Guatemala is in the midst of a constitutional crisis, which has escalated since the government declared that it would not renew the mandate of the UN-backed International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) in September 2019. Citizens are engaging in peaceful protest, calling for President Jimmy Morales to step down. You can read more about the situation here.

In light of the current situation, we ask that the Government of Canada:

  • Express unequivocal support for CICIG’s work by urging the Guatemalan government to comply with the Constitutional Court’s September 16th order to allow CICIG Commissioner Velasquez to enter the country to resume his duties
  • Call on Guatemalan authorities to guarantee the safety of human rights defenders and civil society organizations engaging in peaceful protest

We encourage our members to express their concern regarding the current situation in Guatemala to the Minister of International Affairs Chrystia Freeland through letters, emails or social media, highlighting BTS’ key asks: 

1) Emails or letters – Below is a template that you can use as inspiration and adapt for your emails or letters to Minister Freeland. If you went on a delegation, were an intern or accompanier, are part of a local committee, or have another experience that you feel would be relevant to include, please add that.

If you’re sending an email to Minister Freeland, please include your Member of Parliament by cc-ing them. You can search for your MP here:

2) Social media (especially Twitter) – We encourage you to share your concerns and our key asks with Minister Freeland by Twitter. Her twitter handle is @cafreeland. Include your MP if they’re on Twitter as well and, if you can, mention where you’re writing from. If you tag us @BTS_MG, we’ll retweet you.

Here’s a sample tweet, sent by BTS member Janelle Frail: 

@cafreeland, please show support for CICIG’s work in Guatemala. Urge the Guatemalan government to comply w/ the Court to allow Commission Velasquez to enter the country to resume his duties. Canada must call on Guatemalan authorities to guarantee the safety of HR defenders to protest