Guatemala News Update: November 2-13

Puyasign-machineryUS Congress to Guatemalan President: Halt Illegal Mining Operations at La Puya

This week, GHRC announced that 12 members of the US Congress sent a letter to Guatemalan President Alejandro Maldonado Aguirre to raise concerns about abuses related to the El Tambor gold mine in San Pedro Ayampuc, Guatemala. The letter calls on the President to use his authority to uphold human rights and to ensure that the mine’s owner–the US-based company Kappes, Cassiday & Associates (KCA)–promptly halts its illegal operations.

The congressional letter was mentioned in this Prensa Libre opinion piece (in Spanish); you can also read more in our full press release, and read the congressional letter in its entirety here.

NGOs Demand Palm Oil Industry Stop Abuses in Latin America

GHRC joined a coalition of NGOs in delivering a letter to the world’s biggest palm oil traders, alerting them to the gross violations of human rights occurring in the palm oil sector in Mesoamerica — including the recent murder of Guatemalan environmental activist Rigoberto Lima Choc.

“In Guatemala, community members engaging in legitimate actions to protect their water quality and environment consistently face threats, attacks, and assassinations,” said Kelsey Alford-Jones, “often committed with impunity due to a lack of judicial independence, widespread government corruption, and ineffective oversight of corporate practices.”

Read the press release here.

New Report: State of Fear and Terror Deliberately Created to Force Tahoe Resources’ Mine on Guatemalan Communities

A new report reveals the dramatic extent of the militarized security strategy that Canadian-US mining company Tahoe Resources developed to quash community opposition to its Escobal project in southeastern Guatemala. Read the entire report by Guatemalan investigative journalist Luis Solano here.

CICIG Proposes Tax to Combat Impunity in Guatemala

The International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) has proposed the creation of a temporary tax on “large assets” in order to increase funds for criminal investigations as well as other programs related to combating corruption and impunity in Guatemala. While this is just the beginning of a proposal, the head of CICIG, Iván Velásquez, explained that immediate action must be taken to strengthen the Guatemalan justice system. Continue reading

“Guatemala at a Crossroads”: Panel Event with Prominent Human Rights Defenders

Please join us this Wednesday for a public event sponsored by GHRC, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL):


With a panel of prominent human rights defenders from Guatemala:

Iduvina Hernández (SEDEM), Claudia Samayoa and Jorge Santos (UDEFEGUA), Maya Alvarado (UNAMG) and Mario Avalos (ICCPG)

Date: Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Location: Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL)
1630 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 401, Washington, DC

Live Streaming of the Event is available:

*Please note: this event will be in Spanish with no translation

Invitan al Foro Público:


 Con la participación de destacados defensores y defensoras de derechos humanos de Guatemala:

Iduvina Hernández (SEDEM), Claudia Samayoa y Jorge Santos (UDEFEGUA), Maya Alvarado (UNAMG), y Mario Avalos (ICCPG)

Fecha: miercoles, 6 de mayo, 2015
Hora: 4:00 p.m.
Lugar: Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL)
1630 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 401, Washington, DC

Siga el evento vía streaming: