Indigenous people use a justice system based on ancient knowledge in Guatemala

Americas Now

A Mayan justice system has been in operation in Guatemala for centuries and some indigenous communities think it’s more effective than the Western one.

Indigenous populations in Guatemala have been using this form of justice for hundreds of years.

It’s a system centered on the wisdom of their ancestors. And for many, it’s a more efficient and effective way to resolve problems. However, with punishments that include public lashings, it’s not without controversy.

Correspondent Harris Whitbeck traveled to the town of Santa Cruz to tell us more about how indigenous authorities govern their communities.

In many instances, local representatives of the official judicial system have worked for hand in hand with their indigenous counterparts.

And since Guatemala’s constitution currently does recognize the existence of the indigenous system, it seems like it will be around for the foreseeable future.