Join us at the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center for Guatemala in Free Fall , a conversation with Guatemalan human rights activist Luis Gutierrez and attorney Jennifer Harbury, an American lawyer, author and human rights activist, on Saturday, July 8, 2023 at 6 PM.
They will be talking about the historical and current political climate of Guatemala. Following a seminar-like discussion, Jennifer Harbury and Luis Gutierrez will share their stories, insights, and experiences of working for human rights and justice in Guatemala, as well as the impact that US policy and actions have on the lives of communities in Guatemala and other places outside this country.
This will be primarily in Spanish with English translation provided.
Doors will open at 5:30 PM.
The conversation will be followed by a Q&A session.
The event is free and open to the public, tickets may be reserved at esperanza.eventbrite.com
Parking for this event will be available at San Antonio College parking lot 28 and at the Planned Parenthood parking lot at 920 San Pedro (Planned Parenthood parking is with permit only).
Jennifer K. Harbury is an activist, author, and attorney who has spent much of the past twenty years working to monitor and promote human rights in Guatemala. Her husband, Efrain Bamaca Velasquez, was a Mayan resistance leader who was “disappeared” by the Guatemalan military in 1992; subjected to long-term, severe torture; then extrajudicially executed. Harbury’s efforts to save his life, which included three dangerous hunger strikes, resulted in startling disclosures about the close working relationship between the CIA and the Central American death squads. Since learning of her husband’s death, she has devoted much of her time to pressing for human rights reforms for both the United States and Guatemalan governments.
Luis Eduardo Gutierrez Marckwordt is a life- long Guatemalan human rights activist. His parents were both very involved in the reform efforts of President Jacobo Arbenz during the “Ten Years of Spring” (1944-1954). Luis grew up in the shadow of the 1954 CIA sponsored coup and its violent aftermath. His father was imprisoned, then assassinated; and many close family friends were tortured and killed, including the gifted poet Otto Rene Castillo. Luis followed swiftly in their footsteps, becoming an activist at an early age. He continues to this day to struggle for fundamental human rights and an end to official impunity for war crimes.
Esperanza was founded in 1987 by a group made up of mostly Chicana activists seeking to bring together diverse movements for peace and justice in San Antonio and around the world. In the early years, the Esperanza was engaged in caravans to Central America, demonstrations against the KKK, mural projects that engaged children as artists, and the first art exhibit in Texas to focus on the Queer community and the AIDS crisis. Esperanza continues to be a politically progressive, outspoken, and unwavering force for justice in San Antonio and beyond.