Weavers of traditional ancestral designs argue the Guatemalan government has a responsibility to protect their Mayan culture from outside exploitation
Indigenous women in Guatemala are fighting for collective intellectual property rights over their traditional Mayan textiles in the face of a lack of government will to protect the cultural heritage that represents thousands of years of Indigenous community resistance, Mayan organizations argued in court on Tuesday.
“What we want is a law to protect our textiles because it is something that is ours, we learned from our grandparents how to weave,” said Kaqchikel weaver Marta Puac, one of dozens of women from different communities who went to the Constitutional Court in Guatemala City on Tuesday in support of the initiative.
From January 16-18, 2016, Cultural Survival in partnership with Sobrevivencia Cultural, AMARC, Voces Indigenas Panama, and Fundacion Comunicandonos hosted the first ever Central American Indigenous Community Radio Conference in Narganá, Comarca Guna Yala, Panamá. The conference will gather over 40 Indigenous community radio volunteers from all over Central America to discuss and share their experience with community media in their respective countries. The conference also has the goal of creating a Central American Indigenous community radio network in which community stations will mutually support each other in raising awareness about their work and fighting for the democratization of community media in the region.
By: Ligia María
A 1,600-year-old Mayan stone tablet describing the rule of an ancient king has been unearthed in the ruins of a temple in Guatemala.
The broken tablet, or stela, depicts the king’s head, adorned with a feathered headdress, along with some of his neck and shoulders. On the other side, an inscription written in hieroglyphics commemorates the monarch’s 40-year reign.
The stone tablet, found in the jungle temple, may shed light on a mysterious period when one empire in the region was collapsing and another was on the rise, said the lead excavator at the site, Marcello Canuto, an anthropologist at Tulane University in Louisiana.
By: Ligia Recinos
As a teenager, I joined fellow indigenous activists on Luzon, the Philippines’ largest island, to protest against the Chico dam project. The scheme would have displaced roughly 300,000 indigenous people from their ancestral lands. The leaders of the movement were all men, but women were also on the front line, risking their lives.
These were our lands too, and we women fought to defend them even when our activities were criminalized by the Filipino government. We didn’t give up until the government and the World Bank cancelled the project.
By: Ligia María
Su área ceremonial se dispone de este a oeste para terminar con una triada de edificios. La zona residencial, por el contrario, se estructuraba de norte a sur.
Una nueva ciudad maya ha sido descubierta en Guatemala. La gran aportación de este hallazgo ha sido la estructura de cuadrícula que sigue el asentamiento, un mapa que podría indicar a los expertos que fue construida bajo mandato de una figura muy poderosa. El enclave está ubicado en Nixtun-Ch’ichi (Petén, Guatemala), un lugar que fue habitado según las conjeturas entre los años 600 y 300 a.C. Aunque la zona se lleva explorando desde 1995, no ha sido hasta ahora cuando los arqueólogos dirigidos por Timothy Pugh han encontrado evidencias de la ciudad antigua.
By: Ligia María
The Caribbean Court of Justice has ruled that indigenous land rights in Belize must be honored by the government.
The ruling upheld an earlier decision of an appeals court that gave the Maya people rights to land they have used and occupied for generations in the southern Belizean district of Toledo.
The ruling requires that the land be demarcated, protected, and officially registered by the government of Belize. It also dictates that the government of Belize abstain from interfering with the Maya’s land rights unless consent is given by the Maya people. In effect, the government of Belize is barred from issuing leases, grants, permits, concessions, or contracts authorizing logging, petroleum, mineral extraction, or any activity that would affect the Maya land rights.
By: Ligia María
On January, 5 2015, Guatemala’s former president and general, Efrain Rios Montt, appeared before a tribunal where he faces charges of genocide and crimes against humanity during his dictatorship in 1982-83. In May 2013 Montt was convicted for the massacre of thousands of Indigenous people during his regim
In a historic decision for Guatemala in May 2013, a court convicted Montt of genocide and human rights atrocities. However, the victory only lasted for a few days as Guatemala’s highest court moved quickly to overturn the decision, which raised many questions and disappointing eyebrows from various activist groups. The decision by the highest court of Guatemala was a slap and a punch to the suffering of hundreds of survivors who testified against the former general.