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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.
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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.
June 23, 2017
armed men threatened Aura Lolita Chávez and other indigenous women of CPK (K’iche Peoples Council) with sexual assault when the women tried to stop illegal logging on their ancestral lands in El Quiché Dept.
June 21, 2017
hundreds of people from Laguna Larga, El Petén Department, stranded at the Mexico-Guatemala border in temporary shelters after 1,000 Guatemalan security forces carried out a massive eviction because of a long-standing land dispute involving a national park and an oil driller
April 14, 2017
Intimidation tactics (shots fired) against Pedro Rafael Maldonado Flores, the legal director for the Legal, Environmental and Social Action Center of Guatemala (CALAS), which represents communities organizing resistance to the exploration and exploitation of natural resources.
February 24, 2017
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.
February 23, 2017
Guatemala’s indigenous communities have worked tirelessly to recuperate their communal lands in the 20 years since the end of the country’s 36-year-long internal armed conflict. But these communities have faced the constant threat of dispossession from mining companies, the large-scale agro-industry, and the construction of hydroelectric dams.
January 25, 2017
Killing of indigenous and land rights defender Sebastian Alonso Juan, age 73, when armed men began shooting at demonstrators during a peaceful protest against hydroelectric projects Pojom I and Pojom II in San Matea Ixtatan in Huehuetenango Department.