Sepur Zarco Article

Guatemalan soldiers face civil war sexual slavery charges in historic trial

For the first time ever, sexual slavery will be prosecuted where the war crime took place, 30 years after 11 Mayan women from Sepur Zarco were raped and enslaved.

It was 1982, one of the bloodiest years of the country’s civil war as counter-insurgency operations against ethnic Mayans intensified under the rule of the military dictator and evangelical Christian, Efraín Ríos Montt.

More than 30 years later, two former military officers will finally face charges of sexual and domestic slavery and forced disappearance in a landmark trial which opens on Monday.

The trial marks the first in the world that sexual slavery perpetrated during an armed conflict has been prosecuted in the country where the crimes took place.

Read more: Guatemalan soldiers face civil war sexual slavery charges in historic trial | World news | The Guardian

Photograph: Jorge López/Reuters

Under Siege

Under Siege: Under Siege: Peaceful Resistance to Tahoe Resources and Militarization in GuatemalaUnder Siege: Peaceful Resistance to Tahoe Resources and Militarization in Guatemala

Author: Luis Solano

Organizations:  International Platform Against Impunity, MiningWatch Canada, the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA)

Publication date: 10 November 2015

Size: 29 pages, 1.8MB

Ever since Goldcorp acquired Glamis Gold’s mining rights in 2007, opposition began to surface among residents of communities in the departments of Jalapa and Santa Rosa, who began to peacefully demonstrate against the mining project. Since 2010, under control of Tahoe Resources, community opposition to the mining project grew to include protest marches and municipal referendums in neighbouring municipalities.

The peaceful protest movement, in defense of water and the environment, has been met with repression, criminalization, militarization, and extreme violence… including the killing of local leaders.

Download the executive summary (English)

Download the full report (English)

Bernie Sanders Poster

Love. This. Poster.

The poster, designed by artist Aled Lewis, reflects what I most admire about the Bernie Sanders campaign theme: working together for the greater good!

The Bernie Sanders Poster

“I’ve said it since day one: this campaign is not about me, it’s about you. If we stand together, there is nothing we cannot accomplish.” -Bernie Sanders-

Mujeres Indígenas: Resistencia y Respuesta

Mujer_Indigena“La violencia que sufren hoy las mujeres indígenas tiene múltiples dimensiones: sociales, políticas, económicas, culturales o familiares, donde la condición de género constituye un agravante.

La elevada conflictividad social que genera la explotación de los recursos naturales en los territorios indígenas, las situaciones de conflicto y pos conflicto, los desplazamientos forzosos, la pérdida de los territorios, la pobreza, derivan en una violencia estructural hacia las mujeres indígenas.

Pero las mujeres indígenas no son únicamente víctimas de la violencia, sino que son también un símbolo de resistencia y de respuesta, hecho que se manifiesta en el liderazgo de las mujeres en el reclamo por de sus territorios.”

– Ponencia de la Sra. Carmen Rosa Villa Quintana, Representante Regional del Alto Comisionado de Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos, durante el VII Encuentro Continental de Mujeres Indígenas de las Américas. Guatemala, 17 noviembre 2015. Lea el discurso completo.


Mindfulness: The Antidote for Perfectionism

Sunset Berries“We all benefit when we take a few moments to focus our attention (without expecting stillness). Or settle our busy minds (without expecting stress to go away completely). Or build awareness of the assumptions and habits that drive us (without blaming ourselves for those tendencies in the first place). Or develop more compassion in our lives (even though some people absolutely, totally annoy us).

There’s no perfect. If you’re practicing mindfulness and judging yourself, notice that habit. If you have a false perception that you can ever be perfect, you’ll end up even more stressed. Be aware of that idealistic picture, and then let it go. You’re flawed and so is everyone else, but when you aim for improvement, everyone benefits. Mindfulness isn’t perfectionism—it’s the antidote for perfectionism instead.”

Mark Bertin, Mindfulness: The Antidote for Perfectionism

My addiction

It’s the simple things in life that make me happy. An iced americano (four espresso shots over ice, with a dash of raw sugar and a touch of half & half) at one of my favorite N.Y. cafes, the Peekskill Coffee House!



“I went out the kitchen to make coffee – yards of coffee.
Rich, strong, bitter, boiling hot, ruthless, depraved. The life blood of tired men.”

― from The Long Goodbye, by Raymond Chandler ―

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