Acts of violence against those who speak up against injustice and seek reparations are prevalent in Guatemala. UDEFEGUA monitors, investigates, and reports attacks against human rights defenders and provides necessary emergency services.
Kenoli supports UDEFEGUA’s emergency program. Approximately 300 women and men have experienced severe problems such as post-traumatic stress, anxiety, fear, depression, and/or suicidal ideation as a result of being criminalized and/or persecuted for defending their rights and the rights of the most vulnerable people. UDEFEGUA’s professional staff provided them with legal aid, psychological support, medical aid, food, and school costs. As a result of the support that they received, none abandoned their struggle. These defenders went back to their communities to demand that their rights be upheld.
It is important and difficult work! For this, UDEFEGUA has been recognized by a number of national and international awards. In 2013, UDEFEGUA received the Alice Zachmann prize for their struggle to protect human rights defenders. In 2016, UDEFEGUA received the national Mirna Mack Chang Prize.