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Eva Cristina Tecún

HRD, member
Movimiento de mujeres indígenas Tz´ ununija
International Day of the World Indigenous Peoples - Campaign
2017

We think that life doesn’t belong only to human beings, we are not the only ones who are alive: life is in the water, in the land, in the animals, all these things that are not human beings are alive, but many times their right to life is denied.

Eva Cristina Tecun is an indigenous Maya K'iche human rights defender. She is one of the members of "Movimiento de mujeres indígenas Tz´ ununija", an organisation formed by groups of indigenous women. The movement has developed education, water and health projects for indigenous communities, with a special attention to gender issues. It also works to protect the environmental and land rights of the indigenous communities in the region.

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.