After more than three decades of civil strife, Guatemala emerged as an example of human rights progress in the early 2000s. These gains include the successful prosecution of several high-level military officials for crimes against humanity and the establishment of a joint UN-Guatemalan anti-corruption commission. In 2018, a “soft coup” supported by then President Jimmy Morales and his government and corporate allies threatened to dismantle justice-bearing institutions and impose grave restrictions on activism. Meanwhile, half of Guatemalans continue to live in poverty and many women face violence and inequalities in education and employment.
Guatemala’s people, determined to propel their country’s progress forward, continue to stand up for their rights, economic justice, and the rule of law.
Nearly 20 Fund-backed organizations work to maintain human rights gains in Guatemala’s increasingly difficult climate. They also mobilize indigenous communities to protect their land and livelihoods from outside interests, advance investigations and prosecutions focused on gender-based violence, and support women in securing greater socio-economic opportunities.