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Meet Thelma Cabrera, the Indigenous Leader Barred from Running in Guatemala’s Presidential Election

Written by on 03/03/2023

Guatemala’s presidential election this year is taking place against a backdrop of worsening repression against journalists, human rights activists and Indigenous environmental defenders. The Guatemalan Constitutional Court on Thursday upheld a decision by the country’s electoral tribunal to bar Indigenous human rights defender Thelma Cabrera from running. Cabrera and her running mate, former human rights ombudsman Jordán Rodas, are members of the leftist political party the Movement for the Liberation of the Peoples. They visited the United States in February to meet with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights following their ban and spoke with Democracy Now! about the election, their platform and how political elites in the country have consolidated power. “Guatemala is a corrupt state that’s been coopted by criminals. This is now reflected in violating our right to participate in this presidential election,” said Cabrera.

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