Juan Antonio Chen, abogado Maya, fue acribillado desde un pick up, el 17 de
febrero aproximadamente a las 19:00 horas. Chen fue colaborador de la ODHAG y
del PNR, actualmente formaba parte de Convocatoria Ciudadana, a nivel
Por favor escribir a las autoridades
Urge Guatemalan authorities to identify and prosecute the
individuals responsible for the killing of Juan Antonio Chen.
6ª Avenida 13-71, Zona 1,
Ciudad de Guatemala, GUATEMALA
José Amílcar Velásquez Zárate
Attorney General and Head of the Public Prosecutor’s Office
15 avenida 15-16, 8o nivel
Zona 1 Barrio Gerona,
Ciudad de Guatemala, GUATEMALA
RESERVE AUX MEMBRES DE L'IDHAE
[Your name here]
Dear Minister Velásquez and Attorney
General Velásquez Zárate,
Killing of Indigenous Lawyer Juan
I am writing to express my deep concern over the brutal killing of Juan Antonio Chen, a leading human rights lawyer and defender of the Mayan
community. I urge you to guarantee a prompt and impartial investigation into
his killing that leads to the identification and prosecution of all those
responsible for his death.
Juan Antonio Chen, Mayan
lawyer, was shot dead in his car, by a man in a pickup truck, at 7pm on
February 17 in Coban, Alta Verapaz. Chen worked with ODHAG/Human Rights
Office of the Archdiocese of Guatemala and the National Reparations Program.
In last October 2009, Fausto Leonel Otzín
Poyón, another leading human rights
lawyer and defender of the Mayan community, was found badly beaten, in San
Juan Comalapa, Chimaltenango, in a
ditch with machete wounds to his head, stab wounds to his back, and bruises
all over his face and body. Shortly after he was found, Otzín passed away. In
the week before this violent attack, Otzín had received various text messages
threatening his life
The murder of four Guatemalan defenders in the past two months shows the need
for immediate protection of defenders and a thorough investigation and
prosecution in each of these cases.
Evelinda Ramírez Reyes was attacked and killed while driving home to San
Marcos from Guatemala City on the evening of January 13, 2010. Evelinda was a
community leader and member of FRENA (Resistance in Defense of Natural
Resources and People's Rights) and the CUC/Farmer's Union.
German Antonio Curup was kidnapped with a colleague on February 11, 2010 by
men waiting for them outside of the workplace. On February 14, his body
appeared in Barcenas, 10 miles south of San Juan, with his throat slit and
other signs of torture. German worked for the defense of land and natural
resources. German was the son of Abelino Curup, community leader of San Juan
Sacatepequez who was sentenced to 50 years in prison for a murder that he did
Octavio Roblero, member of FRENA/Resistance in Defense of Natural Resources
and People's Rights, was shot with 17 bullets at 6pm on February 17, 2010 in
front of his shop in the market in Malacatán, San Marcos. Octavio was the
brother in law of Victor Galvez[iv], also a FRENA leader who was killed in
Malacatán in October 2009.
I am deeply concerned about
the targeting of Guatemalan human rights defenders for their work in defense
and promotion of human rights.
Each of these defenders worked to promote the rights of communities and
victims of violence. They were silenced through murder; protection is needed
for defenders across Guatemala who continue to promote and defend human
I respectfully insist on a full investigation of these four murders and
prosecution of those responsible, as well as protection measures for
defenders who have been threatened and attacked.
Thank you for your attention in this urgent matter. I will continue to closely
monitor this situation.