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Weekly News Roundup: October 3rd-9th

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The tops news stories from around Guatemala in the past week here. Think we missed something or are missing a great news source? Let us know!

Unfortunately, the top story in Guatemala this week surrounds the killing of seven peaceful protestors by military forces while protesting President Molina’s proposed social and educational reforms. The protestors were primarily indigenous and Global Voices has an excellent overview of the events from the local perspective. Upside Down World also has a statement from the Guatemala Human Rights Commission condemning the killings. Following the outrage, the president confirmed that government forces did open fire on the unarmed protesters, after previously denying the allegations.

Journalist Carolina Vasquez Araya has received death threats after reporting on the rape and sexual violence faced by women and girls who work at a Guatemalan cotton plantation. Sexual violence is rampant in Guatemala and the threats Araya has received are representative of the threats to press freedom faced by many journalists in Guatemala.

Indigenous groups face many unique hardships, among them preserving the natural environment from violent drug gangs and maintaining control of their lands in the face of corporate agribusiness, in this case, the palm oil industry.

Fortunately, some small entrepreneurs are doing their part to protect the environment. As part of their sustainability series, Rainforest Alliance profiles two Guatemalan hotels that have found unique ways to preserve resources and cater to environmentally conscious travelers.

Finally, archaeologists have uncovered the tomb of an ancient Mayan queen in Guatemala. The discovery is not only remarkable because of the priceless artifacts found in the tomb but because the discovery of a prominent queen could redefine the political role of women in the Classical Maya time period.

 

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