I posted a note abo ut Lisandro a few weeks ago. His family and community need our help to run a full page ad in a Guatemalan newspaper calling for a full investigation into the murder of an extraordinary artist and human being, Lisandro Guarax. Lisandro was an innovator of cultural work the likes of which had not been seen in living memory. Lisandro and his companions in Sotz’il are credited with energizing a new movement of Maya youth with pride in their culture and way of life, through investigating and developing ancestral expressions of Maya art.
NISGUA (Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala) together with other solidarity and community-based organizations, academic institutions, student groups, church groups, and indigenous peoples’ organizations, are raising funds to pay for an ad in the Prensa Libre, a major national newspaper in Guatemala, to denounce these assassinations and demand that the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) conduct a full investigation of Lisandro’s assassination, as a significant step towards halting these threats and attacks on Maya cultural activists which until now are made with full impunity.
We need to raise $4000 and collect organizational signatures by October 4, 2010, in order to place the ad on October 18.
On Sunday, October 17, cultural activities by an alliance of Guatemala-based organizations will take place in honor of Lisandro’s life and to press for an investigation; we will express solidarity with the press coverage of these activities with the ad in Monday’s paper. Any amount is greatly appreciated and would contribute to denouncing the injustices and impunity that continue to plague Guatemala. By supporting this ad, you will join us in saying enough is enough!
To donate by check or money order directly to NISGUA, please send your contribution to: NISGUA, 436 14th Street, Suite 409, Oakland, CA 94612. Make checks payable to NISGUA and write “Lisandro” in the memo line.
To send your group or organizational signature, email the name of your group/org as you would like it included in the paid ad to Bridget@NISGUA.org.
If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, please contact Sue Kuyper at 415-574-6111. In the Austin area, please contact Czarina Aggabao Thelen at 512-492-5122 or Giovanni Batz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please let us know if you are interested in organizing locally. REMEMBER: DEADLINE FOR DONATIONS AND SIGNATURES IS OCTOBER 4th.
Our hearts are heavy with humanity’s loss of a visionary Maya leader who, challenging colonial and contemporary regimes’ destruction and oppression of Maya culture, struggled to restore the dignity of the Maya worldview through the arts. Leonardo Lisandro Guarcax was kidnapped, tortured, and assassinated on August 25, 2010 en route to the school where he served as principal. This is the third assassination in his family within eighteen months, all members of Sotz’il Jay Cultural Center.
To learn more about Lisandro and the work of Sotz’il Jay Cultural Center, please visit: