• Urgent Action

Urgent Action Update: New Law Threatens NGOs’ Work (Guatemala: UA 28.19)

February 14, 2020

On 11 February the Guatemalan Congress enacted Decree 4-2020 (formerly known as Bill 5257). This initiative imposes undue restrictions, controls and sanctions on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). This poses serious risks for the rights to freedom of expression and association in the country and threatens the work of human rights defenders and NGOs. We call on the President to immediately veto this law.

  1. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  2. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 28.19 It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.
Sr. Alejandro Giammattei President of Guatemala Email: [email protected] Twitter: @DrGiammattei
Ambassador Manuel Espina Embassy of Guatemala 2220 R St. NW, Washington DC 20008 Phone: 202 745 4953 I Fax: 202 745 1908 Email: [email protected] Twitter: @EmbaGuateUSA Contact Form: https://bit.ly/2CqkgUO Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Dear Mr. President, I am writing to express my serious concern about the decree 4-2020, recently passed by the Guatemalan Congress. Several provisions in this decree threaten the rights to freedom of expression and association in Guatemala and the right to defend human rights. For example, it grants broad powers to authorities to shut down civil society organizations whose activities are considered to “disrupt public order”. The use of such an ambiguous term would unnecessarily lead to further harass people and organizations that are already facing constant attacks and unfounded criminal charges by individuals and authorities who disapprove of their important work standing up for human rights in Guatemala. To protect the rights to freedom of expression and association and to ensure that human rights defenders can continue their fundamental work in Guatemala, I urge you to immediately veto Decree 4-2020. Yours sincerely, ADDITIONAL RESOURCES