Urgent concern for safety of human rights defenders of San Miguel Ixtahuacán following peaceful protests

Update, 1 March 2011:

According to the most recent information, all of the detained individuals have been released.  Two people were severely beaten, but their condition is not critical.  National and international organizations have arrived in the community.  Please see the below links for a statement by FREDEMI, one of the organizations which organized yesterday’s protest, and whose members were attacked.

Comunicado urgente del Frente de Defensa Miguelense (FREDEMI)
Urgent statement by the San Miguel Defense Front (FREDEMI), translation

– – –

Guatemala 28 February 2011

The Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala
Collectif Guatemala
Breaking the Silence
Rights Action

Urgent concern for safety of human rights defenders of San Miguel Ixtahuacán following peaceful protests

We denounce the human rights violations and abuses committed today against peaceful protesters in San Miguel Ixtahuacán, Guatemala.  The protest, demanding compliance with precautionary measures ordered by the Interamerican Commission for Human Rights regarding the Marlin mine, took place without incident during the day.  In late afternoon, participants returning from the peaceful roadblocks were reportedly confronted and attacked by community development council (COCODE) members and mine workers in San José Ixcaniche.

According to participants in the protest, Miguel Angel Bámaca and Aniseto López were beaten and threatened with lynching; one bus including approximately 40 men and women have been illegally detained and some beaten in the community of San José Ixcaniche.  As this alert is being written, they remain detained. We are deeply concerned that the lives of human rights defenders are at risk.

Contact has been established with the local Human Rights Procurator’s (PDH) office, the local Presidential Commission for Defense of Human Rights (COPREDEH) and police, as well as national and international organizations to report these acts.

We ask you to stay alert and be ready to respond when more information and action requests are available from local organizations supporting communities resisting unjust mining in Guatemala.

In solidarity,

Francois Guindon – pancho@nisgua.org – +502 4014 7804
The Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala, USA

Cynthia Benoist – collectifguatemala3@gmail.com
Collectif Guatemala, France

Jackie McVicar – jmcvicar@gmail.com
Breaking the Silence, Canada

Grahame Russell – info@rightsaction.org – +502 4955 3634
Rights Action, Canada/USA

Español abajo

Guatemala 28 de febrero de 2011

La Red de Solidaridad con el Pueblo de Guatemala
Collectif Guatemala
Breaking the Silence
Rights Action

Comunicado urgente de preocupación para la seguridad de los defensores y defensoras de San Miguel Ixtahuacan en protesta pacifica

Denunciamos las violaciones de derechos humanos y abusos cometidos hoy en contra de manifestantes pacíficos en San Miguel Ixtahuacán.  La manifestación, organizada para exigir el cumplimiento de las medidas cautelares otorgadas por la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos en el caso de la mina Marlin, tomó lugar sin incidente durante el día.  Según informes, por la tarde, participantes regresando de los bloqueos pacíficos fueron confrontados y agredidos en San José Ixcaniche por miembros del Consejo Comunitario de Desarrollo y trabajadores de la mina.

Según participantes en la manifestación, Miguel Angel Bámaca y Aniseto López fueron golpeados y amenazados con lincharlos; una camioneta con aproximadamente 40 personas fue detenida ilegalmente y algunas personas – hombres y mujeres- fueron golpeadas en la comunidad de San José Ixcaniche. Hasta el momento, la gente que estaba en la camioneta sigue siendo detenida en el salón y la alcaldía comunitaria. Estamos sumamente preocupados de que estén en risego las vidas y la integridad física de esos defensores y defensoras de derechos humanos.

Se ha establecido contacto con la Procuraduría de Derechos Humanos (PDH) y la Comisión Presidencial para los Derechos Humanos (COPREDEH) y la Policía Nacional Civil (PNC), así como con organizaciones nacionales e internacionales, para informar de esos acontecimientos.

Pedimos que estén alertas y listos para reaccionar cuando haya más información y solicitudes para tomar acción por parte de las organizaciones locales apoyando las comunidades en resistencia en contra de la minería injusta en Guatemala.

En solidaridad,

Francois Guindon – pancho@nisgua.org – +502 4014 7804
La Red de Solidaridad con el Pueblo de Guatemala (NISGUA), EE.UU.

Cynthia Benoist – collectifguatemala3@gmail.com
Collectif Guatemala, Francia

Jackie McVicar – jmcvicar@gmail.com
Rompiendo el Silencio, Canada

Grahame Russell – info@rightsaction.org – +502 4955 3634
Derechos en Acción, Canada/EE.UU.


About cascadiasolidaria

Human rights and solidarity activist from Cascadia, North America, writing about issues of justice and security in Guatemala and Central America from a perspective of solidarity with human rights and social movements.
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One Response to Urgent concern for safety of human rights defenders of San Miguel Ixtahuacán following peaceful protests

  1. Pingback: Violence near Goldcorp mine underscores need for mine suspension | Cascadia Solidaria

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