Communities in Huehuetenango are under siege by Guatemalan military and police. The security forces were sent to break up peaceful protests in reaction to the illegal detention of a local resident. Several people have already been injured and we fear that there could be further violence.
Please call the Guatemalan Embassy to express concern about the safety of peaceful protesters in Huehuetenango. Urge the Guatemalan government to avoid further conflict, uphold the rule of law and respect human rights.
Tomás García was participating in a peaceful mobilization on Monday morning when he was shot and killed by members of the Honduran army. According to COPINH, the Council of Indigenous and Popular Organizations of Honduras (link in Spanish), members of the First Battalion of Army Engineers, stationed in Siguatepeque, are responsible for García’s murder. They are also responsible for shooting and injuring his son, Allan García Domínguez, age 17, who was taken to the hospital and is in serious condition. Continue reading →
A brief summary: Juan Orlando Hernandez, President of the National Congress and Presidential candidate wants to create a Military Police Squad that would assist the newly created TIGRES (Intelligence Troop and Special Security Response Team). His vision is that there will be a soldier on every city corner and at every intersection in the country. He doesn’t say how he will pay for it nor how he will increase the size of the military to accomodate this. Human Rights advocates state that this would be the restart of the Intelligence Battalion 3-16 which was responsible for disappearing and assassinating “suspected communists” in the 1980s. JOH says that it would be a “shock force” to intervene in neighborhoods and districts under criminal control. (of course JOH and his military commanders get to define who the “criminal elements” are)
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6. Chiapas: San Marcos Avilés: Forced Displacement and the Hope of Solidarity 7. New Protest Paralyzes Brazil’s Belo Monte Dam 8. BRICS Nations Plan New Bank to Bypass World Bank, IMF 9. Assassination of Venezuelan Yupka Chief Sabino Romero Leads to Criticisms 10. 6 Killed, 9 More Injured In Chase Across U.S.-Mexico Border 11. Chile: Back from UN job Bachelet confirms she is running for president next November 12. Correa Condemns U.S. Blockade of Cuba at Inter-Parliamentary Meeting 13. Rio De Janeiro Police Force Indigenous People Out Of Museum Near World Cup Stadium Continue reading →
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — The U.S. State Department, which spends millions of taxpayer dollars a year on the Honduran National Police, has assured Congress that money only goes to specially vetted and trained units that don’t operate under the direct supervision of a police chief once accused of extrajudicial killings and “social cleansing.”
But The Associated Press has found that all police units are under the control of Director General Juan Carlos Bonilla, nicknamed the “Tiger,” who in 2002 was accused of three extrajudicial killings and links to 11 more deaths and disappearances. He was tried on one killing and acquitted. The rest of the cases were never fully investigated. Continue reading →
On Sunday, March 17, 2013, at around 8 pm, the President of the Xinca Indigenous Parliament and three other Xinca leaders were abducted by a group of heavily armed masked men while on their way home from observing a public referendum on Tahoe’s Escobal mine in El Volcancito, San Rafael Las Flores, in the department of Santa Rosa, Guatemala. This comes only two days after the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, called on the Government of Guatemala to protect human rights defenders.
Two of the abducted Xinca leaders escaped and sounded the alarm. On the morning of Monday, March 18, 2013, the President of the Xinca Parliament’s vehicle was found with multiple bullet holes and Exaltación Marcos Ucelo, one of the four who were kidnapped, was found dead. About four hundred people peacefully gathered in the immediate area in order to protect the scene of the crime while demanding that authorities initiate a proper and full investigation. That evening, President Roberto González Ucelo was found alive. Continue reading →