Indigenous Migration and Human Rights
Speaker: Juana Cabrera López (Maya Mam) & Mercedes Say (Maya K’iche’)
Date: October 1, 2020
Hosted by the Curriculum in Latin American Studies, LTAM 697
The presentation will focus on the historical and cultural identities of Maya Indigenous peoples, histories of violence and displacement that have affected them, their cultural reserves for resilience, and the historical contexts for contemporary cycles of migration, including the reasons that Indigenous migrants leave their home countries and the migration journey itself. It will underscore the problems of Indigenous language exclusion and the “invisibilization” of Indigenous peoples in the national-level statistics and reporting on migration, in which Indigenous migrants are simply grouped within broad national categories of “Mexican” or “Guatemalan.” The presentation will turn to the work of the the Mayan League on four levels: research to prepare policy recommendations, formalized in the report to the United Nations Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights, Fall 2019 and in work with the U.S. National Congress of American Indians; qualitative research with migrant families in border shelters with partners such as the Indigenous Alliance Without Borders and Ama Consultants; services to train Indigenous peoples to interpret for Indigenous languages, workshops and videos for migrants to know their rights,; community work to help migrants face the Covid-19 crisis, which has intensified the inequalities and exclusions they face, knowing that these communities are among the most vulnerable populations for morbidity, loss of livelihood, and food insecurity while denied basic medical and relief services. See UNUPR
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