PIHRE Explorer,
November/December 1997


Help Us Celebrate Human Rights Day

As many of you are aware, December 10th is Human Rights Day. In celebration, the Partners Program is hosting its second annual gala event and silent auction. Proceeds from the event will help the Partners Program continue bringing human rights education to children and adults throughout Minnesota.

The auction will be a great opportunity to help a VERY worthwhile cause (us) and pick up some great bargains at the same time. Even if you don’t want to help us and don’t care about bargains, come for the great entertainment and the good food! The glorious sounds of the Minneapolis Community and Technical College Gospel Choir will ring out during the auction, and while you’re bidding on that special something you can’t do without, you can nosh on food from your favorite Twin Cities eateries.

The festivities will take place at the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis and begin at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $19.48 (celebrating the anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) and can be obtained by sending a check (made out to Partners Program) to the Partners office at 229-19th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55455. Additionally, if you have an item you would like to donate, please call us at 612-626-0041.

See you there!


Hi There. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Great Gift Ideas!! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
What D’Ya Know??. . . . . . . . . . . . 2
UNICEF Can Help You Teach. . . .3
Amnesty International Urgent Action Appeal: Children’s Edition. . . . . . . 3
Do You Feel the Need...The Need to Read?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Upcoming Human Rights Events. . .4
You Can Surf All Winter Long. . . .4


Do you have lesson plans, community action ideas or suggestions for the Explorer or websight? It is the creativity of the volunteers that fuels the Partners Program.... Help us keep improving by sending us your ideas.

Fellowship Experiences:

The following is the first in a series of articles from recipients of 1997 Human Rights Internships and Fellowships.

Marie C. Pugliese

Tears of the People: Witnessing the 16th Anniversary of the Death of Reverend Stanley Rother.

Monday, July 28, 1997. Overcast. Rain showers likely.

For the last seven weeks, as a Fellow representing the Partners in Human Rights Education program, I have been working in the mission village of San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala. On this cloudy morning, I climb in the back of a pick-up truck and endure the bumpy ride to the neighboring town of Santiago. Located 51 miles (81 kilometers) west of Guatemala City and with a population of 20,000, Santiago is nestled among the reeds of Lake Atitlan. The purpose of my journey is to attend the memorial service of a priest assassinated sixteen years ago.

Reverend Stanley Francis Rother, a Catholic missionary from the Archdiocese of Oklahoma, served Santiago’s Tzutuhil Indians for 13 years. His efforts to improve the community’s agricultural and educational conditions were regarded by government officials as suspicious. Labeled a communist, Rother’s name appeared on a death squad list.

On the night of July 28, 1981, several unidentified gunmen broke into the rectory and stormed into Rother’s sleeping quarters. Apparent from his bruised knuckles, Rother struggled with his assailants before being shot in the head three times. Though his body was buried in his hometown of Edmond, OK, his family obliged parishioners’ request that this heart and some of his blood be buried in a memorial tomb erected inside their church.

Upon my arrival in Santiago, I locate the rectory and Rother’s room, which has been renovated. As a tribute to his life, a glass case features his black vestment robe, plaid work shirt, journal, Bible, and other personal items. On the opposite wall, a brief biography is inscribed in English and Spanish. On the floor, neatly arranged candles reveal where a bullet punctured the tile. Blood stains still shadow the corner.

After signing the visitors’ book, I wander outside to the church square. Because the memorial service concludes a week-long festival, the plaza is filled with carnival rides, including a 12-car, man-powered ferris-wheel. Barefoot boys huddle around video games at the arcade.

The crowded church steps are alive with conversation; men lingering to chat as women hurry inside. The men, many dressed in their traditionally embroidered short pants and button down striped shirts, remove their hats upon entering the church. The women, with shawls loosely hung over their shoulders, cover their heads with woven fabrics and cross themselves.

Peering inside the church, I notice the decorations. Ribbons of red and green, purple and gold sway from the breeze coming through the doors. Multicolored "Christmas" lights are strung haphazardly around the altar. Statues jutting from the walls are draped in bulky robes; their faces are covered with drab fabric.

As the church fills with mourners, the memorial procession is being arranged in the adjacent courtyard. As they scramble into two single file lines, chattering school children are hushed by their teachers. The religious order of the Sisters of the Eucharist and neighboring town priests fall in step. The residing priest of Santiago, cloaked in a blood red robe, completes the line.

As the somber procession winds through the streets, I am struck by the contrasting reactions of those gathered. Merchants, local shoppers, and carnival workers bow their heads in reverence. American and European tourists scramble to load film into their cameras.

As the priests enter the church and approach the altar, they pass an open, wooden coffin. Positioned inside, among scattered rose petals, is Rother’s grey hooded sweatshirt. His white vestment, adorned with the traditional Santiago floral pattern, is draped over the open lid. (contrary to rumor, this coffin is not his, but is symbolically displayed during special service). Next to the coffins, balanced on a stool, is a framed black and white photograph of Rother. This same picture is nailed on the wall behind the pulpit.

All components of the mass commemorate the reverend. The homily, articulating Rother’s contributions, is delivered in Spanish then translated into Tzutuhil. After the homily, the clergy and nuns solemnly retreat to the back of the church. They kneel in front of the tomb that contains Rother’s heart. Flickering candles illuminate the corner. The air is thick with incense.

Sneaking out the church’s side door, I again enter the adjacent courtyard. Young children, restless from the service, climb the angle of a marble plaque that dedicates the courtyard in Rother’s name. Mischievous boys investigate smoldering incense ashes. Two sisters, in traditional traje (clothes) squeal with delight as rain sprinkles from the sky. A young American priest, hunched over on a stone bench, blankly stares into the distance. Slowly, his face sinks into his hands. He is silent.

The melody of rosary prayers draws me back to the service. Olive branches, dipped in blessed water, are waved over the parishioners. During the Eucharist, Monsignor Gregory Schaffer of San Lucas Toliman, distributes communion to attendants in the back of the church. Pausing to gently place his hand on a baby’s forehead, he whispers a kind word to the mother; I am next in line. Closing prayers reiterate Rother’s relationship with the community. Alongside his people, he struggled in life and suffered in death.

Observing the parishioners streaming from the church doors into the late-morning drizzle, I reflect on the image of Rother as mentor and martyr. A young father scoops his tottering daughter into his arms and allows his son to tug them toward carnival rides. Walking arm-in-arm, a woman pauses on the steps to console her weeping friend.

A Tzutuhil woman brushes by me. Catching my eye, she then gazes at the clouds above and murmurs, "the tears of God, the tears of the people

Hi There.

As you may have read in the last Explorer, Jen Orr, our venerated long-time editor, has left us to seek her fortune in the big scary world. That leaves The Explorer with a new editor--me.

My name is David Neubeck and I am a second year law student at the University of MN. I initially came to the Partners Program in 1996, working with a second-year Chinese language class at Ramsey Jr. High in St. Paul. Having just returned from a two year stint as an English teacher in central China I was eager to share my experiences and increase awareness of Human Rights issues facing the Chinese people. The past year and a half has been fantastic. My team’s classes examine diverse issues ranging from world food and wealth distribution to China’s one child policy. My team has particularly concentrated on providing a different perspective on Chinese issues than is typically presented by the U.S. media. Our students enjoy learning about issues outside their normal sphere of exposure, and I in turn enjoy hearing their responses to the issues.

If any of you have questions about Human Rights in China, please give me a call at the Partners Program office. Additionally, if you have any comments or suggestions regarding The Explorer I’d love to hear from you. Thanks for reading and I’m glad to be here.

Great Gift Ideas!!

Does it seem like whenever you need a gift for someone your brain goes into vapor lock? Fear no more my friends, the Partners Program has a solution. When you’re at a loss, just look at the following human rights suggestions and shop away. You can please your friends and family and support human rights at the same time.

Celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Amnesty International’s 1998 calendar highlights photographs revealing the human condition. The photographs are taken by renowned photojournalists including David Burnett and Annie Leibovitz. All proceeds benefit Amnesty International. The calendar is available for $8.00 and can be ordered by Visa or MasterCard from Amnesty at 212-633-4234.--Non credit card orders should include an additional $3.00 for postage and be addressed to:

Amnesty International
Attn: Publications
322 8th Ave
New York, NY 10001

The perfect gift for the person who has everything: Donate money or time to a local charity in the name of the gift recipient. There are hundreds of worthwhile organizations who could use your help, and your gift would truly be in the spirit of giving.

Stolen Dreams: Portraits of Working Children, Dr. David Parker’s discussion and photographs of child laborers is a moving exploration of a very important issue. --See the "need to read" section for a more detailed description and ordering information.

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye...

Since July, the Partners Program has been privileged to work with and learn from Karen Kraco. Karen is a science teacher from Massachusetts who has extensive experience with human rights education through her work with Amnesty International’s Educators’ Network. During her time here she has helped the Partners Program rewrite the volunteer training manual, develop curriculum packets, and has continually given support and guidance to our staff. She has also been involved in organizing the Human Rights USA Resource Center and training of trainers. Her time with us has been extremely valuable for our program. We have greatly benefitted from her expertise and experience. Sadly, she has to return to her life in Massachusetts and will conclude her time with the Partners Program in early November. The Partners Program staff gives a warm thank you to Karen for her work and commitment to human rights education.

What D’Ya Know??

Do you want to win a groovy prize and test your knowledge of human rights at the same time? Correctly answer the following three questions, send them to the Partners Program office, and we’ll put you in a drawing to win a signed copy of Stolen Dreams: Portraits of Working Children, Dr. David Parker’s moving portrait of child labor. Are you ready? Here we go. . .

1) Who served as the Chairperson of the United Nations Human Rights Commission that wrote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948?

2) Name three of the last five winners of the Nobel Peace Prize.

3) In what year and in what city did Rosa Parks spark a civil rights boycott by refusing to give up her seat on the bus?

UNICEF Can Help You Teach.

Does your classroom plan on addressing children's rights? If it does, UNICEF is willing to send you a FREE (!) teaching packet. The packet, entitled "Kids Helping Kids," is available in both English and Spanish by dialing 1-800-FOR KIDS (367-5437), or writing to UNICEF at:

US Committee for UNICEF
Attn: Education Programs--Kids Helping Kids
333 East 38th St.
New York, NY 10016

The packet can also be downloaded off the Web from www.unicefusa.org and the Partners Program has a few packets available for check out from our lending library.

Amnesty International Urgent Action Appeal:

Children’s Edition

Amnesty International is concerned about ten-year-old Florencia Abarca.

On September 1, 1997 soldiers entered the Indian community of Nahuatl de Ahuixtla in the state of Guerrero, Mexico at 4 o’clock in the morning. They told villagers that they were searching for guerrillas who oppose the government of Mexico. The soldiers broke into the home of Francisco Abarca Verales. They beat him brutally and demanded information from him. They also beat his 10-year-old daughter, Florencia.

When the soldiers left the village, they said that anyone who dared to complain about the beatings would be killed. Some villagers did complain to a Mexican human rights organization. Amnesty International is now afraid that soldiers may return to Nahuatl de Ahuiztla to hurt the villagers.

Please write a letter to the Interim Governor of Guerrero and ask him to protect the people of Haguatl de Ahuixtla and to check on ten-year-old Florencia Abarca to make sure that she is safe. Let the governor know that the soldiers must be arrested and punished along with the military officers who ordered the invasion.

The Governor’s address is:

Angel Heladio Aguirre Rivero
Gobernador Interino Del Estado De Guerrero
Palacio De Gobierno
Plaza Primer Congreso De Anahuac
39000 Chilpancingo, Guerrero

Do You Feel The Need...The Need to Read?

The Partners Program has your panacea. Pick up one of the following books and you'll surely cure whatever ails you.

Stolen Dreams: Portraits of Working Children.---David Parker, M.D., an occupational physician in Minneapolis spent five years traveling the world documenting the lives of working children. The result is a remarkable photo essay that shows the human face of the disturbing issue of child labor.

Signed copies (!) of Stolen Dreams are $15.00 and can be purchased by calling the Partners Program at 626-0041.

Who Will Feed China: A Wakeup Call for a Small Planet (The Worldwatch Environmental Alert) --- This book explores China’s growing prominence in the international economy and how this will effect world food distribution in the twenty-first century. Who Will Feed China sells for approximately $9.00 and is available at local bookstores.

Also new and available for check-out in the Partners Program library:

Teaching About Global Awareness with Simulations and Games contains various cirriculum ideas and activities for grades six through twelve.

Updated versions of Amnesty International's Resource Notebooks. Topics include "Introducing Human Rights in the Elementary School," "Indigenous Peoples’ Rights," "Economic Rights" and "Conflict Resolution and Peace." (If you would like to purchase any of the notebooks, please call Human Rights USA at 612-341-8084).

Forsaken Cries: The Story of Rwanda, is an educational packet containing historical information about Rwanda and Genocide. The packet also contains classroom activities as well as an accompanying video. CAUTION! This material is quite graphic and only suitable for mature high school students.

Upcoming Human Rights Events.


3 Immigration Task Force. The coalition holds its monthly meeting to defend immigrant rights, fight reactionary state and federal legislation, and respond to unfair Immigration and Naturalization Service raids, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m., Urban Coalition, 2610 University Ave. W., Suite 201, St. Paul. Call 348-8550.

3 East Timor. Nina da Costa, president of Australia’s Timorese Association, and exiled Indonesian Nico Warouw speak on the 22-year-old occupation of East Timor. 7:00 p.m. O’Shaughnessy Education Center, College of St. Catherine, St. Paul. (Da Costa and Warouw will speak again the following day at 12 p.m. in the University of Minnesota Social Science Building). Call 962-6598 .

7-8 Human Rights USA will hold a strategic planning meeting for MN education and social justice organizers. The meeting will address how to build a Human Rights community in Minnesota. Call BIHA (Black, Indian, Hispanic, Asian Women in Action,) 870-1193.

7-9 Amnesty International’s regional conference will take place in Evanston, IL. For more information call 312-427-2060.

9 Remembering Paulo Freire:

Honoring the Brazilian popular-education pioneer, who died May 2. This event features a panel, songwriter-educator Larry Long and a biographical video by New York film-markers George Stoney, Barbara Miller and Lynne Jackson. 7 p.m. First Universalist Church, 3400 Dupont Ave. S. Minneapolis. 721-4380.

11 Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers. Act for Human Rights. Prepare for celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Guests include Kathryn Sikkink, and Sen. Paul Wellstone. $5.00 7p.m. Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, 511 Groveland, Minneapolis Call 338-1548.

12 Human Rights, International Law. Peter Thompson, an attorney representing anti-landmine protesters, speaks at a meeting of People of Faith Peacemakers. 8:00 - 9:30 a.m. St. Martin’s Table. 2001 Riverside Ave., Minneapolis. Call 784-5177.

13 Refugee and Immigrant Program of Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights: Celebration of Community and Diversity. Enjoy food and entertainment provided by members of Minnesota’s immigrant and refugee community. Open Donations accepted. 5:00 - 8:00 p.m Brian Coyle Community Center. Call 341-3302.

December and Beyond:

10 Partners Program Human Rights Day Celebration and Silent Auction, "Good Things Happen When Students Take Action." Help us celebrate Human Rights Day by getting a few bargains and enjoying quality enteratinment and company. (see the page one article for more info) 6:30 p.m. First Unitarian Society of Minnesota. 900 Mount Curve Ave., Minneapolis. Call 626-0041

Resource Center of The Americas Saturday Morning Coffee Hours

10:30 a.m.-noon. Featuring a speaker, bagels and fair-trade coffee at Café of the Americas, 1701 University Ave. SE, Minneapolis. $3.00 for Resource Center Members, $4.00 for non-members.

11/1-Women’s Rights in Guatemala Today. Speaker: Martha Lidia Godinez.

11/8-Salvadoran Labor, Women and Youth. Speaker: Marina Ríos and David Hernández.

11/22-The Dark Side of Chile’s "Miracle." Speaker: Fernando Leiva.

11/29-El Salvador: Elections and Peace. Speaker: Felix Ulloa.

12/6-Sustainable Agriculture in Colombia. Speaker: Lucia Vásquer Colis

12/2 Winona LaDuke. The Native American enviornmental activist and director of the White Earth Land Recovery Project, reads from her first novel, Last Standing Woman. 7:30 p.m. $5.00, Resource Center of the Americas 317 17th Ave. SE, Minneapolis, 627-9445

1/24-3/2 Weisman Art Museum hosts an exhibition entitled, In the Eye of the Storm: An Art of Conscience, 1930-1970. Call 625-9494.

You Can Surf All Winter Long!!!

The days are getting shorter and no doubt you will soon find yourself trapped inside by a howling blizzard--a perfect opportunity to check out our great websight:

www.umn.edu/humanrts/education/pihre has lesson plans, human rights related documents and links to other cool human rights websights. Give it a looksee and tell us what you think.

While we’re on the subject of the internet...if you have an e-mail address, please send it to the Partners office. The more ways we have to contact you the more you’ll know.

Partners in Human Rights Education is an education initiative established in 1992 by Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights and The Human Rights Center at the University of Minnesota. The Partners Program organizes and trains teachers, lawyers and communtiy representatives to teach human rights and develop community action projects throughout Minnesota. The Partners approach imparts knowledge, teaches critical analysis, and provides skills for action through integrating human rights as a part of participants’ lives. The strength of our volunteers creates an enthusiasm which will move us forward into the future with new goals and new ideas. For more information, contact the Partners Program at: Phone: 612-626-0041; Fax: 612-625-2011; E-mail: humanrts@gold.tc.umn.edu; World Wide Web: http://www.umn.edu/humanrts/

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comments: humanrts@umn.edu