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Local Resident To Aid Human Rights Group In Guatemala

Local Resident To Aid Human Rights Group In Guatemala image Local Resident To Aid Human Rights Group In Guatemala image
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Am Albor íaiáaá, Muk WtMtn. left for Guatemala Maich 17 wfaoe he ii tprnding dure weeks cscoiúng leaders of a human nghü group m ihal countiy, lile Munjjl Suppoo Group GAM Grapo de Apoyo Mutuo) The group, fonned in June of 19S4, hal been calling for icleaie of and accoanling for the ettimaied 40.000 "duappeared" pcnom in Guatemala over the past thiity jrean of mosüy military rule Vhcn lwo i Éc leaders of GAM were abduaed. lonured, and killed by paia-müilary dealli sqnads dnrmg Easter Week of 1983. Peace Engi Inunaacaui (PBI) nepped imo the ptoinc As pan of tu work on behalf of human lighïi. and of nonvioknt ronflio íesolution irourJ Ihc worid, PBI responded lo GANfj rcqucsi for raund-lhe-clock esconing of iheir ma threucned leiden and their families. Twcnty-four ham dsy the voiunleen, camera! iroumi theii necks, accompany GAM luden at wenk, in meetings, in ïnier.iewj, and at home. " A foreigner accompanies me al aJl times as a meara of protection," says Nineih de García, president of GAM, grade school teacher, and molher of a foor year old daughter. Her husband, a omon organizer, was "disappeared" in 1984. "The mentaiity or those who oppress us is that a gringo is wonh Iol According to them, as a Gualemalan. 'm wonh less than nothing. Dozens of volunieers from many counlnes, mostly in Noith America and Europe, have served as PBI escorts in Guatemala since March 1985. (sae GUATEMALA, page 23) GUATEMALA (continued from page 23) Weinstein says he "looks forward to supporting Guatemalans in their difficult slniggle for human ríghts. The work may not be easy, but I expect my commitment to be sustained by the inspiration of the Guatemalans I will meet." Mark participated in a weekend oríentation in how to be nonviolent and effective in the struggle to stand up for human rights in the face of political violence. Another experience which has prepared Mark for this work includes a peace march through Central America that he was a part of last year. "After decades of military rule, there is finally an elected govemment in Guatemala, but they seem afraid to exposé the army's crimes, because the military has enormous power here," states a PBI slaff person in Guatemala. "The people who are courageous enough to spcak out for their secretly imprisoned, tortured, murdered loved ones, shouldn't be gunned down in the street. It's as simple as that. We feel we can encourage this tiny ray of hope for the improvement of the human rights situation in Guatemala by providing a nonviolent international presence in the lives of the people who have been threalened by secret securily forces here."


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