Mary Lawlor, from Front Line Defenders, writes about defamation and the cost of speaking out – or if you prefer the cost of speaking truth to power – in Guatemala.
“Once again Yuri Melini, Rafael Maldonado and their colleagues in the Centro de Acción Legal, Ambiental y Social de Guatemala (CALAS) are the subjects of a smear campaign in the Guatemalan media orchestrated by former members of the military and their supporters who seem to view any attempt to highlight the environmental impact of mining, logging or large scale agricultural monoculture projects as being part of an international communist conspiracy.
I have met Yuri Melini and Rafael Maldonado on several occasions and last year I travelled to Guatemala to see their work at first hand. CALAS works to highlight the impact on local communities of mining, logging and agriculture projects, which devastate the land, pollute the water and destroy the environment, in which communities have lived and worked for generations. Projects which are developed in the interests of the ruthless ambition of large international corporations and their local partners.”
You can read the full article here.