The Human Rights Law Firm (BJDH) is an internationally renowned law firm whose lawyers have respresented victims in many emblematic cases of human rights violations in Guatemala.
The work of the BJDH’s lawyers has resulted in landmark decisions that have improved access to justice for many more victims of past and current human rights abuses. The price has been a life under constant threat.
Against a background of entrenched impunity and political violence, The BJDH has achieved some remarkable victories, including in 2009 the first successful case condemning forced disappearance, and in 2011 the conviction of four soldiers for their role in the notorious 1982 Dos Erres massacre, in which more than 250 villagers were murdered in cold blood by a specialist army unit. Their biggest achievement to date was achieving a sentence for genocide in the first ever genocide case to be heard in a Latin American courtroom, against former President Efraín Rios Montt and leading military commanders.
The BJDH work on legal proceedings relating to massacres committed during the internal armed conflict and other cases of past and current human rights violations. We have specifically accompanied lawyers during their work on criminal prosecutions relating to:
• The forced disappearance, torture and extrajudicial execution of Efraín Bámaca Velásquez
• The Dos Erres massacre
• The Río Negro massacre
• The Genocide Case;
• The Burning of the Spanish Embassy;
• The Panzos massacre;
• The Cotzal case;
• And many more.
In April 2012, Edgar Pérez Archila won the International Human Rights Lawyer Award (IHRLA) from the American Bar Association for his outstanding work on these emblematic human rights cases.
In December 2012 the lawyer Edgar Pérez Archila received the Medal of the General Governor of Canada for his work with the Canadian NGO Lawyers without Frontiers.
October 2014, the Human Rights Law Firm received the Alice Zachman Human Rights Defender Award for its unparalleled defense and promotion of human rights through its work accompanying victims and challenging injustice.
PBI has accompanied the BJDH since 2010.