On May 6, Judge Miguel Angel Galvez ordered the opening of the trial for the first nine military and retired policemen accused in the “Military Diary” case. Subsequently, after the capture and first hearing of Toribio Acevedo Ramirez, who was a fugitive and wanted for the same case, Judge Galvez was denounced by an extreme right-wing group using the same strategy that has led other justice operators into exile. The Supreme Court of Justice, co-opted by the interests of the groups in power, announced that it accepted a petition to revoke Gálvez’s judicial immunity.
The persecution against Judge Gálvez has been condemned by survivors, relatives of victims, as well as national and international human rights organizations.
We at NISGUA express our solidarity with Judge Gálvez and with the independent justice operators who have had to go into exile. We join the demands of our Guatemalan partners who demand an end to the criminalization of independent justice operators and we invite you read the statement from the Association for Justice and Reconciliation.
THE ASSOCIATION FOR JUSTICE AND RECONCILIATION COMMUNICATES TO THE PUBLIC OPINION
We support the independent work of the honorable Judge Miguel Ángel Gálvez
The Association for Justice and Reconciliation -AJR- strongly rejects the criminalization, harassment, and acts that threaten the integrity of High Risk Judge Miguel Ángel Gálvez, who has carried out independent and committed work in important cases in the fight against impunity and against those responsible for the serious human rights violations during the Internal Armed Conflict.
We condemn the planned persecution against justice operators implemented by shock groups that have taken it upon themselves to discredit, persecute, harass and threaten independent judges not aligned with the – Corrupt Pact –. The resolution issued by Judge Gálvez in the – Military Diary – case has triggered an increase in persecution against him.
We are concerned that the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) and the Judicial branch remain silent and complicit in the face of the threats against Judge Gálvez. Also, we are concerned that the CSJ accepted the preliminary proceedings, because it represents a threat against the integrity, freedom and fundamental right of Judge Gálvez to exercise independent work.
As an association of relatives and survivors of the violence of the Internal Armed Conflict and plaintiffs in other judicial processes of transitional justice, we express our absolute support for the work of Judge Miguel Ángel Gálvez and we recognize the importance that personal security and integrity have for the independence of the judges, especially within a generalized climate of violence and persecution against justice operators as occurs in Guatemala.
We demand that the State, particularly the Judicial body, protect Judge Gálvez from harassment and threats that are intended to hinder judicial proceedings, prevent the clarification of acts during the Internal Armed Conflict, and cover up those responsible for said acts, a situation that violates the right of victims and survivors to access prompt and impartial justice.
GENOCIDE NEVER AGAIN
Guatemala, June 17, 2022
Read the statement in Spanish below