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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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August 2, 2018
Assassination of Juana Raymundo, age 25, a nurse and member of the Campesino Development Committee (CODECA). She disappeared the night of July 27 from Nebaj in Quiché Department. On July 28 neighbors found her dead body, showing signs of torture, near a small river between the Nebaj and Acambalam communities.
August 1, 2018
assassination of indigenous and environmental human rights defender Ángel Estuardo Quevedo in Santa Rosa de Lima, Santa Rosa Department, on July 12. He was a member of the Peaceful Resistance of Santa Rosa, Jalapa and Jutiapa. The group has been organizing community opposition to the Escobal silver mine, owned by Canada-based Tahoe Resources and operated in partnership with Guatemala-based Minera San Rafael, S.A.
July 23, 2018
Environmental defenders have been subjected to smear campaign, threats, and police violence.
July 12, 2018 to July 17, 2018
The Guatemala Human Rights Campaign had been at the forefront of international support for the Guatemalan struggle for human rights since 1983.
Recently, two indigenous Guatemalan human rights organizations, CCDA and CODECA have been under attack. There has been no investigation into the assassination of peasant leaders nor resolution to the rural land conflicts they fight for. Additionally, these communities have been damaged and are struggling to recover from Fuego volcano eruption on the South Coast.
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 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 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 23, 2018
Three human rights defenders were killed within the same week: Luis Marroquin, 47; José Can Xol, 37; and Mateo Chamám Paau, 31. Luis was a member of the National Directorate of the Committee for Campesino Development (CODECA), which promotes land rights and rural development for indigenous farming families. José and Mateo were members of the Campesino Committee of the Highlands (CCDA), which promotes access to land and the labor rights of Mayan campesinos. CCDA has suffered numerous threats and attacks, including several attacks against their office and leaders.
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.