Guatemalan Human Rights campaigners at WWAC 1 PM, October 21st.

October 16, 2012|Posted in: Uncategorised

Justicia for Migrant Workers  and the Windsor Workers’ Action Centre will  be welcoming three delegates from Guatemala to Windsor this Sunday, Oct. 21st at 1PM.

The delegates are: Jose Sicajau, a former agricultural worker who was expelled and blacklisted from Canada for his advocacy on behalf of a fellow worker’s safety, who has since formed an advocacy group back in Guatemala; Father Juan Luis Carbajal Tejeda , who works with the migrant community in Guatemala, and who has also worked with seasonal agricultural workers in Ontario and BC; and Diego Lorente, a lawyer who is the Coordinator of Forced Uprooting Program of Project Counseling Service (PCS), an Inter Pares counterpart with offices in Guatemala as well as Peru and Colombia. While in Canada, the delegates will be visiting several cities in order to build relationships with migrant justice groups in Canada and raise awareness of these issues. You can read more about the tour on our associated blog: www.interpares.ca/justwork

Bios:

Jose Sicajau, a Maya Kaqchiquel from the department of Sacatepequez, Guatemala, is a founding member and President of the Association of Guatemalans United for our Rights (AGUND), a legally registered non-profit organization formed in 2010. José traveled to Canada to take part in the Guatemalan Temporary Agricultural Workers to Canada Program (TAWC) in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006. In 2006, he was witness to a physical attack against a migrant worker by one of the employers. He intervened to ensure the safety of the worker and, as a result, was expelled from the program and sent back to Guatemala. Since that time, José has been struggling, together with others arbitrarily expelled, for reinstatement into the program. This struggle and concern over the situation facing migrant workers from Guatemala led José and other former participants in the TAWC to create AGUND.

Jose Sicajau, President of the Association of Guatemalans United for our Rights (AGUND) (Photo: Bill Fairbairn Inter Pares)

 

Father Juan Luis Carbajal Tejeda is Associate Secretary of the Pastoral Commission for Human Mobility (PMH) an organization that works directly with the migrant community in Guatemala through “Houses of the Migrant”: shelters that are located in different parts of Guatemala (El Naranjo-Petén, Tecún Umán-San Marcos, and Guatemala City), and that provide attention, accompaniment and legal advice to migrants and victims of human trafficking. Father Juan Luis is a member of the Scalabrinians, a Roman Catholic religious community serving migrants and refugees of different cultures, religions and ethnicities in 32 countries and on five continents. His experience includes working in shelters with migrants traveling through the Guatemalan-Mexican and the Mexican-US borders. He has also worked with seasonal agricultural workers in Leamington, Ontario and in several communities in British Columbia (Surrey, Coquitlam, Langley, Cloverdale, etc.) Father Juan Luis was one of the original members of the Coalition for Migrant Workers Justice in Vancouver, British Columbia.

 

Diego Lorente is Coordinator of Forced Uprooting Program of Project Counseling Service (PCS), a Latin American international non-governmental organization, with offices in Guatemala (which coordinates its work in Central America and Mexico), Peru and Colombia. Diego is a lawyer by profession who has specialized in migration and asylum issues. Between 2001 and 2007, he was Coordinator of SOS Racism Madrid, and served between 2003 and 2007 both as official spokesperson of the Federation of SOS Racism Associations of the Spanish State and its representative in the European Network against Racism (ENAR).  Diego also worked during this period in the Spanish Commission of Support to Refugees (CEAR), providing legal assistance to asylum seekers. Prior to his joining PCS in 2009, Diego worked in Mexico as Director of Without Borders IAP, an organization that defends the rights of migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and their families.

Drop in and join the conversation on migrant justice at 1PM at WWAC, 328 Pelissier St.

UPDATE

It was a very successful visit with about 30 visitors in all including the delegates.  Thank you to all who were able to make it!

Father Juan Luis Carbajal Tejeda, José Sicajau, Bill Fairbairn, Diego Lorente and other participants at the Windsor Worker’s Action Centre (Photo courtesy of Just Work website) Click image for full article

Board president WWEC, member at large Social Justice Windsor District Labour Council, host of campus community radio program The ShakeUp on CJAM 99.1FM

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