On September 26 a Guatemalan court of three judges found the Guatemalan government guilty of genocide against the Maya-Ixil in the northern region of the country. The genocide was committed during the 1982-83 "dirty war," the internal armed conflict.
The monument reads: In honor of the fallen brothers/sisters due to the armed conflict, that this never will happen again. The monument is the main square/plaza.
In August 2013 I traveled to Nebaj in the heart of the Ixil triangle to meet with some of the Ixil women who had testified at the first genocide trail against Rios Montt. I was part of a delegation with the Guatemalan Human Rights Commission/USA. The women spoke softly about the murder of their families and some cried. At one point during their testimony tears streamed down my face as I imagined the terror and fear they experienced. They spoke in their own Mayan language and a local human rights defender translated into Spanish for us.
Hundreds of people marched, chanted and sang yesterday on a peaceful march from a public park in the South Waterfront area of Portland, Oregon to circle the ICE building. We began in the park in a circle singing "Si hay vida, hay esperanza" - If there is life, there is hope. There were police vehicles all around and a helicopter flew overhead as we sang.
STANDING TOGETHER AS A JUSTICE-LOVING AND JUSTICE-SEEKING COMMUNITY
There was a feeling of community in the street and surrounding the ICE building. Despite the lack of respect for human dignity and the ongoing struggle for justice for immigrants and women in our society, this day we were all together standing for an alternative to hatred and cruel treatment of newly arrived people to the United States.
Find your community AND stand for justice, peace and love. Welcome the stranger into your community. We all are richer for the diversity of humanity.
My life has been about crossing borders and cultures and building bridges across the boundaries that normally divide. Have you crossed any borders in your life?