Mission: Founded in 1982, GHRC is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting human rights in Guatemala by documenting abuses, educating the international community, mobilizing our grassroots base and advocating for just policies. GHRC supports Guatemalan communities and human rights defenders who face threats and violence due to their work to promote positive, systemic change.
Results: In 2012 we:
- Delivered over 2,200 petition signatures to the Guatemalan government requesting food aid and other support for the 800 indigenous families evicted in the Polochic Valley. As a result of this petition as well as GHRC’s ongoing support with their case before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the families received six deliveries of food and have been promised land.
- Created an online action to email US Members of Congress, asking them to maintain the ban on US funding to the Guatemalan army. Our supporters sent 2,111 emails and the ban will remain in place for the year.
- Provided affidavits in 10 cases of Guatemalans applying for asylum and testified in three more. At least two applicants received asylum based on domestic violence they had suffered in Guatemala and were allowed to remain in the US. The other cases have been postponed.
- Coordinated a successful email and call campaign targeting the mining company Kappes, Cassiday & Associates, as well as the Guatemalan Government, calling for an end to attacks on the communities in resistance in San José del Golfo. We accompanied the emails with direct talks with the US Embassy in Guatemala to advocate for dialogue and the full respect of the communities’ right to protest. A tense calm has been maintained since then.
- Provided scholarships to 18 children of human rights defenders who have been attacked or killed for their work, enabling them to continue their education.
- Led a delegation on women in resistance. On returning to the US, the delegates collected books and arts supplies for organizations they had met with and used their new knowledge to better serve their Guatemalan clients in the US.
Support for Human Rights Defenders
Land and Natural Resources
Truth, Justice and Historical Memory
Criminalization and Impunity
GHRC is one of the few organizations that maintain a strong grassroots focus in all that they do. One of the only organizations with offices in both D.C. and Guatemala City, GHRC truly understands the needs of their partners on the ground, supporting their work. GHRC does not dictate policy or actions, but echoes the voice of Guatemalans who face great risks of violence every day. This is GHRC’s humble yet powerful role in the fight for peace and justice in Guatemala. I am proud to support GHRC’s work, and most importantly, the work of GHRC’s partners.
GHRC does outstanding work to promote peace and justice in Guatemala. At a time when other foundations, organizations, and funding is pulling out in Guatemala, and when violence continues to escalate to conflict-level rates, GHRC is not only remaining steadfast in it's solidarity, it is expanding its support and work. I participated in the June 2008 Human Rights Defenders Delegation, and the August 2009 Women's Right to Live delegation, and have volunteered through out the years. GHRC does high quality research, human rights monitoring, advocacy, and solidarity actions. I am deeply honored and proud to work with them.