On October 13, 2017, the hearings of genocide retrial began in Guatemala, after more than four years of legal setbacks. The Ríos Montt’s trial takes place behind closed doors due to his senile dementia and the Rodríguez Sánchez trial, the former head of intelligence, takes place publically. So far, eight hearings have been held, one per week. Here we share a brief informative note on the most difficult trial in the history of Guatemala in English and Spanish.
Women organisations in Guatemala give recognition to prominent magistrates and judges
In commemoration of the women’s citizenship day, celebrated on September 8th, the Alliance of Women and Indigenous Women, of which Impunity Watch Guatemala is a member, presented the Forum “Women Magistrates and judges contributing to the good governance of the Country.”
Letter of Support to UN Secretary General Support for Commissioner Ivan Velasquez work leading the CICIG in Guatemala
In a joint letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, civil society organisations in Guatemala express their profound concern that the President of Guatemala is planning to meet the UN Secretary General to question the work of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) and to ask for removal of Commissioner Iván Velásquez as Head of the CICIG.
Letters in Support of the Renewed Mandate of Ivan Velasquez
With this letter to the Secretary General; the International NGO Forum in Guatemala (FONGI), the International Platform against Impunity, International Solidarity Networks Act Alliance, CIFCA, CIDSE and Grupo Sur support the extension of the mandate of Ivan Velásquez as commissioner of the CICIG.
Changing the Face of Justice: The Sepur Zarco Case
The report examines the main strategies implemented in the case. It also demonstrates how the Guatemalan state used violence and sexual slavery as a weapon of war. For the first time, a national court condemned sexual violence, sexual and domestic slavery as crimes against humanity, and vindicated the dignity of the women that suffered mass violations of human rights in a military detachment.
It has been four years to the day since Guatemala's former dictator José Efraín Ríos Montt was convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity. His trial and sentencing marked the first time a former leader was convicted in a national court for genocide. His trial was a big step towards establishing an official record of past atrocities and gaining justice and recognition for victims. Though his conviction was overturned upon appeal, which highlighted the structures of impunity that persist within Guatemala; we mark his conviction as an extraordinary development for justice and acknowledgment for victims. Guatemala continues fighting for justice so that the atrocities committed during the war are not forgotten and never happen again.
The Key Strategic Litigation of the Sepur Zarco Case
The report “Changing the face of justice, the keys to the strategic litigation of the Sepur Zarco case”, rescues the bravery of the Mayan q’eqchi’ women and the historic value of the Sepur Zarco trial. It examines the main strategies implemented in this case that was able to demonstrate how the Guatemalan state used violence and sexual slavery as a weapon of war.
New Website to Monitor the Independence of the Judiciary in Guatemala
Our office in Guatemala has launched a new website to monitor the independence of the judiciary. The Observatory of Judicial Independence is a tool to monitor and analyse permanently the internal and external factors that threaten judicial independence, as a guarantee of due process in Guatemala.
Impunity Watch has produced a new video on the Sepur Zarco case and the effect the case has had on the women, their communities and justice in Guatemala.“Changing the face of justice, the women of Sepur Zarco” recognizes the journey of the mayan q’eqchi’ women in their search for justice and how this road has opened doors for others, it becomes a reference point for other women victims of sexual violence during the armed conflict in Guatemala and the world. It shows how the process itself and the demand for reparations is a form of dignifying the women, their word, their history, and voice.
A Civil Society Review of the Inter-Ministerial Working Group on Dealing with the Past and Reconciliation in Kosovo
At the beginning of 2017, the process of developing a National Strategy on Transitional Justice for Kosovo reached a critical juncture. Donor support to the Inter-Ministerial Working Group on Dealing With the Past and Reconciliation (IMWG) concluded and President Hashim Thaçi launched a proposal for a new Commission on Truth and Reconciliation.
New Report from the Burundi Office on the State of the Transitional Justice Field in the DRC
Impunity Watch is pleased to announce the publication of a new research report entitled "Transitional Justice in the Democratic Republic of Congo: Advances, Obstacles…and Opportunities?"The study examines advances, obstacles, and opportunities with respect to transitional justice processes in the Democratic Republic of Congo, under its different pillars, namely, the right to know, the right to justice, the right to reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence.
Comunicado de Prensa de los Miembros de la Aldea Chichupac y Comunidades Vecinas d el Pueblo Maya Achi de Rabinal y de La Asociacion Bufete Jur i Dico Popular
Ciudad de Guatemala, 21 de marzo de 2017. El día de hoy, una delegación de víctimas de las comunidades de Chichupac, Xeabaj y El Tablón del municipio de Rabinal, Baja Verapaz, ofrecieron una conferencia de prensa para dar a conocer la más reciente sentencia de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos en el "Caso Miembros de la Aldea Chichupac y Comunidades Vecinas del Municipio de Rabinal vs. Guatemala", de fecha 30 de noviembre de 2016.
Press Conference: Members from Chichupac and Neighboring Communities vs. Guatemala
Guatemala City, 21 March 2017. A delegation of victims from Chichupac, Xeabaj and El tablón communities from Rabinal, Baja Verapaz held a press conference to announce the last judgment from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the case “Members from Chichupac and Neighboring Communities vs. Guatemala”, dated 30 November 2016.
"Safe House" Burned Down in a Continuum of Violence against Women
On 8 March 2017, in the morning, 19 girls were burned in what was supposed to be a "Safe Home" and shelter for abused teens. So far 30 are dead and 39 are admitted to hospital with second and third-degree burns. Authorities said they rioted and set themselves on fire.
On 29 September 2017, Impunity Watch Guatemala presented its report “Monitoring of the United Nations Resolution 1325 (2000): Guatemala’s situation” to women and human rights organizations that have promoted the implementation of this resolution.
Call for Ensuring Access to Justice for Victims of the CREOMPAZ Case
International organisations call upon the Supreme Court of Guatemala to remove the immunity of Congressman Edgar Ovalle, a former military officer involved in torture, illegal detention and killings in the Military Zone of Cobán in the 1980s. In 2012, more than 550 bones of indigenous people, including women and children, were found in the Military Zone of Cobán. This is one of the largest cases of forced disappearances in Latin America. For over a year, the Public Prosecutor's Office has asked the Supreme Court to remove the immunity of Edgar Ovalle but the Supreme Court remains unresolved. This situation violates the right of the victims of the Creompaz case to justice.
International Organizations Support Constitutional Reforms in Favour of Judicial Independence in Guatemala
Our office in Guatemala has published a new press release on constitutional reform and Independence in Guatemala. We issue our concern regarding the recent scandals related to influence peddling and the manipulation of the election processes of the Supreme Court of Justice in Guatemala. There have been instances of external interferences in the election of magistrates and judges, demonstrating the necessity for extensive reforms to ensure impartiality and independence in the administration of justice.
Marching on International Women's Day in Guatemala
Impunity Watch accompanied the women’s international day march in Guatemala. Women, feminists and human rights organizations and collectives marched to demand the recognition of their rights, to denounce sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls in Guatemala.
Guatemala, is a country living in post-conflict, is experiencing different forms of violence. The high rates of violence against women and sexual violence require urgent action. The United Nations Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security exhorts the States to take action through its four basic pillars: prevention, protection, participation and relief, and recovery. In Guatemala, 16 years since the adoption of the Resolution, we say 1325 NOW #1325Guateya.
On Friday 13 January 2017 at 8.00 am in Guatemala City at el Juzgado C de Mayor Riesgo, nivel 12 de la Torre de Tribunales the next hearing in the Molina Theissen case will take place. You are cordially invited to participate in this hearing.