Guatemala State Shows Its Arrogance By Attacking Defenders of Life
The Executive Board of the K’iche’s Peoples Council (KPC), for the defense of life, Mother Nature, Land and Territory, to the national and international public opinion, expresses the following: The resistance we have been in since 2008 as the K’che’s Peoples Council (KPC), caring for the protection of our way of life; one example being the Community Consultation in Good Faith, held in October 2010 with a total of 27,778 votes casted against mining, hydroelectric projects and monocultures farming in our territories, which to date we continue to hold as our guiding principle of our actions.
We are convinced that the ideas of false development that the government of Guatemala is selling us do not improve our quality of life, but seek to rob, imprison and even kill our people, in order to please the national oligarchy and transnational corporations so they can keep our territories, promoting the destruction, looting and exploitation, without caring for our understanding of life, and not respecting our ways of good living in harmony with mother nature.
On Friday, June 7, 2013, it was demonstrated that the state continues to attack us, violating our rights, when our partner and sister Aura Lolita Chavez Ixcaquic, was notified by EIGHT National Civilian Police Officers (PNC) who came to her home with an unscrupulous order, which stated that by order of the First Deputy Governor Edi Byron Juarez Prera, it has amended the security scheme to withdraw the precautionary measures that were given to our sister by the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), these precautionary measures are in effect not been raised by this commission.
This resolution is signed by the Vice-Minister of the Interior who acted illegally, unilaterally and arbitrarily, with abuse of power, violating international laws and treaties signed by Guatemala, and leaving our colleague vulnerable to attacks, that according to our sources; are being planned. We hold the Guatemalan State responsible for the safety of our sister, now who is the attacker? And who benefits that our colleague be removed from such protective measures? We are taking our complaint to the ICHR, who at this moment we believe ignore the illegal actions being carried out by the Guatemalan State.
We condemn the attitude of the State, the Interior Minister, Vice-Minister and the President of Guatemala, all of whom seem not to respect the application of international laws and treaties, we are concerned for the further criminalization and prosecution of leaders and women leaders who watch for the preservation of life, against those who promote the sale and death of our mother earth. In the month of May, four of our companions saw their rights being violated, three of them from the Chinique Township, where they were threatened in their homes and were told to leave the resistance and the CPK; later that month, in Santa Cruz del Quiche, a colleague was sexually assaulted, intimidating her and trying to instill fear so she can not continue in the process of defending the territory.
Within the Council there have been several members who have suffered criminalization, attacks, death threats; harassment, bullying and authorities still do not have answers to our complaints. THEREFORE
• An end to the criminalization of social struggles and resistance in the village of El K’iche ‘but also in other Mayan communities such as the Garifuna, Mestizo & Xincas; and as in the Polochic, Santa Rosa, San Juan Sacatepeques, Jalapa, San Rafael El Golfo, Barillas, and against all the people that continued the resistance for life.
• To revoke the order issued by the deputy governor Edi Byron Juarez Prera because it violates the laws and International treaties ratified by the State of Guatemala.
• We demand a deep investigation on cases in which we have been attacked, to publicly indicate who are the material and intellectual authors of these attacks and bring them to justice.
• The need to continue the United Nations (UN) Monitoring of the situation in Guatemala for the State to fulfill its obligation to protect the individual and collective rights and Indigenous Communities.
• We demand that the Human Rights Ombudsman Office (PDH) assume their responsibility to defend individuals, and community rights based on the mandate granted to them by national and international laws ratified by the State of Guatemala.
• That due to the violation of our human, Individual and Collective Rights coming from the same State of Guatemala, and their failure to comply with international mandates, WE HOLD THE STATE OF GUATEMALA ACCOUNTABLE for any assault, attack, persecution or death of any of the members colleagues of the KPC
• That our resistance and struggle for life is not new, we have over 500 years of resisting, while the State try to intimidate us with their actions, we will not shut up, we will certainly defend our territories, which we have to leave to our future generations; they will take care of our territory and resources as we have done up until now.
BECAUSE OUR GRANDPARENTS AND GRANDMOTHERS HAVE LIVED HERE, AND HERE WE LIVE AND OUR GRANDDAUGHTERS AND NIECES WILL LIVE! YES TO LIFE! K’iche’s Peoples Council. QUICHÉ, June 10, 2013, Waqib ‘Batz’