International law says that indigenous communities have the right to control and protect their traditional lands and territories; they also have the right to live free of violence and injustice. These rights are being ignored by the Guatemala government. For more than 40 years, Agua Caliente leaders, from a small Maya Q’eqchi’ community in El Estor, have fought attempts by the government and mining interests to evict them from their lands. Like many indigenous territories, their lands are rich with sub-surface resources such as nickel. We are working at the highest levels to secure stronger human right protections not only for the Agua Caliente community but all indigenous communities in Guatemala. The Center filed a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in August, 2011. The Center has also launched a Public Service Announcement radio campaign in Guatemala to inform communities about this case. You can listen to the clips here and you can also make your voice heard!
We need your help. We are asking you to send a letter to the IACHR asking for this case to be moved up in the Commission’s docket. The Center filed the petition in August 2011 but the IACHR has not processed it. For more than two and a half years, mining has continued and the rights of the Maya Q’eqchi’ have been ignored. The IACHR has the ability to hold Guatemala accountable for these injustices.