June 18, 2018 (Halifax): Guatemalan Congresswoman, Sandra Moran, a remarkable advocate for LGBT, women’s and Indigenous rights in her country, will speak in a series of events throughout the Maritimes from June 18- 23, 2018. Ms. Moran is the first feminist and openly gay Member of the Guatemalan Congress, as well as an accomplished musician. Her visit has been organized by the Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network (BTS), with support from the Atlantic Council for International Cooperation.
Thirty years ago, Ms. Moran visited the Maritimes as a drummer and singer with the political musical group Kin Lalat. That visit laid the ground for Guatemalan solidarity work in the Maritimes and, in particular, the founding of BTS. BTS has worked with Ms. Moran during her role as Coordinator of the Women’s Sector, an alliance of 33 women’s groups in Guatemala.
“Following BTS’ invitation, I’m here 30 years later. I’m returning to a place that for me was the beginning of solidarity work through music, which enabled the formation of organizations that continue to be in solidarity and have relationships with Guatemalan communities and people who have been struggling for a better country for many years,” says Ms. Moran.
The speaking tour will include the premiere of a short documentary about Ms. Moran’s life, In my own voice (En voz propria in Spanish). The film weaves her personal history with her country’s four-decade struggle for the rights of marginalized groups. Ms. Moran will provide an update on the social and political situation in Guatemala, including heightened attacks against human rights defenders. This includes the recent killing of three members of BTS’ partner organization the Highland Small Farmers Committee (CCDA in Spanish). Each of the men were active in their communities’ struggle for access to land and defense of territory. Ms. Moran will highlight how political and policy initiatives in Canada can support work for justice in Guatemala.
Throughout the speaking tour, Ms. Moran will visit Antigonish, Halifax, Moncton and Charlottetown. For more info on Sandra, visit BTS here.
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BTS Maritimes Coordinator
About Breaking the Silence (BTS): BTS is a voluntary network of people in the Maritimes who began to organize in 1988 to support the efforts of Guatemalans struggling for political, social, and economic justice. Today, BTS has committees in Fredericton, Halifax, Charlottetown, the North Shore, Fredericton, and Antigonish. BTS engages in human rights accompaniment, public education and political advocacy around key issues such as the following: defense of territory; gender justice; truth, justice and impunity; and security. BTS has been accompanying communities affected by Canadian mining since 2004. For updates on these communities and more, visit the Breaking the Silence blog.
About Sandra Moran: Ms Moran is a member of the Convergence CPO-CRD Party which brings together feminists, students, farmers and Indigenous peoples. Ms. Moran’s work is rooted in a history of grassroots activism. Born in 1960, she became involved in social movements in her teens. In 1981 she was forced into exile and lived in Mexico, Nicaragua and Canada. She returned to Guatemala in 1994 to support peace-building efforts and the struggle for gender justice.
Ms. Moran is this year’s recipient of ACIC’s Southern Speakers Symposium Fund. We thank ACIC for making her visit to the Maritimes possible!
Here’s a list of events where Ms. Moran will speak while in the Maritimes:
Antigonish – June 18th @ 6PM at the CACL Lunch Room (Canadian Association for Community Living), 83 St Ninian’s St https://www.facebook.com/events/108064220057855/
Halifax – June 19th @ 4PM, Room 204 (2nd floor) of the Weldon Law Building (6061 University Avenue) at Dalhousie Universe
Moncton – June 20th @ 6pm at the Moncton Public Library, 644 Main St
Charlottetown – ACIC Symposium (June 21-23rd): http://www.acicsymposium.org/