Guatemala

In Guatemala, Molina Theissen case
moves closer to trial after 36 years

After long battle, a renewed hope for truth, justice, and accountability Photo by James Rodríguez   By Clare Nangle, Fund staff October 6, 2017 What would you do if your son was taken and you never found out what happened to him? This unthinkable question is one that Emma Theissen Álvarez has been forced to ask […]

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41 girls burned to death in Guatemalan “safe home,” trials begin

Photo courtesy of MTM By Zahraa Saheb, Program Intern August 23, 2017 “[They] did not help them. . . they stood still.” When staff members of the Hogar Seguro Virgen de la Asunción orphanage were supposed to rapidly evacuate the children, they instead “stood still,” according to a 16-year-old former resident. On March 8th, 41 […]

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New threats against human rights
defenders require new kinds of protection

Human rights organizations and funders in Latin America need to rethink how they protect defenders in light of increasing threats from non-state actors and impunity encouraged by the state.   By Padre Melo July 11, 2017 This post originally appeared on OpenGlobalRights website; article reposted with permission. Beyond the tragic stories and shocking statistics of environmental and […]

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Video: Activists need new tools to protect themselves

  A record number of activists are being killed in Latin America – and old methods of security aren’t working. How do we protect activists facing threats from shadowy actors and complicit governments? To begin answering this question, the Fund for Global Human Rights and Just Associates (JASS) brought together activists from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, […]

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PROTECTING AGAINST THREATS

Abel Barrera Hernández, director of the Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Center (CDHM), based in Tlapa, Guerrero, Mexico.   Q: Why are people who stand up for human rights at risk from companies, organized crime and extremist political groups, and what can be done to protect them?   Why are defenders at risk and what can […]

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Protecting Against Threats

Claudia Samayoa, the general coordinator for the Protection of Unit of Human Rights Defenders in Guatemala, known as UDEFEGUA.   Q: Why are people who stand up for human rights at risk from companies, organized crime and extremist political groups, and what can be done to protect them? Human rights defenders, whether they work individually […]

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Activists need new tools to protect themselves

  A record number of activists are being killed in Latin America – and old methods of security aren’t working. How do we protect activists facing threats from shadowy actors and complicit governments? To begin answering this question, the Fund for Global Human Rights and Just Associates (JASS) brought together activists from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, […]

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Beyond the Courtroom:
A personal approach to justice in Guatemala

As victims and their families in Guatemala have sought truth and justice for crimes committed during the country’s 30-year civil war, Fund grantee Equipo de Estudios Comunitarios y de Acción Psicosocial (ECAP) has played a key supporting role. Founded in 1997, ECAP provides crucial psychosocial support to witnesses, victims, experts, and even judges involved in the transitional justice trials. ECAP’s role has been vital in trials like the Sepur Zarco case, which marked the first time sexual slavery during war was prosecuted in the country in which it was committed.

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Seeking truth when loved ones disappear

“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, […]

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Latin America’s Environmental Defenders Find Themselves in the Crosshairs

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.

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