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Indigenous women defenders, active and proactive in the promotion and protection of human rights.

Project Name

Indigenous women defenders, active and proactive in the promotion and protection of human rights.

It is part of the Program:

Identity and Rights of Indigenous and Native Women

The project seeks to improve the capacities of indigenous women human rights defenders directly involved in the action, and of the women in their communities who will benefit from the accompaniment and advice on cases of human rights violations.

This project is being carried out in partnership with the Tz’ununija’ Indigenous Women’s Movement and CARE is a co-applicant. The role of CARE Guatemala / CARE France as co-applicants is to monitor, follow up and evaluate the project, and provide technical and financial assistance for the main actions of the project.

Execution period

2018 – 2019

Participating Population

The project contemplates the participation of 86 women human rights defenders from 15 organizations linked to the Tz’ununij’a Indigenous Women’s Movement (MMITZ), approximately: 20 indigenous women human rights defenders and 20 young indigenous women; a multidisciplinary team of 10 indigenous professionals, most of them women; 28 leaders who are members of the Political Council, 8 members of the Minor Council and the Technical Team. The final beneficiaries are: 300 women from 15 grassroots organizations (Santa Rosa and at the national level) and their families. 5,000 women and men at the national level, members of the communities covered by the project.



Project Description

The project consists of contributing to the construction of an effective, accessible and multicultural justice system for the enforceability, protection and defense of the human/individual and collective rights of Xinka, Garifuna and Mayan women in Guatemala. This contribution will be expressed, at the end of the intervention, in: at least one effective proposal to improve the attention and protection of human rights, individual and collective, of indigenous women in the justice system; and on the other hand, in the increase of the capacities of women human rights defenders and leaders articulated to the Movement of Indigenous Women Tz’ununija’ (MMITZ) for political dialogue, proposals and advocacy in the justice system. The achievement of the general objective or its level of impact requires the political will and interest of the institutions and authorities of the justice system and the responsibility of the State of Guatemala to comply with the recommendations of national and international organizations regarding the individual and collective rights of women and indigenous peoples, and to provide security for women human rights defenders to carry out their work.


In Guatemala, violence against women, in its different manifestations, is a scourge that has generated much concern among national and international human rights organizations, because the actions of attention and prevention from the State continue to be limited, coupled with the high levels of impunity. On the other hand, women human rights defenders, especially those living in rural and remote areas, find it more difficult to access protection mechanisms, not only because of the limited coverage of the justice system, but also because of the increasing criminalization and stigmatization of their work.

Partial studies carried out by the Mesoamerican Women’s Initiative have indicated that 60% of the cases of violence against women defenders in the Central American region were provoked by public officials (police, municipal officials). The most affected women defenders are from rural areas (indigenous women), where discrimination, violence, racism and inequality are expressed in multiple social, political and economic aspects.


Movimiento de Mujeres Indígenas Tz’ununija’: It is the most important articulation of indigenous women’s organizations in the country, articulating more than 80 organizations located in 13 departments of Guatemala. With extensive experience in the promotion, defense and exercise of indigenous women’s rights. It has promoted very important changes in the field of justice, making recommendations at national, regional and international levels to incorporate the specific rights of indigenous women in international instruments (CEDAW). Since 2008 she has been developing training and healing processes, which gives her ample experience. She is the promoter and direct executor of this action.

Coverage area

Santa Rosa and Guatemala