The Dominican Family (Order of Preachers) and their partners in Guatemala are engaged in promoting the protection of indigenous communities, their human rights and for environmental justice in Guatemala.
Join us in supporting their engagement!
The situation in Guatemala continues to be of great concern to the global Human Rights community. Since former President Jimmy Morales declined to extend the mandate of the United Nations-backed International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) in 2018, investigations have slowed down, limiting accountability for large-scale government corruption and abuses of power, endangering the rights of Guatemalan citizens.
Indigenous women and men in Guatemala regularly face death threats as they struggle in their territories to protect the rivers, forests and mountains that sustain their lives against unsustainable exploitation of natural resources. Despite the fact that Guatemala has ratified several international treaties defending indigenous peoples, from 2016 to 2020, 1,641 attacks against human rights defenders have been registered, by which 61% were against indigenous activists. Since several years, the Dominican Family in Guatemala is engaged with more than 200 indigenous communities of the Q'eqchi' ethnic group in the remote region of Santa María Cahabón to promote their rights and the protection of the environment from the massive hydroelectric development of the company Oxec.
“From their Mayan Q'eqchi' cosmovision, the rural population considers that the river, which they view alive and sacred, has been captured without asking for the consent of the population.” indicates a friar based in the region. Besides the clear violation of the right of the indigenous communities to be consulted, the environmental impacts of the projects are evident. As watersheds dry up, communities lose access to their traditional water uses (drinking, irrigation, livestock, fishing, cleaning and recreation) on which their livelihoods are based. This has profound consequences for families, farmers and fishermen who depend on the river for their activities. The loss of water is total, particularly during the dry season.
Protect the Land, Livelihood and Culture of Indigenous Communities from Permanent Damage Caused by the Exploitation of Natural Resources
- Dominican promoters of Justice and Peace in Central America
- Dominican partners in Guatemala involved in justice and peace
- Franciscan partners in Guatemala
Other partner organizations in Guatemala
 “Activistas por la vida, rostros y voces de la violencia en Honduras y Guatemala”, Gervasio Sánchez, 1.11.2020, available online: https://www.heraldo.es/noticias/internacional/2020/11/01/activistas-por-...