3:30 PM at The Evergreen State College
7:30 PM at Media Island (see below)

Talk: The Struggle for Self Determination in Guatemala

Mining and Indigenous Rights

Pascual Bernabé Velásquez, community leader from the Western Highland Department of Huehuetenango, Guatemala, will talk about mining and natural resources in Huehuetenango and the response of indigenous communities to mining development in Guatemala.

Pascual is the second town councilor of San Juan Ixcoy, one of the 27 municipalities in Huehuetenango that has carried out community "consultas" on mining in indigenous territory.

A "consulta" is a democratic referendum in which each member of the community has a vote. This form of decision-making promotes indigenous self-determination and defends the communities' way of life. Since 2005, 41 "consultas" were organized and over 600,000 people in the Guatemalan Highlands voted NO to proposed mining operations in the region, an amazing example of citizen participation and organizing.Bermabe is also a member of the Huehuetenango Regional Assembly in Defense of Natural Resources in Huehuetenango, which coordinated all of the Community Consultas in the department of Huehuetenango. On a broader level, this Assembly is part of the People's Council of the
Western Guatemalan Highlands (Consejo de los Pueblos de Occidente).

The Consejo's mission is to build a space with the participation of different social organizations to defend and restore the sovereignty of the land-at the local, municipal, departmental, and regional levels-which has the legitimacy and support of the population of the Western Guatemala Highlands.

Brought to Olympia by NISGUA (Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala), and the Latin American Solidarity Organization (LASO),
latinamericansolidarity@gmail.com, 360-753-0499. Meetings every 2nd and 4th Wednesday, 5:30PM at Media Island. Presentation also hosted by Political Economy and Social Movement program.

Location:

3:30 PM at The Evergreen State College
Seminar 2, D1105
Olympia, WA
and
7:30PM at Media Island
816 Adams St. SE
Downtown Olympia