Resistencia Pacífica de la Microregión de Ixquisis, Guatemala
"We live in dark times. It seems we are assailed daily with fresh atrocities. Welcome to a celebration of the courage of those who bring light and love to our world."
Andrew Anderson, Executive Director
Resistencia Pacífica de la Microregión de 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 authorised 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.
The award was presented by Emma Achilli, head of Front Line Defenders’ EU Office at a ceremony in Guatemala City on 7 June. Ms. Achilli presented members of the community with a plaque and reiterated the importance of the Peaceful Resistance of the Microregion of Ixquisis’ legitimate work in the defense of human rights, land rights and their livelihood.
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About the Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk
The annual Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk was established in 2005 to honour the work of a human rights defender who, through non-violent work, is courageously making an outstanding contribution to the promotion and protection of the human rights of others, often at great personal risk to themselves.
In 2014 the Al-Jazeera Media Network became the global media partner for the Front Line Defenders Award, giving much wider coverage of the ceremony and of the defender's work to a global audience.
The Award seeks to focus international attention on the human rights defender's work, thus contributing to the recipient’s personal security.
Read about the other 2018 winners here.