CODECA - Committee on Farming Development
Location : Mazatenango
Creation : 1992
Local issues : Discrimination at work and corruption are major problems in the country and are a direct threat to human rights. The management of electricity distribution by private companies who charge for their services prices that humble families cannot afford is an example of that unfairness at play. The CODECA members have to face serious repression due to their involvement. Since the foundation of CODECA, many of its members have been assassinated by the militia, in all likelihood at the instigation of large landowners. In 2014, the president of the association and two other members of the Administrative Council were arrested on the sidelines of a protest organized by CODECA against the multinational company ENERGUATE in charge of the electricity network. The leaders of CODECA have been detained for several months.
Missions : The defence and promotion of the right to justice, to development and to democratic participation of farmers and indigenous families of the rural communities of Guatemala. CODECA is particularly committed to the defence of the right of rural workers of the ‘fincas’ (large rural properties that practice monoculture), more specifically women and children, to fight against their “invisible” work which has grave consequences such as no schooling, illiteracy, , lack of autonomy of women. CODECA had been strongly involved in the popular movement starting in April 2015 and ended in September 2015 after the arrest and detention of the Guatemalan president Otto Perez, following a corruption scandal.
Important : CODECA was created by 17 landless peasants from indigenous communities. The association has developed considerably since its creation: it is present in 20 of the 22 states of the country and counts with approximately 60 000 members.
Partnership with AEDH : since 2009
AEDH Support : since 2009, support to projects:
- ‘Inquiry and legal support to minimize work discrimination within the rural properties in the south coast of Guatemala’: fight against discrimination subjected to indigenous and peasant families in the south coast of the country.
- ‘Initiative to improve the working condition of peasant women’ : six training days for leader women working in the ‘fincas’ in the southwest of Guatemala whose objective was to reinforce the abilities of women to demand their rights to be respected.
- Support in 2015 to reinforce the abilities of community leaders women in the Indian communities in the south coast of Guatemala.