Final report of the international mission carried out in Guatemala, August 2018
Losing one´s life to defend the land
Between August 6 and 10 of this year, 2018, an international mission visited Guatemala integrated by members of the International Land Coalition (ILC), the World Alliance for Citizen Participation (Civicus), Frontline Defenders and a reporter from the British newspaper The Guardian. The mission was also accompanied by the Pastoral de la Tierra Nacional of the Guatemalan Episcopal Conference, and the Unidad de Protección a Defensoras y Defensores de Derechos Humanos en Guatemala (Udefegua). It is important to note that the organisations and alliances - the networks - that are part of this delegation have worked for many years with peasant and indigenous peoples' organisations, as well as with human rights organisations, agencies of the United Nations system and government offices in Guatemala.
THE MISSION WAS CARRIED OUT AT THE REQUEST OF ILC MEMBERS AND ALLIES IN GUATEMALA IN THE CONTEXT OF THE WORSENING CONDITIONS OF INSECURITY (CRIMINALISATION, DEFAMATION, ARBITRARY ARRESTS AND MURDERS) THAT THESE ORGANISATIONS FACE FOR EXERCISING AND DEFENDING RIGHTS.
Of particular relevance and gravity was the murder of eight land defenders members of Codeca and CCDA.
This document gathers the reports of those days. It is organized in several parts that include the analysis of the historical and current context. A substantial part is the study of the situation of human rights defenders, especially those who protect the right of access to land and indigenous peoples, based on their testimonies. The report ends with a section of conclusions and the presentation of recommendations.
The entities participating in this first international mission hope to contribute to considerably improving the conditions in which human rights defenders in Guatemala work and struggle, especially those who safeguard land and territory.