guatemala solidarity statement

Friends of the Earth International, the world’s largest environmental federation, firmly condemns the violent and repressive actions of the government of Guatemala against the Totonicapán Mayan K`iche people.

On 4 October 2012, these actions resulted in a massacre that caused the death of eight indigenous people and dozens of injuries during a peaceful demonstration organised by 48 Cantones de Totonicapán, the ancient Maya people’s organisation.

We are deeply concerned about Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina’s repressive security policy. President Otto Perez Molina is a retired Army General and a graduate of Escuela de las Américas, who condones the militarization of indigenous territories and insists on constitutional reform to guarantee the involvement of the army in public safety.

Likewise, we condemn the strategy of repressing and criminalising social protests in Guatemala. The massacre in Totonicapán follows a crackdown in Santa Cruz Barillas’ – where a community leader was killed and ten people were detained on political grounds – in early May this year and the subsequent state of emergency in the municipality.

This “security” policy goes hand-in-hand with unsustainable large scale development projects, involving indigenous territories without the consent of the people affected. This issue was also one of the demands of the thousands of indigenous people who joined the demonstration on 4 October.

We sympathise with the families of the victims and join the call of our sister organisations to speak out against the violations of indigenous peoples’ human rights in Guatemala. We call on the international community to stay vigilant and to express solidarity with the people of Guatemala.

We demand that the government of Guatemala will acknowledge its responsibility, and reconsider its policies to ensure respect to the freedom of expression, security, life, freedom of thought, and human rights of the Mayan communities.

In solidarity,

Nnimmo Bassey
Friends of the Earth International

For more information
Please use this declaration of solidarity as a model to express your concerns to the Guatemalan authorities:

Presidente de la República de Guatemala Sr. Otto Pérez Molina
Secretaria Privada de la Presidencia
6ta Avenida 4-46 de la Zona 1, Guatemala, Guatemala.
Teléfono: (502) 2230-1650.

Secretaria de Comunicación Social de la Presidencia
Palacio Nacional Guatemala, Guatemala 01001 Guatemala
Tel: (502) 2251-4016 / (502) 2339-2502.

Ministerio Público
Fiscal General del Ministerio Publico Dra. Claudia Paz y Paz Bailey.
Dirección: 15 Av. 15-16 Zona 1, 2º. Nivel, Ciudad de Guatemala.
Teléfonos: (502) 2411-9262 / (502) 2411-9174

Ministerio de Gobernación
Mauricio López Bonilla, ministro de Gobernación.
Dirección: 6ª. Av. 13-71 zona 1 Guatemala.
Teléfono: (502) 2413-8888.

Procuraduría de los Derechos Humanos PDH
Jorge De León Duque, Procurador.
Dirección: 12 ave. 12-72 Zona 1, Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala.
Teléfono: 24241717, Call Center: 1555

Oficina del Alto Comisionado para los Derechos Humanos de las Naciones Unidas para Guatemala
Alberto Brunori, representante de la OACNUDH
Dirección: 5a Av. 5-55 Zona 14 Edif Europlaza, Torre III, Nivel 14, Ciudad de Guatemala, 01014, PBX: (502)
2382-3400, Fax: (502) 2382-3410