Q’eqchi Maya Communities Meet Across Borders

28 Jan

Cross Posted from Cultural Survival

On January 26-27, 2013, Cultural Survival held an exchange between Q’eqchi Maya communities in Belize and Guatemala to talk about strategies for implementing the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent, and how community radio can be used as a tool for doing so. 

Members of community radio stations in Guatemala teamed up with the Defensoria Q’eqchi, an Indigenous rights law organization based in El Estor, Isabal, Guatemala and the Indigenous environmental management organization SATIIM to visit four communities outside the Sarstoon Temash National Park in Southern Belize.  In the towns of Midway, Conejo, Crique Sarco, and Blue Creek, participants traded stories about how each counterpart has used the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent to implement their self-determination as Indigenous Peoples, and discuss ways in which community radio can be a tool to help inform about these strategies.

Cultural Survival recorded interviews and other radio content during the exchange for broadcast on the air in Belize, Guatemala, and other countries around the world.

Stay tuned for photos and more in our upcoming edition of the Cultural Survival Quarterly.

*Note: The Q’eqchi’ peoples have been fighting for self-determination and land rights for over 40 years, with recent plans for a nickel mine already leading to forced dispossession and destruction of their environment. 
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