PBI highlights concerns about the collapse of the justice system in Guatemala at UN Human Rights Council

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On March 22, Peace Brigades International made an oral intervention at the 49th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The intervention by Kim-Mai Vu noted:

In Guatemala, we are alarmed by the loss of all progress in the fight against corruption and impunity achieved in the last 25 years.

It’s practically the rule of law has been dismantled and all the entities guarantors of rights. The work of anti-corruption judges and prosecutors is systematically obstructed and professional and ethical justice operators harassed, forced into exile or wrongly imprisoned.

The selection process for the new Attorney General is currently taking place.

We call on this Council to demand that the President of Guatemala prevent his re-election of the current Attorney General and demand that the person selected be a person independent of political power and that promotes equal justice for all.

The collapse of the justice system translates directly into threats and risks for defenders. In 2021, more than 1,000 attacks against defenders, largely against those who defend the land, territory and environment.

The case of the Solway company is one of the many examples where human rights defenders confront the improper use of the penal system by private actors to silence social protest.

We call on this Council to monitor the human rights situation in Guatemala and demand that its government develop a Public Policy for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, and not using the NGO Law, which has just entered into force, as an instrument of persecution of the defense of rights.

The video of this presentation can be seen here (at the 1:31:45 mark).

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