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, [...]

Solidarity Update: August 2016

News recap: National and international human rights defenders threatened as transitional justice advances; Communities celebrate the release of political prisoners from Huehuetenango; SEC complaint says Tahoe Resources failed to disclose widespread opposition to Escobal silver mine. This and more in this month's Solidarity Update.

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|

Solidarity Update: July 2016

News recap: Psychologist Maudi Tzay joins NISGUA this fall on tour in the United States; Eight former military to stand trial for charges in the CREOMPAZ case; Urban activists return to Central Square for the Day for Heroes and Martyrs; Seven political prisoners from Huehuetenango go to trial. This and [...]

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: 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|

“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 [...]

2019-12-25T01:17:05+00:00January 14th, 2016|Defense of life and territory|

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|

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 [...]

2019-12-27T17:15:34+00:00June 19th, 2015|Defense of life and territory|

Take Action: Demand Guatemalan Authorities Halt Criminalization and Persecution of Political Prisoner, Rubén Herrera

Rubén Herrera of the ADH Photo: James Rodríguez, mimundo.orgSign the petition condemning the capture of Rubén Herrera and calling for his immediate release. Since Friday, March 15, human rights defender and member of the Departmental Assembly of Huehuetenango for the Defense of Natural Resources (ADH), Rubén Herrera, has been unjustly [...]

2019-12-27T18:21:54+00:00April 17th, 2013|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|