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Nov 22, 2012

Update: Guatemalan Government colludes with Spanish company Hidralia in intimidating community members after protest against dam building. Arbitrary arrests followed.

by admin — last modified Nov 22, 2012 06:10 PM

Eleven people were arrested without charge on May 2, 2012 in a flagrant violation of their rights. Several of those arrested had protested the killing of a community member by private security guards working for Spanish company Hidralia SA. Others were simply randomly picked up. The date for their hearing has been pushed back to December 4.

PrisonEleven people were arrested without charge on May 2, 2012 in a flagrant violation of their rights. Several of those arrested had protested the killing of a community member by private security guards working for Spanish company Hidralia SA. Others were simply randomly picked up.

Hidralia SA is building the Santa Cruz hydroelectric dam. Over 90% of local community members are opposed to and voted against the implementation of hydroelectric and mining projects in Barillas in a 2007 consultation.

Eight people remain in prison over seven months after the arrests, as verified by Friends of the Earth International's Solidarity Mission in November this year.

The prisoners are also concerned for the wellbeing of their wives and children who have been deprived of their main household income. Many struggle with heavy debt burdens. The bus journey from their home communities to the prison takes twelve hours, making it difficult for families to visit.

The prisoners were labeled as terrorists, despite the fact that they were either peacefully defending their communities or not involved at all.

The prisoners have since been released.

The arbitrary nature of the detention of the political prisoners of Barillas can be neither denied nor concealed, it appears in the reports of several human rights groups, as well as in the file of the case and in the legal actions brought by the lawyers of the detainees.

 

For more information on this case:

 

Real World Radio

 

Friends of the Earth International Press Release