Solidarity Update: January 2017

Photo: Francisco Simon, Prensa Comunitaria News recap: Former Kaibil, accused of participating in Dos Erres massacre, arrested in Maryland; Elderly protester killed in the Ixquisis region, Huehuetenango; Former Guatemalan Minister of Energy and Mines arrested in Miami, awaits extradition; As Trump takes office, we stand in our commitment to internationalism. This [...]

Ermitaño López: Marking one year in pre-trial detention for protecting land

One year ago today, Ermitaño López – “Don Taño” – was arrested in Guatemala City’s courthouse as he was attending a pre-trial declaration hearing in support of other land defenders from Barillas. Don Taño is a teacher and community organizer from Barillas, northern Huehuetenango, where communities are facing the [...]

2019-12-27T17:32:57+00:00June 2nd, 2016|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

“Caravan for Dignity” testifies to human rights violations in Huehuetenango

The following is a press release issued by the Departmental Assembly of the Peoples of Huehuetenango (ADH), together with other organizations who accompanied the "Caravan for dignity, resistance, and freedom for political prisoners from northern Huehuetenango." NISGUA joined the Caravan as international observers, documenting testimony of communities in the [...]

2019-12-27T18:58:44+00:00April 26th, 2016|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

Solidarity Update: April 2016

News recap: CREOMPAZ: Public Prosecutor presents evidence in the largest case of forced disappearance in Guatemala’s history; Closed-door genocide retrial moves to Ixil territory; Observer mission travels to Huehuetenango to document human rights violations in the context of hydroelectric projects; “Communities Rise Up” delegation builds connections across borders. This and more in this [...]

Caravan for Dignity: for the resistance and freedom of political prisoners from northern Huehuetenango

This article was written by Gustavo Illescas and originally posted in Spanish on CMI-Guatemala. Translation by NISGUA.  Under the motto “We are all northern Huehuetenango,” the Departmental Assembly of the Peoples of Huehuetenango (ADH) joined civil society organizations and community authorities on a caravan that left the municipality of Huehuetenango [...]

2020-01-01T21:26:48+00:00April 7th, 2016|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

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 [...]

2019-12-27T18:16:47+00:00January 15th, 2016|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

“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 [...]

2019-12-25T01:17:05+00:00January 14th, 2016|Defense of life and territory|

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 [...]

2019-12-27T18:16:59+00:00November 25th, 2015|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

Take Action: Call on the U.S. Embassy to stand up for political prisoners Saúl and Rogelio

On September 1, Barillas land defenders Saúl Méndez and Rogelio Velásquez will stand trial again for accessory to murder. Citing serious irregularities and major errors in the initial trial earlier this year that condemned both men to 33 years and 4 months in prison, a Special Appeals court ruled [...]

2019-12-27T18:17:16+00:00August 19th, 2015|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

Accompanier Perspectives: Huehuetenango

Dear Family and Friends, Thanks to those of you who’ve responded to my recent call for action in solidarity with political prisoners in Huehuetenango and for financial support in NISGUA’s successful May Match campaign! Those of you who’ve signed in support of the release of Saúl Méndez and Rogelio [...]

2018-01-10T20:12:07+00:00June 15th, 2015|Accompanier Perspectives|

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 [...]

2019-12-27T18:18:09+00:00May 14th, 2015|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

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 [...]

2019-12-27T18:19:35+00:00April 15th, 2015|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

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 [...]

2019-12-27T18:20:03+00:00March 18th, 2015|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

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 [...]

2019-12-27T18:20:20+00:00November 20th, 2014|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

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 [...]

2019-12-27T18:21:00+00:00August 29th, 2013|Defense of life and territory, Huehuetenango|

Comunicado urgente por detención a lideres de Santa Cruz Barillas

A LA OPINIÓN PÚBLICA NACIONAL E INTERNACIONAL MANIFESTAMOS: El pueblo Q'anjobal de Santa Cruz Barillas a pesar de la represión y violación a sus derechos humanos a defendido su territorio a través de las consultas comunitarias ante la instalación de la hidroeléctrica propiedad de la empresa española Hidralia S.A. [...]

2019-12-27T17:35:37+00:00August 29th, 2013|defensa del territorio, Huehuetenango - ESP|