11 years after the first massacre in times of peace, against the Maya K’iche’ people of Totonicapán, which took place on October 4th, 2012, the Board of Directors of the 48 Cantons, widows, victims, survivors and the people of Totonicapán demand justice and a conviction against the soldiers accused of extrajudicial execution, as we requested in the development of the oral and public debate.

For the widows, victims, survivors and the Board of Directors of the 48 Cantons, the resolution should make clear that the abuse, repression, and use of excessive force cannot be exercised against a civilian population, nor an Indigenous population in a discretionary or indiscriminate manner by security forces.

The military should not make use of lethal arms in an unjustified or indiscriminate manner to disperse a population protesting peacefully according to their own ways, because no people should be considered violent for demanding their rights.

The rights to freedom of expression and peaceful protest must be guaranteed and not be considered crimes, be stigmatized, or criminalized. Defending democracy, social justice and the common good is the responsibility of each and every one of the people living in Guatemala and it is an obligation of the State to protect and care for the population, not repress it.

The path in the search for justice has been long, painful, and plagued by obstacles for the victims and survivors, during the 11 years and four months since the occurred events and almost eight months of oral and public debate. But it has also been a path of truth, dignity and firm struggle, in which we hope that the State of Guatemala will finally assume its commitment to the clarification of the truth and that it protects our rights as citizens.

For these reasons, today we ask the population in general, national and international community, Indigenous Authorities of other peoples and media to accompany us this February 28th in court, in this historic demand for justice.

Just as we did together with other peoples during 106 days of peaceful resistance, the 48 Cantons will continue raising their sticks to defend democracy and dignity in the whole country and so that the military never again does harm to our peoples*

Justice for Arturo Félix Sapón Yax, Santos Nicolás Hernández Menchu, Rafael Nicolás Batz Menchú, Jesús Baltazar Caxaj Puac, Jesús Francisco Puac Ordóñez and José Eusebio Puac Barreno.

Long live the 48 Cantons!

Justice for the Maya K’iche’ people of Totonicapán!

Long live the Indigenous peoples of Guatemala!

27th of February of 2024, Guatemala

*Edín Rafael Zapeta Tzul

President of the Board of Directors of the 48 Cantons of Totonicapán

[ESP] Una hoja de papel fondo blanco con letras negras se lee el comunicado de los 48 cantones. [ENG] A sheet of paper with a white background and black letters reads the statement of the 48 cantons.