PBI-Guatemala interviews Feliciana Macario of the National Coordination of Widows of Guatemala (CONAVIGUA)

Published by Brent Patterson on

On January 20, the Peace Brigades International-Guatemala Project posted: “We talked with Feliciana Macario (CONAVIGUA) about the closure of peace institutions and what it means for the organizations of victims of internal armed conflict.”

CONAVIGUA is the National Coordination of Widows of Guatemala (CONAVIGUA).

The Cantabrian digital newspaper El Faradio reported on this webinar.

It notes: “CONAVIGUA was founded in 1988, bringing together representatives of widows from different villages, cantons, farmhouses and villages in different municipalities and departments, with the vivid memory of the struggle of women to maintain their communities, both in houses and in work, in general, and especially by becoming widowed in the face of the situation of violence or illness of their husbands for their harsh working conditions , in addition to the cases of repression they suffer on their activist side.”

“Thus, in the face of their demands to locate their missing husbands, they received threats from military commissions, patrol chiefs, soldiers and their collaborators.”

“The work of this group focuses on alleviating the most immediate and urgent needs of food, medicine, housing and clothing for their children and family, as well as the demand for a dignified education for them, together with the fight against military abuses and the failure of their children to participate in civilian patrols and military reserves.”

“They work, in short, ‘because the woman, Guatemalan, mainly the indigenous woman of the countryside, has a comprehensive development, that awakens, approaches and fights for the well-being of their community, giving their contribution in search of solutions to the great problems of our country.’”

“The defence of the human rights they pursue extends to aspects such as the rescue of the remains of their relatives, killed in ravines and mass graves.”

“CONAVIGUA includes women widows for repression or illness; without distinction of origins or religions, and in close work with popular, trade union, peasant or student organizations.”

That article further notes: “In Guatemala, several institutions, created to comply with the Peace Agreements, were recently closed.”

“In particular, it is the Secretariat of Peace (Sepaz), the Secretariat of Agricultural Affairs (SAA) the Presidential Commission coordinating the Executive’s Human Rights Policy (Copredeh), the National Resarciation Programme, to replace them with a commission that human rights activists see as a ‘farce’ contrary to the agreements and the Constitution itself, in addition, without a budget for its operation.”

To watch the 30-minute webinar, please click here.

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