The Power of Presence: Reflections from 20+ years of accompaniment

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La vida es lucha. Life is struggle. For many Guatemalan human rights defenders, activists and community leaders, struggling to defend their rights is a fact of life. Those who bravely stand up against war, political violence, inequality and elite economic interests are regularly attacked, and the impacts reverberate across communities, generations and movements. Since 1981, members [...]

The Xalalá Dam: A comprehensive timeline

Since the early 1970s, the construction of the Xalalá Dam has been a recurring priority for the Guatemalan government. Slated for construction in the Ixcán region of north-central Guatemala, the proposed project threatens to destroy not only the livelihoods of dozens of indigenous Q'eqchí' communities, but also the very roots of their culture. Given the [...]

A historic verdict shadowed by the past

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On May 10, 2013, Efraín Ríos Montt was found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity and sentenced to 80 years in prison. The conviction is the first in the world to charge an ex-head of state for genocide in the national court system of the country in which the crimes took place. This marked [...]

One year after the historic genocide verdict

Ever since the verdict condemning Jose Efraín Ríos Montt to 80 years in prison for genocide and crimes against humanity was overturned on May 20, 2013, retaliation against key individuals and institutions has halted the progress of emblematic court cases, perpetuating impunity and threatening the advancement of justice in Guatemala as a whole.