29 September 2022
For some years now, walking through the streets of the historic center of Guatemala City, we are astonished by the hundreds of photographs that paper some of its walls. They are the faces of people who disappeared during Guatemala’s Internal Armed Conflict (IAC), lasting over three decades, and ending with the signing of the Peace Accords in December 1996.
12 August 2020
Being a journalist or social or community communicator in Guatemala is a high risk activity. According to the Reporters Without Borders 2020 report on freedom of the press, Guatemala is now in the "red zone", ranked 116 out of 180 countries worldwide. The same report states that: “The new president of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, who took office in January 2020, inherited a disastrous situation in terms of freedom of the press.
22 April 2020
On 22nd April this year we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and the theme is climate action. In order to celebrate this day, PBI draws attention to the plight of environmental defenders who put their lives at risk to protect their territories from economic projects that destroy ecosystems and instigate irreversible damage.
31 May 2019
During the last week of May, the worrying situation at the Historical Archive of the National Police (AHPN) came to the fore once more. In the month of July of 2018, Gustavo Meoño, director of the archive since 2005 was dismissed without notice or explanations. Since the beginning of 2019, staff have been gradually, but continually, dismissed. Today only 35 people are left working at the Archive, when at its peak the Archive had a team of 200 workers.
7 May 2019
Eduardo Bin Poou, a Q'eqchi human rights defender and vice president of the Fishermen's Association of El Estor, Izabal, was acquitted on Friday, May 3, 2019.Eduardo was arrested on June 29, 2018 in El Estor, Izabal and charged on July 9 with the crime of trespassing on protected areas. Since then he has been deprived of his liberty in the prison of Puerto Barrios. His legal defense was led by two lawyers from the Human Rights Law Firm (BDH), Francisco Vivar and Santiago Choc, and PBI accompanied the case.
30 April 2019
On Friday April 26, the Higher Risk Court A acquitted, Abelino Chub Caal, Q'eqchi human rights defender, on all charges following two years and two months which Abelino spent in preventive detention. The court concluded that there was no evidence pertaining to any of the accusations made against him by the Public Prosecutor's Office. These same accusations were backed by the Inversiones Cobra S.A. company, who acted as co-complainants in the case.
11 December 2018
In September, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders (henceforth, the Declaration), Peace Brigades International (PBI) invited 13 human rights defenders who are accompanied by the 7 PBI projects to Brussels. 4 full-on days of meetings that brought together advocates from America, Africa and Asia and PBI members encouraged the exchange of experiences and knowledge in terms of integral protection.
21 November 2018
On November 9th, we accompanied the BDH to a hearing when the verdict in the Bernardo Caal Xol case was handed down in a court in Cobán. The judge restricted recordings and taking photographs in the courtroom before he handed down the verdict sentencing Bernardo Caal Xol to seven year and four months in prison for the crimes of illegal detention, switchable at a rate of Q5 per day and six years no payable for the crime of aggravated robbery. Bernardo was convicted despite evidence put forth by his defense attorneys which showed that he was not at the scene at the time of the events.