Growing concerns regarding the situation of women human rights defenders in the northeast of Guatemala

Front Line Defenders recently made their concerns known about the situation of women human rights defenders in Guatemala and spoke about the challenges facing both Lourdes Haquelina Gómez Willis and Delia Adelina Leal Mollinedo.


Front Line Defenders is deeply concerned about the increasing violence and threats against indigenous women human rights defenders and indigenous rights organisations in the northeast of Guatemala. Human rights defenders working to protect Mayan Q’eqchi’ land and territory in Cahabón, Carcha, San Juan Chamelco, urban parts of Cobán and the Polochic Valley including Sepur Zarco are being targeted in reprisal for their human rights work. Women human rights defenders who work to defend their communities’ rights to land and territory, the rights of the LGBTIQ+ community and the rights of indigenous women are at particular risk.

The intensification of smear campaigns, defamation and criminalisation against Maya Q’eqchi’ women human right defenders in the northeast of Guatemala occurs within the unequal, violent and oppressive historical context in which indigenous and Afro descendant women find themselves. This group of women now face even more challenges due to the current complex political context, the COVID-19 pandemic and the humanitarian aftermath of both hurricanes ETA and IOTA, which devastated many communities in Guatemala. The State’s willingness to abuse the state of emergency, and to target human rights defenders under the guise of the COVID-19 pandemic, organised crime and drug trafficking has increased the climate of tension and attacks against women human rights defenders, especially those defending their communities rights to land.


You can read the full piece, and more about these cases and the situation of women human rights defenders in Guatemala, more widely, on their website here: Growing concerns regarding the situation of women human rights defenders in the northeast of Guatemala.

You can also follow the great work they do globally on their website here: Front Line Defenders.



Categories: Accompaniment, Criminalisation, Culture, Environment, Evictions, Femicide, Gender, Genocide, Guatemala, Human Rights, Indigenous peoples, Justice, Land, Legal, Lobbying, Mining, Natural Disaster, Report, Resource Extraction, Solidarity in Action, Solidarity in Action/Guatemala, Urgent Actions, Violence

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