Speaker's Tour with Domingo Tum Mejia from Guatemala: Collective Memory, Collective Resistance

Date: 4/23/2009
Time: 12:30pm - 2:30pm
Location: The Puck Building, Mulberry Conference Room, 3072
295 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012-9604  map

Hosted by ALAS student group

Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala is sponsoring a Speakers Tour with Domingo Tum Mejia of the group Historical Memory, a grassroots organization that reconstructs collective memory as a tool to address current issues, such as mega-³development² projects and the militarization of public security.

Domingo Tum Mejía was born in a small village near Sacapulas, Quiché in the northwestern highlands of Guatemala. The Quiché area was particularly hard-hit by the civil war that ravaged Guatemala for 36 years; over half of the 629 wartime massacres committed by the Army took place in that one region.

Today, at the age of 35, he has reconstructed his memories as a child, as well as the history of his family, his community, his region, and his country. He is currently fighting nationally and internationally to achieve justice for the genocide that took the lives of his parents and wiped out entire Maya communities.

Domingo will speak about the importance of historical memory in informing our understanding of ongoing repression against marginalized peoples.

His organization, the Historical Memory group works to achieve justice for crimes committed during Guatemala's 36-year internal conflict, while emphasizing how the past influences current community struggles in the region. Through information-sharing and community organizing, group members reconstruct collective memory as a tool to address current issues, such as mega-projects and the militarization of security. They recognize that the same motives that fueled military offensives of the 1980s the push to control communities, their lands and resources are propelling the economic and political powers of today to impose mega-development projects on indigenous peoples' lands.