GHRC Updates: State Accountability – Laguna Larga, and the Massacre at La Cumbre de Alaska

The Guatemala Human Rights Commission (GHRC) has recently posted a couple of updates we wanted to share. The first is on the situation at Laguna Larga, and the second on the massacre at La Cumbre de Alaska, which took place in 2012, and for the which the perpetrators have still not been brought to justice. Both reflect the complete lack of state accountability.


Failure to Comply: The Families of Laguna Larga Demand State Action

In an October 1 press conference lawyers with the Human Rights Law Firm, representatives of the Campesino Committee of the Highlands (CCDA), and Aldo Léon, of Voces Mesoamericanas, reported on a visit conducted this week to the displaced community of Laguna Larga. The group condemned the lack of compliance from the Guatemalan Government in finding a solution for the community forcibly evicted from their lands in 2017. Even with protective measures issued by the Interamerican System, as well as rulings from both the IACHR and Constitutional Court in their favor, the community continues to live in deplorable conditions at the Guatemala-Mexico border. According to Congressman Aldo Davila, “The situation is extremely concerning, there is a maximum expression of human rights violation,” including “the rights to health, education, and nutrition of these Guatemalans.”


You can read the full piece, with links, here, Failure to Comply: The Families of Laguna Larga Demand State Action.

You can also read more about the background to the situation at Laguna Larga in this piece by Jeff Abbott in Toward Freedom, here, How Extractivism and Neoliberal Environmentalism Cause Migration and Land Conflicts in Guatemala, and in this extract from Stef Arreaga in Prensa Comunitaria, with a link to shocking photographs, here, Laguna Larga: Evicted families struggle to survive.


Seeking Justice After 9 Years: The Fight for Accountability for the 2012 Massacre in La Cumbre de Alaska

On October 4, 2012, Indigenous Authorities organized a protest that mobilized thousands across the 48 Cantones de Totonicapan. At La Cumbre de Alaska, eighty-nine armed soldiers–under the command of Juan Chiroy–arrived on the scene with orders to break up the protest. Eight soldiers opened fire on the protesters, leaving six dead, forty injured, and one disappeared. Nine years later, the widows and victims of this tragedy continue their search for justice.

Immediately following the massacre, Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz ordered an investigation that resulted in the arrest of commander Juan Chiroy and eight soldiers: Edín Adolfo Agustín Vásquez, Dimas García Pérez, Marcos Chun Sacul, Abner Enrique Cruz Pérez, Abraham Gua Cojoc, Felipe Chuc Coc, Manuel Lima Vásquez, and Ana Cervantes. Since the arrest, the case has been continually stalled and fraught with irregularities.


You can read the full piece, with links, here, Seeking Justice After 9 Years: The Fight for Accountability for the 2012 Massacre in La Cumbre de Alaska.

You can read a commentary by Ricardo Falla, about the massacre and its background, here, on Revista Envió, Totonicapán: The story of the first massacre since the peace.



Categories: Accompaniment, Corruption, Criminalisation, Evictions, Genocide, Guatemala, Human Rights, Impunity, Indigenous peoples, Justice, Land, Legal, Lobbying, Migration, Military, Mining, Poverty, Resource Extraction, Solidarity in Action, Violence

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