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Militarization, Human Rights and Threats to Justice in Guatemala

GUATEMALAN ACTIVIST IDUVINA HERNANDEZ SPEAKING AT NEIGHBORHOOD CHURCH

May 1, 7:30 p.m.

“Militarization, Human Rights and Threats to Justice in Guatemala”

     On Tuesday May 1st at 7:30 p.m., the Justice team of Neighborhood Congregational Church will host Guatemalan journalist Iduvina Hernández Batres and a member of The Guatemala Human Rights Commission to speak on Guatemalan human rights issues. 
 
     Iduvina Hernández is an activist and human rights defender who tirelessly fights for human rights and justice in her native Guatemala.  She is currently the Director of the Association for the Study and Promotion of Security in Democracy, a non-governmental organization that works to improve security, reduce impunity, and improve the democratic process in Guatemala.  Hernandez notes, “Since the election of General Otto Pérez Molina to the presidency in Guatemala, the country has seen disturbing trends toward re-militarization and repression of social movements.”  Hernández will discuss the impact of powerful retired military of- ficers implicated in crimes against humanity on national security policy as well as the recent moves to criminalize indigenous ac- tivists defending their right to their ancestral lands.
 
     Hernández has extensively studied the reform of the Guatemalan intelligence services, which were responsible for many human rights abuses during the civil war there.  She has received threats of violence due to the nature of her work, but continues  to advocate for accountability and justice in her country.  She will be accompanied by a representative of The Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA.
 
     The Justice Team, called JOY Ministry, of Neighborhood Congregational Church in Laguna Beach, has a long history of educating the community and encouraging discussion about justice issues, both local and global. JOY is the acronym for Justice, Outreach and You, a reminder that each person is a potential advocate for justice as one reaches out to make the world a more inclusive and just place for all.  JOY Ministry member Sally Barron has traveled frequently to Guatemala and is passionate about sharing the story of our Central American neighbor’s efforts to create a just democracy. All are welcome at this free event, which will include both presentation and discussion.  Any donations received will support The Guatemala Human Rights Commission, a nonprofit that monitors, documents and reports on the human rights situation in Guatemala and advocates for just foreign policies.
 
     Neighborhood Congregational Church is located at 340 St. Ann’s Drive in Laguna Beach, one block east of Pacific Coast Highway.  Free parking is available behind the church, at the corner of Cleo & Glenneyre (behind Ralph’s Grocery Store.)  Call 949-494-8061 or visit www.ncclaguna.org for more information.

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