38 national and international organizations sent a letter to the World Bank expressing their concerns regarding the attacks against the Guatemalan Judicial system

[Español abajo] On July 30, 38 national and international organizations asked the World Bank Group to take decisive measures to reverse its contribution to fostering conditions that threaten the institutional order in Guatemala. Meeting in Barillas to receive human rights defender and journalist Palas Luin, on January 2020 [...]

2020-08-12T00:14:22+00:00August 12th, 2020|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

Plurinational Government clarifies facts of February 2020 incidents in Ixquisis

Dams already under construction in Ixquisis are visible from the river bank despite the communities' ongoing resistance against the imposition of mega-projects in their territories. Note of clarification: We reject all attempts to link us to supposed criminal acts On February 29, 2020, certain corporate communications media, [...]

2020-04-23T17:06:28+00:00April 22nd, 2020|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

Over 45 organizations demand release of Maya Chuj land defender Julio Gómez

Julio Gómez Lucas speaks before a crowd of thousands of people in San Mateo Ixtatán, Huehuetenango. Photo credit: Nelton Rivera, Prensa Comunitaria Km. 169 January 28, 2020 María Consuelo Porras Attorney General of the Republic of Guatemala Édgar Godoy Samayoa Department of the Interior Nester Mauricio [...]

2020-02-28T18:16:46+00:00January 29th, 2020|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

Environmental defenders from Huehuetenango denounce threats to their land and water

In the face of the ongoing threat by mega-development projects and extractive industries to indigenous and campesino peoples' natural resources, and in particular to their water sources, the Departmental Assembly of the Peoples of Huehuetenango (ADH) held a day-long meeting to discuss strategies for their protection. The ADH, a [...]

2019-12-27T18:57:42+00:00January 25th, 2018|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

San Mateo Ixtatán: Don Sebastián Alonzo Juan, martyr in the defense of rivers

Photo Credit: Francisco Simón Original article posted in Spanish on Prensa Comunitaria. Translation by NISGUA. By: Francisco Simón. January 6, 2018, San Mateo Ixtatán The communal authorities of Yulch'en Frontera paid tribute to the martyr and defender of rivers Don Sebastián Alonzo Juan, who was murdered on [...]

2019-12-27T18:57:57+00:00January 16th, 2018|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

Movements resisting resource extraction are being met with targeted violence

Over the last several decades, transnational resource extraction companies have flocked to Central America. Licenses to construct hydroelectric dams, exploit minerals, or build the necessary infrastructure to make these types of projects possible are being granted by national governments in the region at an alarming rate. With little transparency, [...]

Repression of communities defending their rights in the Ixquisis Region, San Mateo Ixtatán, Huehuetenango

On January 17, 2017, community members from the Ixquisis region, located in northern Huehuetenango, held a demonstration against the construction of three hydroelectric projects by the company Promoción y Desarrollos Hídricos, Sociedad Anónima (PDH, SA). That afternoon, representatives of the National Civil Police, PDH S.A.'s private security, and forest rangers, all armed, [...]

2019-12-27T17:18:13+00:00January 17th, 2017|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

Caravan traveling to Huehuetenango celebrates the freedom of ancestral and community authorities

On July 30, 2016, seven ancestral and community authorities from northern Huehuetenango began their journey back home after being held as political prisoners. All of the men were held for over a year – one for over three – on charges related to community protests opposing hydroelectric dams imposed [...]

2019-12-27T18:15:09+00:00August 26th, 2016|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

Ermitaño López: Marking one year in pre-trial detention for protecting land

One year ago today, Ermitaño López – “Don Taño” – was arrested in Guatemala City’s courthouse as he was attending a pre-trial declaration hearing in support of other land defenders from Barillas. Don Taño is a teacher and community organizer from Barillas, northern Huehuetenango, where communities are facing the [...]

2019-12-27T17:32:57+00:00June 2nd, 2016|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

“Caravan for Dignity” testifies to human rights violations in Huehuetenango

The following is a press release issued by the Departmental Assembly of the Peoples of Huehuetenango (ADH), together with other organizations who accompanied the "Caravan for dignity, resistance, and freedom for political prisoners from northern Huehuetenango." NISGUA joined the Caravan as international observers, documenting testimony of communities in the [...]

2019-12-27T18:58:44+00:00April 26th, 2016|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

Caravan for Dignity, Community Resistance and the Freedom of Political Prisoners

The following is a press release published by the Departmental Assembly of the People of Huehuetenango (ADH) in response to the events surrounding the recent Caravan for Dignity, Community Resistance and the Freedom of Political Prisoners from Huehuetenango. The Caravan was organized by an alliance of Guatemalan organizations in solidarity [...]

2020-01-01T21:26:42+00:00April 14th, 2016|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

Caravan for Dignity: for the resistance and freedom of political prisoners from northern Huehuetenango

This article was written by Gustavo Illescas and originally posted in Spanish on CMI-Guatemala. Translation by NISGUA.  Under the motto “We are all northern Huehuetenango,” the Departmental Assembly of the Peoples of Huehuetenango (ADH) joined civil society organizations and community authorities on a caravan that left the municipality of Huehuetenango [...]

2020-01-01T21:26:48+00:00April 7th, 2016|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

Political prisoner: the story of Rigoberto Juárez

Original article posted in Spanish on Prensa Comunitaria with information provided from his family. Translation by NISGUA.  Rigoberto Juárez is a representative of the Plurinational Government of the Q’anjob’al, Chuj, Akateka, Popti and Mestiza nations, a governing body present in 16 municipalities in Huehuetenango. He has been criminalized by the [...]

2019-12-27T18:15:59+00:00April 6th, 2016|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

Political prisoners Saúl Méndez and Rogelio Velásquez finally released!

We celebrate the release yesterday of Saúl Méndez and Rogelio Velásquez, two community leaders wrongly convicted of homicide in a 2014 trial plagued with irregularities. Saúl and Rogelio were sentenced to 33 years in prison, despite major holes in the prosecution's evidence linking them to the murder. After winning a [...]

2019-12-27T18:16:47+00:00January 15th, 2016|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

Land defenders Saúl Méndez and Rogelio Velásquez absolved of all charges but remain in prison

On October 28, 2015, a Quetzaltenango Femicide Tribunal unanimously voted to absolve political prisoners Saúl Méndez and Rogelio Velásquez of the crimes of femicide and homicide. The Tribunal rejected every single witness presented by the prosecution and questioned the political motives behind the Public Prosecutor's decision to begin investigation [...]

2019-12-27T18:16:59+00:00November 25th, 2015|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

Take Action: Call on the U.S. Embassy to stand up for political prisoners Saúl and Rogelio

On September 1, Barillas land defenders Saúl Méndez and Rogelio Velásquez will stand trial again for accessory to murder. Citing serious irregularities and major errors in the initial trial earlier this year that condemned both men to 33 years and 4 months in prison, a Special Appeals court ruled [...]

2019-12-27T18:17:16+00:00August 19th, 2015|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

Community leader from Huehuetenango testifies at the World Bank

Last month, Cecilia Mérida testified at the World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington, D.C. about the damage being inflicted by the Bank's financing of the Cambalam hydroelectric dam in the municipality of Barillas, Huehuetenango. She testified to the strategies of criminalization being employed by the Guatemalan government and the [...]

2019-12-27T18:18:09+00:00May 14th, 2015|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

Two more human rights defenders from Huehuetenango imprisoned for opposing megaprojects

Since 2011, communities in northern Huehuetenango have organized more than 50 peaceful protests and dozens of community referenda in which they have actively expressed their opposition to the expansion of hydroelectric dams and other megaprojects in their territories. This demonstration of community strength and self-determination has been met with [...]

2019-12-27T18:19:35+00:00April 15th, 2015|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

One more political prisoner: Rigoberto Juárez, land defender

Written by Nelton Rivera Translated by NISGUA Read original piece in Spanish here. [Yesterday] Rigoberto Juárez Mateo was arbitrarily detained and became another political prisoner held by the state of Guatemala. Rigoberto Juárez is a representative of the Plurinational Government (Gobierno Plurinacional) of the Q'anjob'al, Chuj, [...]

2019-12-27T18:19:49+00:00March 25th, 2015|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

Santa Cruz Barillas: Natural resource defenders Saúl Méndez and Rogelio Velásquez sentenced to 33 years in prison

Posted on March 2, 2015 by ACOGUATE Translation by NISGUA Detained and awaiting trial since August 27, 2013, natural resource defenders Saúl Méndez and Antonio Rogelio Velásquez of Santa Cruz Barillas were recently sentenced to 33 years and four months in prison. They were found guilty of being accomplices [...]

2019-12-27T18:20:03+00:00March 18th, 2015|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

Freedom of expression at serious risk in Guatemala

Today, alternative and grassroots media in Guatemala denounced attacks against Radio Snuq' Jolom Konob', a community radio station in the department of Huehuetenango that regularly transmits voices of the Q'anjob'al people living in and around the municipality of Santa Eulalia. The department of Huehuetenango, like many other areas in [...]

2019-12-27T19:00:53+00:00January 23rd, 2015|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

Human rights defenders from Barillas convicted despite irregularities in proceedings

An excerpt from a press release issued by the Guatemalan Unit for the  Protection of Human Rights Defenders (UDEFEGUA): "On Thursday, November 13, the trial court judge in Villa Nueva sent Oscar Morales, a leader in the resistance movement in San Rafael las Flores, to trial for allegedly threatening the [...]

2019-12-27T18:20:20+00:00November 20th, 2014|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

Court rules that Guatemala must recognize results of community consultations

In an historic resolution, a Guatemalan Appeals Court ruled last week that the government must take into account the right to free, prior and informed consent when granting mining licenses on the lands of indigenous communities. The ruling came in response to a legal action presented by the Sipakapense [...]

Communities denounce forced labor in San Miguel Ixtahuacán

CALAS and Plurijul denounce mayor of San Miguel Ixtahuacán Photo: Breaking the Silence Press Conference Communiqué Article 4 of the political constitution of the Republic of Guatemala establishes that no person can be subjected to servitude or any other condition which undermines their dignity. On January 8, 2014, five [...]

2019-12-27T17:39:27+00:00February 7th, 2014|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

ADH statement in solidarity with Barillas political prisoners and the people of Sipakapa

On January 14, the people of Sipakapa joined together to take action in denouncing the granting of the Los Chocoyos mining exploration license to Goldcorp Inc. Earlier this month, the Sipakapa Maya Council, together with the Western People's Council (CPO), filed a legal complaint against the Ministry of Energy [...]

2019-12-27T18:27:58+00:00January 23rd, 2014|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

Communiqué denouncing recent repression in Northern Huehuetenango

On September 28, conflict erupted again in Northern Huehuetenango in response to the imposition of Spanish-owned Cambalam hydro-electric project in Santa Cruz Barillas. Despite ongoing criminalization and repression, community members continue to demand respect for the 2007 community consultation rejecting large-scale development projects in their territory.During his September 3 [...]

2019-12-27T18:28:28+00:00October 2nd, 2013|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

Communities in Totonicapán and Quetzaltenango hold community referenda on mining

"The Council of Ancestral Authorities of the 31 communities of Momostenango welcomes you to the good faith community consultation" (All Photos: NISGUA) On Sunday September 1, the municipality of Momostenango held the third community consultation in the department of Totonicapán. In all three referenda in Totonicapán, as well as [...]

2019-12-27T17:21:19+00:00September 13th, 2013|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|