Vigil Against Impunity, Antigua Guatemala, Jun 4, 2013

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The City of Antigua Guatemala, was recently host to the 43rd General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS). In attendance were 28 Foreign Ministers and Secretaries of State, as well as other diplomats and representatives of the Guatemalan government.

ImageAt the same time that the General Assembly was being inaugurated, the VigilAgainst Impunity was taking place in Antigua’s Central Park. Human rights activists from Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, Uruguay, Paraguay, Colombia, Brasil, Canada, and Guatemala gathered to remember the victims of Guatemala’s internal armed conflict. The participants made clear their disapproval of the Constitutional Court’s annulment of the sentence in the genocide case against General Efrain Rios Montt, an act which denies justice to the Maya Ixil victims and survivors.

ImageThe activists voiced their solidarity with the men and women who survived the genocide, and who valiantly testified in the courtroom during the trial. “Your struggle is our struggle. The judgment against the dictator Rios Montt was also a triumph for justice in all of Latin America,” stated one of the participants.

Women’s organizations highlighted the strength and courage of the Ixil women who were victims of sexual violence during the conflict, and who gave their powerful and heartbreaking testimonies during the trial. They are an example for all the women who suffered under the dictatorships that devastated Latin America.

ImageThe vigil was illuminated by the memory of each one of the disappeared. The music of young artists, poems, and words of solidarity filled the park by Antigua’s cathedral.

Vigilia contra la Impunidad

Antigua Guatemala, 4 de Junio de 2013

En Antigua Guatemala se desarrolló en días pasados la 43 Asamblea General de la Organización de los Estados Americanos (OEA). Asistieron los cancilleres de los países miembros, cuerpo diplomático acreditado en el país y ministros del Estado guatemalteco.

ImageMientras esta Asamblea se inauguraba, se desarrollaba la Vigilia contra la Impunidad en la plaza central de Antigua Guatemala, en ella se congregaron activistas de derechos humanos de México, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panamá, Costa Rica, Honduras, Uruguay, Paraguay, Colombia,  Brasil, Canadá y Guatemala, para recordar a las víctimas del conflicto armado interno en el país; para manifestar su rechazo a la resolución hecha por la Corte de Constitucionalidad (CC), que anula la sentencia por genocidio y deberes contra la humanidad, dictada en contra del general José Efraín Ríos Montt, con esta anulación se niega el derecho a Justicia a las víctimas del genocidio Ixil.

ImageCada uno de los activistas tomó la palabra, manifestando su solidaridad y haciendo un reconocimiento para todas las mujeres y hombres sobrevivientes, que valientemente presentaron sus testimonios ante el tribunal que conocio el caso. Un activista latinoamericano expresó: “Su lucha fue nuestra, la sentencia dictada contra el dictador Ríos Montt, fue también un triunfo para la Justicia en América Latina…”.

ImageAsí también, organizaciones de mujeres manifestaron que la  fuerza, la valentía de las mujeres víctimas de violencia sexual al dar sus desgarradores testimonios durante el juicio, son un ejemplo para muchas que también fueron víctimas durante las dictaduras que azotaron en Latinoamérica.

La vigilia estuvo iluminada con el recuerdo de cada uno de los desaparecidos. La música de jóvenes artistas, poemas y palabras de solidaridad se escucharon esa noche a un costado de la catedral de esa ciudad guatemalteca.

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Weekly News Round-Up, March 6-17

Killing of human rights defender
On March 8, 2013, human rights defender and trade union leader Carlos Hernández Mendoza was killed. He was actively engaged in struggling for the right to free, prior and informed consent for indigenous communities whose lives and livelihoods are affected by large-scale dam construction and other projects in the region.

Ex military commissioner on trial for disappearance of student
On March 11, the High Risk Tribunal B (Tribunal Primero B de Mayor Riesgo) initiated a trial against ex military commissioner Isidro Cardona Osorio for the disappearance of a student in Chiquimula in 1982. He is charged with aggravated unlawful detention, abuse of authority, kidnapping, crimes against humanity and forced disappearance.

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