All posts by favabean

Cafe Simpatico Dec 3: Yves Engler’s “Stand on Guard for Whom?”

If you missed Yves Engler in person on the island recently, here is your chance to hear and see him talk about his latest book,

Yves is one of Canada’s most knowledgeable progressive writers. He does amazing research and documents our political landscape clearly and honestly. He is the author of many earlier books, including “House of Mirrors” about Trudeau’s foreign policy.

Don’t miss this in-depth and scathing revelation about Canada’s military.

For more information see:
Join Yves other activists for his talk and discussion after.
Do share thus event notice with your networks.

Café Zoom Meeting
Friday, Dec 3, 2021 at 07:00 PM Pacific Time

Meeting ID: 816 7636 5962

Presented by Victoria Central America Support Committee
For more information on Victoria’s dynamic solidarity organization see:

cafe simpatio sept 24 Holding Canadian Mining Companies Accountable for human rights violations

Friday, September 24, 2021 at 07:00 PM Pacific Time

Join Zoom Meeting by clicking here 

Meeting ID: 870 7832 4527 Passcode: 50021

Matt Eisenbrandt is the Victoria-based Director of Transnational Investigations for CFM Lawyers, a class action law firm that has brought some of Canada’s most important lawsuits on behalf of victims against Canadian mining companies for alleged human rights abuses connected to their overseas operations.

Matt will talk about two of these cases:

CFM represented four Guatemalans who were shot by mine security personnel while protesting the presence of Tahoe Resources’ silver mine, now owned by Vancouver-based Pan American Silver.

CFM represented a group of Eritrean refugees who alleged they were forced labourers at the Bisha gold and copper mine in Eritrea, then owned by Nevsun Resources, also based in Vancouver.

Matt will discuss the process of putting these cases together, challenges in litigating them, and some lessons learned from the experiences.

Presented by Victoria Central America Support Committee (CASC –
Co-sponsored by Mining Justice Action Committee (MJAC –

CafÉ Simpatico on Zoom: HONDURAS and the Canada Commotion

April 30 at 7 pm PDT

This Café Simpatico presentation is now available on YouTube.

Our presenters have worked in human rights solidarity in Honduras and will discuss the context of Honduras as one of the most dangerous places in the world for rights defenders. Canada has many mining companies exploiting resources in Honduras.

Phil Little

Since 2013 he has traveled a number of times to Honduras to accompany his friend, Fr. Ismael (Melo) Moreno who has received numerous death threats because of his work as director of a Radio Station and a human rights center in Honduras

Dr. Janet Spring

She co-formed the Simcoe County Honduras Rights Monitor Committee to advocate for the release of her son-in-law and human rights defender, Edwin Espinal, arrested during the post electoral crisis in Honduras. She has travelled to Honduras to support political prisoners and advocate for their rights.

We look forward to their presentations, followed by Q&A which all are invited to participate in.

In Solidarity, your CASC planning committee

Join Zoom Meeting April 30 at 7 pm PDT

Meeting ID: 926 3986 3101

El Salvador: 2021 Elections Results

A Panel Conversation

Friday, March 26, 2021 at 07:00 PM Pacific Time
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 996 5961 5244

2021 El Salvador election photo of person casting ballot.

On February 28, 2021, Salvadorans changed the political landscape of the country by electing new Legislative Assembly Members and Municipal Mayors. Join us for a summary of the election results and
a panel conversation with:

Francisco Canjura.
Francisco has a degree in Journalism and worked at the Castlegar News (2008 to 2009). Francisco volunteered with the NDP in the 2013 provincial elections in Jessica Van der Veen’s MLA campaign for the Oak Bay/Gordon Head riding. He was part of a delegation of international election observers in the 2014 El Salvador Presidential elections, and volunteered with the FMLN for the 2021 Legislative and Municipal elections.

Jorge Cuéllar.
Jorge is an interdisciplinary scholar of politics, culture, and daily life in modern Central America. Cuéllar’s research and teaching focus on Central American Studies, Cultural Studies, and Social Theory.
He is Mellon Faculty Fellow and Assistant Professor of Latin American, Latino & Caribbean Studies at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Presented by Victoria Central America Support Committee.

CafÉ Simpatico Feb 26 Mexico Transformation – a Progress Report

Presented by Victoria Central America Support Committee
Friday, Feb 26, 2021 at 07:00 PM Pacific Time
With Laura Carlsen, Director, the Americas Program

Celebrating 40 years as an independent think tank and networking hub, the Americas Program is a leading source of analysis and information for activists, academics and citizens concerned about US foreign policy in Latin America, human rights and movements for social justice within the hemisphere. Laura Carlsen has lived and worked in Mexico for twenty years. She will speak about human rights, migration and grass roots activism in Mexico in a context of Mexican politics and society. In her position as director, she will discuss how The Americas Program works to promote grassroots democracy and policies that emphasize human rights, mutual respect in international relations, gender equality and demilitarization

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 925 0130 6963

Cafe Simpatico Jan 29: Chilean Constitution Update

Friday, January 29th at 7:30pm
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Meeting ID: 973 6846 2608

Chileans are currently preparing  to elect a Constitutional Convention of 155 members, expected to be a mixed of independents and political party representatives, that will write a new constitution from a blank page. The Constitutional Convention will have gender parity and reserved seats for representatives elected by indigenous nations.

The current constitution, imposed in 1980 during the military dictatorship led by General Augusto Pinochet, and fostered during the last 30 years of civilian governance, embedded a model of protected democracy coupled with a raw neoliberal economic model. This has produced one of the most unequal societies in the world, while wiping out 150 years of the Chilean social movement's achievements.

This presentation is about how Chileans have arrived at this extraordinary institutional moment in their history, paradoxically rooted in a deep mistrust of traditional political parties and public institutions, and what the majority of Chileans are hoping for in their new constitution.


Lorena Jara Díaz

Lorena is a Chilean-Canadian who arrived in British Columbia in the late 1970s. She became an organizer with the Canadian-Chilean solidarity movement for the defense of human rights in Chile, and later did the same for the El Salvador solidarity movement. In the early 1980s she joined the America Latina al Dia (ALAD) Collective which produced ALAD, the ongoing radio program at Vancouver Cooperative Radio, CFRO. She was an ALAD Collective's member for 13 years, working as a host and producer. She has contributed with public affairs articles about Latin America to Kinesis, Aquelarre, The Republic of East Vancouver, Contratpunto (online), among other alternative media. Lorena was involved in cooperative housing as the leading organizer, from initiation to finalization, of a project located in Vancouver's west side. She was a board member of Headlines Theatre and the Vancouver Folk Music Festival. Lorena was the Spanish-English transcriber, translator, and subtitles writer for Nettie Wilde's A Place Called Chiapas and for Mark Akbar's and Jennifer Abbott's The
Corporation. While attending Simon Fraser University, Lorena became a co-chair of her undergraduate and graduate programs' student associations. She was a recipient of the SFU Open Scholarship and  of the Roger W. Welch Award for services to the SFU community. She has a double major in Communication and Latin American Studies.


Because of sound problems, here are the links to the videos included during the presentation:

Video at the beginning: song El baile de los que sobran, Los Prisioneros (Chile Manifestaciones):

Video ending the presentation: La Primavera de Chile [song: El pueblo unido, Quilapayún- with subtitles]

Cafe Simpatico: jan 15 2021

Guatemala:  Human Rights Update with Carmen Miranda Barrios and Wendy Mendez 

Join us for this exciting event!

Wendy Mendez is a human rights defender, founder of the grassroots organization HIJOS Guatemala (sons and daughters of the disappeared), and petitioner before the Inter American Human RIghts Courts in the Military Diary Case.

Carmen Miranda-Barrios is from San Marcos, Guatemala.  Came to Canada in the early 90s and landed in Halifax, N. S. Made her way from east to west with the goal of finding other Guatemalan exiles who were living in Vancouver and joined the Women group "Nuestra Voz" and worked with Canadian and Guatemalan women to raise funds to send to women grassroots groups back home. She  is also a member of the BC CASA volunteer group that promotes and sells Café Justicia to support the Campesino Community of the Highlands  (CCDA) struggle for their right to land, health and the common good. Through the years, Carmen manage to go back to school and finished her doctoral degree at the University
of British Columbia with a speciality in Diaspora, Media and Exile. She has taught Spanish language courses at UBC, Douglas College and currently teaches a course on Global Indigenous Perspectives in Langara College. Carmen is also part of the bilingual radio show and alternative media collective that
produces   America Latina al Dia, on 100.5 fm every Saturday on Vancouver Cooperative Radio.

Join us for this event at:

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Meeting ID: 972 8179 7888
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Guatemala:  Human Rights Update with Carmen Miranda Barrios and Wendy Mendez 

Cafe Simpatico:  January 15:  7:30 pm
Guatemala: Human Rights Update with Carmen Miranda Barrios and Wendy Mendez

Cafe Simpatico on zoom Dec 11

Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic we have been unable to have Café Simpatico live at the Fernwood Community Association as we have for more than 30 years.  Following October’s successful ZOOM presentation of Kay Gimbel speaking about Nicaragua, we are pleased to present:

YVES ENGLER  speaking from Montreal on ZOOM on:

Canada’s role in Latin America with special emphasis on Venezuela and Bolivia.

Yves Engler is Canada’s best political analyst and writer. His work is well-researched, insightful and vital to an understanding of Canada’s political policies and our place in the global power struggles.  It is essential reading for all solidarity and social justice activists.

Author of 10 books, Yves has written among others:

-Canada In Africa — 300 Years of Aid and Exploitation

-The Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy

-Canada and Israel: Building Apartheid

-A Propaganda System — How Government, Corporations, Media and Academia Sell War and Exploitation

 House of Mirrors: Justin Trudeau’s Foreign Policy which is latest book.

Engler has spoken at public meetings and book launches many times in Victoria.  Unfortunately he was unable to come to Victoria and BC this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic to launch House of Mirrors: Justin Trudeau’s Foreign Policy.

(Please order it from your local book seller)

We are pleased to have the opportunity to present Engler on ZOOM to discuss:

 Canada’s role in Latin America with special emphasis on Venezuela and Bolivia.

Please join Yves with us:    Friday: December 11:  at 7 pm PST

 Link to Zoom Meeting:

Sponsored by the Victoria Central America Support Committee and the Mining Justice Action Committee

Donation appeal: food and health in el Salvador

November, 2020

Dear CASC supporters,

Your CASC planning committee has been meeting on ZOOM  during this  pandemic time, trying to carry out  our responsibilities to CASC.

We have had a successful ZOOM Café presentation by Kay Gimbel on Nicaragua and have plan another ZOOM Café on Dec. 11 at 7 pm.

( see:

CASC received an appeal for a donation to a food and health security project in El Salvador. The  appeal came  via several friends of  CASC, including Jay Hartling of Nova Scotia  who has spoken at Café Simpatico. 

The request was from a small isolated mountain community, Pachimalco.  It is one of a few remaining places in El Savador that has an Indigenous language and culture. It is also a poor community.

CASC was able to donate $600 to the project. As you can see our donation was spent on a chicken-raising initiative of the community’s plan to increase food security.  It is a modest amount but helps our friends have a more secure life. Other parts of the project included health supplies and tools which they were able to acquire with other funds.

Several  CASC members have been to this village and remember one of the  oldest trees in El Savador in the centre of the villaage – a massive CIBA (kapok) tree.

Terry Wolfwood for CASC planning committee

REPORT of Café Simpatico, February 2020: ARPILLERAS and CHILEAN RESISTANCE

Café Simpatico presented an exhibition of Arpilleras, textiles that tell the story of life in Chile from the time of the Pinochet dictatorship to the present time of social uprising and the demand for a new constitution and enshrined human rights. Much of the current activism has been suppressed by the government in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This report tells the story of the development and role of the art of arpilleras and the continuing resistance in Chile to inequality and injustice. To see the Café Simpatico exhibition of the arpilleras, links to videos and discussion of current dissent as well as poetry and music, please click on: