“They’ll be met with massive organization and struggle” – NISGUA interviews Maya Mam community leader José Gómez of ACODET

In the lead-up to our fall speaking tour, "How to Stop a Dam with Indigenous Resistance,"  NISGUA sat down with José Gómez, Maya Mam community leader and member of the Association of Communities for Development and the Defense of Land and Natural Resources (ACODET), to discuss the importance of [...]

Survivors of the Internal Armed Conflict Denounce Current Remilitarization

This morning, survivors of the internal armed conflict held a press conference to denounce remilitarization under President Jimmy Morales' government and call for the renewal of the mandate for the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG). Since Jimmy Morales, surrounded by soldiers, held a press conference on August [...]

2018-09-13T20:58:15+00:00September 13th, 2018|partner statement, translation|

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 [...]

2018-01-25T18:25:06+00:00January 25th, 2018|Defense of life and territory, translation|

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 [...]

2018-01-23T15:00:40+00:00January 16th, 2018|Defense of life and territory, translation|

CALAS denounces the murder of colleague Jeremy Abraham Barrios Lima

The Center for Environmental and Social Legal Action of Guatemala (CALAS) denounces the murder of Jeremy Abraham Barrios Lima, assistant to the General Director Yuri Melini. Below is the translated urgent action and original statement in Spanish.  CALAS - Urgent Action Public Statement MURDER of JEREMY ABRAHAM BARRIOS LIMA [...]

2017-12-11T11:23:10+00:00November 14th, 2016|Defense of life and territory, translation|

Committee for Reparations for La Cuchilla denounce cracks in houses from explosions at the Escobal mine

Community members from La Cuchilla in the municipality of San Rafael las Flores are concerned about major cracks in the foundation of their houses that have developed since Tahoe Resources' began mining operations at the neighboring Escobal mine. They claim that the cracks are due to explosions and an increase [...]

2017-12-11T11:26:42+00:00October 21st, 2016|Mining resistance, Tahoe Resources, translation|

Public declaration of the Maya Q’eqchi’ of Los Copones, Ixcán, Quiché

The following is a translated statement made by the Maya Q'eqchi' authorities from Los Copones, Ixcán on August 13, 2016, to mark the third anniversary of the State recognition of their rights as indigenous peoples. NISGUA, through ACOGUATE, has accompanied many community members from Los Copones since 2006, as they [...]

2017-12-11T13:15:08+00:00August 26th, 2016|Defense of life and territory, translation|

ADH Statement on the International Day of Indigenous Peoples

The following is a statement made by the Departmental Assembly of the Peoples of Huehuetenango (ADH) on the International Day of Indigenous Peoples. For the original statement by the ADH, click here. Translation by NISGUA. The Departmental Assembly of the Peoples of Huehuetenango (ADH) August 12, 2016 To mark the [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

“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|

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 [...]

2018-01-10T19:49:22+00:00April 6th, 2016|Political Prisoners, translation|

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? [...]

“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 [...]

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+00:00January 11th, 2016|Justice and accountability, translation|

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, [...]

2018-01-10T20:39:55+00:00March 25th, 2015|Political Prisoners, translation|

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 [...]

2018-01-10T20:41:19+00:00March 18th, 2015|ACOGUATE, Political Prisoners, translation|

Uncertainty around the Xalalá Hydroelectric Project

Posted on February 28, 2015 by ACOGUATE Translation by NISGUA On November 7, 2013, the National Electrification Institute (Instituto Nacional de Electrificación, INDE) signed an Emergency Purchase contract with the Brazilian company Intertechne Consultores, S.A. to conduct the geotechnical, seismic, geological and geophysical feasibility studies for the Xalalá dam, [...]

2018-01-10T20:45:11+00:00March 17th, 2015|ACOGUATE, translation, 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|

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 [...]

Guatemalan Prosecutor summons Tahoe Resources CEO to testify about criminalization of community leaders

For additional background on this case see the article: A cheat sheet for Kevin McArthur on Tahoe Resources' tactics to silence opposition in Guatemala PRESS RELEASE  Friday, October 17, 2014 Source: Committee in Defense of Life and Peace of San Rafael Las Flores - Guatemalan Centre for Environmental, Social [...]

2018-01-11T20:12:22+00:00October 17th, 2014|Tahoe Resources, translation|

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|

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 [...]

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 genocide Genocide survivors gather in front of the Congress of the Republic. On [...]

Organizations in defense of territory denounce violence against their communities

Late Sunday night, around 10:30PM, father and daughter activists involved in the resistance against Tahoe Resources' Escobal Mine, Edwin Alex Reynoso and Merilyn Topacio Reynoso, were attacked by unknown suspects. Alex and Topacio were on their way home from Matequescuintla after attending an activity there. Topacio was shot and [...]

Guatemalan organization express their solidarity with Yassmín Barrios

  OUR SUPPORT FOR THE DIGNITY AND PROFESSIONALISM of HONORABLE JUDGE YASSMÍN BARRIOS To the people of Guatemala and to the international community, we express our total indignation of the decision emitted by the ethics tribunal of the Guatemalan Bar Association that attempts to penalize Judge Yassmín Barrios Aguilar. [...]

2018-01-12T08:57:44+00:00April 9th, 2014|Genocide Trial, partner statement, translation|

Interview with Judge Yassmín Barrios: “The door to impunity and corruption is being opened”

Interview originally published by El Periódico in Spanish. Translation by NISGUA. Judge Yassmín Barrios Photo: El Periódico   Judge Iris Yassmín Barrios, presiding judge of the High Risk Crimes Court A, refers to the decision handed down against her last week by the Ethics Tribunal of the Guatemalan Bar Association (CANG [...]

ADH expresses solidarity with Santa Cruz Barillas political prisoners

We demand liberty for our leaders; they have not committed crimes Photo: ADH Departmental Assembly of Huehuetenango Communiqué in Solidarity with the Civil Society Movement of Santa Cruz Barillas Today, March 4, 2014, we attended two hearings in which the cases would be presented of six leaders from Santa [...]

2018-01-12T09:04:07+00:00March 5th, 2014|partner statement, Political Prisoners, translation|

Pressure to construct Xalalá hydroelectric dam; Local opposition remains strong

The following is a summary of an in-depth report published by ACOGUATE on January 22, 2014 and translated by NISGUA. Read the full report, Pressure to Construct Xalalá Hydroelectric Dam; Local Opposition Remains Strong.  Cultivated fields would be flooded by the Xalalá dam. Nearly two years after the Guatemalan [...]

2018-01-12T09:12:15+00:00February 18th, 2014|ACOGUATE, translation, Xalalá Dam|

Organizations denounce high court decision to remove Attorney General Paz y Paz

Guatemalan Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz Photo: Ministerio Público Last week Guatemala's Constitutional Court (CC) emitted a provisional ruling stating that Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz should end her term in May 2014, seven months before schedule. Friday, the CC dismissed an appeal by Paz y Paz [...]

ADH denounces World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank

The Departmental Assembly of Huehuetenango in Defense of Territory and for the Autonomy and Free Determination of the People – ADH – informs the national and international community: During 1981, 1982, 1983, the Guatemalan Army massacred the Achí communities that lived on the banks of the Chixoy River; 444 [...]

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 [...]

Survivors submit complaint against Guatemalan state for denial of justice in genocide case

Genocide survivors submit a complaint before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington DC on November 6, 2013. Photo: AJR INTERNATIONAL COMPLAINT AGAINST THE GUATEMALAN STATE FOR DENIAL OF JUSTICE IN THE GENOCIDE CASE Washington D.C., November 6, 2013 - Today, survivors of the Guatemalan genocide, along with [...]

2018-01-12T09:31:00+00:00November 7th, 2013|AJR, partner statement, translation|