December 1, 2022
Ask your Representative to Sponsor H.Res 1481 - Restoring Human Rights and the Rule of Law in Guatemala
Corruption has affected all branches of the Guatemalan government to the effect that Indigenous leaders and human rights activists, journalists, and honest judges and prosecutors are threatened, jailed, or forcibly removed from their land. Institutions from the State Department to the Freedom House attest to a backsliding of democratic principles in Guatemala. Human Rights Watch stated that “Guatemala’s democracy is hanging by a thread.” The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights warns of “systematic interference in the independence of the judiciary, the weakening of human rights institutions, and the increasingly evident setbacks in the fight against corruption and impunity.”
In late July of this year, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns participated in an emergency delegation to see and learn about the issues firsthand. While international media primarily focused on attacks on judges and prosecutors, the delegation found that they were "representative of a larger pattern of aggression against defenders across the country," documenting attacks on civil society land- and human rights defenders, largely from Indigenous communities, who have experienced violent evictions, health concerns from water pollution and mining, and violence against protestors. Maryknoll Sisters and Affiliates in Guatemala have consistently echoed the concerns raised by the delegation. You can read the full report here: bit.ly/GHRC-Report.
What does H.Res 1481 do? This strong resolution calls for:
- suspending military aid to Guatemala;
- ensuring U.S.-supported investment does not go to corrupt elites;
- investigating and freezing financial assets of corrupt Guatemalan individuals in the U.S. banks; and
- commending and supporting courageous Guatemalans who are standing up for justice.
The U.S. must not be complicit in the government’s human rights violations or undoing of democracy.
Call or write to your congressional representative to ask for support or cosponsorship of the House Resolution Restoring Human Rights and the Rule of Law in Guatemala.
Photo by Parker Hilton on Unsplash