Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Admonishes Guatemalan Government
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights concluded its session of hearings with, among other things, a strongly worded admonishment of the Guatemalan government. The Commission stated it was “deeply concerned about the authorities’ denial of genocide and the position the State delegation took in the hearings, in which it defended the application of amnesty to grave human rights violations.” The statement also expressed concern about Guatemala’s lack of recognition of judgments from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, saying it constituted “an act of defiance.”
Over 18 cases from Guatemala have been brought through the Commission to the Court, for the State violation of protections enshrined in the American Convention on Human Rights. A recent resolution by the Court found Guatemala to be in contempt of court for lack of compliance with 11 sentences relating to human rights violations during the internal armed conflict.
Agreement Published to Give Reparations to Families of Chixoy Dam Case
On November 6, 2014, the Journal of Central America published the agreement to give reparations to families affected by the Chixoy hydroelectric dam built in the 1980s. 1,200 million Quetzals will be provided to different municipalities in Quiché, Alta Verapaz and Baja Verapaz by 2029. Continue reading
New mining equipment arrives at La Puya amid calls for dialogue
After the violent removal of protesters by police last Friday, May 23, new mining equipment has been brought into the site of the El Tambor mining project. On Saturday, protesters from the peaceful resistance of La Puya regrouped near their original position and a mass was held on Sunday to pray for those injured in the eviction. Photos of the eviction and march in solidarity with the movement can be found here.
Archbishop Óscar Vian deplored the absence of real dialogue regarding
mining and energy projects and called for the government to stop approving
projects before entering into the dialogue process with communities.
GHRC Executive Director Kelsey Alford-Jones was quoted in an article about the non-violent resistance at La Puya. Government officials have equated leaders of the resistance with criminals and terrorists, which Alford-Jones points out is reestablishing the “idea of the internal enemy” that was so present during the internal armed conflict.
Pending the investigation of their cases, a judge ordered the house arrest of four community leaders from La Puya who have been active in the peaceful resistance movement against the El Tambor mining project. The four community leaders, who have been accused of illegally detaining and threatening four mining workers from El Tambor in 2012, are scheduled to stand trial August 18th. The judge dismissed the case against a fifth leader of the peaceful resistance movement, Yolanda Oquelí, on the grounds of lack of evidence. Continue reading