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17 de febrero de 2010


Juan Antonio Chen,


abogado maya y parte de la Convocatoria Ciudadana a nivel departamental,







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 departamental.



Por favor escribir a las autoridades  



Urge Guatemalan authorities to identify and prosecute the individuals responsible for the killing of Juan Antonio Chen.





Raúl Velásquez
Interior Minister
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

· Sr. Embajador Alberto J.









[Your name here]


Dear Minister Velásquez and Attorney General Velásquez Zárate,

Killing of Indigenous Lawyer
Juan Antonio Chen

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 not commit[iii].

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 rights.

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.