These two public events will feature Santos Choc, an indigenous campesino
and community leader. Santos has been active in community organizing
both defending human rights and protecting native forests for the past
15 years. Santos will speak about the challenges his community faces
with the current proposed free trade policies, including the Free Trade
Area of the Americas (FTAA) and the Plan Puebla Panama (PPP) and the ways
they are organizing to resist these ^Óagreements^Ô and plans.
Both evenings will also include refreshments and music. Monday evening
Grupo Kultural will perform; Tuesday night Mona Warner will sing and play
guitar. The events are free, with a suggested donation of $5 to $20 to
support community organizing in Guatemala.
Santos Choc is the Vice President of the Cooperative Union Maya Itza (aka
^ÓLa Quetzal^Ô) in the northern Guatemalan Lacandón Rainforest. He is
also works with the Association of Forestry Communities in the Petén
supporting the development of sustainable forestry products and marketing
for the 19 organizations in this northern Guatemalan region that do
forestry management. Both evenings Santos will address the struggles his people faced in returning to their land after the war and the major
challenges their region will face under the Plan Puebla Panama (PPP.)
The PPP is part of the larger free trade agenda that unions, women's
organizations, campesinos and others are working to resist throughout the
Americas. The PPP directly threatens Choc^Òs community since proposed
dams to be built on the Usumacinta River would flood their town. Mr.
Choc has also played an important role in regionalizing the cooperation
between communities throughout Central America in their struggle to
defend their rights.
This event is brought to you by PCASC, the Portland Central America
Solidarity Committee, and cosponsored by: the Cross Border Labor
Organizing Coalition (CBLOC), Portland Jobs with Justice, the Alliance
for Sustainable Jobs and the Environment (ASJE), Alliance for Democracy-
Portland Chapter, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) of
Portland, and the PSU Progressive Student Union.
For more information call PCASC, 503-236-7916.