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 [...]

Sepur Zarco: First case of sexual slavery will be heard in Guatemalan courts

On June 22, 2015, Judge Miguel Ángel Gálvez ruled to accept witness testimonies and other evidence in the Sepur Zarco sexual slavery case. This is the first case of its kind to be heard in Guatemala courts and will be presided over by Judge Yassmín Barrios. The case first began in September 2011, when the Breaking the Silence and Impunity Alliance[1] filed a legal complaint against former military personnel on charges of sexual violence committed against the Q'eqchi' women at [...]

Retired military officials arraigned for atrocities at Sepur Zarco military base

Ex-colonel Esteelmer Reyes Girón and ex-military commissioner Heriberto Valdéz Asij were arraigned and ordered to pre-trial detention on June 23 by Tribunal "B" of the High Risk Crimes Court. The two will remain in prison while they await trial on charges of assassination, forced disappearance, and crimes against humanity.Estelmer Reyes Girón and Heriberto Valdéz Asij in court on June 23.Photo: CPR-UrbanaThe accusations stem from acts ostensibly committed between 1982 and 1983, when Reyes served as colonel of the military base [...]

Genocide survivors respond to congressional resolution to deny genocide

"We are thousands of Guatemalan victims of grave human rights violations committed during the internal armed conflict. The only thing we ask for is justice."  - Communique from survivors in response to congressional resolution to deny genocideGenocide survivors gather in front of the Congress of the Republic.On late Tuesday, May 13, the Guatemalan Congress passed a shocking resolution categorically denying that genocide occurred in Guatemala. The resolution states that the “so-called ‘trial of the century’” threatens “National Reconciliation”. 87 congressional [...]

By | May 19th, 2014|AJR, communique, Congress, genocide, impunity, justice, survivors|0 Comments

Worldwide Day of Action: Celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Genocide Sentence

On May 10, supporters, scholars and students from over a dozen countries celebrated the one-year anniversary of the genocide sentence. The worldwide day of action brought together communities to support the survivors' decades-long struggle for truth and justice in Guatemala. People across the world read the sentence aloud, participated commemorative events and shared personal reflections. In Guatemala City, the one-year anniversary was celebrated in the Central Park with videos from the genocide trial, readings from the sentence and live music. The day [...]

By | May 15th, 2014|genocide trial, Ixil, justice, sentence, Yassmín Barrios|0 Comments

Human Rights Convergence statement on the Attorney General nomination

The pact to maintain impunity consolidates with the nomination for Attorney GeneralThe Human Rights Convergence states:The director of the Public Prosecutor’s Office is a key and decisive position to guarantee that justice is done and that it is swift. With Doctor Claudia Paz y Paz Bailey at the head of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, meaningful steps were taken in recuperating the Office’s ability to undertake criminal persecution. The Nomination Committee for candidates for the Attorney General position missed an opportunity [...]

Worldwide action for the one-year anniversary of the genocide sentence

“We must raise awareness [so] that these kinds of events are never repeated, because the people of Guatemala want to live in peace, acknowledging our identity, our rich multicultural, multilingual [heritage] and the respect for the freedom of expression of our ideas.” -Genocide sentence (page 89 in English translation)Photo: CMI GuatemalaThis coming May 10, people around the world will celebrate the first anniversary of the Guatemalan genocide sentence against Efraín Ríos Montt.On this day, we will remember when the High Risk [...]

Guatemala’s Constitutional Court set to hear arguments regarding fate of genocide trial

This morning, the Constitutional Court (CC), Guatemala’s highest court, will hear arguments regarding the April 2013 decision by Judge Carol Patricia Flores to set the genocide case back to a pre-trial phase. The mid-trial ruling cited technical errors in the judicial process and stated that the case should return to November 2011, before Ríos Montt had ever been indicted.Plaintiffs on the case, the Center for Human Rights Legal Action and the Association for Justice and Reconciliation (AJR), immediately appealed Flores' [...]

Genocide retrial set for January 2015; national courts debate possibility of amnesty

On November 5, almost six months since the highly contested decision by Guatemala's Constitutional Court (CC) to annul the genocide sentence, Guatemalan courts announced a date for the retrial of former General Ríos Montt. Guatemala's High Risks Court “B” affirmed that it has the jurisdiction to hear the case but said its calendar is full until January 5, 2015.The announcement of the retrial date came the same day that the Association for Justice and Reconciliation and their legal team filed a complaint in [...]

By | December 12th, 2013|AJR, Amnesty, Constitutional Court, genocide, IACHR, justice, Rios Montt, trial|0 Comments

NISGUA receives 2013 Global Justice and Peace Award

On Saturday, November 16, the Denver Justice and Peace Committee (DJPC) presented NISGUA with their annual Global Justice and Peace Award. DJPC, a longtime supporter of NISGUA’s Guatemala Accompaniment Project, recognized NISGUA's organizational achievements and commitment to justice. We were honored to have AJR President Anselmo Roldán join us at the awards ceremony. His presence represented the strong and important relationships that lead and shape NISGUA’s work on the ground in Guatemala. Thank you DPJC for this generous award and [...]

By | December 1st, 2013|AJR, award, Denver, DJPC, justice, peace|0 Comments