In this documentary TZK'AT, the Network of Ancestral Healers of Territorial Community Feminism from Iximulew - Guatemala, shares its support to native women defenders of life in situations of political risk through healing as a cosmic political path and integral security measure.


Different regions of Guatemala

Area of work and rights defended

An organization of indigenous women defending life, women's rights, natural resources and territory, in different regions of Guatemala.

They define their defence of these rights as follows:

  • Defence of the body-land territory. This perspective entails assuming the body as a territory in dispute for ancestral and colonial patriarchal power, but also as a space for the recovery of life. This defence is an emancipating political stance against sexual aggressions, femicides and territorial violence.
  • Territorial embodiment. This implies a positioning from where women are, feel, act and come together to collectively defend their bodies and the earth.
  • Advocacy for the comprehensive protection of women defenders through the search and implementation of spaces for dialogue, proposals, political action and monitoring of situations of women defenders at political risk
  • Healing as a cosmic political path, considering that the task of women defenders can be exhausting. The different forms of somatisation and the different feelings and thoughts to be healed are approached from the ancestral knowledge through processes of emotional and spiritual recovery.
  • Territorial alliances, for the realization of community and organizational actions that strengthen the social movement in order to demand of the enjoyment of collective rights and the rights of indigenous women in particular. For this, it is advantageous for each of them to have a history as a defender in their communities and have promoted community initiatives to propose ways of healing from the pluralistic knowledge of women with a feminist perspective.

Description of the problem

The organisation was formed by 10 women human rights defenders in October 2015. Many members are part of other organizations and movements in defence of the territory, the rights of indigenous peoples and women. These women defenders have a history of being politically persecuted, suffering stigmatization, death threats, territorial political displacement and criminalization as a result of their work in defence of these rights. Likewise, all of them have experiences of ancestral healing processes and in indigenous communities they work as healers, midwives, herbalists, etc.

PBI accompaniment

PBI has accompanied the TZK'AT Network since February 2018. Lorena Cabnal has been accompanied since 2009.

Related Information

Sexual Violence against women defenders of land and territory (Bulletin 49, August 2023)

Support between women human rights defenders facing political risk in times of quarantine (August 2020)

Acompañamiento a TZK'AT - Red de Sanadoras Ancestrales (August 2018)