The Maya had devised a solar calendar, based on their celestial observations, that was more accurate than the calendar in use by European civilizations. They had a comprehensive knowledge of naked-eye astronomy and charted the movements of the moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and the constellations through the night sky.

Justice for Dos Erres:

Sample Letter:

Please join the national campaign for Justice in Dos Erres by writing a letter to the Canadian Minister of Justice, the Honourable Bob Nicholson. You may use the sample letter below, or write your own letter using the sample letter as a guide. Please either mail a hard copy of the letter (no stamp required) to the Minister, or email him at If you send a hard copy, be sure to include your return address and ask for a response.

In addition to this letter, we recommend that you send messages to key MPs sitting in opposition. Attach a copy of the letter you sent to the Minister of Justice, and include a covering letter, a sample of which can be found below farther down this page.

Hon. Bob Nicholson
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

Dear Minister,

I urgently bring to your attention an important matter for justice in a UN documented case of genocide in Guatemala.

Jorge Vinicio Sosa Orantes, arrested pursuant to a US request in Lethbridge Alberta Jan 18, 2011, is currently in custody awaiting extradition to the US. Sosa Orantes has Guatemalan, US and Canadian citizenship.

Sosa Orantes is a former officer in the notorious counterinsurgency group, the Kaibiles, of the Guatemalan military. Credible testimony implicates him as one of the organizers of the massacre in 1982 of 252 civilians in the community of Dos Erres in Guatemala.

If Mr. Sosa Orantes is extradited to the US, he will be prosecuted only for naturalization fraud committed in that country. For true justice to be done, Sosa Orantes must be tried for the crimes against humanity he allegedly committed in Guatemala. This can be done in Canada under the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act.

Minister, I strongly urge you to delay extradition of Sosa Orantes to the US while the Canadian War Crimes Program conducts its own investigation into the case. If evidence is found supporting Sosa Orantes alleged involvement in crimes against humanity, the Canadian government must prosecute him for these crimes or defer to another country where full justice will be done.

I am very interested in following the progress of this case and the Canadian governments response. What is your position with regard to the prosecution of war criminals in Canada in general, and specifically with regard to this case? I would appreciate hearing back from you what exactly you intend to do in this important case.

Thank you very much for your consideration.


Sample letter #2 – Key MPs. These are important to make sure the opposition parties put pressure on the government to do the right thing.

Jack Layton – Leader of the NDP
Joe Comartin – Justice critic NDP
Michael Ignatieff - Leader of Liberal Party
Marlene Jennings – Justice critic Liberal Party
Paul Dewar – NDP MP with a special interest in genocide cases

If you cut and paste the letter below, be sure that the name at the top of the letter corresponds to the MP you are sending it to. And attach the letter you sent to the Minister of Justice.

Hon. Michael Ignatieff
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

Dear Mr. Ignatieff,

Please find attached a copy of a letter I have sent to the Hon. Bob Nicholson, Minister of Justice. As you will see, the letter is about an important case of wars crimes committed in Guatemala. One of the alleged perpetrators of the massacre of 252 civilians is in Canadian custody and awaiting extradition to the US.

It is time for Canada to step forward and take a leadership role in the defense of human rights on the global stage. It is important for the opposition parties to investigate this case and monitor the Canadian government response. Mr. Sosa Orantes must not be extradited to the US if true justice is to be done.

I am counting on the you and your party to use its resources and its presence in the House of Commons to pressure the Canadian government to do the right thing and investigate Mr. Sosa Orantes’ involvement in the massacre. Please keep me informed what steps you are able to take in this regard.

Thank you very much for your consideration.


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