Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA
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Human Rights Defenders Program

Main - Delegation - Speaking Tour

From June 21 - 29, 2008, GHRC led a delegation to Guatemala to investigate "Human Rights Defenders Under Fire"

Threats against Human Rights Defenders are frequent and rarely investigated. GHRC's delation sought to answer these questions:

  • Why are human rights defenders increasingly under attack in Guatemala?
  • Why do the perpetrators go unpunished?
  • What role do organized crime rings and clandestine groups play in perpetuating the violence?
  • What challenges do human rights activists face as they work for change?
  • How has Guatemala's history affected efforts to secure human rights?
  • What can international citizens do to help?

The delegates:

  • Met with leaders in the Guatemalan human rights community throughout the country, including victims of threats and attacks
  • Met with government officials monitoring human rights
  • Learned about the new International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) and its efforts to investigate organized crime rings and clandestine groups
  • Explored the wider socioeconomic and political context in which violence takes place
  • Learned about Guatemala's complex history and current efforts to end impunity


Read the delegation report: Who Will Defend the Defenders? Criminalization of Human Rights Defenders and Chronic Impunity in Guatemala, December 2008 (pdf)







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