Amnesty International Canada

Stop Targeting Land Defenders

Tell Guatemala to protect, not criminalize, people who defend the environment.

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Call on the Attorney General of Guatemala to stop criminalizing those who defend the environment.


María Consuelo
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Land and environment defenders deserve protection not prison

Bernardo Ermitaño López is community leader from northern Guatemala. In June 2015 he was arrested, charged and jailed for more than a year. His crime? He attended a public demonstration in defence of his community against the threats posed by a hydro-electric project.

Throughout Guatemala, land and environment defenders face arrest warrants, trumped-up charges and jail time for protesting mines and hydroelectric projects. Among these defenders are women, elders and youth.


Whole communities can be affected when their ancestral authorities are jailed and attacked for speaking out against powerful corporate actors. Several community leaders in have been brutally killed or injured in attacks since 2012. Despite the threat of prison – or worse – they continue their work of defending their land from projects that will affect their livelihoods and lives.

Speak out for courageous people risking their lives and freedom to defend their communities and the environment. Tell Guatemala to stop laying charges against peaceful defenders and investigate attacks against them.



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