Guatemala: 28 years of struggle for the life, dignity and rights of women survivors of genocide


An article from CLOC – the Latin American Coordination of Peasant Organizations (translated by CPNN)

We express our deep appreciation for another year of life to our Creator and Maker, to our grandmothers and grandfathers who taught us the ways of resistance, defense and the practice of our languages, our arts, customs, ancestral knowledge. They support and encourage us, and work for the fullness of life, gratitude, reciprocity and harmony with Mother Earth and her natural resources.

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From our emergence as the National Coordination of Widows of Guatemala -CONAVIGUA-, beginning September 12, 1988, we have achieved the organization of widows and orphans, starting our way to defend the dignity of women victims of violence and to defend our children from discriminatory forced military recruitment. We have searched tirelessly for those missing from our families and for detainees, knocking on the doors of justice in the courts and searching in clandestine cemeteries, hoping to find the truth and whereabouts of our loved ones.

As women we have told our stories in the RHEMI report, the Historical Clarification Commission, the Public Ministry, the National Compensation Program and many more with the aim that our truth is recognized. We bring content to the Peace Accords, and we have actively participated in promoting compliance with the Accords. In addition, we have promoted, together with other women’s organizations, the institutionalization of DEMI, SEPREM and others.

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(Click here for the original Spanish version of this article)

Questions related to this article:
Protecting women and girls against violence, Is progress being made?

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It’s been 20 years since the signing of the Peace Accords and 28 years since the beginning of our organization. We continue to demand respect for life, human rights, an end to the persecution, violence and rape against women survivors of genocide. We fight to defend our land, territory, water, holy sites and the individual and collective property of our peoples. We demand compliance with international conventions and treaties on the rights of women, indigenous peoples, youth , justice, environment, peace and security

As women who possess experience in community and social work, we have submitted proposals for legislative initiatives and organized campaigns for women’s access to education, health, housing, agroecology and civic and political participation. We have supported the struggles against impunity, demanded justice against genocide and made claims for the defense of Mother Earth.

In CONAVIGUA have accompanied participation and community organization, strengthening of ancestral authorities and empowerment of women. This has led to trials to bring charges against the perpetrators and masterminds of violence and rape against women, as in the cases of the women from Tululché, and Sepur Zarco Ixil. We also demand an end to the criminal prosecution of the leaders of our struggles and our social organizations.

Our vision is to promote changes and transformations and to continue the work with the excluded sectors for a multiethnic, multicultural and multilingual country that includes women and indigenous peoples. We are committed to further deepening and strengthening networks and local, national and international alliances in different spaces and levels.

For compliance with the rights of women and the eradication of violence against women .

For the culture of peace.

For the Unity and Dignity of Women