Renata Avila, (Guatemalan), is an international Human Rights lawyer, specialising in the next wave of technological challenges to preserve and advance our rights, and better understand the politics of data and their implications on trade, democracy and society. She is an Affiliate with the Stanford Institute of Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence. She is an Advisory Board member for Creative Commons. She also serves as a Board Member of the Common Action Forum and a Global Trustee of the Think Tank Digital Future Society. She is an advisory member of the initiative Cities for Digital Rights. She co-founded the Alliance for Inclusive Algorithms, the Progressive International and the Polylateral Association, an international platform cooperative for knowledge workers. @avilarenata
Latest posts by Renata Avila
Guatemala: 7 Indigenous Protesters Killed in Totonicapán
At least 7 civilians were killed on October 4 when combined armed forces violently removed indigenous demonstrators from Cuatro Caminos, a well-known road intersection in Guatemala. Demonstrators were protesting the rising price of electricity, and the education and constitutional reforms proposed by the government.
Honduras: Charter Cities Threaten Garífuna Communities
The government of Porfirio Lobo recently signed an agreement to implement a variant of Charter Cities, called Special Development Regions (REDs), in Honduras. REDs can only be implemented in uninhabited land; in the case of Honduras, however, 24 Garífuna communities could be removed from their territory if the project continues its agreed course.
Risky Ideas to Fight Corruption! #Testing123
The Global Integrity Innovation fund is not a typical call for projects. It is something else! #Testing123 is looking for crazy, risky, challenging and brand new ideas to fight corruption.
Guatemala Celebrates Erick Barrondo's Silver in Race Walk
Guatemalans are celebrating Erick Barrondo's silver medal at the Men's 20km Race Walk. As the news broke, social media users clapped and celebrated Barrondo's well-deserved victory. Barrondo comes from one of the poorest areas of the country which has been particularly affected by the war on drugs.
Guatemala: Indigenous Village Declares Internet Access a Human Right
In the village of Santiago Atitlan internet access has been declared "a human right" by both their inhabitants and their local authorities. Authorities are also implementing a plan to provide free community Wi-Fi to the entire population so that everyone can benefit from it.
Guatemala: Wave of Attacks Against Female Activists
In the last couple of weeks two female activists have been attacked. The victims are Lolita Chavez, an indigenous leader and member of the K’iche’ People’s Council, and human rights lawyer Yolanda Oquelí. Their cases have gone mostly unnoticed in mainstream media, but citizen and independent media have been raising awareness about their attacks and the dangers activists like them face.
RightsCon: Future of Digital Rights in Latin America and Beyond
Activists, business representatives, thinkers and policy makers are meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the Human Rights and Technology Conference. Renata Avila and other Global Voices contributors are also present at this event. Here is Renata's summary of the conference.
Guatemala: State of Siege Due to Hydroelectric Plant Conflict
The Guatemalan government has declared a state of siege in Santa Cruz Barillas, following demonstrations and clashes sparked by the death of a community leader who opposed the construction of a hydroelectric plant. Citizens from this community have been using blogs and social networks to report on the current conflict.
Guatemala: Former Dictator Efraín Rios Montt Questioned for Genocide
On January 26, a judge ruled that former de facto President Efraín Rios Montt will stand trial for genocide; the same day, Guatemala's Congress ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, giving Guatemalans hope that their search for transitional justice is moving in the right direction.
El Salvador: Destruction of Cathedral Mural Angers Citizens
In 1997, Fernando Llort created the mural 'Harmony of my People' to adorn the front of San Salvador’s Cathedral. During the first week of 2012 the mural was destroyed by Catholic authorities without consultation. Netizens debate the meaning of this for the Salvadoran art world.
Guatemala: Controversial General Elected President
Presidential elections were peaceful but tense in Guatemala. School of the Americas alumni and retired General Otto Perez Molina is the elected President of Guatemala after a tight and highly polarized election, where a large percentage of voters abstained or voted blank.
Guatemala: Three Generals Finally Arrested and Indicted for Genocide
Guatemalan courts are set to face a challenge without precedent in the country: prosecuting genocide. After three decades of failed efforts to prosecute the Guatemalan Army, three generals stand accused of perpetrating genocide and other war crimes against the Maya Ixil people.
Ada Lovelace Day: Inspirational Women in Action
Ada Lovelace Day aims to raise the profile of women in science, technology, engineering and maths by encouraging people around the world to talk about the women whose work they admire. Read about Global Voices' tribute.
Global: Online Dialogue on Technology for Transparency
The Technology for Transparency Initiative, together with New Tactics in Human Rights, invites you to join an online dialogue on 'Using Technology to Promote Transparency'. Join us to discuss new ideas, challenges, risks, and opportunities.
Guatemala: Following the General Election
Today, September 11, 2011, Guatemalan citizens will elect local, municipal, legislative and executive authorities. Hundreds are working from early in the morning until midnight to make democracy a reality. Although Guatemalans living abroad cannot vote, thousands of people around the world will be closely following the event using new technologies.
Guatemala: Police Kill Peasant With Tear Gas Canister
Indigenous peasants living on lands claimed by landowners in Guatemala are often violently evicted from their homes by policemen and soldiers. Last week, 31-year-old Sergio de León was killed when a policeman fired a tear gas canister at his chest during an eviction.
Guatemala's DipuKids: A New Generation of Candidates for Congress
A new generation of Guatemalan politicians under 30, dubbed the 'Dipukids', are causing controversy. Well educated and well travelled, many from the country's upper class - can they truly represent the people who may be electing them?
Technology for Transparency: Final Report
The Technology for Transparency Network is proud to announce the release of its final report, "Global mapping of technology for transparency and accountability". The report is being published by the Transparency and Accountability Initiative (@TAInitiative) along with a over a dozen other reports on the global transparency movement.
Guatemala: Brutality and Impunity: Over 28 Decapitated in Petén
This weekend in Guatemala was the bloodiest of 2011. Citizens in the northernmost state of El Petén, are in the middle of one of the worst armed encounters between the Army and one of the most dangerous drug cartels: the Zetas. Not only were at least 28 peasants brutally killed, but also a school, a police station and other public places were bombed.
Guatemala: Maximón and Other Holy Week Traditions
The different and special elements of religiosity in Guatemala make Holy Week (in Spanish, 'Semana Santa') quite a unique experience. Somehow the Catholic religion has been "hacked" to incorporate indigenous peoples' gods, goddesses, rites and ceremonies while integrating elements of Catholicism.
Guatemala: First Lady Announces Her Candidacy for President
On March 8, First Lady Sandra Torres announced she would run for president. Her critics on social networks reacted to the news with harsh comments. Bloggers are focusing on two main issues related to her presidential bid: an Article in the Constitution which prohibits her candidacy, and her work in social cohesion projects.