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Afro-Descendant & Indigenous: News & Updates
June 26, 2018
Human rights defender Bernardo Caal Xol is in prison for being an indigenous Q’eqchi’ leader who has spoken out against the illegal construction of massive hydroelectric dams in indigenous territory, which were built without consulting the indigenous population as required by law and have resulted in the destruction of local ecosystems, clear cutting of old growth forests and decimation of mountain ridges sacred to the Q’eqchi’ people.
June 25, 2018
More than 200 indigenous Nasa Embera Chamí people from La Delfina reservation in Buenaventura (West), Colombia, have been displaced following an armed attack on a member of their community. The National Indigenous Organization (ONIC) reports that 80 women (5 pregnant), 90 men, and 80 children are are currently confined in a nearby school. They are in need of food, clothing, medicine, basic shelter items (tents, blankets), and access to health services.
June 14, 2018
On May 17 there was an attack on the binational indigenous Yukpa people living in Cúcuta, Norte de Santander Department. Jesuit Refugee Service has reported that 106 indigenous people, including 56 children, were forced to move in search of refuge and assistance from the local authorities. Some were subsequently displaced to the Venezuelan border.
June 13, 2018
The indigenous leaders Ramon Choc Sacrab, Florencio Pérez Nájera and Alejandro Hernández García were murdered in Guatemala, which make a total of six human rights leaders who have been killed in less than a month.
June 12, 2018
Massive arrests of dozens of elected community leaders and human rights defenders in Colombia on April 23: Among them are members of the Black Communities’ Process (PCN), an internationally recognized organization that has worked to dismantle illegal armed groups’ activities in Afro- descendant territories.
June 11, 2018
We are deeply concerned by the ongoing criminalization of human rights defenders reporting on environmental degradation in El Estor, Guatemala, which we believe are motivated solely by their legitimate and peaceful work in defense of environmental and indigenous peoples’ rights.
May 12, 2018
Obdulio Angulo Zamora, Hermes Angulo Zamora and Simeón Olave Angulo, all members of the Naya River Community Council in southwest Colombia were disappeared. Another community leader, Iber Angulo Zamora, was kidnapped on May 3.
April 23, 2018
A group of hitmen killed Crisanto Garcia Ohajaca at a Catholic worship service on March 29. He was likely targeted for his family links to COMUNDICH, an indigenous rights organization that currently supports 48 Mayan Ch’orti’ communities who live along the border with Honduras, and his knowledge surrounding the killing of another member of the Ch’orti’ de Morola community.
April 12, 2018
assassination of Héctor Manuel Choc Cuz in El Estor, Izabal Department. For many years, his local Mayan Q’eqchi’ community has been protesting displacement from their ancestral land and environmental degradation caused by the Fenix nickel mining, which was owned by Hudbay Minerals of Canada
April 1, 2018
Assassination of Silvio Duban Ortiz Ortiz, age 27, and his brother Javier Bernardo Cuero Ortiz, age 32, sons of Bernardo Cuero Bravo, the leader of the National Association of Displaced Afro-Colombians (AFRODES), who was assassinated in front of his wife on June 7, 2017. The brothers were gunned down and killed instantly just 13 days after attending a judicial hearing on their father's murder case and a public demonstration demanding justice.