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Startseite Urgent Actions 2018 09 Legislators could pass a discriminatory law
UA 163/18
Guatemala
Abgeschlossen am 1. Mai 2019
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08.05.19: Latest News

The Guatemalan Congress did not discussed Bill 5272 because of the lack of quorum on Wednesday 1 May. However, it could happen again anytime during the following weeks.

As explained in the below mentioned UA (from last September) Bill 5272 hardens penalties in cases of abortion and criminalizes women even in cases of natural death of the foetus, putting at greater risks the lives of girls and women. Bill 5272 also discriminates against LGBTI people. If the bill passes this third and last reading it could then be voted and approved. We therefore invite you to send emails or tweets:

Please write emails* (post mail is not available) in Spanish or your own language to the Guatemalan Congress:

Dear member of Congress:

The Guatemalan Congress is about to discuss Bill 5272, that would harden penalties in cases of abortion and criminalise women even in cases of natural death of the foetus, putting at risk the health and lives of women and girls by denying them lifesaving healthcare. It would also extend the criminalisation of abortion to situations of miscarriage, stillbirth and obstetric complications, and impose prison sentences on anyone who “promotes or facilitates access to abortion”, moving Guatemala backwards in terms of abortion rights.
I urge the Guatemalan Congress to vote against Bill 5272 that puts at risks the rights of women, girls and LGBTI people. Instead, I urge the Guatemalan Congress to work on a bill that would guarantee their rights.

*Here are the email address of directors of the main political forces in Congress:

oblanco@congreso.gob.gt ;
aarzu@congreso.gob.gt ;
rcastaneda@congreso.gob.gt ;
apop@congreso.gob.gt ;
mconde@congreso.gob.gt ;
gvelasquez@congreso.gob.gt ;
rromero@congreso.gob.gt ;
jahernandez@congreso.gob.gt ;
ochinchilla@congreso.gob.gt ;
ealvarez@congreso.gob.gt ;
jadell@congreso.gob.gt ;
jdiaz-duran@congreso.gob.gt ;
shernandez@congreso.gob.gt ;
oarevalo@congreso.gob.gt ;
nmontenegro@congreso.gob.gt ;
wfelix@congreso.gob.gt

 

Or send messages on TWITTER** :

El @CongresoGuate debe proteger los derechos de las niñas, mujeres y personas LGBTI y votar #NoALa5272
The @CongresoGuate must protect the rights of girls, women and LGBTI people and say #NoALa5272

**You can tag the main political forces in Congress and/or their directors
@AlvaroArzuE
@BloqueUNE_OL
@MaizUrng
@BancadaTODOS
@BancadaUcn
@BancadaWinaq
@FUERZAGUATEMALA
@chinchilla_g
@EncuentroGuate
@anibalrojasgt


 

29.04.19 Latest news

After several months of stalled conversations, the Guatemalan Congress will discuss next Wednesday 1st of May 2019 the Bill 5272 that threatens the rights of girls, women and LGBTI people. It seems there is a strong support to the law among members of Congress. If the bill passes this third and last reading it could then be voted and approved.
See original UA below:
Please write e-mails immediately in Spanish or your own language to the Guatemalan Congress.
Here are the email address of the directors of the main political parties:

oblanco@congreso.gob.gt
aarzu@congreso.gob.gt
rcastaneda@congreso.gob.gt
apop@congreso.gob.gt
mconde@congreso.gob.gt
gvelasquez@congreso.gob.gt
rromero@congreso.gob.gt
jahernandez@congreso.gob.gt
ochinchilla@congreso.gob.gt
ealvarez@congreso.gob.gt
jadell@congreso.gob.gt
jdiaz-duran@congreso.gob.gt
shernandez@congreso.gob.gt
oarevalo@congreso.gob.gt
nmontenegro@congreso.gob.gt
wfelix@congreso.gob.gt

Please also send messages on TWITTER

Example 1: @CongresoGuate debe proteger los derechos de las niñas, mujeres y personas LGBTI y votar #NoALa5272

Example 2: @CongresoGuate must protect the rights of girls, women and LGBTI people and say #NoALa5272

Please tag the main political forces in Congress and/or their directors:

@AlvaroArzuE
@BloqueUNE_OL
@MaizUrng
@BancadaTODOS
@BancadaUcn
@BancadaWinaq
@FUERZAGUATEMALA
@chinchilla_g
@EncuentroGuate
@anibalrojasgt

Many thanks!

 

19.02.19: (News) Extended deadline

We were informed today that Congress rescheduled the discussion on bill 5257 for tomorrow Wednesday 20th February.
Last Wednesday 13th February, at the very last-minute, Members of Congress changed the agenda, removing from the agenda the discussion on bill 5257. We believe that the strong pressure from the international community, the media and social media contributed to this. However, we still need to continue to put pressure on Congress as the discussion was rescheduled for tomorrow Wednesday 20th February.
Bill 5257 threatens the rights to freedom of expression and association in Guatemala. It would grant broad powers to the government to permanently suspend the activities of an NGO and would lead to the imposition of criminal sanctions against the human rights defenders that work in them. More details are available in the following press release:
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/02/guatemala-legislative-initiatives-seriously-threaten-human-rights/
Please continue to take action. You can send messages on social media to members of Congress:
ENGLISH
#Guatemala Bill 5257 represent serious setbacks in the struggle for human rights, @AlvaroArzuE @CongresoGT must ensure human rights defenders can continue their activities. #NoALa5257
#Guatemala @AlvaroArzuE @CongresoGT must ensure that human rights defenders can continue their activities. #NoALa5257

SPANISH
#Guatemala La ley 5257 representaría serios retrocesos en los derechos humanos. @AlvaroArzuE @CongresoGT deben asegurar que los defensores de derechos humanos puedan continuar sus actividades. #NoALa5257
#Guatemala @AlvaroArzuE @CongresoGT debe garantizar que los defensores de los derechos humanos puedan continuar sus actividades. #NoALa5257

Thank you very much for your support!

 

22.10.18: Deadline extended

While a debate for the 5272 bill in Guatemala continues to be postponed, local human rights defenders' assessment remains that the legislators have noticed the international pressure. Therefore, our recommendation remains to target legislators with the appeals in the UA and we have extended the deadline till 3 December 2018.

Legislators could pass a discriminatory law

AI-Index: AMR 34/9028/2018

Guatemala’s Congress is at the verge of passing a law to ban abortion, same-sex marriage and inclusive sex education. The bill 5272 «to protect family and life» directly threatens the rights of girls, women, and LGBTI people, their lives and their families.

Congressman Aníbal Rojas Espino presented the bill 5272 to the Guatemala Congress on 26 April 2017, including 30,000 signatures of support gathered by the National Evangelical Coordinator. The bill received a favourable opinion from the Commission of Legislation and Constitutional Points and was then debated on 22 and 28 August 2018. It now needs a third reading in a plenary session where it could be voted and approved, which could take place in the next few days.

Local organisations and human rights defenders in Guatemala reported that the Congress was set to debate the bill on 4 September. Amnesty International issued a worldwide urgent action on 31 August to urge legislators to vote against the bill 5272 and instead work on a bill that would move forward the protection of human rights. The bill was not included in the agenda for debate on 4 September, and local human rights defenders assess that the legislators noticed the international pressure. It is not clear when the bill could be debated again, therefore the threat remains.

The bill intends to modify the Penal Code to harden penalties in cases of abortion and criminalise women even in cases of natural death of the foetus. These provisions put at risk the health and lives of women and girls by denying them lifesaving healthcare. It would extend the criminalisation of abortion to situations of miscarriage, stillbirth and obstetric complications, and impose prison sentences on anyone who «promotes or facilitates access to abortion», moving Guatemala backwards in terms of abortion rights.

The bill also reinforces the historical discrimination against women, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people, by expressly prohibiting same-sex marriage. It intends also to prohibit schools from promoting «politics or programs related to sexual diversity and gender ideology, or to teach as normal sexual conducts that are different from heterosexuality.»

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Committee on Civil and Political Rights have recognized the causal link between maternal mortality and laws that restrict or criminalize abortion. The WHO has stated that restriction of access to legal abortion does not decrease the need for abortion, and likely increases the number of women who seek illegal and unsafe abortions. This leads to higher morbidity and mortality rates and creates social inequities.

According to international treaties that Guatemala has signed, the Guatemalan government is obligated to guarantee people’s rights without discrimination, including discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

In its recent observations about the Guatemalan government, the UN Human Rights Committee highlighted its concern about discrimination and violence motivated by victims’ sexual orientation or gender identity, the criminalization of abortion and miscarriage and a lack of adequate reproductive health services. It demands that the Guatemalan government «ensure unimpeded access to sexual and reproductive health services, emergency contraceptives and comprehensive sex education for men, women, boys and girls throughout the country».

For its part, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child expressly recommended that the Guatemalan government «ensure that sexual and reproductive health education is part of the mandatory school curriculum, and that it is developed with the involvement of adolescent girls and boys, with special attention paid to preventing early pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.»

The bill 5272 was presented before Congress on 27 April 2017 and was read for the second time on 28 August 2018. It now needs a third reading in a plenary session, which could take place in the next few days, and if it is approved there it will proceed to final article-by-article approval. Further information: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/09/guatemala-ley-discriminatoria-pone-en-riesgo-la-vida-y-los-derechos-de-miles-de-mujeres-ninas-y-personas-lgbti/

Name: Girls, women, LGBTI people

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