December Solidarity Update
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Dear Friend,

This month, read a statement from Maya Achi survivors denouncing the racist and discriminatory acts of Judge Claudette Domínguez; follow the Xinka Parliament as they call out discrimination in the Escobal Mine consultation process; read demands from survivors of the Internal Armed Conflict in the context of a changing government in Guatemala; and shop with NISGUA this holiday season!

Maya Achi survivors present a formal complaint against Judge Claudette Domínguez 

Close up of three Achi women that presented the complaint

Maya Achi survivors of sexual violence demanded that the State guarantee their right to justice and safety for their families.
Photo credit: Juan Rosales, Verdad y Justicia 

On December 5, 36 Maya Achi survivors of sexual violence presented a formal complaint against Judge Claudette Domínguez for acts of racism and discrimination. This summer, Judge Domíngez dismissed charges against three of the six ex-Civil Defense Patrollers (ex-PAC) accused of crimes against humanity and sexual violence in this case. In response, the women's lawyers presented recusal motions and Judge Domínguez was removed from the case in September

According to their statement, the women presented this formal complaint in order to “motivate other Indigenous women to denounce judicial authorities who repeatedly discriminate against and re-victimize survivors of sexual violence, and to set a precedent that puts an end to these practices.”
Read the full statement here!

Xinka Parliament denounces discrimination and illegalities in consultation over Escobal Mine

In a press conference on December 18, 2019, the Xinka Parliament announced that it filed for the complete cancellation of the Escobal mine exploitation license. The Parliament also asked the Attorney General to explore possible charges against the Minister of Energy and Mines (MEM) and the Minister of Environmental and Natural Resources (MARN) for criminal, civil, and administrative breaches of duty surrounding the court-ordered consultation of the Xinka People.
Read the Parliament’s public statement

The Guatemalan government’s latest moves to advance the consultation process without the participation of the Xinka Parliament, the elected ancestral authority of the Xinka people, is a violation of the rights of Indigenous peoples and an attempt to water down what should be a meaningful consultation process. At the heart of global movements for Indigenous rights and the full implementation of free, prior, and informed consent are questions of who will be consulted, how they will be consulted, and whether or not their decision will be respected. The Xinka people have shown their desire to have a meaningful consultation, according to their ancestral traditions, in which they can freely express opposition to the Escobal mine and have that decision be respected. 

However, the Guatemalan government is carrying out a spectacle of a consultation with the ultimate goal of a rubber-stamped social license for the project. Meanwhile, Pan American Silver, owner of the Escobal mine, continues to tell shareholders that it is fully confident that the mine will be back up and running.

Read the Human Rights Ombudsman’s (PDH) recommendations to the Guatemalan government regarding the consultation
One individual is interviewed, while three others look on during the press conference

Representatives of the Xinka Parliament speak with the press following their press conference on December 18. 

Shop with NISGUA this season!

Have you visited our online store lately? We have great items, including greeting cards with NEW images, “Art as Resistance” 2020 calendars, tote bags, and more in stock just in time for the holiday season. Place your orders today for last minute holiday shopping to support our commitment to cross-border solidarity. 
Three yellow and orange butterflies on rocks beside river

Butterflies land on the banks of the Chixoy River, where people are actively protecting their territories against mega-dams. Alta Verapaz, Guatemala.
Photo credit: Kayla Autumn Myers.

Visit our online store

International Humans Rights Day Statement from survivors of the Internal Armed Conflict

On December 10, victims and survivors of the Internal Armed Conflict commemorated International Human Rights Day by rejecting the militarization of their communities and demanding that their rights to truth, justice and reparation be guaranteed. In their public statement, they also condemned pro-military policies of the Morales administration and called on the next government to respect human rights and resume the implementation of the 1996 Peace Accords. 
Read the full statement here
A group of individuals sit at a long table while one speaks on microphone

Survivors of the Internal Armed Conflict at the press conference on December 10.
Photo Credit: Impunity Watch 

For nearly four decades, NISGUA has supported Guatemalans resisting U.S. imperialism, militarization, and extractivism, the same forces that often drive people from their homes. Please make your year-end, tax-deductible contribution today to support our continued accompaniment, advocacy, and political education.
Donate today!
In solidarity,
Sarasuadi Ochoa
Guatemala Accompaniment Coordinator
With the entire NISGUA team: Bridget, Claire and Meredith

P.S. You can read more about our 2019 accomplishments and whats to come in 2020 in our most recent report!
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