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The year 2015 was an eventful year for politics in Guatemala. In a report released on April 25, 2015 by the International Center Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), several high-ranking government officials were involved in customs fraud. The report pointed directly to the now ex-president and ex-vicepresident of the country as leading a secret group that stole millions from the country by negotiating customs taxes for various customers.

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Fort Albany First Nation in northern Ontario is a small community that—fifty to sixty years later—still reels from the pain caused by brutal abuses inflicted upon children of the James Bay region due to the residential school system. From 1920 to the 1960s, a great number of First Nations children from this region suffered brutal physical and sexual abuses in Fort Albany. Children from the reserve areas of Attawapiskat, Weenusk, Fort Albany, and Peawanuck were forcibly interned at St. Anne’s ‘Indian’ residential school as a matter of Canadian government policy, a racist-colonialist policy known as the Indian Act.

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In July 2015 Canada’s human rights records was examined based on its obligations under the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), an international human rights treaty Canada ratified in 1976. The Human Rights Committee’s Concluding Observations on the sixth periodic report of Canada provided a window into how Canada is upholding human rights both within its borders and abroad, and how its protection of those rights could be improved. The Concluding Observations address a wide range of concerns, including Indigenous issues, excessive use of force by police, and women’s rights.

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On August 22, 2015 Asociacion Mujb’ abl ‘yol celebrated the closure of a 9-month series of workshops and trainings for 40 community radio volunteers on “Democracy, Development and Community Media.” The project was partially funded by DEMOS Guatemala and the Inter-American Foundation (IAF) to benefit community journalists in Guatemala. It is the first time a project of its kind has been launched and has achieved 100% graduation rate. 40 participants proudly received their recognitions on Saturday in hopes of improving community media in their communities.

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An ongoing dispute over 2,300 acres of land in Segera, Laikipia County, Kenya has the Maasai people facing violent abuse and other human rights violations. The Maasai community were told that the land had been purchased by North Tetu Cooperative Society and that they had to evacuate.

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The 193 member states of the United Nations reached consensus on a new set of sustainable development goals on August 2, 2015 concluding a negotiation period of more than two years which included the unprecedented participation of civil

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 On August 17, 2015 Jose Mujica the ex-president of Uruguay visited Guatemala during the VI Esquipulas Forum where he spoke on  “Moral Imperatives of Human Beings Before The Politics and Economics of Globalization”. The Forum took place in Guatemala City with the participation of various Human Rights entities and Latin America political leaders from Cuba, Argentina, Ecuador, etc.  The ex-president was received warmly and with much anticipation given the current political state of the country.

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An Analysis by Kapaeeng Foundation of the Human Rights Situation of Indigenous Women and Girls (January-July 2015)

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Cultural Survival deeply mourns the loss of our co-founder Elsebet “Pia” Maybury-Lewis, who passed away today, August 4, 2015 at age 89 at her home in Cambridge, MA, surrounded by her loving family and friends after a long battle with lung cancer. Pia was born in Jutland, Denmark on June 1, 1926.

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“We Are All Related Here” by Empathy Works Films documents the story of the Yup’ik people of Newtok, Alaska, who are being called the first climate refugees of the United States since they must relocate their village due to the erosion and flooding they are experiencing as a result of global warming.

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Translated as “Young lady of Sololá” or “Beauty of Sololá”, Q’opoj Tz’olojyá is a tradition that has been maintained for over 40 years in the department of Sololá, Guatemala. It is not a beauty contest rather a competitive recognition of the strongest and well-rounded Indigenous women of Sololá.

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On June 29, 2015, President of the UN General Assembly, Sam K. Kutesa, hosted the High-Level event on Climate Change at UN headquarters in New York.

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