Solidarity with Guatemala

Violation of trade union rights is rampant in Guatemala, where more than 80 trade union leaders have been murdered in in recent years.

The ILO supervisory bodies have been examining this situation for many years, but the progress achieved is limited. As a result, workers’ delegates lodged a complaint against the country during the International Labour Conference in 2012. The Department of Labor of the United States of America has reached similar conclusions under the review mechanism of labor clause of the Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Central America and the Dominican Republic (CAFTA-DR). Successive governments in Guatemala have pledged several times to address and remedy this situation, the last of these attempts being the adoption of the Roadmap in 2013.

PSI missions visited the country in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017, and created the PSI Coordination Group, which has been campaigning to strengthen the trade union movement and leading the efforts to achieve a significant improvement on matters related to freedom of association in the country.

Violence against trade union leadership continues in Guatemala

23 October 2013
Melvy Lizeth Camey Rojas, Secretary General of the Department of Santa Rosa in Guatemala has had her life threatened a second time (October 2013).

Latest update: On October 11, Juan Jose Ortiz, SNTSG member and Financial Secretary of the Health Centre of Barberena Santa Rosa, was kidnapped on his way to the city centre. For more than 24 hours he was held captive, threatened and tortured. On 12 October, he was bundled into a car for a short drive, his eyes were then uncovered and he was left in the centre of Barberena. Mr Ortiz does not remember much of what happened; he was apparently drugged and received cigarette burns on his eyelids and eyebrows. He fears for his life and that of his family.

PSI Report: Conclusions and recommendations - Guatemala

10 October 2013
PSI Delegation to Guatemala

This report presents the main conclusions of the PSI solidarity mission to Guatemala and proposes a way forward.

Workers in Guatemala must be protected when they speak out

04 September 2013
Rosa Pavanelli, PSI General Secretary

Equal Times editorial by Rosa Pavanelli, PSI General Secretary:

Public Services International (PSI) led an international trade union delegation to meet with Guatemalan government leaders on 13-14 August, 2013. "We went to Guatemala to convey the international support of public services workers for PSI affiliate members in this country, and to emphasize that the global trade union movement is focused on addressing the dire situation for workers in Guatemala."

A starting point for justice in Guatemala

20 August 2013

A high-level international delegation of trade union leaders has gained a commitment from Guatemala’s President that he will publicly speak out about the need to respect and protect the lives of union members and to recognize the crucial role of public service workers in forming a democratic society.

Photos: Solidarity mission to Guatemala

13 August 2013

Solidarity mission to Guatemala, 12-14 August 2013

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No more impunity – trade deals must assure justice for workers in Guatemala

08 August 2013

The global union federation Public Services International is leading an international delegation of trade union leaders to meet with Guatemala’s President and leading ministers on August 13-14, 2013. The delegation will press demands that the government take immediate steps to stop all violence directed at trade unions and their members and to ensure workers’ lives and legal rights are respected in Guatemala. The mission includes union leaders from Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, and the United States.

Week of action for Guatemala

22 May 2013
Demonstration in support of imprisoned Guatemalan trade unionists

In Guatemala, more than 50 trade unionists, most of them public sector workers, have been murdered in the last three years alone. In addition, numerous cases of torture, kidnappings, raids and death threats have created a culture of fear and violence.