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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.
March 25, 2016
Murder of environmental rights defenderWalter Méndez Barrios, who was shot and killed outside his home in Las Cruces, in the Department of Petén, on the morning of March 16. He was a founding member of Petenero Front Against Dams (FPCR), an organization formed in 2005 to fight for the land rights and the right to water and other natural resources of those affected and threatened by the construction of hydroelectric dams.
February 6, 2016
The InterReligious Task Force, in conjunction with Case Western Reserve University, presents the 16th annual Social Justice Teach-In as a great opportunity for people of all ages to learn about critical human rights issues and practice hands-on skills to organize for change. This annual event attracts 500+ participants, many from area high schools and colleges. The Teach-In will provide participants with information, skills, and resources to support their own social justice programming at their schools and congregations.
January 22, 2016
In Guatemala eighteen former military officials were arrested on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity in one of the largest mass arrests of military officers Latin America has ever seen. Twelve of them were trained at the SOA.
December 16, 2015
death threats to Rafael Maldonado, Legal Director for the Guatemalan Centre for Environmental, Social and Legal Action (CALAS). This follows the escape from house arrest of a security director of Tahoe Resources’ open-pit silver mine El Escobal in Jalapa Department
November 22, 2015
shooting of environmental defenders Marlon Loy Domínguez, Estuardo Bran Clavel, and Alex Reynoso, whose 16-year old daughter Topacio was killed (RRN letter May 24 2014) in demonstration against Tahoe Resources’ open-pit silver mine El Escobal in Jalapa Department
October 13, 2015
assassination of 70-year-old Sebastian Córdova Sajic, a human rights defender and spiritual leader and one of few survivors of genocide against the Ixil Maya indigenous people in El Quiché Department
October 12, 2015
assassination of environmental human rights defender Professor Rigoberto Lima Choc, who documented harm resulting from the palm plantation REPSA in El Petén Dept., and kidnapping and threats to members of the Commission for the Defense of Life and Nature (Hermelindo Asij, Lorenzo Pérez and Manuel Mendoza)
September 25, 2015
unjust 2-year detention and false criminal charges against Saúl Méndez and Rogelio Velásquez, members of the people’s organized resistance to a hydroelectric dam project in Santa Cruz Barillas, Huehuetenango Dept.
September 23, 2015
intimidation of and shots fired outside the office of CALAS, an environmental group denouncing abuses by Tahoe Resources mining company in Santa Rosa Dept.
July 26, 2015
unjust detention of Bernardo Ermitaño López Reyes, member of the Council of Mayan People and community leader with high profile in the people’s organized resistance to a hydroelectric dam project in Santa Cruz Barillas, Huehuetenango Dept.