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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.
January 26, 2019
Though he initially supported CICIG (anti-corruption commission), President Morales reversed course in 2017 when the attorney general and the commission implicated him and his party, the National Convergence Front, in campaign finance violations and sought to lift his immunity. The commission is also investigating his son and his brother on corruption charges, a trial that has now been hobbled—the presiding judges have dismissed CICIG as co-prosecutors in the case.
January 22, 2019
Maya communities bore the brunt of almost four decades of a civil war that ended in 1996, leaving over 200,000 casualties, the majority indigenous Guatemalans, according to the United Nations. Now the mostly Maya organizations and many human rights groups worry that the violence is making a comeback: In just the last year, 26 members of mostly indigenous campesino organizations have been killed. "Guatemala is on the verge of a major human rights catastrophe," says Jo-Marie Burt, a senior fellow at the Washington Office on Latin America.
December 28, 2018
the lifeless body of Jakelin Caal Maquín, 7, who died in the custody of the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, was returned to her family home in Guatemala. Then on Christmas Day, the Border Patrol announced another Guatemalan child, 8-year-old Felipe Gómez Alonso, had died in the agency’s custody.
December 24, 2018
Increasing harassment of members of the indigenous association Central Campesina Ch’ortí Nuevo Día (CCCND) involved in environmental defense, including surveillance of CCCND Coordinator Norma Sánchez, threats to member Ubaldino García, and the murder of member Elizandro Pérez.
December 23, 2018
Sentencing of Q’eqchi’ environmental defender and community leader Bernardo Caal Xol to 7 years and 4 months in Cobán prison for his nonviolent resistance against the Oxec I and Oxec II hydroelectric projects on the Cahabón River in Alta Verapaz Department (cf our letter of June 26 2018).
December 17, 2018
The circumstances of Jakelin Caal Maquin’s death are being seized upon as evidence both for and against the Trump administration’s hardline approach to immigration
December 6, 2018
murder of seven-year-old Jakelin Ameí Rosmery Caal Maquin while in Border Patrol custody
October 16, 2018
A U.N. commission investigating corruption in Guatemala said Tuesday that President Jimmy Morales' government has denied or revoked visas for about a dozen of its personnel including staffers probing the president, his relatives and the ruling party.
September 25, 2018
Assassination of Juana Ramírez Santiago, age 57, a women’s rights advocate and member of the Mayan Ixil community in Nebaj municipality, Quiche Department.
September 24, 2018
President Morales’ announcement on August 31 to not renew the mandate of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) and the resulting harassment and intimidation of prominent human rights leaders and their organizations.