Article by PBI-Canada
On February 25, PBI-Guatemala posted: “During our observation visit in Petén, we met with representatives of Otran trans Petén; El Frente Petenero; Cooperativa La Otra; Mujeres de Petén Ixqik; Asociación De Mujeres Ixmucáne – Petén; Dejando huella and the Delegación Permanente de la Sierra Lacandón y Laguna Del Tigre.”
PBI-Guatemala adds: “We were able to collect information on the human rights situation, especially on the effects caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the passage of tropical storms, and the great concern regarding the increase in cases of disappearance and violence against children and women in the department.”
In December 2020, Guatemala’s National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (Conred) reported that most of the people displaced by the Eta and Iota storms are located in the departments of Alta Verapaz, Peten, and Izabal.
Explica has reported that there three alerts for missing minors in Peten at this moment, that there have been 15 disappearances so far this year in Peten, and that the country is shocked by the death of 8-year-old Sharon Figueroa Arriaza earlier this month.
The British ambassador to Guatemala also visited Peten this month and is providing funds to provide personal protective equipment (PPE), COVID-19 medical kits, and support outreach to raise awareness about COVID-19 in rural communities.
PBI-UK has previously noted: “Although we do not accompany in this department, every six months PBI-Guatemala undertakes a visit as a way of following up on the human rights situation.”
It adds: “PBI-Guatemala holds meetings with different social actors, to advocate around various problematic issues: protected areas (evictions, agrarian conflicts illegal detentions, restricted freedom of movement); militarization; women’s rights; megaprojects (tourist and investment projects, hydroelectric dams, etc.); and palm oil.”
For our December 2019 article on PBI-Guatemala’s visit to the department, please see PBI-Guatemala visits environmentally-threatened department of Petén.