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 Chinautla Multisector Urban Platform in the department of Guatemala,

the Cunén Community Council of Communities of Cunén in the department of El 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.

The joy of the year: Bernardo Caal Xol is released from prison

[Originally published in the Annual Report 2022]

On March 24, we received an unexpected call informing us that Bernardo Caal Xol, a human rights defender imprisoned for more than four years, would be released that night. That same afternoon we accompanied Juanita Pérez, one of the Human Rights Law Firm (BDH) lawyers who represents Bernardo, to the capital's penitentiary center to take the necessary steps prior to his release.


Journey to the green desert: Retalhuleu communities reclaim their right to water

We carried out an observation mission to the Retalhuleu and Champerico1 municipalities in March 2022, accompanying defenders from the Community Council of Retalhuleu (CCR) and the National Network for the Defense of Food Sovereignty of Guatemala (REDSAG). During the mission we verified the negative impacts that sugarcane plantations and other extractive projects are having on the health, food and environment of these communities.


New Accompaniment with the Chinautla Multisector

In December 2018 we began accompanying the Chinautla Multisector, which is composed of various actors from this area: communities from the municipality of Chinautla, the Community Development Councils (COCODE), Catholic and Evangelical Churches, youth groups and other collectives such as the Association of Women Potters and the Association of Women in Solidarity.


Bernardo Caal Xol, defender of the Cahabón River

This interview with q’eqchi’ community leader Bernardo Caal Xol, member of the Peaceful Resistance of Cahabón was conducted May 22, 2018 during a visit to the Preventative Detention Center in Cobán, Alta Verapaz, where he has been incarcerated since the end of January.  According to Greenpeace Spain and other organizations, Bernardo´s case is a clear case of criminalization of those who lead the struggle against projects in which communities have not had prior consultati

Chinautla Multisector


Municipality of Chinautla, Department of Guatemala

Area of work and rights defended

Since 1989, the Chinautla Multisector have been defending their right to be consulted on the activities of various clay extraction companies operating in their territory (Arenera La Primavera, Arenera El Pino, Piedrinera San Luis and San Fernando Arenera). They are also defending their territory against the pollution caused by other businesses operating in the region.


K'iche Peoples Council CPK


Department of Quiché.

Area of ​​work and rights defended

The K'iche Peoples Council focuses its work on the defence and promotion of the collective rights of indigenous peoples: the right to life, water, land and, in general, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights. Since mid-2016 a central concern of the CPK is the immoderate deforestation of ancient woodland.



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