News Update: July 25-August 19

Journalist shot in Guatemala

Journalist Fredy Rodas, who works for Sonora Es La Noticia radio and is a collaborator with several other media outlets, was shot at least three times as he was going home in the city of Mazatenango. He had previously received a threat on the telephone.

The man accused of the attack against Rodas has now been captured by Guatemalan Security forces.  The man they captured is Marvin Cruz Ordonez, who is 19 years old.

Because of the attack, members of the Guatemalan Journalist Association complained about the situation of insecurity and violence toward journalists.  The representatives of the Association requested that President Otto Perez Molina give an interview to present the cases of journalists that have been killed and attacked.  UNESCO also expresses its concerns for journalists in Guatemala.

Udefegua reported reported that between January 1st and August 15th of this year, there have been 19 registered cases of attacks against journalists, which is a total of 6 more cases than those registered in all of 2012.

International lawyers visit Guatemala to obtain information about the Rios Montt Trial

The New York City Bar Association sent 10 lawyers from the United States, Chile, Peru and Bolivia to travel to Guatemala to meet with individuals and organizations involved in the Rios Montt Trial.  The purpose of this delegation was to learn more about the case and to assess the implications for the rule of law and the adherence to proper judicial procedures.  One of the lawyers, Hunter Carter, indicated that the companies that want to invest long-term in a country seek one that has a strong judicial system.  Another lawyer said that a conviction for genocide would prove that the Guatemalan government is capable of resolving its problems of the past. The lawyers will later present a report with conclusions and recommendations.

San Rafael mining license suspension not taken seriously

After the decision was made to suspend the mining license in San Rafael, the company Tahoe seems unconcerned. Mine spokesman Andrés Dávila denied that the mining license was actually cancelled and claims that they will continue working on the mine.

More woman and indigenous people should participate in elections

During a forum about reforms to the Law of Postulation Commissions, Alberto Brunori, Guatemala’s representative for the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights, emphasized the importance of increasing participation of women and indigenous people in the elections of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, the Supreme Court of Justice, and the head of the Attorney General.

Indigenous people ask for Community Media Law enforcement

The Wakib’ Kej Convergence demanded that the Guatemalan Government implement the initiative 4087, also known as the Community Media Law, which guarantees indigenous communities access to expression, as it was established in the Peace Accords.

Trial opens against the workers of Hidro Santa Cruz

An oral debate against the workers of Hidro Santa Cruz in Barillas has begun.  The workers Ricardo García López y Armando Ortíz Solares are accused of homicide and serious injuries for a deadly attack carried out against opponents of a dam in May 2012.

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