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Peaceful Resistance of the Micro-region of Ixquisis

Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk
2018

Resistencia Pacífica de la Microregión de Ixquisis (Peaceful Resistance of the Microregion of Ixquisis) is a community defending human rights which was formed in response to grave rights violations committed in the name of economic advancement in Guatemala. The government has authoritised destructive mining and hydroelectric mega-projects in the region despite the widespread opposite from the 59 villages and 7 communities in the municipality. HRDs in the Peaceful Resistance risk their lives to defend the territory. In 2016 alone, there were more than 75 reported attacks against HRDs in the Peaceful Resistance including killings, shootings, harassment, and defamation campaigns.

Since Otto Pérez Molina assumed the role of President in January 2012, cases of harassment and threats against HRDs have been on the rise. Human rights defenders (HRDs) in Guatemala are subjected to death threats, physical attacks, acts of harassment, surveillance, stigmatisation, judicial harassment, arbitrary detention, forced disappearance and killings. Many of the violations are carried out by clandestine security structures and illegal groups. The exceptionally high level of impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators increases the risk exponentially for HRDs.