Diakonia is involved in strengthening civil society organizations in Guatemala. Since the internal armed conflict Diakonia supports human rights and humanitarian work in the country. A Peace Accord was signed in 1996 and since then focus has increasingly been to work in democratic participation, human rights and gender equality to achieve a sustainable peace culture at all levels.
Focus areas in Guatemala
The thematic areas of the programme in Guatemala are: collective rights of indigenous people, specific rights of women and youth, ethnic and gender identity, sexual and reproductive rights, prevention of violence against women and youth, prevention of HIV and AIDS, access to justice and combatting impunity. Within this, the promotion of a multi-cultural co-existence and affirmative action for gender equality are mainstreamed in all of Diakonia's activities and work.
Ríos Montt convicted
After he was accused of being responsible for the genocide of the Ixil population in 1982-1983, Guatemala's former dictator Efraín Ríos Montt was put to trial and convicted for the crime in May 2013. The sentence has however been dismissed since.
Diakonia's partner organizations CALDH (Centro Para la Acción Legal en Derechos Humanos) and AJR (Asociación para la Justicia y Reconciliación) have for 15 years been advocating for the trial to take place. During the trial, they provided judicial support to plaintiffs and engaged citizens to advocate for justice to prevail.
More results of our work
Apart from the work of CALDH and AJR, Diakonia's partner organization Ixmukané, also plays an important role in promoting human rights. Our partner organization Ixmukané has through advocacy strengthened women’s rights and their ability to speak up and participate in public decision making processes.
Another example comes from our partner organization Nuevos Horizontes, which has succeeded in bringing in a municipality agreement that establishes the participation of 40 per cent women in the Community Development Councils.
Peace Accord in 1996
Guatemala is a country in which the indigenous people Maya co-exist with the Garífuna, Xinca and Mestizo. In 1996 a Peace Accord was signed that put an end to the internal armed conflict, which lasted more than 36 years, and this raised expectations for the creation of democracy and the recognition of the country's multicultural, multilingual and multiethnic character.
Prevalent macho culture
Guatemala is a typical macho culture, heavily wounded by violence. The civil war has left deep scars and Guatemalan women are especially exposed. In Guatemala more women (per capita) are murdered than anywhere else in the world (2009), and the murders, the so-called “femicidios”, are characterized by raw brutality and hatred towards women.
Read more about our work in Guatemala
Guatemala: Women works for their rightsThe Diakonia partner Asociación Por Nosotras Ixmukané in Guatemala is a network of women and local women’s organizations in the rural Quiché region in the north of the country. Ixmukané’s work is focused on...
Norma in Guatemala is fighting against the violenceNorma Cruz in Guatemala started the organization Sobrevivientes to support women affected by violence. Norma in Guatemala supports women affected by violence
Benjamin in Guatemala survived and is demanding justiceBenjamín Manuel Jerónimo in Guatemala is a passionate change maker who is working courageously alongside others so that people living in poverty can gain power over their own lives.
Ana in Guatemala helped get ex-dictator convictedAna is a survivor of the genocide in Guatemala. In 2013 she was one of the witnesses in the trial against the ex-dictator Ríos Montt. Read more about Ana
Guatemala: Indigenous women have learnt their rightsThe rights of indigenous people in Guatemala are limited. In some societies over 90 % of women can't read and write. Through a project of Diakonia’s partner organization Nuevos Horizontes, 546 women have learned about their rights. Herlinda Caal is one of them. Read about Nuevos Horizontes and Herlinda
Guatemala: Efraín Ríos Montt convicted of genocideOn May 11, Guatemala's former dictator Efraín Rios Montt was sentenced by a court to 80 years in prison for genocide and crimes against humanity. Montt was declared responsible for the massacre of 1,771 Mayan Indians from the Ixil-people, while being the country's military leader between 1982-1983. More about the process against Ríos Montt
Guatemala: CALDH a driving force in the Ríos Montt trialDiakonia's partner organizations CALDH and AJR were driving forces during the trial for genocide against the former dictator Efraín Ríos Montt. They demanded one thing: justice. More about the work of CALDH and AJR
Report: Human rights in Central America"Human rights and confrontation" is the title of a new report about Central America. In the whole region the human rights situation and that of human rights defenders is worrying. Read more about the report