The communities of Santa Cruz Barillas, Huehuetenango, Guatemala have been rejecting the building of several hydroelectric dams by the Hidro Santa Cruz, Hidralia SA consortium of Spain for over a decade. In April and May, 2012, an action by the company resulted in a reaction by the communities and the declaration of a State of Emergency, with the subsequent irregular imprisonment of several leaders, who spent nine months behind bars. Once released, the legal system, in complicity with the authoritarian administration of Otto Perez Molina and the company, has been trying to imprison them once again. Two of the community leaders were arrested when summoned to testify and it is expected that other leaders will follow the same path. For this reason, human rights organizations from Guatemala, together with Friends of the Earth Spain, are organizing a campaign to demand the immediate release of the political prisoners and that all cases are overturned. Real World Radio has followed this situation closely from the beginning and is offering this special section with information about the persecution against nature and human rights defenders from Mayan communities. This is an invitation to solidarity and action.
29 December 2016 | Interviews | All for the release of the political prisoners of Santa Cruz Barillas
Political persecution and imprisonment, criminalization of the struggle, threats and even the murder of social leaders, featured the imposition of hydroelectric megaproject Hidro Santa Cruz, in Santa Cruz Barillas, Guatemala, since 2008. Read more
Several Guatemalan social sectors have celebrated the release of the political prisoners of Santa Eulalia and Santa Cruz Barillas, Huehuetenango department, after a year of being imprisoned for defending their communities. Read more
Political prisoners, arrest warrants and attacks against women and Mayan indigenous communities is the result of investments in Guatemala by Spanish company Hidralia SA, responsible for the Hidro Santa Cruz project in Huehuetenango department. Watch video
These were the words chosen by Real World Radio´s correspondent, Ignacio Cirio, to start his special report from Geneva, Switzerland, following his reporting of the big news: the United Nations Human Rights Council approved the creation of an intergovernmental group to create a binding treaty on corporations and human rights. Read more
March 2nd marked two years since the beginning of the resistance on the border between San Jose del Golfo and San Pedro Ayampuc municipalities, outside Guatemala city, at a place known locally as “La Puya” . Members of various communities and organizations are blocking access to “El Tambor”-Progreso VII, a gold mining project operated by EXMINGUA company with a 25-year concession. Read more
19 February 2014 | News | All for the release of the political prisoners of Santa Cruz Barillas | Social activists at risk
Judicial noncompliance, planned “mistakes”, and pressure over families and people involved add up to the two year ordeal of eight indigenous political prisoners from Santa Cruz Barillas. Read more
Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina played a key role in the dirty war against the insurgents and especially against the country’s indigenous population. This is clearly seen in his actions as President. Read more
The 5th Meeting of REDLAR ended on Saturday 12 October in Las Cruces municipality, Peten department, Guatemala. The meeting agreed on the plan of action for the next three years and the participation of 18 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. See gallery
Amid an intense and long tour through Europe, women activists from Guatemalan environmentalist and feminist organizations arrived to Galicia, Spain, where this Tuesday, April 30th, they will participate in an action to denounce transnational company Hidralia Energía SA, responsible for human rights violations in Santa Cruz Barillas municipalities. Read more
Natalia Atz, coordinator of CEIBA-Friends of the Earth Guatemala, has been on a European tour for several days in order to expose the role of European corporations in human rights violations in Guatemala. Read more
“As women, we are the ones who maintain hope. And I think that while we do this, we need to encourage many other women and tell them to dare to go out, to raise their voices, to avoid being afraid to speak. (…) Women have been told to be afraid within our social and cultural circles. (…) We are covered by a blanket of fear, but we need to move forward with a blanket of hope”, said Jakeline Romero Epiayu.
The European Union (EU) made clear this Friday in Geneva that it is ready to block the advance of the negotiations at the United Nations for a binding treaty on transnational corporations and human rights violations.
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