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Guatemala: News & Updates
Guatemala had the longest and bloodiest civil war in Central American history: 36 years (1960-96). The US-backed military was responsible for a genocide (“scorched earth policy”) that wiped out 200,000 mostly Maya indigenous civilians. War criminals are still being tried in the courts.
Learn more here.
February 14, 2018
murders of journalists Laurent Ángel Castillo Cifuentes, age 28, and Luis Alfredo de León Miranda, age 30; their bodies with hands and feet tied and gunshot wounds to the head were found near Mazatenango, Suchitepéquez Department.
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.
October 23, 2017
unjust and arbitrary detention of indigenous and environmental rights defender 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 nickel mining.
September 24, 2017
assassination of union leader Tomás Francisco Ochoa Salazar, of the SITRABREMEN meat-packers union in Guatemala City, and shooting injury of union member Andy Noel Godinez
September 14, 2017
As threats to the environment increase across Latin America, new laws and police practices take aim against the front line activists defending their land and resources
July 15, 2017
killing of labor rights defender Eugenio López y López during a peaceful protest of former agricultural workers in Coatepeque, Quetzaltenango Department
July 1, 2017
excessive use of force by police against peaceful protestors of Tahoe Resources’ Escobal silver mine in San Rafael las Flores in Santa Rosa Department
June 26, 2017
continued unjust detention of Abelino Chub Caal, indigenous and environmental defender in Izabal Dept., where agricultural and extractive industry companies are in land disputes with local communities; still facing two of initial five criminal charges (cf letter Feb 24 2017)
June 25, 2017
shooting death of Carlos Maaz Coc and injuries to other Maya Q’eqchi’ people when riot police attacked their peaceful demonstration calling for government to resolve the contamination of Lake Izabal in El Estor, Izabal Department, polluted by nickel mining.