PBI-Guatemala hosts online forum on their new report on social struggles in Alta Verapaz

Published by Brent Patterson on

On May 21, the Peace Brigades International-Guatemala Project held an online forum to present its new report: We Defend Life! The Social Struggles in Alta Verapaz.

The presentation was hosted by Silvia Weber (PBI-Guatemala) and featured Sandra Calel (the Union of Campesino Organizations for the Verapaces – UVOC), Julio Gonzalez (Madreselva Colectivo Ecologista) and Jordi Quiles Sendra (the author of the We Defend Life! report and a past accompanier with PBI-Guatemala).

To watch a two-hour video of that presentation in Spanish, please click here.

The 64-page report – available in English and Spanish – highlights:

“Alta Verapaz (AV) is a department characterized by difficult realities and deep contradictions: it has the highest number of conflicts over agrarian issues and a record number of evictions; it has the highest rates of poverty and, at the same time, it has a great wealth of natural goods. Furthermore, in 2018 it was one of the departments with the highest number of attacks and murders of human rights defenders.”

“The indigenous peoples and campesinos of AV have been subjected to continuous dispossession dating back to the Spanish conquest, when the looting of natural wealth in the region began through the exploitation of raw materials.”

“This monograph aims to highlight the concrete challenges faced daily by the indigenous peoples and resistances of AV in defense of their fundamental right to a dignified life. To achieve this we have included, alongside the secondary sources and interviews with experts, direct testimonies from members of the four organizations that PBI accompanies in the region, paying special attention to the important role that women play in these struggles. It is these people and organizations who are the protagonists of this report.”

To watch the Facebook presentation of this report, please click here. To read the report in English click here and to read it in Spanish click here.

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