“My father’s brother was disappeared. We never found out what happened to him.” – Maria,* age 28 To say that Guatemala’s thirty-six-year civil war was brutal is an understatement. An estimated 45,000 people were forcibly disappeared — and another 200,000 killed. Heartbreaking accounts of the conflict include stories of capture, torture, rape, and massacre. However, […]
Environmental defenders, whose work often includes land and resource rights, the rights of indigenous communities, and both state and nonstate threats to healthy environments, are among the human rights defenders most at risk. A report by Global Witness states that Latin America is the most dangerous region, and Honduras the most dangerous country, for environmental defenders. Of the 185 killed worldwide in 2015, 122 were in Latin America, while in Honduras 12 were killed in 2014 alone.
An Activist’s Response to the UN Special Rapporteur’s Call to End Violence Against Environmental Human Rights Defenders
November 1, 2016 By Claudia Virginia Samayoa, founder and coordinator Unidad de Protección a Defensoras y Defensores de Derechos Humanos – Guatemala (UDEFEGUA). Translated from Spanish by Lydia Cocom. Fund grantee UDEFEGUA works every day to protect human rights defenders in Guatemala – an increasingly difficult feat as violence against activists escalates. In this […]
March 3, 2016 For 36 years, Guatemala was engaged in a bloody civil war. From 1960 to 1996, thousands of rural and indigenous people were displaced, tortured, and raped, and over 200,000 people were killed in 626 documented massacres—most perpetrated by the government against indigenous peoples. Since the end of the war, organizations supported by […]
During the Guatemalan Civil War, army soldiers captured and forcibly disappeared men from the Mayan community in Sepur Zarco and forced their wives into sexual slavery. Now, more than thirty years later, former base commander Lieutenant Colonel Esteelmer Reyes Giron and former Military Commissioner Heriberto Valdez are facing charges of crimes against humanity for their […]
For over a decade, our grants have sustained human rights movements in unforgiving contexts around the world. Earlier this week the board of the Fund for Global Human Rights approved more than $2.5 million in grants and technical assistance to 128 organizations in our Latin America, West Africa, and Southeast Asia programs. We asked our […]
The Fund supports approximately sixty organizations in Latin America through its programs in Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras. All three of these countries have suffered from intense levels of violence that have been exacerbated by corruption in their justice systems, lack of rule of law, and impunity for crimes committed by powerful state and non-state actors, […]
The Fund identifies organizations that are leading the charge for protection and enforcement of human rights, building on-the-ground demand for change, and feeding into global efforts to press for equality, justice and accountability. Here are a few of our grantees’ accomplishments from 2013.