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Indigenous Woman Testifies Before Human Rights Committee On Guatemala Human Rights Record


CONTACT: Stephanie Kung, MADRE (212) 627-0444,

Indigenous Woman Testifies Before Human Rights Committee On Guatemala Human Rights Record

March 19, 2012–New York, NY–Today, Ana Ceto Chavez of Muixil, an Indigenous women's organization in Guatemala, will testify before the Human Rights Committee. The Human Rights Committee is an independent body of the United Nations that monitors the human rights situation in various countries. 

Chavez will testify about rights violations Indigenous Peoples and women have faced, as part of the Committee's review of Guatemala's human rights record. 

Discrimination and marginalization of Indigenous Peoples, and particularly Indigenous women, continues to be a widespread human rights abuse in Guatemala. During the country's decades-long civil war, Indigenous Peoples faced murder, rape and displacement. They continue to suffer systematic discrimination today.

In recent years, Guatemala has also witnessed a sharp rise in violence against women. More than 5, 000 women have been murdered in the past ten years–many of them were raped and mutilated, their bodies discarded in public places. Indigenous women are disproportionately at risk of this violence.

Ana Ceto Chavez, Coordinator of Muixil said today, "As an Indigenous Guatemalan woman, I face the double discrimination of being Indigenous and being a woman. Indigenous women are discriminated against, our voices silenced and our bodies violated. I hope to stand before the Human Rights Committee today to demand respect for the human rights of all Indigenous Peoples and women in Guatemala."

Yifat Susskind, Executive Director of MADRE said today, "With the recent convictions of Guatemalan soldiers and the trial of former dictator Rios Montt, Indigenous Peoples in Guatemala are beginning to have a chance for justice. But much remains to be done. It is crucial to articulate the shortcomings of the Guatemalan government's record in protecting women and Indigenous Peoples in the country." 

To read a Report about human rights abuses in Guatemala, click here.

Para leer este comunicado de prensa en espanol, haga clic aqui.

Available for interview:

Ana Ceto Chavez (Muixil) is the Coordinator of Muixil, an Indigenous women's organization in Guatemala. Through Muixil, Ana works to demand and strengthen the political, economic and cultural rights of Ixil Mayan and other Indigenous women in Guatemala.

Available for interview in Spanish only/Disponsible para entrevista en espanol solamente

Yifat Susskind (MADRE) is the Executive Director of MADRE, an international women's human rights organization. She has worked with women's human rights activists from Latin America, the Middle East, Asia and Africa to create programs in their communities to address women's health, violence against women, economic and environmental justice and peace building.