September 2010

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Guatemala City, Guatemala September 1, 2010

Starting at 8 :00 in the morning, workers began assembling for the protest. By 8:45, 120 people had showed up. The protest consisted of 60 workers who had gone to Canada and suffered various abuses and now were members of AGUND, Global Workers Defenders (CEADEL (who arrived with a group of 20 from a town 1.5 hours away) and the Association of Mayan Lawyers and Notaries (AAMNG)) and a association of local unions (National Liberation Front) who came with 40 members. The group was well organized and the march started before 9. The police blocked off the Reforma Avenue, one of the main through fares of the city so the workers could march toward the Canadian embassy—the destination of the protest.

Guatemala City, Guatemala September 2, 2010

Today the delegation reconvened to meet with IOM. The delegation composition changed to now include a woman from AGUND and the Global Workers Defender Luisa Nicolau from the ODHA (CEADL could not attend). The importance of local support for the workers cannot be stressed enough. It was clearly troublesome for IOM to see that it was just not foreign organizations (Global Workers and UFCW) but a prominent Guatemalan human rights organization that was now supporting the workers. This meant that the follow-up and pressure would not end with the departure of the international organizations. We made it very clear, that the Global Workers Defenders Network was behind the workers and that they would be accompanied during the follow-up meetings.

Guatemala City, Guatemala September 3, 2010

On this last day in Guatemala, Cathleen met with Jose Sicajau, leader of AGUND. They reflected on the remarkable achievements of the week. Jose stressed that he never would have come this far with out the support of Global Workers. Now with the local support of the Defenders, he feels that the demands may be realized. He reiterated how this was all a new experience for him, from standing up for his rights and of his fellow workers, to organizing a protest, to now being a movement leader. He has even ventured into technology.

September 13, 2010 - Matehuala, San Luis Potosi, Mexico

Matehuala, San Luis Potosi, the home base for one of the Jornaleros-SAFE partners, the project focuses on documenting recruitment abuses of H2A workers, was the gathering place for the team as they finished the pilot project phase, and where Global Workers’ Mexico Director, Griselda Vega travelled to for a two-day training and evaluation meeting.

September 14, 2010, Matehuala, San Luis Potosi, Mexico

As Mexico battles a number of dangerous fronts, from organized crime to crimes against human rights defenders, the second day began with a 3-hour training about security issues and protocols to prepare the Defenders for any situation that they may encounter while working in their states. Many of the Defenders already have established protocols that they use everyday, so it was taking these new techniques and incorporating them into their existing protocols to improve their safety.

September 14, 2010, Matehuala, San Luis Potosi, Mexico

As Mexico battles a number of dangerous fronts, from organized crime to crimes against human rights defenders, the second day began with a 3-hour training about security issues and protocols to prepare the Defenders for any situation that they may encounter while working in their states. Many of the Defenders already have established protocols that they use everyday, so it was taking these new techniques and incorporating them into their existing protocols to improve their safety.

September 15, 2010 - Matehuala, San Luis Potosi, Mexico

With much excitement in the air, as Mexico was hours away from celebrating its Bicentennial, the Coordination Team of Jornaleros-SAFE buckled down for the day to review the work of the Defenders over the last two months, and discussed next steps. The team evaluated the quality of the questionnaires, discussed the technology needed by the Defenders to continue the work, reviewed budget and the future goals for the next 2 ½ years of the project.

September 27, 2010 – Mexico City, Mexico

PGA: Second Introductory Event on Human Rights , Day 1

September 28, 2010 - Mexico City, Mexico

PGA: Second Introductory Event on Human Rights, Day 2

September 29, 2010 - Mexico City, Mexico

PGA Meeting, child labor documentary, and AMARC collaboration

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