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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. 



    1. Background: Mining and Indigenous Rights in Guatemala For more information about human rights defenders opposed to mining developments in Guatemala, read our backgrounder.
    2. Amnesty Report: Mining in Guatemala: Rights at RiskNew report details scale of mining conflict in Guatemala and makes recommendations for change. 
    3. Amnesty Report: We Defend the Land with Our Blood: Territory, Land and Environmental Rights Defenders Under Attack in Guatemala and Honduras (2016)
    4. 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. 
    5. 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.
    6. Films we love: Gold Fever and Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth. Learn how you can screen these gorgeous documentaries in your community.


    1. 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). 
    2. NEW DOCUMENTARY: One Year One World presents a new 11 minute documentary on the Tahoe Resources silver mine in Santa Rosa, Guatemala. 


      Tara Scurr

      Business and Human Rights Campaigners

      604-294-5160 x102

      Elizabeth Berton-Hunter

      Media Relations

      416-363-9933 x332


      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. 





      Killed for Standing Up For the Environment

      Ronal David Barillas Díaz was a tireless Xinka activist whose work to defend the environment may have cost him his life. On January 9th, he was gunned down at the stall where he sold newspapers and food. His assailants fled the scene. 

      His killing leaves his community and the organizations in which he worked in a state of greater uncertainty, fear and danger. 



      URGENT ACTION! Amnesty International is taking seriously apparent threats to a Guatemalan human rights defender. 

      Send a letter to Guatemalan and Canadian authorities asking for the safety of Rafael Maldonado. 

      Lifesaver action for ages 9 & up:Protect Land and Water Defenders like Rafael Maldonado

      GUEST BLOG: "My Mother Taught Me How to Fight", Young Guatemalan human rights defenders tell their story. 


      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.




      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