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News Release

Upcoming Event: Defending Dissent when Life and Land are in Peril

(Ottawa, ON) On Tuesday March 5th, Toronto’s Aluna Theatre will present The Last Walk of Adolfo Ich followed by a discussion about threats to environmental and land defenders with Guatemalan and local guests.

More and more, people are being targeted for disagreeing with what governments and industry - such as Canadian mining companies - want to do in their communities and on their lands. In the worst of cases, Indigenous leaders, farmers, journalists and environmental activists are killed. Increasingly, attempts to silence environmental defenders take place through stigmatization and criminalization. We must creatively and consciously come together and defend dissent.

The Last Walk of Adolfo Ich is a half-hour staged reading including song, story, and images, about the murder of Adolfo Ich, a Mayan community leader killed by security forces contracted to a Canadian mining company in eastern Guatemala. The text has been extracted from statements and interviews used with permission, and government and public websites. Klippensteins Barristers & Solicitors of Toronto has undertaken lawsuits in Ontario courts against two companies, HudBay and HMI Nickel, regarding this murder. Hearings begin in Toronto on March 4th.

Devised and Directed by Marion de Vries
Produced by Aluna Theatre
Beatriz Pizano, Artistic Director and Trevor Schwellnus, Artistic Producer
Cast: Jessica Zepeda, Jacob Zimmer, Teri Rata Loretto-Valentik, Shandra Spears Bombay, Sebastian Marziali    

A Panel Discussion about the Criminalization of Dissent will follow the performance with Guatemalan guests. Panelists will discuss current threats and opportunities that communities and their allies face in the fight for land and justice against unfettered mining developments from Guatemala to Canada. Panelists include:

  • Lolita Chavez, Indigenous Women’s Association ‘Voice of Resistance’, K’iches Peoples Counsel, and Western Peoples’ Committee
  • Antono Katalan, Guatemalan Human Rights Defenders Unit (UDEFEGUA)
  • Ian Thomson, KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives
  • Roch Tassé, International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG)

Event sponsored by the Nobel Women’s Initiative, Aluna Theatre, KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives, Peace Brigades International – Canada, MiningWatch Canada, Americas Policy Group a working group of the Canadian Council for International Cooperation, Education in Action, Public Service Alliance Social Justice Fund, Projet Accompagnement Québec-Guatemala, and mimundo.org.

Guatemalan delegation tour info: defenddissenttour.wordpress.com.

For advance interviews or other info:

Jen Moore, Latin America Program Coordinator, MiningWatch Canada, 613-569-3439