PBI-Guatemala accompanies the Council of Maya Ch’orti’ Communities of Quetzaltepeque in the struggle for the recovery of their ancestral lands
On November 13, the Peace Brigades International-Guatemala Project posted: “PBI accompanies the Council of Maya Ch’orti’ Communities of Quetzaltepeque during its meeting with the organization #Udefegua on their struggle for recognition as indigenous communities and the recovery of their lands.”
PBI-Guatemala has explained: “The Maya Ch’orti’ Indigenous Authorities of Olopa and Quezaltepeque are fighting for recognition as indigenous communities, the recovery of their spirituality, the defense of their territory and the right to free, prior and informed consultation before the entry of mining projects into their territory.”
It adds: “They also seek to minimize the negative impacts of mining activities on the health of the people in their communities, denounce illegal logging and fight against gender violence in their communities.”
IWGIA has noted: “The report of the Human Rights Ombudsman of Guatemala, presented to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, on the occasion of the country review (session 98/2019), notes that there has been no significant progress on human rights for indigenous peoples.”
“For example, no legislation has been adopted regarding access, respect, registration or security of ancestral possession of indigenous lands; but instead, judicial evictions continued without indigenous peoples having had due process.”
It adds: “The report also notes that the State has not respected the rights of indigenous peoples to their lands and territories, nor their self-determination, nor does it guarantee prior consultation; instead, it continues to license extractive industries in indigenous territories and criminalizes human rights defenders.”
PBI-Guatemala began accompanying the Maya Ch’orti’ Indigenous Authorities of Olopa and Quezaltepeque in June 2021.