Tuesday, October 23, 2012

PETITION: Denounce the massacre of indigenous protesters in Totonicapán, Guatemala

PETITION: Denounce the massacre of indigenous protesters in Totonicapán, Guatemala

To: The Government of Guatemala

On October 4, 2012, Maya K’iche’ communities carried out a peaceful protest organized by the Alcaldía Indígena (Indigenous Authority) of the 48 Cantones of Totonicapán, in regions of Alaska, Xecanchavox and Cuatro Caminos in the highlands in Guatemala.

During the demonstration, Guatemalan Military and National Civil Police forces appeared at the protest and shot indiscriminately at the demonstrators leaving 8 dead and over 35 people wounded.

The below signed:

1. Vigorously repudiate any perpetuation of state violence against the indigenous peoples of Guatemala;
2. Reject declarations made by the Interior Minister, the Defense Minister, the Foreign Minister, and the President of the Republic of Guatemala that blame the indigenous communities themselves for the violence inflicted against them;
3. Support the right of the K’iche’ people of the 48 Cantones of Totonicapán and their municipal authorities to collective political voice ;
4. Extend our most sincere condolences to the families of the deceased victims; and
5. Express our solidarity with the more than 35 wounded protesters, among whom are women, children and elderly people.

Additionally, we stand in full support of the demands presented by the Board of Directors of the Alcaldía Indígena of the 48 Cantones of Totonicapán and call on:

1. The Public Prosecutor´s Office to: Uphold your constitutional mandate to investigate and prosecute whoever participated in the bloodbath, especially if they acted in the name of the state—both its intellectual and material authors, who, following orders from their chain of command, carried out repressive policies against the civilian population;
2. The President of Guatemala Otto Pérez Molina to: Immediately demilitarize the security forces and remove military units from any citizen security action;
3. The Judicial Branch to: Duly punish those responsible and prevent the manipulation of the justice system, which would in turn endanger judicial independence;
4. The Human Rights Ombudsman´s office to: Carry out an in-depth investigation and immediately release any findings that identify the perpetrators of human rights violations within the security forces;
5. The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and other international bodies to: Immediately intervene to ensure a prompt and effective investigation and institutional reforms to ensure these acts are not repeated.

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