Our Advocacy Work This Month

Photo courtesy GHRC/USA

Dear Reader:

It is a terrible thing to be forced from your home and country, leaving behind your family, friends, and life’s work. Judge Miguel Ángel Gálvez, a tireless advocate for justice, and a defender of human rights, was forced to flee his beloved Guatemala in 2022. For his efforts presiding over high-level cases against government corruption, organized crime, and war crimes, Judge Gálvez suffered threats, intimidation, and defamation. Like many other upstanding and independent justice operators, he faced the possibility of being falsely charged and imprisoned by an unjust justice system. 

He made the heartbreaking choice to seek temporary exile. By doing so, he joined the ranks of nearly 80 Guatemalan judges, investigators, journalists, and human rights defenders currently living in exile. 

Recently GHRC has facilitated nearly a dozen meetings for Judge Gálvez with US congressional offices, officials from the State Department, and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Our efforts in Washington, D.C., spanning three weeks allowed Judge Gálvez to highlight the critical need for international solidarity. He called on the US government to closely monitor the Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal elections in Guatemala this fall. He also underscored the importance of international support to help create safe conditions for Guatemalans living in exile to return to Guatemala.

One of the highlights of our advocacy efforts was a meeting with Tania Reneaum, Executive Secretary of the IACHR. We discussed the Commission’s upcoming visit to Guatemala and shared our concerns about the threats to the rule of law and the defense of human rights in the country. The Secretary expressed the Commission’s commitment to addressing these issues. Her support and the Commission’s commitment were encouraging. It was a privilege to engage in these important conversations and advocate for the safety and rights of those facing persecution in Guatemala.

Photo courtesy GHRC.

GHRC’s team in Guatemala has been providing in-person support and security to lawyers prosecuting those who violate human rights. We are accompanying the trials of those criminalized by a broken justice system. We stand with the victims of war crimes in their struggle for truth and justice. We are present in indigenous communities attacked for defending their rights to land and a healthy environment.

But we cannot do this work alone. Your support is what enables us to stand in solidarity with Guatemalan human rights defenders as they demand justice, work to reestablish the rule of law, and protect the rights of all.

PLEASE DONATE to help us continue these efforts. Your donations are essential to all that we do, keeping us moving forward and fighting for change. Remarkable people, like Judge Gálvez, are depending on us!

With gratitude,

Veronica Serrano Tama

Director of Outreach and Development

GHRC/USA

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