Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Consulta de Buena Fe part 2

It's a bit hard to write about something while it is going on, especially if one does not have one's computer on at all times. I was being an official observer during a consultation, and then we had to bring the officials from the community down to the town center because we needed to make a copy of the "acta" that confirmed the community's vote on mining, and they didn't want to part with it, and then I drove them back, and then came back, so I haven't been able to sit and write as readily as I might like.

The process was interesting and time consuming. Community decision-making in Guatemala is a laborious process; everything has to be read, translated and duly recorded. Everyone who came had to sign it; there were several tables for sign-in. One for people who were registered voters (i.e. in the electoral system). One for people who had only their cédula. One for people who only had their personal identification document (DPI). One for people with no documents. All proceeded smoothly but it started around 8:15 and continued until 10. It was a bit after 10 when the person who was leading the consultation started to explain the agenda for the day.

The actual decision-making was pretty swift (100% against mining) and kind of thrilling, and then what took time at the end was having every adult present sign the acta so that it was official. The children voted as well, but they did not sign the acta.

Well, I am back in the town center now, with a live marimba playing and a press conference about to begin, so more later.

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