Organizations call for full investigation into murder of Daniel Choc Pop (CCDA)

Jimmy Morales Cabrera, President of the Republic of Guatemala, Thelma Aldana, Attorney General and Head of the Public Prosecutor's Office Carlos Moran, Secretary for Agrarian Affairs - SAA Mario Estuardo Mendez Cobar, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Food - MAGA Francisco Rivas Lara, Minister of the Interior General Manager, [...]

Trial opens against political prisoners from Huehuetenango

Today marks the opening of the trial against seven land defenders from northern Huehuetenango, all of whom have been held in pretrial detention as political prisoners for over a year. All seven are being accused of crimes that allegedly took place during community protests against the imposition of hydroelectric [...]

International organizations call on KCA to suspend operations

International Organizations Reiterate Support for Guatemalan Communities and Institutions Upholding Rule of Law and Respect for Human Rights in the case of the communities of La Puya and El Tambor Mine The undersigned human rights and environmental law organizations applaud recent efforts by Guatemalan courts to enforce domestic laws and international [...]

More than 99% of participants in the Quesada municipal consultation oppose mining

This weekend, the municipality of Quesada, Jutiapa held a consultation in which 99% of voters expressed their firm opposition to resource extraction activities taking place in their territories. Consultations organized at the community and municipal levels have been one of the many ways Guatemalans have organized in defense of [...]

Communities Rise Up: Report-back on NISGUA’s delegation to communities organized in resistance to Tahoe Resources

In the fall of 2015, Llan Carlos Dávila from the Diocesan Committee in Defense of Nature (CODIDENA) toured the U.S. to speak about CODIDENA’s efforts to stop the development and expansion of Tahoe Resources’ Escobal mine in southeastern Guatemala. Dávila spoke about popular education, grassroots action, and the organizing of [...]

“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 [...]

2017-12-11T13:58:37+00:00April 26th, 2016|Defense of life and territory, translation|

ACODET reaffirms peaceful resistance to the Xalalá Dam amid threats to environmental activists

Let us wake up! Let us wake up, humankind! We’re out of time. We must shake our conscience free of the rapacious capitalism, racism, and patriarchy that will only assure our own self-destruction. The Gualcarque River has called upon us, as have other seriously threatened rivers. We must answer [...]

2017-12-29T17:44:52+00:00March 16th, 2016|Defense of life and territory, Xalalá Dam|

Open Letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Regarding Murder of Honduran Indigenous and Environmental Activist Berta Cáceres

March 10, 2016 Dear Secretary of State Kerry, We write in shock and deep sorrow regarding the murder of Honduran human rights and environmental defender Berta Cáceres, founder and general secretary of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH). We urge a response from the [...]

2017-12-29T17:46:05+00:00March 16th, 2016|Defense of life and territory, sign-on letters|

Civil society organisations in America and Europe condemn the murder of Berta Cáceres, Lenca indigenous leader and human rights defender

March 4, 2016. The signatory networks and organisations who support the defence of human rights in Honduras, condemn the murder of Lenca indigenous leader Berta Cáceres, coordinator of the Civic Council of Grassroots and Indigenous Organisations in Honduras (Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras – COPINH), [...]

2017-12-29T17:46:47+00:00March 4th, 2016|Defense of life and territory, sign-on letters|

Judge sends to trial the case against Rigoberto Juárez and Domingo Baltazar

Original article written in Spanish by Nelton Rivera for Prensa Comunitaria. Read the original article here. Translation by NISGUA. By Nelton Rivera “We will continue to defend life. We will give our lives if necessary, but we won’t do it kneeling down… Where does water – life – come from? [...]

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 [...]

2017-12-29T17:55:24+00:00January 15th, 2016|Defense of life and territory, Political Prisoners|

“We know this will come to an end” – Interview with the son of a political prisoner

Original interview posted on CMI-Guatemala and written by Gustavo Illescas. Translated and edited for clarity by NISGUA.  Bernardo López Samayoa talks about the strength of his mother, Priscila Samayoa, and the role that Bernardo Ermitaño López Reyes - better known as Don Taño - has played as his father. Don Taño [...]

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 [...]

2018-01-10T19:52:24+00:00November 25th, 2015|Defense of life and territory, Political Prisoners|

Shooting attack in Mataquescuintla, Jalapa, against opponents of Tahoe Resources’ Escobal mine

Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) – Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network (BTS) – MiningWatch Canada – Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA) – Projet Accompagnement Québec Guatemala (PAQG) (Guatemala/Ottawa/Washington/Tatamagouche) Fifty-five international organizations are calling for an investigation into the second armed attack in as many years [...]

Expression of solidarity with the Duwamish Tribe in their struggle for tribal recognition

When Víctor Caal Tzuy from ACODET came to the U.S. last year on NISGUA's "Rivers for Life" tour, he met with Ken Workman, Duwamish Tribal Council Member and direct descendent of Chief Si'ahl. Both men shared common experiences as indigenous people, fighting for their communities and the health of their [...]

Tahoe Resources kicks out peaceful protesters from Reno offices during the launch of the 2015 Tahoe on Trial speaking tour

Criminalizing protest and free speech across borders NISGUA’s Tahoe on Trial speaking tour kicked off yesterday by going right to the U.S. source - Tahoe’s U.S. headquarters in Reno, Nevada. We were honored to join local indigenous leaders and activists organized with the Nevada Progressive Leadership Alliance (PLAN Nevada) [...]

2017-12-08T22:12:10+00:00October 13th, 2015|Defense of life and territory, Tahoe Resources, Tour|

In wake of Guatemala corruption scandals, Tahoe Resources’ Escobal license faces legal challenge

On July 12, 2015, the Guatemalan Center for Environmental and Social Legal Action (CALAS) filed criminal charges against former Minister of the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM), Erick Archila, and former mines director at MEM, Fernando Castellanos. CALAS is accusing Archila and Castellanos of violating the Constitution and [...]

2018-01-10T20:06:57+00:00July 13th, 2015|Defense of life and territory, Tahoe Resources|

Commemorating 10 years of community consultations in defense of land and life

For generations, indigenous communities in Guatemala have held consultations to make decisions on issues affecting their people and their lands. While the signing of the Peace Accords in 1996 facilitated the adoption of national laws and international agreements that recognized the particular rights of indigenous peoples, the post-conflict neoliberal [...]

Communities defend right to clean water, continue to speak out against Tahoe’s dirty mine

In honor of World Environment Day, communities impacted by Tahoe Resources' Escobal mine did what they have consistently done since the mining company came on to their lands - stand up for land, water and life against mega-development extraction. The situation is critical: just over a year into the [...]

2018-01-10T20:12:58+00:00June 12th, 2015|Defense of life and territory, Tahoe Resources|

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Expansion of hydroelectric dams and energy transportation infrastructure threatens Indigenous communities in northern Guatemala

With information from Resistencia de los Pueblos, Boletín February 2014 and El Observador 44-45 In 2010, information became publicly available about government electricity projects under the plan: “Expansion of the Electricity Transportation System.” Ever since, organizations and communities have worked to gather information about the implications of these mega-development [...]

2018-01-10T20:46:45+00:00February 9th, 2015|Defense of life and territory, Xalalá Dam|

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 [...]

2018-01-10T20:55:42+00:00January 23rd, 2015|Defense of life and territory, translation|

Interactive map shows scope of natural resource concessions in Guatemala

Those of you following NISGUA's work on defense of land and territory over the past seven years may remember the story of how Goldcorp's Marlin mine first gained access to indigenous lands in San Miguel Ixtahuacán, San Marcos. Company representatives told residents that they were interested in starting an [...]

2018-01-10T20:58:16+00:00January 14th, 2015|Community Referendum, Defense of life and territory|

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 [...]

“We are a peaceful people” – Mataquescuintla celebrates 2nd anniversary of municipal referendum against mining

"Second Anniversary, Municipal Consultation as requested by Residents." Photo: CPR Urbana “Authorities will come and go, but it’s the responsibility of the people to uphold this decision,” says Moisés Divas to a large crowd gathered in the central park in the municipality of Mataquescuintla, Jalapa, located less than six [...]

2018-01-11T20:08:27+00:00November 19th, 2014|Community Referendum, Defense of life and territory|

A glimpse into the future? Community maps show Tahoe’s potential to expand

Haga clic aquí para leer en españo. The maps below were created as part of a collective, community-based process to build awareness around the existence of mining exploration and exploitation licenses in the department of Santa Rosa, Jalapa and Jutiapa. The initiative was led by local Guatemalan communities and [...]

2018-01-11T20:10:01+00:00November 12th, 2014|Defense of life and territory, Tahoe Resources|

Reflections on the “Rivers for Life: Cultural Resistance to the Xalalá Dam” fall speaking tour

Tour speaker, Víctor Caal Tzuy, shows NISGUA's Rivers for Life solidarity banner to ACODET members from Las Margaritas Copón. The goals for the 2014 NISGUA speaking tour were much like those which have guided us during our 33 years as a human rights, solidarity organization: amplify Guatemalan voices and [...]

2017-12-08T22:13:43+00:00November 3rd, 2014|Defense of life and territory, Tour|

Center for Independent Media denounces attacks following its coverage of violence in Alta Verapaz

Below is NISGUA's translation of a press release by Guatemala's Center for Independent Media (CMI-G) regarding attacks suffered as a result of its coverage of the violent eviction of communities opposing the imposition of mega-projects in Alta Verapaz. For the original version in Spanish click here. CMI denounces attacks [...]

2018-01-12T08:00:05+00:00September 1st, 2014|Defense of life and territory, translation|

Will new World Bank lending policies undermine advances for justice in Guatemala?

Only days after a Guatemalan appeals court emitted an historic ruling strengthening the domestic jurisdiction of Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO 169), a leaked draft of the World Bank’s new Safeguard Policies revealed proposed changes to the Bank’s lending policies that could undermine international laws in [...]

2018-01-12T08:02:23+00:00August 7th, 2014|Defense of life and territory, Mining resistance|