Association

Despite being recognised in the constitution, there are a number of restrictions on freedom of association in Guatemala, most of which are linked to crime and violence. A wide variety of CSOs operate in Guatemala, but some confront significant obstacles. Although access to funding is not limited by law, a propaganda campaign against international cooperation has reduced foreign funding in recent years. Human rights defenders are severely criminalised: the Unit for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders of Guatemala documented 174 murders of defenders between 2000 and August 2014. In the first half of 2016 alone, the organisation documented 86 attacks and threats against activists. The targets of these attacks and threats are predominantly land rights and environmental defenders, as well as indigenous rights defenders and trade union leaders. According to the International Trade Union Confederation, Guatemala is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for trade unionists. Workers are frequently prevented from organising, and unionised workers are regularly subject to intimidation and violence.