On 21st anniversary of Guatemalan Peace Accords signing, AJR says State still owes survivors justice

In the midst of the ongoing genocide retrial of José Efraín Ríos Montt and José Mauricio Rodriguez Sánchez, the Association for Justice and Reconciliation (AJR), the Center for Human Rights Legal Action (CALDH), and the Human Rights Law Firm (BDH) published a press release in the Guatemalan newspaper, El Periódico, to mark [...]

Survivors share their reflections as Ríos Montt is tried for genocide…again

On October 13, the Ixil genocide trial is set to open once again against former dictator Efraín Ríos Montt and José Mauricio Rodriguez Sánchez, former head of military intelligence, in the second attempt to retry the case after the 2013 trial, verdict, and sentence convicting Ríos Montt of genocide. While [...]

2017-12-08T20:36:19+00:00 October 12th, 2017|Genocide Trial, Justice and accountability|

Political crisis as corrupt officials seek to undermine advancements in the fight against impunity

On August 27, Guatemalan President, Jimmy Morales, declared Iván Velásquez, head of the UN anti-impunity commission, the CICIG, "persona non grata" in Guatemala and requested his immediate expulsion. This decision came on the heels of a request by the CICIG and the Guatemalan public prosecutor’s office to strip Morales [...]

2017-12-08T20:46:00+00:00 September 19th, 2017|Justice and accountability|

Accompanier Perspectives: 2017 Political Crisis in Guatemala

Guatemala plunged into a political crisis this month as President Jimmy Morales attempted to circumvent a criminal investigation into his campaign finances by declaring the head of the UN-sponsored Commision (CICIG) persona non grata, a decision that sparked widespread public outcry. A second wave of outrage followed over legislation [...]

2017-12-08T20:48:48+00:00 September 19th, 2017|Accompanier Perspectives, Justice and accountability|

More than a tragic accident: Guatemalan organizations denounce the fire that killed 40 teenage girls at a state-run home

On International Women’s Day, March 8, a fire was set at a state home for children and youth in Guatemala, immediately killing 19 girls. Since then, at least another 21 have died as a result of their injuries and many more continue to be hospitalized. Survivors have recounted that on [...]

2017-12-11T11:37:01+00:00 March 23rd, 2017|Justice and accountability|

Report: Beyond the verdict – The importance of comprehensive reparations for the women of Sepur Zarco

"This experience will be a legacy for new generations, showing that even war has limits. It is a clear message that confirms the commitment that justice and society have to human rights, to promote a much longed-for peace, and allows us as a society to advance, together with the women, [...]

One year after the emblematic verdict in the Sepur Zarco trial, the struggle for dignified reparations continues

Yesterday marked one year since former members of the Guatemalan military were found guilty for crimes against humanity committed at a military base in the eastern community of Sepur Zarco. At great personal risk, 15 Q’eqchi' women gave preliminary testimonies in 2012 where they documented in detail the violence they survived [...]

2017-12-11T10:50:02+00:00 February 27th, 2017|Justice and accountability, Sepur Zarco|

Las Dos Erres massacre case advances with a new trial

The following is a translation of an article originally featured in Spanish on the ACOGUATE blog. NISGUA is a member of ACOGUATE, a coalition of North American and European solidarity committees who provide international accompaniment to threatened Guatemalan human rights defenders. NISGUA observed the 2011 Dos Erres trial and continues [...]

2017-12-11T11:12:19+00:00 December 12th, 2016|Dos Erres, Justice and accountability|

Plaintiffs in the Dos Erres trial denounces faulty media coverage in the trial against Ríos Montt

Former Guatemalan dictator José Efraín Ríos Montt is currently facing charges of genocide for his role as the intellectual author of the 1982 massacre that killed more than 200 people in Las Dos Erres, Petén. While he was convicted in 2013 for genocide against the Ixil people, the sentence was [...]

2017-12-11T11:13:59+00:00 December 5th, 2016|Dos Erres, Justice and accountability|

Oakland event builds solidarity across movements for gender justice

As part of NISGUA’s 2016 tour, “Guatemalan women healing towards justice: the case of Sepur Zarco,” Bay Area organizers brought together community and clinical psychologists working in trauma and healing to discuss the connections between militarism and sexual violence and strategies for resilience and solidarity. The event, “Memory and [...]

2017-12-11T11:18:22+00:00 November 21st, 2016|Justice and accountability, Sepur Zarco, Tour|

“We march because where there is militarization, there is sexual violence”

Maudí Tzay joins hundreds of activists in denouncing ongoing U.S. militarization at this year’s SOA Watch Convergence This year’s tour, “Guatemalan women healing towards justice: the case of Sepur Zarco,” kicked off at the U.S.-Mexico border, together with hundreds of other activists at the annual School of the Americas Watch [...]

2017-12-08T21:21:20+00:00 October 20th, 2016|Justice and accountability, Sepur Zarco, Tour|

Words from Photographer CPR.Urbana on the National Day Against Forced Disappearance

In commemoration of the National Day Against Forced Disappearance in Guatemala, we share words from photographer CPR.Urbana on the importance of photography in the recuperation of historical memory.  CPR.Urbana describes their project in the following way: The Communities of People in Resistance (CPRs) were civilian fronts of resistance against the counter-insurgent [...]

CREOMPAZ: Eight former military officers to stand trial for forced disappearances

On June 7, Judge Claudette Domínguez of Guatemala’s High-Risk Crimes Court “A” ordered eight former military officers to stand trial for crimes against humanity in one of the largest cases of forced disappearance in Latin America’s history. The legal case is built on eyewitness and expert testimonies, documentary evidence, [...]

2017-12-11T13:44:43+00:00 June 21st, 2016|CREOMPAZ / ZM21, Justice and accountability|

Building connections across borders for gender justice: Psychologist Maudí Tzay (ECAP) to join NISGUA on tour this Fall

A major legal victory took place in Guatemala earlier this year, when for the first time, sexual slavery was successfully tried as a crime against humanity. A former Colonel and Military Commissioner were convicted for crimes against humanity for sexual violence and sexual and domestic slavery committed against Q’eqchí [...]

2017-12-08T22:08:25+00:00 June 6th, 2016|Justice and accountability, Sepur Zarco, Tour|

CALDH reports from the closed-door retrial of Ríos Montt

The following are translations from the Center for Human Rights Legal Action (CALDH), plaintiff in the genocide case against former dictator Ríos Montt and his Head of Military Intelligence, Rodríguez Sánchez. CALDH and the Association for Justice and Reconciliation (AJR) are currently participating in the closed-door retrial of Ríos [...]

Family members of disappeared Marco Antonio Molina Theissen move forward in their search for justice

Photo of 14-year-old Marco Antonio Molina Theissen. Photo credit: Lucrecia Molina Theissen The submission of preliminary evidence in the Molina Theissen trial was expected in Guatemala's First Instance Tribunal last week but was halted by a defense appeal on the issue of amnesty. The court had previously ruled [...]

2017-12-11T13:55:19+00:00 April 26th, 2016|Justice and accountability|

Sepur Zarco guilty verdict takes major step forward in global fight for gender justice

Women survivors of Sepur Zarco stand and raise their hands in acknowledgement of the guilty verdict and sentence. Photo: EPA Yesterday marked an historic day for both Guatemala and the world in the struggle to seek justice for gender-based crimes. Retired Coronel Esteelmer Reyes Girón and former [...]

2017-12-29T17:50:25+00:00 February 27th, 2016|Justice and accountability, Sepur Zarco|

Four military captured for the disappearance of Marco Antonio Molina Theissen

The following statement was released by the Public Prosecutor’s office on January 6, 2016. Translation by NISGUA. On January 6, 2016, the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Human Rights coordinated the capture of four members of the Guatemala Army in charge of the Military Zone “GMLB” of Quetzaltenango. Those arrested [...]

2017-12-29T17:57:13+00:00 January 11th, 2016|Justice and accountability, translation|

Crumbling political support for Tahoe Resources in Guatemala

Article written in collaboration with MiningWatch Canada and the Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network.  If the militarized security strategy that Tahoe Resources has used to put its Escobal silver mine into operation isn’t enough to raise questions about the ethics of the company’s operations in Guatemala, the recent resignation of Guatemalan President [...]

2018-01-10T20:01:25+00:00 September 11th, 2015|Justice and accountability, Tahoe Resources|

Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina resigns, detained on charges of corruption

Update: On Tuesday, September 8, former President Otto Pérez Molina was indicted on charges of customs fraud, illicit association, and bribery in connection with "La Línea," a customs fraud network accused of stealing millions of dollars from the Guatemalan state. Given the number of people still being investigated in [...]

2018-01-10T20:01:57+00:00 September 4th, 2015|Justice and accountability|

Despite the arrest of former VP Roxana Baldetti, President Otto Pérez Molina says he won’t step down

On Friday, the UN-backed International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) and Public Prosecutor's office revealed evidence connecting Guatemala President Otto Pérez Molina to the massive customs corruption network known as La Línea. Prosecutors have filed a legal motion to strip Pérez Molina of his presidential immunity – the [...]

2018-01-10T20:02:24+00:00 August 25th, 2015|Justice and accountability|

Petition to remove Pérez Molina’s presidential immunity moves to Congress

On June 10th, Guatemala's Supreme Court unanimously voted to accept Congressman Amílcar Pop's petition to remove President Otto Pérez Molina's immunity. Pop is accusing President Molina of playing a role in the corruption scandals in the tax and health sectors, which were recently unveiled by the UN-backed International Commission [...]

2018-01-10T20:11:43+00:00 June 16th, 2015|Justice and accountability|

A corruption scandal, a new Vice President and the largest mass mobilization in Guatemala’s recent history

Tens of thousands gather in Guatemala's central park to demand an end to impunity and corruption. Photo credit: SkyCam Guatemala A crime ring that defrauded the Guatemalan national tax collection agency (SAT) and customs office, and implicated high-level authorities in different government institutions all the way up to Vice President [...]

2018-01-10T20:17:13+00:00 May 18th, 2015|Justice and accountability, Uncategorized|

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 [...]

2015 US Appropriations Act maintains restrictions on US military aid to Guatemala

When President Otto Peréz Molina was elected in 2012, he came with an agenda to fully re-instate US military aid and end the restrictions on funding to Guatemala in place to varying degrees since the Carter administration implemented a direct security aid ban in 1977. Even before the Peace [...]

US groups call on new US Ambassador to Guatemala to promote justice

The following letter was originally sent on October 14, 2014 Ambassador Todd Robinson U.S. Embassy Guatemala City, Guatemala Dear Ambassador Robinson: We write to congratulate you on your recent appointment as the United States ambassador to Guatemala, and we recognize your extensive experience and service in country as well [...]

Guatemalan organizations respond to the expulsion of two volunteers with Peace Brigades International (PBI)

On July 1, 2014, Guatemalan officials revoked the temporary residence permits of two human rights accompaniers with Peace Brigades International. In response to their expulsion, the Convergence for Human Rights (Convergencia por los Derechos Humanos), a network of Guatemalan social, environmental, human rights, feminist, campesino and territorial defense organizations [...]