had buried roads and it would take 24 hours to restore links to the quake-hit area.
The director of Guatemala's Seismological Institute said it was the biggest tremor in Guatemala since 1976, when 25,000 people died in a 7.5-magnitude quake.
Panama, El Salvador and Honduras have offered their help with the rescue operation, the BBC said.
For more, visit the BBC website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-20243894
An urgent action was started this month to bring to justice those responsible for the massacre of eight people and over 30 wounded in Totonicapan, Guatemala, on October 4, and to campaign to protect the lives of the Guatemalan people.
The organisation Avaaz has taken up this campaign and has started a worldwide e-petition. We urge you to join in and promote it among your friends and family:
Clwyd Latin America Human Rights Group, Wales Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign, El Salvador Network and Cymru Cuba
For more information about the incident: http://www.ilps.info/index.php/en/current-events/105-statements-and-pres...
Music for Hope is celebrating its fifteenth birthday with an evening of fresh and eclectic music from jazz to trip hop, salsa and ska, organised with our fabulous new volunteers! It would be great of you could join us and be part of this unique evening of Manchester musicians supporting young musicians in El Salvador.
Music for Hope wants to use its lively birthday celebration to raise funds to buy new instruments for young musicians in El Salvador, while providing local communities in the UK with the opportunity to learn more about Music for Hope. It is also an opportunity to look back over the last fifteen years and celebrate Music for Hope's achievements which you have all been a part of!
To give you a taster of what's to come ...
Live performances from:
After Hours - Easy listening music with a Latin vibe.
Peak District - A four piece band harbouring big beats and melodic treats.
Join the Nicaragua Soldarity Campaign (NSC) in London this Saturday, 20 October - we'll be participating in the TUC March for 'A future that works' with our gigantona (giant woman) and a message of solidarity from Nicaragua trade unions. If you would like to join us, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll give you the details of where we'll be meeting up.
Come to the Cooperatives United event in Manchester. On 1 and 2 November we will be organising four workshops on Nicaragua, co-operatives and fair trade. For details http://www.nicaraguasc.org.uk/events/index.htm