Sponsoring Communities take action: UUCA and NISGUA together in Guatemala

One of the pillars of international human rights accompaniment is the backing of a strong and active international network that commits to ongoing education of the international community about the human rights context of those we accompany, monitors the specific situations of those human rights defenders, and is ready to take action during high-risk moments or in the event human rights violations take place. At NISGUA, our entire grassroots base is involved in this important work. Through NISGUA's Guatemala Accompaniment [...]

Retrial for Ríos Montt to take place behind closed doors

Legal battles over Efraín Ríos Montt's health have taken center stage over the past three months in the decades-long search for justice for genocide in Guatemala. On August 25, the three-judge tribunal ruled that Ríos Montt is mentally unfit to stand trial due to chronic and irreversible dementia. The court ordered that Montt be assigned a legal representative to allow for a special trial to continue without the former dictator's physical presence.Tribunal confirms mental illness, orders legal advocate represent #RiosMontt. Recess [...]

Ríos Montt ordered to undergo a full psychiatric review

"We can't allow the massacres in our communities to remain in impunity. We've already achieved our sentence, but we're ready for it to be declared a second time because we know there was genocide." - Julia Cortéz, spokesperson for the Association for Justice and Reconciliation (AJR), plaintiff in the genocide case.Questions surrounding ex-general Ríos Montt's health and mental capacities took center stage on Thursday during attempts to restart the Guatemala genocide trial, ending in a court order to intern the [...]

Survivors call into question INACIF report claiming Ríos Montt too sick to stand trial

On Tuesday, Guatemala's National Forensic Science Institute (INACIF) published a report stating that former general Efraín Ríos Montt is mentally unfit to stand trial. The report was requested by Judge Carol Patricia Flores, the same judge who attempted to annul the genocide trial proceedings on April 18, 2013. The former de facto president was convicted on May 10th, 2013 for genocide and crimes against humanity inflicted against the Maya Ixil population during Guatemala's internal armed conflict. The Constitutional Court annulled the [...]

Accompanier Perspectives: Ixcán

Since the mid-1990s, members of the NISGUA network have provided a physical international presence to threatened human rights defenders and communities in the Ixcán.We invite you to read the following reflection piece from one of our current accompaniers, Kayla Myers, about the violence of the past and the ongoing imposition of megadevelopment projects in the area. For more information about accompaniment, please read "The Power of Presence."****The river Chixoy, which runs from the south of Guatemala all the way up [...]

ACOGUATE turns 15!

This year, ACOGUATE honors 15 years providing a physical international presence to threatened Guatemalan human rights defenders as they work towards social justice and transformation. In 2000, NISGUA joined international accompaniment organizations from Canada and Austria to form ACOGUATE, drawing from experiences accompanying refugee communities during their return to Guatemala from Mexico in the mid 1990s. Since that time, committees from seven other European countries - including France, Sweden, Germany, Spain, England, Denmark and Switzerland - have joined the coalition. While [...]

By | April 13th, 2015|accompaniment, ACOGUATE, AJR, defensa del territorio, genocide|0 Comments

Interview with members of the Association for Justice and Reconciliation on the genocide retrial and suspension of proceedings

NISGUA sat down with several members of the Association for Justice and Reconciliation (AJR) to ask them how they feel about the genocide retrial and the events of January 5th, when lead Judge Jeannette Valdés was recused from hearing the case and the retrial was suspended. The departure of Judge Valdés means that the trial is suspended with no clear time frame for when the recusal issue will be resolved, leaving the process for justice for genocide once again in legal [...]

Genocide retrial: Recusal of judge leads to suspension of proceedings

"We know that genocide took place. The whole world knows it, but the truth has been denied." Juventino Caal, member of the Association for Justice and Reconciliation (AJR)Yesterday, a new trial against Jose Efraín Ríos Montt and José Mauricio Rodriguez Sánchez opened in Guatemalan courts and once again the survivors and witnesses were left clamoring for justice. The retrial came after the Constitutional Court annulled the 2013 proceedings, which had resulted in the conviction of Ríos Montt for genocide and [...]

A solidarity message to the Association for Justice and Reconciliation as the genocide case goes to retrial

January 5, 2015Dear members of the Association for Justice and Reconciliation (AJR),During this moment in which the Guatemala justice system is retrying the case against Efraín Ríos Montt and José Mauricio Rodriguez Sánchez, we here at NISGUA want to acknowledge this long process in search of justice and particularly recognize the bravery of the witnesses who testified during the first genocide trial. We are honored to have been able to accompany the AJR for more than 15 years, through difficult moments of complete legal [...]

The Countdown to January 5th, 2015: Genocide retrial on course, but questions remain

“The thousands and thousands of victims will never abandon this struggle. We have to see it through. There are multitudes of victims by my side demanding that I speak out for justice and so I am going to speak out. In no moment will this [struggle] be abandoned. We have already made huge strides… I thank the people from other countries that are here surrounding us. I thank them. We are not alone because there are people that are supporting [...]

By | December 19th, 2014|AJR, CALDH, Constitutional Court, genocide trial|0 Comments