On 26 March the wife of the Human Rights Ombudsman, Gladys Monterroso, also a lawyer and a politician in the Encuentro por Guatemala party was kidnapped for several hours and tortured before being released.
As we reported before there has also recently been a major breakthrough in the case of Edgar Fernando Garcia, who “disappeared” in 1984 at the hands of the polcie. As a result of evidence uncovered in the police archives a serving and former police officer have been arrested in connection with the crime.
The two are almost certainly linked – reprisals being taken against those who threaten the generalised impunity for crimes of the past, and in an unpleasant echo of the past, also against their family members.
Sergio Morales, the Human Rights Ombudsman gave a press conference on Friday, reported here in elPeriodico, and Amnesty International issued a press release condeming the attack and the oher threats which have been made recently against those involved in the police archives’ opening.
The Guatemala Human Right Commission in the US has issued a call for people to send appeals to the Guatemalan authorities which you can join in with here.
In his press conference, Sergio Morales, said “This is enough barbarism… I have made an appeal to my comrades in the Human Rights Procuracy that we should continue move forward and do what we have always done”. I admire his sentiment and hope those who should protect his work, himself, his staff and all their families do their job and allow them to keep chipping away at the edifice of impunity in Guatemala.