Water in Guatemala has been polluted by urban industries, agro-industries, and extractive industries, as well as through hoarding by large-scale energy projects and deficient solid waste management systems.
The work of caring for and protecting water and denouncing water pollution, lack of access, and hoarding has become risky for people and a violation of their fundamental rights. Currently many people are criminalized and imprisoned for defending the human right to water.
For that reason, program partners Madreselva Collective, COPAE, Utz Che´, SERJUS, UDEFEGUA, and Jotay: ACTing Together launched a digital campaign to bring the situation to light. This was carried out from March 10 to 25 to coincide with World Water Day.
The digital campaign aimed to leverage, highlight, and inform about the right to water conceived as a right to life according to Indigenous peoples’ worldview, based on its interrelationships with community development and family-based Indigenous and campesino (small-scale farmworker) agriculture. It also sought to communicate about the struggle to protect, ensure access to, and comprehensively manage water and about the criminalization faced by people who defend water and natural resources; to inform about international standards around water and its links to other collective rights; and to reiterate the state of Guatemala’s obligations to guarantee these rights.