On June 23, 2014, thousands of people from various indigenous organizations and communities marched at several points across Guatemala to demand that their rights be respected. Read why they marched, from the Western People’s Council, below.
[En Español aquí CPO Comunicado Paro Nacional del Pueblo Maya]
Equal dignity and rights is one of the fundamental pillars of peaceful and harmonious living; but history shows that we as Maya Peoples have been robbed of these rights for over 500 years.
National Maya Peoples Strike
We were and continue to be who supports the economy of the State and it’s clearly demonstrated that if we stop working, the economy of Guatemala will come to a halt.
Our political proposal consists of institutionalizing the practice of a dignified life in all policies of the State. Therefore, we are promoting the effective participation of the legitimate authorities and representatives of Maya Peoples chosen by an assembly process.
We continue to defend our lands and territories, as well as the natural resources they hold, with wisdom and courage in the face of the threats and assaults that we suffer at the hands of companies that act in collusion with the authorities of the Guatemalan Government.
In a show of political maturity and respect for the rule of law, we have taken action through legal means to demand that the State respect our legitimate rights recognized by the Constitution and International Conventions; however, we are accumulating NOs from judicial institutions; that is to say, the denial of our rights.
As such, today throughout the country, we are in the streets, parks, and highways to reflect and reinforce our pact of unity in defense of life and to not leave this in the hands of political puppets of the national and international oligarchy that has always harmed and continues to harm us.
Our participation in the upcoming general elections will support an equilibrium of powers in the existing entities and facilitate a peaceful, democratic transition toward a new Plurinational Constituent.
“Without our effective participation; inclusive, sustainable development oriented to combat poverty is impossible.”
CPO: The Political Articulation of the Maya Peoples of Guatemala.