Guatemala: Research and Teaching

New: Public Letter, 10 November 2020

Why did a Swiss academic publisher, after an initial very positive response, abruptly refuse to publish “Canadian Mining in the Aftermath of Genocides in Guatemala: The Violence, Corruption, and Impunity of Contemporary Predatory Mineral Exploitation”?

The publisher ultimately said it was the threat of a third party suing for defamation but then refused to specify what it alleged was defamatory or identify the third party.

Was it corporate intimidation that caused Springer to make unsubstantiated accusations, and impede the authors’ freedom of expression?

- Catherine Nolin & Grahame Russell

Public Letter

Rights Action + Conference of Latin American Geography (CLAG) field trip/delegation, May 2020 [cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic]

Image Source: Las Ofredas

No end in sight: The root causes of forced migration from Honduras and Guatemala

Join us for a CLAG-focused delegation to Honduras and Guatemala led by Rights Action.

Grahame Russell, Director of Rights Action & Adjunct Professor, Geography Program, University of Northern British Columbia. Email:

Catherine Nolin, Vice-Chair of CLAG and Associate Professor & Chair of the Geography Program, University of Northern British Columbia. Email:

This field trip is for CLAG members. Costs = $1000US (covers all except flights) based on 10 participants. Full itinerary and details available here:  Rights Action + CLAG Spring 2020 Field Trip Information Sheet

Application Deadline: 29 February 2020

Rights Action + Conference of Latin American Geography (CLAG) post-conference field trip, January 2020

Xesiguan, Rabinal, Guatemala

Grahame Russell (Director of Rights Action + Adjunct UNBC Geography Faculty Member) and Dr. Catherine Nolin (CLAG Vice-Chair) organized and facilitated a post-CLAG conference field trip for 13 conference delegates to Rabinal, Guatemala.

The objective of the fieldtrip was to introduce participants to the Maya-Achí region of Baja Verapaz, Guatemala with a specific focus on local Indigenous initiatives that aim to recuperate Achí culture through popular education and sustainable/traditional agriculture. The Achí region was one of four Maya regions where, according to the UN Truth Commission report, genocide was carried out. The projects we visited and learned from are taking place in the aftermath and shadow of the U.S.-backed genocides of the 1980s, and ongoing struggles for Truth, Memory and Justice in the complicated military-dominated context of Guatemala today. [Photo: Post-CLAG Field Trip Participants + Xesiguán community members of the Asociación de Comités de Producción Comunitaria (ACPC)]

UNBC Geography + Rights Action Field School / Delegation (Nolin & Russell), May 2018


Catherine Nolin + Grahame Russell, Guatemala Fieldwork, May 2017

MAY 2017: Dr. Catherine Nolin, UNBC Geography (right) and Grahame Russell, Rights Action/UNBC Geography (left) led a field research delegation to Guatemala (May 13-22, 2017) to re-examine and update documentation on four major mining struggles throughout the country, all related to Canadian (and partially American) owned mining operations. Catherine & Grahame are co-editing the forthcoming book "Mining in a Time of Impunity in the Aftermath of Genocide in Guatemala."

Follow us on Twitter at #CDNMiningImpunity
Updates posted on our UNBC + Rights Action Facebook page

Guate 2017

UNBC Geography and Rights Action Emergency Delegation, May 2016

Grahame and Catherine in La Union

Dr. Nolin traveled to Guatemala in May 2016 with colleague Grahame Russell of Rights Action (and Adjunct Professor in the Geography Program) to co-lead an emergency delegation to Guatemala to re-visit and update documentation on the four main mining struggles in the country. All delegation updates are included below: