Weekly News Round-Up, Mar. 26 – Apr. 1

Indigenous leaders publicly denounced Guatemalan government
Ixil, Q’anjob’al, Chuj, Akateko, K’iche’, Mam, Kaqchikel, Q’eqchi’, Ch’orti’, Poqomchi’, Achi’, Xinka and Mestizo leaders presented further proof that the Guatemalan government is racist and disregards lives of indigenous communities. Specifically, they denounced mining laws as unconstitutional and demanded changes.

Update on Ríos Montt Trial
At this point, about half of the 122 witnesses have testified. Prosecutor Orlando López has said that the over 900 pieces of evidence, including testimonies of genocide survivors, are enough to prove Ríos Montt and Rodriguez were intellectual authors of the slaughters of the Ixil population. On April 1, 2013, the court heard testimonies from 12 more witnesses who described the massacres, inhumane conditions and, in one instance, torture suffered during the time of Montt’s 1982-83 rule. Attorneys for the prosecution also arranged for forthcoming testimony from survivors of sexual assault.

Former Military Commissioner sentenced to 50 years for crimes against humanity and forced disappearances
Isidro Cardona Osorio has been sentenced to 50.5 years in jail for committing crimes against humanity and forced disappearances related to the disappearance of student  Edgar Leonel Paredes in 1982. He was acquitted, however, of other crimes of which he was accused, including illegal detention, kidnapping and abuse of authority.

Union leader killed on March 27, 2013
Kyra Enriquez, Secretary General of the Union of Workers of the Municipality of Nueva Concepcion, was shot and killed on Friday. The Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Tobacco Workers (UITA) and the Federation of Food, Agro-industry Workers and Allied (FESTRAS) demand thorough investigation.

Violence against indigenous women in Latin America
Militarization of indigenous territories force women to face unconscionable abuses based on gender discrimination. There were 526 recorded cases of femicide in Guatemala last year.

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