Dear BTS Members and Friends,

The Government of Guatemala has exploited the COVID-19 pandemic to further the financial and political interests of the private sector and ruling elite at the expense of the majority of Guatemalans. Existing emergency measures exclude the 70% of Guatemalans who work in the informal sector and those without valid identification, bank accounts or access to bank machines. Industries are also attempting to push forward mega-projects in this time of crisis, aided by Guatemalan authorities.

Photo: BTS Cooperant engaged in human rights observation with communities in peaceful resistance to the Escobal mine

Please join us in writing letters to the Government of Guatemala and the Canadian Embassy to Guatemala by Friday, May 8th calling on officials to defend the rights of the most vulnerable in their response to COVID. Demand that the Guatemalan Government to stop the criminalization and dispossession of communities and urge authorities to:  

1. Defend the interests of small-scale farmers;

2. Ensure the working class have access to basic necessities such as food, shelter and safety;

3. Uphold the rights of Indigenous communities to land and to free, prior and informed consent in regard to their territories;

4. Cease the criminalization of human rights and land defenders and guarantee their legal protection.

Feel free to use these email templates verbatim or modify it as desired. We encourage you to add a personal note! The template letter includes the email addresses. Please BCC Breaking the Silence (btscooperant@gmail.com) in the email so we can keep count of the emails sent.

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