“The person who defends Mother Earth is unjustly accused and condemned, without evidence“
PBI-Guatemala recently published a feature on the challenges of implementing, in Guatemala, the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which were endorsed by the United Nations Human Rights Council ten years ago.
“A first obstacle for accessing justice is the discrimination and racism present in the system. We are not seen as equals, so they attribute incidents to you, and because you are indigenous you are considered guilty of certain acts.”
June 2021 marked the 10th anniversary of the unanimous endorsement by the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. These Principles represent a step forward in the attempt to transition to a fairer economic growth model by recognizing the shared responsibilities of the State and the private sector in promoting sustainable development and protecting human rights.
However, the implementation of the Principles remains a challenge at the global level and, particularly, in countries rich in natural resources such as Guatemala. The expansion of the private sector and the intensification of competition for these goods have contributed to the strengthening of extractivist and exclusionary economic models. The implementation of these models has serious consequences for rural communities, indigenous peoples and human rights defenders who are very often the target of all kinds of attacks and threats when they dare to raise their voices against large-scale projects of various kinds: hydroelectric, mining, agribusiness, logging, etc. According to the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (Obs) and the Unit for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders in Guatemala (UDEFEGUA), it is possible to identify a sequence of aggression, threats, criminalization, stigmatization and even assassinations against those who defend land and territory.
You can read the full article, with links and photos, here, 10th anniversary of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: challenges for their implementation in Guatemala.
Para leer la versión española, haga clic aquí, 10º Aniversario de los Principios Rectores sobre Empresas y Derechos Humanos: desafíos para su implementación en Guatemala.
PBI-Canada have an accompanying piece here, PBI-Guatemala comments on the UN Guiding Principles in the context of extractivist and exclusionary economic models.
Categories: Accompaniment, Criminalisation, Environment, Evictions, Gender, Genocide, Guatemala, Human Rights, Impunity, Indigenous peoples, Justice, Military, Mining, Poverty, Racism, Report, Resource Extraction, Solidarity in Action, Solidarity in Action/Guatemala, Violence