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.
Description of the problem
The K'iche Peoples Council was created in 2008 and is made up of approximately 80 community mayors and members of Community Development Councils (COCODE). Its agenda focuses on the problems, concerns and approaches of the respective assemblies of the communities that have been questioning for years, publicly and collectively, megaprojects (mining, hydroelectric, monocultures) and a regional high-voltage electricity project. CPK members have received threats and attacks, in particular their leader Lolita Chávez, who has precautionary measures from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). Because of the risks they face, PBI has been providing accompaniment to CPK since September 2013. Since 2016, the Council has monitored the management of logging licences and the passage of the logging trucks. Due to this work of defence of the forest and the rights of the K'iche’ people Lolita Chavez was subject to threats in July 2016, being forced to leave the country during several months.