In March 2023, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) presented its annual report on the human rights situation in Guatemala, concluding that the country continues to face "systemic and structural challenges in relation to inequality and discrimination, the judicial system and impunity, democratic space and the promotion and protection of human rights". Those facing the greatest vulnerability are women and girls, LGTBIQ+ persons, as well as justice operators, journalists and human rights defenders. In relation to justice operators, OHCHR pointed out undue delays in the processes, restrictions on the publicity of hearings and restrictions on the exercise of defence due to the reservation of cases, accompanied by campaigns of defamation and slander in the digital space.

It also referred to the deterioration of conditions for the exercise of the right to freedom of expression, documenting attacks against journalists, perpetrated after the publication of investigations on cases where they denounced possible acts of corruption. In this regard, it should be noted that a total of 5 journalists have been murdered in 2023, which makes Guatemala the third country in the world with the highest number of journalists murdered in 2023, behind the Gaza Strip and Mexico.

Regarding the situation of the LGTBIQ+ population, Lambda' s Observatory for Violent Deaths recorded 29 deaths of people of sexual and gender diversity during 2023, the most violent year in the last three years for this group. OHCHR has called on the Guatemalan State to urgently adopt preventive and protective measures in the face of the alarming figures of stigmatisation, harassment, discrimination and rates of violence suffered by this population.

In relation to human rights defenders, both OHCHR and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) have denounced the increase in attacks against them, especially acts of criminalisation. In some cases, the attacks are attributed to private companies, mainly palm oil, hydroelectric and mining companies, which have brought criminal proceedings against indigenous authorities defending their territory. PBI was able to observe how in this context women defenders also face harassment and sexual violence on their bodies, used as a tool to control their participation in collective spaces for the defence of rights, as well as to stop the collective defence of these rights. This information has been disseminated through an article included in the first of PBI's two biannual bulletins this year.

In the face of these strategies, PBI was able to observe how the trials that human rights defenders lead against those who violate their rights suffer from judicial delay strategies. An example of this is the case of journalist Norma Sancir, who denounced abuse of power by PNC agents against her for the illegal detention she suffered in September 2014, while reporting on a demonstration by the Ch'orti' people in Chiquimula. Nine years after the events, the first hearing in the case was held in June 2023, after being rescheduled on more than eight occasions.

For its part, the Unit for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (UDEFEGUA) has highlighted that the place where the highest number of attacks against human rights defenders occur is on social networks, responding to a strategy that "aims to delegitimise their voice so that they can then be judicially denounced without any basis and carry out arbitrary and illegal detentions".

Regarding the peaceful struggle carried out by indigenous authorities in defence of the election results and therefore of democracy, it is important to note that it has not been exempt from attacks of various kinds, as documented by UDEFEGUA in its report "Analysis of figures and reflections on attacks on human rights defenders and the right to peaceful demonstration during the #ParoNacional".The report revealed that between 2 October and 30 November there were at least 85 attacks against human rights defenders.Ten murders and attempted murders stand out, as well as acts of intimidation and surveillance, judicial persecution and arbitrary detentions, defamation and stigmatisation, among others.