June 2013 Newsletter

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June 2013 Newsletter

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The names of hundreds of people who went missing during Guatemala's civil war were placed in front of the high court building this week in Guatemala City as part of a demand to resume the genocide trial of former dictator Efrain Rios Montt. (Saul Martinez / European Pressphoto Agency)

Want to read more about current events in Guatemala? Try these links:

NPR blog

SEPA's Google News Feed

New York Times

International Business Times

Travel Opportunity

John Gates will be returning to Guatemala August 5-22. He will be visiting Santa Elena and Copal AA as well as Quetzaltenango's Mi Casita Montessori that Oberlin graduate Maggie Paulin helped establish in 2012.

Want to travel along with Señor Juan?

Email him now or call

(440) 774-5484.

You will be responsible for all of your travel expenses. We estimate those costs, including airfare, to be between $1200-$1500.

GAP Gathering

August 22-25, 2013 are the dates for the GAP Gathering in Seattle, WA.

GAP (The Guatemalan Accompaniment Project) has responsibility for training the human rights accompaniers that NISGUA (The Network in Solidarity with the people of Guatemala) sends to Guatemala each year.

GAP holds an annual gathering that is attended by past accompaniers and people from the GAP sponsoring communities (like SEPA) throughout the United States.

If you are interested in attending, please contact Barbara Fuchsman; email or(440) 774-1804, and she will supply you with details as they become available.

From SEPA sponsored


Erik Woodward

The guilty verdict emitted against ex-dictator Rios Montt on May 10th was the culmination of over three decades of commitment and perseverance on the behalf of survivors, and of a 12 year legal battle within a judicial system renowned for its commitment to impunity.

Legal setbacks, threats, and logistical challenges at times have made the struggle for justice seem

insurmountable. However the will of the survivors has carried the case relentlessly forward, and the guilty verdict rewarded their efforts and affirmed to the world that in Guatemala genocide was committed.

On May 20th, Guatemala's highest court nullified the verdict. In a political

structure designed to protect the powers of the elite and deny justice to victims of genocide, this annulment hardly comes as a surprise. Equally unsurprising is the resilience of the survivors, who have pledged to continue their struggle in the face of these new challenges.

While the annulment is a setback, it will not accomplish its ultimate goal of discouraging and defeating the movement for justice. Survivors will continue to fight for their rights, and see the

annulment as just another setback in their struggle, many of which they have already overcome, and many more of which surely await them.

While we do not yet know the details of when the case will resume, from what point it will resume, who the presiding judges will be or if Rios Montt will be granted amnesty, we do know that the fight for justice in Guatemala will continue.

THANKS to B&B hosts and guests

SEPA can never thank you enough for hosting and being guests of SEPA's B&B program.

Our hosts have the opportunity to be ambassadors for SEPA and Oberlin and to meet folks from all over the world who come to Oberlin for college and town events.

Our guests are made to feel at home in beautiful Oberlin.

All of you have already helped to raise over $4000 (since 2/1/13) for SEPA's Guatemalan projects.

Interested in being a host? Contact Judy.


SEPA is a 501c3 tax exempt organization. 95% of all funds raised by SEPA go directly to projects in Guatemala.

You may donate through Just Give or by check to:


192 Forest St.

Oberlin, OH 44074


Contact SEPA

Questions about any of SEPA's projects:

Email or call Barbara - (440) 774-1804

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