4/18 - Guatemalan Speaker on Indigenous Rights & Natural Resource Conflicts
From: Hannah Hafter (hehafteryahoo.com)
Date: Sun, 13 Apr 2008 10:13:16 -0700 (PDT)
Hello! Can you please post this to the list?

Friday, April 18th!

What: Bi-lingual presentation/discussion and fundraiser 
    (There will be an opportunity to donate. Note: NISGUA is a non-profit     
organization; all proceeds go to support grassroots organizations in Guatemala  
   and help cover costs of tour.)

Where: The O?Shaughnessy Room (a.k.a the Leather Room)
     1st floor of O?Shaughessy-Frey Library, off Cleveland Ave (between Selby 
and               Summit Aves)
    University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN

When:  6:00 ? 7:30 pm Friday, April 18th

For more info, contact Niky: 
nmduxbury [at] gmail.com 
Jerónimo Osorio Chen of the Ixcán Referendum Commission is a human rights 
leader from rural Ixcán, Quiché, Guatemala. The Ixcán Referendum Commission is 
a grassroots group that engages in education, organizing, and legal strategies 
to ensure that the people of the Ixcán determine their own resource use and 
development priorities. For over a decade, Mr. Chen has worked to promote 
indigenous rights, cooperative economics, and citizen participation in the face 
of threats from corporate-led development schemes, including mega-projects and 
free trade. A former elected official in the local government, Jerónimo has 
played a key role in organizing and doing follow-up work on a 2007 referendum 
in which almost 90% of the inhabitants of Ixcán voted against oil exploration 
in the region and the Xalalá hydroelectric dam, which would displace indigenous 
communities and damage the local and surrounding ecosystem.  Disregarding this 
overwhelming opposition, the Guatemalan government is
 currently accepting bids from national and international investors interested 
in the Xalalá dam.

Jerónimo is an Achi Maya from Río Negro, where the Guatemalan government 
committed several massacres in the 1980s against communities that opposed the 
building of the Chixoy dam on their lands. He will speak about people's 
struggles to oppose the Xalalá Dam and the importance of avoiding a repeat of 
the Chixoy tragedy, including the repression, loss of lands, and damage to the 
ecosystem associated with massive dam projects.

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