Guatemala News: July 16-22

Indigenous Qeqchi’ Families Receive Lands

Five years after hundreds of families were violently evicted from the Polochic valley, 81 families have finally received plots of land as compensation for their displacement. 548 families still remain uncompensated.

‘Ecocide’ in Guatemala’s Pasion River Remains Unpunished

Shortcut to Quarterly publication

A year has passed since the Reforestadora of Palmas de El Peten, Anómima Society (REPSA) African palm oil plantation spilled chemical pesticides into the Pasion river. The spill killed massive populations of fish and polluted the rivers, leaving communities living alongside the Pasión without  access to water and food provided by the river. So far, no one from REPSA has faced criminal charges for the pollution.


‘King’ of Guatemala Inmates, Byron Lima is Killed in Prison

Byron Lima

The former army captain Byron Lima, convicted of the 1998 murder of Bishop Gerardi, was murdered in prison yesterday. Reports state that a riot broke out in Pavón prison on July 18th, leaving at least 12 dead and 25 injured. Byron Lima, who had gained control of the prison and was said to leave prison regularly for walks and fresh air, was considered to be “untouchable,” and his unexpected death raises questions as to who killed him and why.


Guatemala Prosecutor Says Threat Linked to Graft Prosecution

Guatemalan Attorney General Thelma Aldana says she believes that her ongoing investigations into the “La Linea” fraud case involving former President Otto Perez Molina and Vice President Roxanna Baldetti lie behind recent threats to her life.


Who Killed Guatemala’s Prison ‘King’ Byron Lima?

In “Who Killed Guatemala’s Prison ‘King’ Byron Lima?” InsightCrime reporter Steven Dudley analyzes government and Civil Intelligence Unit (DIGICI) reports of former military captain Byron Lima’s murder, which occurred at Pavón, a Guatemala jail, on Monday. In his article, Dudley raises questions about the legitimacy of the reports, citing inconsistencies between previous interviews with Lima, DIGICI’s reports, and reports filed by the Guatemalan government.  Byron Lima, charged with the murder of Bishop Juan Gerardi in 1998, had spent almost fifteen years in prison at the time of his death on July 18. Rumors have circulated since, implicating organized crime bosses, drug traffickers, and former military officials in Lima’s death on Monday.

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