The need for a significant intervention in Guatemala has never been greater. The Peace Accords were signed in 1996 following thirty-six years of terror, yet the holocaust continues; today, the weapons are poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy, marginalisation, judicial harassment, violence and fear. Indigenous youth are at high risk of gangs, drugs, alcohol, and above all the dangerous migration to the US where they often fall into destructive vices and prison before being deported back to Guatemala. Those who manage to stay hidden leave behind women and small children. This youth brain drain ensures that things continue to worsen for indigenous communities. More than twenty years after the Peace Accords were signed, the indigenous people still suffer discrimination, human rights abuses, extreme poverty and lack of access to education.
According to the WHO, Quiché has one of the highest rates of chronic malnutrition and illiteracy in Guatemala and the world. Still today the people, scarred by rape, slicing open of pregnant women, massacres and confiscation of their lands, are afraid to speak fearing more violence. The Central American nation became the first country in the Americas to try a former president for genocide and crimes against humanity in a domestic court in 2013, winning briefly before an appeal was made and retrial called for. However, the prosecution of war criminals and the accusations against International Financial Institutions (Jubilee International, 2013) have so far done little to protect vulnerable communities from the ongoing expansion of mining, oil and other economic interests invading their territories and violating their human rights.