History and Mission
NISGUA works for real democracy in Guatemala and the U.S. and strengthens the global movement for justice. NISGUA builds mutually beneficial grassroots ties between the people of the U.S. and Guatemala and advocates for grassroots alternatives to challenge elite power structures and oppressive U.S. economic and foreign policy.
To achieve our mission, NISGUA distills information, analysis, and perspectives from Guatemalan grassroots organizations and NGOs, and channels them to activists across the U.S., to sister advocacy organizations, and to Congressional offices and the press. We design and organize U.S. grassroots advocacy campaigns in response to the needs on the ground, and where it is strategic for NISGUA to play a role. Through annual Guatemalan speakers tours and on-the-ground support to delegations to Guatemala, we build U.S. understanding of the challenges facing the Guatemalan people, help build the “spokesperson” capacity of our Guatemalan partner organizations, and strengthen people-to-people ties across borders.
NISGUA participates in a global movement for human rights and fair and just economic systems. We support the oppressed peoples of Guatemala and hold the powerful in Guatemala and the U.S. accountable for their actions. By linking grassroots movements in Guatemala and the U.S., we promote positive social change in both countries as well as solidarity that is mutually respectful and beneficial.
While acknowledging the dynamics of power inherent in our relationship, we strive for new approaches to North/South and South/South exchange grounded in a joint approach to strategizing that engages people from diverse race and class backgrounds, values different types of authority and experience, and places the priority for action on the people and communities impacted by the issues. As a trusted conduit for information, access, and people-to-people interactions, NISGUA will exchange new tools with activists in Guatemala, connect North Americans to this work, and link shared struggles and pockets of hope across the globe.
For nearly three decades, NISGUA has been the primary organization linking people in the United States with the people and the struggles for justice in Guatemala. The Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA) was formed in 1981 to coordinate local activism on Guatemala in the United States in order to end U.S. government support for Guatemala’s brutal military regime and to further Guatemalan efforts to create a democratic society based on socio-economic justice and human rights. At the time, the 36-year civil war in Guatemala was at its most vicious. In 1981 alone, the U.S.-sponsored military government killed or disappeared 19,000 civilians. NISGUA emerged as one of the first organizations that dared voice strong and continuous criticism of the U.S. government’s implication in these crimes. The situation in Guatemala – and in the United States – has changed since 1981, but NISGUA is still one of the strongest and steadiest grassroots voices for responsible U.S. policy in the region.
Today, a deeply entrenched political culture of impunity and corruption prevails in Guatemala, leaving communities and organizations working for human rights facing a steep and dangerous uphill battle. More than a decade after the signing of the Peace Accords, the U.S. government continues to influence Guatemala through its continued support of the repressive Guatemalan government and through unjust economic and trade policies that pave the way for destructive mega-development projects. The construction and operation of these “development” projects deepens injustices against many of the same marginalized indigenous and campesino people who survived U.S.-funded massacres and years of war and terror in their communities.
In this context, NISGUA’s staff, partners, solidarity committees and affiliated activists around the U.S. actively organize to oppose the harmful policies led by the U.S. government and corporations and promote justice, accountability and respect for human rights and the environment in Guatemala.
NISGUA works with Guatemala and Latin America solidarity committees around the country, channels information about Guatemala to U.S. activists, and organizes ongoing grassroots advocacy and lobbying campaigns. Through our annual tours of Guatemalan speakers and on-the-ground support to U.S. delegations in Guatemala, NISGUA strengthens people-to-people ties across borders. As one of the only U.S.-based organizations to provide international accompaniment in Guatemala, NISGUA maintains 5-10 human rights monitors in country who accompany threatened human rights organizations, witnesses involved in precedent-setting human rights cases, and indigenous communities facing mega-projects. NISGUA coordinates its work with Guatemalan grassroots organizations, NGOs and communities, and often works in coalition with other organizations based in North America to magnify our voice.
| About Us
Involved | Themes
& Analysis | Activist
Tools | Resources
© 2006 Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala