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Aura Lolita Chavez

HRD, member
Consejo de Pueblos K’iche’ por la Defensa de la Vida, Madre Naturaleza, Tierra y Territorio (CPK)
Telesur Article

10 Latin American Indigenous Rights Warriors You Need to Know

Indigenous leaders around the world are on the front-lines of struggle against corporate exploitation, resource extraction, neoliberal policies, and other injustices impacting people and the environment.

Here’s a look at some of the most prominent Indigenous leaders fighting for justice and human rights in Latin America.

We get a lot of strength from many principles including reciprocity (you are me and I am you) and that gives us strength as women and this connection with life and the web we have among each other…So as part of this web, we declare that we have to have territories free of companies and free of violence against women, and that empowers us so we can say we are moving towards the full meaning of life.

Aura Lolita Chávez is a leader of the Council of K'iche' People for the Defense of Life, Mother Nature, Land and Territory (Consejo de Pueblos K’iche’ por la Defensa de la Vida, Madre Naturaleza, Tierra y Territorio, CPK) of Guatemala. The CPK coordinates processes of dialogue, good faith community consultations and collective actions against the threatening expansion of mining, hydroelectric and agro-industry megaprojects in their territory.

Aura Lolita Chavez and other members of CPK have been subjected to threats and attacks for their peaceful work in defense of human rights, nature and life. One member was assassinated on June 12, 2012.

A serious issue is the unfair use of criminal proceedings in order to prevent HRDs from carrying out their legitimate human rights activities. Many criminal proceedings are launched by private companies (often backed by European and North American governments) related to the mining sector and the construction of dams, spuriously accusing HRDs of crimes such as acts of terrorism, usurpation of land, kidnappings and others. As part of the criminalisation process, campaigns of defamation and stigmatisation have been carried out by both state and non-state actors, particularly transnational companies and right-wing media publications. State authorities continue to publish statements and press releases in which they publicly incriminate HRDs on unverified charges.


Multiple Exposure: Guatemala - Aura Lolita Chavez