Council for Ethnic Communities "We Are All Equal"
Council for Ethnic Communities "We Are All Equal" (CERJ) "was formed by a group of Mayan Indian peasants in July 1988 to document and challenge the multiple human rights violations directed at Guatemala's Indian population. Before CERJ began its work, these abuses were largely unreported and unrecorded. According to Ms. Leatherbee [Carter Center program Director Leah Leatherbee], "CERJ's success demonstrates how a grassroots organization can curtail abusive policies by educating people about their rights. We hope to promote its success as a model for other human rights organizations around the world." In April, CCEU's efforts resulted in a $25,000 grant from a U.S. foundation to the CERJ, an amount that constitutes one-half of the organization's annual budget." Spring 1990 (CCEU is Carter Center)
- Amilcar Mendez Urizar - Founder
In 1991, CERJ received a grant from Rights and Democracy the details of which were as follows: "CERJ is a peasant and Indian-based organization founded to struggle for the recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples of Guatemala and to denounce the violations of those rights. This project will contribute to three sub-projects: 1) the creation of two new branches of CERJ, in Guatemala City and in Quetzaltenango; 2) the training of human rights promoters; 3) developing communications and information. A special effort is being made to encourage women's participation in the training sessions."