Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights 2020

Monday, September 8, 2008

Swedish Ambassador responds to assassination of Guatemalan Indigenous anti-mining organizer

From: Carina Gustafsson
Answer translated into english:
Hi Carina. Thank you for your e-mail sent to ambassador Ewa Werner Dahlin, on August 13.
The situation for Human Rights defenders and Indigenous leaders have deterioated in Guatemala.
The detestable murder of mr Morales, is unfortunately one of several murders this year.
The Swedish Embassy works actively to excercise pressure upon the local authorities, to encourage them to solve cases, like the Morales case, and hold a high profile in general, when it comes toHuman Rights issues, in Guatemala. This occurs for instance through the Embassys work in a special EU-group ( consiting members from the EU Embassies who are represented in Guatemala, withspecial responsibillity for Human Rights issues) who follows up cases of threats andattacks against human rights defenders and Indigenous leaders. This EU group exercisepressure collectively towards the local authorities who are responsible.
With kind regards
Pontus Rosenberg
Segundo Secretario
Embajada de Suecia en Guatemala Tel: (502)-23847300Fax: (502)-23847350
In Solidarity -Carina Gustafsson, Sweden
----- Original Message -----
From: To: Sent: Monday, September 08, 2008 1:03 AMSubject: Re: Fw: ATTN: To the Ambassador of Sweden in Guatemala

Hej Carina,
Tack för ditt mail till ambassadör Ewa Werner Dahlin den 13:e augusti. Situationen för MR-försvarare och urfolksledare har försämrats i Guatemala. Det avskyvärda mordet på Morales är tyvärr ett av många mord detta år. Ambassaden arbetar aktivt med att utöva påtryckningar gentemot de lokala myndigheterna för få dem att klara upp fall som Morales' och har en mycket hög profil generellt när det gäller MR- frågor i Guatemala. Detta sker bl.a. genom ambassadens arbete i en särskild EU-grupp (med MR-ansvariga vid de lokalt representerade EU-ländernas ambassader) som följer upp fall med hot och attacker mot människorättsförsvarare och urfolksledare, och kollektivt utövar påtryckningar mot de lokala ansvariga myndigheterna.
Med vänliga hälsningar, Pontus Rosenberg ------------Pontus RosenbergSegundo SecretarioEmbajada de Suecia en Guatemala Tel: (502)-23847300Fax: (502)-23847350

"Carina Gustafsson" <> 2008-08-13 12:28
To: <>
cc: Subject: ATTN: To the Ambassador of Sweden in Guatemala

Dear Ambassador: Mrs Ewa Werner-Dalen,
It has been brought to our attention that a horrible crime has taken place, in Colotenango, Guatemala.
Antonio Morales, an Indigenous leader from the CUC ( Committe of Campesino Unity),CNOC and Maya Waqib Kej( three of Guatemalas most important indigenous organisations), was attacked and hacked to death, outside of his home in Tixel, on thursday morning August 7. Mr Morales was a Maya Mam Community leader, and his municipality of Cólotenango, became one of 26 municipalities to reject mining on their territory through a community referendum, one month ago. The assasination of mr Morales, occured one day before the International Day of Indigenous Peoples ( august 8). On this day, rural communities and organizations were planning mobilizations throughout the country and particularly in Western Guatemala, to voice their resistance against mega projects such as hard metal mining and hydroelectric dams, and defend their right to autonomy and self-determination. We are very concerned over the Guatemalan governments and the Canadian mining companies repression against anti mining activists, and strongly condemn this assasination. We ask that You, Mrs Ambassador, do what you can to find out who killed mr Morales, and adress the guatemalan authorities with our concern, so that justice can be done against those who are responsible for this assasination. We also call upon the Guatemalan authorities, and all nationstates, to respect the ILO Convention 169, along with The UN Declaration for Indigenous Peoples Rights, that were adopted by the majority of the UN General Assembly on september 13 in year 2007.
Respectfully Carina Gustafsson
Scandinavian Forum for Indigenous Peoples Rights Sweden
Please see statement from The Centre for Human Rights Legal Action: 1. ****HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST IS ASSASSINATED****The Center for Human Rights Legal Action- CALDH- condemns the assassination of our compañero of the Maya Mam people, Antonio Morales, resident of the community Tixel, municipality of Colotenango, department of Huehuetenango, Guatemala. Four gunshots (to the left and right sides of his thorax, near his heart, and in his right arm) took Morales´ life in front of his house, on the Interamerican highway, near the Chanjon bridge.
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