HRC Guatemala: Business and Human Rights
The Guatemalan Maya Ch’orti’ in defense of their land, culture and natural resources
On Sunday 27 November, Peace Brigades International will organize a Human Rights Café Guatemala in honour of Guatemalan human rights defender Omar Jerónimo’s visit to the Netherlands! Omar dedicates his work to the protection of cultural, environmental and land rights of the indigenous Maya Ch’orti’ community. Lack of recognition for the community and the construction of hydro-electric projects in the region lead to social tensions and threats. What are the obstacles encountered when defending indigenous rights in rural communities? What is the impact of large-scale investments on indigenous communities? And how do human rights defenders cope with threats and intimidation that are associated with their line of work?
14:30h: Doors open
Dr. Elisabet Rasch
Anthropologist dr. Elisabet Rasch, assistant professor at Wageningen University, will introduce the context in which Omar works. Elisabet Rasch has focused her research on activism against large-scale development projects, (indigenous) mobilization toward neo-liberal policies, development politics, mining, local politics, citizenship, and democracy. Elisabet is specialized in Guatemala and the Philipines and also researches activism against shale gas in the Netherlands.
Omar is the founder of the organization Coordinadora Central Campesina Ch’orti’ Nuevo Día (CCCND) and dedicates oneself to the protection of cultural, environmental and land rights of the indigenous Maya Ch’orti’ community. In doing this, Omar and other members of CCCND increasingly face threats, intimidation and defamation. During this afternoon discussion, Omar will discuss in depth CCCND’s work in relation to the broader theme of Business & Human Rights.