Guatemalan Partner Inducted as Honourary Witness at the TRC
On September 18, our partner Naty Atz Sunuc of the Guatemalan organization CEIBA was officially recognized as an Honourary Witness at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s British Columbia national event in Vancouver. In a moving Call to Gather, Commissioner Marie Wilson introduced Naty and the other honourary witnesses to the thousands of people who attended the first day of the TRC, and asked her to accept both the honour and the responsibility.
Naty is Maya Kaqchikel, and a highly respected defender of human rights and Indigenous peoples in Guatemala. She is a victim and survivor of the brutal civil war in Guatemala and the genocidal practices of the military. She witnessed the military kill her mother and forcibly disappear her sister. She has experienced and survived government efforts to exterminate Indigenous culture and language through education and legislation, not unlike Indigenous peoples in Canada.
She was introduced as an international honourary witness who knows the importance of creating spaces for truth-telling and reconciliation; not only for the victims and survivors, but for all of society in order that the truth be known and that this terrible history never be repeated (nunca mas).
During the ceremony, Naty was asked to accept the honour to witness and to speak about what she has seen, heard, and felt and, most importantly, to offer a covenant of what she will pledge to do with this experience to support and strengthen truth and reconciliation. Naty’s witness will be recorded and posted on the TRC website. Throughout the TRC’s event, testimonies and ceremony will be streamed at http://www.livestream.com/trc_cvr.