The European Parliament approved an urgent resolution on the situation of human rights defenders and the justice system in Guatemala on February 16, 2017. The resolution strongly condemns the continuously high levels of violence against HRDs in the country and requests a public policy for their protection.
2016 saw dramatic developments for activists on the ground, with 223 assaults, 14 killings and 7 attempted murders registered between January and November. In a renewed call, the European Parliament stresses the need for a protection policy developed through a wide participative process to address the structural causes that increase the vulnerability of HRDs in Guatemala. Justice officials investigating these crimes are unable to perform their duties due to harassment, discredit and intimidation, resulting in high levels of impunity for violence. Therefore, the European Parliament also supports a proposed justice reform which seeks to develop a professional democratic justice system based on effective judicial independence to tackle impunity and consolidate the rule of law.