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Guatemala, 2/26/2022


Lica. María Consuelo Porras Argueta, Attorney General of Guatemala


February 26, 2022


Dear Attorney General:

We are saddened to learn of the assassination of Álvaro Marcos Román, a leader of CODECA (El Comité de Desarrollo Campesino/ Committee for Campesino Development), which was founded in 1992. He was president of the Community Directive of CODECA in Santa María Xalapán, Jalapa Department. Through his leadership with CODECA, Álvaro Marcos Román fought for land rights, defended labor rights in the agricultural sector, and pushed for the nationalization of privatized goods and services. Among his priorities was promoting the popular and multicultural constituent assembly process.

Álvaro Marcos Román, age 34, was riding his motorcycle in the early morning hours of February 6 to return from Guatemala City to meet with city leaders in Santa María Xalapán in the morning. He was shot and killed at about 2:00am.  He became the 23rd member of CODECA killed in Guatemala since 2018.

We are deeply concerned that there are targeted killings of leaders of CODECA, which has 90,000 members across Guatemala. In September 2021, Ramón López Jiménez, the treasurer of the board of directors of CODECA in Jalapa Department, was killed in Corral Viejo, a rural community also in the municipality of Santa María Xapalán, Jalapa Department (cf our letter September 24, 2021). We therefore strongly urge that you

  • conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the killing of Álvaro Marcos Román, publish the results, and bring those responsible to justice
  • provide protection measures for persons in leadership positions with CODECA, in strict accordance with their wishes


Brian J Stefan-Szittai and Christine Stonebraker-Martínez, Co-Coordinaotors




Hilda Pineda, Attorney in the Human Rights Section of the Public Ministry ~ via email

Alfonso José Quiñónez Lemus, Ambassador of Guatemala to the US ~ email, US mail

Augusto Jordán  Rodas Andrade, Prosecutor for Human Rights (PDH) ~ via email

IACHR: Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño, Rapporteur for Guatemala, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ~ via email and US mail

OACNUDH: Mika Kanervavuori,  Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos  en Guatemala (OACNUDH)~ via email

US State Department:  William Popp, US Ambassador to Guatemala, in care of human rights officer Sarahann Yeh ~ via email

US State Department: Guatemala Desk Officers in Washington, DC:  Bria Mathews, Moises Mendoza ~ vial email

US Senators Brown & Portman ~ via email

US Representatives Beatty, Brown, Gibbs, Gonzalez, Johnson, Jordan, Joyce, Kaptur, Latta, Ryan  ~ via email


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