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Guatemala: UN expert on rights of indigenous peoples announces visit


GENEVA (27 April 2018) – The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, will carry out an official visit to Guatemala from 1 to 10 May to examine a number of issues including land tenure, mega-projects, evictions, racial discrimination, access to justice, and economic, social and cultural rights.

‘I will examine the consultations undertaken in Guatemala to seek the free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples before any project affecting their lands, territories or resources is approved,” said Ms Tauli-Corpuz.

“I will also pay attention to reports indicating that indigenous rights defenders and indigenous authorities are being threatened and criminalised, and will study the protection measures available for leaders and communities at risk,” the Special Rapporteur added.

During her 10-day mission, Ms Tauli-Corpuz will visit Guatemala City, San Marcos, Chiquimula, Alta Verapaz and Santa Rosa, and will hold meetings with officials as well as representatives of indigenous and civil society organisations working on behalf of indigenous peoples. The UN expert will also meet members of indigenous communities to hear directly from them about their priorities and concerns.

Progress made in implementing recommendations made by previous Special Rapporteurs following their visits to Guatemala in 2002 and 2010 will also be considered.

At the end of her mission, Ms Tauli-Corpuz will present her preliminary findings and recommendations at a news conference at 12:00 local time on 10 May at the Intercontinental Hotel, 14 Calle 2-51, Zona 10, Guatemala City. Access to the news conference will be strictly limited to journalists.

Ms Tauli-Corpuz will present a final report with the findings and recommendations from her visit to the Human Rights Council in Geneva in September 2018.


Ms Victoria Tauli-Corpuz (The Philippines), the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, is an indigenous leader from the Kankana-ey Igorot people of the Cordillera Region in the Philippines. As an indigenous leader, she has worked for over three decades on building movement among indigenous peoples and as an advocate for women's rights.  Ms. Tauli-Corpuz is the former Chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (2005-2010). She was actively engaged in drafting and adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007.

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights, Country Page – Guatemala

For additional information before and during the visit please contact: Christine Evans (+41 79 201 0119 / cevans@ohchr.org) and Miriam Chavajay (+502 5874 7154 / mchavajay@ohchr.org)

For media requests and queries relating to the news conference on 10 May, please contact, in Guatemala City Estela Morales, (+502) 5632-2261 / emorales@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Jeremy Laurence (+ 41 22 917 9383 /

This year is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN on 10 December 1948. The Universal Declaration – translated into a world record 500 languages – is rooted in the principle that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” It remains relevant to everyone, every day. In honour of the 70th anniversary of this extraordinarily influential document, and to prevent its vital principles from being eroded, we are urging people everywhere to Stand Up for Human Rights: www.standup4humanrights.org