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Nisgua Update

JANUARY 2013

Justice & Accountability

The Guatemalan Constitutional Court Considers Granting Ríos Montt Amnesty

Jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights Challenged
  

Trade & Globalization

Remaining Political Prisoners from Santa Cruz de Barrillas Released

Guatemalan Government Restarts Xalalá Dam Project Despite Community Opposition

Justice & Accountability

The Guatemalan Constitutional Court Considers Granting Ríos Montt Amnesty

As we near the one-year anniversary of former General Rios Montt being linked to the Genocide process, the Guatemalan Constitutional Court is currently contemplating the question of amnesty, and has yet to give a definitive ruling. A decision overturning the exceptions to the 1996 National Reconciliation Law would be a significant setback to the case.

The next hearing on Ríos Montt's amnesty is set for Monday January 21st. You can still sign-on to this grassroots petition campaign to show your support for survivors' organizations hoping to charge Ríos Montt for genocide.


Jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights Challenged

In Executive Order 370-2012, published on January 2, the Guatemalan government states that the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has no jurisdiction over human rights violations which occurred before March 9, 1987, and that the state will not recognize Court rulings or authorize Court-mandated reparations for these cases. 

As of January 15, the Guatemalan government reportedly repealed Executive Order 370-2012, following talks with human rights institutions. Despite this rapid turn around, the subsequent decision by the Defense Ministry to classify information relating to Military structure and equipment during Ríos Montt regime has served to further undermine the path to justice. According toEl Periódico, the information will be made available to legal representatives in the genocide case, but public access is restricted for a period of 7 years. 



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Trade & Globalization

Remaining Political Prisoners from Santa Cruz de Barrillas Released

The remaining eight community members illegally detained on May 2, 2012 during the state of siege in Santa Cruz de Barillas were declared innocent and released on January 9th. Their liberation follows the November release of two of the prisoners

Their liberation follows eight months of struggle and demands from communities across Guatemala that they be released. The men were received by their communities with an overwhelming demonstration of support. The celebration was marked by fireworks and a sense of victory.

 

Guatemalan Government Restarts Xalalá Dam Project Despite Community Opposition

Despite consistent opposition to the Xalalá dam, the Guatemalan government announced that it will restart the bidding process for the construction of the Xalalá hydroelectric dam in 2013. In October 2012, a delegation from the affected region traveled to the capital to present their concerns and speak-out against the negative impacts suffered by communities located downriver from existing hydroelectric dams. 

The delegation organized public forum, the meetings with state representatives, and informational meetings with human rights organizations in order to present the communities’ concerns and the problematic character of the new bidding process. Community representatives reiterated their demand thatcommunity referendums rejecting the construction of hydroelectric dams be respected. Finally, the delegation called on national and international social organizations to be on alert for possible violations of the communities’ rights should the bidding process continue. 


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News from the Grassroots


Upcoming Presentation: Former NISGUA Staff Member Phil Neff to Speak on January 31st in Seattle, WA

Former NISGUA staff member Phil Neff will present on "Guatemala: Neoliberal Militarism & Social Movement Resistance" on January 31st in Seattle, WA. 

Perhaps you don't live in the area but know someone who does! Find more information here.

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