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Bernard Lopez

Bernarda López Ramírez

HRD
International Day of the World Indigenous Peoples - Campaign
2017

In the rural areas, there is a lot of  discrimination and machismo, the patriarchal power is so strong there. The fact that we got organised in women’s groups has been very important.

Bernarda López Ramírez is a Xinca indigenous rights defender. She is member of an indigenous women movement that works to protect the land and environmental rights of the local communities. Bernarda is also stuggling against the patriarchal system and machismo within her own community, and she tries to involve more women in all the decision-making processes in the local indigenous committees.

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.