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Jorge Santos

HRD, General Coordinator
Protection Unit for Human Rights Defenders Guatemala (UDEFEGUA)

Jorge Santos is the General Coordinator of the human rights organisation Protection Unit for Human Rights Defenders Guatemala (Unidad de Protección a Defensoras y Defensores de Derechos Humanos Guatemala UDEFAGUA). This organisation is dedicated to offer support to human rights defenders to empower their work and improve their security. The Unit monitors attacks against human rights defenders, offers legal consultancy, risk analysis, security plans and security equipment for them. Moreover, the Unit works not only in Guatemala, but in other countries of the region like Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and the South of Mexico.

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.