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Guatemalan Political Activist to Speak at Juniata

(Posted February 3, 2003)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Jesus Tecu Osorio, a Guatemalan political activist who survived a 1982 massacre in his home village, will speak at Juniata College at 8:15 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 2 in Neff Lecture Hall in the von Liebig Center for Science on the Juniata campus.

The talk is free and open to the public. There also will be an open campus forum at noon, Monday, Feb. 3 in the ballroom in Ellis College Center.

A 30-minute documentary on Osorio's life and work will be shown during his talk, and he will take questions from the audience at both events.

Osorio currently lives in Rabinal, Baja Verapaz. In 1982, he witnessed a massacre of 177 civilians by the Guatemalan army and paramilitary groups. The massacres occurred because villagers were opposed to forced resettlement to make way for a hydro-electric dam project.

Osorio has received an international human rights award his activism, which includes founding the New Hope Foundation/March 13, which provides primary education and scholarships for poor youth, co-founding a legal clinic, co-founding a community museum and testifying in a legal case of genocide in the Guatemalan courts. He also played a leadership role in efforts to obtain reparations from the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank for its role in developing the Chixoy Hydro-electric Dam project that caused the massacre in villages in Rabinal.

The presentation is sponsored by the Department of World Languages and Cultures, the Department of Politics, the Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, the International Studies Program, the Model UN Club and the Spanish Club.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.