Trócaire will hold their annual Human Rights Talks this week. The first talk will take place tomorrow 10 August at 1.30pm in Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin, Derry, in partnership with the Gasyard Féile. The second talk will be held at 2.30pm on 11 August in St Mary’s University College, Belfast, as part of Féile an Phobail.
This year’s talks will be led by Blanca Blanco, Trócaire’s Head of Region for Central America, who will speak on the topic of “Seeking justice for victims, survivors and the disappeared in Guatemala”.
Key Speaker Blanca Blanco will share Trócaire’s involvement in landmark human rights cases in Guatemala pursuing truth and justice. This includes the recent landmark 2016 court case, when 15 courageous indigenous women, who were poor, elderly and illiterate, from the Sepur Zarco area of Guatemala, broke their years of silence about the sexual violence and domestic enslavement they suffered at the hands of the Guatemalan military. They also sought and achieved justice for the murder and disappearances of their husbands in the early 1980s during the internal armed conflict. This was a landmark case as it recognised that sexual violence against women had been used as a weapon of war, and found former members of the Guatemalan military guilty of crimes against humanity.
Trócaire began working in Guatemala in the 1980s during the worst moments of the country’s civil war, supporting thousands of Guatemalan refugees who had fled the violence and were living in camps throughout Mexico and Honduras at this time. Trócaire’s Guatemalan office was established in 2001. Since then, they have continued to work with local organisations to assure food and resource rights, justice and human rights, women’s empowerment and disaster risk reduction
For more information on the work of Trócaire in Guatemala, please visit www.trocaire.org.