World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Guatemala: justice blocked for massacre survivors

Guatemala: Politically motivated charges get in the way of justice for massacre survivors

In Guatemala, human rights violations appear to be addressed by pressing criminal charges against the victims, said Amnesty International as charges are due to be formally presented against nine activists and community leaders from Río Negro.

The charges, presented by the State Electricity Institute (INDE), include “activity against the internal security of the nation” and come after leaders from 18 communities participated in peaceful protests in September 2004.

“The charges against the activists are disproportionate, unfounded and clearly politically motivated. They send a strong message that mobilising against the government's agenda will not be tolerated,” said Sebastian Elgueta, Amnesty International’s researcher on Guatemala.

“If the activists are detained and prosecuted, Amnesty International would consider them political prisoners,” said Sebastian Elgueta.

Amnesty International is calling for the charges to be dropped. The protests were related to the loss of lives, homes and land incurred during the construction of the Chixoy dam in the 1980s, as well as the current lack of free running water and electricity in many communities, which they were promised. Protesters also complained about the impunity surrounding a series of massacres that took place in the area between 1980 and 1982 where thousands of people were killed.

The peaceful character of the protests was confirmed by a police report.

The communities agreed to withdraw from the demonstrations after the
State Electricity (INDE) Institute agreed to initiate a negotiation process. Days later, the INDE presented criminal charges against the community leaders.

Background Information Carlos Chen Osorio, survivor and key witness of the 1982 Río Negro massacres; Juan de Dios García, also survivor and director of the Asociación de Victimas de Rabinal (ADIVIMA), Rabinal Victims’ Association are among nine activists and community leaders who face a series of criminal charges.

Numerous studies point out that the area was particularly targeted by the Guatemalan military in their campaign to combat armed groups due to its strategic economic importance.

According to human rights activists, between 1980 and 1982, more than
4,000 people were killed in the context of those military operations in the Rabinal area. 444 of the 791 inhabitants of Río Negro are believed to have been killed.

View all AI documents on Guatemala:
http://amnesty-news.c.topica.com/maaetsuabn9eXbb0hPub/

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>

ALSO:

Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>

ALSO:

Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>

ALSO:

Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>

ALSO:

EARLIER:

Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC