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Guatemala: News & Updates

Guatemala had the longest and bloodiest civil war in Central American history: 36 years (1960-96). The US-backed military was responsible for a genocide (“scorched earth policy”) that wiped out 200,000 mostly Maya indigenous civilians.  War criminals are still being tried in the courts.

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WASHINGTON — President Trump on Monday broadened his assault on the nation’s immigration system, issuing a new rule targeting legal immigrants who want to remain in the United States but whose lack of financial resources is judged likely to make them a burden on taxpayers.

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BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Four LGBT+ people are murdered every day in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to “alarming” new research released on Thursday by a regional network of gay rights groups.

At least 1,300 LGBT+ people have been murdered in the region in the past five years, with Colombia, Mexico and Honduras accounting for nearly 90 percent of all deaths, according to data collected by the network of 10 groups.

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At least five union activists were murdered in Guatemala in 2018, and union leaders and members in Guatemala and Honduras suffered dozens of incidents over the past year for standing up for worker rights, including restriction of union rights, intimidation, harassment, illegal detention, death threats and attempted murder, according to two new reports.

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The ACLU said that more than 900 parents and children, including babies, have been separated by U.S. border authorities since U.S. District Judge Dana M. Sabraw, a George W. Bush appointee in San Diego, ordered the government to reunite more than 2,700 children with their parents more than a year ago. "It is shocking that the Trump administration continues to take babies from their parents," said Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project. "The administration must not be allowed to circumvent the court order over infractions like minor traffic violations."
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Under U.S. and international law, the United States is obligated to hear asylum requests unless an alternative "safe third country" is stipulated through a bilateral agreement. Such a "safe third country" must provide security and due process for asylum seekers. Trump officials tried initially to pressure Mexico to sign a safe third country agreement, but the Mexican government balked, even as it capitulated to Trump's tariff threats and stepped up efforts to interdict Central American migrants. So, the Trump administration turned to strong-arming Guatemala.

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