Representatives of Guatemala’s indigenous organizations met with United Nations to solicit support their support during a work session.
The meeting was held in the Guatemalan department of Totonicapán, under the slogan “Rebuilding the good life in the new Baqtun: No more concessions and megaprojects.”
There, authorities reported the negative impacts of megaprojects on nature, ancestral people and local culture. Topics also discussed were abuses of power, the criminalization of social protest and militarization.
U.N. high commissioner on human rights, Navy Pillay attended the event. At the forum, Pillay acknowledged, “it is unacceptable that the leaders of the communities suffer harassment, threats, and [closed] proceedings.”
The commissioner remained in Guatemala for a week to monitor the situation of human rights in the country.
During his visit, Pillay met with various officials of the justice system, as well as the executive and social organizations of the Central American nation.
Further, representatives of Guatemala’s community radio demanded that the officer attend to the issue of criminal prosecution of community broadcasting in the country.
He also called for the commissioner to demand the Guatemalan Government to cease the repression of the agenda related to the Peace Agreement on Identity and Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
For its part, the World Association of Community Radio in Guatemala issued a political statement in order to solicit the support of the High Commissioner.
The document calls for official aid in the cessation of criminal prosecution, and for authorities to raise awareness of the reservation dedicated to community use.
This article was translated directly from Pulsar.