Organizaciones Internacionales Condenan Suspensión de la Jueza Yassmín Barrios en Guatemala

(In English below)

7 de abril de 2014 — El pasado viernes, el Tribunal de Honor del Colegio de Abogados y Notarios de Guatemala (CANG) notificó la resolución de fecha 9 de enero de 2014 en la cual se acuerda la suspensión temporal como abogada de la jueza Yassmín Barrios por el plazo de un año. La jueza Barrios preside el Tribunal A de Mayor Riesgo y en tal condición conoció del proceso en contra de los generales en retiro José Mauricio Rodríguez y Efraín Ríos Montt por el delito de genocidio y delitos contra la humanidad en perjuicio del pueblo Ixil.

La decisión del Tribunal de Honor se origina en una denuncia que presentó el abogado Moisés Galindo, defensor del imputado José Mauricio Rodríguez, debido a que el 19 de marzo del año 2013, el Tribunal A de Mayor Riesgo le ordenó asumir la defensa técnica de Ríos Montt ante diversas prácticas dilatorias provocadas por los abogados de este último. El abogado Galindo no estuvo de acuerdo con la decisión del Tribunal de Mayor Riesgo y por lo tanto acusó a la jueza Barrios ante el CANG de haberlo irrespetado y humillado públicamente.

El Tribunal de Honor del CANG acogió los argumentos del abogado Galindo y concluyó que la la jueza Barrios incurrió en una falta grave que atenta contra las normas de la ética profesional. Continue reading

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Parting Message from Justice Barrientos Called for Continued Reforms, Commitment to Justice

(Read in English below)

El Magistrado César Barrientos Pellecer se esmeró en alcanzar los más altos estandardes de la justicia y el estado de derecho. Sus esfuerzos valientes a implementar reformas al código procesal penal llevó a numerosas reformas procesales y administrativas, así como a la implementación exitosa de los tribunales de mayor riesgo, en los cuales jueces conocen casos de profunda importancia para la nación. El Magistrado Barrientos nunca vaciló en cuestionar el estatus quo y sus votos razonados defendieron y permitieron mayor respeto para víctimas, protecciones más fuertes para poblaciones vulnerables y para los derechos indígenas y el cumplimiento estricto con las obligaciones del Estado de Guatemala bajo leyes internacionales.

El siguiente mensaje es muy probablemente el último que envió la mañana de su muerte el 2 de marzo de 2014. Ofrece una visión clara y sucinta de lo que debe ser – y puede ser – el proceso penal. Aunque escrito en una voz imparcial, está claro que este breve manifiesto representa su compromiso firme y ferviente con la justicia. Es, en gran parte, un llamado apasionado a dar seguimiento a lo que él inició.

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15 Years After Presentation of Historical Clarification Commission Report: A Message of Solidarity

DiadeVictimas-fotoFifteen years after the presentation of the UN Historical Clarification Commission report on Guatemala’s internal armed conflict — a day that has become known as the National Day of Dignity of the Victims — we express our solidarity with and respect for all the victims and survivors of the conflict. We also recognize the organizations and institutions that have accompanied them, and all those who have contributed in one way or another to processes seeking truth, historic memory, justice and just reparations.

On February 25, 1999, the UN Historical Clarification Commission (CEH) presented its report “Guatemala: Memory of Silence” in Guatemala City. Those present included then president Álvaro Arzú, the military high command, representatives of the URNG and a multitude from civil society.

In 12 volumes, the CEH reported the results of its investigation into the horrors suffered by the population during 36 years of internal armed conflict. From the data collected, it was possible to estimate the impact of the violence: 200,000 dead, 45,000 forced disappearances, and the displacement of one million people. The report found that 83% of the victims were Mayan indigenous and that at least 93% of the atrocities during this period were committed by State forces or paramilitary groups linked to the State. Continue reading

15 organizaciones llaman a una investigación de la masacre en Nacahuil

Estimado Presidente Otto Pérez Molina:

Las organizaciones abajo firmantes expresamos nuestras condolencias a la comunidad de San José Nacahuil y a las familias  que perdieron a sus seres queridos el sábado 7 de septiembre. En solidaridad con ellos, llamamos al gobierno guatemalteco a realizar una investigación exhaustiva e imparcial sobre este hecho de violencia, especialmente sobre las acusaciones de participación de agentes de la Policía Nacional Civil (PNC).

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15 organizations call for an investigation in the Nacahuil massacre

Esteemed President Otto Pérez Molina,

The undersigned organizations express our condolences to the community of San José Nacahuil and to the families of those who lost loved ones this past Saturday, September 7th. In solidarity with them, we call on the Guatemalan government to carry out a thorough and impartial investigation into the deadly attack, especially into allegations of police involvement.

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GHRC Target of Hate for Commemorating Victims of Genocide

On Saturday, we at GHRC had the pleasure of taking part in a powerful art installation in Washington, DC. After three years of preparation, the organization One Million Bones blanketed a section of the National Mall with bones made of various materials to bring attention to genocide committed around the world. The organizers of One Million Bones had extended a special invitation to GHRC and the Guatemala community to take part and commemorate Guatemala’s genocide victims.

GHRC staff, interns and volunteers, joined thousands of others in laying out the bones. Our group took the opportunity to read the names of the victims in the Ixil Triangle included in the charges against former generals Ríos Montt and Rodríguez Sánchez.

onemillionbonesWe posted a photo of the event on our Facebook page on Saturday afternoon, and were shocked to see the response. Our wall was covered by an energetic debate about genocide in Guatemala. It was heartwarming to see all the comments in support of justice for victims, but sad to see that there were also many comments full of hate, anger, and denial of the crimes committed against Guatemala’s indigenous people.

Unfortunately, many of the people who posted on our wall are the same people who have been spreading the same messages of hate and denial in the Guatemalan media and organizing protests in support of those who committed atrocities.

The courageous genocide survivors, along with their lawyers, the judges, and the organizations who support justice, have been victim to this type of attack constantly since the Ríos Montt trial began. The messages in the media in Guatemala are not just slander. They are threats of violence. For example, Ricardo Méndez Ruiz, founder of the Foundation Against Terrorism, who posted on our wall, said in an interview with Guatemalan TV station Guatevision that the civil society leaders pushing for justice could be assassinated. In his post on GHRC’s facebook page, he called us a “terrorist organization.”

We don’t want to hide this debate going on in Guatemalan society, but we adamantly condemn the use of defamation, threats and messages of hate. We would love to see our page covered with messages of support for justice and for the victims and survivors of genocide. Can you add your voice

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Civil Society Organizations Call for New Security Model, Demilitarization, Human Rights

(Antigua, June 6) More than 160 civil society organizations representing hundreds of thousands of citizens in Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and the United States, sent an open letter to the OAS General Assembly today calling for alternatives to the war on drugs that guarantee respect for human rights.

Our organizations have documented an alarming increase in violence and human rights violations. While we recognize that transnational crime and drug-trafficking play a role in this violence, we call on our governments to acknowledge that failed security policies that have militarized citizen security have only exacerbated the problem, and are directly contributing to increased human suffering in the region,” the letter states.

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