Human Rights Defenders Award Ceremony Monday, December 16
St. Stephen Church
1525 Newton St NW
Washington, DC 20010 RSVP here .
The 2019 recipient of the Alice Zachmann Human Rights Defender’s Award is the Rabinal Community Legal Clinic. The clinic’s legal representative, Paulina Ixpata, will join us in Washington on December 16 to accept the award and to celebrate the long struggle for justice courageously undertaken by so many in Guatemala.
The Rabinal Legal Clinic is led by a group of women who have bravely pursued justice for rapes carried out during the Achi genocide. Civil Patrollers arrested for these heinous crimes were released earlier this year as the Guatemalan Congress was attempting to push through an impunity law. The victims, Paulina among them, are under threat.The Rabinal Community Law Firm (Asociacion Bufete Juridico Popular de Rabinal) was created more than 15 years ago to provide legal accompaniment to survivors and family members of victims of the Achi genocide perpetrated in the late 1970s and early 1980s against the indigenous civilian population. The Community Law Firm has been part of an extraordinary grassroots effort to ensure justice for crimes of the past, from unearthing some of the first clandestine graves to being some of the first litigators to prosecute military officers and civil defense patrollers for crimes against humanity. These actions helped lead to the genocide trial against Rios Montt and other high profile transitional justice cases against the former military high command.
Since 2012, the Guatemala Human Rights Commission has presented the annual Alice Zachmann Human Rights Award to human rights defenders in Guatemala. The Alice Zachmann Human Rights Award acknowledges recipients’ deep commitment to promoting respect for human rights, even when confronted threats and violence. This award aims to help protect human rights defenders at risk and honors the legacy of Sister Alice Zachmann, who founded GHRC in 1982 and directed the organization for over 20 years.
Celebrate her legacy with us on December 16.