Numerous indigenous and campesino communities, committed to defending the territory and natural assets, have denounced the intervention of private companies in various geographical areas through the imposition of extractive projects (mining, hydroelectric, petrol, monoculture, etc.). Many of these projects have begun without prior consultation or, in areas where consultations have taken place, are going ahead despite the lack of consent of the affected communities and indigenous peoples. Within the framework of the social and community resistance processes articulated in the country, many human rights violations have been denounced, as have attacks against those who defend them. The characteristics of the context reflect the need to maintain international attention on the situation of human rights in Guatemala and the people who defend them, with particular concern for the situation of social actors who defend land, territory and natural resources and who struggle for the collective rights of indigenous peoples.

This theme is the area of focus of the majority of accompanied organizations, groups and communities:

the Cunén Community Council of Communities of Cunén in the department of Quiché

the Ecumenical and Social Coordinator for the Defense of Life in Zacapa and Chiquimula,

the K'iche’ Peoples Council in the department of Quiché,

the ‘New Day’ Ch'orti' Campesino Central Coordinator in the department of Chiquimula,

the Peaceful Resistance of Cahabón in the department of Guatemala,

the Peaceful Resistance La Laguna in the department of Guatemala,

the Peaceful Resistance of La Puya in the department of Guatemala,

the TZK'AT Network of Ancestral Healers of Community Feminism from Ixmulew who works in the whole country.

Situation of human rights defenders

This situation of instability and uncertainty in this area has severely impacted processes of defending human rights in the country, with increased risks for the people who defend them, especially those working on issues of land and territory.


Access to land and defence of territory

Access to land and the management of natural resources, especially in the territory of indigenous peoples, continued to be one of the main sources of conflict in the country this year. On 1 March 2018, a bill was introduced in Congress for a law on the consultation of indigenous peoples. Backers of the bill say it regulates the procedures for consulting indigenous peoples about mining and other projects to guarantee the legality of the projects and respect for the rights of the Maya, Garifuna and Xinka peoples.


Annual Reports

Our Annual Reports compile the main events that have shaped PBI Guatemala's work in the last years. We hope they contibute to make visible the important work of women and men who defend human rights in Guatemala.



Special Reports

Find out more about the background to the Human Rights situation in Guatemala with one of our special reports.



We elaborate different types of information about the human rights situation in Guatemala, thereby offering a voice to human rights defenders working on various issues.


Peaceful Resistance La Puya


Municipalities of San José del Golfo and San Pedro Ayampuc, department of Guatemala.

Area of ​​work and rights defended

Peaceful resistance to express their disagreement with the planned mining project in their municipalities. La Puya claim their right to information and prior consultation. They defend their right to water and a healthy environment, and call for an independent environmental impact study.


Peaceful Resistance La Laguna


Municipality of San Pedro Ayampuc, Department of Guatemala.

Area of ​​work and rights defended

Resistence against the installation of an electrical distribution plant and a high voltage power station in the municipality and defending the right to water and a healthy environment.


Cunén Communities’ Council


Municipality of Cunén, Department of Quiché

Area of ​​work and rights defended

It is an organized process of defence of land and territory, natural resources and human rights.



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