Guatemala

Mundubat´s presence in Guatemala

GuatemalaMundubat started supporting the indigenous and peasant communities of Guatemala when they took refuge in Mexico. In the 1980s, which are known in Guatemala as the time of Violence, thousands of people fled to the neighbouring country, leaving behind their families, homes, lands and customs.

At the beginning of the 1990s our organisation began to help the population that had taken refuge in the Mexican camps, with the aim of organising their return to Guatemala, which started in 1994. On that year Mundubat also started working in the country, helping the uprooted population to reintegrate into society.

GuatemalaDuring that process we have always supported the social demands of the population we work with. After the Peace Agreements signed in 1996, we focused our attention in the development and achievement of the contents of those agreements.

These communities have the following social demands: to eliminate the structural causes that kept an armed conflict in Guatemala for over 30 years; to reduce the high levels of social inequality and margination; to carry out a better distribution of the resources and to reduce socioeconomic vulnerability; to achieve the recognition of the multilingual and multicultural nature of the country and its people; to put an end to the systematic violation of Human Rights.

Context of activity

GuatemalaFree trade neoliberal proposals such as ALCA are weakening the local and regional markets. Peasants abandon their traditional cultures, and end up in a situation of complete dependence. Food insecurity is increasing in areas which are already extremely poor.

As a result of the unfair distribution of the land -1 % of producers own 75 % of the best lands-, criteria such as export monocultures are established; landowners grow genetically modified crops and exploit day labourers, which generates permanent conflicts.

The Government has not fulfilled the 1996 peace agreements. Consequently the population does not trust the institutions of the State, as it is making less and less efforts to guarantee health, education and production.

The indigenous population is excluded from society. The dignity and cultural identity of indigenous people is not respected, and their economic, social and cultural rights are constantly violated.

Drug trafficking: High levels of corruption, as some members of the government are involved in the business of drug trafficking. This generates an atmosphere of violence and the resources leave the country.

Mundubat´s lines of work

GuatemalaMunicipalism and Local Power. We work directly with the municipality of Sololá, favouring processes of local economic development, literacy and social services improvement. Furthermore, from the local civil society, we promote the design and implementation of public policies with the municipality of the Ixcán. Shortly, we will start work with the Commonwealth of Municipalities of the North Frontier, to develop an integral model for the sustainable joint management of forest and water resources in that commonwealth. We have also taken active part in the development of Urban and Rural Development Council laws, the Decentralization Law and the Municipal Code. All this is aimed at the development and improvement of municipalities, local power and citizen participation.

Popular Economies. We try to strengthen the development  of popular economies, not only from the point of view of production diversification or commercialisation, but also the strengthening of producers’ organisations and communities with a vision which makes it possible to favour food sovereignty. The main emphasis in this axis is the strengthening of women’s economic entrepreneurships and productive activities to favour their empowerment and the improvement of their living conditions.

Gender. In recent years, work with women has been given a strong impulse, through the strengthening of their organisations, their structuring and empowerment in order to improve their capacity to influence in the local power spaces. At the same time, work is being done on promoting women’s municipal policies and municipal budgets with equity. Finally, work is also being done on the dissemination and implementation of the Act against Femicide and other forms of violence against women.

Counterparts

Guatemala– Asociación para la Promoción y el Desarrollo CEIBA. www.ceibaguate.org

– Fondo para el Desarrollo Solidario. www.fondesol.org

– Fundación Guillermo Toriello. www.fgtoriello.org.gt/

– Municipalidad de Sololá. http://www.inforpressca.com/solola/

– Pastoral Social de Ixcán

– Sector de Mujeres. www.sectordemujeres.org

– Servicios Jurídicos y Sociales. SERJUS.

Links