Tag Archives: Guatemala

Guatemala arrests outspoken opponent


Guatemala’s national police arrested an outspoken opponent of the government Wednesday on charges he falsified documents to form a political party.

Juan Francisco Solorzano Foppa is a lawyer who once served as head of the country’s tax collection agency. In recent years, he has criticized the administration of President Alejandro Giammattei and slammed what he claimed was the political use of law enforcement.

Prosecutors said he was arrested for criminal conspiracy and falsification.

Solorzano Foppa said the charges had been “invented,” and suggested they were retaliation for his criticisms. Guatemala’s legal system and congress have been criticized for protecting those accused of corruption.

“This is not any shame for me. I am proud, knowing that we are doing things right; we are affecting powerful people in the country,” Solorzano Foppa said in a video, in which he showed his handcuffs.

He also shared a video of the moment of his arrest, when his vehicle was cut off by two unmarked cars without license plates. A government official said police sometimes use their private vehicles to make arrests, and that they don’t carry license plates for security reasons.

Arrest warrants have also been issued for 14 other people.

Anibal Argüello, a lawyer who once worked for Guatemala’s now-defunct U.N.-backed anti-corruption commission, was also arrested.

“This is just the networks of power who we have been fighting for so many years, attacking us,” Anibal Argüello said.

Previously, the government arrested another crusading anti-corruption lawyer, Alfonso Carrillo.




https://www.swissinfo.ch/spa/guatemala-corrupci%C3%B3n_partido-denuncia–represi%C3%B3n–en-guatemala-tras-detenci%C3%B3n-de-abogado-opositor/46633086 (ESPANOL)





Image result for Quelvin Jiménez

Quelvin Jiménez ha recibido amenazas de muerte y sigue siendo objeto de campañas difamatorias, intimidación y vigilancia a causa de sus actividades en defensa de los derechos del pueblo xinca a la tierra y el territorio en el contexto de las actividades mineras en el sur de Guatemala. Las amenazas más recientes incluyen llamadas telefónicas, la presencia de hombres armados cerca de su casa y un intento de intimidación cuando se dirigía a su domicilio el 6 de mayo. Instamos al Ministerio Público a llevar a cabo investigaciones sobre todos los ataques y a brindar protección a Quelvin Jiménez

Actúen: redacten su propio llamamiento o utilicen esta carta modelo

Consuelo Porras

Fiscal General de Guatemala

Correo-e: carrecis@mp.gob.gt (secretaría de la sra. Porras)

Twitter: @MPguatemala


Señora Fiscal General:

Me dirijo a usted para expresarle mi alarma y mi preocupación por la seguridad del abogado del pueblo xinca Quelvin Jiménez, quien fue alertado de un plan para matarlo a finales de abril y cuya casa estaba siendo vigilada. El 6 de mayo, el mismo hombre al que se había visto cerca de su casa persiguió a Quelvin en una motocicleta e intentó que el vehículo del abogado redujera la velocidad. Quelvin ha recibido amenazas de muerte telefónicas en varias ocasiones. Las investigaciones sobre los ataques anteriores continúan pendientes, y la policía aún no ha aplicado las medidas de seguridad ordenadas por el Ministerio Público para brindarle protección.

La instamos a llevar a cabo una investigación inmediata, independiente, efectiva e imparcial sobre todas las amenazas y los ataques contra Quelvin Jiménez, y a llevar a todos los responsables de estos hechos ante la justicia. También le pedimos que garantice que se le asigna protección policial, de acuerdo con sus deseos y necesidades.



“Ante la extensa actividad extractiva, la lucha de las comunidades sigue en pie»: concluye Foro Permanente para Cuestiones Indígenas

Representantes indígenas hablan sobre el extractivismo durante foro de la ONU

https://www.amnestyusa.org/urgent-actions/urgent-action-lawyer-of-xinca-people-under-threat-guatemala-ua-63-19/ (ENGLISH)

https://nisgua.org/portfolio-items/active-quelvin-jimenez-xinka-parliament/ (ENGLISH)

https://eu.rgj.com/story/opinion/voices/2018/05/22/guatemalan-locals-risk-repression-reno-mining-corp-jimenez/633754002/ (ENGLISH)

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/2019/05/when-pan-american-silver-bought-escobal-mine-it-bought-legacy-violence (ENGLISH)

Switzerland: The ICJ and Geneva Bar Association launch ambitious global project

May 20, 2019

Image result for ICJ-Geneva Lawyers International Cooperation Initiative

The ICJ, the Geneva Bar Association and the Geneva legal community have joined forces to launch the ICJ-Geneva Lawyers International Cooperation Initiative. Under the Initiative, Geneva lawyers will join ICJ missions on the five continents to support the independence and integrity of lawyers and judges at risk, and to promote the Rule of Law.

The Initiative launches with a mission tomorrow, May 21st. A lawyer from the Geneva Bar Association will go to Guatemala to work the ICJ team and lawyers investigating and fighting the forced displacement of the indigenous community of La Laguna de El Petén.

Missions under the initiative will typically involve, among other things:

– Trial observations;

– Fact-finding missions;

– Support for the independence of lawyers and bar associations;

– Capacity building and training activities;

– Expertise and academic support.

Since its founding in 1952, the ICJ has played a unique and preeminent role as a non-governmental organization for the defense of the Rule of Law around the world, and the independence of judges and lawyers.

With the presence of its headquarters in Geneva for more than 60 years, through the Initiative the ICJ is further deepening its special bond with the city, to spread and share the spirit of Geneva.

“International support and solidarity are crucial to the work of lawyers defending the human rights of those who are often marginalized from power,” said Michaël Sombart, Director of Strategic Partnerships of the ICJ. “With this project the ICJ can help lawyers around the world benefit from the reputation and high standing of the Swiss legal community and bring the message of the Genève humanitaire beyond borders.”

The ICJ and Geneva Bar Association launch ambitious global project


https://www.icj.org/fr/licj-et-lordre-des-avocats-de-geneve-lancent-avec-la-communaute-juridique-de-la-republique-un-projet-ambitieux-de-cooperation-internationale/ (FRANCAIS)

https://www.odage.ch/ (FRANCAIS)

Saudi Arabia: Jailed Saudi activists honored with Right Livelihood Award

November 24, 2018

Three Saudi activists have been honored alongside anti-corruption campaigners at the awards ceremony. Known as the Alternative Nobel, the prize recognizes efforts thought to be ignored by the Nobel prizes.

Right Livelihood Award laureates Thelma Aldana, Tony Rinaudo, Yacouba Sawadogo and Iván Velásquez hold up a picture of the three jailed laureates from Saudi Arabia, Abdullah Al-Hamid, Waleed Abu Al-Khair and Mohammad Fahad Al-Qahtani

Three jailed activists in Saudi Arabia were among a series of people recognized for their work at the presentation of the so-called “Alternative Nobel Prize” on Friday.

The Saudis were honored in absentia at the Right Livelihood Award Foundation ceremony in Sweden for campaigning for reform in the repressive kingdom.

The co-founders of the banned Saudi Association for Civil and Political Rights, Abdullah al-Hamid and Mohammad Fahad al-Qahtani, are serving sentences of 10 and 11 years. The third Saudi, Waleed Abu al-Khair, was sentenced to 15 years in 2014. He is known for defending activists such as jailed blogger Raif Badawi.

The foundation urged the kingdom to stop “harassing and killing those who fight” for democracy. Foundation head Ole von Uexkull said last week the trio had “acted through peaceful means” in their activism.

Al-Qahtani’s son, Omar, and London-based Saudi human rights activist Yahya Assiri accepted the award. “They inspire and encourage many others to follow in their footsteps,” said Assiri, urging the Saudi authorities to release the trio.

The annual awards were created in 1980 to honor efforts that the philanthropist prize founder Jakob von Uexkull felt were being ignored by the Nobel prizes.








https://fr.euronews.com/2018/11/24/trois-saoudiens-emprisonnes-recompenses-a-stockholm (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waleed_Abu_al-Khair (FRANCAIS)

http://www.ludovictrarieux.org/ (FRANCAIS)

https://derstandard.at/2000092145354/Alternativnobelpreis-fuer-inhaftierte-Saudi-Aktivisten (DEUTSCH)

http://www.laconexionusa.com/noticias/20181123188416_lc18841623.asp (ESPANOL)

http://www.rebelion.org/noticia.php?id=249420 (ESPANOL)

https://pt.euronews.com/2018/11/24/nobel-alternativo-distingue-ativistas-sociais (PORTUGUES)

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Brazil/Colombia/Guatemala/Honduras/ Mexico/The Philippines: Stop the Killings

June 21, 2018

Stop the Killings Report.jpg

“Stop the Killings” analyzes the root causes of the killing of HRDs in Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and the Philippines.

The report is based on original research by Comitê Brasileiro de Defensoras e Defensores de Direitos Humanos – CBDDH, (Brazil), Programa Somos Defensores (Colombia), UDEFEGUA (Guatemala), ACI-Participa (Honduras), Comité Cerezo (Mexico) and iDEFEND, Karapatan and Pahra (Philippines).

With a forward from United Natiosn Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders Michel Forst and introduction by Front Line Defenders Exective Director Andrew Anderson, “Stop the Killings” is a vital resource for understanding the current and alarming increase of killings of human rights defenders globally.





Guatemala: Guatemala’s crusading prosecutor exits amid praise, threats

May 7, 2018

Thelma Aldana

It’s been a long time since it was safe for Thelma Aldana to go out in public alone, and perhaps it never will be again.

As chief prosecutor for Guatemala, Aldana won plaudits at home and abroad as the woman who sent a president to prison and broke up a number of high-level corruption rings. But it came at a cost — her own personal safety — as her crusading angered some of the country’s most powerful and dangerous people, long accustomed to doing as they pleased with little or no consequences.

The biggest trophy on her wall from four years in office: Taking down a network allegedly led by then-President Otto Perez Molina, who is accused of defrauding the state of millions of dollars.

“In the Bible it says you shall know them by their fruits, and I gave my best effort,” Aldana said in a series of interviews with The Associated Press as she prepares to leave office when her term ends this month. “With all modesty, I leave with my head high.”

Those close to her call the 62-year-old Aldana “the boss.” She is described as a strictly punctual person and a voracious reader. Appearing before news cameras to announce the latest corruption ring to fall, she typically appears calm, collected and intrepid. Her facial expression is often tough and inscrutable, making it difficult to guess what she is thinking.

It seems the only one able to crack that demeanor is Toby, her 5-year-old Shih Tzu. Speaking to the AP in a small room at her offices decorated with recognitions where she likes to receive visitors, Aldana broke into a broad smile recalling how when she brings work home, Toby likes to rest in the cardboard box she uses to carry the same documents that could end up putting criminals and politicians behind bars.







http://www.elsalvador.com/noticias/internacional/478596/thelma-aldana-la-fiscal-que-apreso-a-un-presidente-en-guatemala-no-puede-salir-sola-a-las-calles-de-su-pais/ (ESPANOL)

http://cnnespanol.cnn.com/video/thelma-aldana-guatemala-trayectoria-anticorrupcion-live-kay-guerrero-conclusiones/ (ESPANOL)

https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thelma_Aldana (ESPANOL)

https://www.agenzianova.com/a/5af00f6c867368.10840220/1911792/2018-05-07/guatemala-procuratrice-generale-uscente-riferisce-del-suo-mandato (ITALIANO)

Guatemala: Ex-Guatemala Supreme Court president shot dead

January 27, 2018

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The ex-president of the Guatemalan Supreme Court was shot dead on Friday during an incident on the outskirts of the capital Guatemala City, according to emergency personnel.

Jose Arturo Sierra, who presided over the high court between 2013 and 2014, was attacked by unknown perpetrators while traveling by road. He was taken to hospital where he died, authorities announced on Twitter.

While officials have not confirmed the circumstances surrounding the attack, local press reported witness accounts of two people firing at Sierra, 72, from a motorcycle.

The CSJ “strongly” denounced the crime, which in a statement it said “adds to the widespread violence” in Guatemala.

The International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala echoed the condemnation, and recognised Sierra’s “vocation as a judge that he demonstrated in different positions in the Guatemalan justice system.”

Violence in Guatemala leaves thousands dead every year, with around half attributed by authorities to drug trafficking and activity related to the Barrio 18 and Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gangs. A total of 5,384 people were killed last year, mostly in shootings.





https://republica.gt/2018/01/26/por-que-mataron-al-magistrado-jose-arturo-sierra/ (ESPANOL)

https://elpais.com/internacional/2018/01/26/actualidad/1516998467_374000.html (ESPANOL)


guatemala_maldonado title=

Pedro Rafael Maldonado Flores is a passionate and dedicated human rights lawyer. As the legal director of the Centre for Environmental, Social and Legal Action (CALAS), Rafael provides environment and water defenders with legal counsel to help them protect their rights to a healthy environment and freedom of expression, and defends their rights as Indigenous peoples.

But someone wants to stop Rafael’s and CALAS’ important work.

For several years, Rafael and his colleagues have been threatened and harassed outside their homes, at work, in public spaces, in newspaper articles and over social media.

• In April 2017 someone fired shots outside Rafael’s house

• In November 2016 22 year-old staffer Jeremy Barrios was murdered in Guatemala City

• In 2008 Executive Director Dr Yuri Melini was shot several times and survived

Despite these threats and attacks, the Guatemalan government has not brought anyone to justice nor has it provided adequate protection for Rafael and his colleagues.




http://copredeh.gob.gt/comunicado/ (ESPANOL)

Guatemala: The Law Society of Upper Canada expresses grave concern about the intimidation of lawyer Pedro Rafael Maldonado Flores in Guatemala

May 19, 2017

The Law Society of Upper Canada

The Law Society of Upper Canada expresses grave concern about the intimidation of lawyer Pedro Rafael Maldonado Flores in Guatemala.

Pedro Rafael Maldonado Flores is a human rights lawyer and the director of the legal department at Centro de Acción Legal Ambiental y Social de Guatemala (“CALAS”, also known in English as the Legal, Environmental and Social Action Centre of Guatemala). CALAS is a human rights organization which promotes environmental issues, community participation and respect for the collective rights of indigenous communities in relation to environmental concerns. CALAS has been active in denouncing human rights abuses committed by mining companies in Guatemala, in particular the transnational mining company Tahoe Resources Inc. and its Guatemalan subsidiary Minera San Rafael S.A. In addition to his work with CALAS, Pedro Rafael Maldonado Flores has worked on lawsuits which oppose the criminalization of human rights defenders.

It has come to the Law Society’s attention that on April 3, 2017, unidentified men riding a motorcycle fired eight to twelve gunshots at a vehicle parked in front of Pedro Rafael Maldonado Flores’s home in Guatemala City. The incident was reported to the local authorities and to the Public Prosecution.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time Pedro Rafael Maldonado Flores has been targeted as a result of his human rights work. In January 2016, an organization called Fundación Contra el Terrorismo (Foundation Against Terrorism), which comprises (in part) multinational companies and former army personnel, commenced legal proceedings against him on the following grounds: discrimination, threats, aggravated theft, coercion, and “incitement to crime and conspiracy”. He received death threats via Twitter in November 2015, only a few short months after an unknown gunman riding a motorcycle fired multiple shots outside CALAS headquarters. In 2013, he was the subject of many defamatory newspaper articles.


http://www.lsuc.on.ca/newsarchives.aspx?id=2147485737&cid=2147503820&langtype=1036 (FRANCAIS)


Guatemala: Guatemalan rights prosecutor arrested over alleged hit-and-run

September 23, 2016

Orlando Lopez

Orlando López has investigated some of the worst crimes committed during Guatemala’s bloody civil war and arrested powerful former military commanders for torture, genocide and forced disappearances.

But the efforts of the senior human rights prosecutor have not gone unnoticed by rightwing groups who claim he is spearheading a leftist conspiracy against the armed forces.

Now, López, 41, has been detained on homicide charges linked to an alleged hit-and-run incident, which his supporters say is part of a wave of malicious litigation against advocates seeking justice over civil war crimes.

The alleged traffic incident was reported by the Foundation against Terrorism, a rightwing group linked to retired military generals, which in recent years has accused dozens of senior judges, prosecutors and human rights activists of crimes including corruption, intimidation and links to organised crime.

“I know that I am here because of the work I have done. It has nothing to do with the traffic incident, this is just an excuse to target me,” López told the Guardian, while waiting handcuffed in Guatemala City criminal court.

López was lead prosecutor in the 2013 genocide trial against the former military dictator Efrain Rios Montt, and in the arrest earlier this year of 18 former army generals for multiple forced disappearances.