Special Event: Leocadio Juracan on Indigenous Peasant Farmers’ Land Rights and Forced Displacement in Guatemala
Coffee & treats will be served.
For the past 25 years, Leocadio Juracan has been the National Coordinator of the Comité Campesino del Altiplano – CCDA (Highland’s Committee of Peasant Farmers). Beginning his journey in the struggle for land and labour rights in Guatemala at just 14 years old when he participated in the first ever national Campesino March, he later played a role as a spokesman for the campesino movement in the peace negotiations, leading to the 1996 Peace Accords which officially marked the end of Guatemala’s 36-year internal armed conflict. Since then, Mr. Juracan has accompanied and represented diverse small scale farmers groups in their struggle for the defense and recovery of territory and resources. In the late 1990s, Mr. Juracan was one of the principal promoters of, “Café Justicia.” Cafe Justicia is a philosphy and practise of solidarity trade that builds cooperation between consumers and producers; the CCDA considers the project “Fair Trade Plus” as the sales of the coffee not only gives a fair wage to the producers, but also fund social development projects in surrounding communities and the CCDA's broader struggle for social justice in Guatemala. In the early 2000s, the CCDA began selling their coffee in the Maritimes as “Breaking the Silence” Coffee through Just Us! Fair Trade Coffee Roasters.
Some recent highlights include Mr. Juracan presenting at the 2008 America’s Social Forum in Guatemala, presenting before the European Union about the Socio-Economic Agreement and the Agrarian Situation in 2008 and at the 2009 Alternative Development Social Forum at the University of Oxford, England. From 2004-2013 he participated in a national round-table working for the Reorientation and Expansion of the Ministry of Agriculture Budget and he has been an active participant in developing the proposal for the Law for Integral Rural Development since 2002.
Additionally, Mr. Juracan represents the CCDA in the International Land Coalition (ILC), the People’s Coalition for Food Sovereignty and Rural Development, and was one of the leaders of the 2012 Peasant Farmer March to demand land reform and an end to criminalization against rural communities. He is a spokesman for the Council for Family and Small Farmer Agriculture and member of the Organizing Committee of the IV Indigenous, Campesino and People’s Congress. In 2010, Mr. Juracan, his family and the CCDA suffered serious death threats which lead to him leaving for exile in Canada for a period of time before returning to Guatemala to continue his life struggle in the campesino movement. He has traveled extensively throughout Canada to speak about the work of the CCDA and the national movement for land rights in Guatemala and we are pleased that he will once again be able to visit several communities throughout Canada in June 2014.
Friday, June 20 2014
2nd floor, 251 Bank st.
Co-sponsored by Education in Action, MiningWatch Canada, PSAC Social Justice Fund, Territorio Libre, and the Campesino Committee of the Highlands (CCDA)
This event will be presented in English and Spanish. Translation will be available.
“You need to understand, we’re not just in the business of buying and selling coffee, we are using the resources we have to work for justice in our communities.” - Leocadio Juracan