During the past two years, Guatemala has passed a collection of laws and programs designed to promote LGBTQ rights. The Sexual Diversity Defense branch of the Human Rights Procurator’s office, which was opened in 2014, has prioritized sensitivity trainings for police officers, protection for LGBTQ people in the workplace, and the recognition of trans identities in government census collection. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, however, notes that serious “violence and discriminations against lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people” persists in Guatemala.
Guatemalan Defense Minister Williams Mansilla explained the Defense Ministry’s request for additional U.S. support in a press conference this week. Mansilla told reporters that “[Guatemala] needs stronger aerial resources” in order to combat the sudden increase in narcoactivity in the Maya Biosphere Reserve, a nature reserve in northern Guatemala. He also suggested that the defense department would request naval aid from the United States.
The “Foundation Against Terrorism” (FCT), an ultra-right wing Guatemalan organization made up of former high-ranking military officers and their family members, has filed a legal complaint against CICIG Commissioner Ivan Velasquez. The FCT has called CICIG’s anti-corruption efforts lawless and in violation of due process.
Lindaura Aceituno, the daughter of a Coatepeque-based radio director who was killed June 25th, was shot dead this week while driving her daughter to school. Aceituno died briefly after reaching the hospital on Tuesday. In a report by the Office on Crimes Against Journalists, the organization counted a total of 256 threats to journalists and the assassinations of 5 journalists in 2016 alone.
Twenty years after the signing of the Peace Accords, human rights defender Helen Mack warned of further human rights abuses in Guatemala at an annual cultural event in Quetzaltenango. In her statement, Mack noted those who committed human rights violations during the internal armed conflict in Guatemala have now shifted their modus operandi from a physical war to an economic one that is also full of corruption.