Caravan traveling to Huehuetenango celebrates the freedom of ancestral and community authorities

On July 30, 2016, seven ancestral and community authorities from northern Huehuetenango began their journey back home after being held as political prisoners. All of the men were held for over a year – one for over three – on charges related to community protests opposing hydroelectric dams imposed [...]

ADH Statement on the International Day of Indigenous Peoples

The following is a statement made by the Departmental Assembly of the Peoples of Huehuetenango (ADH) on the International Day of Indigenous Peoples. For the original statement by the ADH, click here. Translation by NISGUA. The Departmental Assembly of the Peoples of Huehuetenango (ADH) August 12, 2016 To mark the [...]

Trial opens against political prisoners from Huehuetenango

Today marks the opening of the trial against seven land defenders from northern Huehuetenango, all of whom have been held in pretrial detention as political prisoners for over a year. All seven are being accused of crimes that allegedly took place during community protests against the imposition of hydroelectric [...]

Political prisoner: the story of Rigoberto Juárez

Original article posted in Spanish on Prensa Comunitaria with information provided from his family. Translation by NISGUA.  Rigoberto Juárez is a representative of the Plurinational Government of the Q’anjob’al, Chuj, Akateka, Popti and Mestiza nations, a governing body present in 16 municipalities in Huehuetenango. He has been criminalized by the [...]

2018-01-10T19:49:22+00:00April 6th, 2016|Political Prisoners, translation|

Judge sends to trial the case against Rigoberto Juárez and Domingo Baltazar

Original article written in Spanish by Nelton Rivera for Prensa Comunitaria. Read the original article here. Translation by NISGUA. By Nelton Rivera “We will continue to defend life. We will give our lives if necessary, but we won’t do it kneeling down… Where does water – life – come from? [...]

Political prisoners Saúl Méndez and Rogelio Velásquez finally released!

We celebrate the release yesterday of Saúl Méndez and Rogelio Velásquez, two community leaders wrongly convicted of homicide in a 2014 trial plagued with irregularities. Saúl and Rogelio were sentenced to 33 years in prison, despite major holes in the prosecution's evidence linking them to the murder. After winning a [...]

2017-12-29T17:55:24+00:00January 15th, 2016|Defense of life and territory, Political Prisoners|

“We know this will come to an end” – Interview with the son of a political prisoner

Original interview posted on CMI-Guatemala and written by Gustavo Illescas. Translated and edited for clarity by NISGUA.  Bernardo López Samayoa talks about the strength of his mother, Priscila Samayoa, and the role that Bernardo Ermitaño López Reyes - better known as Don Taño - has played as his father. Don Taño [...]

Land defenders Saúl Méndez and Rogelio Velásquez absolved of all charges but remain in prison

On October 28, 2015, a Quetzaltenango Femicide Tribunal unanimously voted to absolve political prisoners Saúl Méndez and Rogelio Velásquez of the crimes of femicide and homicide. The Tribunal rejected every single witness presented by the prosecution and questioned the political motives behind the Public Prosecutor's decision to begin investigation [...]

2018-01-10T19:52:24+00:00November 25th, 2015|Defense of life and territory, Political Prisoners|

Community leader from Huehuetenango testifies at the World Bank

Last month, Cecilia Mérida testified at the World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington, D.C. about the damage being inflicted by the Bank's financing of the Cambalam hydroelectric dam in the municipality of Barillas, Huehuetenango. She testified to the strategies of criminalization being employed by the Guatemalan government and the [...]

Two more human rights defenders from Huehuetenango imprisoned for opposing megaprojects

Since 2011, communities in northern Huehuetenango have organized more than 50 peaceful protests and dozens of community referenda in which they have actively expressed their opposition to the expansion of hydroelectric dams and other megaprojects in their territories. This demonstration of community strength and self-determination has been met with [...]

One more political prisoner: Rigoberto Juárez, land defender

Written by Nelton Rivera Translated by NISGUA Read original piece in Spanish here. [Yesterday] Rigoberto Juárez Mateo was arbitrarily detained and became another political prisoner held by the state of Guatemala. Rigoberto Juárez is a representative of the Plurinational Government (Gobierno Plurinacional) of the Q'anjob'al, Chuj, [...]

2018-01-10T20:39:55+00:00March 25th, 2015|Political Prisoners, translation|

Santa Cruz Barillas: Natural resource defenders Saúl Méndez and Rogelio Velásquez sentenced to 33 years in prison

Posted on March 2, 2015 by ACOGUATE Translation by NISGUA Detained and awaiting trial since August 27, 2013, natural resource defenders Saúl Méndez and Antonio Rogelio Velásquez of Santa Cruz Barillas were recently sentenced to 33 years and four months in prison. They were found guilty of being accomplices [...]

2018-01-10T20:41:19+00:00March 18th, 2015|ACOGUATE, Political Prisoners, translation|

Human rights defenders from Barillas convicted despite irregularities in proceedings

An excerpt from a press release issued by the Guatemalan Unit for the  Protection of Human Rights Defenders (UDEFEGUA): "On Thursday, November 13, the trial court judge in Villa Nueva sent Oscar Morales, a leader in the resistance movement in San Rafael las Flores, to trial for allegedly threatening the [...]

ADH expresses solidarity with Santa Cruz Barillas political prisoners

We demand liberty for our leaders; they have not committed crimes Photo: ADH Departmental Assembly of Huehuetenango Communiqué in Solidarity with the Civil Society Movement of Santa Cruz Barillas Today, March 4, 2014, we attended two hearings in which the cases would be presented of six leaders from Santa [...]

2018-01-12T09:04:07+00:00March 5th, 2014|partner statement, Political Prisoners, translation|

Urgent Communique: Detention of Leaders from Santa Cruz Barillas

On Tuesday, August 27, Saúl Aurelio Méndez Muñoz and Antonio Rogelio Velásquez López, community leaders opposed to the imposition of the Cambalam hydroelectric project, operated by Hidro Santa Cruz, property of Spanish company Hidralia S.A., were arrested outside of a Guatemala City courthouse. Saúl and Antonio had traveled to [...]

2018-01-12T10:04:35+00:00August 29th, 2013|partner statement, Political Prisoners|

International community calls for Rubén Herrera’s immediate release

More than one year after President Molina declared a state of siege in Santa Cruz de Barillas, repression continues against community leaders resisting the Cambalam hydroelectric project, operated by Spanish owned Hidro Santa Cruz. Violence and criminalization against leaders defending territory and the right to self determination has been [...]

Take Action: Demand Guatemalan Authorities Halt Criminalization and Persecution of Political Prisoner, Rubén Herrera

Rubén Herrera of the ADH Photo: James Rodríguez, mimundo.orgSign the petition condemning the capture of Rubén Herrera and calling for his immediate release. Since Friday, March 15, human rights defender and member of the Departmental Assembly of Huehuetenango for the Defense of Natural Resources (ADH), Rubén Herrera, has been unjustly [...]

2018-01-16T15:26:42+00:00April 17th, 2013|Political Prisoners, Take Action|

Rubén Herrera, member of the Departmental Assembly of Huehuetenango (ADH), Arrested in Barillas Case

URGENT COMMUNIQUE from the Departmental Assembly of Huehuetenango in Defense of Territory (ADH) *Official Translation by NISGUA Spanish below It is with great concern that we share the unfortunate news that today, March 15, at 7:30 in the morning, Rubén Herrera, a member of the coordination of the ADH, [...]

Criminalization and Violence Erupt in the Shadow of the Escobal Mine

In recent weeks the municipality of San Rafael Las Flores has seen growing conflict around the installation of the Escobal silver mine, owned by the Canadian corporation Tahoe Resources. Local community organizers and allies from the Center for Legal, Environmental and Social Action (CALAS) denounced in August a wave [...]

2018-02-05T21:37:44+00:00September 25th, 2012|Political Prisoners, Tahoe Resources|