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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.
Learn more here.
September 2, 2020
We have already emitted enough greenhouse gases (GHGs), such as CO2, to change the very composition of our atmosphere. Scientists, researchers, policymakers, and governmental officials alike know this; they know that the effects of climate change are occurring now and will continue into the not-so-distant future. We now face the question: will we act now to limit the consequences of climate change by reducing emissions or continue with the status quo and suffer the consequences?
September 1, 2020
In this series of infographics we explore the ways in which the climate crisis is impacting Central Americans and Colombians, how they are adapting, and how this crisis has created a surge of climate migration.
August 21, 2020
We are concerned for the safety of environmental and indigenous rights defender Ubaldino García Canan and other members of the Nuevo Día Ch’orti Indigenous Association (CCCND) in Olopa municipality in Chiquimula Department. CCCND provides legal support and visibility to indigenous Maya Ch'orti' communities. They face repeated human rights violations and threats to their land, environmental, and cultural rights because of hydroelectric and mining projects in their territories. On the night of August 5, Ubaldino García Canan, who serves as spokesperson for the Maya Ch'orti' Indigenous Council of Olopa, once again became a crime victim when unknown persons forcibly raided his home and his adjoined small grocery store. Because the intruders stole personal documents along with money and products, indigenous authorities suspect that Ubaldino García Canan was being targeted because of his involvement with CCCND. Residents of 11 villages of Olopa municaplity (and several of neighboring Esquipulas municipality) have been organizing opposition to an antimony sulfide mine that is contaminating their rivers. In retaliation, they have been victimized by intimidation and violence.
August 12, 2020
Although the effects of climate change reverberate around the globe, its effects vary from region to region, continent to continent, and Central America is no exception. // Aunque los efectos del cambio climático repercuten en todo el mundo, sus efectos varían de una región a otra y de un continente a otro, y Centroamérica no es una excepción.
July 23, 2020
For the past 23 years, the Santa Elena Project of Accompaniment has remained steadfast in its mission to support education in the returned refugee communities of Santa Elena 20 de Octubre and Copal AA La Esperanza in northern Guatemala, in addition to providing support for accompaniers working to protect human rights defenders through NISGUA (Network in Solidarity with Guatemala). SEPA's mission is to support human rights workers in Guatemala as well as assist with educational scholarships, teacher salaries and needs as requested in the villages of Santa Elena and Copal AA.
RRN Case Update
July 1, 2020
April, May and June RRN case summaries at a glance
On behalf of our 190 Rapid Response Network members, IRTF volunteers write and send six letters each month to government officials in southern Mexico, Colombia, and Central America (with copies to officials in the US). Who is being targeted? indigenous and Afro-descendant leaders, labor organizers, LGBTI rights defenders, women’s rights defenders, journalists, environmental defenders, campesinos, and others.
June 25, 2020
We are outraged at the beating and arrest of journalist Francisco Chox in the municipality of Santa Catarina Ixtahuacan, in Sololá department.
June 18, 2020
Some 650,000 DREAMers are temporarily safe from deportation (at least for now) because of today’s Supreme Court ruling against the Trump administration. Chief Justice John Roberts cast the deciding vote when he joined the court's four liberal justices. Their ruling: the 2017 decision by DHS (Department of Homeland Security) to rescind DACA was arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act. This is an unexpected and positive ruling, but the fight on behalf of the DREAMers is far from over. DACA recipients have gotten advanced degrees; they have started businesses; they have bought houses, had children who are U.S. citizens; and 90% have jobs. Some 29,000 DREAMers are health care professionals. It’s no surprise that the majority of people in the US want the DREAMers to stay. But this won’t happen until Senator Mitch McConnell introduces the American Dream and Promise Act onto the Senate floor. The bill, which would give permanent legal status and path to citizenship for the DREAMers, was passed by the US House with an overwhelming majority on June 4, 2019. The Senate has stalled, refusing to take up this crucial piece of legislation.
May 24, 2020
Unknown individuals raided and vandalized the house of human rights lawyer Esteban Emanuel Celada Flores while he was at work. This is the third raid on his home in less than five months. Esteban Celada has filed at least six complaints before the Public Ministry for multiple attacks against him since 2016. While filing complaints he has experienced intimidating attitudes from members of the Public Ministry. The intimidating content as well as the continuous and systemic nature of the attacks have left a harmful psychological impact on Esteban Celada. No advances have been made on the investigations, nor have protection measures been implemented to safeguard his life and integrity. When he filed a complaint with the the Public Ministry's Crime Unit against Human Rights Activists of this recent incident (April 22), he was told that due to COVID-19 the Unit was lacking the resources to immediately assess the crime scene.
April 16, 2020
While state forces threaten their safety and dignity, Indigenous peoples and migrants resist with courage and resilience. Join CRLN for this webinar to learn about resource extraction, migration, and the work of Indigenous people in Guatemala to build a world beyond colonial borders.