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Afro-Descendant & Indigenous: News & Updates
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.
March 24, 2018
Forced eviction of the historically binational Yukpa indigenous people from Cúcuta, Colombia, into Venezuela. They are currently living in highly precarious conditions, lacking basic services such as drinking water, food and access to health and education. They keep returning to Colombia because there are no guarantees of food or health care if they stay in Venezuela.
February 13, 2018
bombing and forced displacement of members of the Wounaan Indigenous reservation of Chagpien Tordó during armed clashes between the Colombian Army and the ELN (National Liberation Army) in Litoral de San Juán, Chocó Department.
February 12, 2018
assassination of Afro-descendant community leader and political organizer Temístocles Machado, a leader of the Black Communities Process (PCN), in Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca Dept.
January 26, 2018
unjust criminalization of María Magdalena Cuc Choc, environmental and indigenous land rights defender in Izabal Dept., involved in a land dispute between her Chabil’ Ch’och’ indigenous community and an investment company held by a former president and former government officials
December 24, 2017
continued unjust criminalization of Juan Eduardo Caal Suram, a member of the Artisanal Fishermen’s Guild (GPA), which has been calling for government action to resolve the contamination of Lake Izabal in El Estor, Izabal Department, polluted by the Guatemalan Nickel Company.