String of Killings Leaves Five Guatemalan Activists Dead

“While Guatemala attempts to bring former dictator Efraín Ríos Montt to justice in a landmark genocide trial, deadly violence elsewhere in the country continues unpunished. In less than one month, five activists and human right defenders struggling against mining companies and fighting for land and labor rights have been murdered in rural areas.

Tomas Quej, a young indigenous leader from Baja Verapaz, was found dead with a gunshot wound to the heart on February 26, 2013, as Comunicarte [es] reported. Quej had just won a long struggle in court for the lands of his community. He had seven children, including a newborn.

Right after Quej’s murder, indigenous union and campesino leader Carlos Hernández Medoza was murdered on his way back from Honduras on March 8. Hernández was a prominent leader who rallied various sectors in his community and region.”

Renata Avila writes on Global Voices that “the recent repression resembles the death squad operations that once left thousands of leaders killed in Guatemala.” You can read the full article here.

Categories: Human Rights

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