According to the Unit for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders in Guatemala (UDEFEGUA), 2020 was the worst year for human rights defenders since the institution began registering attacks in 2000. As of December 15, 1,004 aggressions against this population were registered, a third of which were directed against women human rights defenders. There were 15 murders (11 men and four women) and 22 attacks, with those who defend land and territory among those most heavily targeted. 313 of the aggressions registered by UDEFEGUA related to cases of criminalization.
Similarly, the risks to women journalists and community communicators have increased in number and seriousness. Since the declaration of the State of Calamity, reporting has become more difficult and dangerous. In a public statement the Association of Journalists of Guatemala condemned, the harassment and attacks against journalists. An emblematic example of the attacks faced by women journalists has been the arrest of the Mayan K'iche' communicator Anastasia Mejía Tiquiriz, director of the community media Xol Abaj, who has been indicted for the crimes of sedition, aggravated assault with specific aggravating circumstances, aggravated arson and aggravated robbery. This case prompted reactions from the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), the Association of Journalists of Guatemala, the Human Rights Ombudsman's Office (PDH) and even the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Human Rights System and the IACHR, who have denounced the criminalization of the journalist and have called on the State of Guatemala to respect and guarantee her right to personal liberty and due process.