Guatemala: Denouncing Land Defender Murders

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Guatemala: Denouncing Land Defender Murders
By: HIC-HLRN
09 September 2020
 

So far in 2020, four farmer leaders have been murdered, and another one is missing. The organization also denounced the extrajudicial eviction of indigenous communities.

Guatemala`s government withdrew several institutions that enforced and veiled over land rights, such as the Secretariat for Agrarian Affairs (SAA), the Presidential Commission for the Coordination of Executive Policy on Human Rights (COPREDEH), and the Secretariat for Peace (SEPAZ).

Civil society has called on the authorities of the Central American nation to find a coherent solution to the agricultural conflicts and to acknowledge the legitimate land right of farmers, Indigenous people, and other marginalized communities.

The Unit for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders in Guatemala (UDEFEGUA) reported over 677 attacks against human rights advocators, placing Guatemala among the most dangerous countries in the region.

UDEFEGUA has just issued a report detailing this pattern of attacks of land rights defenders in Guatemala. The report concludes:

Currently, Guatemala does not guarantee the free exercise of the defense of the Human Right to Defend Rights. Together with Honduras, Colombia and Brazil, we are a country where defending human rights is high risk.

The previous government of Jimmy Morales dismantled the protection spaces for human rights defenders and the current government of Alejandro Giammattei maintains that scheme.

· Impunity is a factor that allows the continuation of the aggressions.

· Murders and criminalization have become the two great strategies of repression and violence against people, communities and organizations that defend human rights.

· Defamation, stigmatization and hate speech is a strategy spearheaded by High Level officials. Despite the change of government, this strategy continues, particularly against journalists, defenders of the territory and now against people who provide humanitarian assistance to others.

· The Congress of the Republic maintains a legislative agenda contrary to human rights, which, if approved, would worsen the conditions of regression and vulnerability of defenders.

· It is important for the State to be able to retake the dismantled protection spaces, in particular the promotion of public policy. For this, it is vital that the scene of aggression diminish considerably.

· In the framework of the SARS-COVID19 Pandemic, only with the full guarantee of human rights for all and all will we be able to move forward, without this condition, in addition to the serious problems of subsistence of the majority of the population, serious democratic problems will be added that will make the crisis is greater.

Photo: A farmer checks his cabbage crop in Tejutla, Guatemala. 9 September 2020. Photo: Source: EFE.

Download Report on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, Guatemala 2019 and part of 2020 (in Spanish).

So far in 2020, four farmer leaders have been murdered, and another one is missing. The organization also denounced the extrajudicial eviction of indigenous communities.

Guatemala`s government withdrew several institutions that enforced and veiled over land rights, such as the Secretariat for Agrarian Affairs (SAA), the Presidential Commission for the Coordination of Executive Policy on Human Rights (COPREDEH), and the Secretariat for Peace (SEPAZ).

Civil society has called on the authorities of the Central American nation to find a coherent solution to the agricultural conflicts and to acknowledge the legitimate land right of farmers, Indigenous people, and other marginalized communities.

The Unit for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders in Guatemala (UDEFEGUA) reported over 677 attacks against human rights advocators, placing Guatemala among the most dangerous countries in the region.

UDEFEGUA has just issued a report detailing this pattern of attacks of land rights defenders in Guatemala. The report concludes:

Currently, Guatemala does not guarantee the free exercise of the defense of the Human Right to Defend Rights. Together with Honduras, Colombia and Brazil, we are a country where defending human rights is high risk.

The previous government of Jimmy Morales dismantled the protection spaces for human rights defenders and the current government of Alejandro Giammattei maintains that scheme.

· Impunity is a factor that allows the continuation of the aggressions.

· Murders and criminalization have become the two great strategies of repression and violence against people, communities and organizations that defend human rights.

· Defamation, stigmatization and hate speech is a strategy spearheaded by High Level officials. Despite the change of government, this strategy continues, particularly against journalists, defenders of the territory and now against people who provide humanitarian assistance to others.

· The Congress of the Republic maintains a legislative agenda contrary to human rights, which, if approved, would worsen the conditions of regression and vulnerability of defenders.

· It is important for the State to be able to retake the dismantled protection spaces, in particular the promotion of public policy. For this, it is vital that the scene of aggression diminish considerably.

· In the framework of the SARS-COVID19 Pandemic, only with the full guarantee of human rights for all and all will we be able to move forward, without this condition, in addition to the serious problems of subsistence of the majority of the population, serious democratic problems will be added that will make the crisis is greater.

Photo: A farmer checks his cabbage crop in Tejutla, Guatemala. 9 September 2020. Photo: Source: EFE.

Download Report on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, Guatemala 2019 and part of 2020 (in Spanish).

Themes
• Advocacy
• Destruction of habitat
• Dispossession
• Epidemics, diseases
• Farmers/Peasants
• Indigenous peoples
• Land rights
• National
• Property rights
• Public policies
• Regional
• Research
• Security of tenure

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