Guatemala: Don't Undermine our Rights
GUATEMALA: STOP TARGETTING LAND DEFENDERS! Tell Guatemala's Attorney General that land defenders deserve protection, not prison, for their efforts to protect water and crops.
- Background: Mining and Indigenous Rights in Guatemala For more information about human rights defenders opposed to mining developments in Guatemala, read our backgrounder.
- Amnesty Report: Mining in Guatemala: Rights at Risk: New report details scale of mining conflict in Guatemala and makes recommendations for change.
- Amnesty Report: We Defend the Land with Our Blood: Territory, Land and Environmental Rights Defenders Under Attack in Guatemala and Honduras (2016)
- Amnesty intervenes in Tahoe case: Read our factum and other legal documents filed in BC Supreme Court and the BC Court of Appeal. For further reading, our coalition partner, CAMIGUA, has posted a slide-show timeline of events at Tahoe Resource's Escobal mine in south-east Guatemala.
- Canadian Extractives In Central America Slideshow Amnesty International Canada proudly presents Canadian Extractives as Development: Myth or Reality?, a new photo exhibit by award-winning documentary photographer James Rodriguez.
- Films we love: Gold Fever and Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth. Learn how you can screen these gorgeous documentaries in your community.
VIDEO: Interview with Yolanda Oqueli - Guatemala Yolanda talks about the value of international solidarity for human rights defenders such as herself.Written and Directed by Timo Schmidt.
This short film explores the relationship between indigenous rights and mining operations around the world.VIDEO: A message of solidarity from AI Canada members to Yolanda Oqueli and members of the Northern Metropolitan Front (FRENAM).
NEW DOCUMENTARY: One Year One World presents a new 11 minute documentary on the Tahoe Resources silver mine in Santa Rosa, Guatemala.
Fiona Koza and Tara Scurr
Business and Human Rights Campaigners
Human rights defenders protecting land and the environment in Guatemala are some of the most at-risk people in the world.
Guatemala is one of the world's most dangerous countries to be a human rights defender. People who stand up for their human rights and the environment face deadly risks or the threat of criminalisation. Criminalisation takes community and ancestral leaders out of their communities and puts them in jail - sometimes for years - on false charges. These defenders are vilified as 'criminals' and in some cases, private companies have publicly branded them 'enemies' of development. The mis-use of Guatemala's criminal justice system to punish human rights defenders and the attacks against them must stop.
Canadian mining projects in Guatemala are widely associated with human rights abuses and have increasingly come under international scrutiny. Two Canadian mining companies face civil lawsuits in Canada for human rights abuses at their Guatemalan mine sites. Canada has come under fire for not doing more to fulfill its International Human Rights commitments with regard to Canadian business activity overseas.
Amnesty International believes that the governments of Guatemala and Canada must ensure that human rights are protected without exception and that land and water defenders are able to carry out their necessary and important human rights work without fear of reprisals. Defenders who have been victims of violence and criminalisation deserve justice and remedy for the terrible harms they have suffered.
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GUEST BLOG: "My Mother Taught Me How to Fight", Young Guatemalan human rights defenders tell their story.
GOOD NEWS: January, 2017: Seven Guatemalan men who were shot by Tahoe Resources private security guards in 2013 scored a major victory in BC's Court of Appeal. Learn more by reading our press release and blog.
Read our press release in Spanish.
Background: BC-Registered Tahoe Resources (TAHO) was named in a lawsuit filed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. The civil suit alleges that Tahoe Resources is responsible for the shooting of seven men during a protest by mine security personnel in April, 2013.
NEW REPORT: September 2016: Shocking new report, Defending the Land with Our Blood: Territory, Land and Environmental Rights Defenders Under Attack in Guatemala and Honduras, exposes dangers faced by human rights defenders. Some of the projects they oppose are owned by Canadian companies! See our Take Action section for more.
BLOG: One year after Amnesty publishes a report exposing the risks to human rights from mining in Guatemala, serious issues remain. Read more
Write a Letter, Save a Life:
In 2015, AI activists wrote hundreds of letters of support during our annual Write for Rights event to seven men shot during a peaceful protest outside a Canadian mine in Guatemala.
PRESS RELEASE: Guatemala stokes conflict around mining by failing to consult communities. Sept 19, 2014
AMNESTY REPORT: Read Amnesty's new report called Mining in Guatemala: Rights at Risk.
Canada's Governor General, David Johnston, warns Canadian mining companies not to tarnish Canada's 'brand' abroad. 27 November, 2014.
WHAT IS CANADA DOING ABOUT CANADIAN CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY FAILURES?
How familiar is your MP about the impacts Canadian oil, gas and mining companies have on human rights? Are they aware of the lawsuits against Canadian companies likeTahoe Resources for human rights harms? What do they think about the barriers to justice faced by people who have been harmed by Canadian companies overseas? What do they think of Canada’s corporate social responsibility policy?
ACTION: Ask your MP to support Amnesty’s call for an Extractives Sector Ombudsperson to investigate allegations of human rights harms by Canadian extractives companies. You can find out more on our Open for Justice campaign page.
Lifesaver action for ages 9 & up: Provide justice in Canada for people harmed by Canadian companies abroad.