United as Organized Civil Society

1- We, the Mam people, upon finding out about the crimes committed by the Guatemalan government, have organized as civil society to defend and rescue an endangered Democracy, the reason for which national strikes are being carried out. The government and its pact of corrupt actors are provoking and breaking constitutional order, threatening the democracy of the people.

2- Unfortunately, these peaceful mobilizations are being classified by the President Alejandro Giammettei, the Public Ministry, the Constitutional Court, and the Attorney General Consuelo Porras as a crime. They claim they infringe upon the right to freedom of movement without mentioning that the majority of the population has suffered historic infringements upon healthcare, education, and development.

3- The multiple statements put out by the government and the Constitutional Court have declared war on the people. They are organizing shock groups made up of mercenaries, militiamen, veterans of war and other dark forces to use force in evicting peaceful protests.

4- We strongly condemn the violent evictions in Retalhuleu, Escuintla, El Petén, Chiquimula, Chiantla, and most recently in Malacatán, San Marcos—in which shock groups injured three people and killed one (Francisco Gonzales Velásquez Gómez), whom we honor today. (We ask for a minute of applause to commemorate them.)

5- Dialogues have not given a satisfactory result and do not respond to the demands which we have set. As a response to this, threats have been made using state agencies as a tool to sow fear in the population.

6- Once more we are denouncing the actions of the staff of the Public Ministry: Consuelo Porras, the head of the Special Prosecutor’s Office Against Impunity (FECI) Rafael Curruchiche, Judge Fredy Orellana of the Seventh Penal Court, and the prosecutor Cintia Monterroso. They have acted outside of the established electoral law of political parties by tampering with 160 boxes which were guarded by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal. With this they contribute to the weakening of democracy, forgetting that power resides in the sovereignty of the people.

7- As if this weren’t enough, there are currently initiatives in the Congress of the Republic to pass the Monsanto Law and the Law of Hydrocarbons, both of which we categorically reject. We will not permit the corruption which acts within the Congress of the Republic to approve these destructive laws exterminating the native seeds of the Indigenous peoples, along with their ancestral knowledge and wisdom. We demand that the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court of Justice act in accordance with what is established in the Political Constitution of the Republic of Guatemala.

8- As an organized population, we are concerned with the actions of the Constitutional Court. It is issuing statements which threaten and criminalize peaceful assemblies, incentivizing the Ministries of the Interior and of Defence to utilize violence through the National Civil Police and the Military.

9- We call on Guatemalan society and international organizations working to defend democracy, in accordance with agreements and treaties, to make their voices heard. 

10- October 20th, 1944 was a politically and socially historic day, demonstrating that the people can achieve changes through marches and protests. 79 years later we continue the fight to prove that power stems from the people. It is our duty to strengthen, reclaim, and defend these historic fights for democracy.

Long live the Indigenous peoples of Guatemala!!! Long live democracy!!!

Long live the new democratic era of the people!!!

Tuj Tx’otx’ Xnil CHNAB’JUL Huehuetenango, October 20, 2023