Guatemala is in Central America. It limits to the north and west with Mexico, to the east with Belize, Honduras and El Salvador and to the south with the Pacific Ocean, with a territorial area of ​​108,998 km squares and an estimated population of 18 million of inhabitants, by 2019. With 50.7% female population and 49.3% male population. Approximately 45% of the population is of Mayan origin, 50% of the mestizo population and the rest belonging to other ethnic groups.

Approximately 9.5 million people in Guatemala are 15 years old or older. Of these 6.2 million are the economically active population. Proportionally, at the national level, 65 of every 100 people of working age are working or looking for a job, and occupancy levels increase in people over 25 years. The largest amount of labor force is in agricultural activity with 32%, trade and services activities 29% and industry only 14%.

The IACHR reports (2017) that LGBTI people face great obstacles to justice access. 85% of LGBTI people who were victims of violence or discrimination made a denounce, and only 26% would have received a response from the authorities. There is not a lot of information about LGBTI violence. Of 355 complaints submitted to the Public Ministry between 2016 and 2017, no grounds were established and 46 were dismissed. Although it has been achieved in the complaint instruments with the National Police and the Public Ministry, to establish variables related to LGBTI people, the reported data is scarce.

The Gender Unit of the Presidential Commission for the Coordination of the Executive Policy on Human Rights (COPREDEH) has been in charge since 2017 of monitoring, accompaniment and supporting to develop the National Public Policy to Guarantee the Human Rights of LGBTI people.

The State has indicated that there is no expressed recognition in Guatemala of the rights of the LGBTI community. However, the complaint form has been modified in the Public Ministry for the inclusion of the “LGBTI” field. (See report of the IACHR).

In August 2017, the 5.278 initiative law was presented to punish crimes for prejudice. The initiative received an unfavorable opinion for being considered “legal redundancy”.

In August 2018, the baseline study of the status of Human Rights Situation in favor of LGBTI People in Guatemala was presented.

On March 25, 2019, José Roberto Díaz was murdered in Huehuetenango. His body was found lifeless, beaten and with insults on the skin aimed at his sexual orientation. (See UNAIDS statement).

The hate sector is mobilized: The Association Family Matters (AFI), promotes hate speech against LGBTI people and manipulates politicians in order to promote laws against our communities and to avoid the free recognition of our rights.

LGBTI organizations are working for the recognition of the Gender Identity Law, which is submitted to the Congress of the Republic. Similarly, the LGTBI Policy has been worked with the Presidential Commission on Human Rights. However, this started in 2012 and in 2019 it is not yet in draft. Although, there is a Law against discrimination, it does not expressly include LGBTI people.

During the month of April 2017, the Congress of the Republic made public the initiative of Law 52-72 "Law for the Protection of Life and Family", which prohibits same-sex marriage, increases legal penalties to all women who interrupts pregnancy voluntarily, and promotes homophobia, allowing Guatemalans not to recognize as normal any other behavior than heterosexual, and express themselves against it.

In November of the same year, Guatemala was submitted to the Universal Periodic Review where it received 200 recommendations, accepting only 150. Among the 50 discarded was the promotion of public policies for the protection of groups of sexual and gender diversity. The State arguing that it already contemplates in the criminal code any attempt against the life and integrity of individuals, and considered the creation of public policies for these communities would be legal redundancy, despite the fact that in the General Assembly of the United Nations, carried out in Antigua Guatemala in 2012, the country committed to the creation of an LGBTI public policy.

Guatemala has an epidemic focused on gay and bisexual men, with a prevalence of 10.5%. The highest prevalence is in trans people with a prevalence of 24%. However, the positivity in gays is 6% and 1% in trans. The prevalence in the general population is around 0.8%. The country has access to HIV treatments universally, in 18 clinics in the country where it is offered free of charge. However, due to distance and poverty, many people have difficulty to going to their appointments.

According to UNAIDS, until 2016, in Guatemala there were 46,000 people living with HIV, there were 2900 new cases and 1600 deaths related to the virus. The Department of Epidemiology of the Ministry of Health and Social Assistance reports that in 2018, 1133 cases of HIV and advanced HIV were reported, of which 876 are male, so it is estimated that there are 3.1 men for every woman living with the virus. During the first quarter of 2019, 193 male cases were reported, and the risk is concentrated between the ages of 20 to 29 years old, while advanced HIV cases find their highest point between the ages of 50 to 54 years old.

Until today there is the 27-2000 decree “General Law for the Fight against Human Immunodeficiency Virus -HIV- and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome -AIDS- and the Promotion, Protection and Defense of Human Rights before the HIV / AIDS” which entered into force in July 2000. The legislation contemplates various legal aspects, that refer to the epidemic, however, the population does not know the provisions of said decree and the human rights of people living with HIV are inevitably violated.

Guatemala has implemented universal antiretroviral therapy (ART) providing free access to anyone diagnosed with HIV. In recent years, there have been improvements in the integral care system in the urban areas of the country, especially in Guatemala City, where the epidemic is concentrated, while for the inhabitants of the rural area, access to ART continues meaning a challenge.

In aspects of prevention and although the law contemplates the obligation of the State to provide the population with scientifically proven prevention methods, high-risk populations do not have access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP). On the other hand, Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) is covered by the State only in the case of an accident at work or sexual violence.

Collaborator Organizations of GayLatino in Guatemala:

It Gets Better Guatemala.


Twitter: @ItGetsBetterGt

Instagram: ItGetsBetterGt

CUATES Guatemala.


Twitter: @cuatesguatemala

Instagram: CuatesGuatemala

7Av. 8-56 zona 1, Edificio el Centro piso 12 Unidad 12-03.