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Migration Narratives in Northern Central America: How Competing Stories Shape Policy and Public Opinion in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador

June 7, 2023

The stories told within a society about migration and migrants paint a rich picture of how its members view the opportunities and challenges associated with the movement of people, and through what lenses. These migration narratives both inform policymaking and shape the public's reaction to government policy, affecting the policies' chances of achieving their goals.While El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras are primarily known for emigration to the United States and Mexico, these northern Central American countries have seen notable changes in migration trends in recent years. The number of migrants from South America and the Caribbean who transit through these countries on their way north has increased, as has the number of Central Americans returning to their countries of origin.

The World's Most Neglected Displacement Crises 2022

June 1, 2023

Each year, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) publishes a report of the ten most neglected displacement crises in the world. The purpose is to focus on the plight of people whose suffering rarely makes international headlines, who receive little or no assistance, and who never become the centre of attention for international diplomacy efforts. This is the list for 2022.

“This Is Why We Became Activists”: Violence Against Lesbian, Bisexual, and Queer Women and Non-Binary People

February 14, 2023

According to interviews Human Rights Watch conducted with 66 lesbian, bisexual, and queer (LBQ+) activists, researchers, lawyers, and movement leaders in 26 countries between March and September 2022, forced marriage is one of ten key areas of human rights abuses most affecting LBQ+ women's lives. Human Rights Watch identified the following areas of LBQ+ rights as those in need of immediate investigation, advocacy, and policy reform. This report explores how the denial of LBQ+ people's rights in these ten areas impacts their lives and harms their ability to exercise and enjoy the advancement of more traditionally recognized LGBT rights and women's rights:the right to free and full consent to marriage;land, housing, and property rights;freedom from violence based on gender expression;freedom from violence and discrimination at work;freedom of movement and the right to appear in public without fear of violence;parental rights and the right to create a family;the right to asylum;the right to health, including services for sexual, reproductive, and mental health;protection and recognition as human rights defenders; andaccess to justice.This investigation sought to analyze how and in what circumstances the rights of LBQ+ people are violated, centering LBQ+ identity as the primary modality for inclusion in the report. Gender-nonconforming, non-binary, and transgender people who identify as LBQ+ were naturally included. At the same time, a key finding of the report is that the fixed categories "cisgender" and "transgender" are ill-suited for documenting LBQ+ rights violations, movements, and struggles for justice. As will be seen in this report, people assigned female at birth bear the weight of highly gendered expectations which include marrying and having children with cisgender men, and are punished in a wide range of ways for failing or refusing to meet these expectations. Many LBQ+ people intentionally decenter cisgender men from their personal, romantic, sexual, and economic lives. In this way, the identity LBQ+ itself is a transgression of gendered norms. Whether or not an LBQ+ person identifies as transgender as it is popularly conceptualized, the rigidly binary (and often violently enforced) gender boundaries outside of which LBQ+ people already live, regardless of their gender identity, may help to explain why the allegedly clear division between "cisgender" and "transgender" categories simply does not work for many LBQ+ communities. This report aims to explore and uplift, rather than deny, that reality.

Selling industrial "gallina criolla" products in Guatemala: Implications for consumers, producers, heritage, and biodiversity

December 27, 2022

The term gallina criolla used in this report refers to chickens that are the heritage of the peasant and indigenous peoples of Guatemala. The report differentiates gallina criolla from industrial chicken to make clear the distinction between the two extremes of chicken production in Guatemala and to highlight the problematic use of certain words and images in food marketing in the country.Many Guatemalans have transitioned from occasionally eating gallina criolla (produced with agroecological practices) to regularly consuming broiler chickens from industrial farms. This change has not been random. It has been promoted by politicians as well as poultry businesses.But the chicken industry's main competitor in Guatemala has always been and continues to be gallina criolla. Many Guatemalans, especially indigenous and peasant people, continue to consume gallina criolla. As a result, global food companies have begun offering their own industrial product lines of "gallina criolla" fresh chicken, consommes, and instant soups.This report details these new corporate marketing tactics of competing with gallina criolla. It explains and illustrates how recent company efforts to sell industrial "gallina criolla" products using words and images associated with the production systems of indigenous and peasant peoples are misleading because these products contain only industrial chicken. By claiming to be "gallina criolla," the commercial products may misleadingly convince consumers to eat unalike industrial substitutes. The case of industrial "gallina criolla" products in Guatemala is one example of how global food businesses expand into local markets around the world.The report ends by detailing how people in other countries have resisted similar corporate appropriation of existing agrarian and cultural symbols to sell unalike industrial products. Possible actions that could be taken in Guatemala include the brands voluntarily revising their marketing practices, consumers boycotting the products, or legal defenders challenging the companies in courts using the country's misleading advertising laws. 

Write for Rights 2021 Campaign Report

April 12, 2022

In 2021 Write for Rights (W4R) was 20 years old. Beginning as grassroots activism in Poland, the campaign now sees over 70 Amnesty entities taking part and people in 120 countries around the world taking action either in person or online.Covid-19 continued to impact campaigning for Write for Rights, with many countries still imposing strict rules around group gatherings. There was however light at the end of the tunnel for some national entities, who did manage to hold in person events. For those who couldn't, the innovations and 'outside the box' thinking continued, with creativity and technology helping make restrictions less restrictive!As we rapidly head into planning for Write for Rights 2022, now is the time to reflect on what we all did together and the amazing ways we worked for positive human rights change in the lives of 10 individuals and communities at risk. 

Fomento a la legalidad y competitividad en las MIPYMES forestales 1

July 19, 2021

Explicar las tablas de legalidad para el aprovechamiento de los recursos forestales en Honduras.

Changing chicken in Guatemala: Relevance of poultry to income generation, food security, health, and nutrition

April 20, 2020

KEYWORDS: Chickens and eggs. Industrial production. Consumption. Guatemala. HIGHLIGHTS: *This report or Guidance Memo explains the major role played by: (1) a few powerful home-grown businesses and brands, (2) cross-border and international trade and policies, in flooding Guatemala with industrially-produced chickens in the last half century. *It brings to the fore public health, food justice, and other significant issues that should be emphasized in campaigns to defeat "industrial chicken" there. *The Guidance Memo also exposes assertions and myths that help to hold in place chickens' current popularity with consumers (e.g. the claim that producing chickens industrially is important to the country's economy, but the fact is that economic benefits accrue mainly to the country's most powerful families like the Gutiérrez-Bosches who own Pollo Campero and Pollo Rey). *Provides practical strategies and actions that one can take to turn things round (e.g. challenge industry claims through magazine articles and social media, valorize indigenous culinary knowledge and promote consumption of nutrient-rich native legumes, form alliance across permaculture and other food movements).

Belize National Lionfish Management Strategy 2019-2023

March 1, 2019

Across the Caribbean, the invasion of red lionfish (Pterois volitans) poses a pervasive threat to marine ecosystems and coastal fishing communities. First recorded in Belize in 2008, lionfish have become well established across the country's entire marine environment. Uncontrolled, invasive lionfish populations disrupt marine food webs, negatively impacting coral reef health and fisheries productivity, thereby undermining the resilience of coral reefs and reef-associated systems to global change.This document describes how to design and implement an integrated approach to lionfish management – incorporating environmental, social and economic wellbeing goals – and provides specific recommendations for the adaptive management of lionfish in Belize.

U.S. Foundation Funding for Latin America, 2014–2015: With Additional Analysis on Central America

October 22, 2018

This report examines grantmaking in 2014 and 2015 for Latin America by large U.S.foundations, with a closer look at philanthropy for Central America.

Connecting the Dots: Emerging Migration Trends and Policy Questions in North and Central America

March 7, 2018

North America and the Central American countries of the Northern Triangle—El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras—represent one of the world's most dynamic migration corridors, with millions traveling from, through, or to these countries in recent decades. The United States has the world's largest immigrant population; Canada has one of the highest immigration rates per capita; and Mexico and Central America have significant shares of their nationals abroad, primarily in the United States. However, policies and public perceptions around immigration, especially in the United States, are not keeping up with emerging shifts in the region's migration.

Mesoamerican Reef Report Card 2018: An Evaluation of Ecosystem Health

March 1, 2018

Over the past 10 years, we have conducted rigorous science in support of management. Our reliable measures of reef condition allow us to identify the most urgent threats and responses. HRI training workshops continue to strengthen scientific capacity. Our partners are scaling-up and improving management in 47 MPAs spanning almost 60,000 km2. Through our Regional Coral BleachWatch Network, we have quickly mobilized and supported teams of partners across the region to monitor coral bleaching. HRI convenes annual partner meetings, enabling us to achieve a common voice and collectively accelerate conservation action. Together, we have shaped policy, such as protecting herbivorous fish in 3 of 4 countries. It has been 20 years since the four country leaders signed the historic Tulum Declaration, committing to protect the MAR's shared resources. Our science-based knowledge and collective management efforts need to be accelerated—particularly to reduce pollution and increase replenishment zones. Our 2018 Coral Reef Report Card includes a 10-year perspective on reef health and conservation aimed to ensure our reefs will endure and thrive into the future.

Leaders, Contexts, and Complexities: IFP Impacts in Latin America

November 16, 2017

The third report from our 10-year tracking study of the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program (IFP), Leaders, Contexts, and Complexities provides an in-depth look at the lives and careers of IFP alumni in three Latin American countries: Brazil, Guatemala, and Mexico. Drawing on interviews and focus groups with 268 alumni, former IFP staff, community members, and other stakeholders, the fieldwork paints a complex picture that highlights the opportunities of the IFP experience against the challenges posed by local social and political realities.Myriad examples emerged from the fieldwork of ways the IFP fellowship has helped boost the individual lives and social justice careers of many members of Brazil, Guatemala, and Mexico's most disadvantaged communities. IFP alumni in these countries are serving in leadership roles, most often in academia, government, and civil society organizations. They are directing research centers, serving as vice ministers of education, and leading organizations that work on a wide range of social justice issues such as cultural preservation, indigenous and human rights, and youth development. At the same time, home country contextual challenges have limited the extent to which some alumni have been able to advance their careers, their organizations, and social progress more generally. Several alumni have faced significant challenges because of continued discrimination and difficult labor market conditions in their home countries. In contrast, some alumni in Brazil have been able to leverage the introduction of affirmative action programs and other policies aimed at addressing inequities to advance their social justice aims. Taken together, these findings show that local environments matter.